Like blue jeans or Harley Davidsons, good manners will never go out of style. At least they shouldn't, anyway. But lately it seems more and more Idahoans are forgetting to use the "magic words." Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer good manners over trendy trash-talk.
Please & Thank You
Growing up, Mom and Dad, my teachers, and PBS instilled in me that "'please' and 'thank you' are the 'magic words.'" But are "please" and "thank you" becoming antiquated colloquialisms? From kids to grown adults, I hear Idahoans demanding, not asking, and taking, not thanking.
What about formal greetings? Of its many conquests, 2020 officially declared "ma'am" and "sir" ageist, derogatory terms—malarkey. Sometimes I'm left to wonder where this is all headed. This isn't the Idaho I've known for the last eight years. This isn't who we are, friends.
We were in the middle of painting our house and our good friends had come over to help. It was a huge undertaking, so we showed our appreciation by treating the gang to dinner and drinks. On the way to pick up the pizza, I stopped at the Maverick in Star. I needed two cases of Vizzy and two cases of beer. It was a big load for a person as petite as I am, but I knew I would manage.
After paying, I set two cases down by the register and made my way toward the doors. Just as I was exiting, an elderly, very frail-looking gentleman in a cowboy hat was entering. The cadence of his walk was that of molasses and the cases were cutting into the crooks of my elbows, but I would sooner die than dismiss the elderly man.
As my arms began to quiver, a group of construction workers in neon t-shirts barreled through the doors and around the elderly man. He was so stunned he nearly fell, yet not a single man stopped to care. Once he made his way into the store, I hurried to and from my car to make the second trip.
The Idaho I Know
Looking around the busy store, I couldn't find the elderly man anywhere. I worried for him, but what was I to do? With a heavy sigh, I grabbed the two remaining cases and started toward the doors again. That's when I saw him! Like a proud cowboy 40 years his junior, the old man was holding the door for me. He said, "Don't you worry, miss. I've got the door for you this time." I thanked him with a wink and smile, and he nodded in return.
Now that's the Idaho I know. People helping people even when it's hard or inconvenient. For Idaho's sake, I hope we never let good manners become a thing of the past.