Mind Your Manners Mondays

Mind Your Manners Mondays: Chewing Gum

shutterstock_85472179Back in college, I sat next to this beautiful young man in a Tuesday/Thursday communications class and the first day of the semester I found myself staring at his strapping strong structure for many minutes at a time.  I forget his name, so for the telling of this particular story and a commitment to alliteration, I will call him Sven. Strapping Strong Sven was very tall, had bountiful biceps and hypnotizing blue eyes. I was particularly excited for this future relationship as I knew I could wear the highest of heels and Strapping Strong Sven would still be taller than me!

 

I left class dreaming of our tall children and making plans to expand my shoe closet.

Thursday came and I eagerly prepared myself for our first interaction. Arriving a few minutes early to class, I was delighted to see Strapping Strong Sven had the same hankering for punctuality that I did that day. Confident, I took a deep breath, turned to Strapping Strong Sven and introduced myself by way of a tiny white lie…

“Did the professor hand out a syllabus on Tuesday? I can’t seem to find mine.”

Strapping Strong Sven smiled and had lovely teeth!

“Yes, he did. Do you want to make a copy of mine?”

The music in my mind swelled and as I extended my hand to accept his syllabus, Strapping Strong Sven picked up a plastic cup from the floor and spit tobacco chew into it. I gagged, turned around, and promised to return the class schedule in a moment.

I was repulsed and made a promise to myself that my shoe collection should not suffer based solely on the height of any man. Even though today’s Mind Your Manners Mondays is about chewing gum, I thought this story to be just as appropriate. Our dear Miss Emily Post has some very straightforward opinions on gum chewing…

It is hard to understand why so many otherwise attractive people totally destroy their appearance by chewing gum like a cow chewing a cud. There are people who chew it for therapeutic reasons as well as because they like the taste, and others just chew because it’s a habit. Chewing gum, in itself, if it is done quietly and unobtrusively, is not unattractive. But when one does it with grimaces, open mouth, smacks, crackles, and pops, and worst of all with bubbles, it is in the worst of taste.

Excerpt from Emily Post’s Etiquette, 15th Edition

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