Friday, November 23, 2007

Table Manners

It was fun to watch Maeve taste her first blueberry pie. Mmmmm. Her mom says if Maeve sees something on her tray that she likes better than what she's already eating, she will spit out what's in her mouth in favor of the good stuff waiting. I like this attitude and think it portends greatness and high standards for my grandchild.
My point is this. Babies aren't supposed to have manners.
Everyone else is.
So let's kick off the official holiday season here at CFTE with something truly prissy and bitchy. Here are some dining faux pas of the more egregious variety and, as it happens, ones that I personally cannot stand.

Keeping your napkin on the table instead of your lap. We do not want to watch you wipe your fingers on the napkin between bites and then have to KEEP looking at it while you eat. Gross.
Soup slurping. If it's too hot, stare straight ahead and count to 50. Or 250. Or try an olive. Just spare us from the slurp. [applies to coffee as well]

Use of toothpicks is meant to be private. If we wanted to watch Deliverance, we would call it up on the Tivo. Did I say that right?

Talking with your mouth full or hamster-style, food stored off somewhere on the side while you speak. Ick. I have to watch out for this myself because of my propensity to, um, talk too much. I know you find that hard to believe, dear reader. Cough. Gag.

Selfishness. Do we think greed can only be seen on the floor of the stock exchange? Nay nay, creamed onions breath. I used to eat holiday meals with someone who would wait until the prime moment before serving to make his move. Just when the table was groaning with all the dishes, steaming and ready to be served, this gentleman (loosely defined) would move around the room with his plate, taking the first serving off the top of each platter. His hostess said to him a couple of times, "Farnsworth, I think there will be enough for everyone," to which he replied, "I don't want to take the chance." I'm pretty sure everyone there wanted to stab him.

Everyone worries about which fork to use and truly that should be the least of our concerns. Unless you are using some great huge serving fork, no one is going to notice. And even if you were forced to eat with such a utensil, no one would care, as long as you were hygienic about it. Pick a fork and stick with it. This is what I tell my students about verb tenses and the advice works in both contexts. Just be sure to use one, okay? If you're going to eat with your fingers, you need to be at another table.
And everyone, EVERYONE, should wait for the hostess to take the first bite. God, if you can't do that, why didn't you stop at Wendy's?
All right. That's enough for today.
We're ready for, oh god, we're sort of ready for....I can't say it. With a hearty Freakin' Fa La La....
A bientot


At 11:17 AM , Blogger sandman1 said...

Great holiday pile-up picture! I didn't go out on Black Friday this year. I feel like I missed out, but otherwise I didn't really miss it... sometimes it feels like that picture out there.

Did you really have creamed onions? That's the second reference to them I've seen in as many days. Yours was the funnier!

At 6:29 PM , Blogger becky motew said...

I must tell the truth, SM. I did not have creamed onions this year. But I have in the past!!!!

I went to Target on BF and it wasn't bad at all. Well, considering.


At 10:44 PM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

(What on earth is Black Friday? It wasn't the 13th ...)
Just three things -:
*Maeve's got more hair! Bless her she's very sweet. I can see that just from her picture.
*The suggestions for proper eating habits are very, very relevant and I agree with each and every one of them.
*That pile-up of cars has to make you wonder about the driving and / or parking habits of the average American.

At 11:28 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

Black Friday is the busiest (Christmas) shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving. I think it originated from retailers calling it that internally because it was a tough day for them, but it's widely used now (e.g. Indeed, the retailers encourage its continuing existence by offering "doorbuster" deals: super-low loss-leader prices on a few things with only a few available, so tempting that bargain hunters line up outside the door before it opens. Many stores open at 5am or earlier. It's pandemonium!

We can't be blamed for that parking lot, though -- those are European-sized cars. I noticed it because I'm a car nut, but I can convince you by pointing out the long license plates. I'm thinking maybe UK? Where's Yorkdale?

Creamed onions intrigue me -- is it like onion soup?

At 9:06 AM , Blogger becky motew said...

Thanks, CB. Maeve is darling and does not have her father's curly hair.

SM, thanks for the explanation. I cribbed the photo from a Canadian source. Someday I'll be sitting in Leavenworth for all my thefts.


At 9:07 AM , Blogger becky motew said...

Oh yes, I forgot to say creamed onions are little tiny guys, from a can I think, in a white cream sauce. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm.



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