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Old 05-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #421
goofy!
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But that's not even 100% true, as my story shows. Although I have seen many confrontations occur between the so-called Old and New rich, when I had my first job at a Country Club. I guess the "old" rich thought the new rich were classless. Of course, I just figured they were upset that the younger folks were having more fun and being more liberal about the rules, and it made the old folks jealous that they never thought to do the same.

I also would LOVE to take a poll at one of those events and see how many people would prefer to be more relaxed, rather than worrying about breaking their bread piece-by-piece. I can just imagine a whole room of people doing something so they don't offend each other, when the truth is that NONE of them would be truly offended.
You had an example of one guy. At an informal luncheon. Apples to Oranges. Most everybody has said here there is a place and time for the more formal manners.

I can't see how buttering a whole piece of bread is "more fun" than taking a piece of bread and buttering it.

None of the black tie events we have attended are stuffy affairs. They are actually quite fun. Just because you tend to have polite manners does not mean the affair is stuffy.

I think if you would do a poll, most people like an occasion where they can dress up and bring out the debutante manners. Most are absolutely more relaxed at home.

But a black tie affair is just that, a formal occasion. And a formal occasion demands formal manners. I am just glad that we are aware of them.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #422
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You had an example of one guy. At an informal luncheon. Apples to Oranges. Most everybody has said here there is a place and time for the more formal manners.
Informal lunch? This was a formal dinner (if you read my post) with the owner of my company.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by goofy! View Post
You had an example of one guy. At an informal luncheon. Apples to Oranges. Most everybody has said here there is a place and time for the more formal manners.

I can't see how buttering a whole piece of bread is "more fun" than taking a piece of bread and buttering it.

None of the black tie events we have attended are stuffy affairs. They are actually quite fun. Just because you tend to have polite manners does not mean the affair is stuffy.

I think if you would do a poll, most people like an occasion where they can dress up and bring out the debutante manners. Most are absolutely more relaxed at home.

But a black tie affair is just that, a formal occasion. And a formal occasion demands formal manners. I am just glad that we are aware of them.
I disagree. I truly believe that most people in 2012 would NOT like a black tie affair. Have you seen what kids are wearing to proms these days? People have become less and less refined. While I think some of the etiquette rules are foolish, I think that we need more people with basic manners. I notice more and more that people just don't care anymore as evidenced by a lot of behavior I observe in WDW and in everyday life. You don't have to have on a gown or tux to exhibit manners.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:58 AM   #424
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Informal lunch? This was a formal dinner (if you read my post) with the owner of my company.
My apologies.

But I still fail to see how one butters their bread "sucks the fun" out of an event.

It is a pretty common etiquette rule when a book such as "Etiquette For Dummies" has it in their book. It is not one of the more perceived snooty books Like Emily Post. The Dummies books are written for the regular population.

But as I said in a previous post, there is a difference between etiquette and manners.

Good manners is to adapt etiquette to fit the situation you are in so as not to offend your dining partners.

If everybody prefers to butter their bread at one time, it would be supremely poor manners to sit there, looking down your nose at them, while you tear off a piece of bread - just because it is proper etiquette.

Manners matter, etiquette sometimes not so much.

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #425
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I've been following this thread, so I guess I'll chime in.

I didn't know of this bread rule. And I don't know if I've ever noticed how people eat their bread, unless they're being particularly piggish about it. But if they are, it's more likely they carry that on through the meal. This is rare and since I can't think of an occasion, I may have never witnessed it. I don't particularly care, anyway.

Ever since I was in those awkward middle-school aged years, I have always torn my bread. I didn't know I was being proper! I just felt so weird putting big things up to my mouth and taking bites. I also had braces, so small bits of food were easier to get in without getting stuff stuck in my front brackets. I used to tear my peanut butter and jelly at school lunch. I would break up my banana, bite by bite. If it can be torn, i will tear it. I still do these things; it just stuck. I never thought it was weird that I did them then, or do them still. Maybe it is? But I can promise, I don't give a hoot how anyone else eats their food.

The exception: corn on the cob. I would never order it in a restaurant, because I'll attack that thing. Me + corn on the cob = obscene eating, no holds barred.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:06 AM   #426
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I disagree. I truly believe that most people in 2012 would NOT like a black tie affair. Have you seen what kids are wearing to proms these days? People have become less and less refined. While I think some of the etiquette rules are foolish, I think that we need more people with basic manners. I notice more and more that people just don't care anymore as evidenced by a lot of behavior I observe in WDW and in everyday life. You don't have to have on a gown or tux to exhibit manners.
Depends on where you live. My dd wore a full length gown to her bf's junior prom, and he wore a suit (most don't do the tux until senior prom). The senior prom is a sit down dinner (with bread plates, of course ). Heck, ds14 is wearing a tie to match his gf's dress to the 8th grade dinner dance, and will get her a corsage.

I think when you grow up knowing table manners, it's nothing to stress over - it just comes naturally. It's the adults who are just learning about these things that tend to struggle more. My kids know we have different manners when we eat out than at home (with things like chewing with your mouth closed, no phones, no elbows on the table consistant everywhere). Heck, it's hard to be formal eating off of paper plates, with a roll of paper towels in the center of the table!
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:17 AM   #427
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The thing about all the etiquette rules is I JUST DON'T CARE. Good manners, yes. Treating people kindly and fairly, yes. Many other things that hit my radar within my own value system, most definitely YES.

But antiquated etiquette rules so complicated they require a book to learn them?? Bah. Don't care.
^^^Amen!

I don't mind learning a thing or two about etiquette that have somehow slipped past my radar. If they make sense to me, maybe I'll give 'em a try. If not, I couldn't care less if my failure to follow such rules offends someone. Nobody important to ME will care.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #428
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Depends on where you live. My dd wore a full length gown to her bf's junior prom, and he wore a suit (most don't do the tux until senior prom). The senior prom is a sit down dinner (with bread plates, of course ). Heck, ds14 is wearing a tie to match his gf's dress to the 8th grade dinner dance, and will get her a corsage.

I think when you grow up knowing table manners, it's nothing to stress over - it just comes naturally. It's the adults who are just learning about these things that tend to struggle more. My kids know we have different manners when we eat out than at home (with things like chewing with your mouth closed, no phones, no elbows on the table consistant everywhere). Heck, it's hard to be formal eating off of paper plates, with a roll of paper towels in the center of the table!
Our elementary school has a "winterfest" pot luck luncheon as their holiday celebration where it is emphasized that good manners are the key. The desks are pushed together and white tablecloths are put over them. Even with paper plates and plastic cutlery, formality is the key. And it is looked forward to all year long.

The 4th graders almost all wear suits and the girls wear nice dresses. It used to be called the Winter Formal, but the teachers were tired of worrying about all the little boys in their tuxes. Yes, 4th graders in tuxes.

Funny prom was mentioned. The high school proms around here were the past couple of weekends so there have been lots and lots of pictures up on facebook. Long dresses and suits or tuxes were the norm. Limos take the kids to a nice restaurant for dinner before heading to the prom. The formality of prom is popular around here.

This is a perfect example where having polite etiquette could actually be seen as poor manners. Having 5 star manners at Bubba Gumps when everybody else is enjoying their meal could be seen as presumptuous or snooty - definitely bad manners. We have friends that are old society money (although you would never, ever know unless they told you) who laughed and enjoyed our "hillbilly" (no offense to hillbillies) napkins when we were caught one evening out of regular paper napkins. We were having a barbecue and passed around the roll of paper towels.

Now, if my mother or grandmother had witnessed me passing around a roll of paper towels, Oma would be rolling in her grave and my mother would have had an instant coronary. But then, I just about killed her one Thanksgiving when I put the sour cream container on the table without putting it in a bowl first.

There is a place and time for everything. Emily Post manners at a barbecue or at Bubba Gumps - not so much. Emily Post manners at a 5* restaurant - absolutely.

Last edited by goofy!; 05-01-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #429
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The Proms in our area are still very formal, but pretty much for attire only...and that only lasts until the dancing starts, and then the coats come off, ties loosened, etc.

As to the meal? Well, I am stretching my mind back to 1995 for my Senior Prom (which I did wear a tux for), but I don't recall anyone going out of their way to act formal during Dinner. Jokes were made about which fork to use, but nobody really cared what anyone was doing. As to the rolls? Well I do remember some being passed around like footballs.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:31 AM   #430
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Depends on where you live. My dd wore a full length gown to her bf's junior prom, and he wore a suit (most don't do the tux until senior prom). The senior prom is a sit down dinner (with bread plates, of course ). Heck, ds14 is wearing a tie to match his gf's dress to the 8th grade dinner dance, and will get her a corsage.

I think when you grow up knowing table manners, it's nothing to stress over - it just comes naturally. It's the adults who are just learning about these things that tend to struggle more. My kids know we have different manners when we eat out than at home (with things like chewing with your mouth closed, no phones, no elbows on the table consistant everywhere). Heck, it's hard to be formal eating off of paper plates, with a roll of paper towels in the center of the table!
It's not about where you live, but more about who you surround yourself and your children with. It mostly depends on the parents. Parents who stress proper manners and etiquette probably are more prone to send their kids to school with like minded people. You have both high and low class in all cities and most little towns. I know of schools within blocks of each other where you might see tennis shoes at the prom and another school where every kid is dressed formally.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #431
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I've followed this whole thread and figure I'll throw in my own experience and two cents. I've never heard the bread rule, but I also don't give a crap about proper etiquette. Does that mean I have inherently bad manners? I don't think so. I'm 30 and have never been to a formal dinner/lunch or business dinner/lunch in my life (I work for myself and the places my husband has worked for don't do things like that). I don't know the "proper" places to put silverware around the plate. I keep the napkin on the table sometimes and yes even put my elbows on the table. However, I'm not eating at formal places, nor do I have any real desire to. Not knocking people who do, but I'm a pretty good cook and would rather just cook a similar meal at home for a fraction of the cost. When we go out to eat it is either national chain casual dining or local little places. I've never noticed what other people are eating like around me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:43 AM   #432
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It's not about where you live, but more about who you surround yourself and your children with. It mostly depends on the parents. Parents who stress proper manners and etiquette probably are more prone to send their kids to school with like minded people. and another school where every kid is dressed formally.
My kids go to the public school that they are assigned to.

But now that we have moved off bread to proms and black tie affairs, can somebody please, please explain the proper etiquette of the "air kiss" greeting that is so popular?

I never seem to get it right, no matter how many etiquette books I read. Do you brush the cheek? Is it strictly an air kiss? Left or right side first?

Etiquette minds want to know.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:19 AM   #433
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I love how people are still trying to say there is a "correct" way to eat the bread. Does anyone realize that these "manners" and "rules for etiquette" are completely arbitrary? It's the same thing with the fashion police. These rules are just made up by someone, but are far from "correct."

Two years ago I actually got to go to dinner with the owner of my company. I'm more of a fan of cooking myself a nice meal, rather than going out and eating, so I was a bit nervous about remembering all of the things that some people consider proper.

The owner is nearly 80 years old, and he's an old school businessman, so I'm expecting things to go by the book for this one. We sit down and get our bread, and I'm being very careful about putting the butter on my plate, etc. Suddenly I hear, "What, are you going to eat that bread crumb by crumb, like a mouse?" Here's the owner laughing at me, as he loads his whole dinner roll up with butter, and took a bite.

Completely broke the tension I had about the evening. The best part was him saying to me, "those rules are all as old and outdated as I am."

So, I would say even the most proper and rich (yeah, the guy is loaded) don't really believe in the arbitrary ramblings and recitations of archaic knowledge anymore.

I, for one, am glad about that. Dining with others is about enjoying the company around you, and the meal, not worrying if using the wrong fork is going to deeply wound one of your neighbors.



My parents taught us basic table manners (don't remember her covering the so called proper way to eat bread). But my mother also stressed making a guest feel comfortable and to enjoy the meal.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:33 PM   #434
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...

This is a perfect example where having polite etiquette could actually be seen as poor manners. Having 5 star manners at Bubba Gumps when everybody else is enjoying their meal could be seen as presumptuous or snooty - definitely bad manners. We have friends that are old society money (although you would never, ever know unless they told you) who laughed and enjoyed our "hillbilly" (no offense to hillbillies) napkins when we were caught one evening out of regular paper napkins. We were having a barbecue and passed around the roll of paper towels.

There is a place and time for everything. Emily Post manners at a barbecue or at Bubba Gumps - not so much. Emily Post manners at a 5* restaurant - absolutely.
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I think when you grow up knowing table manners, it's nothing to stress over - it just comes naturally. It's the adults who are just learning about these things that tend to struggle more. My kids know we have different manners when we eat out than at home (with things like chewing with your mouth closed, no phones, no elbows on the table consistant everywhere). Heck, it's hard to be formal eating off of paper plates, with a roll of paper towels in the center of the table!
This I think have something in common because the second answers the first.

I honestly don't get the posts about 'not enjoying' a meal because people would be 'worrying' about tearing their bread or putting their napkin in their lap or which fork to use when.

It's not something you worry, or even think about if you learned these things when young and/or practiced them regularly. It's so ingrained I don't remember having learned it - as I said earlier, same as I don't remember learning to hold a fork properly.

I don't get how having good manners at Bubba Gump's would be bad, and while other people are "enjoying their meal" - people who practice table etiquette don't?

Do you think the poster who attended the luncheon with the Secretary of State (that's cool, btw) didn't enjoy the experience because he or she used proper manners? I'm guessing the poster's manners didn't even occur to the poster once, because the poster learned proper manners as a child and they're second nature. Which is why those of us whose parents taught us or sent us to be taught these things did so, so that we would be comfortable dining in a situation like that, WITHOUT having to think about what to do. It's, again, not about superiority, but preparation for a range of situations.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:38 PM   #435
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I honestly don't get the posts about 'not enjoying' a meal because people would be 'worrying' about tearing their bread or putting their napkin in their lap or which fork to use when.

It's not something you worry, or even think about if you learned these things when young and/or practiced them regularly. It's so ingrained I don't remember having learned it - as I said earlier, same as I don't remember learning to hold a fork properly.
OTOH, there's something to be said for blissful ignorance. You don't think about the bread thing because you learned it early on. I don't think about it because prior to this thread, I'd never heard of such a thing
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