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Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: miK.
Date: January 13, 2009 09:45PM
I was fortunate enough to be at a pretty nice restaurant for lunch today (linen napkins, salad forks).
Truly the exception as most days it is the dollar menu. Anyway, someone in our party who I do not
know very well proceeded to tuck his napkin into his shirt collar (like a bib), where it stayed while we
ate. It was just something odd I noticed, and wondered why someone would do this, even if they saw
everyone else put theirs on their lap? Is this something done "down south" or in other parts of the
country that I don't know about? From what I know, the guy is from NYC, and I've never seen that done
here in the Northeast.

Hmm...



Sometimes I wonder, "What would Hodor say in this situation?" - Jim Gaffigan

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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 13, 2009 09:52PM
Interesting...
Like you, I don't think I've ever actually seen someone do that in seriousness (except maybe for eating crab the old fashioned way.. with a hammer).

I'm going to guess it's a regional thing.. or perhaps cultural would be a better term.
I was raised in the "in the lap" tradition.



Paul F.
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Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Tofer
Date: January 13, 2009 10:48PM
Well, when the soon-to-be-Commander-in-Chief does it, it must be okay...

[www.chieforganizer.org]





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2009 10:49PM by Tofer.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 13, 2009 11:08PM
Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: January 13, 2009 11:33PM
It's pretty tacky. That said, it's okay if you're eating lobster, and I'd suggest there are other meals just as messy and greasy as lobster with butter. The notion that lobster is a magical food with special rules is absurd.

I guess I'm a relativist when it comes to table manners. They are regional. And I don't care for the notion that Connecticut table manners are somehow superior to those in Baton Rouge or Honolulu.

Now, I wouldn't wear a napkin as a bib. Nor would I order something that would make me want a bib. But if you're eating ribs, I wouldn't fault you for it. Doesn't matter how fancy the restaurant is -- ribs is ribs.

On a tangential note, a girl I know works as a hostess in a restaurant, and she asked a guy to take off his baseball cap. He complied. He had some sort of tumors on his scalp.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: January 14, 2009 01:23AM
It's good to do that when you eat skabebi. You know--tomato sauce and all that...
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: 3d
Date: January 14, 2009 06:25AM
I was fortunate enough to be at a pretty coffee/tea establishment today (real sugar cubes in a bowl!). Anyway, someone in our party who I do not know very well proceeded to drink his tea without extending his pinky (like a caveman), it stayed unextended while we drank. It was just something odd I noticed, and wondered why someone would do this, even if they saw everyone else extend their pinkies? Is this something done "down south" or in other parts of the country that I don't know about? From what I know, the guy is from NYC, and I've never seen that done here in the Northeast.

Hmm...
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: mrthuse
Date: January 14, 2009 06:25AM
...and there are "rules" about where to place forks and knives on an otherwise emptied restaurant plate to indicate one is finished eating.

...and there are "rules" about spaghetti, linguini, bucatini, etc - cutting, twirling, slurping.

...and there are "rules" about virtually everything having to do w/ soup.

That said, the napkin thing is almost certainly regional (unless, perhaps, one was dining w/ the Queen - something about "genteel" behavior: the apparently coveted "ladies and gentlemen" thing.)
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: miK.
Date: January 14, 2009 06:35AM
Quote
Mike Johnson
...and I don't care for the notion that Connecticut table manners are somehow superior to those in Baton Rouge or Honolulu.

This is exactly why I posed the question. Not to look superior, but to find out
if this practice was customary in other parts of the country/world, because if
not, then it just looks like bad manners.



Sometimes I wonder, "What would Hodor say in this situation?" - Jim Gaffigan

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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 14, 2009 07:35AM
Maybe he's eaten with all you guys before ?
:-)
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: TLB
Date: January 14, 2009 07:56AM
If I'm wearing a $70 dress shirt and a $40 tie, I'm using the napkin as a bib and d@mn the etiquete.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: January 14, 2009 08:38AM
There's also the dominance thing, some guys will have horrible table manners to intimidate/impress others. Some chicks dug it back in the day.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: Michael
Date: January 14, 2009 09:20AM
Quote
TLB
If I'm wearing a $70 dress shirt and a $40 tie, I'm using the napkin as a bib and d@mn the etiquete.

Yep.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: January 14, 2009 10:32AM
Quote
Michael
Quote
TLB
If I'm wearing a $70 dress shirt and a $40 tie, I'm using the napkin as a bib and d@mn the etiquete.

Yep.

I am female so I won't be wearing the tie, but I was thinking along the same lines. If you think about it, a napkin is intended as a tool to use while eating -- and protecting good clothing seems like a sensible reason to deploy it.



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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: DRR
Date: January 14, 2009 10:39AM
If it's really that difficult to eat without covering yourself with food, maybe you should just carry a plastic poncho.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 14, 2009 10:42AM
Kids usually develope eating skills by kindergarten and put the bibs away.
Developmental issues ?




-
edit: [hides spaghetti stained tie]
:-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2009 10:44AM by billb.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: January 14, 2009 10:51AM
my mom taught me that both ways are proper. one was more appropriate for men than women but i can't remember which. i do know i've always used the lap because i found the dangling napkin cumbersome.

culturally, i'm 55, female, african american. i grew up in NYC but my mom's people came from the south.

at least he used a napkin. it's a concept my 15 year old son finds burdensome.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2009 10:51AM by graylocks.
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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 14, 2009 11:43AM
I don't know that it's "almost certainly regional" at all.

It may be more socio-economic, though. Or it just may be a habit never "broken" from a far younger age.

Personally, when I'm seated at a table whether dining out or in, I have no problem protecting my shirt and tie, regardless of value, without a bib.

Lobster is an exception as I don't eat many of my meals while wielding a hammer.






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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: January 14, 2009 11:45AM
Did he at least chew with his mouth closed?
If so, then to hell with where he put his napkin!

Don't give up on him, graylocks; one day it will dawn on him & you'll be proud! Maybe.



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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: January 14, 2009 12:10PM
Did he at least chew with his mouth closed?

most times.



Don't give up on him, graylocks; one day it will dawn on him & you'll be proud! Maybe.

the advent of 'dating' has precipitated advances in the use of soap and teeth brushing departments. i let go of some of this since almost all of his clothes come from second hand stores. at the lastest i think his behavior will change when he's out in the world and putting clothes on his back with his own dime.

i am already proud of him. frustrated and annoyed as heck often but still proud. other parents tell me what a well-mannered kid he is and how they think he's a positive influence on their child. his oafish affect around me is probably a mother-son-teen thing.

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Re: Napkin etiquette... huh?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 14, 2009 12:39PM
gray-
Congratulations, your son sounds like he's well on his way to becoming a human being. My 18 year old son, however, continues to be a poster child for the old rule :

"Boys should be raised in a barrel. When they turn 18, drive the bung in and throw it in the river."

The disheveled appearance, the constant bodily function relevant eruptions, the use of obscenity in language, and the aggressive behavior towards his siblings..... Let's just say that his forced enlistment in the Navy or the Foreign Legion cannot be far in the future.
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