Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Lesson in Manners

In case you were pondering the definition of faux pas this morning, I have a textbook example. In the elevator ride up to my office, I heard the following exchange:

Lady A: "I watched the news this morning to see how many people were at the rally [in solidarity with Israel and in protest of the President of Iran addressing the U.N.] yesterday."

Lady B: "Oh. Did you?"

Lady A: "Yes. Where were you?"

Lady B: "[Embarrassed] I had work to do."

Lady A: "Like I didn't." And leaves the elevator.

Can anyone spot the faux pas? Lady A, you may not, under any circumstances, chide someone for missing a rally or demonstration. Not everyone agrees with your politics or expresses their political beliefs in the same way. It is indefensible to chastise a grown woman for missing a rally, regardless of your passion for the cause or your belief in its inscrutable truth. Kal v'chomer*, not in an elevator full of people.

*Indicating an a fortiori argument, kal v' chomer translates loosely into, "all the more so."

No comments: