Excuse Me, Pardon Me, Thank You, and Please Manners for the Holidays


(Transcription of audio podcast)

Well, it is officially the holiday season, and all I know is what I read in Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers- Manners Book. In case you don’t know, this book from 1961 outlines manners while eating at a table. There are other books about manners such as manners towards people, manners to the opposite sex, manners in a conversation and manners on the phone. Tiffany’s book of manners is a one-day read, short and to the point. I was so excited to have a chance to read this book that I want to pass it on in hopes that it will catch on. I even had a thought about sending a copy to our democrats and republican candidates after all they are a party. And watching the way they conduct themselves in public (debates), I can only imagine that their table manners are . . . well . . . we may catch them eating their young. So, I might just send a copy along to them.

In my travels of mostly eating in airports and SOME fast food, I see all walks of life and the way they conduct themselves while trying to get a meal in. The foremost problem these days I think, would have to be the perm-a-rush that we all seem to be in. Late for work, (breakfast) shorter lunches and who wants to make dinner these days? So, we tend to eat out a lot more. However, this should not stop us from using manners.

Oh, by the way, Tiffany, the person who wrote this book is the same tiffany with the silver, Tiffany silver downtown New York city, Tiffany’s knows tradition and manners. I felt I needed to back up my source so you did not think your information was not coming from a no-account, rope-spinning cowboy.

Anyhow, Tiffany’s book was made to show you how to present yourself while out to dinner with folks. But they make it very clear that you should only have one set of manners. One set for outside your home and another for being home alone. So these rules do apply for fast food restaurants as well.

Ok, so some of the basics for your Thanksgiving meal and any meal from here on in.

Most of these are basics so they should not come as a surprise, but let’s see how you do.

  • You can talk with food while in your mouth as long as it is pushed to the side and you only have one bite of food. They say the odds of getting though a whole meal and not talking is impossible (especially if you are a politician in an election year, that’s my add) is impossible so learn how to eat and talk.

  • Don’t stab at your food. Watch folks these days as they eat and you will start to notice that they are stabbing at the food like it still isn’t dead. Cut it in bite-size pieces, and no stabbing.
  • If you spill something on your dining guest help them in anyway you can however, don’t wipe it off. They may take it wrong.
  • Don’t lean back in your seat during or after dinner.
  • Don’t slouch at the table, I see this a lot and, not only does it look bad, but also, a lot of these manners are not only to help you with looking good but they help in aid of digestion.
  • One of the biggest problems these days is bad digestion and keeping weight off. See, if you force your food down and don’t take the time that is needed in a meal, you run the risk of indigestion and heartburn, bad digestion and the biggie that does not exists as much anymore in our country. No communication in our families.

    Thanksgiving and eating is supposed to give us time to replenish our bodies and our souls. Some of the best things happen over a dinner table. Love, understanding, communication, how was your day, what is going on in your life, work? These are, in my opinion, the products of having good manners. Cavemen ripped their food apart and grunted at each other and watching some folks these days, makes me think we are going backwards.

    Manners are nothing more than common sense and the Lord knows that we have not been able to afford that for a while. Take your time; talk to each other and by all means CHEW EACH BITE 32 TIMES and happy holidays.

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    Will Roberts is a trick roper and cowboy humorist, who pays tribute to Will Rogers, America’s cowboy, with a wit as quick as his rope. Will is a syndicated political cartoonist and was recently the trick-roping cowboy at Cirque du Soleil.

    Will has covered the Republican National Convention, Democrat events and the McCain-Obama debates. At home in front of or behind the camera, in front of or behind a radio microphone, Will reports what he sees, usually with a twist of humor.