notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Let’s Do It In The Road

Not literally of course.

But this week, I read yet another article about things you should not do in public. Obvious stuff – like texting in a restaurant, letting your kids run wild in the grocery store, talking loudly at the movies.

I agreed with everything on the list.

But I thought it was a shame that all I read and hear is about the shit you shouldn’t do in public.

Someone should compile a list of shit you really should do in public.

I think it should be me.

Here’s a start:

Talk to strangers.  OK, so maybe not if you are eight. But adult to adult? My husband always talks to the people in front and behind him in line at the supermarket. And everywhere really – at the post office, at the bank, at the gas pump. You know what he gets out of it? All his mindless, tedious errands have become opportunities to hear stories and make friends.

Share your table. A while ago, my husband and I went to a local restaurant and found it much busier than it usually is. We had to wait for a table. After several minutes, the couple ahead of us in line were seated. And so we figured that we’d be seated soon. But the couple turned back and came over to us. Their table could seat four. “Instead of waiting,” they said, “Why don’t you join us?” And we did. And we had a fabulous time. Interesting, smart and friendly conversation, instead of just boring same-old us.

Get the giggles. I certainly think that kids should be well-behaved in stores and restaurants. But they are still kids. There’s nothing I love more than to see them collapsing in hilarity. Join in. Laugh your ass off – loudly – in public – once in a while. The overwhelming majority of the people around you will instantly feel wonderful too. And for those few who don’t like it? Holy crap, who cares about those grouches?

Be a generous driver. I live in Connecticut, which is sort of a mecca for high-strung, stressed-out overachievers. (Sorry, Connecticut – I love you, but it’s true.) We are impatient worriers, with our minds always somewhere in the future, and it shows in much of what we do. We think we’re normal. A few years ago, I went on a business trip to Portland, Oregon. I had a rental car and a map (no reassuring, confident GPS voice). Trying to find my way around the city, I often found myself in the wrong lane – needing to turn at the light, or trying to get to the fast-approaching exit ramp. And, My God!, folks just stopped and let me into their lane. Over and over again. They weren’t shouting, “Damn Tourist!” No. They were smiling. “Over here, I’ll help you make a left turn from the right hand lane. No problem.” They made me feel less flustered about driving in a strange city. I came away loving that place and those kind people. And back here in nervous Connecticut, I let someone into my lane on a regular basis.

Go ahead, Dear.  In a similar vein, let an old person check out ahead of you in the supermarket.Even if they are slow. Especially if they are slow. What’s your hurry, anyway?

Be opinionated. In a nice way. I always let my dressing-room neighbor know when I think she looks great. I don’t ever say she looks bad; or say she looks nice when she doesn’t. But when I see success – I say so. Salespeople have a vested interest in telling you that you look fabulous. But when a stranger loves what you are trying on –  that’s sweet.

Show some PDA. Circling back to the title of this post, Let’s do it – a little bit anyway – in the road. I think we need to see a little more public displays of affection. How can we be okay with folks staring at their phones, but not with seeing them actually kiss other human beings? I am no voyeur, but I LIKE to see people kiss, and hug, and hold hands, and cuddle. And there are other, subtler shows of affection that are just plain heart-warming. Shirt-tail holding when navigating a crowd, for example. Or a hand tucked in a lover’s back pocket. So kiss a little in public. It may actually make you feel a little more loving in private.

 

IMG_4282

Public Display of Affection. Hubby & Me.

46 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

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  2. Ray G

    Actually, someone advised against texting in a resto? And keeping silent at a movie? On what planet?
    Seriously, though, I agree with the table-sharing plan, with advice about being open-minded. Good idea. Most all of your other suggestions I agree with, except with the PDA. That can become embarassing, as you have already told us about at a clothing-optional beach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not actually recommending the viewing of any particular body parts.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s with our everyday actions that we build the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fun, fun, fun! I like your idea about PDA – we sure see enough hatred and anger on the news, countering it with sweetness and love is a great idea. Thank you!

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    • I think that affection in public is a good start.

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  6. sweetsound

    I’d guess the texting in a restaurant was advised on the assumption you’re dining with others and should be attentive to your friends… talking on a cellphone in a restaurant is much more rude! I love all of your suggestions though! Let’s do em

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    • I’m one of the guilty ones. Not talking on the phone – I’ve never been much for that. But I check my messages constantly. I am trying very hard to stop.

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  7. I’m wit you. I second that… and third it, and… 😀 😀 😀

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  8. I agree whole-heartedly about generous (courteous) driving. I always think how I’d feel if I were the one who made a mistake or was unsure of what lane and I ease up and give them room to pull in front of me. There are always those who take advantage and feel triumphant squeezing in at the last minute but it is worth it for the person who felt their anxiety relieved.

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    • I also think to myself… “that could be my mother”…. and I give the person a little extra room.

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  9. Good plan. Hubby and I are quite affectionate in public, hand holding, peck on the cheek etc, and we have been known to dance in the aisle in the supermarket, I also hugged a complete stranger as it was National Hug Day (Jan 21st). He said it made his day (he was in his 80s).

    Liked by 1 person

    • When we were out to dinner, my father always “threatened” to dance my mother between the tables when a nice song started playing in the background music. Even if we were at Burger King.

      Liked by 2 people

    • dogonaroot1

      I do all those things. Except the dancing spontaneously in public. I love to see others dance spontaneously but watching me dance is something I know no one ever wants to see. It’s right up there with listening to me singing in the shower. The public should be grateful that I know my limitations.

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      • We still do, much to the amusement of others. As for singing in public, I have been known to sing along to the buskers or to the background music in shops.
        I did dance to buskers in Boston Lincolnshire, and ended up on crutches. I did a post on it, Beware Buskers.

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  10. Bobbi

    Wonderful list….thanks! I think I’d like to print out the list and distribute it freely.

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    • Thanks. Be my guest. Now if I could only follow some of my own advice.

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  11. For a while I lived in north New Jersey. Talk about a stressed out place! I learned how to drive aggressively fast to save my life. I moved back to my roots where people are slower. At first I thought I moved to a third world country but eventually I got used to the courtesies (and the 5 minute work commute). I am known for commenting on people’s grocery carts. I love it when I’m in back of one that looks like a party. I keep trying to get invited. So far no luck but I keep on trying. Love the picture.

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    • We’ve discovered lots of good food because my husband inspects everyone’s cart, and asks, “How do you like that?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah! Why does it always look better in THEIR cart than mine?

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  12. Love the driving part! Everyone around here on the road is in such a hurry they forget to pay attention to the other driver! Be a courteous driver should be the law…~Elle

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    • I don’t see why nice people become so nasty when they are behind the wheel.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great list. May I also add smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I would add, give positive feedback. When you have a friendly waitress, tell her and thank her for it. When you see a well-behaved child, tell the parent. If you see someone with great a great haircut, compliment her. And whenever you can, tell a mother or a father that her/his baby is beautiful ( on the premise that every baby is beautiful, at least to someone). It’s soooo easy to make someone’s day.

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  15. Reblogged this on Baby Boomers and More and commented:
    I’m pretty sure your husband and I came from the same Mama. I talk to everyone, everywhere. I firmly believe that acknowledging someone, showing interest in someone, may have an impact the magnitude thereof we could never imagine. That grocery store bagger who was just dumped by her boyfriend; the mailman who’s always so grouchy when he drops off the mail; fellow hikers struggling up the same mountain; the cable representative you called about an error in your bill; my, oh, my, the list is endless. Those aren’t wasted words expended on your part – those words could absolutely signal to that stranger that they matter and that all is not lost.

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    • That is so true! I really think that Listening is a lost art. And Empathy too. And put them together, you get exactly what you are expressing.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree with your entire list. One thing though, bet you have never driven in Dallas or Houston, want terrible come to the dark side.

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  17. Reblogged this on Wiggins Words and Images and commented:
    I almost never reblog but Nancy hit another home run and I want to share this with more people.

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  18. I make a point of pointing out good service, because you can’t be a miserable old bat who oly complains

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  19. My husband is the same way as yours about talking to strangers. I’m way too uptight, but he gets lots more interesting conversation that way.

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  20. Bonnie

    problem with kids collapsing in giggles is that whatever made them laugh so much to start with was probably something that was totally annoying the people around them (farts, rude noises, a stupid potty joke repeated too loudly way too many times).

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    • Yeah that sounds like kids. And most adults too, if we let ourselves.

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  21. Wow! First it was the drive-in movie connection. Now this. I actually make a point of trying to do all the things you mention. Except I hadn’t thought of the one about the giggles. That one could be dangerous, though. Once one person starts giggling, it spreads!

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  22. I’ve written a similar blog post to what you have been reading, but I share the same opinion that PDA isnt something I persoanlly want to see! haha

    Interesting to read your tack on it and other ideas 🙂

    Check it out: https://tootinghustle.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/pda-please-dont-administer/

    Like

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