OK, good people. I’ve been doing a lot of observing lately and I have to ask: where are our manners?
We constantly check our phones at the dinner table, interrupt each other while we’re speaking, let doors slam shut behind us and generally behave as though we’re alone in the world. And what about while eating? I’ve seen so much half-chewed food dancing around in people’s mouths to last me a lifetime. We go about the act of living, interacting and eating without a shred of consciousness and the results are pretty frightening. I’m not saying this because I’m some sort of high-browed etiquette princess. But rather, I realize that we’re forming some pretty bad habits which, in my case at least, are proving difficult to correct. Hello, sloucher!
I’m realizing that we spend too much time inhaling our meals in front of the TV, at our computer or on the run. Since TVs and computers don’t care about our manners, we get used to lowering our self-control. The result is that those bad habits will follow us to moments when appearing like slobs will directly impact our future: business lunches, galas, meeting the parents etc…
Go ahead, call me an old-fashioned snob. But I’m not talking archaic and complicated rules of court etiquette, here. I’m talking elbows on the dinner table, speaking while chewing, food teetering perilously at the edge of mouths. And you know what? Just because we aren’t dining with royalty every day, it doesn’t mean that we should just forego the little bit of basic self control that says to those around us: hey dude, I respect you and will put a little effort into controlling my desires to (for example) scratch the inside of my nose while standing in front of you. Not only is it the considerate thing to do, but the little bit of effort it takes to have some self-control and discipline in a low-stakes situation actually makes us practice being disciplined for when we really need it. Like at our wedding, when 250 people are watching us eat... yikes!
So I’m taking the gigantic risk of appearing like a snotty know-it-all and will publish, AND practice, some tips and tricks on manners that will hopefully remind us all, myself first, to put in a little bit of daily effort into minding our manners.