I've never really understood table manners. They seem like pointless unwritten rules that families conformed to after some genius came up with them.
The first table manner I don't get is what I like to call the "Let your food get cold for no reason" rule. If I'm at a restaurant with some friends or family members and everyone has their food except me, the people at the table deem it necessary to not eat their food. You can eat your food in front of me; I'm not going to make you wait for my food so we can all eat at the same time.
"But that's rude. We're being polite friends by waiting."
Really? Friends let their food get cold for other friends? I wish I could feel fortunate that I have such considerate friends, but instead, I just feel like an asshole. I'm the reason no one at the table is happy. It's not my fault the chef can't cook quickly.
This is like one of those dumb things we all just sort of do and people don't really ever question it. We just sort of think to ourselves "Oh no. I see not everyone at the table has their food yet. I guess we have to wait a while now."
The same goes for the last piece rule; if you want the last piece, great! Good for you! Go for it! You don't have to ask me if it's okay to take the last piece of pizza/cake/whatever when we've all had some. If you reach for it it's all yours. Finders keepers. Capitalism. America.
Now I thought it was common understanding that when you're at the table, you're there to have a comfortable dining experience. So, try not to take it personally when I say that I don't care if my elbow on the table bothers you. I'm still engaged in the conversation. I'm still listening to all the older adults at the table talk about their kids I've never met. I'm still answering the same banal questions about my major, what I want to do in life, and the ever-inevitable question whether I have a girlfriend. But sometimes, I have a sore back, or my arms are cramped, or I'm squeezed in-between two big bodies and am dying for some space. The same goes for my posture. This physical language affects no one at the table in any way yet some people see it necessary to call me out for it.
While I'm telling the fellows at the table about my girlfriend-less life, I notice that all the adults are now engaged in a full out Trump versus Bernie style political war at the table. One quick pointer: Avoid talking about politics at the table. At all costs. Even if it means leaving the table. Someone is going to get a little too into the conversation and you will be too busy defending your position than actually enjoying the lovely piece of salmon that's staring you in the face.
That's about all I got for this installment of pointless things we do. I encourage you not to worry If I'm invited over for a get-together or dinner party. I'll still be polite and follow all these rules to the best of my ability. But if you come over to my place, it's bye-bye to all these unnecessary table manners. Get ready for a meal on a couch with your feet up and a movie playing.