Saturday 22 July 2017

Letting rip on the need for manners

Eleanor Goggin

Table manners were a huge thing in our house when I was growing up. Relaxing, it wasn't. Jesus, Eleanor what are you doing with your fork. Take your elbows off the table. Close your mouth.

My daughter was fascinated recently by the fact that we used to put a small piece of butter on the side of the plate and then put it on the bread. She's right to be incredulous. It's a mega waste of time. I never went overboard in my admonishing of them for a small error, but I suppose I must have pointed out the rights and wrongs of cutlery control and closed mouth mastication because they have commented on the fact that at any function, they are invariably the only ones at the table who don't put their knives in their mouth and put their cutlery together when finished.

I told them to soldier on or Granny would rise up and beat the crap out of them. I also pride myself on the fact that I would never offend anybody by my table manners, so imagine my surprise when I dashed into a restaurant the other day for a quick snack and had a fizzy drink with my meal and, lo and behold, I let out a rip-roaring belch without realising it.

I genuinely didn't see it coming. Heads turned from other tables and all I could do was murmur a very feeble "excuse me". And then another sonic boom escaped from my rosebud mouth again the other day. A really mammoth one. My daughter looked at me in disbelief and said: "Dear God, mum, when I have kids I don't think I'll be introducing them to you."

I refrained from pointing out that it was the harrowing time I had rearing them that has left me a tad oblivious to the niceties in life.

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