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Teen son and manners at the scholarship banquet

January 26, 2011
tags: , ,

(Son requested I post this piece, written in 2009)

Many times over the years I have taught Teen Son how to eat politely at a formal meal. We’ve even discussed and practiced European versus American fork spearing and nonspearing of meat at our house.

So I was smiling a bit smugly to myself as we sat down to eat with the other gussied up scholarship recipients at the college today. Smiling because I have heard that some busy parents have sadly neglected that part of their child’s education, apparently munching on French fries when they should have been explaining the French use of forks and why spearing meat is un-American.

Some parents even hire a tutor to teach their children table manners. As the salad was served, I began envisioning a lucrative new business venture for Madame Julia, Manners Maven.

Moments later, after nibbling politely on lettuce… and after remembering not to talk with his mouth full or dig food away from his braces with his finger… and after poking me politely to make sure I noticed he was even nibbling on a tomato, Teen Son pushed his salad plate back, pulled forward a plate bearing a brownie and an anemic strawberry marooned in chocolate icing and began scarfing down desert. “Eat that last,” I hissed.

“Oh, there’s more food?” he asked, surprised. “Hey, where’d you get the bowl of soup?”

“That’s dressing for the salad,” I whispered.

“Oh,” he whispered back, eying the bowl to see if it might pass as a cold soup.

Finally the lasagna arrived and I breathed a sigh of relief. He’d have no steak or chicken to cut. Lasagna must be scooped. There’d be no French stabbing of food.

“What are the little balls?” he asked, just before stabbing one.

“Butter.”

I decided to pour the lemonade lest Teen Son spill it on his new interview pants.

I grasped the pitcher, began pouring expertly and incorrectly calculated the physics involved for the polite little spout. The lemonade narrowly missed the interview pants but did hit the chair.

Politely, Teen Son said nothing. Just like his father taught him.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. David Accola permalink
    January 26, 2011 5:32 pm

    Yay! This one might be my favorite. 🙂

    • Brenda Bishop permalink
      January 30, 2011 4:53 pm

      This is too cute!

  2. Derek Field permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:52 am

    Moral of the story: Mothers should avoid calculating physics?

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