Manners

Today, I’m going to be telling you all a story about manners. I forgot to tell you this, but this incident took place sometime during the summer of 2015 when I was in France. So, up until the day that I was placed in this situation, I didn’t realize how important it was to introduce people when you are the common link between them. No, I’m not talking about setting somehow up with someone else you know. I’m referring to the common courtesy of introducing a guest that goes something like, “Oh, by the way, so and so, this is so and so… so and so, so and so,” and then it’s complete. You have fulfilled your duty of being a decent human being that doesn’t let their guests hang in the balance of “who’s that? I don’t know them yet.”

My host brother forgot this courtesy for some unknown reason. I was over in France, could barely speak a word of French, and we ran into his friends on the streets. Not just one, but like two. But neither of his friends were polite enough to be like “J’mapelle  Pierre,” or something of the sort. Nope, they just started talking to my host-brother in the fastest and most French manner ever. They were throwing around slang and everything. Needless to say, I was lost. So, here I was, an American girl in a foreign country, and you would think my host-brother would be like “Oh, wait, this is my exchange student from America.” Nah, he could give two shits. Those 15 minutes were the most silent 15 minutes of my life, and I was simply dumbfounded at how oblivious he was to the fact that he was isolating me by not introducing me. Believe me, if I had known more French, I would’ve said something, but I was in no place to start up my own introductions, so I stood there in silence because he wasn’t initiating it.

After my silent hell, we proceeded to where we were headed, which was the grocery store. He decided to be like, “So there, now you’ve met some of my friends,” and my mind flashed with snarky remarks to say to him. I ended up saying, “actually, I didn’t meet them,” and I guess something finally clicked at that moment. He was like, “oh, did you want me to introduce you?” and I replied, “well YEA.” and I was done for the day. Honestly, considering how fast he knew what I meant, I’m pretty damn sure it occurred to him during “our” (his) interaction with his friends to introduce me, but he just didn’t want the inconvenience of slowing down the pace of the conversation.

Basically, the point of this story is to reinforce the conviction of anyone who comes across this post to remember the importance of those seemingly-pointless formalities. Because your guest may in fact want to be introduced to your friends.

 

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