PDA

View Full Version : Manners: Elbows on the table.



mr drinky
11-22-2012, 11:30 PM
I'll try not to betray my prejudice on this issue (at this point), but I just had an event today where the manners issue of 'no elbows on the table' came up. What's your take on this? No concession -- it's the rule and a darn good one? Or is it outdated? Of course it could be neither or somewhere in between the extremes, but I am just being provocative.

Most people on this form take food seriously or work with it daily, so I think your perspectives would be interesting.

k.

ajhuff
11-22-2012, 11:34 PM
I follow the host's lead. If my boss kept his elbows off the table, so did I. If My MIL ate with her elbows on the table, so did I.

-AJ

Von blewitt
11-22-2012, 11:38 PM
I'm elbows on all the way

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-22-2012, 11:45 PM
Depends on the situation. Formal dining no, but just about every other time sure. In my job I'm required to go to dining ettiquite training every year. I'm always making the instructor mad!

kalaeb
11-22-2012, 11:45 PM
Depends on how tired I am. With formal dinners its elbows off.

PierreRodrigue
11-22-2012, 11:50 PM
Depends on the situation. Formal dining no, but just about every other time sure. In my job I'm required to go to dining ettiquite training every year. I'm always making the instructor mad!

You can dress him up, but ya can't take him anywhere!

apicius9
11-22-2012, 11:53 PM
I'm European - no elbows on the table, of course. But I seem to be the only one in my circle of friends who cares or even notices.

Stefan

chinacats
11-22-2012, 11:56 PM
Not during the dinner itself, but acceptable if sitting around the table once cleared.

tk59
11-22-2012, 11:59 PM
If I'm with people I know, I'll do whatever I feel like although I can't say I put my elbows on the table a whole lot anyway. If I'm with people I don't know, I'll do what everyone else does. It's not a big deal to me either way.

Zwiefel
11-23-2012, 12:06 AM
Not during the dinner itself, but acceptable if sitting around the table once cleared.

+1

mr drinky
11-23-2012, 12:25 AM
I'm European - no elbows on the table, of course. But I seem to be the only one in my circle of friends who cares or even notices.

Stefan

The French don't care as much about elbows from what I understand, and Central Europe surely cares less yet -- so not all of Europe is elbow free :P

For me, I follow the general rule of never elbows while actually eating food. When you stop eating, are talking with your fellow diners, or are between courses anything goes. But more importantly common sense rules. Know your setting, fellow diners, and situation. Sometimes elbows and sometimes not. But even when I am at a nice restaurant I will catch myself with my elbows on the table, look around, and realize that most diners put their elbows on the table through portions of their meal. I see nothing wrong with it.

There is really little reason for this elbow manner actually -- it is mostly likely a historical artifact of days gone by. I read that it actually may have come from communal dining long ago and putting elbows on the table would take space away from others (that makes sense). Also, there was possibly a design of a table/setting in Europe that would be tipped easily if people put elbows on it. Both of these no longer apply, but the tradition has kept on.

In some countries keeping hands under the table is not acceptable, and for most of the world, the elbows-on-the-table thing is unknown and irrelevant -- we are the minority. On the other hand, Arabs in general don't eat with their left hand, which is considered unclean. That practice was based upon personal sanitation and other factors, but in more modern (clean) Arab countries you will see people using their left hand more than in less clean places such as Yemen.

k.

Lucretia
11-23-2012, 01:48 AM
Don't you remember the poem?

Mr. Drinky, if you're able
keep your elbows off the table!
This is not a horse's stable.
This is a DINING TABLE!

That said, I'm more of a no elbows when eating, elbows between courses and afterwards kind of person.

slowtyper
11-23-2012, 02:47 AM
no care, and never dine with anyone that would care.

mr drinky
11-23-2012, 06:29 AM
Don't you remember the poem?

Mr. Drinky, if you're able
keep your elbows off the table!
This is not a horse's stable.
This is a DINING TABLE!



Good one. I couldn't remember the poems, but I new someone would :)

The reason for this question is that my ex-wife slavishly adheres to her parents' 1950's ideals without thinking why exactly and passes them on to my daughter. Last summer my daughter came back eating pizza with a fork and knife (seriously??) and said she couldn't use her hands according to Mommy. Now it is the elbows thing, so my daughter awkwardly sits trying to eat, adjusting her hands all the time. Instead of teaching a kid to think about manners as a way to be polite, respectful, and courteous of others it becomes a 'lazy' system aimed at rules and control. It's easier to bark orders simply because her parents did than to get a kids to understand it and apply it to real life.

Ok, that's my ex-wife rant -- I'm done. I have to go break down a Turkey now.

k.

Lefty
11-23-2012, 09:47 AM
I'm a firefighter. If we ever worried about that, we'd be ridden HARD by the guys. However, A good idea is to see what the Captain does. Sometimes you get an old stickler, and other times, you're good either way. My Cap doesn't care, so neither do I.

At home, it's my home, and I like to lean, and have casual dinners with my wife. It promotes easy conversation and a nice relaxing time. In my house, elbows can go anywhere but in my drink :)

Formal affairs, or dining out, however, I keep them off because I'm not an animal! Haha.

Korin_Mari
11-23-2012, 09:50 AM
Not during the dinner itself, but acceptable if sitting around the table once cleared.

+2

Poor table manners is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate it. It's just a deal breaker when dating too.
I've kicked my younger (18 and 16 year olds) cousins about this, because they chopsticks up in rice,
look bored with their elbows on the table... UGH. List. Goes. On.

It's okay if someone has both elbows on the table leaning in, and they're concentrating on their meal...
but yea, once the table is cleared is best. I feel like it's disrespectful to the food somehow. :[

maxim
11-23-2012, 10:20 AM
for me its all about comfort, you enjoy your food much better if you sit comfortable, in DK there no problem about elbow either.
And also depends how high or low your table is and how much space you have:D

mano
11-23-2012, 03:51 PM
Yes to the elbows
Okay to the feet
As long as there's food on the table
I say Let's Eat!

Queen Victoria (1819 1901)

Sara@JKI
11-23-2012, 04:04 PM
No elbow on the table at any time.... growing up in Japan, this has become a natural part of my manner :knife:

Korin_Mari
11-23-2012, 06:36 PM
No elbow on the table at any time.... growing up in Japan, this has become a natural part of my manner :knife:

Yea, my relatives were really strict about this too.

ajhuff
11-24-2012, 12:11 AM
It's why I like to eat at the bar.

-AJ

OnTheRoad
11-24-2012, 05:10 AM
I was raised to believe you didn't put your elbows on the table, ever, but you ignored it when other people did it.

Crothcipt
11-24-2012, 07:04 PM
I was raised to believe you didn't put your elbows on the table, ever, but you ignored it when other people did it.

+1, Last time I was on a date I made sure my elbows stayed off the table. The date had hers on the table. She didn't know what I was talking about when I brought it up.

swarfrat
02-06-2013, 05:59 PM
http://images.ucomics.com/comics/tas/2013/tas130121.gif

Lucretia
02-07-2013, 01:16 AM
:rofl2:

Stumblinman
02-07-2013, 05:11 AM
Could it be a body language thing ? Like crossed legs and such, as to sorta shut off one's self against the others at the table like a barrier ? Kind of like slouching gives one a sorta sense of self concentration...

Salty dog
02-07-2013, 05:40 AM
+1, Last time I was on a date I made sure my elbows stayed off the table. The date had hers on the table. She didn't know what I was talking about when I brought it up.

I'm guessing that date didn't go so well.

apicius9
02-07-2013, 07:41 AM
Unless it was the breakfast table...

Stefan

mr drinky
02-07-2013, 08:22 AM
Unless it was the breakfast table...

Stefan

Good one.

k.

Chuckles
02-07-2013, 09:38 AM
It's why I like to eat at the bar.

+1