(so where is the code to decipher the code!?!)
'Proper' etiquette and etiquette standards have been around forever, some things have changed quite a bit over the years - but some etiquette rules have remained the same. When I was younger everyone went to etiquette school or classes... it was miserable and considered cruel and unusual punishment (by the middle schoolers who were in the classes, of course) but looking back, I'm glad we did! Etiquette isn't taught as much anymore and we've been asked a lot lately by our clients about proper etiquette for different situations. You don't need to go through a year of classes by any means, but here are a few Etiquette tips you should always be conscious of;
1. Not everyone follows proper etiquette... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Obviously your surroundings make a difference, we certainly aren't expecting you to ask for three forks at a pizza joint - but that doesn't mean you can't stick to a few simple standards. Once you get in the habit, you will do it without even noticing!
2. Coughing. This is a HUGE etiquette faux-pa that most people don't realize they are doing... and also a BIG pet-peeve of mine. When coughing, cough into your left hand, not your right. You're about to shake hands with someone using your right, and I don't want whatever you just coughed up. Please and thank you.
3. Passing the Salt without the Pepper. They are like peanut butter and jelly, or Bourbon and a cold day... they go together so stop separating them. As they get passed around, they get lost - your Uncle may not need the salt, but Aunt Mary definitely needs both.
4. Pointing... I HATE pointing. Even if it's at a friend, don't point at someone. People take it the wrong way, it's rude, and it's loud. If you must motion, do so with an open hand facing upwards while looking in the eye the person you are talking to.
5. What the HECK are all these utensils for?! Depending on the type of meal service, you may have lots of options when it comes to plates, silverware, and glasses. Generally speaking, you use the utensils working your way from the outside, in.
6. Sending in an RSVP. Weddings, events, and gatherings are costly and time-consuming. If you are invited to something and they ask for an RSVP, that means they would like a head count and you should respond. In a timely manner. Now, we know things come up and plans change at the last minute - but not responding is not an option. Oh, also, saying you're not coming and then showing up with an extra person.... also not ok.
7. The eldest person at the table gets served first. Like tasting wine or being served the first course, the eldest lady gets served first and then all the women at the table. Then the eldest man and then the rest of the men.
8. Making sure your guests know what to expect. If you're having a 'party' and you want people to bring their own beer, food, and chair, you need to tell them that. If it's a cash bar event, or adults only or a singles mixer - let them know. You're guests want to feel comfortable, and there's nothing worse than showing up for a cash bar event with no cash and no ATM in sight.
9. Please for the love of all things visual, do not shovel your food into your face (cue slurping noise). I won't take it from you, and there's a pretty good chance no one else will either. Slow down, savor it a bit. Sit up straight and eat like it's not the last piece of bread on the planet.
10. If all else fails, look at what people around you are doing. Follow their cues and you will be just fine!
(For more tips and some funny reads, CLICK HERE or HERE)