Many times I’ve written that etiquette isn’t about the knife and fork. It’s about the way we treat and interact with others. Although, when I tell people what I do, what I teach, they usually have a question about the dining table. That is where they automatically jump.
The etiquette around dining is mainly for the ease and comfort of our table mates. It really doesn’t matter if you eat your main course with your salad fork. It will be slightly more awkward but it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is if you use your neighbour’s fork, salad or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if you drink red wine from your white wine or water glass. What does matter, once again, is if you commandeer your neighbour’s glass.
Here’s my list of if-you-are-over-the-age-of-three-don’t-ever – and I mean never – do-these: Unless you’re a toddler or this cute fella
- Talk with food in your mouth (Unless it is to yell FIRE!)
- Chew with your mouth open
- Leave the napkin on the table unused (Assume you have spaghetti sauce around your mouth)
- Use a napkin and place it back on the table rather than your lap (Honestly, no one wants to see a dirty napkin)
- Gesture wildly with a knife, fork, or spoon
Unfortunately this list has been compiled by years of observation. All of these make dining uncomfortable for others.
Teach your children the basics of dining etiquette. Make your next dinner at Grandma’s a proud moment.