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Dinner invitation: the 15 golden rules of etiquette
Dinner invitation: the 15 golden rules of etiquette

How do we really understand our fellow men? Easy, inviting them to the table. The table is one of the places where we involuntarily reveal ourselves, we expose ourselves, sometimes - unfortunately - we unmask ourselves.

A dinner together may be enough to understand if he / she / they are the people we believe or not.

Here is a short and concise list of golden rules for the perfect guest drawn up with the providential help of "The new bon ton at the table", by food writer Roberta Schira.

These are 15 commandments to be handed down, to be taught to children, to be passed over to mothers and fathers, which will please grandparents, office managers and boyfriends, mothers-in-law and colleagues.

Just respect these rules and no one will ever tell you that you behave badly at the table.

1. Doesn't keep cell phone on table. Nor does he use it hidden by the tablecloth

New times, new rules. Technology at the table is not well received, since the circumstance should lead us to conviviality and the sharing of food and values. It is true, the cell phone does not go over the tablecloth, but above all it does not go under the table. Yes, because it is precisely there that the busiest intersection of waves and frequencies between us and the outside world takes place.

Sometimes it is difficult to resist the temptation to check if a message from your boyfriend or your loved one has arrived on What’s App, but hold back as much as possible.

But there is worse than texting at the table, and it is having the other diners read the private messages. A peek at mid-dinner is allowed for mothers who are a little anxious, for teenagers in the smell of engagement, for expectant fathers.

But texting throughout dinner remains intolerable and rude. At the very least, after having asked for permission, get away from the table and check your mobile phone in private and in peace.

2. Doesn't say good appetite

It would be better to start eating without wishing "good lunch" or "good appetite". Let's say right away that it is not a serious lack, but that we can safely forget about it. Of course, if someone expresses the fateful wish we will react with a simple smile without making comments.

Saying this formula is like demonstrating attachment to earthly things such as eating or bodily functions. In short, saying "good appetite" is like wanting to reduce the moment of conviviality to the pure satisfaction of a primary need. In the family everyone regulates himself as he wants, but the etiquette is clear: it is not said.

3. He doesn't cheer at the time to toast but just raises his glass smiling

4. Wait for the hostess to start eating

It is the hostess who opens the dance. After making sure everyone has been served and settled comfortably, he smiles and begins to eat.

5. Never arrive late and never too early

6. Wait until everyone has served before jumping into the food

7. He does not get up to help the hostess unless specifically requested

There is a certain type of guest that I would call the "thoughtful" guest and it is very popular. Even if he hardly knows the hostess, he will stand up with plates in hand asking the guests what they need. It is the one who will enter the kitchen directly and will dare, this is really not done, to open your refrigerator. Which, as is well known, is one of the most indelicate, intrusive and intimate gestures that can be committed.

At the restaurant, the Attentive is the one who helps the waiter, who has already collected the cutlery before he arrives, the one who folds the napkins and passes the edges of the glasses. In public places we also pay for someone to do this for us. Let's avoid, thanks.

There are types of this kind among maternal women who go out a little: here, the representatives of this category sweep the tablecloth collecting the crumbs, stack the plates and pass them to the waiter.

8. If you are serving alone, do not use the cutlery from the service

9. Don't speak with your mouth full

10. Do not touch or scratch any part of the body

11. Doesn't ask and doesn't use toothpicks

12. Do not blow nose or sneeze into napkin

Points 9/12. Many of you will swear that you have never witnessed such deplorable behavior, others will say that you have witnessed it. In reality we are completely anesthetized and we do not notice if not the most evident ones. For example, we hardly pay attention to those who speak with their mouths full anymore, and maybe we do too.

Well yes. Poorly educated men and women touch parts of the body at the table, that said it seems almost sexy but it is not, and by this I mean rubbing your face. your head, getting hair out of your clothes and so on.

Only one rule applies to everything that concerns the needs of the body, that is various itches, widespread annoyances, dental cleaning and other orifices, reviving hair and make-up: all this must be done strictly in private, that is, away from the table.

Mutual touching chapter: that is the "feet" and intertwining of hands and other parts of the body. Sometimes it happens to assist diners trafficking under the table with a mixture of annoyance, envy and excitement: it's not done. Or rather, you do, only if you are so skilled that you are not surprised. During the passionate dinners between lovers all etiquette will be banned, leaving free rein to fantasies.

13. He does not lean over the plate but brings the cutlery to his mouth

It is not the boss who approaches the food, but the fork that approaches the mouth. There are also those who manage to relate the curvature of the diner on the plate with social background. 90 degrees? Son of a university professor. 70 degrees? Office worker. 45 degrees? Working class. below 30 degrees, low schooling. Little finger raised? Peasant extraction.

14. Does not drink without first wiping his lips

15. Do not put the napkin in the collar

I asked some friends around the peninsula to make a simple and empirical investigation: count how many people put the napkin in the collar of their shirt. The experiment was carried out with a certain rigor, we also identified the price range of the premises: from 20 to 40 euros. Obviously, when the average cost of a meal rises, the number of our "suspects" decreases.

Well, counting the seats in the dining room, those who prefer to keep the napkin around their neck rather than on their knees are about 30% in the North and 40% in the South. Mostly men, because men are probably less attentive to the rules of good behavior at the table, but also for reasons of clothing: the shirt and the loose tie facilitate the hateful gesture of slipping into the napkin.

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