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Good Manners: According To Geraldine DeRuiter

I am also at a loss sometimes why others behave badly.

Photo by Jennifer Laughery

What would you tolerate? A crying baby during a flight? Someone not putting their phone on silent while you were watching ‘A Quiet Place’ (I mean…If there is a film that would benefit from no interruptions this would be the one I’d make sure to give my devices a second look to confirm that they are on silent)?

It’s no secret that I am among the many people who are tickled by Geraldine’s brand of humour. I recently came across a post that had me in stitches every couple of paragraphs.

(Content Advisory: M – Strong Language)

Now if you were thinking: ‘I wonder if she does stand up?’. Bad News: She doesn’t.

Good News: She is a speaker!

And her trademark humour (no strong language during the talk) does show itself when she shares the difference of the kind of things Rand writes:

“We both have blogs. He writes about his work. I write about cupcakes.”

Though I still have to catch up on her entries (and maybe the ones before the first batch that I read) since I last remember reading two years ago. How did I remember that? Well, I tried to think of a post that I remember reading and this one (also rated M) came to mind.

As I reread it. I remember now why it was so memorable:

“Note: This post is obviously unsponsored, because no one from M&M’s would pay me to say the things that I said.”

I had a good laugh while reading it. And reading it again, I am tempted to quote more lines like:

“This is the face of an anthropomorphized candy that is about to have explosive diarrhea.”

Which brings me to the finalists:

1.) Being able to celebrate a friend’s success

I was about to write: ‘Stop upstaging friends’ — but that’s not really quite helpful, or nice. I know it’s not likely that you’re the kind of person that only seeks to one up your buddies each chance you get. It is still a mystery if Ben was being cheeky in his commentary (or he is naturally like that).

In this instance, being upstaged worked really well. I still read Geraldine’s work and look forward to reading Ben’s writing (and other guest commentaries).

” ‘It’s like the background radiation of the universe. It’s there, but you have to look for it.’ – Ben (I’m not even kidding. HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS. I almost kicked him out of my house.)”

The next time I am out and about, I’ll keep an eye on small successes I observe around me so there would be little room for comparative thoughts.

2.) Granting others patience, even if they don’t deserve it

Did ‘headphones guy’ need a bit of de-escalating before he could get to a point where he would be more than happy to let the woman have either of the seats next to him?

“…another passenger asked if they could take the window seat, this guy yelled, ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THE ENTIRE PLANE IS EMPTY.’ He then refused to move, but the other passenger just stood there, calmly waiting, and finally the guy stood up, visibly pissed, and let him take the window.”

If this ever happens on a flight I’m on, I’m wondering if I would end up writing the airline to ask how they define ‘threats to the public’ (an actual crime category on Crimestoppers – it’s third to the last: ‘violence/threats to public’). So passengers wouldn’t be tempted to act in a way that escalates a situation, and staff can quickly react and quarantine the offending individual.

3.) Not allowing Gollum to be your Yoda

One of the exercises I do is ensure I have enough time for a task, so I can have the luxury of waiting a few more seconds while I creep through a car park at the posted 10 kph speed limit rather than 30 (I think that’s what other’s get to sometimes when making their way to the exit) and vigilantly look out for said vehicles, or allow for other vehicles to back out from their spots safely.

I suffer from this specific affliction whenever I have to decide on minimising my stuff. Whether or not I should hit delete on a file, or shred a pile of notes that wouldn’t likely contribute to where I’d like my headspace to be.

“We boarded, and the crew announced that there was plenty of room on this flight, which meant that everyone became Gollum, screaming ‘MY PRECIOUS’ while lying across an entire row. I’ve seen this tactic before.”

Instead of Yoda, I think it’ll be an extremely enlightened Kent McFuller (he’ll be 42) sitting behind a desk if I open one of the doors in my head labelled: ‘The Voice of Reason’.

4.) Waiting until you have enough privacy before clipping your nails.

Why wait for a news report about a lawsuit due to someone’s nail clipping injuring another person because it hit them squarely in the eye?

“HE WAS CLIPPING HIS FINGERNAILS. I kid you not. They were flying everywhere like some unholy confetti. There is never a time in which that many pieces of genetic material should be airborne.”

5.) Professionalism goes a long way

Whether saying no to the wrong clients or sitting down with your current ones to untangle the current challenge in your working relationship.

“And while she approached me with the professionalism that one would expect from a successful person in publishing, I had all the subtlety of a castaway encountering another human for the first time in years.”

Next time I am faced with a person with sub-par manners, I am keen to implement a perspective from Jake Gyllenhaal, my favourite soft spoken performer:

“Someone said to me recently to treat everyone that you meet as if they’ve had a broken heart”

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What other actions do you consider good manners? Let me know on Twitter.

For more content click here for my pieces on Buzzfeed and here for previous entries from the Music Discovery Project.

Want ‘in’ on my introduction list? Just shoot me an email.

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