My parents took table manners very seriously. Which is why probably why my sisters and I thought that the poem about the Goops – bald-headed urchins who spilled their soup and gabbed with their mouths full – was so hilarious. The Goops brazenly broke every single one of our parent’s rules (and then some). It’s one of the earliest poems I can remember reciting in front of a classroom, and I can rattle it off now.
I’ve noticed a trend lately of dinner napkins and prim cocktail coasters embroidered with polite reminders of basic etiquette. Have we collectively become that much lazier about our elbows? Has the most basic please or thank you fallen that far out of fashion? Perhaps. Or, maybe it’s a trend right out of my parent’s playbook, that you can’t possibly be told enough times to sit up straight or to finish chewing before arguing a point.
Salvaged burlap place mats from One Kings Lane.