Social Grace

GENTLEMEN’S CORNER – THE MALL – A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

If you have ever looked at the layout of a mall, you could say they are designed to promote social behavior.  They most likely contain a children’s play areas, a Starbucks (or other coffee shop) in the center of the mall near the water features, benches laid out in specific locations and in inward facing.  A good mall will contain every store, restaurant, and restroom type facility to keep you comfortable for an extended period of time to encourage you to stay and make more (unnecessary) purchases.  It’s the perfect recipe for a social experiment.

Social GraceThe very first GENTLEMEN’S CORNER, which is the foundation of the weekly post, dealt with how you make other people feel.  For some reason, it seems to me that once you step foot in a mall, all concern for other people fly’s out the window.  In our best efforts to be gracefully social, sometimes we aren’t socially graceful.

Last Saturday, Diana and I went to the mall to run some errands and for me to get a hair cut.  Upon entering the mall, a woman was exiting the mall with both hands on her cell phone and sending a text message to someone… I would imagine it was her husband to tell him how much she missed and loved him.  Her head was buried in that cell phone, unaware of anything going on around her.  As she pushed the door open, she immediately let it go neglecting her 14 or 15 year old daughter who was walking 10 feet behind her – hands full of bags and a 64 oz sugar and caffeine laced slurpee.  As you could imagine the door slammed into her.  A nasty (and well deserved I might add) “THANKS MOM” purged from her braces filled mouth.  Unaware of the teenage attitude and what had happened, the mother (don’t forget, texting at this point) politely  said “You’re welcome dear.”

While sitting in the food court and taking a momentary break, I witnessed an obnoxiously loud group of teenagers standing next to a garbage can talking about how awesome Justin Bieber is (no, their conversation wasn’t about JB… it was inappropriate and scary for a father-to-be).  Of the 10 or so teenagers who were carrying on, at least two of them noticed the small 80 year old lady who was very politely trying to get their attention so she could empty her food tray and completely ignored her.  And if you say “they are teenagers,” you are part of the problem.

Not five minutes later we watched as a lady bellow at the top of her lungs from one her spot in line at the (insert unhealthy restaurant) to her female friend one hundred feet away to ask her if she wanted mayo on her (insert unhealthy food).

While in line in a store at the service counter, a lady stepped in front Diana and me to ask a “quick question”.  Really?  We were there to ask a quick question too.  Remember this… I will come back to it in a future Gentlemen’s Corner.

It all comes down to how you treat other people and having spatial awareness.   In this crazy, fast paced world, we have to remember the things our parents taught us… the right and wrong… the Golden Rule… “just think, think what you’re trying to do to me”

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE41YPdPuis’]

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** Check back tomorrow for another installment of Inspiration and Imagination.

** Gentlemen’s Corner is a weekly post that talks about all things Gentlemen.

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