A few weeks ago I was reacquainted with an old friend from the Guardian Eagle days. We worked together for three summers and we were really close. She was like an older sister, and we sometimes jokingly referred to each other as sisters. Too make a long story short, we got out of touch and for nine years have been disconnected. Although I was unable to find her on Facebook, another Facebook friend and past co-worker hooked us up via Facebook. (How many times can you use “Facebook” in one sentence?) We instant messaged, we phoned, and finally – since she and her husband were going to be in my city soon after – we got together! It was fantastic. She is just as I remember her. It is another exciting thing about our upcoming move….. we’ll only be about an hour and a half apart, and they’ve generously offered to open their house to us as a place to crash when we go to the Really Big City.
While this “new” friend was visiting she told us about a camp rule that their friends have (the friends that they were staying with). When these said friends have their niece and nephew at camp there is a Five Minute Please Rule. That is, if you forget to say please when you ask for something you have to wait a whole five minutes before you can ask again – with a please, hopefully. Several days after their visit, one of my boys (I forget which one) asked not-so-politely for something at the table. Then and there the new rule was instituted. It has worked beautifully! We haven’t even had to execute it yet. The sheer terror of having to wait five entire minutes for something has everyone saying please all the time. In fact, Ben now sounds like the boy in Please by Alicia Aspinwall. “Please can I have some milk, please.” “Please, can you get me another piece of toast, please.” It’s very cute. And with the generous use of Pleases, the Thankyous and You’re Welcomes seem to have multiplied too.