Whatever became of civility?

Sun, 2017-02-19

by Keith C. Burris | The Blade 

A female Toledo school teacher recently had a casual, passing conversation with a colleague about football. It shook her up.

She’s not a huge football fan. But she had good parents, and she grew up in Ohio. So she is a fan of what we used to call good manners, courtesy, and what was once thought of as civility.

The school teacher’s colleague had a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt on. “Oh, that’s your favorite team?” said the teacher. “Mine is the New England Patriots.” The colleague turned on her heels and fairly hissed: “I hate the Patriots. and I hate that Tom Brady.”

The school teacher said both the word and the hiss unnerved her. “She was so angry. And, of course, that anger shut down any conversation.” But even more upsetting was the aggressor’s sense of entitlement. Of course the Patriots hater had the right to unload on the person making friendly small talk. Of course she was entitled to disagree disagreeably.

Why not say: I like their colors? Or simply: I’ve never been a fan? Why not say nothing?