Mr. & Mrs. Salahi vs Emily Post

Tired of the party crashers who won’t disappear? Aren’t we all. But since they are now accepting bids for TV appearances or something, they are clearly going to need a lot more high-priced agents and lawyers and publicists, and the least we can do in this space is offer a few more lines of coverage to help out.

One thing seems to be missing in all this. We are obsessing about security, and celebrity status or lack thereof, and too much or too little media coverage, and the excesses of reality TV which I have to admit to never having seen. But what about decorum? Could we sit the Salahis down with Letitia Baldrige? Preferably in a small, closed room? Lock them up in there (just Mr. and Mrs. Salahi, that is) until they finish Miss Manners’ Guide to Excrutiatingly Correct Behavior, every last word?

I grew up on Emily Post myself. Extend a hand contrary to the way Emily instructed (Ms. Salahi’s casual finger-work on Vice President Biden’s chest? Good grief) and one would suffer terrible, unrelenting embarrassment.

I think these people don’t know how to spell embarrassment. And as my Emily Post Book of Etiquette-bearing mother would say, “More’s the pity.”

Texting as anti-social networking

A faithful reader of this space, among the several faithful readers enjoyed by this space, weighed in on the texting truck driver (see Sept. 27th below) to say I ought to write about the real problem: texting while conversing. Conversational texting may not be as lethal, except in terms of mortally wounded relationships, but it does indeed seem a growing threat to humankind.

We checked with several members of the Under Twenty generation (is there a generational designation for today’s teens and sub-teens?) who assure us they would never be guilty of such a thing but we’re not convinced they’re telling the whole truth. It is the Boomers and Beyonders, though, who have come late to this perpetual connectedness and pose the greater threat. Faithful Reader confessed to having a close personal relation whom she is about to disinherit because he will not stop surreptitiously, perpetually, rudely texting beneath the table while pretending to carry on a conversation. Or sometimes not even bothering to pretend.

In a former life I had a husband — I no longer have this particular husband — who was prone to walk into a room, immediately pick up the remote and click on whatever ball game happened to be in progress. Guests found this disconcerting; wife found it maddening. The message, similar to the message of incessant texting-while -supposedly-conversing is that something afar is infinitely more important than anything at hand.

If you are a reader of this space, you are surely too cultured and polite to commit inappropriate texting. But you are invited to e-mail it to any texting truckers or friends you may have, in the interest of general civility.