Sunday, 1 January 2012

Unwritten Social Laws

Anyone who watches Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David knows there is a world of unwritten social rules and conventions in which most of us abide by. Unfortunately a lot of the time these rules are simply made up by us silently as we revel in someone else's rudeness.

Here are a few I can think of:

  • Don't tell someone they look tired. Although they probably look like they could go for a three year sleep, there's no need to state the obvious. Usually people are very aware when they look tired or worn-out and if they don't it's not like it's good news to them. Nice way of telling someone they look like shit, really.
  • Don't just hang up the phone if you have the wrong number. Why do people do that? "Hi, I'm looking for Sharon" "Sorry, you must have the wrong . . ." SLAM. Lovely. A simple "Ok, thanks" would suffice.
  • There's no need to test your phone's ringtone in public places (over and over). I see it mainly with teenagers on public transport. Running through their entire phone's memory of Kanye West and Justin Bieber ringtones. Kill. Me. Now.
  • If there are more than two toilets in the restroom, don't choose the one next to the one I'm in. It's like people that sit right next to you in a movie theatre when there's a million other seats to choose from. Although toilet time is meant to be somewhat private. Seriously, go to the other end and leave a bit of space between us. Thanks.
  • No soppy love or self pitying messages as statuses on Facebook. No need to illustrate this one. We all know someone, if not many, who do this.
  • Clear away your food rubbish after eating at a fast food restaurant. Although the young teenagers that work at these places are paid to maintain the premises, it shouldn't be up to them to clean the scraps of food and rubbish left behind because you can't be bothered to walk two metres to the bin. Wouldn't hurt to burn 5 calories of the 5000 you've just consumed doing that, would it?
  • Cyclists, keep as far left as possible and use a cycleway if there is one. Please don't cycle so far out onto the road so that I need to risk my life by veering on the wrong side of the road to protect your lycra-covered arse. Very annoying when there's a cycleway available to you on the side of the road.
  • Stop sniffling. We live in a first world country with an abundance of tissues everywhere for your use. Stop abusing my ears and sending me insane by sniffing mucus further up your nostrils only for it to run down again and continuing the sniffing cycle.
  • If you are eating a particularly juicy fruit, do so as quietly as possible. Nothing quite grinds my nerves more than hearing someone slurp and slop their way through a pear, nectarine or peach. It's just as annoying as eating with your mouth open and it makes me want to rock back and forth in the fetal position whilst covering my ears with my hands and screaming "Make it stop!".

Some of many. Does anyone have any more to share . . . ?

Here is one of my favourite Larry David unwritten social rules. Ice cream sample privileges:


  1. -If you must use more than 10 coupons at the grocery checkout or want to do more than 2 price matches, please do so at a non-peak time. I appreciate (and maybe admire a little bit) your dedication to couponing and your ability to get $600 of groceries for $15, but please respect that the people in line behind don't want to be there for 30 minutes just so that you can get a deal. 6am would be a great time for you to shop. Or 11pm.

    -Talking publicly about your sex life is not appropriate.

    -It is rude to ask someone when they plan to have children. I am probably more susceptible to this one since I am fairly recently married. This equates to inquiring about one's sex life which violates my above written rule. Not to mention that it is nobody's damn business except for mine and my spouse's.

  2. I hear you Kinsey, although not so much about the children thing. We get nagged because we're not married after being together for over 5 years. So, the nagging doesn't stop once you get married? It just changes to children?

  3. Oh, Kate, you have a lot to look forward to if they are already nagging you about not being married.

    My personal favorite is when "when are you planning to have kids/are you trying?" is followed up with "you know you are 30." I try to respond politely to most people (e.g., "sometime in the future" or "we have a dog and that is enough for us right now") but I am to the point where if the same person asks every time she sees me (who's name I won't mention since the blog is public and under my real name) I respond with "it's really none of your (damn) business." I might need to find an even less subtle response though since she doesn't seem to get the point.