Looks don’t matter

February 10, 2018

The name Megan Whelan will be familiar to anyone who listens to RNZ.

Her voice will be too.

Until I read this  I had no idea what she looked like and that didn’t matter.

I don’t remember the first time I realised I’m fat.

It might have been at 13, when someone left a pamphlet for a weightloss programme in my mailbox at boarding school. I can remember picking it up, excited that it might be a letter from my parents, only to feel hot shame, tears threatening to overflow, as I tried to hide the humiliating glossy pages from the girls around me.

It could have been at twenty, when an indoor netball opponent expressed surprise at my skill – because fat people can’t be athletic – and then anger when he realised I was running literal rings around him.

It could have been any number of small, slight, humiliations. The first time I realised that nothing in a clothes store would fit me, even with all the uncomfortable shapewear in the world. The first time someone yelled abuse from a car, calling me a fat bitch. The first time I ordered a salad, because I was too embarrassed to eat a burger in public. . .

How Megan looks still doesn’t matter.

Looks don’t matter on the radio and they shouldn’t matter in life.

Someone’s size, how they dress, the colour of their skin or hair . . .  those are all their business.

What matters isn’t how people look but how they are.

Megan’s story is also at RNZ from butt of the joke to kicking bullies’ butts.

She read an excerpt from it  on The Project.


366 days of gratitude

July 12, 2016

My mother was a gentle woman who had some very firm ideas. Among those was her belief in the importance of good manners in general and the saying of please and thank you in particular.

It was something she passed on by deeds rather than words, preferring to practice rather than preach and it surprised no-one who knew her that when I asked her if she had any message for people at her funeral she asked me to just say thank you.

Today I’m grateful for her good example and the many other people I encounter who remember their manners.

Grocery store commandments

March 17, 2015

Last month discussion with Simon Mercep on Critical Mass was sparked by the 10 commandments of the grocery store by Abbey Harris at Scary Mommy:

1. Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot. . .

2. Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot. . .

3. Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person. . . .

4. Thou shall obey the express line rules. . . .

5. Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo. . . .

6. Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space. . . .

7. Thou shall treat the cashier with respect. . . .

8. Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt. . . .

9. Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout.  . .

10. Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot. . .

To which I would add:

11. Thou shalt ensure you and your trolley are not in the way of others, especially if you’ve stopped for a conversation.

12. Thou shalt move forward to allow the person behind you to start emptying her/his trolley as soon as you’ve emptied yours.

All of which comes down to minding your manners and being considerate of others.

If we all did that the supermarket and the world beyond it would be much better places.

Manners matter

December 13, 2013

A French cafe charges extra for people who forget their manners:

The cafe owner tells the Local that the tiered pricing structure started as a joke, a response to “very stressed” and “sometimes rude” lunch customers. “I know people say that French service can be rude,” he adds “but it’s also true that customers can be rude when they’re busy.” Apparently there has been an improvement in customer attitude. . .

Manners matter, courtesy counts and those little words please and thank you show people you aren’t taking them for granted.

The story doesn’t say if they follow through on the extra charge for those who don’t use them, but an improvement in attitude matters more than the money.

Air NZ service with smile

August 16, 2013

Labour list MP Andrew Little scored a SMOG – social media own goal – yesterday when he tweeted a complaint about service from Air New Zealand.

He did have the grace to later  admit he was wrong to send it and apologise.

Yesterday two colleagues and I were in a similar situation to Little.

We arrived at the airport at 4:15 for flights at 5:30 and 6:30.

We asked if we could change them for anything earlier and all three of us were given seats on a 5pm flight by a courteous, helpful and smiling Air New Zealand staff member.

That, in my experience, is how they always are.

Good manners and expensive typos

July 16, 2013

Discussion with Noelle McCarthy on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* Good manners


* 10 very costly typos.


Don’t be the first

May 11, 2013

No seas el primero!

Citizen 1, Citizen 2, Citizen 3, Citizen 15, Citizen 1, “But this city is so dirty.”

So don’t be the first.

This advice doesn’t just apply to littering.

One person being being lazy, inconsiderate, rude . . .  provides a bad example from which others take permission to follow suit.

Fortunately the reverse is true and good behaviour from one person provides a good example which inspires others to do likewise.

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