Thursday, January 8, 2009
This may seem like a no brainer to most of you, but it's something that I always end up having trouble with.
When sitting down to a meal, the very first thing you do is unfold your napkin an lay it open on your lap. Though you may be tempted to stuff a corner down the front of your shirt collar, don't. Also, don't use it to wipe your face or blow your nose. It may be used to dab around your mouth for the transition between eating and drinking. You shouldn't use it to clean up a spill or a mess either. The idea being that, as a gentleman, you're going to eat very proficiently and your not going to need a napkin for anything more than dabbing crumbs from the corners of your mouth. That should help you remember to lay it on your lap at the outset instead of unwrapping it when you need to use it, like I often do. As well as being able to return it a shake away from the way you got it. Imagine that you are a trapese artist and your napkin is the safety net.
For extra credit, if you're getting up from the table with the intention of returning. Place your napkin to the left of your plate and push in your chair. If the host places his napkin to the left of his plate, this signifies that the meal is over. You can lay it draped from the center anywhere else to signify that your finished with your meal. But don't refold it.