Saturday, July 3, 2010


I was appalled. Yes, there were three children in a shopping cart. And yes, they were very active. But letting them hurl cereal in the aisle, take their shirts off, and use the F word caused at least a dozen elderly shoppers to have near-coronaries. I was among them. It seems that it is again time for me to put on my “Emily Post hat” and give all you young whippersnappers out there some of the finer points of daily etiquette.

CHILDREN ARE REALLY BETTER SEEN AND NOT HEARD. Is Dr. Spock no longer in vogue? Who is giving out advice to young parents these days? Believe me, it won’t hurt their forming psyches one bit to learn how to keep their little mouths shut in adult company. I have yet to meet a toddler who has anything REALLY interesting to say!

ALL PANTS SHOULD BE KEPT ON IN PUBLIC. I must admit that there are pictures in our family archive of naked children pushing shopping carts, but it was in the privacy of our own home. And once they hit the age of two, nude toddlers are no longer charming to the general public. Those little tushes should be encased in something during outings.

TEENAGERS MUST SPIT OUT THAT GUM. I know that teens lack self confidence, and that the teen years can be brutal. But I am lost as to how chewing gum 24/7 helps ease the transition into adulthood. And summer jobs are scarce. Gum chewing during job interviews does not endear you to any employer that I am aware of.

I UNDERSTAND THE LURE OF TATTOOS. BUT BE SO VERY CAREFUL WHERE YOU PUT THEM. The Baby Boomer generation still associates tattoos with drunken sailors. I realize that every single one of my grown children’s friends has at least five tattoos. But please don’t get one across the bridge of your nose! I really think you will regret that one. And for those of you out there who have uncivil words anywhere on your body, think of how you are going to explain them to YOUR children!

PUT YOUR NAPKIN IN YOUR LAP. Perhaps eating while sitting at a table is a lost habit, what with all those soccer games and dancing recitals, but honestly, all children must learn table manners. Forks, not fingers. Straws for drinking, and not shooting coke at your sister. No slurping. Elbows are still unwelcome on the table, no matter how comfortable that is. And for heaven’s sake, sit up straight in your chair and stop kicking your fellow diners under the table!

PLEASE AND THANK YOU ARE STILL IN THE LEXICON. There seems to be a bit of a sense of entitlement going on out there. Just a reminder, here, that gracious people get a lot further in life than their counterparts.

WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? Are there any words that are considered taboo these days? Scatological terminology and sexual descriptives are everywhere. Does it really help to loudly use the “F” word when frustrated, say, at the mall? Is it ok to call women and girls “bitches?” I blame rap music for this. I blame rap music for a lot of things. As a matter of fact, just this morning, when I stubbed my toe, the word that came flying out of my mouth was directly due to the worldwide influence of rap music.

FINALLY, ALL CHILDREN OVER THE AGE OF TWENTY FIVE SHOULD GET MARRIED AND HAVE CHILDREN. It is only good manners to award your parents with grandchildren before those parents are in nursing homes. This practice of having careers, living together for extended periods, and THEN tuning in to the biological clock is creating an entire generation of diaper wearing GRANDPARENTS.

I want to thank you for reading this. Please come again.


  1. Could not agree with you more! Thank you for being Emily Post!

  2. Agree with sentiments and as usual well put but slightly mystified by image of tatooed kids pushing shopping trolleys 'in the privacy of own home'. More power to your mannerly Lexicon and plea for lovely grandchildren but is the F(family) word going out of favour. In case i fall foul myself of your verbal chastisement may I quickly add Thanks!

  3. A very thought provoking post molly. I agree with most of what you have to say.
    Tatoos may indeed look cool when you are in your twenties but I know many who regret it once they are in their 40s/ break up with Mr/Mrs Right after having their name etched onto their skin.
    It's your using the word 'tushes' that delights me - not a word we use in England, I love it.

  4. LOL-now I feel old cause I agree with it all.

    here is my gum rant:

    My kindness club post about please and thank you:

  5. Someone took off her pajamas and put on her cranky pants! Pull them up a bit, will you? If we catch a glimpse of the tramp-stamp tattoo emblazoned across your lower back?

    You are going to lose all sorts of credibility.


  6. This is my first time visiting your site. What a wonderful post and I could not agree more. The problem I have is that I am not of your generation and often feel alone in my expectations. I witness children verbally abusing their parents when it is time to leave my home after a playdate. Children come to my home for dinner and eat like they have not been taught any table manners. Please and thank you is not in their vocabulary. I even have parents say it is silly when my children send thank you notes.

    Congratulations on the writing contest too! I will be back again soon to "visit."

  7. You know, the entire reason I never decided to adorn my body with a tattoo was my time spent working in a nursing home- a gentleman who had spent time overseas during WWII had a tattoo of a naked lady on his bicep- and as he aged and got wrinkled, so did she! Not a pretty picture...

  8. Do you want to come over and give my kids some short, sharp, shrift! I agree - Kids are not in charge - it's us parents that need to take back the power. Personally, I think of it as war but I am in the minority.

  9. Thanks so much. I do have a few more rants left, but I will save them for later! molly

  10. While I agree with alot of what you have written here, I do not agree that children should be seen and not heard. Children should be taught the art of conversation and that is through practice and interaction. To tell a child that their words are worthless makes them lesser human beings. I (age 50) was never raised that way and neither were my children (from the time they could speak). I gave them a sense of self-respect and in turn taught them respect for the opinions of others. I feel bad for those that were raised to feel that their thoughts, ideas and opinions (in essence theirselves) are useless and devoid of meaning. We have learned a few things about raising children since the days of Dr. Spock. Just because there are some parents who do a poor job of parenting does not mean we reject everything that has been learned in the past 50 years.

  11. I only have my twitter handle tatooed on the bridge of my nose.

    Don't judge until you've seen it.


  12. I totally agree, Molly! I often dread going out to eat with my husband, getting on an airplane, or shopping at the mall because I know I will probably be forced to endure the undisciplined, ill-mannered antics and screaming of the spawn of oblivious parents who don't seem to know their children are the cause of world-wide agony.
    But on the other hand, I hope I'm not wearing diapers before I have grandchildren. Of course my grandchildren will be perfectly well mannered and orderly. Or else...

  13. I'm working hard to ensure my Little One has manners ... but I see that there are many others out there who seem to be living in another universe where manners seem to be out of style.

    And every time I see someone covered in tattoos, I think of them as being very old and looking in the mirror and wondering what they think of themselves. Eventually, you might rethink that giant dragon all over your back!

  14. Why hate on tattoos? Sometimes, just sometimes, they're outward expressions of deep self-loathing, and a modern equivalent of self-flagellation. Tattooed people warrant your sympathy, not your judgment. Maybe tell them you understand and offer to hug them next time, instead of muttering about kids these days and such.

    I'm not saying all this because I have a tattoo, and plan on getting more, mind you. Although, wait... maybe I *do* need a hug. I... I think I feel a crying jag coming on.

    Excuse me. I have to go. *sniffle*

  15. Simon, my son in law to be (in five days) has tattoos all over, including a sleeve. I do wonder how he will explain the zombie Elvis to my grandkids! And Elise, thanks so much for commenting, and rmember that much of what I write is for humor's sake! I do think that some children are worth listening to. However, most children under the age of sixteen are interesting for about five minutes, and after that, I get restless...molly

  16. Love it, particularly about naked butts in public. Which goes for all ages really, not just kids :)
    Feeling old now, think I should go get a tattoo....

  17. Hehe! And hear hear! so much you say is so true! And thank you for visiting my blog!

  18. I'm *pretty* sure we're not of the same generation. But you'll be pleased to know that my hubs and I are raising a 3 year old with EXACTLY these guidelines. It's a work in progress but I swear I'm trying to make you proud. As for tattoos? Got a whole post on that coming on

  19. You GO grandma!
    (cough, TO BE.. Grandma to be.)

    Funny, funny Molly.

    When my niece planned to tattoo her infant daughter's name across the top of her back, I asked her to close her eyes and picture herself at the beach at age 60, with a nearby 40 year old denying the wrinkled saggy name across that woman's back was hers.
    (I know, but if she doesn't start taking better care of herself, HER back will be wrinkled and saggy at 60!)

    There would be no denying it, though, since its such a unique name. Out of the box names seems to be another fun trend. (For example, a little gal across town named Formica, whose namesake you can probably deduce. I’ll leave the origin to your imagination. Yes, it’s what you think.)

    I will say, though, that I’d rather see the cutie tushie of a 5-year-old than a 15-year-old with his pants too low or her pants too high. Oy.

    Thanks for a good laugh, as usual, ma’am.

  20. Oh Molly! I loved this post :O) Thanks for the smiles!!

  21. Are you kidding me? If you think your generation did so much better raising children, just take a look at the state of things today. Thanks Miss Manners! I'll just keep my mouth shut and pop another anti-depressant.


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