Yesterday I made up to meet a friend in front of a house where an engagement party was taking place. As I arrived early, I prepared to wait. A woman in her seventies was standing outside, waiting for her husband to emerge from the house. She had already wished her mazal tov to the family and had expected her husband to be outside. We started conversing and she remarked about how impressed the chsson's family was with the unity in the town and how everyone had come out on a wintry night to give best wishes to the couple.
A few minutes later, my friend arrived and I excused myself. We stood outside, conversing, while the woman I had spoken to went to investigate her husband's whereabouts. When she emerged with her husband, she came over to me, a woman years her junior, and thanked me for the pleasure of my company.
I was flabbergasted by her wonderful manners and lamented how today's generation needs to learn from the one that preceded it.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband was asked by a young man to pass him a siddur. After he passed the man the siddur, he expected to be thanked. THe man didn't say a word. My husband berated him.
"Aren't you going to say thank you?"
"For what?" the man answered. "It wasn't your siddur."
My husband responded, "does it cost you anything to say thank you?"
The man turned to him angrily and said, "you should thank me."
That was the end of the discussion. But I can't help wondering if the man had grown up in the environment of the elderly lady and her husband, whether he would have had better manners.