24 June 2006


As a mother, one of my hats is as etiquette doyenne of the home. It is up to me to ensure that my children enter the world with manners and decorum. This usually takes place at the table and involves conversations such as this, "Elbows off the table." or "Hands to your mouth; you're not a pig slurping out of the trough." or the much favored "Hannah, Hannah, strong and able, get your elbows off the table." I don't say these comments nearly as often as I actually see the offenses. I would become exceedingly bored under those circumstances.

The other day LightGirl and I went out to lunch. We were having a lovely conversation over bruschetta (me) and meat calzone (her). All of a sudden she burst out with, "MOM! Where have your manners gone??!! Please take your elbows off the table." She was correct. I was sitting at the table, with my elbow firmly planted. My reply? A breezy, "Oh, I must have lost them last week." And we both giggled.

She's having a lot of fun telling on me to anyone who will listen.


Blogger Mike Croghan said...

I don't mean to undermine your parenting, but completely coincidentally, I've been observing this particular bit of etiquette (or lack thereof) lately, just because it occurred to me to wonder how well-observed it is. I'm sorry to report that it's pretty roundly ignored by an awfully large number of adults I've observed at restaurants, family gatherings, etc. Could this be one of those etiquette behaviors that's falling completely out of general use? I suppose elbows-on-the-table will be frowned upon at formal dinners for some time to come, but I think it's standard behavior at the Olive Garden.

6/24/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Table manners are a funny thing, I've concluded. They seem to be something parents feel compelled to pound into their children (and more power to them, of course!), but, once taught, I don't know if they're deemed terribly important later on. It almost seems like something one should know if one needs to, such as the proper sort of (non-foul) language appropriate in a job interview, for instance. But for casual dining, eh. Whatever.
My dad was SO strict about table manners. To a ridiculous degree. And yet wasn't all that strict a person otherwise. I always thought it incredibly strange that he should choose table manners as the thing to get uppity about.
All that said, please PLEASE don't ever let it become common for us to chew/talk with our mouths open. :)

6/26/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Or, er, um ... talk with our mouths full? And chew with our mouths open? Eh, whatever.

6/26/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger see-through faith said...

love it :)

6/27/2006 10:38:00 AM  

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