Sunday, February 04, 2007

Be A Mensch-Guest Post

Many times, people approach me with topics to cover on my blog. Sometimes they ask if they could guest post, but I'm usually not too hot on that. When my mom recently asked me, I couldn't resist!

Too bad I didn't inherit my mom's diplomacy!

I thank my daughter Michelle for allowing me to "guest blog" today.

B"H, we are invited to many Smachot in our neighborhood. The hosts really do their best to ensure that the seating arrangements are favorable to all guests.

At the most recent Simcha I attended, the table seating seemed odd. Although I know many of the guests, I was seated with people from a different "circle." I sat at my assigned seat, and waited for the other guests to join me.

Two people I know approached the table and surveyed the situation. Although the seats on either side of me were available, they sat two seats away from me and didn't even say hello. I felt like a leper. I shower, I brush my teeth, and use deodorant. What gives? People have feelings.

Luckily, the other tables weren't full and I was able to change my seat. I personally find it very distasteful and unfair when people seat themselves wherever they please. Many times they occupy a seat that was assigned to someone else. Sometimes the latecomer is left with no place to sit.

This situation, however, warranted my going against my principle. It was either switching seats, or being miserable the entire night. The people at my new table were friendly and nice.

I just wanted the wonderful people of this terrific blog to remember one thing in life:

BE A MENSCH

Thank You.

This is directly from my mom's handwritten paper--I am simply the messenger.
I had similar situations at classmates' weddings, and I once even tried to sit with those people and see that they aren't that bad. Ha. Unsuccessful.

24 Comments:

At 2/05/2007 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that it does seem obnoxious for people to seat themselves in such a manner. I would like to share my own experience: I was one of those people who sat two seats away on purpose at one time. I had my reasons. 1)I was pregnant, and sat myself at the end of the table so as not to inconvenience the others at the table every time I needed the bathroom. I also had not made my pregnancy public knowledge at the time, and so did not explain myself.

2) I was a little bit shy. I recognized a couple of the women at the table, but could not remember their names. bad excuse, but I was embarrassed to admit this to these women.

3) Morning sickness can last 24 hours, and air is a very important thing to be able to breathe at times like this, as opposed to someone else's perfume. sitting two seats over is rude, but vomiting on a stranger's $300 suit is unacceptable.

okay, the first and the third apply to pregnant women for the most part, but people do have similar excuses. people are tired, distracted (especially on a weeknight when people have work the next day) and sometimes conversation is impossible due to the volume of the band. I'm not saying that it isn't rude, and some people certainly are rude about seating and socializing, but I ask that you try to give some people the benefit of the doubt. After much prompting, I did join in the conversation for a few minutes and felt somewhat less out of place.

Mentschlichkeit is a two way street.

 
At 2/05/2007 8:28 PM, Blogger Independent Frum Thinker said...

Be a Mentch, what simple yet important words.

 
At 2/06/2007 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

 
At 2/06/2007 10:55 AM, Anonymous Moshe Dov said...

Great post. How long till we get michellesmom.blogspot.com?

 
At 2/06/2007 10:26 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

very wise words from your mother :) I truly wish people at simchas would at least try and make conversation with the people around them, just a simple smile makes everything so much easier!

 
At 2/07/2007 10:10 AM, Blogger Ariella said...

It's a NY thing, I think. New Yorkers tend to stay away from people they don't already know. When we were enroute somewhere, I was shocked that another family seated itself at the same picnic table we were at even though there were empty ones. They weren't trying to be friendly (they didn't try to talk to us) they just manifested a differenct perception of boundaries.

 
At 2/11/2007 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes a good method of showing up the person who moves two seats away, is to change your seat to the seat next to her, and then make conversation like nothing happened.
You feel a little uncomfortable for a few minutes, but the other person will get the message without having to read your blog.

 
At 2/13/2007 5:56 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Anon 6:52---my MOM wrote this, and none of her friends read this. And to her credit, my mom was extremely careful not to reveal the ID of the women who snubbed her.

 
At 2/14/2007 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2/28/2007 6:24 PM, Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

I agree with Anon 6:21 on this.

When I go to a wedding (which I hate to) , its usually after a long day at work. I'm frickin' tired and don't want to speak to anyone. I'm only at the wedding because I have to.

I work in sales so at the end of the day, I'm all talked out.

 
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