Be our guest! Your Miss Manners guide to family feasts
Sip from your water glass. That’d be the one to the right of your plate.
Slice ‘n’ dice the proper way. As you eat, not all at once, and put your silverware down between bites. Quietly.
Take small bites. Stuffing your face is unattractive, plus you can’t take part in conversation if your mouth is always full.
And if you have to…
Spit something out? Chew it as much as you can, then place it on your fork and set it on the edge of your plate.
Burp? Say “excuse me,” then carry on.
Blow your nose? Use a tissue, not your napkin.
Q: “I hate what’s being served. Should I eat it anyway?”
A: If it’s the only thing for dinner, you probably don’t have a choice—unless you have food allergies, which you should tell your host about when accepting the invite. If it’s just one part of a big meal, go ahead and pass it up.
Q: “I eat at my friend’s house all the time. They always say grace before they eat, but I’m not religious. What should I do?”
A: You don’t have to join in, but do bow your head politely and be quiet until they say “Amen.”
Q: “Elbows on the table—is it a ‘do’ or a ‘don’t’?”
A: Both. If you’re shoveling food in your mouth, keep ‘em close to your sides. If you’re not, resting them on the table is absolutely fine.