In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 5, 2005 /26 Nisan, 5765

Space reserved for rude drivers only

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At the risk of oversimplification, here's what's wrong with the world today: bad manners.

Bad manners are the source of wars, gang violence, political scandal, road rage and marital disputes. Bad manners mean bad customer service, bad neighborhoods, even bad breath.

Case in point: the superstore parking lot, where I wait and wander in a quest for a space to beach the van. It's a Saturday, so I'm not eager to join the throngs of shoppers looking for lawn furniture, new bikes and flip flops in one convenient stop, but I have a list and an hour set aside for errands.

At the risk of behaving like a stalker, I wait by the store's exit doors for departing shoppers who might lead me to a potential parking space. A stealthy and experienced parking-lot scout, I know this strategy doesn't always work. Some folks lead you down aisle A only to cut through a row of cars to their vehicle, inconveniently parked in aisle B. By the time you get to the actual location of the open space, it's too late.

Not this time. I see a happy shopper heading out to the parking lot. Her car is about halfway down the aisle. I follow her, giving her a smile and a wave while I wait for her to load a cart full of items into her trunk. My turn signal indicates my intent to occupy her parking space.

I have left plenty of room for the driver of the departing car to maneuver — more space than she needs, in fact — an act of good manners. The next thing I know, a car at the end of the aisle ahead of me backs up, stopping just short of my front bumper.

"She's got to be kidding," I mutter. "This woman can't possibly be planning to park in my spot. I'm sitting here with my blinker on."

I honk the horn politely at first — a slight "beep beep" to attract her attention.

She sticks her arm out the window and flags me to go around her. The audacity of this woman is astounding.

"Unbelievable," I say incredulously. This time I lay on the horn long and loud but the poacher doesn't budge. Next thing I know, the woman loading her shopping bags slams her trunk and makes a hasty exit (no doubt avoiding the possibility she'll play the role of "innocent victim" in this scenario) and Parking Space Poacher zips into the vacancy.

I'm stunned at this display of brashness and bad manners. More than stunned — I'm hopping mad. I inch forward and flail my hands in an effort to show her I'm upset. She puts her head down, busying herself inside her car until I drive away.

Meanwhile, the owner of the car in the space next to hers arrives, quickly backs out and drives away. Justice is mine.

I park my van and walk into the superstore a few feet behind the poacher. "That was really rude," I say.

"There was plenty of room to go around me," poacher says.

"I was obviously waiting for that parking space," I say. "I had my blinker on."

"Sorry," she says sarcastically, disappearing into the racks of clothes just inside the store.

"Actually, you're not," I say under my breath. Grrrr.

I'm not exactly proud of my reaction. Usually when this kind of thing happens to me, I smile and offer a silent prayer that the inconsiderate buffoon offending me will have a moment of enlightenment. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

A truism about bad manners is: They're contagious.

Teaching good manners to children probably was easier when more people practiced them. Unfortunately, polite society has devolved to such a degree that we're mostly surrounded by examples of what not to do.

("Son, do you see that young man wearing his pants below his hips with his underwear exposed? He's spewing vulgar language at the girls across the street while tossing his trash on the ground and blowing cigarette smoke into the faces of his friends. Don't do that when you grow up.")

Not that my manners are always exemplary. Fortunately, my children often miss the irony of being told to remove their elbows from the table by a woman with corn flakes in her mouth.

Still, teaching good manners is one way to give children a leg up in the adult world. Simple habits such as looking at the person to whom they're speaking, using people's names in conversation ("I'm fine, Mrs. Smith. How are you?"), saying "please" and "thank you," or holding a door for an elder are so uncommon as to be remarkable.

Not to mention, teaching good manners to children is one of the few things for which a parent actually can take credit.

Good looks? G-d's work.

Intelligence? Nature, not nurture.

Perfect pitch? Double jointedness? Photographic memory? Sheer luck.

Manners, on the other hand, can be taught, a reminder of which I enjoyed recently when someone commented — again — on the mature and articulate way in which my daughter answered the phone and recorded a message.

Whether she remembers to deliver the phone message is another issue.

Then again, after I make my apologies for rudely neglecting to return the call in a timely fashion, it's nice to hear that my daughter practiced what I preached

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 17 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2005, Marybeth Hicks