Tuesday, March 17, 2009

British Manners Americans Can Learn From

A group of upper middle class Brits talk about Americans and what's wrong with America

I simply had to stop viewing after exactly one minute out of this 2:58 video clip.

This is what I gleaned from a SINGLE viewing, albeit stopping (but not rewinding) to write these quick notes about not what they were saying but what they were doing:

1. Many, if not all, had their elbows on the table, even for extended periods of time;

2. A full, very rude arm reach across not just a neighbor's plate, but almost essentially in her face to snatch up a piece of bread;

3. Openly, absently picking teeth with fingers;

4. MAJOR over use of pearls by the one woman when the woman seated across from her is wearing a cheap, sleeveless sweater; apparently proper attire instructions were either not given or not understood;

5. Open wiping of nose with index finger while speaking;

6. Full, gaping yawn without covering up mouth with hand, or preferably a napkin, or ideally, learning how to stifle a yawn at a party (it's really not that hard to learn how to do);

7. Major oratory interruptions by attendees - ubiquitous in this instance;

8. Openly picking teeth with finger (different attendee).

9. Chewing with mouth open and talking with mouth full.

My god, these acts are offensive of just simple, basic table manners, nothing special, nothing high-brow, nothing expensive. Simple, decent table manners. And these people are lecturing Americans such as myself (even though I never voted for Bush) on our shortcomings? I mean who is the barbaric and uncivilized one here?

No wonder they lost The Colonies. A very childish and curlish people. At least this set. Seriously, I had to stop at the one-minute mark, it was all just so absurd.

Now that we have Barak Obama and you have Gordon Brown, what are you going to talk about at the dinner table? At least we elected our leader into office. :P

Please note: I am aware that these people do not encompass the entire British population. Even "idiot" Yanks like me realize that truly intelligent people don't generalize.

And oh yes, before I forget...

Póg mo thóin


Anonymous said...

British manners are a sham!

The British are masters at seeming polite on the surface while being mean and horrible in actuality. It's practically a national sport.

My favorite example is a stewardess on British Air. My spouse asked for a package of peanuts. The woman very sweetly said "Why yes here you go sir." - the epitome of politeness and then she proceeded to wing them at overhand trying to hit him in the head. Her impish smile made her intentions more than clear, even if on the surface she was 'polite'. What a nasty piece.

I've spent about 6 months total in the UK (spread over a number of trips). In my experience Americans are FAR FAR friendlier, more helpful, more kind to strangers, and more open. In the end that's the goal of good manners, right? There are many fine things to see and do in the UK. Feel inferior isn't one! They love making people - even their own - feel inferior too.

Flippin' Yank said...

Your situation is an excellent example of the "Fuck You Very Much" Syndrome, where you say the meanest, natiest, most beligerent, unreasonable thing, except using this super-sweet, cheerful voice and 10,000-watt smile. California is notorious for this! LOL!

She did a Fuck You Very Much on both you and your hubby vis-a-vis her speech versus her behavior. Absolutely disgraceful!

Anonymous said...

in due time...it takes time to get that stuck up

Unknown said...

A typical bunch of sloans and rahs. People like them just water down the gene pool. We should give them a nice little paddling pool so that they don't contaminate the rest of us.

Oh wait, we did. England.

Anonymous said...

Well darling of mine. I think if you'd watched until the very end (which i suspect you really did) you may have been a little happier. From my experience with Americans, they are generally more friendly as a people than the English.
English people in my opinion and experience are the most annoying, racist, ignorant, bigoted and condescending people i've encountered. I've met quite a few. Most seem to have these traits to a greater or lesser extent.