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Passe dining norms

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Carla G

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Passe dining norms

by Carla G » Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:09 am

I enjoyed reading Robin's post about dated terminology once used in menus. I had noticed the same thing while referencing old cookbooks of my mom's - ie. cooking instructions that now sound a bit stilted or even different abbreviations that were often used. ( Is it Tbls. or just T ?)

Then I thought about dining habits that were once the norm that now are no longer. Remember when ladies dined at Stewarts for lunch and more often than not, were found wearing their white gloves? Or when it was routine for a man to order for a woman without consulting with her what she wanted? Or when a woman had to be seated to smoke a cigarette? Or wasn't allowed to sit at a bar without being accompanied by a man lest she be thought a prostitute?

Just the simple act of dining out has changed dramatically. Can you think of others?
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Alexis Rich

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Re: Passe dining norms

by Alexis Rich » Mon Jul 04, 2022 6:52 am

When my husband and I go out for dinner, if I get up from the table for whatever reason, he stops eating and waits for me. It’s so we can finish our meal together. Old fashioned but I think thoughtful and well-mannered. (Gentlemen who stand up when the lady gets up from the table are long gone. That odd, yet respectful, custom pre-dates me.)

I always thought giving the woman the menu without prices was an interesting practice. This was back in the day when the lady would likely not be paying and therefore shouldn’t worry about what her meal costs. Again, old fashioned but well mannered in that it avoided garish talk of money.

Finally, I’ve noticed that hosts are pulling out chairs for everyone these days, not just the ladies. I like it! However, is it still custom for ladies to be seated first? Is that just too old school?
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Re: Passe dining norms

by Carla G » Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:39 am

You made some great observations. I'm wondering...if instead of women being given menus without pricing or having chairs pulled out for them, what if we do it for the elderly of either sex, as a way of showing respect? There may be some discussion about what is considered elderly I guess but I'm of the mind that any kind of show of respect for others is a move in a positive direction.
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Mark R.

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Re: Passe dining norms

by Mark R. » Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:38 am

This is a great discussion there are so many things that have gone by the wayside. Things like the man holding the door open for woman as she enters or exit a building or an automobile. It's already been mentioned about holding the chair for woman while she is being seated but it goes further because many times gentlemen who actually stand up when a woman got up to leave the table and stand up when she returned letting her be the 1st seated. There are so many that I think our society has become far too casual in this day and age. Just look at what people wear going tonight's restaurants these days!
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Carla G

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Re: Passe dining norms

by Carla G » Mon Jul 04, 2022 3:41 pm

:oops: You make some good observations Mark but I feel the need to accept part of the blame for the discontinuence of some of those polite niceties. Back in the early 70s, as women were finding their own social footing, it was widely (if incorrectly) thought by some women that those mannners indicated that women were helpless or need to be taken care of. That somehow we were "less" if someone opened a door for us. I saw many a gentleman berated for such things. ( you could almost see the neon letter flash across their forehead, "But I was just trying to be nice!") Do that often enough when someone is just trying to be polite and those considerations fall by the wayside. I hope we can all get past these things and recognize such actions for what they are. Some were pleasant and polite, (opening doors or pulling out chairs for one another regardless of gender ) others were controling and demeaning (ordering for someone that can read and decide for themself what they want to eat.).
And oh man, as far as clothing goes, you should see what people wear to funerals these days! It's jaw dropping.
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Re: Passe dining norms

by Mark R. » Mon Jul 04, 2022 7:14 pm

Carla G wrote:And oh man, as far as clothing goes, you should see what people wear to funerals these days! It's jaw dropping.

The same thing also applies to weddings and other events of that type. I was originally going to mention that but didn't feel it went was a topic here even though it is basically the same thing.
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Re: Passe dining norms

by Ed Vermillion » Tue Jul 05, 2022 8:57 am

(Gentlemen who stand up when the lady gets up from the table are long gone. That odd, yet respectful, custom pre-dates me.)

I still do this. I open doors for men and women. Pick things up when someone drops them. Help people get things down from the top shelf at the grocery. Say yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes, sir, thank you, please. Just the way I was raised and I'm sticking with it until I'm shuffled off this mortal coil.

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