We just returned from a little rest and recreation. As usual we chose a couple of our favorite old hotels for lodging. We've found that many of them have superb dining rooms and look forward to some gourmet repast in out of the way places. Our first stop was the wonderful Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, MT. Everything was as we expected ~ quite charming and relaxing.
It was Saint Patricks day and their were quite a few people in the dining room. As we dallied over our dinner my eyes were drawn to a table not far away. The couple being seated were about our age I'd guess. The gentleman, and I use word loosely, thought himself quite the charmer but I wondered how well it sat when he asked the hostess if she was one of the local yokels. It went downhill from there. Both the table manners and the conversation for all to hear.
Just before they finished the lady excused herself. I wish I had too. He finished his wine, a nice red he put in an ice bucket then filled the bucket with his table water, then his wife's then toyed with the food left on her plate. It was impossible not to watch him try as I did. He proceeded to clean every tooth in his mouth with his napkin then give his nose a great blow. Into the napkin. He was still sitting alone when we finished and left. His wife had been gone for quite awhile. I never wondered why.
Next stop the Pollard in Red Lodge. Another of our favorites. A man with his two sons, after a day of skiing, were seated next to us. Both boys wore baseball caps and had their electronics with them. Dad ate with both arms on the table, never lifting his elbow to get his fork to his mouth. The boys followed suit, missing a few times. It's hard to eat and play your game boy at the same time I guess. Their dining style was with fork in fist. I do not understand how one can eat that way! I guess, once again, it's a generational thing ~ manners!
The only time they put their game gadgets down was when they had to cut their meat. Knife in fist. I picked up my knife and fork that way and it actually hurt my wrists when I tried to stab a bite.
When did table manners disappear? When did wearing proper attire disappear? When Hub and I go out for a nice dinner we feel like dinosaurs. We've been accused of being snobs. My Mom, though, had it right. It's not being a snob, she'd say, it's a standard of living.
It's too bad we have to dine at home to enjoy it.