Proper manners apply to bodily noises, gases
My mother taught me never to belch in public. Ladies must observe proper manners to reveal their refinement.
My childhood family was rich in love and grace but poor by worldly standards. My parents, brother and I lived in a first floor three room apartment with access to the basement and later, a remodeled attic which became bedrooms for the kids. Grandma lived on the second floor of the house.
Mom saved pennies, collected S&H green stamps and did sewing for the neighbors. Dad worked as a rough carpenter, building outside forms and structures. On weekends he did remodeling jobs for extra cash.
Recently I retold the story that when I was a young girl my mother would weekly save enough money for bus fare and a hotdog. We would go downtown to the city on Saturdays. This is equivalent to driving to the mall today. We had no credit cards, only the change in her purse.
While downtown, we would go into book stores and novelty shops. Looking at everything but buying little. Mom’s favorite thing to do was to go to the 5th floor of the department store with me.
She would tell me to stand up straight and not to unbutton my coat revealing my hand-me-down dress. A woman in a black dress and heels would ask if she could help us. Mother would reply that we were just looking. We would eye and feel every formal dress on the padded hangers. The material would swish and rustle. The price tags were prohibitive.
A few times Mom would ask the saleswoman if she could try on one of those fancy frocks. In the dressing room she would transform into Cinderella right before my eyes. She would twirl and sashay her hips to the music in her mind. With a faraway look in her eyes and a wink I knew that she was dreaming of dancing with my father.
Bringing back those memories mists my eyes. Once I broke her reverie by reminding her that she couldn’t afford a gown of aquamarine tulle and lace. I asked her why she tried it on. She responded that no one knows how much money she had in her purse; but if she were rich in manners, it didn’t matter. She liked to dream of moving to the music with her love.
One of Mother’s biggest pet peeves was belching and passing gas in public. Standing up straight and walking tall also was high on her deportment list. Table manners and proper grammar spoke volumes in her book.
Belching is caused by swallowing air from eating or drinking too fast. Carbonated beverages and chewing gum can also add unwanted air to the GI system. If a burp accidentally escapes, a polite apology is necessary.
Flatulence is gas created through bacterial action in the bowel. It is normal to have 10 to 20 passages of gas daily, most are odorless without sound. Obvious gas is not to be held in but reserved for private places.
My mother taught me never to belch or pass gas in public. Ladies must observe the proper manners to reveal their refinement.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330–684-4776.