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Old 01-05-2007, 09:57 AM   #21
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I'm also single with no kids, so I eat wherever I feel comfortable. I often eat my steak directly from the cutting board... resting in whatever juices it might have released (standing up at the counter). Sometimes if I'm working on something I'll eat at my desk.

When I have others over and we plan to eat at the table, I will set it simply to make things easier. I use my kicthen shoulder towel as my "napkin" when it's just me chowing. When others are over I use cloth napkins. Paper napkins just aren't my thing, and are a terrible waste. I don't fold up my napkins into origami though. I'll set them next to the plates folded in half or simply toss one to each person as they sit down.

Everything is always casual.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:07 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
Speaking of elbows on the table, did'ja know that Miss Manners isn't really against this? Or at least not between courses when you're just sitting and talking and not actually trying to eat something with your elbow glued to the table (which is awkward, if nothing else).

Just thought I'd mention it, having stumbled across it in her book last evening (obviously inspired to pull it off the shelf by these threads).
Hear, hear to Miss Manners... I always wondered where does such a grave offense applied to when you just rest your elbows on a table, unless you hunch over and have your head hovering about in the middle of the table or sticking it out so widely as to get in the way of the person next to you. I find myself doing this quite often, especially in between the courses while we are just chatting as Ayrton suggested, but I always keep my elbows tucked in and keep my back straight. To me, there's nothing ill-mannered about it.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:29 AM   #23
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we always set a table, but it never lasts that long anymore.

before our son, we'd set placemats, flatware, paper napkins, glasses and condiments on the table, and food was put in bowls or on platters for carving/serving. my family has always said grace as well. (i'm a little surprised that no one's mentioned that heretofore.)

now, we get plates and utensils on the table, but then you grab what you can while trying to keep the boy fed, and from pouring juice into the tv, imitating us feeding him by feeding the characters on tv.

i know, we shouldn't have the tv on, but it's the only way to keep him in one room long enough to be fed.

we're pretty good about alternating eating and feeding him. one of us gets to start eating while the other chases the little devil, then we switch off until everyone's fed.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #24
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Buckytom, not sure of your son's age, but I assume pretty little. Is he high-chair age? If so, it's a lifesaver I recommend. That and bowls with suction bottoms and feeder cups so that he can do his own feeding.

Yeah, it makes a mess, but it's relatively under control, and should allow you and your wife to have some peace.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:58 AM   #25
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he's nearing the end of his terrible two's ayrton. life is so good and you're full of energy that sometimes you just have to jump up and down, slam things, and scream! he can't help it.

we got rid of the high chair and suction cupped things because he used them like a little ninja to traverse cabinets and climb bare walls.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:09 AM   #26
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Why, thank you for that reminder, Buckytom. For the first time in a long time, my son's 17 looks like a comparatively peaceful age!!

I wish you courage. Never mind the manners.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:20 AM   #27
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Quote:
We got rid of the high chair and suction cupped things because he used them like a little ninja to traverse cabinets and climb bare walls.
HAHAHAHA!
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:42 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBedHead
I can only assume that this comment was directed at me because I was the last poster. I fail to see where I (or anyone else) implied that this is so. I don't think it matters where you eat at all. In fact, my son's table manners are horrendous (which is something we're working on constantly). I really didn't mean to offend you.
RedBedHead, one way to see whether someone is replying to you, other than their quoting from your post, is to click on "display modes" at the upper right-hand corner. You'll see three options: If you click on either threaded or hybrid, you'll see who's replying to whom. Of course, since many of us goof when we do post, it's not a hundred percent. But it does help.
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:03 PM   #29
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Unless we're serving company, my husband & I never set a table for ourselves anymore.

Our home is a somewhat modern affair, with the kitchen/dining/living area one big wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass room with a skylighted cathedral-ceiling. The kitchen is "separated" from the rest by a curved extended dining counter. This is where we have all our meals, after serving ourselves from the kitchen proper. As far as condiments go, whatever's necessary to the meal will be out on the counter next to the food in it's original container. And as far as napkins go, we don't even use paper napkins anymore for ourselves - just paper towels. And we don't feel like troglodytes because of this, but just feel that paper is paper, & noticed that you pay 2-3 times more for paper "napkins" that are little more than "pretty" folded paper towels.

Now for company, depending on the dish, I definitely use paper or cloth napkins & do set a table.
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:40 PM   #30
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Since it's become just the two of us, our dining habits are rather casual. However, we still set plates, silverware, glassware, etc. I have ALWAYS used cloth napkins. Even when the children were at home. Buck and I were invited to a potluck picnic a couple of years ago and were charged with bring the paper plates, cups, napkins. We had none in the house. We've only begun, the last several years, using paper towels for spills.

I think the "paper" thing comes from how I was brought up as a child. We never had them in the house when I was growing up, so I never got used to having them. Kinda the same for eating junk food and going to fast food joints. Never had those as a child either.

As for the rest of the etiquette part, I'm a china, glassware and silverware nut. Have at least four full sets of china ranging from complete utilitarian to silver-rimmed good stuff. We use our dishes and it's almost uplifting to sit down to a pretty table when we've had a bad day or the weather's been really crappy. Cheaper and better than relying on antidepressants. When some folks are down in the dumps, they buy clothes. I buy tableware.
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