The Times Is Mindful of MANNERS

December 6th, 2017

A nice plug for Modern American Manners in the New York Times Book Review, “at a time when civility seems in short supply”:

Simply ignore guests who fall asleep at the table (page 67).

MODERN AMERICAN MANNERS: Dining Etiquette for Hosts and Guests (Skyhorse, $26.99), by Fred Mayo and Michael Gold, focuses on just that: all matters of etiquette pertaining to dining. How to set a proper table; how to be an excellent host or a guest; networking efficiently but not aggressively; and minutiae like the proper way to hold a drink and a canapé in one hand so that you can shake with the other—all are covered, with accompanying photographs reminiscent of Glamour magazine’s old Dos and Don’ts pages, without the black bars. I don’t think the pictures are meant to be funny. But try not to laugh at the photo captioned Simply ignore guests who fall asleep at the table. Much of the advice seems sound, if occasionally puzzling. For example, apparently you’re supposed to seat the obnoxious over-sharers and conversation monopolizers at the far reaches of a dinner table, in order to protect your guests. This can’t be true. After all, I’m almost always the person seated at the foot of the table at my friends’ dinner parties. Oh.” —Judith Newman, “Among the Vulgarians,” New York Times Book Review, 12/1/17

Thanks, Judith Newman, for getting the joke and then some.

Mayo & Gold, MANNERS (Skyhorse, 2017)

DON’T read your tablet at the table (page 38).

DO Greet guests warmly when they arrive (page 56).