Who forgot to tell me?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2005

Am I old or old fashioned?

At 29 years young I find it outrageous that I could be forced to ask myself such a question, however recent comments have forced the issue.

It seems that some of my beliefs have become outdated, for example…

I say sir and ma’am.

As a child I once responded to a waitress’ question with a &uot;yes ma’am&uot; only to have her tell me that I didn’t have to say ma’am to her.

&uot;Yes, he does&uot; was my father’s swift reply and its obvious importance to him left an immediate impression on me.

I personally have found that my usage of these small words has had a positive impact in both my professional and personal life.

Nowadays when I respond with a sir or a ma’am some people feel offended, as if I am calling them old.

I assure you all that it has less to do with your age and more to do with my upbringing.

I also put my hand over my chest and sometimes even sing along to the national anthem. I have regretfully become aware that at some point this became the un-cool thing to do.

I am sad to say I have witnessed on more than one occasion people ridicule each other for standing still, being silent and acting like they have some common sense.

As a member of a military community we did nothing without everyone first showing respect for our country by at least saying the pledge of allegiance.

That included movies, concerts, school and sporting events.

I also open doors for others, particularly the elderly and people of the opposite sex.

Apparently this form of chivalry and respect stopped being common practice some time ago and someone forgot to tell me.

I held open the door for a woman outside the post office just the other day and you would have thought by her reaction that no one had ever done such a thing.

I find it sad that a woman would be more shocked to encounter a man with manners than she would be to encounter a man without them.

How did we reach this point?

Did fathers stop teaching their sons how to be gentlemen or did fathers stop demonstrating to their sons how to be gentlemen.

Whatever the cause, the effects reach beyond simply opening the door for a lady.

See, I was raised in an environment where my father opened and held the door for my mother (still does), yes, sir and yes, ma’am were not optional responses and talking during the national anthem was the quickest way this side of cussing to get popped.

I refuse to accept the thought that I’m old, but I must concede that my way of thinking has become in today’s time what some might call old fashioned.

And I’m ok with that, I have come to consider the comment an honor and a compliment to my parents.

I’d like to hear from you. If you agree or disagree with my opinion on something, have an idea for a column topic or just want to let me know someone out there is reading this then please e-mail me. My address is david.friedman@r-cnews.com. See ya in the sports section next week!