Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Common Courtesy

I went grocery shopping last night and was hit by the realization that I might be more friendly than I think. Shocking, I know. There was a girl about my age in the tiny health food store and we kept bumping into each other, literally. The isles are so small that I often find myself rubbing a bit too closely with strangers. Last night a guy shopper even commented that the owners of the store must like to encourage the social aspect of shopping, as I was wedged between him and a gray haired frazzled customer unable to get away.
Every time the younger girl and I would get in each others way, we would politely back up and smile so one of us could get through. There was an awkward moment (of course) when I was squatting down trying to decided between almonds and pistachios, and she reached over my head to grab some pretzels. I stood up and nearly bend her elbow backwards. We both released a nervous laugh and apologized, but in a way it was quite refreshing. 
I'm not sure if the fact that I live in a big city has made me more aware of this, but seeing someone respect common courtesies always makes me feel better. Holding the door for someone, picking up something they dropped, saying please and thank you. After this incident in the store of two girls simply respecting each other I noticed how many other strangers didn't even thank me after holding the door open for them. I thought about how many times in the past I've dropped things and had people walk by me, seemingly annoyed for me being in their way. 
IMG_5280@316  IMG_5278@316
I'm not big on resolutions, but several years ago I decided to make one of mine be that I would smile at people when they passed me instead of looking down or away. I was in high school at the time, so you can imagine for a painfully shy teenager that was quite a feat. It always made me feel good though. Just that small connection.
Old BB Dakota Sweater, BCBG Sweater Dress from Lord & Taylor, Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Anthropologie Booties
Morgan Necklace gift from Tree & Kimball

It's the same for practicing the bare minimum in good manners. Sure you're on the phone, but you could still pause for a moment to say thank you to the girl carrying four heavy bags, managing a 95 lb dog, and holding the door open for you with her foot. 
Photos by Melissa
The debut of the Morgan Necklace! I've already wore this beautiful piece several times, but this it the first time its had its picture taken. I always get so many wonderful comments when I wear it out. Thank you so much Lisa for making something this amazing and naming it after me! The olive lace and blush beads really drive the point home that this necklace was meant to be mine. I think I'm in lust. 
Shop more of Lisa's creations on her Etsy shop, Tree & Kimball



Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

It always makes me so happy to see people respecting others while they're out. From what I understand, people in the midwest (where I'm from) tend to be more talkative to strangers and do things like hold the door and what-not. It's really nice! I do think that busy big cities usually have less common courtesy than small cities but every once in a while, people surprise you!

tree and kimball said...

it looks dreamy on you, but then, it was made for you (LITERALLY), so it's no surprise, dearest! and aren't you just as sweet as a peach? holding doors & the like. it's amazing how a simple, friendly interaction like that can really make one's day.

SarahAnn said...

You are a real New Yorker. Not the fakes. ;)

Caroline said...

My grocery store is just like that. And, last week a lately spilt lentils all over my feet LOL. I love that you always have a story with your outfit posts. I truly love reading your posts and get so excited when you have new ones. XO!

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Santina said...

I could definitely follow your lead and make a point to smile rather than awkwardly glance away when someone looks my way although I must say life in Mexico has made me infinitely more friendly than I was living in a city.

That necklace is gorgeous...much like a lady named Morgan we all know from this blog! ;)

Becca [Free Honey] said...

Let's start with that namesake necklace - it seems so perfect for your style. And I love the side braid. Now, onto the text - you know - I had a realization last week. I had some really shitty moments in the last week, and couldn't help but notice how nice strangers were to me (especially when they didn't need to be or it was above and beyond for them to be so nice). It started me wondering if I'm paying it forward to strangers. I think I need to start with just being more polite - always saying please and thank you and as you did, smile more at strangers. Then I'll take it from there. It seems like manners are easy to lose after years of living in a big city.

jentine said...

The necklace is a beaut!
And yes... darn common courtesy. say thank-you, hold doors, smile... it seems to be so hard. Ugh... and not giving an acknowledgement (even a tiny one) when you let someone in your lane. There's more... all the lack of manners around makes me want to avoid eye contact and slam doors. A vicious cycle this will be...

Matchless Vision said...

This post is a wonderful reminder of the kindness of simple gestures. There is something different about moving to bigger cities that show an attitude change in a lot of people. I am glad you had a lovely grocery encounter. Beautiful necklace by the suits you well.

Between Laundry Days said...

First of all, what a fabulous necklace!

I have such a hard time with the lack of eye contact and common courtesies in Chicago. I grew up in a place where everyone made eye contact and smiled at strangers and held open doors, so it's weird to be somewhere that people keep so much to themselves. I hope I never get used to it.

Mikhaila said...

I was in Brooklyn this weekend and couldn't get over how tiny the health food store was that we went to. There had to be probably 15-20 people shopping, a couple strollers, kids running around...I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even find what I needed!

Sian said...

Love your boots and your necklace, amazing =) And I know what you mean about the courtesy thing. At home I live in a very small place in the middle of nowhere and people are so much nice, just saying thank you, or hello when you pass them. But at uni it feels so different when people look the other way if you hold the door or something.
Anyway, I'm following you now =)

Anonymous said...

First of all: I love the necklace! Super tempted to buy it for myself.

Second of all: I couldn't agree more. I remember when I lived in NY and would frequent a particular Duane Reade near my office. Every employee in the store looked homicidal, except for the store manager who was jovial and positive. He would always comment on my wasabi peas as I was buying them. It's funny that I still remember him, but I do. Being nice is appreciated and important.


Anonymous said...

It's just a simple matter of remembering that every encounter with another human being is holy.

I'm admiring your stair well.

Emily said...

In Montreal, I think it's similar... not as bad as NY, its not quite THAT busy... but there's a LOT of hussle and bustle at rush hour... Especially (and not to sound racist) this is a very multiracial city and some people grew up in other countries (like china) that are overpopulated and I think that pushing and shoving (like to get on the subway) is completely normal for them. I hear that even in Mexico they have people who's job it is to use soemthing to shove people into the subway so the doors close. That being said... in the morning, I'm rushing and people pushing me or not giving up a seat for someone who is holding a baby/pregnant/old... really GRINDS MY GEARS. I have no patience for those people and I just want to yell in their face "REALLY????"
So yes, when someone holds a door, picks something up for someone who dropped it... or even makes eye contact (in a friendly way) it definitely improves my day. And yup, it has the opposite effect when someone opens a door only enough for themself then squeezes through it when i'm directly behind them or if they run to get a seat before someone else can sit down... UGH.
One time I was on a bus and a double seat opened up. I tried to tell the lady who was sitting with her toddler on her lap to take the double seats and I would take her single in front. As she's about to get up, a guy squishes between us and sits on one of the double seats. I gave him an exasperated look, he gave me a "what, there's 2 seats, you can still sit down" look and the poor woman gave me a "don't worry about it" smile.
I didn't even want to sit beside the douche bag, I went and stood the whole damn bus ride, I was seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeething.
Longest comment ever? could be.
Have yourself a good weekend!

Karin said...

I discovered your blog via blogloving and it is uber fantastical...I really adore it and this post is beyond amazing...lovely photography

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