Sweets / Library of Congress

Sweets / Library of Congress

After my stroke, my manners were slightly off. I was told to ask my friends what was different about me.

At an ice cream store with a friend, they were about to close and were giving away pastries. I went up to the counter and took one. When the clerk tried to engage me in small talk, I just walked away.

“See?” said my friend afterward. “You should have thanked him. And chatted a little. He was giving you a free pastry.”

Oh. Right.

Do you have etiquette stories?

3 Responses to “Sweets”

  1. Emma writes:

    They tell me brain injury causes you to lose your filter. I was always a pretty direct person. But now the open mouth, insert foot and then engage brain syndrome seems more amplified. Whatever!!

  2. barb Polan writes:

    Yes, my boss had to tell me about “social niceties” on the phone – that instead of abruptly saying “good-bye” and hanging up when the point of my call was complete, he explained that I should go for a gradual transition and not hang up until the other person said good-bye. My husband lectured me about the same topic when I wheeled my wheelchair away from friends who’d come an hour to see me in rehab. In my mind, our conversation was over, so I spun around and headed back to my room.

  3. Cheryl writes:

    I had to be taught that screaming SORRY! does not come across as an apology and that people feel bad when you yell at them. But this was after all the effort to teach me to say sorry at all in any voice. I was annoyed that after I finally picked up “sorry” that then I had to say it in a different way. The subtleties and rules felt like they would be unending!

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