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Excuse Me

Aug 28, 2008
The other night I was at the Coldplay concert and I was walking through a crowd and I realized: there is a term that many Americans seem to have forgotten. It's a term that English people seem to overuse, or at least use in various forms.

Whenever you are on the subway - the tube in England - or in a crowded restaurant, and a British person bumps into you, they will immediately look at you and say, "sorry," or "pardon me," or "excuse me." But Americans seem to have this incredible lack of knowledge about the term "excuse me" or the word "sorry."

So I was walking through the crowd at the Coldplay show and this woman walks directly towards me. I looked at my buddy and I said, "I bet you a bottle of water," (since we're both such big drinkers,) "that she doesn't say excuse me. I bet you she will just walk right into me and I'll just stop."

I'm walking towards her, I stop right in front of her, and she walks right into me. I looked at her, and I said, "excuse me!" and she didn't say a word. I looked at her again and said, "the term is 'excuse me.' If you use this term, people will get out of your way."

She looks at me again, and then walks into me again. I said, "the term is 'excuse me,' right? Did anyone ever teach it to you?" So she looked at me one more time, said, "I have to go find my friends," and I said, "that's not very close to 'excuse me.'" She responded, "get out of my way?" And I said, "well, I guess that's close enough!"

And I was thinking to myself: is this an isolated incident? I realized that it's not.

I was recently in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a great, laid-back, beautiful mountain town. I was with a British friend of mine in Whole Foods. I said to her, "god, it's like nobody says 'excuse me' here!" We had been walking by the salad bar, and a woman grabbed the utensils next to us, picks up the lettuce, dropping a piece onto my plate - and doesn't even say a word! She didn't say 'excuse me' or anything.

So I said to my friend, "let's just walk right in the middle and when people are coming down with their carts, let's just walk directly towards them and see if they say excuse me first." Not once did anybody say 'excuse me.'

What's up with the manners? I just don't get it! Are we so self-involved? Are we so caught up in our own little world? Are we thinking that we are the only person that exists?

I always say 'excuse me.' Good manners are really attractive.

Now the question that I'm going to pose to all of you today is this: are you an 'excuse me' person, a 'pardon me' person, or, anonymously, are you one of those people that don't say a single thing? You just walk right through people, not saying 'excuse me' and you have no manners?

There seem to be a lot of you types running around, and I don't understand the epidemic that seems to be spreading around the country. We're going to start getting people to say 'excuse me' again.

People no longer have approach anxiety, but excuse me anxiety!
About the Author
Hailed on Fox News, The LA Times, The NY Times, Playboy and more... Legendary Dating Coach Launches a New Revolution For over nearly 20 years David Wygant has been earning the trust of American men and women looking to transform their love lives. (http://www.davidwygant.com)
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