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What’s with Young People and Manners/Respect?

Tags: young parent

I can’t believe I’m saying this!  I’m only 36!  Anyway, my husband and I saw The Phantom of the Opera over the weekend – my first time seeing it live since 1994 (I saw the crappy movie version in 2004).  While the production was just okay – the chandelier wasn’t as elaborate as I remembered it to be – the ONE THING which stuck in my mind was the young woman who sat next to me who had her FEET ON THE SEAT – shoes and all.  Really?

This individual was not a child.  She was probably in her early 20s, maybe even her mid-20s, so one would think she SHOULD KNOW.  Or maybe she did, but didn’t care.  Are we really living in a society where people JUST. DON’T. CARE.?  It DOES show how far we’ve dwindled down, doesn’t it?  I wonder what her parents would think if they came to the show with her.  Perhaps it’s one of those “well, Mom and Dad aren’t here, so I can do what I want” moments.

Is the selfie generation a bit too “casual,” to the point that they don’t know when to properly behave?  In other words, do they NOT CARE about more “traditional” ideals/manners?

I know many 20-somethings, even 30 and 40-somethings believe in an “anything goes” sort of society.  I do, to a limited extent.  Maybe.  I am, for the most part, a bit on the old fashioned side.  I still can’t call my (non-Chinese) elementary school friends’ parents by their first names (Chinese parents were always addressed as “Auntie and Uncle Firstname,” whether you were related to them or not).  I get taken aback when my friends’ kids call me “Cynthia.”  I know that is a turn-off for some people, but I despite being a “free-thinking” child of immigrant parents, there WAS enough influence from the old culture to kind of make me a bit…”stiff.”  After all, my (late) maternal grandmother *WAS* my primary caregiver as a child.  She told me many things that would probably be considered racist/sexist/elitist – especially by 21st century standards (e.g. Anglo teens are “loose” because they start dating in high school.  “Good Chinese girls don’t date until university.”  And as I’ve noted in older posts, she also told me the kitchen was “no place for a lady.”  Strange comment – who was supposed to cook for the household?  Was I to call for delivery every night?  Hire a personal chef?  And was she not a “lady-like” because she cooked for the family?).  Anyway…

I know I shouldn’t be venting like this, especially in the new year, but yeah, some of this really bothers me.  And I’m not even going to get into fashion and style, because, well, that’s a whole other post (sorry, but it’s not just my “independent school sensibilities”).  However, I think it’s something important which young people really ought to…know.  I really don’t care what one does at home.  You can be wearing sweatshirts and underwear while watching something on Netflix (and eating pizza straight out of the box) but at the theatre (whether it’s a live show or a movie)?  Please leave your feet ON THE FLOOR.  Thank you,.


Image credit: El Nariz /ShutterStock

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What’s with Young People and Manners/Respect?


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