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Acting Ugly


In this world of saying what you think, loud and often, no matter how rude or obnoxious or how it might annihilate another persons life, my mother’s voice swirls in my head. “We don’t talk ugly about other people,” she always said.

My grandmother took it to the next level with her version of Southern manners: never wear white shoes to Church before Easter, no open-toed sandals after Labor Day, and give your rural route mail carrier delicious baked goods often.




These two women used to drive me crazy. Not by their use of ugly as a verb, but with their unending list of ‘properness’. There is one thing that did stick, and that’s the practice of good manners, and yes, I’ve even told my boys to be respectful of others and to stop acting ugly.

Howdy Ma’am

One day, I was pleasantly reminded that good manners still exist in today’s world. As I walked across the campus of my Alma mater, numerous young men held the door open for me, usually with a friendly “Hello” or “How’re ya doin’ Ma’am?”. Typical of this Texas campus, the young gentlemen usually sported a white Stetson, Wrangler jeans, and dusty boots, and just as many had tattooed arms, fly-away locks and body piercings. The kindness expressed by these students surprised me and gave me hope that common courtesy is not just a thing of the past.

Mother’s Rejoice

If you happen to be the mother of one of these students, you should know that sometimes kids really do listen. And don’t worry; your boy is doing fine and minding his manners.

WTAMU is located smack middle of the Texas Panhandle, in Canyon. Go Buffs!