miss manners: lesson four

It's time we get back on track with our Miss Manners Lessons.

If you remember, so far we've covered addressing correspondence

as well as the whole opening doors issue.

Today it's time to talk table manners.
I'm sure you know many of these, but it never hurts to have a refresher.
Most of these are ingrained in my brain from a combination of setting the table as a child 
and from our sweet House Mom Molly in college.
These fun little ways to remember will hopefully make them ingrained in your brain too!


Let's start first with setting the table.
The FORK goes to the LEFT of the plate 
because F-O-R-K and L-E-F-T have the same number of letters.
The SPOON and KNIFE go to the RIGHT of the plate 
because S-P-O-O-N, K-N-I-F-E and R-I-G-H-T have the same number of letters.

Ever have that moment when the table is so crowded that you don't know which water is yours?
Next time just remember B-M-W.
Bread, meal, water.
Your bread plate is on your left. Then your "meal plate".  Then your water glass.
No more drinking another person's water again!


When some one asks for you to please pass the salt, you should also pass the pepper.
Remember that the SALT & PEPPER are married.
They go together, always.

If you're at a family style meal or someone asks you to pass the bread, you should always pass to the right of you, rather than across the table. 
Remember, "be polite, pass to the right."

Need to excuse yourself from the table? 
Make sure to say "excuse me" and then quietly scoot out from the table, 
placing your napkin on your chair.
You should only leave your napkin on the table once you're finished with the meal.
(I hope I don't need to tell you that you should put your napkin in your lap as soon as the hostess does.)

Speaking of finishing your meal, once you're finished eating, 
you should turn you fork over on your plate 
and lay it and your knife with knife blade facing you diagonally across the plate.
(I've read fork tines can be up or down - what a controversy - but I like tines down. Clearly says you're finished eating.)
This symbolizes to the wait staff that they are free to clear your plate from the table.

And finally, this is in no etiquette book I've ever seen, 
but I recommend finishing a nice meal out with a little glass of bubbly. :)

Hope you learned something new!

{images adapted by me. Sources here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.}
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