For years, with no signs of relenting, our boys have loved to watch constant reruns of Seinfeld.

Initially, this surprised me.  Wouldn’t the bad 90′s fashions bum them out?  The big white sneakers, Jerry’s mullet, the tight sweatshirts?


No, the fashions and styles didn’t bother them.  If anything, Ian, Hugh and Malcolm view these  things as having vintage charm.

They’re amused by Kramer, entertained by Jerry, and mortified by George.  But not so much that they can’t watch him screw up, again and again.

Eventually I had an epiphany.  Seinfeld is the behavioral equivalent of What Not to Wear.  It’s What Not to Do.  It’s Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt for a new generation, because who is going to bother reading an etiquette book in this day and age?  Whatever  kids don’t learn from their parents, they might as well learn from the tube.

Seinfeld is not a show about nothing.  It’s a show about manners. 

It teaches appropriate behavior, by showing the consequences of inappropriate behavior.  Just as Jane Austen wrotes novels of manners, so too Seinfeld creator Larry David.












Eventually Larry found his own fame and fortune, with his own show.  We are all fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which my brother Tom introduced us to during a Thanksgiving visit to his house during its first season.  We didn’t get it.  It made us cringe.  Chris is famous for squirming through Frasier and The Office – how could he possibly deal with Larry David?  But after Tom went all Clockwork Orange on us and cued up a few more episodes on TIVO, we had to agree with him.  “Curb” is hilarious.  Plus it was the only way to get up from the couch.  

The boys have definitely learned some lessons from Larry and Cheryl, Jerry and George.  They chide me if I start to call someone in the prime time hours because of the “Nine o’clock rule.”  They have learned never to criticize someone’s ex-flame just in case the flame is rekindled and the words are not forgotten.  They know that when they’re living in apartments and need help moving, they shouldn’t ask a new friend to pitch in -  favors this large are meant for best friends, with a tacit understanding of reciprocity down the line.

Call me crazy, but I’m actually grateful to Larry David for imparting some important life lessons.

And what, if anything, have you learned from Larry?  Or any TV personality?

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