Tuesday, April 19, 2005

You kiss your Mama with that mouth?

My sister and I have had some conversations recently about manners. Her husband (who's from Buffalo, NY) and his family think it's rude to say yes ma'am and no ma'am, or sir, because it "implies the person is old". We were brought up to always say yes ma'am no ma'am, please and thank you, and to call adults by Mr. or Mrs. Jones unless they say we can call them by their first names. Then it's still Mr. John or Miss Susan. And cussing? Don't even get me started. You just don't swear down South. Especially if you're a lady. Men shouldn't swear in front of a woman and women just shouldn't. We were raised to believe that it made you seem trashy if you had a trashy mouth.

So imagine our discomfort when my sister Sara and I watched Closer on dvd this weekend. Ay yi yi. They said all those c words, the f word every other word, it just went on and on. The whole movie was about sex, yet no one had sex on camera.

Today people are more casual. In some families it's ok to say huh and what instead of pardon me. And swearing is acceptable, even around your parents.

So I wonder...do we still live in a fantasy world where it's considered "snobby" to speak with ma'ams and pardon me's, or is it just good manners? What do you think?

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