We all know the trick where you make the “okay” sign with your hands and the left hand spells “b” (for bread) and the right hand spells “d” (for drink). But, there are many other table manner rules that are often overlooked. I recently picked up the book “Everyday Etiquette” by Patricia Rossi and made a list of several dining etiquette rules that you may not know. Take a second to review these guidelines and you will be the most poised and polite guest at the Thanksgiving table this year!
1. Don’t place any personal items (such as your cell phone, purse, keys, business paper, etc.) on the table.
2. Wait until your host picks up his napkin before placing your napkin on your lap.
3. Food is passed to the right. (If someone starts passing to the left, its okay. What is important is that everything is going in the same direction.)
4. The salt and pepper travel together. If someone asks for one of them, pass both together. The same rule applies to cream and sugar.
5. Once flatware is picked up, it should never touch the table again.
6. Your bread isn’t cake, so don’t frost the entire piece of bread nor saw the bread in half to receive the butter. Do tear off one bite-sized piece of bread with your fingers and butter that one piece, then eat it. Never tear off more than one small piece at a time.
7. If your neighbor has hijacked your bread plate (on your left), use the left side of your dinner plate to hold your bread.
8. Don’t fill a wine glass more than half-full.
9. Don’t eat the fruit out of a drink until the entire drink has been consumed.
10. When you’ve finished eating, place the napkin semifolded, to the left of your plate. Never place the napkin in the middle of your plate.
Were you surprised by any of these? Some of these were new to me (such as #7, #9 and #10)!
Photo via Ginny Branch