My mother and grandmother were sticklers on table manners. I even had to go to a White Gloves and Manners class when I was in the 4th grade. No lie, this is what it was called. I learned, among other things: how to properly sip soup from a spoon, how to cut my meat and butter my bread without offending others and how to set a table for a formal dinner party with all sorts of plates and silverware. Little did I know that when you grow up, the only women who throw dinner parties with that much flatware and china have a net worth of $1 million. What I wish I had learned is how to throw a dinner party for 10 and spend under $50.
During the week, I cook no more than three times a week and I try to serve at least one meal at the dining room table. The rest of the time we eat at the island bar in the kitchen. The dining room table is actually in the kitchen, so I'm not sure why we just don't move over five feet and sit in a real chair instead of a stool, but we don't.
Oh, wait a minute. Yes, I do know why we don't. My mangerie has the worst table manners in the world. I know it is my fault that they are always underfoot while we are eating at the table or, in the case of the cats, on top of the table. I can't complain about what I allow, so I've decided to start putting up the baby gate to keep the savages away from the gourmet meals I prepare. Maybe they will get the picture or at least make a better attempt at not being so annoying while we enjoy our food.
I'm not sure if they will pass my greyhound White Paws and Manners Class, but maybe they can learn to keep their elbows off the table.
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