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Old 01-26-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
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One year it was my turn to have Thanksgiving at my house. I didn't have the very best, but everything I did have was nice and matched. And I did have a service of eight for a nice formal meal. I set the table with my crystal and color matching china. There were candles and a lovely centerpiece of small pumpkins, acorns and other holiday items. The table looked beautiful. When my daughter and her family walked in, the stood there just staring. Her children had made other plans to go elsewhere as soon as they could get out of my house. They changed their plans in a hurry. And my son-in-law told me that having dinner at my home that year was like going to a country B&B for a special dinner. He is not one to give compliments freely. My daughter kept taking pictures of the table and every one at it. Cloth napkins? They didn't want to dirty them. Ask me if there were any paper ones. "No, you don't use paper napkins at a nicely set table. Don't worry, I can wash them"

I always set the table for family meals when the children were growing up. And I INSISTED on the kids using their manner all the time at the table. A loaf of bread didn't get tossed on the table. I took slices out and placed them on a dish wrapped in a napkin. Something my kids do to this day.

My youngest who is in the medical field, attends many formal dinners with his wife. Fortunately I gave him a good start in life with manners at the table and how to dress for eating. He called me one day and thanked me. And his wife who comes from Albania has called me and ask for advice on how to address some of the guests she was going to meet at a dinner the following night. Little things like keeping your hands in your lap when you are being served. Waiting for the host to start eating first. How to tell which eating implement to use. These were things she didn't know. She is still learning. And she is a willing student. She speaks five languages fluently. And that is in her favor. They have dinner with many foreign doctors and she is able to speak in their language. I absolutely adore. Couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law.
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