Our country club has a "Your Manners are Glowing" series. Three Sundays, three hours each, ending with a dinner. Yesterday was the first session. The little sponges came home soaked. They had all the basics of meeting and greeting with eye contact, waiting for everyone before sitting at the table, napkins, Continental and American style eating, all the basics covered at The Entertaining House post.
However....here's how dinner went.
They learned to fold napkins in a Banana Peel style...
... and they used them on the table. E hid the napkin rings inside the fold.
Then we got critiqued. Now I try not to use every plate in the house. But I try to set a complete table. Good silver, place mats, napkin rings. We were having Beef Burgundy, a salad, bread and apple cobbler. Three plates. Everything fits in the dishwasher. E insisted on adding a service plate, salad forks, dessert fork and spoon, full complement of wine glasses. Since no one was having wine I talked him out of the glasses.
We sat down. Perfect manners. No elbows, no talking with full mouths, silverware at 4 o'clock (not 3:30, not 5:00). No licking the dessert plate!
The bottom line came at the end of dinner when E went through the silver drawer inventory. "Where are the fish knifes?" Excuse me! This is a kid who loves to fish.
But he's a catch and release boy.
In fact, his hyper sensitive nose detects when I have fish in the fridge. Forget about on the table ready to eat!
I'm ok with banana peels, but sorry no fish knives!