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View Full Version : Another reason why I hate life



BobMcGee123
11-09-2006, 10:16 PM
I am posting this because I thought you all would get a kick out of it. I have to take a class for school called 'dining in.' It's a graduation requirement. Basically, we are taught formal dining. Out of all of the things I've done so far, this is probably going to be the biggest pain in the ass.

It goes like this: we take the class, and then we are invited to the President's house for a 2 hour formal dinner. This is essentially the test part of the class.

We were herded like sheep into a giant auditorium by one of the Navy Lieutenants that happens to be my company commander. We were told to sit down and shut up, and to stand at attention when the President's (of the school) wife entered the room.

We were then given a sheet with a long list of rules and a 2 hour lecture going over it. Here are the rules (note that this was just the back side of the page, the other side had some other general stuff)




Don't talk with food in your mouth
dont use fingers as a food pusher
dont use utensils as a shovel
dont make noises while eating or swallowing
dont chew with your mouth open
dont blow on hot liquids to cool them
dont smack your lips
dont pile your fork high and take a big mouthful
dont lick your fingers
dont rise and reach for something, ask that it be passed
dont leave the spoon in the cup after stirring. Place it in the saucer to the right of the cup handle, NEVER on the table cloth!
dont tip a soup plate toward you, when almost empty you may tip it away from you. When a clear soup is served in a cup or bowl with handles you mayh pick it up and drink it, after you have eaten most of it with a spoon
dont ever leave a spoon in a soup cup or bowl. Put it in the saucer, but always leave the spoon in a soup plate
dont cut bread with a knife. It should be broken in half with the fingers and then into smaller pieces as eaten. If butter is served butter each piece as it is eaten.
dont put jam or condiments directly onto the bread. they go onto the butter plate, and then onto the smaller pieces of bread when eaten.
dont ever place your elbows on the table. Between courses you may place your forearms on the table if you dont turn your back on your partner
dont slump at the table, but dont sit at attention either
when cutting your food dont stick your elbows out. It is just as easy to cut up and down and, with your elbows in you wont hit the person next to you
dont push your plate away from you when you have finished eating. leave it where it was placed and put your unfolded napkin to the right of it. Never in it
dont rub your lips with your napkin. Pat them
dont smoke at the table unless ash trays are provided (........)
never placed used utensils on the tablecloth
dont put food in your mouth with your arms resting on the table. pick your arm up and bring your food to your mouth
dont leave the dinner table with your jacket unbuttoned. when seated you may unbotton your jacket but always button when you get up from the table



Seeing as how there are like no girls that attend my school, they've essentially hired people to be our dates when we go to the President's house.

Dave_Sinkula
11-09-2006, 10:24 PM
In previous generations, most of that was understood by elementary school. I've been struggling to get my now middle-schooler to figure 1/10 of that. Ah, well, perhaps someday what was once accepted as "common" knowledge will again be back in vogue.

Until then, just remember what it looks like when a kid across the table opens her mouth to show you what she has been chewing on and realize that many adults do this too. [Blah, blah, blah.]

If you know it, grin and bear it. If you don't, appreciate that older folks may think you look retarded because you haven't learned what they knew by age 6.

Tonto
11-09-2006, 10:31 PM
>> Seeing as how there are like no girls that attend my school, they've essentially hired people to be our dates when we go to the President's house.

Haha. Prostitutes.

BobMcGee123
11-09-2006, 10:38 PM
In previous generations, most of that was understood by elementary school. I've been struggling to get my now middle-schooler to figure 1/10 of that. Ah, well, perhaps someday what was once accepted as "common" knowledge will again be back in vogue.

Until then, just remember what it looks like when a kid across the table opens her mouth to show you what she has been chewing on and realize that many adults do this too. [Blah, blah, blah.]

If you know it, grin and bear it. If you don't, appreciate that older folks may think you look retarded because you haven't learned what they knew by age 6.

Ahh, you're one of those 'back in my day' old people. I'm glad you made it through world war 2. Now wait a sec. I thought six year olds in your generation were working 25 hours a day in the coal mines, where did they find the time to learn how to eat at formal dinners?

>>Haha. Prostitutes.

God I hope so.

My goal is to fart at the table, but then pretend it was an accident. Then, I'll stand up and smack the president's wife and tell her to get me a sammich! Then I'll lean back in my chair, light up a stogie and bring out the poker deck.

Twice.

SlyMaelstrom
11-09-2006, 10:55 PM
dont cut bread with a knife. It should be broken in half with the fingers and then into smaller pieces as eaten.I'm not sure this rule is universally considered proper.

Tonto
11-09-2006, 11:04 PM
>> It should be broken in half with the fingers and then into smaller pieces as eaten.

I've always thought of that habit as extremely feminine. Especially if the tounge darts out and gets the food and then retreats.

SlyMaelstrom
11-09-2006, 11:13 PM
Especially if the tounge darts out and gets the food and then retreats.French people...

Tonto
11-09-2006, 11:35 PM
I have a vivid image in my head of an impossibly skinny french person doing the lashy tounge thing with a snail on the tip of it. Was my grammar awkward and French sounding?

JaWiB
11-10-2006, 12:16 AM
> when cutting your food dont stick your elbows out. It is just as easy to cut up and down and, with your elbows in you wont hit the person next to you

I was just wondering, how many people here use the same hand to hold the fork and the knife (i.e., switching the hand that the fork is in while you use the knife)? I've always just used my left hand for the fork and my right hand for the knife. Saves time.

whiteflags
11-10-2006, 02:13 AM
I've always just used my left hand for the fork and my right hand for the knife. Saves time.

As a lefty, I do the opposite. But I think that trying to use one hand and switching where necessary is needlessly complex when you can eat with one utensil in each hand and still look proper.

CornedBee
11-10-2006, 04:11 AM
As a lefty, I do the opposite. But I think that trying to use one hand and switching where necessary is needlessly complex when you can eat with one utensil in each hand and still look proper.
In fact, that is the perfectly normal European method. The American method seems just weird to us.

As for the list ... well, in my time (that is, right now - I'm only 22) all of these are considered perfectly normal behaviour for any child above 8. And those younger are taught.

Except the thing about blowing on hot liquids. That's allowed, but don't do it obnoxiously. Blow softly, so that
1) the liquid doesn't lap over the rim
2) you make no loud blowing noise
3) the liquid doesn't make any splashing noises.

In other words, be quiet and don't spill anything. Common sense, IMO.

Here's another one for Europe: when done, place your fork and knife on the plate, both handles looking right. This signals that you're done, even if there is food left on the plate.

Mario F.
11-10-2006, 04:11 AM
I'm not sure this rule is universally considered proper.

Nope. Highly not proper to cut bread with your hands around here. Bread is actually hardly seen as a complement to a regular meal in fancy restaurants around these parts.

But wildly acceptable in the restaurants that matter.

manutd
11-10-2006, 06:43 AM
Ah, yes the good old french bread eating technique: tongue lashing! *gets bad image* Ah! Ugly french men!

Perspective
11-10-2006, 12:29 PM
>dont slump at the table, but dont sit at attention either


Just angle your back at some "in-between" position.

Dante Shamest
11-10-2006, 12:37 PM
Just use chopsticks like we do in Asia. It's lots of fun! :p

SlyMaelstrom
11-10-2006, 12:55 PM
I use chopsticks in Chinese restaurants (the only real Asian restaurants I've eaten at were Chinese) and at some of my relatives' homes. Part of my family is Chinese through marriage, so I learned to use them properly at a young age.

BobMcGee123
11-10-2006, 01:14 PM
Just angle your back at some "in-between" position.

I'll have to look up my SLERP code for this.

taelmx
11-10-2006, 01:45 PM
heheh, chopsticks are fun...I think its funny that they put rubber bands around the chopsticks and a rolled up chopstick wrapper in between them so that clumsy people can use them. ;D

Sentral
11-10-2006, 05:47 PM
dont smoke at the table unless ash trays are provided (........)

This made me LAWL so much. You can smoke, but you can't "wipe" your lips with your napkin? HAHA! I'd rather wipe my lips with a napkin and be considered a slob, then get lung cancer from second-hand smoke. Is that the definition of a "formal" dinner? You might as well pull out a bong and have the President's wife get high. Doesn't make sense to me. Maybe because I can't put my head that far up my ........... It's not aimed toward you Bob, just the ignorance of your "leaders" :D

BobMcGee123
11-10-2006, 08:40 PM
Yeah, I'll be the first to admit, a lot of the stuff we have to do our first year is aimed at how well we can do what we are told as opposed to having it actually serve a purpose. Everything from how we make our beds to how we stack books on our shelves has a rule.

There is actually a useful purpose for the formal dining thing, however, and that is jobs. It's entirely possible that a midshipmen, upon graduation, will have to attend a dinner hosted by the company he/she is trying to get a job at. Make a good impression, that'll help you get the job. Evidently this happens rather frequently. If it can help me land a job with polar tankers making $100,000 per year right out of college then I'm all for it :)

Tonto
11-10-2006, 09:09 PM
Smoking can be so classy, I don't think you have any idea.

maxorator
11-11-2006, 02:48 AM
Just use chopsticks like we do in Asia. It's lots of fun! :p
The first hour goes to trying to pick up the same thing. I used to eat raisins with chopsticks. It was quite fun. :D

siavoshkc
11-11-2006, 04:21 AM
Seeing as how there are like no girls that attend my school, they've essentially hired people to be our dates when we go to the President's house.
It looks strange to me. Who will be your date?

Mario F.
11-11-2006, 05:16 AM
> If it can help me land a job with polar tankers making $100,000 per year right out of college then I'm all for it

Just make sure you don't put your elbows on the table or scracth some annoying itch on your cheek. Decisions like that may cost you your future.

BobMcGee123
11-11-2006, 10:04 AM
im pretty sure if i violated that rule they'd just execute me.