After I did a bit of research on etiquette, I was shocked to learn that my family is made up of a bunch of ill-mannered heathens. And, if I were to be perfectly honest, I’d have to say that I’m in violation myself and therefore, not a candidate of the Emily Post Manner Award.
How does your family measure up?
The Rules of Etiquette
One should …
* arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified. (Whatever happened to fashionably late?)
* pass food from the left to right. (So if someone is on my left, should I pass it around the table?)
* pass both the salt and pepper together, even if only asked for one of them.
* place food item directly in front of the person asking for it, rather than handing it to them (hand-to-hand). (No tossing the roll across the table and saying ‘head’s up’)
* never even think to grab a roll out of the breadbasket as it’s being passed to someone else. (Are you kidding? I’d never get a piece. It’s every man for himself here.)
* serve food from the left; remove from the right.
* put the butter or spread on your plate before you spread it on your food. In other words, do not take butter and directly spread it on the bread.
* scoop the food away from you. (I do that with soup, but I didn’t know you’re supposed to do that with all food!)
* taste your food before seasoning it.
* never blow on your food to cool it. If it’s hot, you just wait for it to cool.
* keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.
* not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.
* cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Eat in small bites and slowly.
* not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. (What if I have a cold? I might spend the evening in the restroom.)
* wash hands before returning to the dining room.
* cover your mouth if you cough with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise.
* not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table. (Even we’re not so uncouth as to apply make up at the dinner table, especially the boys.)
* stand when a woman leaves the table or returns to sit (For the men). (As if!)
Emily Post ” . . . . manner is personality–the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.”
How ill-mannered are you?
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Janice Taylor is a Weight Loss Coach and Certified Hypnotist, author, artist and motivational speaker. She is the author of Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal and All Is Forgiven, Move On: Our Lady of Weight Loss's 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville (publication date May 15, 2008). Janice is also the creator of the popular e-newsletter Kick in the Tush Club and a 50-pound big-time-loser.
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