The Social Circle

My subject today is Table Manners. Knowing what to do in any dining situation is a definite confidence builder. Once you make the commitment to polish your table manners, you must create opportunities to practice what you have learned. Remember the old adage; if you don’t use it you’ll lose it....Dining should never be intimidating but, rather, an enjoyable experience. Should you forget what to do, let common sense and logic be your guide. Keep in mind that your goal as a diner is to not to offend your fellow diners. Here are a few Do’s & Don’ts of dining to help you achieve your goal of being a polished diner:

  • Don’t place personal items on the table, purses, cell phones, hats, electronic devices should never be in view.

  • Do place your purse on a purse hanger at the table; your hat, gentleman, on a hat rack or at the coat check.

  • Don’t play with your hair or comb and arrange it at the table.

  • Do place your napkin on your lap when you sit down at the table while in a restaurant.

  • Don’t wash dishes at the table – if a piece of flatware appears to be dirty, simply and discreetly ask for a replacement piece.

  • Do sit down or rise from a chair at a table from the right side of the chair pushing your chair in when you leave the table.Don’t tuck your napkin in your collar or throw your neck tie over your shoulder.

  • Do leave your napkin on the chair when you excuse yourself from the table. When you have completed the meal, place your napkin folded loosely to the left of your plate with no food stains showing.

  • Don’t pick your teeth with your finger or use a toothpick to remove a particle of food that is lodged between your teeth. Excuse yourself and take care of the matter in private.

  • Do remember, gentleman, to remove your hat upon entering a restaurant or any public building. Ladies never dine with a man who is wearing his hat at the table, no matter how casual. Find a creative non-offensive way to let him know he needs to remove his hat.

That’s all I have to say on that subject for now. Just remember Miss M’s favorite saying, “Whatever you do just do it with class!”

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