A poem by J.F. Conant

He who loves an old house never loves in vain. How can an old house used to sun and rain, to lilac and to larkspur and an elm above-ever fail to answer the heart that gives it love?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whatever happened to good manners?

Last night I attended a concert at the local high school.  I arrived a bit early as I had volunteered  to "babysit" the 7th & 8th grade band until it was their turn to perform. Now, these are 12 and 13 year old kids. I sort of expect them to need some reminders...they're young...no parents or teachers around...they're exited about the concert. But I was not prepared for the incredible lack of manners displayed by not only other kids attending the show, but the adults!  I don't know if they never learned good manners or what, but it was a sad commentary on this community.

First of all if one of my boys walked into a room and left their hats on their heads, we would snatch them off those children so fast they'd think they'd been scalped!

Secondly, all the cell phones and hand held games lighting up the darkened auditorium was not only distracting, but disrespectful of the performers as well.

Another issue was how many people came in and out (some repeatedly) during the performance. Evidently bladder control issues are rampant is Ontario County NY! And not only did they repeatedly leave and come back, but they didn't even wait until the song was over to go back to their seats!! Dear Lord, were they all raised in barns!!!

I am posting a few rules for the theater in hopes that next time I go to a show around here, I might actually be able to enjoy it more!

When attending a theatre performance, audience members should, most importantly, be considerate of others at all times.  Here are some rules to follow.

1. Be on time.  Getting to a performance at least fifteen minutes early will allow you to get seated and look over the playbill.  When people arrive late, they inconvenience the other audience members and are a distraction to the actors.  In some theatres, the ushers will not seat you until an act ends, if you are tardy.

2. Dress appropriately.  If you are going to a nice theatre, dress up a bit.  Don't wear jeans.  Live theatre is much different than going to the movies.

3. Turn your cell phone off or on mute.  Never take a call in the theatre.  If you must answer a call, go out into the lobby.

4. Whisper, if you need to talk.  Try not to make too many comments.

5.  Don't put your head together with your companion's.  Avoid constantly moving your head back and forth.

6. If you have *refreshments, take care of the litter.  Do not put it on the floor. Do not make a lot of noise with wrappers. Dispose of them, when you leave.  *Note: Some Broadway theatres are now selling refreshments in the lobby and allow audience members to eat and drink  during a play.

7. If you bring a child to a performance, go over the rules before you get to the theatre.  Do not allow a child to rock in the seat or push the seat in front with his or her knees.If your child begins to cry, please leave the theatre for a while.

8. Avoid wearing a lot perfume or cologne.  You are in a confined area. If your scent is overpowering, you are forcing others to breathe in too much perfume.  A very small amount goes a very long way.   

9. Be considerate of others' right to be able to watch and listen to the performance.

10. Do not leave the theatre until after the curtain call.  It is very distracting and rude to the actors and other audience members to have people exiting, while the performers are still on stage and taking their bows.

And may I add just one more? If you are sick, for Pete's sake stay home!!! I know you want to see little Johnny or Susie perform, but a crowded auditorium is no place for you to be when you are contagious!
Here endeth the sermon.....


Heidi said...

Hi Terri!!!!! How fun that I now know you have a new blog. I miss contact with you and there is no reason why we have lost it. Glad you stopped by my blog. You are always welcome for lunch. :-)

I so agree with your sentiments. I hate cell phones period. I hate how people think they need to have them on while they are with others. I am making a new rule in my quilt group for 2011. Each time someone is caught with their cell on, they have to bring in a fat quarter the next time and at the end of the year I will draw a name for them from those who did not use their phones. I hate that we have to be available to everyone all of the time. It is not a problem to tune them out and enjoy the real moment ahead of you. Especially in a situation you were in.

Enjoy this last week of advent!

Hugs from Holland ~

Diane said...

Terri, I think I'm going to copy this and take it with me to some of the meetings I attend. A one hour meeting often takes two hours or longer because people think taking the time to talk on a cell phone is appropriate. I'm with Heidi, even though I have and use a cell phone, I think it should be turned off during a meeting and people should be respectful of the value of time for the other attendees. The rules you posted are a good reminder AND I'm feeling better about how inconsiderate I've felt people are being. Last night we went out to eat and there were 3 teenagers sitting behind us. One of them decided to share some music from her cell phone with all of us. - - Your children are so fortunate to have parents who are teaching them proper etiquette.