Too Much on my Mind to be Nice Too

I was scrambling about the other day trying to find something that I knew I had and just couldn’t remember where it was at (I no longer remember what it was at all) when I came across an article about the hazard of an overfull brain to the pleasantries of life.  Eureka a small part of my brain said!  Stick to the task at hand the rest of my brain said.


Anyway, let’s assume that I completed the original task because it isn’t really important to the story anymore.  What is important is that I was brought up to be polite, always, everywhere, no exceptions.  (It turns out that there are valid exceptions, but we’ll address that some other time.)  You who are over a certain age know what I am talking about.  My mom went to great lengths to teach us manners.

photo credit: Wikipedia, Emily Post - the mother of American Etiquette

photo credit: Wikipedia, Emily Post – the mother of American Etiquette


So much so that one Thanksgiving she invented an elaborate system of signals to my brother and I to point out any indiscretions on our parts but then proceeded to tell the whole table about the system thereby negating the system itself.  (It was a pain to learn it all too…)  I think that she got embarrassed making all the signals, and then we got confused.  Well, everyone thought it was amusing at the time.


I digress again.  The article gave me absolution, of a sort, when I forget the niceties when I am laser focused on some issue or solution.  This is something that I am constantly on myself about to improve.  I know people who never fail to be accommodating and spot on polite and I am impressed and slightly shamed at the same time.


I don’t mean to say that I am rude when I am in this focused mode, I just forget my pleases and thank yous.  Until later, sometimes much later.  I might forget to wait my turn, too if it is really urgent.


Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything else about the article – where I saw it, the title, who wrote it.  But it was based on scientific research.  You’ll just have to take my word on it.  I don’t mean to be impolite, my thoughts are just too focused on the task at hand.  Let’s just say the solution part of the brain isn’t paying any attention to the polite part at that moment.


Please tell me that I am not alone in this – you know what I am talking about here.  If you are a person who never fails to be polite, regardless of what is on your mind, do tell how you do it.


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