Sometimes You Don’t Need to Apologize

Does anyone else love reading http://www.etiquettehell.com as I do? In a nutshell, it’s all about situations where etiquette should be used but often isn’t. It’s sort of a cross between Dear Abby and the basic terms of etiquette that our parents and grandparents taught us.

I am often gobstruck by the rudeness and selfishness of some people. It appears that common decency and manners have truly gone by the wayside.

But one post on http://www.etiquettehell.com really rang true for me, which is why I am posting it here. As a young woman, I often let rudeness or even downright scary behavior go by the wayside because I was afraid of offending someone. What I didn’t think of back then was this: you do NOT have to put up rudeness, abuse or anything or anyone who makes you uncomfortable.

Read on and see if you agree.

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“I recently went on a date that left me feeling, for lack of a better word, icky.

My date with, let’s call him Jeff, was arranged by a friend. Jeff was an old buddy of her husband’s and had recently moved back into town. We texted back and forth and he seemed nice and polite, and we agreed to meet for a drink at a pub I know rather well. The date was for late in the evening as I had a work commitment and agreed to meet him afterward.

Jeff was already seated when I arrived. We ordered our drinks, and chatted while waiting for them to arrive. The conversation was odd, I’m not even sure how to describe it, but it was more like talking to a nervous fourteen year old than a man in his late thirties. I attributed it to first date jitters. He suggested a few times that we order some “entrees”, and I thought that a lot of food for so late in the evening. I eventually realized that he meant “appetizers”. I opted to stick with just a drink. He also suggested, several times, that we could go back to his place for a drink instead. Again, I declined.

When the waitress arrived with our drinks I removed my jacket to get more comfortable. Jeff very blatantly stared at my chest and said “WOW!” Now, I was not wearing anything revealing, and there was no reason (and there never should be) to make such a proclamation. I quickly pulled my jacket back on, told him that he had just made me very uncomfortable, and said a hasty good-night.

A younger me may have stuck around and finished my drink for fear of seeming impolite. I have learned that you do not need to keep yourself in an uncomfortable situation because of etiquette, and it is quite possible to exit such a situation gracefully.”

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