Dahlings, I simply must address this issue. I am admittedly from the Deep South and we here acknowledge the dying art of manners. My adorable husband is not from here. That automatically qualifies him as a Yankee. He teases me all the time about how snobbish I am about this. So, I will apologize in advance if I offend someone.
I love manners. I think that when properly used, the respect given will come back and reward you tenfold. My children use them and will be in a load of trouble if they didn't. Do I care if you like them or not? No. My oldest tries to be defiant and not say "Ma'am?" when I call her name. Then, of course, I call her until she answers me correctly. I care not that by then she is standing right in front of me. She once inquired as to why I was such a drill sargent (sp?) about it. I told her that if she used manners on a regular basis until it was a habit, then when she went on the interview of her life in 10-15 years and used them...I would put money on the fact that she would get the job quicker by showing respect. Made sense to her.
My husband was not raised this way. And that's fine. I know the first time I met my mother-in-law, she insisted that I call her by her first name. I declined and said that I couldn't. She insisted that I could. And I replied..."I appreciate the offer but if my Mama heard me call you by your given name, she would skin me alive" I've never called her anything but Mrs. M. Even Fred's father tried to get me to call him by his first name. I couldn't even fathom it. So he is Mr. C. I love when I call my MIL and Fred's brother answers the phone and I ask to speak to Mrs. M. He then says..."Mom, it's Hope...she's the only one who calls you Miss". Bothers me not.
When first visiting Arizona and Mrs. M's family...and whoa..that's alot of family!.....Fred's Aunts tried to the same thing and I simply refused. There are a couple that I have adopted as my own and now call them "Aunt"...but never their given name. While there, one of my kids...can't remember which one.... was running and playing and ran between one of the Aunt's talking to someone. I made her turn around and apologize for running between them. The aunt told me that was not necessary. I stood my ground and insisted that, yes, it was. The next day she apologized to me. Very cool.
It's an ongoing process that never ends. Vitt doesn't talk much but can say "Es mam" when asked a question. He says "Tat tu" 98% of the time when handed something. Fred seemingly likes this process and has agreed to support me in it. He uses it with my parents and totally scores points with it. I pick at him all the time when he's on the phone with his mom and he says.."Yeah." I give him a look and whisper.."it's Yes Ma'am!"
I intend on following this through and will live by a Southern creed:
Manners are the moisturizer of life.