NOTE: Full Disclosure… I’m no Miss Manners. I’ve got hair on my thighs, will okie blow during a run, and have committed all of these violations in the past. Can’t guarantee I won’t do them again in the future either. Manners are like clothes. Getting a step above the norm makes a lot of us feel our best, and therefor, we can more easily make others feel their best. Whether those others subscribe to the same fashion or etiquette sense is irrelevant.
1. Ordering before the women at your table
C’mon man. Ladies first. Even the most hardcore feminists let this tiny act of chivalry slide. And politely gesture to the women at your table if the waiter/waitress looks for your order first. Now if you and her are ordering as a pair, then you do the ordering. Keep the menu open towards her so she can make sure you’re getting it right.
2. Digging in before everyone is served.
Sometimes you have a larger party and the waiter or waitress needs to make a second trip. Hold your horses before you go diving into the trough. If someone’s late to the table and their order is running way behind, then it’s okay and best not to let the food get cold. But go slow, and do offer some of your meal if possible to the late guest.
3. Neglecting to refill your dining partner’s glass
This goes for libations of almost any sort when the bottle/pitcher has been left on the table. Usually it’s a male doing this for a female but if your buddy’s pint gets low, go for it. Some even say pouring your own sake is bad luck, and pouring your date another glass of wine is just flat out romantic. Don’t push though. After a few rounds, pick up the bottle and ask before pouring.
4. Not looking someone in the eye while toasting
More of a European thing than anything. Us boozed up Americans (and Canadians! Howdy to those north of the border)… are just inherently more concerned with not spilling our drink. If you care about someone or something enough to toast them or it, don’t half-ass it. Look your fellow glass-clinkers in the eye when doing so.
5. Getting Separate Checks if another person/couple got something small.
The real asinine act is splitting the check 50/50 with someone who got a salad and a drink while you and the Mrs. killed a bottle and two entrees. That’s unforgivable. The opposite of that would be to pick up the tab. Then the waitress doesn’t have to ring up another check and you get to treat. Everyone wins.
Got any unfortunately easy to commit breaches of dining etiquette? Leave them all in the comments below.
Top Photo Credit: warrenski