Elbows on the Table

by R. Famawi
(South Carolina)

I have a young man of 15 who has argueed with me about resting ones arm at the elbow on the table to bring his fork to his mouth. I am from the Deep South, this was considered "lazy". I would like to be able to let him know who is correct.

Thank you,
Mrs. Ramawi

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You are stuck with the second stringer ...
by: Dan

Dear Mrs. Ramawi:

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, Morgan, who normally is our Miss Manners, is preoccupied with the impact of Irene. She lives on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. She is doing find, just has her hands full.

I spoke to her, and relayed your question and will likely respond when life returns to normal. So, given the subject, I will answer your question.

"Elbows off the table," is a refrain that rings in my ears both from my mother and wife. We are from PA, so rest assured, your position is not unique to the Deep South. It is rude to the host/preparer of the meal. They put a lot of hard work in preparing the meal, and deserve the respect of those enjoying the meal. So, I agree with you ... "elbows off the table!"

One more thing; I do not remember my mother or wife ever asking for a general opinion. Generally, the offending elbow-er would be greeted with a smack in the back of the head with the expected refrain ... "Get your elbows off the table!"

Good luck with your 15 year old! He is getting off easy.

Kind regards,

Not-Miss-Practical Etiquette ... Dan

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