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Old 01-01-2007, 07:02 PM   #21
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Elbows on the table: I guess this is something that I've heard about but never really seen. If you put your elbows on the table, you sort of have to hunch over or lean in and hang your head over the plate to eat. I don't even want to imagine it with a cap on!
What about those who like to have a smoke going in the ashtray while they eat? Have not ever seen them puff between bites but it is really annoying.
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Shunka
Common-sense manners and courtesy are sooo missing these days!
You are quite correct. While not an entirely dead art, unfortunately, too many believe that it's not necessary to give courtesy and good manners to those in one's own home or family. Why would anyone want to disrespect those you are closest too on a daily basis?? How can a person display proper dining manners in public if it's never practiced at home? (Philso, I've been considering your post for two days now.) I don't believe you can or should don good manners to suit an ocassion. To suggest otherwise is rationalizing disrespectful behaviours. It's just as easy to be polite and courteous and dine respectfully as not.

Concerning the woman who wears a mask of barbecue sauce, how unfortunate for her. Would no one alert her to her appearance?
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:07 AM   #23
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I have to agree with Philso here to a degree. I do not think Philso is saying that you should be disrespectful, but to you also don't have to display the same "manners" as if you were dining with a king.

If someone comes to dinner at my house then I would expect them to be respectful. I would not, however, expect them to only use the salad fork for salad, or that they must put their napkin on their lap, or keep their elbows off the table. None of those things hurt anyone and I want my home to be a relaxed atmosphere. Now chewing with your mouth open or reaching over someone or other similar things do affect other people and I would not want someone doing those things, but I think common sense needs to prevail when deciding what is polite and what just really doen't matter much.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:15 AM   #24
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GB, you make a lot of sense. If I'm at a meal with someone whose manners are so formal as to make others ill at ease, I probably won't choose to eat with that person again. We don't need an etiquette police sitting at our table. We do need to be mindful and not offend with such things as have been mentioned. I'd much prefer to have a pleasant thoughtful person enjoy meals at my table, even with their elbows on at times, than someone who makes everyone else uncomfortable. After all the most well-mannered person among us is the person who offends the least.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:10 AM   #25
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Licia:

Does it really make you ill at ease if a dinner guest has a napkin on their lap or keeps their elbows off the table? I don't think I'd even notice. As long as that person wasn't telling me all the things I was doing wrong, I'd be OK.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:27 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
Licia:

I don't think I'd even notice. As long as that person wasn't telling ma all the things I was doing wrong, I'd be OK.
i hate it when they tell pa, too. his beatin's are much worse.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:27 AM   #27
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Did I say that?????????? What I meant was that someone who is so bent on the "correct procedure" for everything to the point of not having an enjoyable meal. No, I put my napkin on my lap and also keep my elbows off the table and hope others do also, but I would NEVER bring it to someone's attention or mention their manners in anyway (unless it was my child or grandchild who was in my care for a while). I believe in living by example and find myself not in a position to correct other adults. If they eat like pigs, I probably won't have them over again. Does this clarify my position? Am I forgiven?
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:51 AM   #28
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licia, your position is clarified and no forgiveness necessary.

My point of view:

If you have been raised to use proper table manners/etiquette, it's as natural to you as someone who is accustomed to eating with their elbows on the table and their napkin tucked under their chin. There is no discomfort in either case and both diners can get the same amount of enjoyment out of the meal.

I happen to be ambidextrous. I can eat with my elbows on or off the table. If I'm eating at the dinner table, it costs me nothing to use proper table manners. If I'm sitting at a picnic table and someone puts a slab of ribs or a pile of crayfish or steamed crabs in front of me, I DO NOT reach for a knife and fork! A lot if this stuff is common sense and situational.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:57 AM   #29
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I completely agree AndyM.

And frankly, while I'm all for good table manners & teaching same to youngsters, I would rather eat worms & die than insult an adult family member or guest at my table by making them feel uncomfortable because their table manners didn't come up to "standards".

I consider food a celebration of life & an opportunity to bring friends & family together. Whether or not they put their elbows on the table or might have barbecue sauce on their lips doesn't enter into it for me.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:01 AM   #30
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Very well said Andy!

Another thing to keep in mind is that different cultures consider different things polite or impolite. We all know that in some cultures it is a sign of respect to the cook to belch at the dinner table. Other cultures eat everything with their hands, but only the right hand. It would be very wrong to use the left. Each culture has their own rules and they often contrdict other cultures.
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