A Refresher on Table Manners
If you have children, dinnertime probably involves phrases such as, “Chew with your mouth closed,” “No elbows on the table,” and “Sit up straight.” By the time people reach adulthood, they are expected to know basic rules of etiquette, though anybody who has ever sat next to someone slurping soup knows that not everybody has them down pat. (And to be honest, some of the courtesies are debatable. Some people think it’s fine to crumble crackers into soup or dip them, while others find that tacky.)
Yvonne Durant, etiquette blogger at Yvonne&Yvettetiquette, notes that some of the common problems she’s observed among adults include:
- Forgetting or not knowing that the bread plate is on the left.
- Taking a piece of a roll and putting the remainder back in the bread basket.
- Holding the knife and fork as a child might (such as holding the meat down with the fork and cutting with the knife held in a fist).
- Using eating utensils to make a point during conversation at the table.
- Talking with a full mouth.
- Talking over a person's food who's sitting between you and another diner. (Lean back and talk behind the person.)
- Not leaving the fork and knife in a finished position at the end of the meal. (They should be placed in the center of the plate next to each other to signal the server that he/she can take your plate.)
- Using toothpicks at a table.
From people who “double dip” (take a chip, dip it, eat part, and then dip it in the central bowl again) to those who refresh their lipstick at the table at meal’s end, what are your dining pet peeves? Share in the comments section.