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Does anyone else consider this rude?

justme123 Apr 18, 2013 04:04 PM

It drives me crazy when people cut up all of the food on their plate before they begin to eat. Many members of my DH's family do this (but not DH, thank goodness), and it drives me nuts. I seem to remember my mother telling me this was considered poor manners. Am I crazy, or did mom know best?

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  1. grampart RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 04:08 PM

    I've seen it, too. As a child was told not to do it, but it's a for sure no harm no foul thing. Bottom line, who really gives a hoot?

    1. j
      jlhinwa RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 04:11 PM

      I really don't care what others do with their food as long as it isn't disgusting or gross, however I would never do it myself. I do recall somewhere back in my manners training that a person should only cut their next bite.

      That said, now that I sometimes have to cut food for my elderly mother, I will opt for expedience by cutting up 1/4-1/2 of her plate at a time rather than cutting a bite at a time for her. Hopefully it doesn't bother others.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jlhinwa
        justme123 RE: jlhinwa Apr 18, 2013 04:14 PM

        I have had to do that too, for children or when my dad was ill. I was thinking more of adults with no physical limitations.

        1. re: jlhinwa
          Isolda RE: jlhinwa Apr 22, 2013 09:38 AM

          This is definitely an exception to the etiquette "rule." There are plenty of times when someone at the table needs help cutting: a child, an elderly person, a teenage boy with a broken hand, etc.

          1. re: Isolda
            Tom34 RE: Isolda Apr 22, 2013 10:44 AM

            Agree with the elderly / handicapped / young child exception. My steak knives are straight edge and I keep them razor sharp. I would not put them in the hands of a very young child.

        2. greygarious RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 04:21 PM

          Considering how few people follow even the simplest table manners (like not talking with food in one's mouth), I can't get upset by those infractions that are not visually or audibly disgusting.

          1. Samalicious RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 04:24 PM

            Apparently the family thinks it is ok. I don't find it particularly rude. If this is the worst problem you have you are lucky.

            1. ttoommyy RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 05:48 PM

              I have a friend who does this too. I never once thought it rude or has it bothered me.

              1. j
                Jerseygirl111 RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 06:06 PM

                I do it at home. I read alot or surf the web when eating alone so it makes it much easier to eat my meal.

                I don't know if I ever noticed anyone else doing it. It's not even on my radar to check.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Jerseygirl111
                  fldhkybnva RE: Jerseygirl111 Apr 18, 2013 06:46 PM

                  +1; I don't do it in public, but actually it's timely you posted this thread as last night I cut up my whole plate of food and thought back to lessons of "cut one bite at a time," but for me as I usually do work or other things while eating at home, it's just easier to cut it all up and only have to use one hand. I guess it wouldn't bother me if I saw someone do this in public but I don't really ever see them do it.

                2. j
                  justme123 RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 06:09 PM

                  I guess it is just one of my own issues then! Thanks for putting it into perspective :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justme123
                    melpy RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 09:33 AM

                    No! We are totally on the same page. I don't have the eat manners but it was explained to me that this causes you to "wolf down" food too quickly.

                  2. m
                    mwhitmore RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 06:58 PM

                    I wouldn't do it with dining companions, just because Ms. Post advised against. But I sometimes do it home alone. P.S. Didn't answer your question, did I? It's a rule violation, but a rather arbitrary rule. Agree with 'no harm, no foul' comment. I don't find it offensive, there are plenty of things I do---don't get my started about nose noises!

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: mwhitmore
                      Tom34 RE: mwhitmore Apr 18, 2013 07:31 PM

                      I was made to read Ms. Post growing up. When I first read the O.P. my instinct was it was not proper. Thanks for confirming something I read many, many years ago.

                      I think its one of the more minor offenses and agree there are more serious offenses committed on a regular basis. I am researching etiquette schools as we speak for both my daughters. Every once in a while I come across an extremely well mannered teenager and they just stand out and make such a lasting impression.

                      1. re: Tom34
                        mwhitmore RE: Tom34 Apr 18, 2013 07:53 PM

                        Agree, and so much of this is a cheerful attitude. As a teenager, I probably had few rules violations, but I was such a mope! Not sure how schools can teach this, but I hope they try.

                        1. re: mwhitmore
                          Tom34 RE: mwhitmore Apr 18, 2013 08:07 PM

                          Cheerful attitude definitely but also reserved enough to create curiosity. I think a key is teaching a teenager that after a few minutes in the spot light, give the spotlight to the elder person asking the questions by asking about their lives and what their interests are and how they became successful.

                          1. re: Tom34
                            sandylc RE: Tom34 Apr 19, 2013 09:00 PM

                            I learned all the the concrete rules growing up. Don't cut up all of your food at once, don't speak with your mouth full, etc.

                            After I grew up and left home, I learned not to speak more than three sentences before giving the floor to someone else, to show sincere interest in what others have to say, and not to criticize/complain, etc.

                            I wish I would have learned both types of lessons at home!

                            1. re: sandylc
                              Tom34 RE: sandylc Apr 20, 2013 09:11 AM

                              Giving the floor really stands out. I have a relative who is a retired CEO of a fortune 500 company. He is highly intelligent and at 6'3" is very imposing. He could talk indefinitely about his own experiences and people would gladly listen but he very quickly turns the spotlight to others asking about their family's, their interests, schooling or careers. He really listens and often refers to details from a conversation he had with you 20 years ago. Very refreshing change from the more common old windbags.

                              1. re: Tom34
                                sandylc RE: Tom34 Apr 20, 2013 09:36 AM

                                Sounds like a great guy.

                                I think the definition of good manners is making others feel comfortable.

                                1. re: sandylc
                                  MelMM RE: sandylc Apr 24, 2013 06:28 PM

                                  Sandylc, you are so right. There are people out there who may be following the "correct" protocol, but if it is done for self-aggrandizement and makes others uncomfortable it is not true politeness. Real manners are about others, not yourself.

                                2. re: Tom34
                                  KaimukiMan RE: Tom34 Apr 20, 2013 10:36 PM

                                  which is part of why he was the CEO of a fortune 500 company

                          2. re: Tom34
                            foodieX2 RE: Tom34 Apr 19, 2013 04:41 AM

                            No sure where you live but it is a "right of passage" for 5th graders around here to attend Social Dance classs which focuses on manners as well a dancing.


                            My son has done it and next year will be attedning classes here. Funny how more receptive they are when its just not their parents "nagging" them, LOL


                            1. re: foodieX2
                              Tom34 RE: foodieX2 Apr 20, 2013 09:16 AM

                              Significantly south of your location but we do have etiquette schools nearby that we are looking into. That sounds like a great program.

                        2. Jay F RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 07:10 PM

                          I do it if I'm reading while I eat.

                          1. b
                            bobbert RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 07:34 PM

                            I thought you would get more support on this one. I don't necessarily find it rude, I find it more, let's say, unrefined. I was taught, and I taught my children, to cut one piece at a time. I place it in the same league as holding a fork like one might a knife that you would thrust with. Then again, people find it rude to end a sentence with a preposition.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bobbert
                              Tom34 RE: bobbert Apr 18, 2013 07:41 PM

                              "Unrefined".......I agree, when you see / hear a young person today conducting themselves in a refined proper manner you recall that occasion 6 months later that's how rare it has unfortunately become.

                              1. re: bobbert
                                melpy RE: bobbert Apr 22, 2013 09:37 AM

                                Your second to last sentence reminds me if the people who gesture with their utensils, like pointing their knife at you while you talk. Ugh!

                              2. s
                                sueatmo RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 07:39 PM

                                I am under the impression that cutting up your entire portion into small bites before eating is not the best etiquette in the world. But it isn't something that should make or break a relationship. I wouldn't mention it to your in laws. There are probably things that you do that they wish you didn't. Best to let it go.

                                1. Chinon00 RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 07:57 PM

                                  Slicing up beautiful long pasta strands of fettuccine or spaghetti is a crime.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                    mwhitmore RE: Chinon00 Apr 19, 2013 08:34 AM

                                    "Worse than a crime, it's a mistake.' Napoleon Bonaparte.

                                    1. re: Chinon00
                                      pdxgastro RE: Chinon00 Apr 19, 2013 07:34 PM

                                      There is an exception to every rule. Normally you leave the strands long so you can twirl and therefore, eat them. But if you don't have mobility in your hands to twirl, then scooping up cut pieces of pasta is just as good. A little empathy goes a long way.

                                      1. re: pdxgastro
                                        mbfant RE: pdxgastro Apr 27, 2013 10:53 PM

                                        It would be kinder, when possible, to serve short pasta to persons without full use of their hands than to oblige them to eat cut up spaghetti, which is not easy to eat when reduce to short, slippery worms. At that point, best to put the pasta in broth to be eaten with a spoon. In both cases, the whole table is eating the same way, and the reduced-mobility person is not made to feel different.

                                        In any case, I think it's safe to assume that all etiquette pronouncements are tacitly prefaced by a disclaimer along the lines of "except when there are overriding health issues."

                                        1. re: mbfant
                                          lagatta RE: mbfant Apr 28, 2013 06:51 PM

                                          Yes, some people have only one hand, or one (temporarily or permanently) functioning hand. I had a shoulder injury ("frozen shoulder") some years back and really couldn't use the matching hand. I used clean scissors to cut meats and vegetables, and also when cutting up herbs.

                                      2. re: Chinon00
                                        EWSflash RE: Chinon00 Apr 19, 2013 08:15 PM

                                        Well, now i have to agree with that one, but it's less awful to me than people who chew with their mouths open, and almost all my in-laws do that, I don't know how that didn't get passed along as verboten, since there were five kids in the family. Most of them would also suck air through their front teeth before, during, and after eating, which has built up in my mind as a real hot-button issue. The only time I ever saw any angst about cutting up food was when my FIL was near the end of his end-stage cancer, and his daughter began to cut up his meat for him before it was served one meal. MIL came as close as she ever did to snapping at her "Don't cut up his food!" meaning to leave him his dignity since he was able to do it himself. That's the only time i've ever seen it be an issue. Maybe it's happened and I didn't notice, because it's low on my "rudar". But I have to deliberately not notice when they cut up their pasta or I'd end up hanging from the ceiling by my teeth if I thought about it.

                                        See? Everybody's a little bit different.

                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                          alkapal RE: EWSflash Apr 21, 2013 01:26 AM

                                          "rudar" -- brava!

                                      3. rmarisco RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 08:31 PM

                                        speaking as the mother of someone with OCD... no, it's not rude if it allows the persona way to eat!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: rmarisco
                                          coll RE: rmarisco Apr 18, 2013 09:04 PM

                                          And as the wife of a stroke survivor, I will say the same. Be glad they are able to eat at all! Better than a tube.

                                          1. re: coll
                                            HillJ RE: coll Apr 19, 2013 06:18 AM

                                            A dear friend has terrible temors and asks for his food to arrive already cut up for him. Should he stop ordering a steak and enjoying a nice steakhouse..no!

                                            This friend would say to me, there's usually reasons for everything. Live and let live or just learn not to judge others. He's right.

                                        2. e
                                          escondido123 RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 09:12 PM

                                          Not rude, just kind of crude. I have a man and his two grown sons for dinner once in awhile. The young ones do that but I think they were never taught otherwise. (No mom involved.)

                                          1. KaimukiMan RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 09:30 PM

                                            It is not what I was taught as good manners, at least not good manners for a caucasian American. Now before anyone gets upset, I am not trying to be racist, but other cultures have other expectations.

                                            I have friends of different cultural backgrounds who find it rather offensive to be served a big slab of meat (i.e. a steak or chop, or even a chicken breast) and then expect the person eating to cut it up at the table. One of them once told me that butchering should be done in the kitchen, not at the table, and to be forced to do such one small piece at a time while eating made them sick to their stomach.

                                            There are a variety of reasons to cut off a bite at a time having to do with keeping meat juicy, preserving the appearance of the dish, etc. But just like the 'rule' about breaking apart the bread and only buttering what you are about to place (as one whole piece) in your mouth rather than biting off a hunk and ripping it away from the larger piece with your teeth, this seems to be a rather minor point of etiquette.

                                            Still, if I were interviewing for a job and was taken to a restaurant, I would want to know that my potential boss could possibly be offended, and that calling him a 'bloodthirsty barbarian' for eating in this manner might not be the best career move I ever made.

                                            23 Replies
                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                              lisavf RE: KaimukiMan Apr 19, 2013 01:22 PM

                                              KaimukiMan, I would be very interested to learn which cultures find it offensive to be served a large piece of meat on their plates. I've never heard this before and would welcome the opportunity to learn something new. You never know when knowing this kind of information could be useful (and perhaps important)!

                                              1. re: lisavf
                                                EWSflash RE: lisavf Apr 19, 2013 08:26 PM

                                                One of the last Gourmet printed episodes (or within the last year, anyway) had an article about a group of professional Chinese chefs from various parts of China visiting some USA professional chefs. It was fascinating. They were truly horrified at the huge portions of nearly-raw meat they were served, raw vegetables (salads) shocked them too, and I wish I could remember more of the article, I hope i still have it somewhere. Anyway, it was amazing to me, and a little bit embarrassing to think about everybody I know who's been to China and complained bitterly about the food and its preparation. I do remember a near-quote from one of the Chinese chefs, something like "I fear I will turn into a savage if I keep eating so many raw vegetables".

                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                  Kris in Beijing RE: EWSflash Apr 19, 2013 08:59 PM



                                                  and as a bitly:


                                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                    sandylc RE: Kris in Beijing Apr 20, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                    Thanks! Fascinating.

                                                  2. re: EWSflash
                                                    sandylc RE: EWSflash Apr 19, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                    That article rings a bell for me. I will have to go digging in the basement.

                                                  3. re: lisavf
                                                    khuzdul RE: lisavf Apr 20, 2013 12:34 AM

                                                    I don't know about offensive, but cultures where large hunks of meat is not served is pretty much any culture that does not have knives as a regular dining utensil. Without knives as a regular dining utensil, what are they supposed to do with a large hunk of meat at the table?

                                                    For example that would include chopstick users, people who eat by picking up small items with a bread... So off the top of my head, a lot of East Asia, South Asia, Horn of Africa, North Africa, native South American and native Central American...

                                                    The absence of knives may not be related to chopsticks or eating with bread. For example the Indonesian dinner setting has a fork and spoon; fork in the left hand, spoon in the right and the fork pushes food onto the spoon. In part due to the historical symbolism of the Kris in Indonesia, Indonesian culture developed such that to bring/have/use a knife at the dinner table is rude, so large hunks of meat are not served. Thailand also has a fork and spoon place setting, no knife, so you can pretty much add a lot of South East Asia to the list also!

                                                    1. re: khuzdul
                                                      mbfant RE: khuzdul Apr 27, 2013 10:58 PM

                                                      The ancient Romans served food in bite-size pieces. Knives were reserved for the kitchen. Forks existed but only for serving, not eating. The table was set with spoons with a point at the end of the handle -- useful for spearing food or extracting snails.

                                                      1. re: khuzdul
                                                        Bacchus101 RE: khuzdul Apr 28, 2013 02:35 PM

                                                        Interesting comments!

                                                        1. re: khuzdul
                                                          lagatta RE: khuzdul Apr 28, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                          So do the Philippines.

                                                        2. re: lisavf
                                                          KaimukiMan RE: lisavf Apr 20, 2013 10:39 PM

                                                          Mostly Asian and Pacific Cultures. That one particular comment was from someone born and raised in the Philipines, but I have also had Chinese friends tell me that nothing on your plate should be too big to go in your mouth for a "formal" occasion.

                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                            lisavf RE: KaimukiMan Apr 22, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                            Thanks, all! Very interesting and good information to know.

                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                              Bill Hunt RE: KaimukiMan Apr 27, 2013 07:00 PM


                                                              You make a great point.

                                                              In a thread, on another dining forum, many chefs (mostly from France), indicated that if ANY dish that they served, needed to be cut up, more than once, they had failed.

                                                              Much of that discussion was around salads.


                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                VenusCafe RE: KaimukiMan May 6, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                LOL! but the Japanese want you to eat the entire Nigiri Sushi in one (BIG) bite!

                                                                1. re: VenusCafe
                                                                  sandylc RE: VenusCafe May 6, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                  It is funny sometimes to watch people eating sushi for that reason. It looks awkward to see them navigating the usually ungainly and sometimes large pieces into their mouths. Quite the production.

                                                                  1. re: VenusCafe
                                                                    ritabwh RE: VenusCafe May 20, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                    except! nigiri in japan are not the super-sized nigiris or even the huge "rolls" we have in the usa. nigiri in japan are truly one-biters

                                                                    1. re: ritabwh
                                                                      The Professor RE: ritabwh May 21, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                      Americans supersize everything. Seems like there is always a more-is-better attitude about so many foods that are normally served is smaller sizes or portions in their native habitats. It's a deeply embedded part of 'American culture' (a term which itself defines the word 'oxymoron').

                                                                      1. re: The Professor
                                                                        paulj RE: The Professor May 21, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                        Reminds me of David Chang struggling to finish his bowl of ramen in Japan (PBS The Mind of a Chef).

                                                                        Japan may have its bit size foods, but that doesn't mean they don't eat large portions of other things. That could, I think, be said of most cultures.

                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                          donovt RE: paulj May 21, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                          Of course it can be said of most cultures. But admitting that would take away an easy swipe at America, which seems to be a favorite amongst many chowhounds.

                                                                          1. re: donovt
                                                                            Tom34 RE: donovt May 21, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                                            Being a little of everything makes us an easy target.

                                                                            1. re: donovt
                                                                              EarlyBird RE: donovt Jun 27, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                              Yes. That means you're "sophisticated."

                                                                          2. re: The Professor
                                                                            EarlyBird RE: The Professor Jun 27, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                            "It's a deeply embedded part of 'American culture' (a term which itself defines the word 'oxymoron')."

                                                                            I take exception to that.

                                                                            1. re: The Professor
                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: The Professor Jun 28, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                              It is kind of like the old "dating game," "spin the bottle." So very much depends on to whom the bottle points.

                                                                              It is simple to extract a certain sub-set, to make your point, but that excludes other sub-sets, so suddenly truth takes a back seat.

                                                                              As to the first part of your statement,

                                                                              <<Americans supersize everything>> again, you are referencing a certain subset, to make your point. I would suggest that you get a better handle on "Americans," and not be so prone to over-generalizations - some do, but others do not.

                                                                              Most of my restaurant reviews cover portion size, and I grade DOWN when they are too large. I also happen to be an American, and cannot recall ever have complaining that portions were too small, while it does seem that some always do, regardless of size. Still, we are NOT all the same, regardless of what some might have led you to believe.


                                                                              1. re: The Professor
                                                                                globocity RE: The Professor Jul 21, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                The "Professor":
                                                                                Ah nice generalization. Your ignorance makes it too difficult to become insulted by this comment.

                                                                    2. emglow101 RE: justme123 Apr 18, 2013 09:44 PM

                                                                      No. When eating together at the table we all have are ticks. You have to be grateful just to be with family or freinds.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: emglow101
                                                                        westsidegal RE: emglow101 Apr 19, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                                        agree with you emglow.
                                                                        grace and gratitude are valuable attributes.
                                                                        knowing how to separate the important from the unimportant can lead to a much happier life . . . .

                                                                        1. re: emglow101
                                                                          coll RE: emglow101 Apr 19, 2013 03:10 AM

                                                                          ...and grateful to even HAVE food on the table.

                                                                        2. k
                                                                          klyeoh RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 03:52 AM

                                                                          Unrefined, yes. Rude, not really.

                                                                          I guess it's like I'd break a small piece off my bread and butter it. I'd find it very strange if someone was to break his/her bread into little pieces on the bread plate. But that'll be *their* preference.

                                                                          1. w
                                                                            wincountrygirl RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 04:12 AM

                                                                            I don't think it's rude, just childlike!

                                                                            1. j
                                                                              justme123 RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                                              WOW! I certainly didn't think this would generate such discussion. I know I am blessed to have food, family and fun. As I said in reply to someone else's post on this topic, I wasn't talking about people with physical limitations. I had to cut up my dad's food when he was ill.

                                                                              I was asking if I was off-base for thinking it rude. And I found out I was. Thanks, again, for keeping me grounded.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: justme123
                                                                                KaimukiMan RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                lots of replays, but an amazing level of consensus. Not the best of manners, but not something to get upset about.

                                                                                1. re: justme123
                                                                                  HillJ RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                                                  Thanks for asking the question, justme! I learned a good deal too.

                                                                                2. RUK RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                                                  We call those cut-up pieces "Schäfchen", which are "little Sheep" in English. This is something I would do for my young Grandchildren/Children - when they are/were too little to use a knife, I cut it up for them and perhaps add a little condiment or embellishment on top as in the case of sandwiches.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: RUK
                                                                                    linguafood RE: RUK Apr 19, 2013 12:04 PM

                                                                                    Aw, man. You just brought up childhood memories of mine. They were called "Schäfchen" when I was growing up, too. Sandwiches cut into little slices. Thanks for that :-)

                                                                                    RUK FTW!

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                      RUK RE: linguafood Apr 19, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                      :-) back to you.

                                                                                  2. hotoynoodle RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                    emily post-types do consider it poor etiquette.

                                                                                    i don't like it, but find many other things more offensive.

                                                                                    plus, it makes your food cold faster.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                      Dax RE: hotoynoodle Apr 26, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                      nailed it.

                                                                                    2. bagelman01 RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                      I don't pay attention to what other diners (not at my table) do in terms of cutting their food. I was trained as you were and taught my daughters the same.

                                                                                      The reasons for not cutting all your food at once:

                                                                                      #1 it will get cold
                                                                                      #2 taking time to put the fork down from the right hand, lift the knife in the right hand, use the fork in the left hand, etc. all takes time. It slows the pace of the meal and makes the experience dining, not just eating. This allows natural breaks for conversation during the meal, as there is not always food immediately available to put in one's mouth.

                                                                                      Moms always know best, fathers too...............

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                        VenusCafe RE: bagelman01 May 6, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                        Yesssss! I don't like FF thru the commercials either! No natural break for conversation or anything!

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                          sandylc RE: bagelman01 May 6, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                                          The "crisscross" method does help prevent the shoveling of food into the mouth.

                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                            debbiel RE: bagelman01 May 7, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                            Of course, taking breaks for conversation is not reliant on not cutting all one's food at one time. It's quite possible to do that with a plate of pre-cut food, too.

                                                                                            I have dined with no pre-cutting shovelers as well as pre-cut slow-paced eaters.

                                                                                            1. re: debbiel
                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: debbiel Jun 28, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                                                              Most American diners, with whom I have had the pleasure to break bread, cut individual portions, when it is time to eat such. They do not cut up everything at once.

                                                                                              The exceptions to that have been with an invalid parent, who could not cut her food, or a small child, equally impaired. Adults, in my company, never do the "cut everything at once."

                                                                                              Now, obviously, I have not dined with all US residents, so can only speak for a certain few.


                                                                                          2. k
                                                                                            khuzdul RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                                            Depending on what is being served, sometimes I do it both at home and in public. For example, specifically, when served shrimp I will remove the tail shell from all the shrimp and put the shell aside. When I have shellfish, I remove the shellfish meat and stack the shells on the shell discard plate if provided. When I get a hunk of meat with a huge bone, I de-bone my meal. It is more efficient, far less messy, neater and in general less gross to me to do this before eating than to have to pick through the meal for the inedible bits while eating. I was never taught that it was bad manners, nor do I consider it to be so. What is rude about it?

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: khuzdul
                                                                                              Jerseygirl111 RE: khuzdul Apr 19, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                                              I think it's totally fine. You are acting to minimize the mess on your hands. It seems much more civilized than mucking them up every other minute. How enjoyable can that be?


                                                                                              1. re: Jerseygirl111
                                                                                                hotoynoodle RE: Jerseygirl111 Apr 20, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                                unless you're in some sort of frenzy, how "mucked" do your hands get while using a knife and fork?

                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                  Jay F RE: hotoynoodle Apr 20, 2013 09:49 AM

                                                                                                  I think she's talking about the shelling cooked shrimp and other seafood, sans knife and fork, part of the post.

                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                              dinwiddie RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                              Unusual, yes. Rude, not hardly, unless you consider rude anything that bugs you.

                                                                                              1. h
                                                                                                Harters RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                                No, I don't consider it rude. I can't work out who it might be rude towards. It might be a bit of an odd way to eat a meal but it's hardly going to affect anyone else that I can see.

                                                                                                1. aslovesfood RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                                                  I've never been told otherwise, but I would consider it "playing with your food", something kids do. I cut one piece at a time.

                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                    ricepad RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                    Not rude. Not polite, and poor etiquette, but not rude. Sort of like using the salad fork for the fish course.

                                                                                                    1. monavano RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                                                      I can't imagine ever considering this rude. I know I grew out of cutting all my food, but remember watching my mother still do that when I prepared her dinner at my house.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: monavano
                                                                                                        Pinky107 RE: monavano Apr 23, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                                        Perhaps it's just that she got into the habit of doing it when her children (you, for one) were too young to cut their own food. It may be interesting to ask her about it. I guess I don't understand what it means to grow "out of cutting all my food". I'm guessing that somewhere along the line you read or were told that grown-ups don't do that.

                                                                                                        1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                          monavano RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                                                                          More like I attained the motor skills needed to do things for myself, like cut my food and tie my shoe laces.

                                                                                                      2. ritabwh RE: justme123 Apr 19, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                                                                        i think if you cut up all of the food on the plate it is conducive to shoveling the food into your mouth. i know some folks who will take a plate of fried eggs and hasbrowns and mash them all together and proceed to shovel the food into their mouths.
                                                                                                        it was a bit startling the first time i saw this technique. so i agree that it is not rude but rather unrefined. it brings to mind of people who are very very hungry and eat their food very completely and quickly.
                                                                                                        please do not confuse this shoveling food with the asian method of bringing the bowl up to the mouth and "shoveling" the food into the mouth with chopsticks.

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                          EWSflash RE: ritabwh Apr 19, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                          I know what you mean. I once watched (from a slight distance) a woman at work mashing up her pancakes and sausages with her fork. She had the plate about ten inches from her face while she was watching other people work, and then she began shoveling it all into her mouth as fast as she could. It was like watching a train wreck, I couldn't look away. But it was pretty gross.

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                            sandylc RE: EWSflash Apr 19, 2013 09:18 PM

                                                                                                            I watched a woman the other day who shoved food into her mouth at a dizzying pace, even before her dining partner received his food. Her legs were the skinniest I have ever seen and she had the back end of a small child. I felt sad and wondered if I should block the bathroom door so she couldn't....take care of things.

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                              MissBubbles RE: sandylc Apr 22, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                                              Careful about such a judgement. A good friend of mine is teeny tiny and consumes amazing amounts of food. She is a dancer so I know she burns a lot of it but part of it is just her metabolism. I know she doesn't 'take care of things'

                                                                                                              1. re: MissBubbles
                                                                                                                sandylc RE: MissBubbles Apr 22, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                Been there. Was too skinny for decades and gobbled large amounts of fattening foods and a ton of calories daily.

                                                                                                                This woman was neither naturally skinny, nor was she a dancer or an athlete. I felt bad for her; she had hollowed eyes and a sad air about her.

                                                                                                                1. re: MissBubbles
                                                                                                                  jlhinwa RE: MissBubbles Apr 22, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                  Good point. I know a woman who has a rare metabolic disorder. She is 5'6" and weighs about 90 pounds. She looks horribly unhealthy (bad hair, sunken eyes, dull skin tone, etc.) despite eating approx 4,000-6,000 calories a day. I learned that it is not necessarily a good thing to be able to eat whatever you want and not gain weight. :-(

                                                                                                            2. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                              debbiel RE: ritabwh Apr 20, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                              Then wouldn't it be the shoveling of the food that is rude, not the cutting of all the food?

                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                ritabwh RE: debbiel Apr 21, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                not rude, but "unrefined" as another poster said.
                                                                                                                i think most times, except for the exceptions mentioned, pre-cutting the food is the first step to a quick and efficient way to get the food into the mouth, rather than "dining".

                                                                                                              2. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                hilltowner RE: ritabwh Apr 21, 2013 03:44 AM

                                                                                                                HA! That's exactly why I picked up the habit. Decades of working in restaurants and eating dinner while working taught me to cut up all my food first so I could eat it quickly when I had the time. I still do it at home sometimes, but never in public. I especially love anything I can eat out of a bowl, rather than a plate.

                                                                                                                1. re: hilltowner
                                                                                                                  ritabwh RE: hilltowner Apr 21, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                  sometimes when i am "multi-tasking" such as reading or at the computer, i will pre-cut my food or have food that does not additionaly require a knife along with the fork/spoon. it is so much easier to get the food to my mouth without thinking about it. i would like to point out this method is a bit different that the focused shoveling of food into the mouth. i would say this is more like unthinking mechanical delivery of food to the mouth, similar to eating potato chips while watching tv or reading, etc. etc. etc.

                                                                                                              3. Karl S RE: justme123 Apr 20, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                As an etiquette rule in our culture, it's one of the lesser ones, and we need not rush to the barricades in its defense. The idea behind the rule is twofold (i) this practice can make it easier for people to Hoover their meal leaving all the other guests out of pace (something that won't tend to happen as noticeably at the family table if this is a family-wide behavior), which is a somewhat deeper form of rudeness (the deeper rule is that all at table should eat and partake of conversation at roughly equal moderate pace), and (ii) more practically, it derives from the more basic rule that discourages any behavior that draws attention to oneself at table (the practical effects of which vary from culture and table to culture and table).

                                                                                                                Now, the Chinese have a rather different approach: all (or almost all) food comes to the table pre-cut in sizes ready for the mouth - but equally for everyone, so that the more fundamental etiquette rule that transcends cultures is still observable.

                                                                                                                1. 3MTA3 RE: justme123 Apr 20, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                  Two of my school age buddys went to visit the other's grandmother in Germany once. While finishing his vanilla icecream/chocolate sauce after dinner, he swirled the melting icecream with the sauce. The grandmother reminded him that was verboten at the table.
                                                                                                                  You got to really pick and choose your battles...

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: 3MTA3
                                                                                                                    ricepad RE: 3MTA3 Apr 20, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                    Oma would have gone batshit had she seen me lick the last of the sauce from the bowl.

                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                    CanadaGirl RE: justme123 Apr 20, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                    I don't consider it rude, but a bit unrefined.

                                                                                                                    I wouldn't do it myself because the food will get cold more quickly. I find that most food from cultures that do not provide a knife tend to be served in bowls, which I find keeps the food hotter longer.

                                                                                                                    1. ipsedixit RE: justme123 Apr 20, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                      If this was indeed rude, I wonder what the folks at Peter Luger would have to say about this ...

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                        khuzdul RE: ipsedixit Apr 21, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                        That's part of the table service! You wanna da jus?

                                                                                                                      2. Bill Hunt RE: justme123 Apr 20, 2013 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                        Yes, and it is still considered poor manners.

                                                                                                                        Many UK/Euro tourists comment on this behavior, and I understand their concern.


                                                                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                          Harters RE: Bill Hunt Apr 21, 2013 03:34 AM

                                                                                                                          I presume that those who do this find it helps them in the American way of using cutlery. For Europeans, the way we hold knives and forks for eating means there's no advantage in cutting everything up at the beginning.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                            ritabwh RE: Harters Apr 21, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                            this answer makes so much sense. i wonder how amercans developed the cut-put knife down-switch fork to right hand-stab food-eat method?

                                                                                                                            1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                              Jay F RE: ritabwh Apr 21, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                              I stopped eating the American way the minute I noticed someone eating the European way, many years ago.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                paulj RE: ritabwh Apr 21, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                "Interestingly, this birth of blunt-tipped knives in Europe had a lasting effect on American dining etiquette. At the beginning of the 18thCentury, very few forks were being imported to America. However, knives were being imported and their tips became progressively blunter. Because Americans had very few forks and no longer had sharp-tipped knives, they had to use spoons in lieu of forks. They would use the spoon to steady food as they cut and then switch the spoon to the opposite hand in order to scoop up food to eat. This distinctly American style of eating continued even after forks became commonplace in the United"

                                                                                                                                Another place claims that Europeans switched their use of fork and knife in the 19th c. But the American upper class was busy trying to educate the masses, and thought it would be confusing to follow suit.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                  paulj RE: ritabwh Apr 30, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                  Emily Post called this the zig-zag method and thought it was inefficient


                                                                                                                                2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                  akated RE: Harters Apr 21, 2013 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                  what you've said is exactly what i have read, in an encyclopedia, as a kid: that the "american" way of eating is to cut up all the meat into bite-sized pieces, and then eating them with only a fork; versus the "british" way of eating with a knife and fork at the same time.

                                                                                                                                  quite interesting to see all the (presumably) americans here refuting this (i'm neither american, nor british).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                    John E. RE: Harters Apr 21, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                    There is if a young child or an elderly adult who are not able to cut their food (meat) as they eat their meal is the reason for cutting up their food at the beginning of the meal. I have not noticed this 'problem' to be a problem.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                      Bill Hunt RE: Harters Apr 27, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                      I do agree. Though I am sort of ambi-continental, regarding the use of flatware, I hate receiving a dish, that must be cut apart, Ad infinitum, to eat.

                                                                                                                                      In the US, I often encounter things, like an entire wedge of lettuce, that is presented uncut.

                                                                                                                                      Salads seem to be the worst offenders.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                        paulj RE: Bill Hunt Apr 27, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                        I suspect most of us have had a steak or piece of meat in mind. Some mention the food getting cold when cut up.

                                                                                                                                        A salad, or even pasta, that is in pieces that are too large to eat with fork alone is a some what different story. Often I will cut that kind of dish with multiple knife strokes all the way across, steadying it with the fork, or even passing the blade through the tines of the fork.

                                                                                                                                        Or how about potatoes? I will spend a while at the start of the meal preparing a baked potato for eating. I also cup up boiled potatoes into bite size pieces, and then add the seasoning (gravy etc).

                                                                                                                                        I noticed that Emily Post wrote about using the knife to mash your potatoes.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                          Bill Hunt RE: paulj Jun 28, 2013 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                          Depending on the shape of the steak, I might end up cutting piece 1, then cutting that, to eat. The second piece comes next. Cutting out a perfect, bite-sized piece of all steaks, can be a bit difficult - like creating a jig-saw puzzle from a photograph. Still, that should not be construed as cutting the steak completely, all at once, or at least in my book, it should not.


                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                          MelMM RE: Bill Hunt Apr 28, 2013 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                          I hate salads that I have to cut. For one thing, most restaurants supply you with a salad fork, but no knife. Which means I have to use my dinner knife, and then I have the problem of where to put it when they clear the salad plates. I think salads should be easy to eat.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                            paulj RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                            lick it clean and put it back on the table. :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                              Tom34 RE: paulj Apr 28, 2013 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                              Nice :)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: MelMM Jun 28, 2013 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                              I agree!

                                                                                                                                              Several years ago, I was conversing with the owner of a Relais & Chateaux property, with a Michelin 1-star restaurant. We discussed salads, and his comment was, "if a patron needs to cut their salad, then my chef did not do his job."

                                                                                                                                              Personally, I wish that more felt the same way.


                                                                                                                                            3. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                              westsidegal RE: Bill Hunt Apr 28, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                              <<I hate receiving a dish, that must be cut apart>>

                                                                                                                                              especially when you are hosting a business meal.
                                                                                                                                              cutting up and arranging food is a distraction.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                hyacinthgirl RE: Bill Hunt Apr 29, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                I encounter "deconstructed salads" often and they drive me crazy. I do not want to have chop my own lettuce, dice my own carrot and vegetables so that I can eat them together as a sald. When I order a salad, I want to be able to pick up a fork and simply eat the salad! I understand large items may look pretty on the plate, but if you eat first with your eyes, my eyes are too often tasting work and irritation.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                  ritabwh RE: Bill Hunt Apr 29, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                  hunt's comment makes me think of american food. a dish that must be cut apart ad infinitum immediately brings to mind the hunk of a one lb steak on a plate. i don't think many other countries serve such large pieces of meat, besides....maybe...australia?
                                                                                                                                                  so it suddenly makes sense to me why cutting up all the food might be an american thing?
                                                                                                                                                  the bigger the hunk (steak, lettuce wedge etc) on a plate, the better, signifying wealth and prosperity?
                                                                                                                                                  ---just thinking out loud.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: ritabwh Apr 29, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                    There was a thread some time ago where some people were complaining about the new trend of slicing steak before serving it in U.S. restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                      grampart RE: sandylc Apr 29, 2013 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I don't think it's a new trend at Peter Luger's.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                        ritabwh RE: grampart Apr 30, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                        for some reason i thought the pre-sliced steaks at the steak houses were intended to be shared and served on a platter.
                                                                                                                                                        at least that is how it appeared to me when i would see these restuarants featured on a tv show .
                                                                                                                                                        aren't most of the steaks at luger are at least 1 pound?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                          grampart RE: ritabwh Apr 30, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Not sure, but Luger's has been on my bucket list since before I ever heard of a bucket list. I better hurry while I still have all my teeth!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: sandylc Jun 28, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I am seeing more of this, and not just in the US. Recently, we encountered it in Paris, London and then in a tiny village in Burgundy.

                                                                                                                                                        Personally, so long as the beef is cooked well (not well-done), and is of a correct proportion, I have no complaints.


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                          mbfant RE: sandylc Jun 28, 2013 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                          The Tuscans, who know and respect their steak, have been serving tagliata di manzo for generations. It is very rare steak served in slices cut across the grain.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                          John E. RE: ritabwh Apr 29, 2013 08:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                          My days of eating a one pound steak are mostly over (12 ounce ribeye about once a year) but I would never cut up the steak into bite-size pieces all at once. The juices would run all over the place all at once.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                            hotoynoodle RE: ritabwh May 1, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                            big steaks are not uncommon in brazil or argentina.

                                                                                                                                                            while i don't order them often, i despise getting a steak that is sliced. it gets cold too quickly.

                                                                                                                                                            there was a place that served a great burger and served it cut in half. hated that too, so would order it "not cut", which frequently brought a "face" from the bartender, lol.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: ritabwh Jun 28, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Often, I urge restaurant owners and chefs to offer smaller cuts of beef, and especially if there are plenty of side dishes, or previous courses.

                                                                                                                                                              I am not of the mind that some are, and do not see the likelihood of dining at the Big Texan, and challenging a 72 oz cut of beef. Just not my thing.


                                                                                                                                                      3. k
                                                                                                                                                        kengk RE: justme123 Apr 21, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Watching strangers eat is fascinating to me.

                                                                                                                                                        I observed a lady yesterday eating chicken and waffles. She removed the chicken from atop the waffle and cut both chicken and waffle into bite size pieces by holding the food down with her bare left hand and using the knife in her right. She ate it by dipping each piece into syrup with her fingers.

                                                                                                                                                        Her teenage son had what looked to be about a 3/4 pound slab of (apparently very firm) meatloaf. He ate it by bringing the whole thing to his mouth on the fork and taking bites of it.

                                                                                                                                                        I agree with others that cutting up all the food first is more "low class" than rude. Assuming of course that there is no particular reason for doing so.

                                                                                                                                                        1. grampart RE: justme123 Apr 21, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I think this "issue" falls into the same class of infraction as the failure of men/boys not removing their hats while at the table. For sure, it would have been a serious transgression in my family when I was a kid and I don't remember seeing it even in the NJ diners of the 1960's (including truckstops). However, when I moved to FL in the late 70's, I began to see it more and more often and, here in GA (especially at the Waffle House) it's quite common. It does no harm to anyone, women can get away with it (I think), yet I'm sure it would rankle a whole lot of folks maybe a lot more than cutting up all your food before eating.

                                                                                                                                                          81 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                            Jay F RE: grampart Apr 21, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                            When you remove your hat, where do you put it?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                              grampart RE: Jay F Apr 21, 2013 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I usually leave it in the car.......except at the Waffle House.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                Jay F RE: grampart Apr 21, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I hate hats. They can get dirty and sweaty and gross, and I'd rather people who wear them keep them on their heads rather than putting them on restaurant tables or seats.

                                                                                                                                                                Of course, I get squicked out when I see children standing on seats in restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                  melpy RE: Jay F Apr 22, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Some places have a hook or hat clip.

                                                                                                                                                                  As a teacher I am super sensitive to the hats indoors thing.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                    lagatta RE: Jay F Apr 28, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Do you live in a climate where hats are necessary much of the year? I do. But I certainly wouldn't wear one at table.

                                                                                                                                                                    Though people undergoing chemotherapy or afflicted with other causes of alopecia are exempt from this rule.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                                                                      grampart RE: lagatta Apr 28, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      At table is very iffy. At counter, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: lagatta Jun 28, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I wear hats very often, but always remove them, when entering most interiors.

                                                                                                                                                                        As a very light-complected person, who spent his younger life outdoors, life-guarding, playing golf, competitive tennis, fishing and skiing, I suffer from problems - skin cancer. My dermatologist will never be without work, so long as I live.

                                                                                                                                                                        Still, I would never wear my hat inside a restaurant - just not proper. I also do not place it on the table, though might on an unused chair. Usually, I place it atop my briefcase, which is not on the table either.

                                                                                                                                                                        Besides, I like the way that I look in my hats - maybe 6 Panamas, 4 Eucadorians and a dozen felt fedoras.

                                                                                                                                                                        Too bad that more restaurants do not make allowances for hat. Same for airlines!


                                                                                                                                                                2. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                  latindancer RE: grampart Apr 21, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  <failure of men/boys not removing their hats while at the table>

                                                                                                                                                                  There are a few restaurants here in LA that do not allow men to wear hats in their restaurant. I'm not sure about the women.
                                                                                                                                                                  I witnessed an entire popular hip hop group escorted out of the restaurant because they refused to remove them.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                    Karl S RE: grampart Apr 21, 2013 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Still relatively rare up North for now. Only excusable for covering illness (cancer) or disfigurement.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                      rancher rick RE: grampart Apr 23, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I have to weigh in on the "hats on at the table" discussion.
                                                                                                                                                                      Here in ranch country it seems quite acceptable to wear a real cowboy hat at the table(obviously excluding high end dining) but a "no-no" to wear a ball cap. As a rancher, I do often wear my hat at the table but it depends on the situation & I do exercise discretion. If I`m dining with guests of "a certain age" I do tend to remove my hat with due respect.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rancher rick
                                                                                                                                                                        bobbert RE: rancher rick Apr 24, 2013 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I think "real" cowboys should be able to wear a cowboy hat at the table and a real major league baseball player should be able to wear a baseball cap.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                          hotoynoodle RE: bobbert Apr 24, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          i've dealt with many "real" major league ballplayers and they don't wear their caps in restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                            MelMM RE: bobbert Apr 24, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Um, no. Real cowboys know to remove their hats indoors. I have no experience with baseball players, but I imagine they do the same.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: MelMM Apr 24, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              You are right. If it's a bar or dive joint, I suppose it's ok to wear a cowboy hat indoors. But if it's a reputable restaurant or other respected establishment, then it is not ok to wear a hat indoors.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                MelMM RE: John E. Apr 24, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, in a honky-tonk, totally OK, but in a home or restaurant, never.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                bobbert RE: MelMM Apr 25, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, yeah, I know. Gentlemen remove their hats whether cowboys, baseball players or hip-hop recording artists. I was just kidding. I see this degenerating into a subthread complete with references to Amazonian tribes who consider it an insult not to wear some sort of headdress while otherwise sitting in the nude eating monkey - which has been cut into bite sized pieces of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                  Kris in Beijing RE: bobbert Apr 25, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  But you know they don't eat mutilated monkey meat in the Amazon!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                  rancher rick RE: MelMM Apr 26, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Don`t mean to labor the point here but I know lots of "real" cowboys who do wear their hats indoors.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you happen to be a "real" cowboy?
                                                                                                                                                                                  I`m not sure that this is a cardinal social transgression.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rancher rick
                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: rancher rick Apr 26, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, no, in this country a gentleman does not wear a hat indoors. Obvioiusly this rule has all but disappeared. Not sure if there's a practical reason behind it or not - ??

                                                                                                                                                                                    EDIT: Oh, but I have to say that I am sick of baseball-type caps. I am sure that the majortiy of them are stinky and they are rarely flattering and for goodness' sake, do you guys HAVE to wear them ALL OF THE TIME?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal RE: sandylc Apr 26, 2013 11:29 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom34 RE: sandylc Apr 26, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Growing up we were never allowed to wear a hat at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: sandylc Apr 27, 2013 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll stop wearin' a hat when ladies stop wearin' pony tails. Each is simply a way of coverin' up bad hair, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                            latindancer RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 06:37 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: latindancer Apr 27, 2013 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Then correct me. What is the purpose of a pony tail?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, is it OK for a woman to wear a pony tail through a baseball hat in public? Is it wrong for anyone to leave on a baseball hat when they go indoors?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Old school etiquette allowed women to wear hats anywhere but men had to take e'm off after crossing the threshold. Should I remove my hat when I go into the grocery store? The liquor store? A dive bar?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                latindancer RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't care where you wear your hat, personally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I do, however, know of a few restaurants where I live that require a man to take off his hat once he sits down at the table and the restaurants aren't considered 'fine dining'. I personally, like certain hats on men. Cowboy hats, on a real hardworking cowboy? Nothing sexier in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                My hair is long enough to wear a ponytail. But wearing one doesn't necessarily mean I'm having a 'bad hair day'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                It depends on what I'm wearing, where I'm going, if I want it off my face, if I'm working in the field...a number of factors come in to play. I've never worn a ponytail with a baseball cap that I can remember but women do it all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been known, if you've taken a look at women and personal styles, to wear a ponytail albeit a well-designed ponytail, to a formal affair with a gown. It just looks better with the style of the gown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                If just depends on the woman, her style, and what she likes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                  MGZ RE: latindancer Apr 27, 2013 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When my hair was still long, I used a baseball cap for fundamentally the same "keep it off my face" reason. So, to that extent, should I have had to remove it once I entered a place? Sat down to eat? What is the rational basis for such a rule? Now mind you my long hair, on me, looked more Nick Mangold than David Gilmour, but if I was just tired of it floppin' in my face or gettin' blown around in the wind, why should anyone have an objection to my keepin' the hat on?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                    grampart RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine looked a lot like this, but I was blonde, much younger and WAY better looking. A hat just didn't get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                      foodieX2 RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This questions has been asked and answered many times. Based on so many of your replies my guess is that you enjoy being disagreeable, LOL By all means keep your hat on no matter where you are if it makes you happy, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                        MGZ RE: foodieX2 Apr 27, 2013 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If it's disagreeable to question silly rules, than I spose I am. Luckily, I'm in good company. Recall that we live in a Nation founded by men who questioned silly rules and then was further shaped by others, men and women, who questioned the silly rules those men decided upon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                          latindancer RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Allow me to say this...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There *are* areas of this country, towns and cities, where chivalry and manners and "silly rules" are still practiced. The men practicing these rules are handsome, sexy, kind, hardworking, thoughtful and really do it without much thought. They walk into a business, home and take their hat off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          It just feels right to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                            foodieX2 RE: latindancer Apr 27, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Agree, LD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would hope that anyone visiting there would respect that and remove their hat upon entering someone home or business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately, as is apparent on this thread and others, there are many that wouldn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: latindancer Apr 27, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are parts of this Country where, "without much thought", guys think lotsa things are fine. It's the lack of thought that can sometimes make it dangerous. But, I'm glad to see you're advocating the idea of doing what "feels right" - especially when there's thought behind it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                latindancer RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Are you that guy, when everyone at a wedding is wearing the traditional shirt, tie and jacket, decides it's *his* style to wear no tie and jacket and maybe throw in an old worn out pair of sneakers or boots? There's that slight bit of rebellion in his eye and swagger as he watches to see if anyone's watching and reacting?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nobody's going to tell him how to dress, act or eat?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Somebody *does* say something or looks a certain way, discreetly, but he hears it and sees it because he's waiting for it...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                He then gets to play that "victim of authority" thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MGZ RE: latindancer Apr 27, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sh*t, I ain't no victim of anything. Since I don't appear in Court no more, weddings and funerals are the only times I will don a tie, though, I'm more of a sportscoat and slacks guy than one to wear a suit. Moreover, I assure you, I may have a bit of a swagger, but I never pay attention to anyone else's reactions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    latindancer RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, okay...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    spoonlicker RE: latindancer Jun 28, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ...or better (worse) yet:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The smart-ass who shows up in a t-shirt with a tuxedo printed on it. Ooh, what a rebel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                foodieX2 RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Question all you want and continue to pick out one response out many to back up your case. Surely no one will change your mind as those who find it rude wont be changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like I said go ahead and wear your hat wherever you like. What is important to one trumps everyone else as has been evidenced many times through out this thread. If you find the rule "silly" don't follow it. It's as simple as that. Some people may judge you and others may not but does it matter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Personally I think its "silly" that stabbing a bowl of rice with your chopstick is a rule as it dishonors the host and/or spirt of the dead but I am still not going go ahead and do it as I know it isn't "silly" to my Japanese hosts, whether in their home or serving me in restaurant or at the table next of me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom34 RE: foodieX2 Apr 27, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see no honor in deliberately violating another cultures etiquette. IMHO, to do so as a display of power / rebellion can only be seen as a terrible weakness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    foodieX2 RE: Tom34 Apr 27, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Totally agree which is why I choose to honor them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It saddens me that there are so many that think these cultural norms are "silly"and therefore not to be followed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kris in Beijing RE: foodieX2 Apr 27, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or they must be "logical" To You in order for it to be okay to follow them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      KB now in NOVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ritabwh RE: Tom34 Apr 29, 2013 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that kind of rebellion only shows that the rebel is still 16 yr old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ha. I had to google both of those guys as I had never heard of them! Neither one looks particularly appealing, hairwise. Just normal-ly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                EDIT: Oops. Didn't know Dave was Pink Floyd. Embarassing, being a child of the 70s. Never been a huge PF fan, anyway. Overproduced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  grampart RE: sandylc Apr 27, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Overproduced? OVERPRODUCED???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: grampart Apr 27, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I knew that would get a rise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    latindancer RE: sandylc Apr 27, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh boy....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There was a time when I would have followed David Gilmour to the 'dark side of the moon' and back any day, whenever he wanted :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Those days have come and gone but he still holds that special place in my heart and memory. Red Rocks. Pure sublime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: sandylc Apr 27, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, now, I spose you got to learn something. My reference wasn't in anyway implying I had good hair, but more to suggest how the same bad hair looks different on guys with different physiques.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, and, I should add, "Wish You Were Here" was far from over produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gio RE: MGZ Jun 14, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The tradition of removing a hat - headdress - goes back to ancient times. Knights removed their helmets in the presence of the king, for example. It was to show their loyalty and respect. Men removed their headdress to show respect and chivalry toward women. The custom has remained and is it considered discourteous when hats are worn indoors. Men remove hats when entering homes and churches. In Temple men do wear specific head coverings, not ballcaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Women always wore a head covering of some kind through the ages, Many cultures still require women to have their head covered when in public, at least. Also it's expected that women wear hats to certain events such as formal lunch, weddings, teas, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's surprising to me that some people want to present themselves as country bumpkins when they have had some sort.of an education. It has to do with self respect and respect for others if nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MGZ RE: Gio Jun 14, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah, Gio, I know in many ways you are so, so right. But, I'd rather let guys wear a Dodgers cap in a restaurant than force women to cover their faces and heads in public, you know? Why should there be any commandments that have no practical value behind 'em?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As to your last paragraph, I'll simply recite. I know you'll figure it out, even if many never will:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Well, I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's like eatin' caviar and dirt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're a rich man in a poor man's shirt."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I give on this one, Gio, and that was my way of calling myself out. But, I've got a gene that prevents me from not questioning and challenging rules. Remember, it was guy like me who made it possible for girls like you to vote. You want us to give up?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gio RE: MGZ Jun 14, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ask and question to your heart's content, MG. There always needs to that person. If not you then who? There is a difference between Tradition and Traditionalism, though... and I'm not talking religion. Noblesse oblige... Better days are shining through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And who has the right, as master of the house,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To have the final word at home?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Gio Jun 14, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio, my life woulda been simpler and more cushy had I been able to not constantly have banged my head against the door of authority. In my gut, I know it did some good for some, so, I s'pose it's worth the scars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I appreciate what you're sayin'. Moreover, I appreciate that your quote was something I actually had to look up. Mazel Tov!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: MGZ Jun 14, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You know what, Gio? Maybe I quoted the wrong song. This one is more indicative of my life:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Well, I fight authority, Authority always wins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I've been doing it since I was a young kid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I come out grinnin'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I fight authority, Authority always wins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So I call up my preacher
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I say, "Give me strength for Round 5."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He said , "You don't need no strength, you need to grow up son."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I said, "Growing up leads to growing old and then to dying"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "OO and dying to me don't sound like all that much fun."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sometimes, however, guys like me get in a few good shots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: MGZ Jun 28, 2013 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Women, in a free society, should never cover their faces, except for maybe a light, black veil, at a funeral, or similar. Goes without saying, at least to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, due to "the hair thing," I think that most women should keep their hats on, even indoors. Most, like my wife, look great in their hats, and who would I be, to complain about that?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lizard RE: Bill Hunt Jul 20, 2013 11:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Women in a free society should not have to deal with the word 'should' when it comes to what they wish to wear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: Gio Jun 28, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree on nearly every count.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will tip my hat to ladies on the street, and then remove it, when entering many locations. In an airport, I will keep it on, in the concourses, but always remove it when entering a restaurant, the airplane, an airline "club," or similar. When flying, it goes onto the top of the handle of my luggage, or in the hat rack in the PHX United Red Carpet Club (wish ALL RCC's had such accommodations).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for "baseball caps," I often wear those, when playing golf. If we are in the 19th Hole, I will often leave it on, as my hair might frighten people. At my old club, the "19th Hole" was the Gentlemen's Grille, so there were not ladies to be offended by us, keeping our golf hats ON. Now, I would remove the hat, and try to do something with my hair, since the Gentlemen's Grille is co-ed... I am cool with that, but I am not sure if the ladies realized what they were opening themselves up to - men, who have just sweated through 18, and are looking like heck. Most of the club's women can play 18, in the Arizona heat, and never even glisten - plus they finish the round smelling MUCH better - no cigars, or other aromas. Still, we are now co-ed, so the hat comes off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Going back about 18 mos., I was dining at a high-end lunch restaurant, in a Northern CA city, know for its food. A couple came in with a baby. The guy had on a baseball cap, turned about 45 degrees. He sat down, then his wife/GF entered with a child. He did not rise, when she finally got to the table, nor did he pull out her chair. She struggled with the child, and finally sat down. In a few minutes, a male friend joined them, with his baseball cap on backward. When the lady exited the table, the two guys did not even acknowledge her leaving, nor her arrival back at the table. Both were on their cell phones, the entire dinner. When they left, the two guys got up and split for the valet stand, leaving the lady to deal with her chair and the baby. I approached, and pulled her chair out for her, then helped her put the child into a strapped pouch thing, hanging from her neck. All the while, the two guys were on their cell phones on the sidewalk. When the couple's car came, the guy got into the driver's seat, leaving the valet to help his wife with the baby. Such is life today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I cannot be bothered if someone does not want me to place my hat on a vacant chair.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              girloftheworld RE: Bill Hunt Jul 20, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sad to think the off spring was a boy and will have the asshat for a role model rather than you. .. My mom fears we will never find mates because of the example my dad has set for respect toward each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        paulj RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Old school etiquette did more than allow women to wear hats, it demanded that they wear a head covering in most public contexts, especially church.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: paulj Apr 27, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It also prevented women from voting, speaking in court, going to college, etc.* Good thing that someone decided to question the "silly rules", huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Sadly, tradition/etiquette still, in some places, are just as unfair to women today. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom34 RE: MGZ Apr 27, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I understand and agree with many of your points...... but comparing protections & rights contained in the Bill of Rights and Case Law to basic table manners is like stretching a rubber band to the moon :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: Tom34 Apr 27, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Way I see it, rules are rules when it comes to havin' an obligation to consider the reason behind 'em. Moreover, the Bill of Rights predates women bein' able to vote by well over a hundred years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do confess to some hyperbole, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                paulj RE: Tom34 Apr 27, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Victorian table manners that have survived have been the gender neutral ones. The roles, for example, of host and hostess have fallen out of practice:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                has rules about the host escorting a senior lady guest to the table (and the 'most distinguished gentleman with the hostess). It talks about what a gentleman is supposed to do for 'the lady in his charge'. Elsewhere I've of rules about the hostess leading the ladies to drawing room for conversation while the men stay to smoke cigars (or go to the pool room).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                While this page discusses the use of knife and fork (in the European fashion), I don't see anything prohibiting pre-cutting.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc RE: paulj Apr 27, 2013 02:19 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj RE: sandylc Apr 27, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or to quote from the original Emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The knife is held in his right hand exactly as the fork is held in his left, firmly and at the end of the handle, with the index finger pointing down the back of the blade. In cutting he should learn not to scrape the back of the fork prongs with the cutting edge of the knife. Having cut off a mouthful, he thrusts the fork through it, with prongs pointed downward and conveys it to his mouth with his left hand. He must learn to cut off and eat one mouthful at a time."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "A baby of two, or at least by the time he is three, should be taught to dip the tips of his fingers in the finger-bowl, without playing, draw the fingers of the right hand across his mouth, and then wipe his lips and fingers on the apron of his bib."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Children should be taught from the time they are little not to talk about what they like and don't like. A child who is not allowed to say anything but "No, thank you," at home, will not mortify his mother in public by screaming, "I hate steak, I won't eat potato, I want ice cream!""

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These table manner quotes are from chapter 35 (out of 38).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    More space is devoted to topics like the social standing of the private secretary, the duties of the house keeper, what the butler wears, the footmens' livery, how the cooks submits a menu. She does have some things to say about 'the house with limited service':

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The fact that you live in a house with two servants, or in an apartment with only one, need not imply that your house lacks charm or even distinction, or that it is not completely the home of a lady or gentleman."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: paulj Apr 27, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree that many rules are outdated but I still think some gender specific manners are nice such as opening doors (car & others) for ladies, checking in their coats and pulling out their chair and assist them being seated. I also think at functions such as weddings men should offer to go to the bar and bring back drinks for the women. I think these little gestures go a long way toward making a lady feel special & also help prevent headaches later :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MelMM RE: Tom34 Apr 28, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is all good and well, but you wouldn't believe how many men do not know how to hold a door for someone correctly. The point of manners is to make other people's lives easier. If you cause someone discomfort, you aren't really being polite. For example with doors. If the door opens towards you, you pull the door open and stand out of the way. If the door opens away from you, you go through the door and hold it open from the other side, out of the way. You do not stand there half blocking the doorway making her squeeze around you, especially if the lady in question is not someone you are intimate with. In an elevator, go on in and hold the "door open" button. Don't stand there in the door trying to "hold it open" with your arm or body, and all the while just getting in the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, I think sometimes women need to do these same things for others. I will hold a door for anyone substantially older than I am, or for anyone carrying things, or who otherwise look like they might appreciate the assistance, male or female. Or just to let another person go first. I'm female, but have long been a door opener for others. It's just a nice thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        johnny101golf RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Really funny you mention that but thats how i met my wife lol we were both attending a common friends halloween party and we both walked into the building together and i held open the door for her in which she gave me a warm thank you and a smile that i will never forget...fast forward 12 years later we have 2 lovely children together and still keep our passion for each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: johnny101golf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          latindancer RE: johnny101golf Apr 28, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chivalry will get you anywhere and everywhere :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          latindancer RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <you wouldn't believe how many men do not know how to hold a door for someone correctly>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, really, isn't it the thought that counts? It's a 2 second gesture and I don't think I've ever come away from chivalry like that thinking "damn, what the hell is wrong with him... why doesn't he know how to do it 'correctly?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The fact that a person is doing it at all is all that matters to me, nevermind the technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MelMM RE: latindancer Apr 28, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The thought does count, but living in the South, where just about all men open doors, I have the privilege of differentiating those who do it just for show (quite a few), and those who do it more naturally and are really thinking about my comfort. Also, I really don't like having to pass closer than I would normally like to a strange man, especially a large one who is taking up half the doorway. And yet I can't refuse to go through the door being held for me (that would be rude on my part), so it puts me in an uncomfortable position. Men do need to be conscious of not invading our personal space while attempting to be polite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              latindancer RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, that's true :).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for clarifying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tom34 RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The confusion probably stems from the ladies first rule. For a brief moment the man must go first to either grab the door and pull out or push in, enter and hold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tom34 RE: MelMM Apr 28, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Scooter8 RE: MelMM Apr 29, 2013 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love it when someone holds a door open for me just because so many of them can be heavy and hard to open. And I am a small female, so if a man has at least made the effort to open it I can maneuver by without feeling uncomfortable and always make eye contact and thank them. But I have held many doors open for men (always seems to be the gas station) because I figure if I made the effort to get the thing open and I see someone coming, male or female, holding it open (and I do step out of the way) just seems like the right thing to do because all it took was me standing still for a few extra seconds. I was doing it anyways, so maybe I'll get some karma credit for the next time I encounter a heavy door.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                latindancer RE: Tom34 Apr 28, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love this. :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        VenusCafe RE: MGZ May 6, 2013 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A ponytail is worn by many chefs to keep hair out of the food;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it is also worn by women with great faces to display.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually what I CANNOT stand is the way women now have waaaaaaaay too much hair and wear that HUGE hair hanging down in front so it either resembles a beard, part of their dress or an animal (like the ones where they formerly clipped head and tail together for a shrug or small stole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EWSflash RE: MGZ Jun 6, 2013 04:50 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: rancher rick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MelMM RE: rancher rick Apr 26, 2013 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am not a cowboy, I am a lady from Texas (now an ex-pat in another state) who does expect the real (no quotation marks needed) cowboys I know to remove their hats in my home, a restaurant, and most other indoor spaces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rancher rick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      danna RE: rancher rick Apr 29, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll dive in here to back up rick. When we used to hang out with cowboys, it was common to see hats on indoors, including at the table. Now my Mom would often point out that some things that were common were also "common" with that other meaning, but these guys had very traditional manners otherwise, so I would say that at least in their minds, a specific exception is made for cowboy hats on cowboys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: danna Apr 29, 2013 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe we need some sort of cowboy certification program.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hotoynoodle RE: sandylc May 1, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i live in new england, so no resident gauchos here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i have wondered where men would check those giant hats if they were to take them off for dinner. always thought hat-check girls were a thing of the past?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: hotoynoodle Jun 28, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A hat-check area, or lack thereof, is a bone of contention for me too. I always manage, but things could be easier for gentlemen in hats.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EWSflash RE: grampart Jun 6, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, that's one of my hot buttons- wearing hats at the table. I don't know why I feel so strongly about it, but i do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pwmfan RE: justme123 Apr 21, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A question: I never cut up all of my food at once but, when served a thick steak or chop, I cut off a slice and then cut that slice into 3-4 pieces. After I've eaten those pieces I cut another slice and do the same. Would this be viewed as gauche by someone who was a stickler for proper manners? Would it be considered "more correct" to cut off a slice and then cut each bite individually as I eat it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not worried about this when dining with family or friends but rather in the context of business/formal occasions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                64 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pwmfan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NonnieMuss RE: Pwmfan Apr 22, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Excellent question - I find myself doing the same sometimes. Does anyone have a textbook etiquette answer for this one? It's also difficult if you have, say, a filet to just cut one bite off on the first cut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MGZ RE: NonnieMuss Apr 22, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With all due respect, why should you care? I mean I'd be more likely to pick it up like a burger than slice the whole thing into pieces first, but how important is the opinion of strangers or long dead uptight Victorians to you? Eat your chop how you wanna eat your chop, ok?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NonnieMuss RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly I DON'T care, but I'm just plain curious at this point. Since my invitation to the royal wedding seems to have gotten lost in the mail, nothing this particular has come up since. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        monavano RE: NonnieMuss Apr 22, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't get invited either, and I'm 11,254 in line to the throne!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: NonnieMuss Apr 22, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, if it would please you and monavano, I'll arrange for invitations to the christening? You will, however, have to sit with me, and suffer the humiliation that comes when the rest of the family watches me drink wine from a pint glass and eat my roasted meats with my fingers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heatherb RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 11:13 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          danna RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Really? Do you have no respect for the social customs called "table manners"? Is keeping your elbows off the table or your napkin in your lap or waiting until others are served before eating uptight and Victorian?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm shocked at the preponderance of the replies on this topic. Cutting up your meat all at once is poor table manners. Is it rude? No, not in the sense of being discourteous to your tablemates, but yes if one is using rude as a synonym for unrefined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jay F RE: danna Apr 22, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is so wrong, actually, with putting your elbows on the table, Danna? I can easily think of a hundred things that are more annoying, awful, bad--whatever you want to call it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: Jay F Apr 22, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You don't wanna break the rules, especially those that have no present meanin' behind them. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personally, I'm more of a reason over rule guy, even if that has sometimes gotten me into some bit of trouble. When confronted with a silly rule that accomplishes nothing, I'm virtually powerless not to violate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                grampart RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You and I think very much alike MGZ, but keep in mind this is coming from a guy who was called an anarchist by his 3rd grade teacher. I had to look it up and then told my parents all about it.....20 years later!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MGZ RE: grampart Apr 22, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd rather break bread with an anarchist than someone who blindly followed other peoples rules. I have a feelin' the dinner conversation would be much more enjoyable. Besides, the world's not right and anybody who doesn't see that we need to change things kinda scares me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  monavano RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love this reply!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  danna RE: Jay F Apr 23, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good question, Jay. That one actually came to my mind first, because it's the #1 ettiquette rule I wish didn't exist. I like to sit that way. Like all rules of ettiquette, it has to have originated for a sensible reason, I suspect because if you actually ATE (rather than just sit and converse) with your elbows on the table, it would mean leaning into other people's space and generally sloppy, aggressive "shoveling it in."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The OP asked whether the meat cutting thing was considered poor manners and it is. "awful, bad"?..no...less than optimal table manners?.. yes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lagatta RE: Jay F Apr 28, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is a significant difference in this rule between English and French-speakers. No, it isn't polite in formal settings to put your elbows on tables in French-speaking countries, but nobody hids them in their lap, and hands and wrists are definitely seen on tables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mbfant RE: lagatta Apr 28, 2013 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had lived in Italy for about fifteen years when an acquaintance pointed out that "like a good American" I had my hand in my lap -- i.e., the left, while eating pasta with the right. I quickly learned to keep both hands in view at all times, as everyone in Italy does, but with my astute power of observation, I had never noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: mbfant Apr 29, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Were they afraid you were holding a weapon? I seem to remember that as the origin of the hands-above-the-table in some cultures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bill Hunt RE: mbfant Jun 28, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Going way, way back, the practice of keeping both hands in view, while dining, was to show that one was not hiding any weapons below the table.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            globocity RE: Bill Hunt Jul 21, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt: Now the only weapon I fear at the dinner table is a Smartphone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: danna Apr 22, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Napkin in the lap has a practical value. B*tchin' about someone cutting up there food in a different order than you do is just silly adherence to a time long since forgotten. Maybe you still have "downstairs" servants to open the outer envelope before bringing the mail to your chambers, but I had to give mine up when Lehman Brothers collapsed. If we need to adhere to the traditions of the past, shouldn't we go back to the days before forks?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <Maybe you still have "downstairs" servants to open the outer envelope before bringing the mail to your chambers>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is so awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        < If we need to adhere to the traditions of the past, shouldn't we go back to the days before forks?>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eating with hands is the most traditional form of eating, I tell you. The most traditional and educated people eat with their hands....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 22, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're very wise, my friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sooeygun RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Napkin is the lap doesn't have much practical value for me. My chest catches any spills or crumbs before they get a chance to reach my lap. The other well-endowed women in my family agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Sooeygun Apr 22, 2013 01:49 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grampart RE: Sooeygun Apr 22, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The bib that is supplied with a lobster dinner or the bbq shrimp at Mr. B's is probably only reluctantly accepted by the Miss Manners devotees, but I think one should be offered with any dish that contains a staining "aspect". Until such a time arrives, I'll continue to tuck my napkin into my collar, keep my shirt clean, and let the naysayers be damned. jmho

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gastronomos RE: grampart Apr 22, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salad dressing is guaranteed to 'dress' my shirt. A pisghetti dinner in a restaurant will always have me tuck a napkin, paper or linen, into my collar. My shirts no longer suffer red sauce stains. And the looks and comments make for (brief) dinner fodder...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                monavano RE: Sooeygun Apr 22, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love this! My MIL puts the napkin right over her boobs aka, crumb catchers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  melpy RE: Sooeygun Apr 23, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed. I would much prefer to use my napkin in bib fashion. I hate soiling my clothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kengk RE: melpy Apr 23, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The last time I got a spot of sauce on a $100 shirt I vowed that I would commence tucking my napkin in my collar. Don't know if I actually will but I did vow it, to my wife.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      grampart RE: kengk Apr 23, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe get something like this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        lisavf RE: grampart Apr 24, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a dear friend who owns quite a few "bibs" and uses them at every meal. He has a variety of styles and colors, and everyone who knows him accepts this quirk of his. He doesn't make a fuss about it, and neither does anyone else, although we do sometimes have a good laugh when he brings out something particularly outrageous. But I have to say, he has never walked away from a table with a stain on his shirt or tie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jay F RE: kengk Apr 23, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have been tucking my napkin in like a bib since I destroyed an expensive tie. Pants must have cost more than shirts and ties when the lap rule was made up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    danna RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You haven't answered my question. Do you reject the entire concept of table manners, or merely the specific components you don't care for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: danna Apr 23, 2013 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Didn't see your question. Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I spose the best way to put it is that I simply reject the elevation of rule over reason. The only way that elbows on the table are discourteous is if someone told you it was. On the other hand, waiting for others to be able to eat makes inherent sense since the concept of a meal is to eat together. Napkin on the lap keeps your pants clean, but using separate forks just wastes water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But, whatta I know, I once wore white after Labor Day. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: danna Apr 22, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cutting everything and then shoveling it down, napkin sitting on the table and elbows on the table are not good manners but not serious enough to get me upset.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand, If everyone is seated, failing to wait until everyone is served, which usually includes failing to pass sides, I find downright RUDE & OFFENSIVE. When dining at a friends house, I would never, ever, start eating until the cook, who spent hours preparing the meal had a full plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: danna Apr 23, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Cutting up your meat all at once is poor table manners."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Out of curiosity's sake, since you seem to know more about traditional manners than most other 'hounds on this thread, can you articulate how it violates etiquette, other than the fact that in the early 1920s one woman decided she didn't like, to cut one food in any particular way? I mean, Emily, how did that "post" feel when you sat down?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: danna Jun 28, 2013 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah, napkins. Not trying to derail a "cut your meat" thread, but how many have noticed the napkins in BC, or FC, on most airlines? Going back to the days of PanAm, TWA, and some others, like the early United, the napkins had a little addition - a button-hole on one corner. The purpose of that was to allow passengers, with button-front clothing, to actually affix the napkin to the front of their clothing, as the seatbacks were seldom quite upright to the tray tables. Rather than tucking in the napkin to one's collar, this allowed them to protect more parts of their clothing, when dining on the airplane. Not sure about other airlines today, but both UAL and BA have maintained that tradition... but most have not clue, and many have never even noticed the button-hole.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. re: Pwmfan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj RE: Pwmfan Apr 22, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there another way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - cut off triangular pieces from any available corner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - cut off thin slices that can be eaten in one bite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - painstakingly cutting out a cube

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc RE: paulj Apr 23, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      New York Strip: Cut a slice. Cut a bite from the slice and eat it. Etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Pwmfan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pinky107 RE: Pwmfan Apr 23, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Because the customs are different in other countries and even in other regions of the USA, I was taught in an etiquettes class (They used to be taught in some schools that awarded business degrees.) to follow the lead of your host/hostess. If the occasion has many tables of guests and you can't very easily see your host/hostess, follow the lead of the person who is the most senior or with the "highest" title sitting at your table. If you don't know who that is, following the lead of the person you guess may be the oldest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Many responses to your question scoff at the idea of using manners as set out by others. However, I know of a man who didn't get a promotion simply because his table manners weren't acceptable, and he would have been required to entertain clients in his new position. He was advised to take an etiquettes class, and after he had done so and proven (by his use of them at following business functions), his name would be at the top of the list for the next promotion to come about. Manners matter, people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sure, there are extreme examples in every set of circumstances and I would call taking an etiquette class in order to receive a promotion unusual but not unheard of. Although I'd wonder what other methods could be held over an employees head for future advancement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some of the examples in this thread are not business related though, just meals with family & friends. I can't imagine such formality would be required to enjoy eating in a restaurant together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pinky107 RE: HillJ Apr 23, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. I think the formality comes in when your dining in a cloth napkin, multiple spoons and forks setting. However, I'd draw the line on talking with one's mouth full and dancing on the table in the ordinary family restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jlhinwa RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pinky, I used to work for a global investment firm and while most of our locations were in countries with similar cultures as the US, a couple locations were in Asia. Anytime we sent an expat over to our Tokyo office on an extended assignment, they were required to have etiquette training. In that setting, poor manners could have killed business relationships.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom34 RE: jlhinwa Apr 23, 2013 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That makes perfect sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pinky107 RE: jlhinwa Apr 24, 2013 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly! That's what I've been trying to get MGZ to understand but he seems to be a maverick and does things his way or he'll take the highway. LOL Oh, well, at least someone other than myself understands the importance of good etiquette in the business world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MGZ RE: Pinky107 Apr 24, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a big boy. I get the fundamental concept. I assure you, you need never try and get me to understand anything. Most likely, I've already understood and considered it for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As I said, I have eschewed that world of superficial judgment. My life, my choices, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                By way of anecdote, I relate a tale of the time, as an associate, I had dinner with a coupla partners and a very wealthy, famous "corporate raider" and one of his advisers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I picked up the bones from my lamb rack, knowing full well that it is frowned upon, and finished the delicious morsels left on the bone. Our Client, turned and said, "I do that, too", and proceeded to violate the standards as well. The others looked on aghast. The Client and I, both bein' students of philosophy, discussed Satre, Kant, and Hegel over dessert and cognac.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In court the next morning, we got the Client the company he was after. Over time, he stayed a Client, as well as a Billionaire, and I got a raise and was asked to become a partner. My life, my choices, remember?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jlhinwa RE: MGZ Apr 24, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like you had a good read on the client and knew that it would be okay--even a positive thing--which is great. Would you do the same thing with a client who you knew was uptight and a stickler for decorum?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MGZ RE: jlhinwa Apr 24, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Probably. It's funny how forgiving people are when they need you to help 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: MGZ Apr 24, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like you had dinner with T. Boone Pickens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc RE: MGZ Apr 24, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a great story!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But what you did is a LOT different than talking with your mouth full of food and stealing your neighbor's bread plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see that you use your instincts to decide what rules to break. Not everyone has those instincts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, you appear to know some/all of the rules. I always say that one has to learn the rules before they can successfully break them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MGZ RE: sandylc Apr 25, 2013 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Also, you appear to know some/all of the rules. I always say that one has to learn the rules before they can successfully break them."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do know the rules. If I don't, be they social or legal, I'll learn 'em. That way I can contemplate whether they are rational or reasonable. Those that are not, should not continue to be rules. Remember, rules change - and always should be subject to rethinking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm happy to see, for example, that we're gettin' to a point where anyone who is committed to another person can get married and avail themselves of all the rights and protections that come with the institution. Remember, had we no ability (if not obligation) to rethink rules, only white men, of a certain age, who owned real property would have the right to vote.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At bottom, that is the morel* of the story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *Hey, it's a food dork Site, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc RE: Pinky107 Apr 24, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes people act like dogs who are too stubborn to let go of their own tail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bobbert RE: Pinky107 Apr 25, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. Manners matter whether or not you believe they should. I'm all about individualism and saying f.u. to the man and just maybe if I had inherited millions and didn't need to at least partially conform, I would do whatever I wanted just like rich rock stars. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we live in a society that has many social rules that most of us abide by and the rest of us have to live with whether we like it or not. Most accept this and move forward. Some don't and do well but most who don't accept these norms end up not reaching the highest stratums of our society. I know a very bright, engaging 29 y.o. who still doesn't understand why he is having trouble breaking into the business world. He manners at the dinner table are impeccable. His thing? He's covered from head to toe with tattoos. Should it matter? Maybe, maybe not. Does it matter? You bet your ass it does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: bobbert Apr 25, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "He's covered from head to toe with tattoos. Should it matter? Maybe, maybe not. Does it matter? You bet your ass it does."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The question that should be asked is "Why does it matter?" Is the assumption being made that someone is inferior because of the colors of their skin? The other question is, "How long do you think it will matter for?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        grampart RE: MGZ Apr 25, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The question in my mind every time I encounter one of these "illustrated men/women" is, how will they councel their children/grandchildren?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foodieX2 RE: grampart Apr 25, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you asked them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            grampart RE: foodieX2 Apr 25, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not all. I think the majority are still too young to give an honest answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              latindancer RE: grampart Apr 25, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From my experience, the heavily tattooed people you're talking about, are in support of their children/grandchildren doing the same thing. In fact, once the offspring asks for it, and they're of legal age...they waltz 'em down and foot the bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it really depends on the person doing it and the venue/industry/type of environment/work they're in.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If they can find a way to make their head-to-toe tattooing work for them then all the more power to them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If they enter a time in their life when they'd wish they hadn't spent hours in that chair then they really should have spent a little more time figuring out where their life was going.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: latindancer Apr 25, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This part of the thread reminds me of a saying....something about not being able to eat principles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  grampart RE: sandylc Apr 25, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "This part of the thread reminds me of a saying....something about not being able to eat principles."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But you can damned sure choke on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: grampart Apr 25, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd hope, my friend, that they will guide their children based on the lessons they have learned, just like most reasonable adults. Ultimately, I have a problem judging folks by their appearance. When my hair was still long it was always funny to observe the assumptions people made about me - both good and bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bobbert RE: MGZ Apr 25, 2013 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It probably shouldn't matter but the reality is, whether right or wrong, it does. It probably won't matter as much in 10 years as it does now and it matters less now it did 10 years ago. Who knows, maybe he's a trend setter and because of him, 30 years from now all the CEO'S of the Fortune 500 companies will be tweaked out to the max. The point is not whether or not manners should matter, the point is, they do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            latindancer RE: bobbert Apr 25, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course it does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know a *kid* who's graduated from Stanford Law School who, in his highschool years, decided he'd like to grow those holes in his ears with those black plugs (there must be a name for it and I've never bothered to find out).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now he's got these big holes, even though he's removed the plugs, with an incredible law degree and wondering if anyone's going to take him seriously.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            His years of independent, nonconformist, radical years are behind him but now his break into the world of having to conform are going to be a little more difficult....especially in the field he's interested in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              foodieX2 RE: latindancer Apr 25, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ear guaging. It grosses me out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From what I was told, by my hairdresser so it take with a grain of salt, its very expensive to correct and is not covered by insurance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                grampart RE: foodieX2 Apr 25, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, it makes me laugh and I'm with MGZ in the Camp WTFC category, but it certainly does make me wonder at where it's all heading....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. MGZ RE: justme123 Apr 21, 2013 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm squarely in the "who the f*ck cares" camp. Antiquated notions of manners from another time are just that. Personally, I think anyone who cuts up all their food at once is likely wastin' good food. Then again, if it was steak cooked past 125 or so, they might as well destroy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pinky107 RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope your never turned down for a business promotion due to your lack of caring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In my experience, no one gets turned down for a promotion when they are extremely good at what they do. Hell, I refused to wear ties for a coupla years unless I was going to Court and was asked to become a partner early. Sometimes, what folks think is the "right thing" is way more limiting to them than what is the "right thing for them".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At this point, it doesn't matter, I've been self employed for over a decade and haven't had to commute less than walking distance for close to twenty years. We choose our lives. Everything about 'em. There's very little reason to succumb to the restrictions of others if we know that everything in life is purely of our own choosing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grampart RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "We choose our lives. Everything about 'em. There's very little reason to succumb to the restrictions of others if we know that everything in life is purely of our own choosing."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well my friend, it seems we don't think alike on this subject. I tend to believe pretty much the opposite; we don't "choose" anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” ― Albert Einstein

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MGZ RE: grampart Apr 23, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's simply your anarchism conflicting with my existentialism. No sweat. I'd still rather eat with an anarchist than lotsa others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Edit - I'll pay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pinky107 RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Having been in the legal field, too, I'm heartened you recognize the need for proper decorum in the courtroom. And just as there is proper decorum there, it exists in other places, too. Wouldn't you agree that if you refused to wear a tie to Court, your becoming a partner would have been very unlikely? Therefore, although you may be extremely good at what you do, you may have never seen the inside of a courtroom as an attorney. You did, however, agree to "succumb to the restrictions of others" in that case. Good luck in your continuing practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MGZ RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hell, I retired from that nonsense a decade ago. All that "white shoe" money couldn't keep me adhering to bullsh*t. Truth is, I was hired to write, for the most part, and that's what I did. I'd wear a bowtie to court since a necktie reminded me too much of a leash. My success was the product of talent, not obedience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    G&S recognized the need for proper decorum in the legal field many years ago:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .In serving writs I made such a name
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That an articled clerk I soon became;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the pass examination at the Institute,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And that pass examination did so well for me,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But then even Rumpole had a white wig at one time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jlhinwa RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "In my experience, no one gets turned down for a promotion when they are extremely good at what they do." Maybe in the field in which you are employed, but definitely not true across the board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I mentioned above, I used to work for a global investment firm with offices around the world. The most challenging location was Tokyo, and people were turned down for advancement because of not having the right people/social skills, nor the interest in developing them, to be successful. It was routine to educate expats in minute details of business and social etiquette before sending them over. Big brains alone do not equate to success. Entertaining clients in a culture with major differences in etiquette and not being aware or sensitive to those differences is like walking through a minefield. Many employers are not willing to take the chance on losing business or offending good customers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kengk RE: jlhinwa Apr 23, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just today I read where Bill Gates is on somebody's shit list for not shaking hands properly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: kengk Apr 23, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right, Bill Gates has had a devil of a time giving his fortune away...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jlhinwa RE: kengk Apr 23, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kengk, just goes to show that no one is immune from judgment on these things. Remember when Jimmy Carter caused a big flap for daring to kiss the Queen Mother? (Okay, I am clearly dating myself with that one!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            VenusCafe RE: jlhinwa May 7, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG! We are lost if you can 'date yourself' based on what occurred in the reasonably recent past! (the '80s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not that I remember that incident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: jlhinwa Apr 23, 2013 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Maybe in the field in which you are employed, but definitely not true across the board."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not employed. Twenty years ago, I was, and it sucked. I ain't goin' back. I still eat sheep, but won't act like 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is such an awesome topic. In my line of work, dressing is kind of important and kind of unimportant. Let me explain. As a scientist, I can pretty much wear anything from causal to business causal to my meetings. On the other hand, when I am in the lab I have to wear lab coat and gloves.... I can get in real trouble for not wearing a labcoat or safety glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But, wouldn't that be more reason than rule? I mean, safety glasses have a purpose, but a necktie?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <wouldn't that be more reason than rule?>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, but it get fuzzy too, right? I mean. The safety glasses and gloves are definitely based on practical reasons. The lab coats are less so. The lab coats probably marginally protect the person compare to regular coating. I am guessing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I suppose people in other lines of work have to dress in a certain way to show respect -- like wearing ties to dinner or taking off shoes before entering a Japanese house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  grampart RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Besides looking "important", I always thought lab coats were like a body-bib.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: grampart Apr 23, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    :) Like baby body bib? That is adorable:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I can tell you for sure that family doctors definitely wear labcoats to be "important". It isn't like family doctors really go to the labs anyway. They just sit in the office.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And if the labcoats are really to protect the medical doctosr, then trust me that they should not be wearing the ties at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Along those line, why do doctors who go on TV insist upon wearin' scrubs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        grampart RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cuz they be surgeons, man. Cain't be more better than that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They probably view the them (scrubs) as their uniforms, and that they give them a certain level of credibility. I know. It gets pretty silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "[T]hey give them a certain level of credibility. I know. It gets pretty silly."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep. Kinda like when guys wear neckties out to dinner. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jay F RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > Kinda like when guys wear neckties out to dinner. . . .<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What could be sillier?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought about this some more. I think there is one small but important difference. Doctors who wear scrub on a TV show is doing so to demand respect and authority from the audience. People who wear neckties out to dinner is to show respect to the other person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom34 RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find getting dressed up in formal attire every once in while and going out for premium entertainment and 5 star dining is quite rewarding. On the other hand, an evening at a good tavern with great buffalo wings and cold beer get me just as excited, just in a different way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    melpy RE: Tom34 Apr 24, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think this is it. It is all about accepted norms of the situation and individuals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For two hours of trivia and bar food at the local pub, I might have my elbows on the table from time to time to eat my wings etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Still will cut my meat one bite at a time for the most part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hobbert RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some may, but I've worked in ER's and OR's and it gets pretty gross sometimes. I have no idea if I seemed credible but I was happy not to get bodily fluids on my clothes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: Hobbert Apr 23, 2013 04:55 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think we mean those circumstances. After there is real practical reason why medical doctors at one point wearing labcoat or scrubs. MGZ was referring to doctor who go on TV show and wear a scrub. I refered to family doctors who don't not go into labs or operation room and wear a labcoat all day long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some women think men are sexy when wearing scrubs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  donovt RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's why I wear them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PS. I'm not a doctor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My wife wears them but I never got that sensation. Now when she takes them off and is left with the skin tight Under Armour, thats another story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Karl S RE: MGZ Apr 23, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Excusez moi....


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pinky107 RE: MGZ Apr 24, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Non-comformity has its place. But it IS what can land someone involuntarily in the unemployment line. I believe that's the point jihinwa is making. Like he said, "Big brains alone do not equate to success."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Pinky107 Apr 24, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have your worldview. I respect it, like those of everyone else, so long as they are based upon rational consideration. In fact, continue to be vested in it. I'm sure it is serving you well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nevertheless, please keep in mind that it is just your worldview. That does not make it objectively the correct one. And, realize,just 'cause you preach, it doesn't mean everyone's gonna wanna be baptized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lotsa folks spend their lives learning. Let 'em learn what they choose to learn. Perhaps, to them, it's more important to study bricklayin' than other cultures' customs. That, ok?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jlhinwa RE: Pinky107 Apr 24, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              'But it IS what can land someone involuntarily in the unemployment line.' Yes, saw it happen more than once, with Ivy league MBA's and PhD's. It wasn't outright manners that would do them in, but the apparent belief that their IQ's and pedigrees earned them the right to ignore the conventions of their work environment. An asshole is an asshole, even if they have a Harvard MBA, 1600 SAT scores and a 180 IQ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. John E. RE: justme123 Apr 21, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It has never occurred to me that cutting up one's food on your own plate would be rude. I have never run across this 'rule'. I have only remembered seeing such food eating when young children or the elderly are involved. I don't see how it could possibly be seen as being rude. I also don't see how anyone could possibly be offended by such innocuous behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc RE: John E. Apr 21, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Basic etiquette rule. Cut one bite at a time. Arbitrary? Probably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. RE: sandylc Apr 21, 2013 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I understand that. I have not observed it but for the exceptions I pointed out. I don't think people should hold their fork in their fist, but I don't get worked uo over it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ipsedixit RE: sandylc Apr 21, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think this is where alot of this thread goes haywire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a difference between socially improper (breach of etiquette) and socially impolite (rude).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think, in this case of pre-cutting, it is more the former than the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc RE: ipsedixit Apr 21, 2013 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's a really perceptive point. What silly rule are you breaking vs. whose feelings are you hurting......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ipsedixit RE: sandylc Apr 21, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you mean it's a matter of perspective (as opposed to "perceptive") then you're absolutely right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All social norms are a matter of perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: ipsedixit Apr 21, 2013 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, I meant perception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc RE: ipsedixit Apr 21, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But your perspective is also welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: sandylc Apr 21, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Instead of whose feelings are being hurt, my perspective is who is allowing their feelings to be hurt over something as innocuous as this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: John E. Apr 22, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was attempting (apparently poorly) to differentiate between silly rules and rules that actually are in place to avoid insulting people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MGZ RE: sandylc Apr 22, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't think you did a poor job at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NonnieMuss RE: sandylc Apr 22, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's also the school of thought that good manners means making everyone around you feel as comfortable as possible. If cutting meat a certain way makes someone uncomfortable, well,... I can't think of a situation where this could make someone truly uncomfortable. If you were having dinner with the queen and your husband was mincing everything on his plate, then sure. Awkward! Otherwise who would care enough to get squicky about it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          monavano RE: NonnieMuss Apr 22, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the words of Joy Behar, "so what, who cares?".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CKaty RE: NonnieMuss Apr 23, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can I like your comment? If cutting up their food in advance makes someone I am dining with happy and able to enjoy their meal more, then why on earth would it bother me? I cannot imagine staring at someone else's plate enough to even notice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CKaty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              monavano RE: CKaty Apr 23, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I mentioned above (or below?) that I noticed my mom cutting up all her food before digging in to eat, when she visited DH and I a few years ago. I guess since I've switched to (mostly) cutting food one bite at a time, it seemed different.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But, I made her a favorite; lamb chops. They're pricey and I overcooked hers a bit because she doesn't like meat as rare as i do. No biggie. She cut all of her 2 chops. No biggie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Know what the "biggie" was?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Watching my mom enjoy those lamb chops to pieces!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It brought me joy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. melpy RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes! We were just talking about this last night. I believe it started when parents would cut food for children at the beginning of the meal to save time. It grates on my nerves. We have several friends who do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HillJ RE: melpy Apr 22, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  melpy are the kids old enough to cut their own food up or are your friends just getting the kids situated so they can focus on their own dining enjoyment?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    melpy RE: HillJ Apr 22, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The several friends have no children but cut all their own food up before eating. They are in their late 20s and mid thirties. Sorry for the confusion. I also think I may have been harsh in that it is not rude but uncouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: melpy Apr 22, 2013 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My father had a visiting business associate over for dinner once when I was.....5 or 6? Now, know that I was cutting my own steaks by about age 3. Well, this guy, who was sitting next to me, without skipping a beat in the conversation, reached over and cut up everything on my plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice family guy, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NO!!!! I burst into tears because I thought he had ruined my food and my poor mother had to get me a new plate.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pinky107 RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's funny, but I'm sure the business associate was terribly embarassed that he made you cry. He meant well but he happened upon the only 3 year old in the state that could cut up his/her own steak. BTW, I'm curious whether you cut it all up at one time, or 1 or 2 pieces at a time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pinky107
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: Pinky107 Apr 23, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, one at a time! Strict table manners in our house. Funny, my elderly remaining parent has entirely forgotten hers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tom34 RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny you mentioned that about the elderly. Growing up, my grandfather could recite the book. Never saw him without a formal shirt and tie. After he could no longer drive, he put on a 3 piece suit to walk to WaWa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After about age 80, his table manners vanished. Most notably was starting before others & failing to pass sides. He loved to eat & I often wonder if it was the last thing he had to look forward to and just couldn't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc RE: Tom34 Apr 23, 2013 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think maybe they are working hard just to keep track of themselves and aren't thinking about others as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Isolda RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the reason this behavior is considered rude is because it's all about eating efficiently, greedily focusing more on the food than on one's dining companions. It's a minor etiquette offense, in my book, and one I'm not likely to notice, especially if it's not accompanied by behavior that's truly disgusting, such as____________(fill in the blank.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      paulj RE: Isolda Apr 22, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      " it's all about eating efficiently, greedily focusing more on the food than on one's dining companions" - that is projection, ascribing a motive to a simple act.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A person who cuts all their meat at the start, focuses on that task for a few minutes, but after wards is free to pay more attention to their companions. On the other hand, the person who cuts one bite at a time, has to momentarily shift their attention to the cutting at each bite. Plus there's all the noise when they set the knife and fork down to switch hands. And who's to say they aren't more focused on the food. After all, one of the reasons given for cutting one bite at a time is that it keeps the food warmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rules like this shift the attention from the real faults (greed, self absorption, judgmentalism, etc) to superficial things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Isolda RE: paulj Apr 22, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Paul, I didn't make the "rule" and could not care less if you follow it. This was the logic used to explain to me when I was a child why the behavior was considered rude, and it still makes sense to me. However, as I said in my post, I hardly notice if others do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Calling all such rules superficial overlooks the fact that manners are intended to demonstrate our participation in the social order, and that we are not greedy, self-absorbed or judgmental. Following what we might think of as a trivial rule can indicate great respect for others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          paulj RE: Isolda Apr 23, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          or respect for those who had out the brownie points (aka promotions).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MGZ RE: Isolda Apr 23, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Calling all such rules superficial overlooks the fact that manners are intended to demonstrate our participation in the social order, and that we are not greedy, self-absorbed or judgmental."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To be clear, your belief is that pointing out others etiquette flaws is not judgmental? Or that anyone can define the "social order"? Didn't the latter lead to separate water fountains?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Honestly, had I been raised to have the same rote adherence to every rule, my life probably would've been a lot easier. Although, it certainly would've been less fun, or true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HowDoYouDoThat RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can certainly understand your annoyance, but I find it just that, annoyance. To me holding a fork in your fist and stabbing your food to cut it is something I would rather not see. We all have our quirks, I probably have more than most! Happy eating everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Gastronomos RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Speaking from only personal experience, here in New York. I know of two older gentlemen that cut up all their food before they start eating. Whether French toast for breakfast or steak for dinner as an example. They have become tired and just want to sit and eat. Manners and etiquette mean little to them anymore. One of the two knows what’s proper and very much knows how to use a fork and knife but is just a nervous older gentleman that wants to eat and enjoy food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The other may know by looking at others at the table that he doesn’t have the refined table manners others do and points out “other things” or “makes comments” if anyone alludes to his behavior. His daughter once asked why he cuts up his whole steak before beginning to eat. ONCE. He doesn’t know how to properly hold a knife and fork to cut his steak anyway, so he does it quickly at the beginning and avoids the constant dinner long knife cutting and eating with a twisted fist and subsequent attention grabbing thing he gets with his poor knife and fork skills. It is only drives some people crazy when if in conversation something comes up and he verbally lashes back at something else. A defense mechanism of his knowingly clueless ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some consider it snobbery to actually know something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A cousin of mine had his mother cut his steak or pork chop for him until he was well into his 20’s. He now has his wife do this for him at the table or before dinner at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John E. RE: Gastronomos Apr 22, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "A cousin of mine had his mother cut his steak or pork chop for him until he was well into his 20’s. He now has his wife do this for him at the table or before dinner at home."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is really weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: John E. Apr 22, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <That is really weird.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I actually find that rude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jay F RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 22, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah. It's one thing to do it yourself, but to have someone else do it? Just ain't right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MGZ RE: Jay F Apr 22, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, if Mommy's still wipin' your ass at twentysomething . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom34 RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That was the first thing that came to my mind too but I was afraid to say it, LOL :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      monavano RE: MGZ Apr 22, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously, it's like some adults who have a baby fetish. Something is not right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood RE: monavano Apr 22, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'cept for that usually stays (or should) in the bedroom... which really is nobody's business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          monavano RE: linguafood Apr 22, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not really, since I saw if on tv! A handful of times in fact (Dr. Phil is one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood RE: monavano Apr 22, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Right. But we're not talking about people with an adult baby fetish showing up at the dinner table in diapers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are all kinds of.... interesting folk on daytime TV, I hear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              monavano RE: linguafood Apr 22, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sometimes, you have to see it to believe it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: linguafood Apr 22, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <talking about people with an adult baby fetish>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's not exaggerate, shall we? It is a stretch to equalize these people to babies. Ridiculous. Absolutely, unfair to the babies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Babies can perfectly eat on their own -- maybe in some unsophisticated forms, but they have no probably eating.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They don't demand people to cut up foods for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 22, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wasn't the one equating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: linguafood Apr 22, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    True, true. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gastronomos RE: linguafood Apr 24, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i've not made it my business to comment....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                VenusCafe RE: Gastronomos May 7, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've made it my business not to comment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: Jay F Apr 22, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really don't care too much about etiquette. If you want to cut up all the food, cut with your fork, poke with your chopsticks, eat with your hands.....etc. These are bad etiquette, but that just mean you eat differently than what are considered to be the proper or educated forms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Having another person to feed you (or cut up all the foods for you) is a completely different issue. It is just not caring and thoughtful to make people to cut up food for you -- assuming you are physically capable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom34 RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 22, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some king of freak is how I see a physically normal adult being fork fed by mommy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          monavano RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 22, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          His momma ought to be slapped! She raised a boy, not a man.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To be blessed with all your digits and the motor skills to execute such a task, and not us them, is really stunted.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't imagine marrying a man who wanted me to cut his food. There just wouldn't be a second date, let alone a wedding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bkeats RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 24, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Has anyone watch "Big Bang?" Howard fits the description.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gastronomos RE: John E. Apr 24, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it still bothers me to see this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Chemicalkinetics RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <It drives me crazy when people cut up all of the food on their plate before they begin to eat>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know.... I know a few people who do this. Maybe not all of the food, but they do cut up a good portion of the food, then eat, then cut up a good portion again. I actually wish I do that, but I don't because I don't have the patient to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it has a lot to do with American dining etiquette which requires switch the fork...etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. EarlyBird RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I dont' see how this would be "rude," but I do think it's childish and uncouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              monavano RE: EarlyBird Apr 22, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sucking your thumb is childish, cutting up all your food, not so much to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is what it is. If this is what someone knows and has always done, so what, who cares?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As an aside, I find it fascinating watching celeb chefs eat on shows like Top Chef etc. Have you ever seen Colichio's fork holding skills? He looks like a 6-year old.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's funny how so many chefs hold utensils in a juvenile fashion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, open up that whole can of worms now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: monavano Apr 22, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, yes, the fork-in-the-fist syndrome. Now, THAT looks foolish and childish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bkeats RE: monavano Apr 24, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We were having dinner at one of those trendy places in W'burg. Three young, fashionably dressed women were having dinner next to us. It was fascinating watching them eat. Its was as though they had been dropped on the planet and faced eating with unfamiliar implements. They set down their personal communicators (cellphones), grabbed forks in varying fist or crayon holding manners, and stabbed their food. I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Wife and I spent all dinner speculating about what planet they might be from and what the culture there must be like. We created quite a world. It was very amusing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <Three young, fashionably dressed women>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They probably look at you and think.... Man, those two do not know anything about fashion. What planets are they from?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HillJ RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      so who exactly was from planet strange?> the three young woman or the couple speculating all through dinner?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      so, where's the lesson in manners for you and your wife, BKeats?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you're right, it is amusing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bkeats RE: HillJ Apr 24, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No doubt they were looking at the old (or maybe not so young) dude and wondering what's wrong with the stiff from planet suit. I gave up trying to be hip long ago. I take great comfort in the fact that its so much easier and more fun to be un-hip. And since I'm not busy spending my money on new clothes to be fashionable, I have more money to spend on food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But to think in the vein of Lake Woebegone, if everyone is hip doesn't that mean no one is?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          grampart RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          George Gobel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your point is well taken, but then you do understand that everyone has different priority. So while you may think the three ladies are weird for not knowing how to properly hold knives and forks. They may think you are weird for not knowing how to dress trendy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grampart RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 24, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Zappa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gastronomos RE: grampart Apr 24, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank Zappa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank Zappa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 24, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How far would the young women have to take it before you would think it remarkable? Putting their faces in their plates like dogs? I'm serious here, not sarcastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: sandylc Apr 24, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One can say the same about clothing. How bad would someone has to dress to consider unacceptable? I am not avoiding your question, but rather trying to put some perspectives. I think we all have different "lines" to draw as to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let me be very honest in answering your question. If the young women were to eat straightout of the plates, then I would think they are very strange and possibly uneducated in this aspect, but I won't call them "rude". To me, rude implies a level of intended misbehavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 24, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very astute. One of the great dilemmas of humankind: Proving intent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bkeats RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 24, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Totally understand we all have different priorities. But it's so hard to be trendy. What's trendy today is passé tomorrow. If I'm not trendy now, I don't have to worry about if I won't be trendy tomorrow. Much more comfortable. Food, clothes, being trendy is hard. I just stick with what I like. I hope everyone else does too. That way none of us can be "wrong." I spent way too much effort when I was younger trying to do the right things, be at the right places so I would seem hip. Now I don't worry about it. Much easier to stay sane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <But it's so hard to be trendy. What's trendy today is passé tomorrow.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very good point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the dining etiquette, I think certain level is expected. I expect people learn to wait for the host before eating. I expect people be pleasant and conversational around the dining table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I have written to sandylc, I do hope people know how to hold their knives and forks, but I won't say they are rude otherwise. Unsophisticated, maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              paulj RE: Bkeats Apr 24, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Speculating about the origins of other diners has a long and honored history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              'Mary Barr Munroe, writing for the March 2, 1889 edition of Good Housekeeping, reflected on some people-watching she herself had recently done in New York. As she sat at a New York City restaurant she “saw a richly dressed woman with every evidence a lady, handle her knife, fork, and napkin in a way that bespoke anything but gentle breeding”. '

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Etiquette of Eating Olives – Victorian-Era Table Manners

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                VenusCafe RE: Bkeats May 7, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not saying it is similar at all...but about 30 years ago (before
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the really bad manners), a beautiful and accomplished woman had us for dinner at her ocean side home. She ate the dinner with her hands! I was fascinated. It was an extremely elegant performance. I enjoyed it soooooo much! Found out that I was unable to duplicate that elegance at home; it was entirely her elegance and custom that pulled it off as a lovely action.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: VenusCafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jlhinwa RE: VenusCafe May 7, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting....curious to know, what was the dinner? It would be easier to pull off elegant with certain foods than others. For example, I cannot imagine how one could eat something like spaghetti or lasagne with hands and not be anything but a mess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: jlhinwa Jun 28, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Um-m, maybe Seafood Gumbo Over Rice?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: VenusCafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: VenusCafe May 8, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beautiful and accomplished are clues that indicate how she got away with it. Also, it sounds like she possibly made an artistic statement of some sort with her "performance". Different than your typical slob jamming food randomly into their pie hole ;-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EDIT: Oh, but thank you for that story; it is interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: VenusCafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bobbert RE: VenusCafe May 10, 2013 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Found out that I was unable to duplicate that elegance at home"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a similar situation with a beautiful young woman who lives next door to me. When she puts out the garbage every Tuesday morning it is so elegant and lovely. No matter how hard I try to emulate her, every Tuesday morning I'm still an overweight middle aged guy just lugging out the trash. Now that I think of it, it appears that beautiful people always look better than me regardless of what they're doing:-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobbert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        debbiel RE: bobbert May 10, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crap. I just realized I forgot to take out the trash today, elegantly or otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Scooter8 RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one thing I always cut at least half up at a time is a wedge salad or a romaine salad with the whole heart with big leaves on the plate. I like to make sure I can get dressing on it evenly and not accidentally get lettuce on the table every time I try to cut it (especially a wedge salad because they can be cumbersome and in one unfortunate situation, a little slippery.) I am also a slow eater and often dine with a few very fast eaters and have found that sometimes I can keep up with their pacing of the meal a little better if I cut 3 or 4 bites at once. I'm pretty sure they prefer I break the rules and do this rather than slow everyone down because the alternative is I end up with everyone staring at me eat or most of my meal in a to-go container. One of my friends particularly likes the fact that I am a slow eater because we often split an appetizer and an entrée and he gets about 3/4 of it and the rest is the perfect amount for me. I would be more careful about following the lead of someone in a business related meal or if I had a mother in law. I was taught well by my Mom on when to be on your best behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Scooter8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: Scooter8 Apr 22, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Years ago I remember my mother using a knife and fork to cut up her salad if some of the pieces were too large. I thought it was weird back then. Now, I occasionally find myself doing the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pinky107 RE: John E. Apr 23, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do that, too. However, I've found that in your "better" restaurants, the lettuce is hand torn into bite size pieces for the regular-type lettuce salad.. I loooove that. At Appleby's, etc. and your Mom & Pop cafe, be prepared to cut your own lettuce once the salad is served.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. monavano RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scooter8 20 minutes ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The one thing I always cut at least half up at a time is a wedge salad or a romaine salad with the whole heart with big leaves on the plate. I like to make sure I can get dressing on it evenly and not accidentally get lettuce on the table every time I try to cut it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me too. I have to be sure the dressing gets into every nook and cranny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    givemecarbs RE: justme123 Apr 22, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've seen this, usually done quickly with great energy and gusto. My only concern would be if the person was a close friend or family member and left behind a juicy chop or steak or something else midnight snack worthy, now in pieces.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've told my one friend if you aren't going to eat it all don't mangle it as someone else might really enjoy it now or later. I can see the other point of view too though. It is their food. So I'm only horrified if something expensive and yummy gets mulched up and then discarded. But only for practical reasons. Then again many manners are based on practicality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc RE: justme123 Apr 23, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I once got into a heated debate about grammar with someone. My argument was that the reason to make a good attempt to learn and adhere to good grammar was because if random people began speaking in random ways, the quality of communication would erode. Eventually I could imagine neighboring towns not understanding each other's speech at all if there weren't any language rules.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This idea applies to table/social manners. Eating together is another form of interaction that needs to be organized with rules to avoid misunderstandings and chaos. When everyone is familiar with at least most of the rules, the meal and the social experience go more smoothly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's just another way to organize social interaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it is bad to criticize another's lack of manners and etiquette knowledge; but I think it is equally bad to scoff at the existance of rules intended for smooth interaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see on this thread a number of individuals who don't know the rules of table etiquette and speak derisively of them. I see others who do know the rules and speak derisively of people who don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe everyone should make an honest effort to learn table etiquette; it would solve both problems at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like what you wrote but frankly I find it unnecessary to remind adults how to behave. I don't even know you. But I can still respect your belief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe if there's anything to be learned it's that we all come by our humble efforts on our own terms and once we hit a certain age what's expected of us varies. I'm grateful for what my parents and grandparents, mentors and colleagues have taught me. They also taught me to think for myself. Which lesson you'd rather follow is up to you...and should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          donovt RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I once ate a meal where one person buttered their roll all at once while another used the wrong fork for salad. The chaos that ensued was frightening. I'm lucky I survived.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc RE: donovt Apr 23, 2013 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're using my husband's trick of zeroing in on details instead of looking at the big picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wyogal RE: donovt Apr 23, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and I suppose they passed the salt without the pepper, too! ha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: donovt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NonnieMuss RE: donovt Apr 24, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're lucky the shock didn't cause you to drop your monacle into your brandy snifter! Simply the thought makes me clutch my pearls. (Fans self... Rethinks... Orders maid to fan self.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                debbiel RE: sandylc Apr 23, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But the table manners identified in the OP are far from universally accepted, even when they are "known." Who decided those rules reign?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I still have difficulty with understanding how someone buttering an entire roll at once will result in chaos of any sort. I really cannot imagine how. How does that disrupt social interaction? In my mind, a gathering at which that would cause discomfort, let alone chaos, is one at which the formality and rigidity of the expectations would likely be what stifles social interaction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We are often able to communicate quite effectively with people who have not mastered grammar rules. I only recently started using anything other than present tense in Spanish, yet my travels in Spain were very rich with social interactions. Likewise, I suspect most dinner gatherings could be lovely with a mix of bite butterers and whole butterers at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kengk RE: debbiel Apr 23, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you note any incidents of missing salt or pepper shakers in Spain?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: debbiel Apr 23, 2013 04:49 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    See my answer above, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. foodieX2 RE: justme123 Apr 23, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For the folks who don't agree with manners and who prefer to follow their own lead I am curious what do you do when traveling to places with different manners, protocols and/or customs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For example:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Would you stab your food with a chop stick because it makes it easier to pick it up?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Demand a utensil when eating with your hands is the custom? Eat with your left hand when right is the proper way?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Start eating before your host has indicated?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lean back with your chair on two legs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or do you follow the customs and mannerisms of your "host country"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  71 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: foodieX2 Apr 23, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <For the folks who don't agree with manners and who prefer follow their own lead>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A very good point indeed, and I cannot answer for others since I am somewhat in between on this issue. However, there is a big difference. The people who disagree did not do so because they refuse to follow the etiquette. What they disagree is the fact that people should not get upset if others break the rule. For example, you will use the chop sticks properly, but you won't get mad if someone stab with a chopstick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or more simply. You will bow to another person in Japan, but you don't get upset if someone forget to shake your hand in America.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      foodieX2 RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      weird, double post!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        debbiel RE: foodieX2 Apr 23, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think people should make an attempt, yes. And of course, one should prioritize one's learning, focusing first on those customs that are most valued. And people should recognize that errors will be made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But really, this tangent falls a bit off for me, because it seems to rely on the etiquette issues that have been identified on this and today's other etiquette threads as universally accepted in this society (and by that I guess I mean the US). They are not. And I'm not sure many of them would be expected by a majority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The fact is that we have a wide range of local dining customs in this country. Above you allude to "...folk who don't agree with manners..." I doubt there are many people on this thread that don't agree with manners. We just have different views about what important manners are.