The recent record-setting snowfall in New England has tested the Daily Dignity, as well as the Perfect Propriety, of everyone in the region - not least That Mr. Dimmick Who Thinks He Knows So Much. Is it Etiquetteer's imagination, or were American better able to take things in stride a 30 years ago? Alas, Etiquetteer feels the need to share a few more tips to Get Through This:
- Recognize when a situation can't be helped, and calm down. No one is to blame for the volume of snow that has fallen, or for the absence of someplace to put it. If you keep carrying on like that, Etiquetteer guarantees that someone will make a Splendid Suggestion about Where You Can Put It.
- Verbal complaining might or might not make you feel better, but it only raises the stress level for others present. Consider carefully whether or not your interjections help.
- Do your best not to inconvenience anyone else. If you move more slowly through the slippery sidewalks, step aside so others more fleet of foot may pass. If you're standing in the subway door that opens, for heaven's sake, step out onto the platform and allow others to leave. If you're shoveling out, don't fill up a neighbor's freshly cleared property.
- Travel light. At times when the public transportation system is strained to ridiculous levels, going anywhere without a backpack is more than thoughtful. And if you must travel with hand luggage, its Perfectly Proper place is on the floor or your lap, not in a seat.
- As you continue to shovel now, as a reader helpfully pointed out, be sure to clear the fire hydrant nearest to your property. The home you save may be your own.
- Make light of your troubles where you can. Etiquetteer was deeply impressed by a pair of cheerful women, perhaps strangers until that moment, who managed to keep fellow subway travelers in their vicinity from going mad in the sardine-like crush by imagining the entire adventure was like taking a huge group portrait at a wedding.
In short, Etiquetteer asks you to remember the famous words "This too shall pass."