Monday, September 8, 2014


When the table ‘turns’, don’t get left staring into space.  Turn immediately to the girl on your left.  If she doesn’t turn to you, lean over and say something like this,’How about getting rid of that fascinating fellow on your left and paying a little attention to me?’ Don’t forget, faint heart, never, etc. etc.

This passage from Walter Hoving’s Tiffany’s Table Manners For Teenagers (1961) has stuck with me all my life, although I can’t say that I’ve ever attended a dinner party where they “turned” the table.  Still, Hoving makes a sound point from which others can be usefully extrapolated.   

Tables are always turning, pennies always dropping and scales falling. Being caught unawares, unprepared, can be dangerous or at least embarrassing.  Just the other week when the Nosferatus dropped by to gorge I found I had nothing to serve, which raised my paranoia level considerably.  

"Faint heart never, etc., etc." is the very best advice.

Upper:  John Singer Sargent; 

Middle:  Jennifer Pochinski;  

Lower:  William Betts

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