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CHAT Table manners (was Re: First report on Conm)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 21:59
Joe Fatula wrote:

> Are you serious? How could I have lived in America for 21 years and never > noticed this??? I use the fork with my left hand and the knife with my > right. If I put them down, I put them down on the same sides. Why would > people put the fork on the left if they use it on the right? This sounds > bizarre.
After a very proper upbringing, at age 18 I adopted the European fork custom (or affectation, if you will) after a trip to Eng. and France.. Mother groused for a while but eventually got over it. For a couple hours of amusing reading, look into any old edition (up to ~1940s) of Emily Post's "Etiquette". It's almost like an anthopoligical field report on some strange culture. So many picky rules, now dead and gone, and mostly good riddance..... Even by the 40s, some had changed, e.g. the whole business of ladies' visits/calling cards, though I believe some of that still survives in the military-- junior officers' wives have to be so awfully careful not to offend some senior officer's wife.