Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Social Acceptability: you tell me because I have no idea

In the past few weeks, I realize that I have forgotten some things about being natural and cool in American society. I’m sure at one time, I knew what the culture norms were, but since being in China for a few years, my perspective of social norms in the US is a bit rusty. So for this blog post, I’m going to play the “ignorant about social norms” card. I’d love your help in answering a few questions about whether or not the following are acceptable, and please don’t be offended; I’m asking in sincerity.

1. Is it okay for me to ask a man what cologne he is wearing? Is it okay for me to ask him even if he is 55 years old?

2. Is it alright for me to openly disagree with someone’s opinion about their outlook in life?

3. Is it alright to publicly proclaim that I wish I were a member of the opposite sex at least several times a week?

4. Is it okay to criticize TV a show while watching it with your friends who love the show?

5. In general, do Americans value honesty or butt-kissing more?

6. How should you respond if someone says he /she has gained weight (and you notice it’s true.) In China, this topic is very open and you can directly comment to someone about whether they are looking fat or slim.

7. Is it okay to refuse a piece of dessert that someone made especially for you to enjoy at their house?

Alright guys, please help me out here before I get kicked out of the US of A.


Joy said...

very interesting Portia. Once I started reading your thoughts I thought "uh-oh I wonder if these are from her visits with us". ;) I'll have to email you more thoughts on it.

Norman & Joyce said...

1. Good smell? OK Bad smell? Nope
2. Depends on how much you value
the friendship.
3. Sure
4. See #2.
5. Do you want an honest answer?
6. See #2.
7. Eat now and diet later.

stacey said...

So, I read through your questions about etiquette thinking it would be easy to give you an answer. Quite honesty, I think it all depends on how well you know the people you are with when you are faced with these "questions."