Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Put The Spoon Where?

That 70's font tells you which is salt, which is pepper -- and for you drug-damaged folks, where to put the spoon. The end of table manners & etiquette is thus documented.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Never Too Much Gay Head

I had to drop another 50 cents, even when hubby thought we already had this -- because you can never have too much Gay Head.

Now, you may be thinking that Dear Gay Head: Letters from the Mail Box answered by Gay Head (aka Margaret Hauser) is just another silly out-dated etiquette book for teens. Well, it is. But that's precisely why I love it. Exhibit A:

Q. I wanted to ask a certain girl for a date, but when I talked to a couple of the fellows in the gang about her, they told me she's a "square." I hardly know her, since she's a grade behind me at school, but I still think she's cute. Would I be foolish to go ahead and ask her for a date anyway?

A. You'd be more foolish if you didn't ask her for a date! Changing your mind just because a couple of the fellows said she's a "square" isn't straight thinking at all. Besides, don't you like to make your own decisions?

Why did the other boys call this girl a "square"? Because she doesn't interest them? Because they heard it from someone else? Whatever their reasons, it doesn't necessarily follow that your opinion would be the same as theirs. The only fair way to judge a person is to get to know him or her for yourself.

"Labeling" people is a habit to avoid. Who has the right to say what's genuine and what's synthetic about another's personality? Everyone has good qualities and bad qualities; all individuals have different interests and characteristics. And people value their friends for different reasons, too.

Develop your own beliefs and opinions, and reject unfounded hand-me-downs. You'll not only avoid hurting others needlessly, but you'll gain new respect for yourself.
Amazingly hip, that Gay Head. Note the troublesome areas she blithely skipped as she seamlessly melded teen lingo and lecture so that those kids would really hear her. Not to mention the homosexual double entendres!

Describe your favorite Gay Head parts and maybe I'll toss an award your way.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teen-Age Know-How From 1946

From my collection of etiquette books, a few pages from Your Manners Are Showing, by Betty Betz (1946).

First, how to be a proper street walker, for him and her.

Don't tell naughty jokes!

I'm not sure if this last one is to say that eating while walking in public is rude (who hasn't eaten an ice cream cone thus?) -- or is a warning to ladies to satisfy her man at home...

Charmed? I'm sure; but find your own copy on eBay.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vintage Rocket Toothpick Dispenser

If you need something to boldly go between your teeth and remove that annoying piece of corn you dislodged from the cob at dinner, why not launch the tool in style?

Once filled with toothpicks, all you need to do is press the top down to pop up a toothpick. It's neat no matter how you define it.


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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Retro Manners Refresher

(The First) Thirteen Comments On Social Awareness Tips
"From Refresh Your Table Manners", by Luella Cuming, 1964 Family Circle.

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...

Movin' on...

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 eating
The 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 tradition
What? 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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