Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Did my Mom overreact?


I am 14 years old and male.Recently,my family and I went on a plane trip.This meant going through the T.S.A security and,of course,taking off our shoes.The T.S.A worker we were dealing with was a 40ish woman,and she was actually very friendly and cheerful as she was screening people.I was wearing a pair of jean shorts,a T-shirt and slip-on shoes without socks.At the line my family and I were going through,everyone else was wearing socks but me.As I got done my security check,the lady  smirks at me and says:"Have a nice trip,Mr Barefoot!"I wasn't at all offended;in fact,I thought her comment was funny.I smiled and flashed my feet at her,and she laughed as I walked away.My Mom was right behind me and overheard her comment.She thought that what the lady said was inappropriate and wanted to complain to her supervisor.Of course,I stopped her.I love my Mom,but am I right in thinking that she took the situation the wrong way?Its obvious that the T.S.A screener was only kidding with me!

Dear David,

Your Mom loves you and is very protective. However, I believe from how you described the situation, that she should have let the TSA agent's comment go as a feeble attempt to be friendly towards you. If you were not offended, then she shouldn't have worried about it further.
I think there are more important things to worry about when traveling.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

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