Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


Once Upon A Time When I Was Going To Be A Woman

As a teenager I saw this book about etiquette and I read it with all my heart because I was on becoming a woman and needed to know these things. There was no one teaching me or helping me, so I might as well begin learning and practicing. 

One of the areas that freaked me out most, because the book said how much you'd be shunned if, it wasn't done correctly or if you mistake the soup spoon for the ice cream spoon etc, was the table setting.  I spent most of my childhood in orphanages with little to no plates and utensils, so it was hard to practice even when I was on kitchen duty, but I still tried. 

Today on Good Housekeeping
I think I got it down for a few years in my mind and waited for that perfect dinner or tea party to use my skills, that never came. 

Back to eating with my hands! Plus the fingers grab the food better anyway.

A few years later when I was going to get married, I thought again that I must read up on my skills because I would be having a dining table and I will need to know how to set the table and teach my children! 


We are married for seven years now and we still do not have a dining table. 

I do really want one, but finances prevents us. 

So we sit around and eat on our couch and little chairs and a coffee table. 

I freak out about the crumbs but try to vacuum and get the kids to eat ON the table as much as possible. 

Maybe one day we'll have a table and I'll get to practice, but for now, we are laid back and learning to be thankful for what we do have. 
credit: Housebeautiful

Did you have to learn etiquette class or practice home making in school or other settings? And do you incorporate what you have learned into your home?

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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  1. We have a dining room table and still eat around the coffee table.

  2. We have a dining table that is only sat on when we have house guests, or on very special occasion.

    I learned etiquette and good manners at first at home. But we have MASSIVE etiquette lessons in the nun-school that I attended back in the days! The nuns are so serious about etiquette and good manners. Later on, I learned from my travels that etiquette are different and could be conflicting in different cultures and places. It's very tricky! Like in Japan, slurping soup is good manners and means you enjoy the food. That would have never passed in the nun-school!

    It's great to teach etiquette and good manners to our children, but we should never forget to teach them the reasons behind it - to show respect, consideration for others, kindness,... In the end, whatever manners we end up learning, teaching and doing, our good intentions should show through.

  3. I taught myself proper table etiquette, and later worked at a yacht club which let me use what I learned.

  4. We seldom sit at the table - like once or twice a year. Hubby sits in front of the television and me at my computer. I love your second comment. It really captures the essence of what etiquette is all about.

    BTW, it was the rainbow cleaning system that I sold. I could not mention that while typing up an ad though, could I? lol

  5. I know there is such a thing as etiquette, but that's about as far as it goes. ;)

  6. We always ate at the dining room table when the kids where growing up, but they're grown now. Now we only use it for holidays or when we have company and are playing board/card games. We all eat watching tv, most of the time in different rooms since we all like different tv shows.

    I don't think it matters to little kids whether you eat at the table or in the living room etc., they just want you to be with them.

  7. When I had 5 children, my hubby and I made 7, I always set the table, we even had cloth napkins. With 7 of us, cloth was cheaper than paper.I could just wash them and use them over. When I have company for a meal, I still set the table and use my cloth napkins, it always seems to impress the company that we use cloth napkins. However, now that it is just the hubby and myself, we eat on trays on the enclosed porch, and watch the neighborhoods comings and goings. And we use paper towels for napkins for the two of us.

  8. We have the dining table, but no chairs-Go figure! Lol

    Honestly though, I never really got into the whole etiquette thing-As long as the spoon gets food from point A (your plate) to point B (your mouth), I say use it!

    I hope you'll be able to get a dining table for you and your family though :)

  9. We use our dinning table for everything. As a matter of fact I just remodeled the was so messed up from kids activities.


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