Open Thread

by epi on September 28, 2012

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss T September 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

What is the etiquette for a public basetball court?

Recently, another mother and I were sitting on the bench at a local basketball court in a public city park watching our sons ages 8, 7 and 4 shooting baskets. We were the only ones there and we had only been there a few minutes when a bunch of older boys who were middle school age came over to use the court. We instructed our three boys to use one basket on one end so that the bigger kids could have the other basket on the opposite end of the court.

When one of the older boys’ mother arrived and sat down on the bench next to us, her son asked her if they could “play ball”. Her response was simply that she was leaving it up to him to “handle”. He made a quick glance at me and then went onto the court and, with several other older boys, proceeded to squeeze our three younger boys off the one end of the court they were using by shooting hoops over their heads and just crowding the court in general. The other mom said absolutely nothing.

When I described this scenario to two other mothers I know (who were not there at the time), they both took the position that the basketball court is intended for the older kids (although it is not posted as such) and that they should not be expected to share the court with younger kids. Nor did they feel that it was inappropriate for the older boys to not even ask for the full court.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thank you.

Reply

joy September 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Sounds like this would have been a great opportunity to engage in a respectful conversation with all parties involved. If I had been in your position, I would have turned to the other mother and said, “Say, it looks like your boys would like to use the full court. Mind if our boys use half the court on their own for the next 15 minutes and then move along?”

Reply

Miss T September 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Joy, I agree that would have been a more diplomatic way to handle the situation, but I was so taken aback by the way the other mother told her son to just “handle it” himself and the way the older boys pretty much plowed over our younger ones that I didn’t think it would go well if I said anything. Remember, too, that we had already instructed our boys to stay to just one half of the court. But since two other mothers who were completely uninvolved with the incident say that we were completely wrong in even expecting the older boys to share the court with our younger ones, I was wondering if that was the accepted “rule” of public basketball courts. (?) It just seems to me that we were polite in restricting our boys to one half of the court and we thought it rather impolite of the older boys who came after ours did to take possession of the whole court. I was actually told that our younger children were the “impolite” ones for even remaining on the court once the older ones showed up. Is that so?

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Dru Palmer September 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

I hadn’t really considered myself an old fashioned prude until today. My husband and I
were doing some physical activity together on the floor. I was in the process of instruct-
ing him and checking his form, (I am a pilates instructor,) when he farted in my face. I was none too pleased about this and said so, to be told “it had to come out” and that he “had been trying to hold back for some time.”

I asked why he hadn’t just said the perfunctory excuse me and moved to another part of the room to release his gas. I understand that it is a normal bodily function, but feel it is rude to just let rip in someone’s face, without a word of warning, or apology. He thought this was quite funny. We are not newly weds and so I was and am still surprised
at his behavior. We have only been working together in this was for some six months.

I have read a few comments on various websites. The majority view does seem to be
that this is funny and should not be viewed as offensive or taken seriously. I’m sorry but I do not agree and feel that should he repeat this performance, I will simply dis-
continue working with him in this manner and suggest he pays someone for the service and the aggravation.

What say you all?

With great appreciation.

Reply

Jerry September 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

It would be funny if it were a sit-com. Otherwise it’s just rude.

While he needn’t go to another room to release his gas, he should have at least waited until your face was somewhere else.

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Alicia October 1, 2012 at 9:38 am

Ok this may sound gross but you are a pilates instructor you need to know that some of those positions well if you contort into new positions sometimes people lose their ability top control gas. I’ve taken yoga and pilates and it is not unusual for people particularly those who are new to be in a position where they lose their ability top hold in the gas that they could have held in if upright. I’ve been in that position too. So farts happen. Correct behavior is to say excuse me and move on. Your correct behavior is to say nothing and move away. It is not funny but it is a reality of people learning and moving in ways they are not used to and some people deal with embarasment by using humor. I’m shocked that you have done enough pilates in order to be an instructor and this is the first time someone has had an uncontrollable fart. Shaming him over it is not the way to go. Polite people do not mention others bodily functions. It is gross and unpleasant but no reason for you to stop doing exercise together.

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Country Girl September 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

This is a public court not a school court, so the first come first serve rule applies (within reason). And your boys moving over to use one side is certainly within reason.I would have addressed the older boys myself saying ‘hey guys, these boys were here first and are using this hoop. I hope you don’t mind paying half court until they (we) leave in x minutes. Or if you’d rather, I’m sure the boys would love some pointers from you!’ Don’t mind the other mom, if she was considerate shed realize her boys were bulldozing yours and say something herself. Plus this is an issue of safety. You don’t want your boys getting hurt by older stronger kids.

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