Mind Your Manners: Getting Your Emily Post On At the Bar

Mind Your Manners: Getting Your Emily Post On At the Bar

Generally, I take my muses in the form of flappers, gypsies and Dolly Parton. I also heed the advice of Emily Post. Her regard for manners and civility may swing square to some, but I find her devoted involvement to the enjoyment of others helps conquer narcissism and ensures a great time. From that polite dame herself: "Manners are like primary colors. There are certain rules and once you have these you merely mix." Rules, as they say, are meant to be broken. But manners I hold dear. Let's apply them to nightlife.

First, lets talk about jukeboxes. Dallas has a bounty of great ones and whether you are feeding coins at Cosmos or The Windmill, it's nice to consider your environment just a touch. Scan the room - what's the mood? Is now the best time to play that 22-minute deep cut? Or that very sad Counting Crows song I had to Shazam to even discover the title? Doubtful.

The point is, you aren't in your bedroom making a playlist; you're collaborating with strangers to guide the vibe. Don't force your obscure tastes for the sake of it. Take a risk (not a 22-minute one), but mix it in with that Otis Redding or David Bowie. There is a time and a place for everything, just consider yours as you flip through the catalog. Karaoke selection works similarly.

Oh, and what about concerts, Dallas? Do you know you have a bit of reputation for the incessant talking during performances? Amplification doesn't always cover you up; you can almost always hear that chatter just a touch louder than the music being played. I don't even want you to stop talking, I just want you to take it to the bar. You might be right, you might need to tell that story RIGHT NOW, but you probably don't need to tell it to me. I came to hear the music.

Are you sitting there, at the bar? No. Did you already get your drink? Yes. Okay, can you move it along, then? Don't hang out at the bar if you aren't stool-bound, it makes it harder for folks on both sides of the bar. The ebb and flow is key to social lubrication, so don't cock(tail)-block.

Manners are about the way you treat other people, the way we make space for each other in the world. Good ones make a safe place for oddities and curiosity, two traits that improve our leisure. Nothing is of less import than what fork you use. But playing nice? Playing nice could just make all the difference.

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