1. Chew with your mouth closed. This applies to eating as well as chewing gum. No one, I repeat, NO ONE wants to see half masticated food or gum rolling around in your mouth. Close your lips. The world at large thanks you.
2. Do not talk on your cell phone while being served by a store clerk. It's rude. They are people, too.
3. If you are a store clerk, do not carry on conversations with other workers while you are serving someone. Include the customer, if you must talk, but don't ignore them.
4. If someone holds the door for you, acknowledge them. And it probably wouldn't kill you to hold the door open for someone else, especially women with small children or strollers trying to get through doors. Seriously, how self-involved are you?
5. Please refrain from spitting anywhere in public, regardless of the situation. It's bad form. And gross. Just don't.
6. Please don't talk during the movie, or while at the theatre. If the myriad of warnings before the previews aren't enough to get through to you, know that people who break this rule go directly to the seventeenth ring of hell, where they will be held personally responsible for maintaining Lucifer's pedicure. They will not pass GO. They will not collect $200. Also, turn off your cell phones during the movie. It won't kill you to be unreachable for an hour and a half.
7. I'm pretty sure that sending and receiving texts/phone calls during a meal at a restaurant is poor manners. I understand that there are exceptions, but it irks me. Also, texting while holding a conversation with someone is sort of rude. I find the ability to multitask like that nothing short of amazing, but still not exactly polite.
8. Wave at other drivers who let you in traffic. When did this go by the wayside? Coach Parrish taught me to do this in driver's ed. For a long time, I thought it was one of the written rules.
9. Don't try and get on the elevator/train/bus/whatever before other passengers have disembarked. You are holding up the process. You are not the only person in the world. Look around. There are other folks who are just as important as you are, and they're minding their manners.
10. Follow the posted laws when driving. This includes obeying traffic lights, and using turn indicators and utilizing turning lanes and... you know what? #10 is it's own post.
11. Do not, if talking to a friend, drop all conversation so soon as a child requires attention, or has some childish remark to make. Children are meant to be seen and not heard. Unless it's an emergency or someone is BLEEDING OUT, it can wait until the adults have finished talking.
12. Don't stare. People watching is fine. Staring is stalkery and creepy.
13. Don't point.
14. Pyjamas are not clothes, and shouldn't be worn in public. Similarly, house shoes or slippers aren't shoes. They should be left at home, no matter how cute and fluffy they are.
15. Don't bathe in cologne or perfume. A whiff of perfume is nice. Being gagged by it is unpleasant. The wearer is usually desensitized to the scent, so know that if you can smell your own perfume, you're wearing too much.
16. Say please and thank you and May I. And excuse me. And if the situation warrants, I'm sorry.
17. Teach your children how to address adults. Boys should learn how to shake hands. "Hello, Mrs. Smith." "How are you today?" "I'm well, how are you?" etc. Use thse phrases yourself, instead of a muttered, "Hey," or "Fine."
18. Have good sportsmanship. Being a good winner is every bit as important as being a good loser. Don't gloat.
19. Don't swear in public. I love a well-placed swear for comedic or dramatic effect, but using swear words as adjectives is not for the public, especially at a restaurant with women and children in attendance.
20. Manners really boil down to being considerate of others, and thinking of someone else's well being over your own. In our society nowadays, these mores are going by the wayside. If we all take into consideration that we are not the center of the universe, it would be a more polite and well-mannered world, I think.
And if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Thumper's mom had the best one of 'em all.