I read this piece to my wife and said, “See? I’m not the only one…” Read it all here…
So I have become more explicit in my acts of reverse etiquette. The other day I apologized to a tall, bearded man who slammed his duffel into me at Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street. Then I told him, “I’m saying what you should be saying.” He responded, in toto, “Oh, right.”
Though this response could not be described as “blanket-like,” it nevertheless gave me enough ground to see that I was on the right track. I realized that I just need to be even more explicit with people. So the other day, when a stroller-pushing mother semi-vigorously bumped into me at Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street — this corner is apparently the Bermuda Triangle of manners — I expressed remorse, and added, “No one says I’m sorry anymore, so I do it for them.”
The problem which I wish Mr Alford would discuss further isn’t people’s rudeness but the clueless factor: why don’t people even know they’re being rude??? What has happened in our society that people don’t know the basics of social interaction? Worse than hats on in restaurants, worse than elbows on the table and forks and spoons held in fists, the utter lack of understanding that there is even something for which someone would apologize is pandemic.