View from the Hill
You Were Raised Better Than That
By Catherine Durkin Robinson
Aug 21, 2011 - 9:28:38 PM

LOS ANGELES—Often I have to tell my children that it’s not okay to do something, which is fine because they are only eleven years old. For example, the other day I had to sit them down and tell them it’s not okay to:

- Argue with mommy just because you’re tired.

- Argue with mommy over sneakers, healthy snacks, and early bedtimes.

- Argue with mommy over everything under the sun.

- Argue with mommy for two straight hours and then expect to swim, have fun, or live.

You get my point. I take part in this grand tradition of mothers talking to walls because it’s what I signed on to do about a decade earlier after a few drinks and one incredibly sentimental Ron Howard movie.

What I find truly amazing is how many times I want to say, “That’s not okay” to fellow grown-ups. Throughout my day, I often feel like I’m in a high school cafeteria, except high school kids have better manners.

I have to stop myself from committing random acts of scolding and wondering out loud, “Who raised you?”

People over the age of thirty, forty, or fifty should know better, but often they don’t. So for all those middle-aged kids out there, with manners that would mortify their mothers, please be advised that it’s not okay to”¦

- Clean your ears with car keys.

- Leave the bathroom in disarray. Come on, people. Flush.

- Sniff and swallow what should seriously be blown into a tissue.

- Clip your nails as you walk through the office.

- Man-handle my tofu and flax seed in the community fridge when you obviously don’t do healthy.

- Burp loudly, and then attempt to high-five everyone in the room.

- Touch me or my hair and wink. It wasn’t cute in college and it’s not cute now.

- Sweat all over the exercise equipment. Those towels are there for a reason.

- Deposit whatever is under your nails onto your sleeves or pants.

- Make a face over whatever I’m eating or reading.

- Wear tight turtlenecks when you’re male, near seventy, and easily a C cup.

- Pick your teeth outside the bathroom.

- Chew with your mouth open.

- Play with the hair growing out of your ears.

- Audibly digest anything.

- Refer to women as broads, especially if you’re under the age of eighty.

- Rub a pregnant woman’s belly. Ever.

- Shove children aside for a better view of the parade.

- Blow your nose in a restaurant.

- Throw cigarettes on the ground.

- Ask others to “smell this.” If the milk or cheese is bad, throw it away, otherwise you are risking a lawsuit.

- Interrupt people with whom you disagree. Just because you’re loud, doesn’t mean you’re right.

- Complain about aches and pains; no one cares about your groin injury.

- Invade my personal space after your onion and garlic lunch.

- Smile without brushing first.

- Spit in a garbage can or on a baseball field. We can see you, you know.

- Touch any part of your body while discussing third-quarter earnings or yearly reviews. Save that charming maneuver for when you’re watching the game on Sunday.

That goes for the rest of this list, too.

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