10. Smacking while eating. We’re all very glad that you’re enjoying your food. But c’mon now. It can’t possibly be your first and it’s pretty safe to say not your last meal—and even if it was, that would be all the more reason not to share it with the rest of us. Eat quieter and keep your mouth closed.
11. Driving with unedited music blaring. The beauty of riding around in warm weather is being able to feel the breeze through open windows but you ruin it for everybody else when you pull up to a red light blaring 50 Cent’s finest—especially when there are senior citizens or worse, kids in the backseat of the next car exposed to his every F bomb or B word. Multiply that ig’nance times ten if you’re piping porn through the TVs in your console/visors/headrests.
12. Pointing out to someone that they’ve gained weight. This one is not only dumb, it’s dangerous. You think said guy or girl doesn’t stare at the fruit of their love affair with Five Guys and chicken cheesesteaks each and every day? You ain’t shedding light on nothing they don’t already know. Ask about their family, their job, their neighborhood—heck, their watch or their earrings if you’ve got nothing else to chat about—and let that 75 pound weight gain be the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to touch. They know it, you know it, but sho nuff don’t nobody need to mention it.
13. Soliciting for charity. It’s one thing when homeless folks roll up asking for dough from cars stuck captive at the red light or sitting at the gas pump. But when employees working the register put you on the spot to donate a dollar to something like Children’s Miracle Network—loud and proud so you can feel real miserly if you’re forced to say ‘no’—it’s the equivalent of the cashier leaning over to announce to the line of people behind you that this loser is too much of a tightwad to care about the kids. In reality, you may be spending your very last $10 with nothing to spare and need a little fundraising your damn self.
14. Failing to control your umbrella. It’s bad enough that we’re on the out and about in the rain. But what makes it even worse is when you tilt your umbrella just so, so that the water goes splashing down on the person beside or behind you. Same goes for letting your wet albeit folded umbrella bump up against folks on the bus or train, or shaking it off when you get inside (why oh why did you wait until you were in the lobby on the nice, slippery floor to do that?)
15. Not acknowledging a gift received. There’s no reason why someone who takes the time to think of a friend, a loved one or a co-worker should have to wonder and theorize about whether you got the thing they sent to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pack of fresh gym socks or a book of diabetic recipes. Thanks are still in order for their thoughtfulness.
16. Public cussing. There’s a time and a place for everything and though peppering your conversation with four letter-riddled witticisms might be the norm at home, when you get outside of your pad you’ve got to be mindful that others might be offended by such unrefined word choices. There are kids, older folks and just a wide range of people who aren’t interested in hearing how many times you can cram the eff word into one Guinness record-setting sentence.
17. Blocking the aisle with your cart (or yourself). There’s no need to leave your basket sitting smack dab in the middle of the same path everybody has got to use to get to the bread and bottled water. It’s got wheels. Whatever you forgot and turned around to go get—take your cart with you.
18. Failure to communicate. Texting, Twitter and Facebook have made it so convenient to shoot your friends and family a little “howdy, just thinkin’ about ya” holler or random little thoughts you’d like to share with them, but when it comes to something major—the death of a relative, the breakup of a marriage or serious relationship, foreclosure on a home—you just can’t sum up the proper amount of concern in 140 characters or less. A message saying “Sry abt ur grandma. She was a gr8 lady” just doesn’t smack of sincerity.
19. Not holding the door. No one wants a door crashing in their face as they prance into their destination. Don’t be a hero and stand in wait for someone strolling clear across the parking lot. But for another person walking ten steps behind, it’s common courtesy to give them a few seconds to get to the entrance instead of letting them hustle up to eat your dust and kiss the glass door.
20. Taking too long to cash checks. You know how we do. We’ll post date it, we’ll give it to you and ask you to hold on to it until we get paid on Friday, we’ll write a reminder date in the memo line. There’s a whole set of time sensitivity rules when it comes to writing checks in the Black community. So if you don’t just go on ahead and take your butt to the bank so Aunt Ruby or Sister Jenkins can stop recalculating her checking account everyday, you run the risk of falling smack into the rude category.