Do you ever find yourself amused (and amazed) by peoples' white trash antics?
Sure you do.
Southern Fried White Trash takes a humorous look at the unbelievable mindset of the national subculture (and Southern specialty) we affectionately refer to as "white trash."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today's lesson is about coasters.

No, not "coasters" as in people who are content to just cruise through life with minimal effort. I mean "coasters," as in those little round disks placed strategically around living rooms throughout the nation as a subtle hint to drinkers - USE ME.

We have a lot of coasters at our house. That's because I believe in using them. My mother always taught us growing up that placing a drink can/glass/cup on a table or any other piece of wood furniture was akin to walking up to the owner of said furniture and telling them, "I don't care what you paid for it. I am going to leave an indelible white circle on it because I am lazy and inconsiderate."

I look at it this way:  you wouldn't walk into someone's home and lick their coffee table mid-conversation, would you? Maybe spit on the buffet? Of course not. So why not make the effort to pick up the little disk, aka "coaster," placed strategically for your convenience and slip it under your glass? Is it really that hard?

I am always amazed at the number and varied demographics of people who either refuse or simply choose not to make use of coasters in our home. I'm going to give about half - 50% of them - the benefit of the doubt and assume they were never taught when they were young. But I mean really, is that even an excuse? They've never seen other people use a coaster?  OK never mind, let's give that half a pass strictly because they're ignorant. But what about the other half?

We had a small gathering of people, 20 or so, over about two weeks ago. They're all couples about our age, all people from pretty much the same socio-economic background. Four or five of them sought out a coaster to use while we sat and chatted. The rest - nope. They just plopped their drink down wherever they sat. I thought to myself, "What on earth do they suppose these little disks are for - indoor Frisbee tournaments? A game of 3-D tic-tac-toe?" Oh well. As I wrote in the book Southern Fried White Trash, I'm obviously going to have to get over myself. The world certainly isn't going to accommodate my outdated expectations simply because I expect them. Manners, as I heard it explained one time, are the expression of one's consideration for another. And that, my friends, is becoming a thing of the past.

I'll tell you one thing though. Neither of my children will ever walk into our living room or anyone else's with a drink and not use a coaster. Won't happen. Now, does that make me a good mom, an anal-retentive control freak or just a lover of a nice piece of furniture? Who knows.

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