10 April 2006

Manners By SALlie

Allow me to introduce a guest blogger and a very old and dear friend.

Everybody please say hello to SALlie.

I have been trying to persuade SALlie to start her own blog for the longest time and it seems like my efforts are starting to pay dividends. She is going to try her hand at blogging via guest blogging over. You know like dipping a toe in the water to test test see see.

Hopefully, this exercise would be able to spark off her interest and voila! aNoThEr gOOd bLog wOrTh rEaDing, iF yOU, caTCH mY dRIFt.

So without further ado, may I present the cyber-literary debut of SALlie - Shaddup And Listen.


I was listening to a talk show that was on the radio the other night when this topic came up: Has women’s lib taken away manners in society? Basically they were saying that in this new Century, as women have asked and received equality (that’s debatable but let’s just assume women have equal rights), men these days aren’t as keen to have manners, especially among womenfolk.

An example cited by one of the callers was opening doors – he said that when he held the door open for women (including his wife), he’d get laughed at and told that they can hold the door open themselves, thank you very much. So much so that he doesn’t do it anymore – hold doors open for women, that is.

How can that be? In all my life and in all the countries I’ve lived in (3 countries, 2 Asian and 1 Western), let alone travelled to on business and pleasure, I’ve probably had the door held open for me countless times. I can probably count the number of times it’s NOT been held open for me (and I can name the country that that frequently happens in!!!)

Of course, manners do not just refer to holding the door for women.  There are other examples, for example allowing the woman to walk ahead; pushing open the door and allowing the woman to go first, whilst you hold the door; holding the car door for the woman (ie., not just pressing the auto-open button on your key); at a formal dinner standing up when the woman sitting next to you stands up to leave, go to the bathroom etc; helping the woman with her coat; getting the woman her food (at a party for example) and so on.

It may all sound terribly old-fashioned, and perhaps it is, but I think it’s good manners, and reflects a good upbringing. Of course, there are cynics who will point out that a man who does all these things might just be interested in one thing (you guys know what I mean!), but I’d like to think that the majority of men who do this, do it because they have good manners. Don’t get me wrong – of course I can get my own door, of course I can wear my own coat, of course I don’t need a man to stand up when I leave the table to go to the bathroom, but it’s nice when they do that. It might appear misdirected, but from my point of view, it demonstrates that they are aware you are about and that they might need to ‘protect you’ (from flying door handles?!) and that they WILL be able to, if push comes to shove. Perhaps this old-fashioned way of thinking is a result of the nature of my career, which requires me to be very independent, and in many cases take responsibility for what my underlings do; such that when I’m outside of my profession, I like that I get taken care of.

I’d like to add that these manners are not restricted by age, gender, nationality or degree of interest! I’ve had my car door opened by a close friend of mine and we were about 20 years old and weren’t dating (and yes, his car had one of those auto-open buttons too).  I’ve had my coat helped on by older men I work with as well as men about my age (and when they couldn’t help me for various reasons, they’ve apologised). I’ve had doors held open by both men and women and I’ve held my fair share of doors for both men and women, young and old.

My husband recently had a project he had to deal with at a primary school and he was walking on the opposite side of swinging doors. When he got to the door, it was already held open by a young boy of about 7-8 years old. My husband said ‘go on through, I’ll hold the door’ and the young boy said ‘no sir, after you’. Now, that’s manners.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this – Manners ought to be part and parcel of a civilised society. It should not be relegated to the bottom of priorities just because of ‘equality’ or other ‘modernities’. That is just an excuse for bad behaviour. Manners should be part of one’s life and upbringing.


- Voxeros

1. Jaschocolate left...
Sunday, 9 April 2006 7:57 pm
Aww.. yeah, i cant seem to find such guys anymore.. But it could be most males treated me as a guy too :p

2. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 9 April 2006 9:10 pm :: 
Jaschocolate: You eye kena tar stamp lah. I am sure there still such guys around lah.
I am one of them albeit I is married and so you not chance liao.
Stay tuned to my blog entry on the same topic on Tuesday.

3. jaschocolate left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 7:29 am
U are a rare one.. but married liao mah.. That's the point.. most good ones are married or gay.. muahahaha.. Just imagine if u are not married, then u are probably gay... Heng ah..

4. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 9:03 am :: 
Jaschocolate: Actually hor, they are everywhere lah. You are just not looking at the right places.

5. aloe left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 9:43 am
everywhere is where? I also wanna know leh. =D
I've people who never hold open the door and people who do. For those that do, I will definitely say thank you instead of taking it for granted. I ish polite. heheheheh!!
But car doors and dinner ish abit de extreme. I will feel paisei one loh. Anyway, I so far also neber encounter that before..

6. Jaschocolate left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 10:42 am
yeah loh.. nowhere is more likely.. i ended up the person holding the doors..

7. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 12:00 pm :: 
Anna: Car doors and dinner setting are some of the stuff that i will be covering in Tomorrow's entry. Stay tuned.

Jaschocolate: You of glass is half-empty. Haiz...
Acherly, you holding door for other people also not bad what. I would be pleasantly surprised!

8. aloe left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 12:09 pm
yah loh. I also more like the one who hold doors for people rather than people hold doors for me. sigh...

9. winter left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 1:04 pm
got got..
i got met such guys before
got cut food for me (inclusive of prawn peeling), hold the door for me, open car doors
they all GOOD examples..
but not all are like tat lah.. i also got met the horrible types once or twice

10. Jaschocolate left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 1:16 pm
i wont hold door for u ah.. so why u surprised :p

11. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 1:39 pm ::
Anna: You make it sound like it is damn terrible for a girl to be holding the door like that.

winter: Got, then what happened?

Jaschocolate: Alamak, you neber read my comment properly and straight away shoot off your mouth liao.
I said I would be pleasantly surprised if any girl (yes including you) would hold a door open for someone else.

12. Jaschocolate left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 2:13 pm
No, u didnt.. u say "YOU" so that's why i assume.. :p

13. winter left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 3:51 pm
nothing happened
friends only
yet they are so sweet

14. aloe left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 4:00 pm
Jay: it's not terrible. It's just pathetic that a gal has to hold the doors open for guys, strangers included and not receive a word of thanks. hiaz...

15. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 5:48 pm ::
winter: Keep trying! Sooner or later one will kena tio pian by you one!

Anna: Never say thank you is just plain wrong, regardless of gender.

16. Sallie left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 6:13 pm
hello all! nice to read all this feedback! Jay's right - not saying thank you is just plain wrong, regardless of gender. i've been in situations where i've held the door open for people to come through, and then guess what? the whole 'village' behind that person decides to come through with them, and i end up waiting there for a long long time! and the village has the audacity to 'look' at me as if i'm a doorman, and from that, infer that i'm 'inferior' to them. it's incredible. :)

17. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 7:17 pm ::
SALlie: As for the issue pertaining to "the village", you need to invoke the unwritten sub-code of social etiquette.
The sub-code
Section 2a Sub ii. Para states that
"The holder upon making the commitment to hold the door for the other party, regardless of gender, shall hold the door until a time the intended other party has successfully passed through the door."
Section 2a Sub ii. Para states that
"The said other party upon successfully passed through the door shall hence discharge the holder of the door of any further responsibilities."
Section 2a Sub ii. Para states that
"Upon discharge of the responsibility of holding the door, the holder of the door shall have the right to release the door without any further due regards. The holder of the door shall not be held liable for any injuries and/or damage inflicted on subsequent undesignated party or parties who attempt to pass through unauthorised."
Er.... this law, you dunno meh?

18. Sallie left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 7:27 pm
I think some laws are perhaps better understood by some members of the community than others. perhaps that is another blog in the making?! :)

19. JayWalk left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 8:50 pm :: 
SALlie: Oh yes indeed! YOUR Blog!!

20. kim left...
Monday, 10 April 2006 11:48 pm
i comprain to you before lo. very seldom do you find gentlemanly guys in singapore. you should really start a biz specialising in teaching males the way how males should behave. sure earn big bucks.

21. Lynne left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 12:38 am
Manners are bred, not made ... unfortunately.

22. Sallie left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 2:12 am
Hi Lynne completely agree with you - hence why I wrote that it has to do with upbringing and part and parcel of a civilised society! :)

23. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 9:07 am ::
kim: I agree with both SALlie and Lynne on this one. This type of thing hor, either you have it or you don't.
Unfortunately for most guys, the moment you realised you don't have it, it too late to really do anything about it.

Lynne & SALlie: Indeed. This is a life-long assignment that doesn't stop at childhood. It goes beyond that all the way to the last breath of air.
Manners is something one has to be taught from day 1 and not something you can put up and then pick it up later in life. It just doesn't work that way, unfortunately.

24. aloe left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 9:55 am
but it can be learned and practiced untill it becomes ingrained into a person. :P
I also encountered the same situation as Sallie before but I dun hold it for so long. I will let go..... muahaha! I dun wanna stand there and hold it open for everybody. After all, I'm not their paid doorman... blee!

25. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 2:25 pm :
Anna: Want to teach also must early early teach. Old dog cannot learn new trick one?
You ever see auntie at the market trying to practice good social manners? Dun have right?

26. aloe left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 4:06 pm
if they are willing to learn, can one... :)

27. Sallie left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 5:24 pm
come to think of it Jay, you DO know the guy in my example (the 20-year old who open car door for me...). :)

28. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 6:14 pm ::
Anna: So far, I have yet to come across any old dog who is the eager learner.

SALlie: Ahh.... my <censored> brudder the market spoiler.

29. Jaschocolate left...
Tuesday, 11 April 2006 9:32 pm
Wow.. didnt know <Censored> is so gentleman.. haha..

30. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 12 April 2006 9:43 am ::
Jaschocolate: So now you know. As much as I loathed his for spoiling the market, I can't help but do a silent cartwheel as he has done our school proud. :)

31. akk left...
Wednesday, 12 April 2006 12:52 pm
my husband does all these except stand during dinner. I notice that all my guys frens do, except when I walking too fast, which i often do, I open door for them instead.
either way, only when this topic came up, then i noticed, otherwise I won't be bothered.

32. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 13 April 2006 1:02 am :: 
akk: Well, we ALL knew the husband was a great catch. *wink*

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