Monday Manners: Table Manners Basics, Downtown Abbey

I hope all of you had a great weekend!  We finally got rain, which was good for little L’s cough, but other than that, it kept us all inside, trying to find any activity to do, rather than watch TV all weekend long.  Lots of markers and art, Play-doh, pretend play and reading!  I also caught up on all of my laundry, thanks to my special little helper.  Can’t believe he’s already four months old!  And yes, he’s in a PINK Bumbo…


If you’re in need of some basic table manners, I found these tips pretty comprehensive on eHow.  Not only are they good to refresh our memories on the rules, but they’re great to share with your children, too.  I did Teen Cotillion in junior high and high school, and was also a debutante, but I still need a refresher every once in awhile.  Like #5, I completely forgot about that one!  Are there any you can add?  For the full details on each rule, click here for the complete article.

Tip #1: For all questions involving etiquette, just use your brains.
Tip #2: Never do anything until the host does it first.
Tip #3: Use your utensils from the outside in.
Tip #4: If you’re not sure what to do, wait and see what your neighbor does.  If that offers no clue, just fake it.
Tip #5: Never let any utensils, once used, ever touch the table again. (That includes leaning a fork onto the plate.)
Tip #6: Do not put the entire soup spoon in your mouth.
Tip #7: If you spill something, don’t make a big deal of it.
Tip #8: If you’re not sure whether or not you can eat something with your fingers, just use a utensil.

Mom-isms: Just think of this as the potpourri of things you’ve heard all your life about table manners. Most of them were 100 percent correct:
* Don’t grab food.
* Don’t talk with your mouth full.
* Chew with your mouth closed and no noise.
* Excuse yourself if you get up to go somewhere (the bathroom or to make a call).
* Don’t pick something out of your teeth (just excuse yourself to the bathroom).
* Don’t leave lipstick smears on anything.
* Don’t put items on the table (meaning a purse, papers, keys).
* Don’t smoke.
* Don’t tilt or squirm in your chair.
How do you end with a good impression?  Place your knife and fork on the plate so that they are parallel to each other, at the 11 o’clock position (a diagonal from bottom right to top left) with the points facing away from you.  And never put your napkin on the table, signaling to others you are finished, until all others have finished their meal, as well.
Pinkies up!

If you’ve been watching Downton Abbey, I thought you’d think this was fun!  Click here to take the quiz, and find out which Downton Abbey you are.  Come back and comment, and let me know who you are!

I’m Mr Bates, Lord Grantham’s valet (Brendan Coyle). You are a patient, kind, salt-of-the-earth type.  But sometimes your self-righteousness can threaten to engulf you.

Photo Credit: 1, 2

11 thoughts on “Monday Manners: Table Manners Basics, Downtown Abbey

  1. Lol! I'm Mr.Bates too…funny how mean those sisters are to each other. While we have had our share of fights, I can't imagine being as mean as they are!!

  2. Great Post. Oh my I am Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet. How I love her and her witty remarks! Thanks for sharing the quiz. Loving Downton season two.

  3. Omg, thanks for introducing me to Downtown Abbey-I'm hooked! Still trying to figure out who's who, need to go back and Netflix the prior episodes!

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