Friday, September 22, 2006

Ain't Misbehavin' (Too Much)

Are there protocols for correct behavior in sticky situations? Some sort of paradigm for dispensing justly earned snark while maintaining a wee bit of class? If not, there should be. In fact, I propose that we write the definitive book on the subject.

Let's say you've slightly misbehaved, never mind that you were provoked, and you feel kind of bad about it. Do you:
(a) Apologize to those concerned if the transgression is great enough to have been noticed, or
(b) Keep quiet and pretend nothing happened?

Which can lead to the age-old question: If you ignore it, does it really go away?

This question does not, of course, cover low persons who misbehave at every opportunity, spread more malice and chaos than any human reasonably should (and then brag about it), without ever batting an eye, much less feeling an ounce of guilt. If you ask me, the only thing to do with that sort is hit them with big sticks.

If someone badmouths you, needles you, makes up tall tales about you, do you
(a) Come out with both guns blazing, or
(b) Again, just keep quiet, bite your tongue 'til it bleeds and maintain a stoic and classy silence, and pretend nothing happened?

If someone's making a fool of him/herself, should you
(a) Say something about it, or
(b) Keep your mouth shut and pretend you didn't see it?

If somebody/something just plain rubs you the wrong way, I know the answer to that one: Avoid and Ignore!

But it's damn hard to resist the temptation to poke and prod morons, isn't it? I know that the dicta of correct deportment, not to mention Miss Manners, tells us we must, though. To jump on it anyway is on the juvenile side, albeit I am mindful of the kid in all of us.

My mother always told me to just be quiet if I couldn't say something nice. Of course, she also told me that it's better to keep quiet and appear stupid than open your mouth and prove it. Times have changed, though. Mama's never experienced, for example, virtual head games and flame wars.

We really are on our own in this strange territory, aren't we? I suppose we could look at it this way: Whatever we do is going to be criticized, anyway, so why not do whatever you feel like in the moment and worry about the consequences later? And yet, there's an inherent "wrongness" about that, isn't there? Hence the call for some workable protocols.

Here's another little bit of wrongness, Words Gone Wild seen around the Web today.

pamplets - Mini-tabs of Pamprin.

good verses evil - When good sonnets go bad.

guesture - What's left behind when guests wet the bed.

back-cover blurps - A back-cover synopsis so good you devour it too quickly and ... belch.


Southern Writer said...

Slap her, Weezy.

Serena Joy said...

Heh. Works for me. In fact, I think a little bitch-slapping wouldn't be going overboard.:)