Old-Fashioned Values

I am on the desperate outskirts of middle age. Perhaps I am feeling it more so than usual as today is my birthday. I am also giving myself a bit of a pity party today owing to the fact that I have a terrible head cold.

After a sleepless night, I summoned the last of my energy reserves and made a drug store run for cough syrup. As I struggled homeward, I felt duty bound to stop and make my excuses for an event which I had promised to attend. Ever mindful of the contagion factor, I merely stopped at this person's doorway and made my apologies. The duration of this stop was about 30 seconds. She looked at my sick self and indicated she was afraid of catching whatever I had and shut the door. I felt like Typhoid Mary.

I picked my jaw from the floor, bit back my retort and headed home. As I dosed my cold I pondered this encounter. I thought this person quite lacking in manners. I lectured myself, thinking that because I wasn't feeling well I might have overreacted. Taking note of my advancing age I warned myself not to be a crotchety old lady.

Just then there came a knock on my door. There stood a young man who had gone out of his way to do me a kindness. He had brought over a box of tissues and said, "Take good care of yourself." I took myself back to my easy chair, smiled and thought about the difference in people. Maybe I wasn't overreacting to the first encounter. Somewhere in the recesses of my congested consciousness I heard my grandmother say, "There is never an excuse for bad manners." Thanks, Gran, for teaching me the value of common courtesy.

Joanne Rubino

Bay Village

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.10.2013