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Old 01-04-2007, 04:09 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
...
Skilletlicker, I think you are talking about those "affected" souls who think they are so above the rest of us are you not? Just trying to clarify.
...
Yes ma'am. I really wasn't trying to debate the topic; just join in ironchef's laugh.
Quote:
LOL I think the moral of this thread is, no matter how "soigne" you think you are, there will ALWAYS be someone laughing at you.
I think soigné is a funny word because the only time I've heard it said was by Marcel on the TopChef TV show and I find him a very comical character. I had no idea what it meant until VeraBlue explained it as showing sophisticated elegance. I don't think being soigné is funny; thinking you are soigné is.

To prove it imagine yourself in a crowded restaurant and there is a young couple at the next table. You can't help overhearing the woman say, "So Marcel, tell me about yourself."
Marcel answers, "First and foremost I am sophisticatedly elegant."

Could you keep from laughing?
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:17 PM   #82
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But that is just the point...people who are exhibiting good manners are NOT looking to point out the mistakes of others. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone pointing out the mistakes someone was making at a table. If you are a well mannered person, wonderful. If you are not, and you are comfortable with that, good for you, as well. Now, if someone feels ill at ease because others are exhibiting better manners, than I suggest the problem lies with them, and not the more mannered person.

More on the topic...

My company hosts an etiquette dinner for roughly 40 students (seniors) on each campus each semester. It is my understanding this has been done for at least 15 years. The purpose is to assist any student who feels they would like instruction on how to compose themselves should they find themselves at a business dinner, or at a co-workers home, etc. Initially, the young men and ladies would wear suits and business dresses to these dinners. The tables were set in a formal setting, with all the forks, glasses and plates you would find in a fine restaurant. There was an instructor who would clearly explain what each utensil could be for, how to butter bread, how to remove a bone from your mouth, how to decline something if you really don't care to try it. It is extremely educational, especially since so many seemed to completely lack any previous education regarding dining etiquette.
Last May, we hosted another dinner. 40 seniors were invited, all young women (this campus is slightly segregated). They receive proper invitations with all the pertinent information, including dinner location, dress requirements and the courtesy of a response is requested by a certain date.

Of the 40 women, college seniors, about to graduate and enter the business world as adults....30 responded to attend. The other 10 didn't bother. Those that did attend did so mostly for the opportunity to not have to eat in the main dining hall and use a meal punch. Of the 30 that did attend, 10 arrived in a timely fashion, 20 were late. Of the 30, 3 arrived in skirts, 2 had no stockings, one had flip flops. Of the other 20, there were various outfits with everything from jeans and tee shirts, volleyball uniforms (no shower...)sweat pants and 2 actually had on pajamas and slippers. Of the 30, 10 were witnessed taking and making cell phone calls during the meal and during the instructions. Two tried to wrap food in linen napkins to bring back to the dorms. Three complained that there were no cans of diet coke available, regardless of the evian water, perrier, iced tea and faux champagne. Three walked out during the course for other engagements. Four arrived 30 minutes into the program, asking if they could participate in spite of neglecting to respond to the invitation. Many negative comments were overheard despite being encouraged to engage in polite conversation. When the affair was ended, only two thanked the hosts for a nice evening.

I mention this because I fear this is the direction society is headed. Agreed, this is a small handful of the newest adults, but it is a representation, nevertheless. I understand the difference between casual dining at home and boorish behaviour both at home and in public. I've read here that people believe it's only necessary to practice good manners when in public. I politely disagree. What I have recanted is what happens when manners are not practiced as second nature in the home.

Reading that a mannered person is snickering or worse, berating another diner is unwarranted. That behaviour is completely contradictory to that person's character.

I am presenting two seperate points here. One is that unless proper manners are used continuously, they are never learned. The other is that is seems awfully defensive to suggest that someone displaying better manners would call to the carpet someone who wasn't.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:46 PM   #83
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Define "proper" manners.

If "proper" is what the majority feels is right - then I would guess that the people running the meal were the odd balls out. Perhaps they were attempting to entertain a group of people in a way that was not desired by the people. The American pace of society is fast and furious most of the time. You have to recognize the entropic characteristics of life and change to meet those conditions.

Not that I'm an expert, but I'd be willing to wager that this is why so many businesses and restaurants fail. Look at Vegas if you want to see what works with American Society. If I'm at a sushi bar and I want San Pellegrino, they get it for me. If I want to talk on my phone between bites, I do.

Not that I condone people showing up in PJ's to a fancy dinner, but we're not in the Victorian era anymore.
Toilets make noise, it's a fact of life.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:20 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
Define "proper" manners.

If "proper" is what the majority feels is right - then I would guess that the people running the meal were the odd balls out. Perhaps they were attempting to entertain a group of people in a way that was not desired by the people. The American pace of society is fast and furious most of the time. You have to recognize the entropic characteristics of life and change to meet those conditions.

Not that I'm an expert, but I'd be willing to wager that this is why so many businesses and restaurants fail. Look at Vegas if you want to see what works with American Society. If I'm at a sushi bar and I want San Pellegrino, they get it for me. If I want to talk on my phone between bites, I do.

Not that I condone people showing up in PJ's to a fancy dinner, but we're not in the Victorian era anymore.
Toilets make noise, it's a fact of life.
Well Nick, even though I've apparently been reprimanded for snickering at Marcel, I think Vera is pretty much right.

I don't claim to be an authority but if proper manners are whatever the majority feels is right then neither "manners" nor "proper" has any meaning. The chaotic (entropic) nature of society is the reason that standards are necessary, not the excuse for abandoning them.

As you say, toilets make noise. That's one reason they are not in the dining room.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:37 PM   #85
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Way to go, skilletlicker.

Can't wait to hear how those coeds do at their interviews with Goldman Sachs, Vera.

Nick, with apologies to The Z, Vegas is not the real world. It's where folks from elsewhere go to escape their real world.

I love wearing denim bib overalls and licking barbecue sauce off my fingers (and elbows sometimes), but I don't wear them to funerals or weddings or in a fine dining restaurant.

Part of being a grownup IMHO is knowing how to adapt to the social situtations life presents, for example, knowing how to eat in company without acting like a boor (that's English for gavone).

Ecclesiastes and The Byrds said it - to every time there is a season.

Live it, learn it, love it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:14 PM   #86
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Somewhere early on in this thread we quietly moved from endorsing good table manners to the subtle allusion that those who did the endorsing were judgmental and maybe even kill-joys, to boot. So let's reclaim the more comfortable middle ground. I bet that almost all of us agree that a modicum of good table manners makes dining more pleasant and that dining etiquette does depend on the particular setting for a meal. I don't think anyone endorses a punctilious approach to the issue or public shaming of those who are less educated on the subject.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:17 PM   #87
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I don't consider Vegas to be an accurate representation of american society, not even remotely.

Do I agree restaurants fail because...what..? What exactly is your point? Restaurants fail because not enough run out to bring something that is not offered? That they insist the atmosphere they are trying to create not be tinkered with by the use of cell phones? No, I don't agree with you at all.

Is this the Victorian Era? Indeed it is not. More's the pity, I say. I'm not sure who or what you are referring to as the toilets that make noise. However, I am extremely offended that you might be referring to people. I don't understand that comment at all.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:49 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
I don't consider Vegas to be an accurate representation of american society, not even remotely.

Do I agree restaurants fail because...what..? What exactly is your point? Restaurants fail because not enough run out to bring something that is not offered? That they insist the atmosphere they are trying to create not be tinkered with by the use of cell phones? No, I don't agree with you at all.

Is this the Victorian Era? Indeed it is not. More's the pity, I say. I'm not sure who or what you are referring to as the toilets that make noise. However, I am extremely offended that you might be referring to people. I don't understand that comment at all.
"'I'm not sure who or what you are referring to as the toilets that make noise. However, I am extremely offended that you might be referring to people."

I'm not necessarily defending the rest of his post, but what I read this particular quote to mean was that toilets represent modern life as opposed to the Victorian Era and that modern life is, by definition, noisy. I didn't interpret his words as a reference to people at all.

Of course, I could be totally wrong.

And indeed, I was.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:19 PM   #89
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Having manners or not isn't something to be voted on. It doesn't matter if the majority of people eat like pigs, those people are still bad-mannered. Having manners is being the most considerate person, doing the right thing no matter where you are or what the meal is. A barbecue certainly isn't like a formal dinner, but manners apply there as well - perhaps not to the same degree, but certainly have their place. I agree that the fact that so many people never sit down to eat together has had a very bad influence in the way of eating. I don't understand why parents wouldn't want to have their kids learn the proper way to eat and also other niceties to get on in the world. It will probably hold them back from some very important positions in life.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:46 PM   #90
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How about people who show up an hour or two after dinner has been served?
When I have guest over for dinner it's at 7:00 (informal). I serve about 7:30. If someone shows up at 8:30 or 9:00 and the meal is finished and put away, it's dessert and a beverage for them.

I never invite "late timers" for weddings, receptions, banquets, or any other formal affair where their late arrival will be disruptive.

We definitely never plan transportation with them. If you want to go to the ball game "show when you show."

These "late timers" will one day be referred to as "lonely timers."

As for their dinners, they are out picking up the groceries at 7:00.
They are always trying to "put you on their clock" and waste your time.
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