Lessons your parents didn't teach you

@dawnald (84131)
Shingle Springs, California
September 10, 2008 4:07pm CST
I remember being maybe 12 or 13, I always held my fork in my fist, and one of my cousins pointed out that that wasn't the correct way to hold a fork. My parents never taught me that even though both of them hold forks correctly. Do you have any etiquette type lessons that you learned from people other than your parents?
2 people like this
4 responses
@owlwings (39091)
• Cambridge, England
10 Sep 08
My parents (my mother, especially) didn't leave much in the way of manners untaught. In general, I have been a somewhat recalcitrant pupil (though I was, of course, careful to pass on my knowledge to my children - with reinforcement from my mother, naturally!) I think the one lesson I remember (for no particular reason) was actually a saying of my mother's father (who I never knew). Maybe that counts as a lesson learned from another person. His saying, "Joints on the table were meant to be carved!" has stayed with me for life and I am careful never to put my elbows on the table until coffee is served.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Sep 08
Never heard that expression, but love it!
@owlwings (39091)
• Cambridge, England
10 Sep 08
There are actually several accepted ways of holding both fork and knife. The fork is really a quite new arrival at the table and didn't really become generally accepted in England until the 18th century. It was even written that "God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks — his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating." (I have been unable to trace who said that and when.) There is a delightfully 'Exhuberant' article on American table-manners and their history (as well as the way they differ from the English way) here: http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/Dining_Etiquette.html Well worth a read!
@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Sep 08
Aha, my friend Carol (parents from London) and my husband's relatives have a great time with my table manners. Great read. Thanks!
• United States
10 Sep 08
there are some things that you arent normally taught. somethings you just pick up from your parents. your parents may have thought that by you watching them maybe you would learn the correct way. i'm not sure. i can't really think of anything that i needed to know that my mom didn't tell me. she pretty much covered all the bases and then some.
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@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Sep 08
my parents sort of zoned out about the time that I reached age 10 I think...
@Sheepie (3118)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I think I hold the fork correctly just naturally. I don't think I would ever notice how someone held a fork. I didn't even know there was good or bad etiquette for that. I learned on my own how to accept people from all walks of life, my parents just told me the basics and I had to learn a lot just from experience.
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@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Sep 08
some people pick up on that stuff more naturally than others!
@BriNbai (912)
• United States
10 Sep 08
My parents were never the type to tell me how to correctly hold my fork or anything like that.My grandma was the one who took it as her resposibility to yell at me for not eating properly lol..but I really thank her for that.She was the one that would tell me to get my elbows off the table and all that good stuff.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Sep 08
Thank goodness for grandmas!