Dear Abby and Politeness

On Sunday, "Dear Abby" had three letters all revolving around politeness, giving us three good but often abused rules:

1.      When bringing young children to another person’s home, watch them and make sure that they don’t damage anything.

2.      People need compliments not criticism; it’s impolite to criticize for no constructive purpose.

3.      When answering the door, for example, in receiving a package, hold your dog back—not everyone loves your dog, nor will your dog love everyone.


Anonymous said...

maestra replying:

When bringing young children to another person’s home, watch them and make sure that they don’t damage anything.-

Unfortunately, we HAD friends who violated this rule. We had only been in our new home for about month when a close college friend and her husband were our first visitors. They came with their three children, the oldest of whom was hyperactive. While I visited with her upstairs, our husbands remained downstairs, where the children could play. We had no toys, as we didn’t yet have any children. The children’s father could not control their behavior and allowed them to run wild up and down our lower stairway. After they had left, we found our newly painted walls covered with shoe prints and scuff marks. The three boys had literally walked on our walls, while their father remained seated downstairs repeating over and over, “if you do that again, I will put you out in the car.” Of course, he never followed through on his threats, and they were never invited back again. Not only did our friendship go sour after this incident, but this couple ultimately divorced.

Jennifer Swanson said...

I had a similar experience. I had a new home that had not yet had the final finishing touches in all the rooms (ie, the switchplate and electrical cover plates were not on). A friend brought her three children to stay for a couple of nights on her way through town. Not only did she treat my home like a hotel, (not cleaning up after meals were made while I was out at work), but when they left, I found that a small child had grasped the corner of the drywall paper around the electrical outlet, and pulled up on it to see what would happen. A triangular swath of the drywall paper...with the paint came off, and my laundry room wall had to be completely redone.
Accidents happen, and children are curious...but something similar seemed to happen each time she came. Eventually, I blew up (NOT good communicating) and our friendship waned.