Were you schooled in table manners? I mean other than "don't chew with your mouth open."
I always thought that one was a given. All parents impart that wisdom, right?
Apparently not because I watched a teenager enjoying her dinner at the Butler in Saugatuck the other night and I don't believe her lips ever met. I was so happy I wasn't sitting across the table from her.
The other basic one is "no elbows on the table." I will freely admit that I break that one all the time - when I'm home alone and Miss Manners can't see me.
I remember when my friend, Stewart Purkey, came home from his junior year abroad (France) and showed me how the Europeans handle their cutlery.
Fork in the left hand (if you're right handed), tines down. Knife in the right. After cutting, place the knife down and move the fork over to your right hand.
I thought he was showing off and acting all superior . . . and then I started practicing that European style and felt oh so European.
Still at it.
When I was at Stephens College for Women (how's that for snotty) they were heavy into table manners. We dressed for dinner, etc. The only thing I came away with after my one illustrious year in Columbia was that you could reach for something on the table as long as your ass didn't leave your chair. Classy, eh?
Here's the one that I am holding fast to ever since I became aware of it several years ago.
Before you pick up the glass of whatever you're drinking, make sure to wipe your lips. If you don't, your glass with have an unsightly smudge on the rim. Grossssssssssssssssssss!
I've tried to drink without blotting because, well, I wasn't eating chocolate (for a change) or something else sure to leave a mark but I can not do it.
Also, a pet peeve of mine. Yes, I have more than one but this one is specific to the dining experience.
If you have to blow your nose - dude - get up and leave the frigging room!!!
Over and out. I'm feeling the need to blot my lips.