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Dining in public, stay away from these

Social media is enjoyable and a great way to decompress, but for those who pay ‘attention’, it can also be a source of cash through endorsements, influence, and likes. Even better, it can be a place to learn new skills, including public manners.

As you scroll through your feeds, albeit sometimes it depends on the pages/people you follow, you can’t fail to find “a word for a wise”.

Recently, one of my contacts posted a meme that resonates with me, it read: “I can stand someone eating in public, as long as they chew with their mouth closed”.

I never really paid attention to it, until I happened to be at a corporate function and saw an older man in a suit eating with his mouth open and making noises as he chewed, and to make matters worse, he was talking with his mouth full.

In my elementary school, proverbs were a common topic during English class and I can still recall most of them, like “Charity begins at home” when I saw this man’s behaviour, I couldn’t help wondering where and how he was brought up.

Now I know of another friend who once posted a meme that: “My mom raised me well, all my bad behaviour is on me” which is ‘somehow true’, I mean there’s a multitude of things we as adults adopt while growing up, however, like the Bible states- “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”, this made it hard not to judge where this man was raised. This takes me back to the first paragraph; there’s a lot you can learn from social media, as long as you’re willing to learn.

I was brought up in a home where dining cutlery was for the visitors, thus we used our fingers to eat. As years went by, this changed, as we were introduced to forks and spoons, but knives. 

Through interrupting with people from different walks of life, and going to different places, we noticed the use of knives as a dining tool and we were so eager to learn.

Of course we never signed up for dining classes-are they even there?, but used the internet-Google, which directed us to YouTube where we found countless videos on how to be a pro at using different dining cutlery.

Back to the man from the corporate event, he wasn’t the only one who practised poor dining etiquette, there were others, hence this write-up, as it seemed people do some of these things unknowingly. 

The next time you’re dining in public, kindly refrain from the following or else people will question your upbringing.

Mind Your Manners:Good manners go a long way. Simple acts like saying “please”, “thank you”, and excuse me to the  waitstaff or those you’re dining with can make the experience more pleasant for everyone.

Don’t eat like you’re being chased: Eating too quickly not only prevents you from enjoying your meal but also disrupts the flow of a dining experience. Take your time, savor your food, and enjoy the company you’re with.

Don’t  overload  your  plate– it’s not like that’s your last meal: I’ve seen so many folks serve themselves food and then not finish it; even if it’s self-service, “bite what you can chew.” Serving oneself a lot of food and then not eating it depicts you as greedy and selfish.

Be mindful of Noise: Nobody wants to hear someone slurping soup or chewing loudly, let alone see the food in your mouth. To avoid this, chew with your mouth closed and use utensils as needed to reduce noise.

Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full: One of the most common dining faux pas is speaking with your mouth full of food. Wait until you’ve swallowed your bite before engaging in conversation.

Tidy Up After eating: I understand there are people paid to clean up after you, but they won’t clean your mouth. Endeavour to clean your mouth before you get up, and your clothes as well, just in case you drop some food. Most importantly, immediately trash the toothpicks after use- Never leave a toothpick in your mouth after eating, and go ahead to have conversations. It not only makes one look silly but also dirty.

Good dining etiquette not only reflects well on you but also ensures a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Remember  ‘etiquette’  is not about being overly formal, but being considerate and respectful of others.

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