Invited to Dinner At His / Her Parent's Home?

Table manners, is an antiquated practice in some respects. But, is a plus in the event should you be invited to have dinner at your b/f's / g/f's parent's home. And trust me when I say; table manners go a long way in impressing the parents!

Your attire for going over to the parent's house is critical. It would be best to stay away from T shirts altogether, a nice collared shirt / blouse would be ideal. 
And ladies? Please do not be too "forward" in your tops. Remember, you want to impress the parents, not excite the dad! LOL!

And guys? For God's sake do not wear the unsleeved shirt that has been (depressingly) known as a "wife beater's". (What moron had given this shirt such a
disgusting name, I want to know?) But if you must
wear a T shirt do not use one with an"expressive" rock & roll theme of bloody daggers in a fiery skull, etc.!

OK, now try to keep your elbows off the table at all times. I will say this is a pesky detail in which I have to keep an eye on my own self personally.

Next, do not eat with your hat on. Now, I see ball caps on folks all the time in diners & restaurants, it seems to be accepted. However, you are on a mission to demonstrate your good table manners, & impress everyone at the table, so remove your cap or whatever head wear is on your melon before sitting at the table! 

Take care that you are sitting up straight, & not too far from the table. Perhaps 4" or so away from the table.

Unfold your napkin & place it on your lap. You can take it up should you need to wipe your mouth, but then replace it back on your lap.

When holding your silverware, do not grab it w/ your hand in a fist so to speak. Instead, hold the fork / spoon like a pencil. The knife should be held in a way to where the cutting is done easily, though
tastefully executed. I would suggest resting the handle in your palm, cutting edge down naturally,
wrapping the middle, ring finger, & "pinky" around the handle holding it upright.  Your index finger should protrude over the top side of your knife to apply pressure when cutting.

It is best to cut small pieces only, (more on this farther on) & then to lay the knife down on the edge of the plate immediately after each piece is cut. This practice is very important to master & you will look so cool & sophisticated!  It is OK to leave the fork in your other hand during this process.

Should you have soup, you must understand that there is a particular method that should be
followed. Often when one is having soup, sometimes a bit of the broth will get on your lower lip & chin. The way around this is surprisingly easy. What you do is to fill your spoon while moving it away from you, & close to the far end of the soup. Should your chin get wet, neatly reach down & get your napkin & remove it quickly as possible! 

The soup, if it is overly hot,will be coolest near the outer edge & the edge of the spoon that enters your mouth will be relatively dry & not leave an embarrassing "drop" of broth on your chin. This actually works! Needless to say, do not slurp your soup. If it is too hot to eat, let it sit for awhile.

And most importantly, never chew with your mouth open! This is one of the reasons you should only cut small pieces of food on your plate. And also, try to make as little sound as possible when chewing.

At the table, even if asked a question, never talk w/ food in your mouth. Continue to process the food & swallow it first. (Try not to hurry! choking is so very uncool at the dinner table! LOL)

Always say please & thank you when asking for anything.

Do not be the first one finished eating, take your time & take note of the other diners at the table to see how close they are to being finished & try to match their pace.

On the other hand, do not be the last one either if it can be helped. Being the last one to finish is no big deal. But sitting there with a lot of food still to be eaten may cause a tiny bit of embarrassment on the part of your hosts.

I certainly realize that the notion of following everyone else's pace at eating seems a bit silly, & I seriously doubt that there is a cause for concern should you be the last one done. I would just mention that being invited to a meal is a special occasion for you & anything you can do to keep it
going smoothly is a plus!

At the close of the festivities, be sure to thank the parents for having you over for dinner, & to
compliment on how well it was prepared & how great it looked. This is true even if you did not care for
what was served. Eat it anyway & Keep it to yourself...forever!

Later on if invited again for dinner you could ask your partner if he / she would ask her parents to please prepare "such & such" which is your favorite dish! And, again be certain to thank the parents before the meal & afterward for taking the trouble in preparing your favorite foods.

If you have religious reasons that you cannot eat a certain type of food, carefully explain & apologize for the inconvenience you are actually causing in a small way.

I would like to add that when you are invited to someones home for dinner, you have instantly become an ambassador from your own family. You are the one representing them in person, that is one of the reasons why you should learn & use table manners. The first impression is the one that counts!

navyvet navyvet
56-60, M
6 Responses Mar 23, 2009

Well said Singer1960!

Did you forgit that they should bring something for the host....A small bunch of flowers would be nice...And get lots of points with the mother...

You are too funny! Life is always crazy, & all those around are the crazy ones, we enjoy the distinction of being sane!

=) I'm fine! My computer was in the shop and life is crazy. Ha. And you thought I was behaving and minding my manners!

Myonis 108! How are you? Etiquette classes? Actually no. I was simply remembering what I was taught in Parochial School where Manners was a subject & actually part of the curriculum.<br />
<br />
OMG d10, them noisy chewers friggin pi** me off. No class! My wife & I had a house "guest" or, another friend of my wife's w/ a sad story, & needing a place to crash...for 8 months in continuum. Anywho, I had to correct his eating habits on the spot, I was nice about it too

So have you started etiquette classes at your local junior high? I don't think many adults do all of this. Table manners really matter to me. I obsess over this stuff!