The president of the United States called the FBI director “crazy, a real nut job?”

A comedian posted images of herself holding what appears to be the president’s bloody,
severed head.

A motorist jabbed her pointed middle finger in my direction.


What is happening to our country?

Americans are clearly concerned about increasing incivility in our society, describing it in words ranging from “rudeness” to “pathological.” 

A quick peek at the Amazon book section finds nine pages of books addressing this emerging behavior in our country with titles including “Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace,” “Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct,” “Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph Over Haters,” “Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks,” perhaps most relevantly, and “Civility: Manners, Morals and the Etiquette
of Democracy.” 

I vacillate between thinking of our current vile and toxic atmosphere as the decline of basic civility or the rise of bullying, but it is probably both. The good news is that Americans are aware of and worried about it. A study last year by The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago found that we do believe our society is less civil than it was 30 years ago, particularly in politics.

 Here are some key findings:

• Two-thirds of us think last year’s political campaigns were even more rude than the what has become the norm in rudeness.

• A full fourth of us admit to using the F-word at least once a day.

• Most of us agree that remarks or jokes about race, gender and sexuality should not be made in public. We are more tolerant of such remarks uttered in private.

• A full 80 percent of us say political leaders should be held to higher standards of behavior than the rest of us.

We can only hope.


As the mother of two young adults with that mysterious Y chromosome — i.e., men — I am sensitive to the adage, “A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life.” 

I recently stumbled across a Huffington Post piece by Marlene Kern Fischer, “Six Things You Should Know About Having Grown Sons,” which will likely interest other mothers of boys and maybe the boys themselves. 

1. He won’t communicate more. Probably true, but he still loves you. You will always be Mom.

2. He will still make a mess. Definitely true.

3. He will still enjoy games that involve balls. Ditto.

4. He will still be cuddly. True. Somewhere deep in his DNA he remembers your hugs, your snuggles as you read books together and your comfort when he was sad or hurt. He is in some ways just a large little boy.

5. You will be able to count on him.
Definitely true for what really matters, although he will still forget to make beds and take out
the garbage.

6. He will bring home someone else for you to love! Yes! I am very blessed.


I know. I said I would not, but I have one more tattoo encounter to share.

At a recent lunch on a lovely covered patio, I noticed that several, maybe most, of the servers were wearing black bands on their arms, some at the wrist and some higher up the forearm.

Were they protesting something? Did they have wrist or elbow troubles? Did the bands help stabilize heavy trays laden with food?

So I asked our server, a handsome young man named Jason, whose arm appears in this photo.

It was none of the above. The bands are required by restaurant management to cover up — you guessed it! — tattoos!

Who knew?

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