Dying Etiquette | Blogs

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Dying Etiquette
Blogs, People

“There is no penalty for bad etiquette, but the result of bad etiquette lies in the disapproval of one’s peers.”(p. 1 Dining Etiquette 101).

Unless you grew up in a family that highly influenced and sometimes pressed for you to practice proper etiquette, you may not be aware of the guidelines of dining.  This is unfair to you. Etiquette accompanied by manners is crucial in maintaining a respectful society. I use respect in the sense of respecting oneself, which leads to others respecting you, and respecting parties involved. Even if your grandmother made you place your napkin in your lap and persistently told you to “sit up straight at the dinner table”, and would not let you leave the table unless you asked to be excused, you may not be aware that etiquette accompanied by manners is the cover of the book that is You. Rules of etiquette are the tools that should be firmly engraved in every one, so that we are given a fair chance at surviving a night out whether it be with a peer, an elder, or a blind date.

As a girl I grew up with a grandmother who taught me etiquette and instilled every manner. I do not like to consider myself an etiquette snob, although I do recognize when people lack in social and dining etiquette. Last week I went to dinner with someone I met a few months ago. We ordered a bottle of wine and several artisan cheeses.  We broke bread, or actually, I broke bread. He shoved the entire piece of bread slathered in butter into his mouth. I sat across the table from him, trying to let the bread situation go, and praying he would not choke.

Earlier this week, I met someone on a blind date. He suggested we meet at Local 188.  I considered a meeting in a dimly lit restaurant with no overhead lighting, and the quiet hum of peers to be the perfect atmosphere for getting to know someone. When I arrived he was sitting at the bar, waiting for me. Immediately, he stood up and took my coat to hang it. I felt as if I was calculating what all of this meant when in reality who could have known because this was a perfectly good stranger. Regardless, after we sat down at the bar I realized he had taken my coat, but he was still wearing his. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable because at any moment he could get up and walk out on me. Now, after spending a little under a half hour getting to know him, I decided it would not be the worst thing if he got up and walked out, but still to be wearing his jacket was rude. It is a similar concept to walking into someone’s home and not taking off your jacket. Hence the phrase, “take your coat off (or shoes), and stay a while”.  (When removed from the home setting this phrase is applicable to the public setting as well).

We spoke about what we each do for work, our hobbies, books and movies and covered some informal ground.  I was on my second drink of the hour, and he was on his fifth or sixth, hard to say. He began to sweat and as much as I wished earlier that he’d take his jacket off, once it was off, I wished it would be put back on. He apologized for how many drinks he had while he removed his jacket and slumped back in the bar chair. His belly protruded from underneath his button down flannel shirt, and it became apparent to me that he was no longer nerved up, but was flailing in a little cart without brakes down the hill of self-destruction. He had suddenly become very comfortable. When he started scratching his hairy belly in front of me I could not tell if he was trying to come off as sexy. I know his grandmother did not teach him to lean back in his chair and scratch his belly like a behemoth, but I’m sure he didn’t learn anything from his grandmother about etiquette or manners at all.  At least, that is what I deduced. As far as I was concerned this blind date of mine was a fail. I was perfectly okay with that notion, and ready for the check. After paying, we walked outside into the pouring rain. I thanked him for the company and conversation. He then asked me if he could take me out to dinner. All I could think of was, “Will you be scratching your belly at the dinner table?”

            Note that in each of these scenarios I was perhaps being overly observant. On the other hand, there were technical flaws of etiquette and manners in both situations. I probably will not go out again with either person, and for them I feel it to be an unfair disadvantage. While I have met so many people who have been properly “groomed”, there are so many more who were left in the dark. This is an aspect of our culture that needs to be maintained for the younger generations and although it has been a dying institution, it is not too late to bring it back. If there are no boundaries created for us at an early age, then we grow up thinking it is okay to lean back and grotesquely scratch one’s big belly. Think of how you would you feel if it was your son who went out with a pretty girl and scratched his hairy belly on the first date.

For a little more defining information regarding etiquette please visit http://www.wou.edu/student/career/Post%20on%20SLCD%20Web/Etiquette%20Hand-Out.pdf. I found this website helpful in reminding me of the little things regarding dining etiquette that are so easily forgotten. Please, educate yourself and others.

Blogs, People

Portland Deals

Portland Businesses