The boys and I were preparing for dinner the other night and I was reciting the mealtime manners mantra to them. A run down of do's and don'ts while eating. This recitation just flows from my lips without prior thought or intention. Put your napkins in your lap. No elbows on the table. Don't chew with your mouth open. No singing at the table. etc... The same manners list I was given as a child.
This night Miles stopped me in mid-sentence and said, what is with all of these silly rules? I paused, ready to defend these silly rules. I was raised with these silly rules or manners as my mother liked to call them. Childhood rules that were passed down from generation to generation. Not yes ma'am or no ma'am like here in the South but please and thank you and your welcome were insisted upon. Ideas that still haunt me when I violate them. Ideas that, when challenged by my own children, don't hold up to reason.
At the dinner table there is to be no chewing with your mouth open - which is sort of tricky because some foods taste better when eaten with your mouth open. Like potato chips for example. Try to enjoy potato chips with your mouth closed. Impossible.
No elbows on the table while eating - I am not sure why this is rude or who this offends but my mother went to great lengths to get me to learn this lesson. One night she strapped my left arm to the chair because I was a habitual offender. She broke me of that bad habit. I am forever grateful.
No singing at the table - I guess if you are living in an episode of Glee this would be a problem. I can't remember this being an issue but bursting into song would definitely have been frowned upon.
At a restaurant, we were only allowed three slurps through the straw at the end of our soda. Four slurps was considered rude...according to the official slurping rules of 1926.
I was unable to defend most of the manners my boys challenged. We decided to keep a few and toss the rest. So if we host you for dinner and my boys break out into song - please be kind. If we are at a restaurant and my boys slurp their sodas four and five times - please don't judge. If we are at your home for lunch and my boys put their elbows on the table - please forgive them. But the napkins in your lap stays. I mean really. We are not barbarians.
Lori Ann Dinkins
One blog at a time, I write the truth about my life as it is, as I hope it will be, as I wish it would have been. Business insights and personal triumphs. Thank you for joining me.