“He Ain’t Got No Couth!”
I was out to dinner at a nice restaurant with some friends and I realized that the bread plates on both my left and right were already occupied with my neighbor’s rolls. This was the result of a chain reaction when someone used the incorrect plate and then the mix-ups got compounded until the only remaining empty plate was clear across from me! And I really wanted a roll, too!
It is no wonder that many Suddenly Solo women have mentioned to me that more than a few of their first dates killed any hope of a love connection as the result of what they called their date’s bad dinner manners.
So, in the interest of making sure that our entire gender is not wholly maligned by the dining faux pas of just a few, here are some easy-to-follow mealtime rules to remember:
- Eat what’s on your left. Drink what’s on your right. The bread plate is on your left and the beverage glasses are on your right. Water glasses are generally the largest glasses if there is more than one. The glass should remain in the upper right area when not in use.
- Napkin goes on your lap promptly upon seating. No shirt tuck-ins. It should just cover your lap… it’s not a bib!
- Chew with your mouth closed and do not talk with food in your mouth. Yes, in the year 2013, we still have a problem with men chewing with their mouths wide open. If you have something to say, refrain from filling your mouth the moment before. In order to recover if expected to speak, only put a single bite in your mouth at a time.
- Bring your food to your face, not your face to your food. You shouldn’t be leaning over your food, shoveling it into your mouth with a distance traveled of only 6 inches.
- When you are finished with your meal, think of your plate as a clock face and place the knife and fork together diagonally at 10-4. The fork below the knife, tines up and sharp edge of the knife facing the fork.
Assuming you know not to drink your soup directly from the bowl, these basics should reinforce your reputation as a real “gentleman!”