There is a time and place for everything

Brushing your hair or shoes in public areas

Justice Simango

Most people follow a routine of grooming to look their best each day. Some go an extra mile to work on maintaining their personal brand. Whatever you do in the morning as part of getting ready for the business of the day, there are some actions that you shouldn’t perform in public just to maintain your “reputation”.

Well groomed ladies apply makeup before they leave the house. Doing it while driving is dangerous, and applying it on the kombi or bus is rude. It can also be quite messy in a moving vehicle, ask Yoliswa — a leading fashion blogger.

You may apply lipstick in public areas like shopping malls and banking halls, as long as you can do it without looking. This is obviously a rare act as most ladies are tempted to use small mirrors as they apply lipstick.

If you need a mirror, follow proper manners; get up and go to the ladies’ room. Whatever you do, don’t use the back of the spoon or the front part of your phone as a mirror. It may be funny, but it’s also bad manners.

There is a repeated syndrome performed by smartly dressed gentlemen in a neck-tie or bow-tie who try to adjust the tie knot while facing vehicle mirrors or glass walls outside buildings. A perfect tie knot is tied and worn way in advance of the occasion, doing otherwise will put you at the risk of looking clumsy and ungentle.

Brushing your hair or shoes in public areas like restaurants is inappropriate. This is not only rude; it is unsanitary. No one wants to eat food with fly-away hair or scalp particles that escape during someone’s grooming session. Excuse yourself and go to the restroom to groom your hair and dust your shoes.

Quite a number of ladies and gentlemen agree that freshly polished nails can be quite beautiful, but the smell of nail polish and removers can be noxious.

Polish your fingernails at home or have it done at the hair salon.

If your polish chips while you are out, excuse yourself and take care of it in the restroom. The same applies to nail glue.

Find a private location to glue on a fake nail that has cracked or fallen off. Common inconveniences however tend to occur to us unexpectedly — your belt or zip may give you problems in compromising locations, if this has happened to you before, whatever reaction you took, its not too late to correct your mistake, next time politely excuse yourself from the crowd and go sort out yourself privately in the restrooms.

Avoid embarrassing yourself by unbuckling your belt and moving your zip up and down in front of your colleagues. No doubt, that will definitely put a permanent dent on your “reputation”.

What starts as a routine somehow ends up turning into a bad habit or vice-versa. Whatever time and place you find yourself in, desist from biting your fingernails in public or private. This is one of the dirtiest, grossest things a person can do. Dirt has a way of getting up under the tip of the fingernail, and it harbours disgusting bacteria. You surely do not want to consume bacteria on purpose, let the nail cutter serve its purpose.

A clean, fresh mouth is essential if you want any kind of social life, but please don’t floss or pick your teeth in public. Do that in the privacy of your own bathroom.

If you get something stuck in your teeth while eating out, go into the restroom and take care of it.

Restaurants may offer toothpicks at the door, but that doesn’t mean you have to use one in front of all the patrons.

You may pop a breath mint or discreetly pump a little breath spray into your mouth to maintain a fresh breath. There is a time and place for everything; chewing gum in church, class or in a job interview is disrespectful.

Today, perfume manufacturers are producing products in small packages  thereby making these products relatively affordable. Now, that is not bad at all, what is becoming bad now is the volumes of people who carry small perfume bottles around in their handbags and satchels so that they can apply it again later in the day.

First of all, many people have allergies, and you could cause someone to have a respiratory problem. If you must wear fragrance, dab a small amount on your wrist and behind your ears before leaving your house.

There are so many etiquette breaches we do in public mainly because of ignorance, but if you are not sure of what to do in public, don’t do it!

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