Mind your manners: The changing face of etiquette in Ireland
As Emily Hourican examines some modern dos and don'ts, Pat Fitzpatrick looks at the changing face of etiquette here in Ireland.
1 Eating Out
With new Asian street-food places all over Ireland, it's now considered racist to ask for a fork. Even if you would have a better chance of getting food into your mouth with a skipping rope. Also, it is now compulsory to complain in a restaurant. Otherwise, you're a pushover. The correct way to do this is the exact opposite of the way we acted before. So you call the waiter over to give him a bollocking. Once he's gone, you mutter "that was delicious" under your breath.
Monogamy is just the height of ignorance these days. Telling your partner there is no one else is just so needy. Not to mention an admission you still haven't figured out how to use Tinder. You should have more dates than the disgusting-but-healthy food stall at your local farmers' market. The correct way to end a date that isn't working is to suddenly blurt out: "I have to meet someone." "Who?" "My lawyer. I'm suing the dating agency after this." Harsh.
A message from the ordinary men of Ireland. "It has come to our attention that if we hold a door open for a lovely lady, we are accused of being chauvinistic dinosaurs. And if we don't, we are pigs." A reply from the feminists: "Stop calling us lovely ladies. The correct approach is go through the door and hold it open so the woman can walk through behind you." A reply back. "And tell us, how are we supposed to look at her arse?"
You need to be on time. This is a problem for the true Gael, who has been programmed to turn up 15 minutes late in case he has to buy the first round. Unfortunately, there are no longer any excuses for being tardy. Well, there are, but your usual "you'll never guess what happened" bullshit doesn't work any more. Not now that you are accidentally sharing your every move via Facebook and Twitter. Damn you, clicking 'yes' to all those terms and conditions.
5 Road Rage
Don't lose the rag with cyclists. They wear helmet-cams and you'll end up on a Facebook page called 'Cyclists are Better than Everyone'. Here are some guidelines: a green man at a pedestrian crossing means a cyclist is about to barrel through the junction, screaming, "I'm more important than you!" And those Lycra-clad guys cycling three abreast in front of you for the last 15 minutes? Solicitors. Honk if you fancy a lawsuit.