Jul 1, 2010

This Is The Part Where You Say "Hello!"

There was an episode of Wife Swap where instead of moms trading houses for a week or two, the dads did. The country dad went to live in a New York highrise, and the Manhattan dad went to the farm in Texas. They both did alright. I was pleased to see that these were "normal" dads, trying to be a dad in a world that is not his own. No whining or drama like you often see from the moms.

The stunning part was when they returned home. The Manhattan family ran up to their dad, hugged him, greeted him, happy to see him.

The Texas mom didn't get off the couch. Dad came in saying "Well, I'm home!" and she said something like "ok," never taking her eyes off the tv. I wanted to cry. Could she not have at least said hello? Did her mama never teach her manners, or is their relationship in that much trouble that she cannot be bothered to get off the couch any more?

I came home yesterday, and there were little people (not my own) in my kitchen. I greeted them warmly. "Hi, how are you? Good to see you!"

Nothing.

"This is the part where you say, 'Hello Mrs. Connie.'"

Nothing. They just looked at me.

I sent them out of the room. I was hurt & angry. Later, we had lessons in manners:
When an adult in authority speaks to you, you answer.
You don't go into someone's home as a guest and then disrespect your hostess.
We don't expect you to talk to strangers, but you have known me for years.

Maybe I hit on something. The woman on the couch has known her husband for years. Complacency might have set in. Good relationships don't happen by accident. It takes daily work. Couch woman was lazy. No excuse. For her, or for the children.

It costs nothing to be polite. It does, however, take effort to get off the couch.

For whom will you get off the couch today?

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