Emily Post: Who?

Is there anyone who was born beyond the 1980's know of Emily Post? 

In 1922 the book, “Etiquette: In Society, In Business, In Politics and At Home,” topped the nonfiction bestseller list, and the phrase “according to Emily Post” soon entered our language as the final word on the subject of social conduct. 

During the years several women were published regarding manners, besides Emily Post including Lillian Eichler, Amy Vanderbilt, and even Eleanor Roosevelt. The last book on etiquette was published in 2005, and articles of etiquette continue with 
Peggy Post, the wife of Emily's great-grandson. She is also the current spokeswoman for The Emily Post Institute and writes etiquette advice for Good 
Housekeeping magazine, succeeding her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Post. Peggy Post is the author of more than 12 books

We all, or we should all know the basics of good manners. And yes, none of us are perfect with our conduct of manners, but we should all keep trying - especially when dining out.  The most important thing is to think "beyond ourselves." Be aware of your surroundings.

Probably the most useful and daily courtesies we can extend are those when dining. They're also the same courtesies that stay continuous through the decades - unlike how women should curtsy, not speak until spoken to... Well, you get it. 

I would like to add one other thing to remember when dining out. If the restaurant doesn't have a "Kid's Menu" that's a big clue that the dining establishment is more of an adult environment - you know, a place where adult couples are celebrating anniversaries, special occasions, first date, an evening where the couple hired a baby sitter to have an evening away from children and hoping other couples have the same idea... 

Warning Rant Ahead: When I was raising children the most frustrating thing was to hire a baby sitter, going out on an adult-only date, relaxing with a good martini or a fine wine, listening to soft background music, and then being startled by someone else's child crawling under my table, kicking the back of my booth, and/or screaming!  Or the mom who changes the baby's poopy diapers on the table next to me while I am eating and complaining there is no changing table in the bathroom. Ummm... yeah. And the first clue should be there is no "Kid's Menu." (And don't send me comments, emails, or letters accusing me of being a "baby hater." I don't hate babies, I just dislike unthoughtful parents.) Rant Finished. 

Here are Emily Post's Top Ten Table Manners:

1. Chew with your mouth closed.
2. Keep your phone off the table and set it to silent or vibrate. Wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table.
3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or stab your food.

4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
5. Remember to use your napkin. 
6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (Choking is clearly an exception.)
7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses, and always has been, even in Emily’s day).
9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
10. Take part in the dinner conversation.

Oh, and did I mention to k
eep your phone off the table, set to silent or vibrate, and wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table?


  1. I spent a frustrating evening once with dear friends who could well afford to hire a babysitter but didn't feel the need to for a fancy new restaurant on a Saturday night.. The dad complained there wasn't room for their (horrendously oversized, given the baby was only six months old) giant stroller next to the table, and the mom complained there wasn't a changing table in the elegant ladies room...

    Also, I gave good friends six weeks notice to invite them to a "grownup dinner party" at another fancy restaurant, and the night before was asked if I could make an exception for one little person (though there was no babysitter cancelling story offered as explanation). Of course that would be totally unfair to the other three couples who had obediently booked babysitters..

    I love children too. But not at fancy restaurants!

  2. Hi Carrie, thanks for stopping by. Indeed and I feel your pain. Our kids loved it when we went out at night without them. It meant they got pizza and soda with the baby sitter, or at their "Grams" (my mother) who would spoil them. Often when we ran up against a "mischievous" child at a restaurant, we often thought we could have brought ours and be guaranteed they would behave (or else.).

  3. There definitely are well behaved children who can sit through a restaurant meal politely and quietly (and their parents are prepared by bringing snacks, games, books, toys etc) but it seems the type of parents who think it's ok to take kiddos to fancy restaurants on Saturday nights after 6 pm are the exact same parents that also don't feel the need to hush or correct their children or walk them outside around the block when needed..

  4. Agreed. Growing up we often went out to eat. My father loved going out and being served a good meal - and he enjoyed his children at the dinner table. However, before we left the house we were sat down and told what was expected of us and what would happen (in big trouble!) if we misbehaved. I am really thankful for that experience. I married a man who also enjoyed fine dining and often wanted his children to be a part of that dining, therefore the children were told of their expectations. And I have to say, they were often at their best. So we know it's possible to dine with children - and like I wrote, I am not a baby hater. I just dislike thoughtless parents. Thanks Carrie!


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