Searching for Rude

Carrie Jones
2 min readOct 22, 2021

Searching for Rude

A poem

Searching for Rude, a poem by NYT bestselling authorCarrie Jones
Searching for Rude — a poem

Mind your manners. Every decent lady knows to mind her manners,

The mother says as she wipes the corner of her mouth

With a dainty napkin of linen.

Mind your manners, she says after the almost discreet belch.

Mind your manners, she says as her daughters reach

For another


Ladies are demure and quiet, gentle and polite.

Ladies never ask for seconds and always leave a little of the first.


At one of the parties before my freshman year in college, I remember

A boy. I remember a boy with a neck that looked like a bull’s.

I remember a boy with a neck that looked like a bull’s neck

When that bull is about to rear and charge, rear

And charge across a crowded room and slap a drink

In a hand. I remember my hand, holding a drink,

Not wanting it, but being too polite to say no.

I remember a boy at a party with a neck like a bull.

I remember a boy who laughed when I got the courage to whisper.

I remember a boy who laughed when I finally got the courage to half-whisper, “No.”


Mothers tell their daughters:

Be polite and kind.

Do not yell indoors. It hurts one’s ear.

Do not raise your fork until the hostess has raised hers.

Do not belch or yawn, sneeze or expel gas out the rectum.

(If anyone else has the gall

to do so, ignore it.

Giggle about it later behind their backs.

Roll your eyes.)

Mothers tell their daughters:

A lady never swears.

A lady never eats with her mouth open.

A lady never causes a scene.

A lady never opens the door.

Carrie Jones

Internationally & New York Times bestselling novelist. Writing tips. Podcasts. Poems. Psych stuff.