We have all seen it happen: teenage boys kicking down little girls’ sandcastles and grown adults picking their noses. There are certain things that you just shouldn’t do in public, even if there’s no law stopping you. Unfortunately, some people have yet to figure out society’s unwritten rules.
Here is a list of 20 things that you should never be caught doing.
Of course, committing any of these crimes won’t result in a fine or a jail sentence; however, you can bet breaking these rules will make you Public Enemy No. 1.
While at a restaurant
1. Pay quickly at the register.
Whether rooting for your wallet through a ginormous purse or counting out exact change, taking your sweet time to pay for anything frustrates the people queued behind you, no matter the circumstance. However, frustrations tend to escalate when everyone in line is hungry. Always have your cash ready; otherwise, you’re keeping starving customers from their food.
2. Tip politely.
Make sure you always give at least a 15 percent tip. In addition, never pay a tip solely in change. Waitresses live off of tips, and being passed a handful of quarters and dimes is demeaning. At least put one dollar on the table.
3. Sit at an appropriately sized table.
Everybody hates the one guy hogging a six-person booth all to himself, especially when the restaurant is busy. When the sign says ‘Seat Yourself,’ it can be tempting to chose a big table and spread out. However, doing so will probably earn you glares from everyone else in the room.
4. Leave your table free of crumbs and splashes.
Eateries like Panera and Chipotle expect customers to clean up after themselves. There is no waitress to come wipe down the table after you leave, so it is up to you to make sure your area is clean. It is not enough to throw away your trash. Someone is going to sit at your table after you, and no one wants to put their hand down in a puddle of soda or a glob of macaroni and cheese.
While on the road
5. Don’t parallel park too close to the person in front or behind you.
They teach you better than that at driving school. To get your license, you have to be able to park perfectly in the center of a standard sized parallel parking space. Use that skill. By parking too far forward or backward, you make it difficult for other cars to get out of their spaces. This causes traffic, accidents, and general irritation.
6. Don’t slow down at inappropriate times.
Looking at the scenery or checking out a bad accident may be fun for you, but it’s not fun for the three miles of traffic backed up behind you. The road is a place for driving. If you want to be free to look out the window, then let someone else drive next time and take the passenger seat.
7. Don’t take up more than one parking space.
This is especially true if you have an expensive car. If you’re driving a Ferrari, then you are already privileged, and we all know it. You don’t need to hog extra parking spaces to prove it to us.
8. Keep your right of way.
It may seem polite to let someone in or out, but it can get you killed. By slowing down on the highway to let someone merge or slamming the breaks in a fast moving lane unexpectedly, you’ll end up being rear ended or giving the person driving behind you a heart attack.
While at a show
9. Don’t hold up signs at concerts.
The people on the floor behind you paid hundreds of dollars for their ticket to see the performance up close. By holding up huge poster boards, you’re ruining the view they paid for. Plus, it’s just not worth it. The singer on stage is too busy performing to read silly signs, so leave them at home where they belong.
10. Don’t sing along to musicals.
It’s one thing when you’re at home by yourself or hosting a sing-along with your best friends. However, when people pay to watch a musical or see it for the first time, they want to hear the songs. By singing over the movie, you ruin the experience. Let the professionals handle the singing. If you want to show off your vocal prowess, then go to a karaoke bar.
11. Mind the mosh pit rules.
Mosh pits can be fun, providing everyone is on the same page. Some basic rules include: help pick up anyone who has fallen, hold lost items above your head, don’t take accidental injuries personally, and respect the venue staff. Most importantly, dance your heart out.
12. Don’t push your way to the front of crowds.
First, there is no room for you up there. It’s a guarantee that the front of the house is packed as soon as the doors open. Second, if it’s general admission seating, then people have been waiting out front of the venue for hours to be the first ones in and stand by the front of the stage. Pushing to the front is like cutting in line. It’s just plain wrong.
While in a conversation
13. Don’t compare every music group to the Beatles.
Yes. The Beatles were a great band. But not every single musician is trying to be like the Beatles. There are hundreds of music genres and thousands of bands all with their own merit and sound. The Beatles are not the end all be all in every musical category. Every band –from punk, to metal, to jazz, to hip hop- has a place in the universe, and it is important to give them all credit.
14. Keep your dreams to yourself.
No one wants to hear about the dream you had last night; it’s irrelevant. However, if someone does start to tell you about a dream, never interrupt it with a dream of your own. It seems like every time anyone starts a conversation with “So I had a dream last night-“ someone else cuts in with their own dream. Don’t be that person.
15. Know your audience.
If the person hasn’t seen the movie or show you want to talk about, then stop talking about it. People want to watch things for themselves; they don’t want your summary of the plot, the characters, the setting, the costumes, the lights, the timeline, and so on, and so on.
16. Don’t start every sentence with ‘I’.
Starting every conversation with ‘I’ proves you are only thinking about yourself, and you’re not really listening. Ask people questions about their stories and lives. That’s what they want to talk about anyway: themselves.
While inhabiting the Earth as a human being
17. Treat your dogs like animals, not children.
Some people take it to the extreme with strollers and doggie high chairs. Other people simply personify their animals and spoil them rotten. Know the difference between treating your puppy like man’s best friend and a bona fide human being.
18. Remove crying children.
Whether you’re in a church sanctuary, a fancy restaurant, or any other non-kid-friendly space, it is important to take crying kids out of the facility. Little kids cry, it’s a given. However, there are some spaces where it can be inappropriate and distracting. And while you may love your little bundle of joy, not everyone else loves them when they are crying.
19. Don’t guilt people into giving to charity.
You may be collecting for a good cause, but not everyone has cash to spare. Remember that asking for money is a touchy subject. Putting pressure on anyone to spend more than their means is inappropriate and rude.
20. Minimize the PDA.
Everyone loves to see a cute couple sharing a peck on the cheek or slinging their arms around each other. However, no one likes acknowledging the couple grinding too hard on the dance floor, nearly having sex in the corner booth, or groaning in the back of the movie theater. There are billions of empty rooms out there. Go find one.
While finishing this article
If you are guilty of breaking any of these laws, have no fear. Not everyone finds talking to pets and messy tables annoying. However, society does have unwritten rules to pay attention to. Mind your habits and idiosyncrasies, and makes sure that you aren’t accidentally offending or grossing out everyone in the vicinity.
After all, there are some things that you just shouldn’t do in public.