Miss Manners Is My Name Too

January 28, 2007 at 8:56 pm 20 comments

Pap and I took the grandgirls out to eat last night at an other than fast food restraunt.  When our salads were delivered, Jazzmin looked at the two forks by her plate and asked which fork she was supposed to use.  As if on autopilot I went into the “number of tines equals which dish” speech.  I don’t know when I learned this stuff, but I know everything about table settings.  There is no amount of silverware, plates and glasses you can lay out on a table that will flummox me.  After sharing my wisdom on tableware with my grandgirl, she said “Why?” 

Why in deed.  I don’t believe I’ve ever been asked to eat with the President or any other dignitary.  There isn’t a five star restaraunt within 100 miles of my house.  I don’t remember  ever eating at a five star restaraunt.  So why is this needless information cluttering up my brain?  Who taught me this stuff?!  It gets worse…I really can’t get myself to wear white shoes after labor day.  I actually know exactly what to wear for any occasion.  I know the precise number of days before a party that the invitation must be mailed to meet the rules of polite society.   I can’t stop myself from R.S.V.P.ing.  Some days I feel like I’m channeling Emily Post. 

Anybody know of a support group for the overly mannered?


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20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catch  |  January 28, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    This was cute…I am just the opposite..lol. I never RSVP, my friends all know that. I use whichever fork I grab….and they are my shoes so I will wear any color I want when I want…lol.

  • 2. katcampbell  |  January 28, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Catch – I envy your free and easy ways. I’m a prisoner of my good manners.

  • 3. J.  |  January 28, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    LMAO! When you find one, let me know. I’m the exact same way, right down to the whites …

  • 4. frothingatlemouse  |  January 28, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    I’m a mix. I know the rules and feel guilty, sorta, when I forget or break them. Then it’s too late, so I forget or ignore them again. The white shoe thing. While I know you can wear white whenever, especially here in Houston, I have a guard in my head that says, “No. No. No. You won’t wear white shoes. At all. Unless they’re flipflops.”

  • 5. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  January 29, 2007 at 2:16 am

    I am not certain a support group is required. While some of the “rules” seem archaic, I think our society could use more manners. Like you, I never wear white shoes before Memorial Day or after labor day. I can use unlimited silverware in the proper order and could actually seat guests from the President to my next neighdoor neigbhbor in proper order of protocol. Growing up in my family it was called “doing the done thing.” And the worst thing my parents could say about our behavior was “that is not the done thing.” There have been plenty of days in my life where doing the done thing has gotten me through tricky situations with grace, compassion and good manners. And I think there are worse faults to have! At which five star restaurant shall meet each other for tea?

  • 6. Hammer  |  January 29, 2007 at 4:17 am

    I know how to do it but I find myself ignoring the rules. Too much trouble. table manners are on thing but salad forks and folded napkins are a little much.

  • 7. Mr. Fabulous  |  January 29, 2007 at 5:19 am

    I really admire that. I don’t know any of that stuff.

    Teach me!

  • 8. QuillDancer  |  January 29, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Kat — I know the rules, but they never seem to apply to my life. Which fork do you eat the pizza with? Who cares? I’m using my fingers!

  • 9. katcampbell  |  January 29, 2007 at 6:00 am

    J. – On alert for support group.

    Frothing – I’m sure white flip flops are not included in the list of seasonal shoes.

    Dr. Kate – “the done thing” wow did that stir up a memory or two of my natural mother. Must have been her that imprinted all these rules on me. I can’t think of one thing I’d rather do than meet you at a 5 star restraunt for a long, leisurely talk and well mannered dinner.

    Hammer – Like me, you probably don’t have many occasions where it makes much of a difference. I bet you always hold the door open for a lady, and couldn’t imagine not doing that.

    Mr. Fab – Now that would be a book! Miss Kat teaches Fabulous to emulate his name. Get my room ready, I could get into a little Florida weather while we have our lessons.

    Quilly – My point exactly! Although, I still can’t get myself to eat Pizza with my fingers.

  • 10. bobciz  |  January 29, 2007 at 6:15 am

    I figure, when in doubt, use your fingers. Except with soup…..

  • 11. QuillDancer  |  January 29, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Kat, my first meal in my soon-to-be mother-inlaw’s home was pizza. I suppose I should have realized when we sat down to a fully set dining room table that in her house pizza was fork food, but no — I picked the damned thing up! All eyes focused on me. My soon-to-be brother-in-law saved me. He picked his up, too.

  • 12. Diesel  |  January 29, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Well, that’s one problem I don’t have. Maybe I should stop giving my “extra fork” back to the waiter.

  • 13. Cindra  |  January 29, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    so glad to hear this. i get in so much hot water…i hate slurping, elbows on the table, etc. you are my twin, darlin’.

  • 14. Stacy  |  January 29, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    At one time my dad worked for the Mellon family, managing their wildlife preserve. I attended a private school with their grandchildren. We had many opportunities to hobnob with the rich and slightly famous so manners were really emphasized. Even before and after that, though, I remember manners be taught and used at home and at school. The social graces were just a part of life. I’m glad that some of them have fallen by the wayside because they were just too ridiculous, but I sure wish others were still taught. Like table manners. Nothing turns me off faster and gives me a worse first impression of someone than talking with a mouth full of food or chewing with the mouth gaping open…..or my beautiful daughter thinking it’s hilarious to let fly with a huge echoing belch at the table.

  • 15. DaveM  |  January 30, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Good manners will always stand you in good staid. Even if they slip now and again at least you know what’s correct. Much better that way than being ignorant.

  • 16. NMOTB  |  January 30, 2007 at 2:01 am

    Hi Kat – It’s me the stranger from SA!! *wink* Jeepers, I am impressed!!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being over mannered – You never know when you might need them!!!

    Take Care

  • 17. Dale  |  January 30, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Add me to the list of those in favor of manners. Some that I know are so much a part of me now that I am literally disgusted by those that don’t practice them.

    Just for the grandgirls: Fine dining cheat sheet, rule number 1 – use the silverware from the outside first, work your way in.

  • 18. katcampbell  |  January 30, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Bob – Remind me not to invite you out to dinner.

    Quilly – What a great brother-in-law, you should have married him!

    Diesel – LOL, good manners definately create a lot more dirty dishes.

    Cindra – ANY kind of eating noise sends all my nerves jangling. More kids were barely past toddler stage before I was saying “don’t scrape that spoon on your teeth”.

    Stacy – Table manners I see the point behind, its just less disgusting.

    Dave – You’re right. I’ve never been nervous about eating out with anyone anywhere because I know what to do.

    New Mom! You found time in the crazy schedule to go visiting! Nice to see you.

    Dale – They’ll still want to know why…crazy kids are annoying creatures.

  • 19. katcampbell  |  January 30, 2007 at 8:56 am

  • 20. sunfloweroptimism  |  January 31, 2007 at 4:36 am

    . . . but are you obsessive about having your shoes and pocketbook match?

    I think I’m too far gone. . .


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