Retro Manners Refresher
1-5 Rules for informal meals:
At an informal seated meal the hostess may pass dishes from a serving cart at her immediate left; she then serves herself last.Jeeze, I'd hate to see the formal rules. What direction does the hostess pass? Does it suck to be left-handed then, and if so, does it suck more than serving yourself last when you know there's not going to be enough because the husband brought home 3 extra buddies?
The cart holds a water pitcher, extra silver, glasses, napkins, and any other items that may be needed during the meal. If an item is dropped by a guest, the hostess replaces it from the cart without comment.Without comment you say... That would kill quite a bit of dinner conversation, wouldn't it? And in my family, we'd drop 'em on purpose, just to force a comment.
If you drop your fork and the hostess doesn't notice, you may use any other fork that is there -- or, without explanation, say to your hostess, "May I please have a fork?"I agree; if the hostess doesn't notice you (how rude!), by all means, grab the meat serving fork and start shoveling.
Ever notice how the lowly spoon and knife are left out of the discussion? I'd say 67% of all utensils dropped at the table are knives.
Or maybe it's some sort of passive-aggressive thing in my family and the knives aren't really 'dropped' at all...
6 Passing Food
When you help yourself to food or pass it, hold the dish from underneath so that you do not leave fingerprints on the rim.(Will keep this PG-13. Will keep this PG-13...)
7 Hey, look, the etiquette lady apparently doesn't believe in grammar; there is no period or other punctuation at the end of most of these tips.
8-10 Yeah, Luella is only on tip number 3, but then I told you that this was 13 comments on the tips; so I'm way ahead of her.
In buffet dining, the hostess stands beside the table and encourages shy guests or offers to serve them.You have guests too shy to eat? Isn't this one of those survival of the fittest things where we should just let nature take its course?
And what side does the hostess stand on?
Do not overload your plate; it looks unattractive and is hard to manage.Was this 1964 B.C. -- Before Chinet?
This, though, would explain the shy people who wonder how much food on a plate is unattractive.
11-13 And now for your holy crap moment...
In table manners there are many accepted forms, all equally correct. For example, the continental fashion of eatingThe continental fashion of eating? That's how people eat breakfast at hotels, right?
and the zigzag style are equally proper.Um... Time for a little help here.
OK, I do not zigzag; I am officially a continental styled gal.
If you have your own tradition, try to develop its fine points. The suggestions here are in a widely accepted American traditionWhat? No mention of how piggy eats?! Well, I guess that American tradition -- or at least its finer points -- really didn't come into full acceptance until Ralphie's brother Randy showed us in a Christmas Story in 1983.
To be continued...
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