Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
It seems that Tony Soprano, Michael Enright, and our listeners may have something to agree on when it comes to etiquette. Photo: Canadian Press
"Your essay on 'Breaches Of Etiquette' struck a chord with me. Over the last few years, I have noticed a dramatic deterioration in the way people in North America dress, particularly men. The standard garb of today's male seems to be: backwards baseball cap, unshaven face, sloppy ill-fitting T-shirt with menacing logo or picture, sloppy ill-fitting track pants and filthy garish running shoes. It seems the North American male just doesn't care how they look anymore, or maybe they are trying to project a frightening appearance in a display of aggressive anti-socialism. Even jeans seem to be too upscale."I recently passed through the Kamloops and Calgary airports and was absolutely shocked and disgusted at how the vast majority of men and quite a few women were dressed like slobs. I arrived in Europe and breathed a sigh of relief at finally seeing men dressed in neat collared shirts, jeans or dress pants, sports jackets, dress shoes or casual leather shoes."When and why did North American men start looking and acting like slobs?"
"Perhaps one reason why people wear hats in restaurants is that most restaurants these days provide no place to hang one's hat. Chairs have rounded backs, so I can't hang it on the back of my own chair. Shall I place it on the (already crowded) table?"
"I had the honour this week of witnessing the swearing-in of new Canadians at Citizenship Canada here in Ottawa. This day, there were 73 new Canadians representing 43 countries. It was a solemn, powerful, moving and inspiring ceremony."There were little kids in suits and folks in their best dress. Unfortunately, one middle-aged man wore a baseball cap throughout."I believe removing one's hat when entering a building or home or room demonstrates respect. In not removing his baseball hat, it felt like the significance of the ceremony was undermined."I wished one of the administrators had asked that all hats be removed when entering the room, but it was not to be. Yes, we are a polite people we Canadians - I do politely ask folks to remove their hats when they come into our home. And they remember the next time."
"Yesterday my husband and I were enjoying our omelettes at a breakfast restaurant, when we were interrupted by something that sounded like nothing so much as a fire truck siren coming from the other side of the room. On the second or third round, I realized that it was an infant shouting far beyond its weight."When the waiter dropped by to ask if we had everything we needed, I asked if it was possible to ask the mother to take the child outside -- It was a beautifully warm and sunny day in Vancouver -- until it calmed down."Oh no," he said. "That would be too rude on our part. This is a family-friendly restaurant.""I felt confused and slightly ashamed."My cousin, who ran a similarly "family-friendly" restaurant in the U.S never hesitated to ask parents to remove their screaming children until they were no longer disturbing other patrons and staff."I know it's hard for parents to feed their children at home and hire a babysitter every time they want to eat out, but is it asking too much to want to eat in peace? Whose diners' rights prevail in such a situation?"