As we supposedly get back to “normal” as the pandemic winds down, it seems we have been consumed with the topic of rights vs responsibilities. Some people argue they have a right to go maskless or to not get a COVID vaccination. Others argue this is a responsibility we all have. I would be one of those individuals that it is your responsibility for the greater good.

This letter is not about this, though. It is about the fact we simply do not seem to know how to interact politely with each other in a social setting anymore. After over a year of being unable to go out in large gatherings, we seem to have lost the ability to know how to interact with each other. What ever happened to manners or etiquette?

An example of this is my parents and I went to a nice restaurant for supper recently and the evening was ruined by 12 thoughtless individuals. We entered the restaurant and sat on the edge of dining room and noticed there was a large party in the center of the room. This party talked so loud we could not hear ourselves think. I understand they may have been excited to see each other after not being able to see or socialize with each other for over a year, but this is just an excuse as far as I am concerned.

There is a difference between inside voices and outside voices and this party of 12 were so loud, you would think there were 40 individuals in their group. It was not just my parents and I who were disturbed, but there were at least three to four other tables occupied. We ended up taking our food and leaving, we should not have had to do this.

I therefore ask you to be mindful of others as you resume socializing. You don’t want to have others leave a restaurant because of your bad manners.

Ron Hemenway lives in Rutland.

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