The other day a friend of mine was taking an airport shuttle and heard a strange, distracting noise. She looked around and finally found the culprit: a woman who was clipping her fingernails! My friend was completely disgusted and in shock. The woman was well-groomed (probably because she grooms in public) and nicely dressed, but whatever poised and elegant image she had built up was totally ruined by her uncouth behavior. Her fingernails were flying onto her lap and onto the floor, and people were avoiding sitting by her so that they wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire.
Practicing good civility means not engaging in rude or inappropriate behavior that is better left to the beauty parlor or bathroom. Touching up your lipstick is one thing; busting out your makeup bag and glamming up in full view of everyone is another. I once sat next to a woman on a plane who thought it would be a good idea to brush her long hair while still in her seat (I should have told her to use the bathroom). And I’ve heard horror stories of people dousing their locks with hair spray, applying deodorant, and even flossing (yuck!) in public places like a bus, waiting line, or movie theater.
If you need to freshen up, take it to the bathroom or locker room. And certain grooming regimens, such as flossing or clipping your nails, are better done at home. After all, would you want to be next to some stranger doing that? Probably not!