Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Unwritten Rules

Plunking a batter after a home run. Taking out the shortstop who's trying for a double play by sliding hard into second. Giving Maddux and Glavine the benefit of the doubt on pitches off the plate. Baseball has lots of unwritten rules: the understanding that this is how things are done. Social situations have unwritten rules, too. These vary from country to country, city to city, and family to family. It's why diplomats have to take crash courses in etiquette before they go overseas. When I went away to college in a different state, it never occurred to me that the people there would be any different from the folks back home. Was I in for a rude awakening! Manners in LA (Lower Alabama) are very different from manners in Atlanta. Thank goodness my suite mates were from Montgomery, so they filled me in on all the do's and don't's. Do wear overalls to class. Don't park your tractor on the street. Very helpful. These days, I'm always learning about the unwritten rules for teenagers. Do look at people's Facebook to see what they're all about. Don't tell them you looked. Do text and talk on your cellphone when you're with a group of people. Don't worry about using cuss words while talking loudly in family restaurants. I just know if these kids' moms could see them, they'd be getting those sideways glances moms give as if to say," We don't act like that." She doesn't have to write it down. It's just the Rules.

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