A Guide to Good Table Manners
Navigating Table Turf
Memorize two simple rules: Your glasses are on the right; your bread plate is on the left. (If you forget, think BMW, for “bread, meal, water”―the left-to-right order of items when you’re seated at your place.) “If the poor person next to you took your bread, don’t make him feel ill at ease,” says Dupree. She recommends asking the unwitting thief, “I might be mistaken, but isn’t that mine?” Post advises claiming the bread plate on your right (as the original perpetrator did) and hoping that the whole table plays along. Cynthia Rowley, a fashion designer and the coauthor, with Ilene Rosenzweig, of Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life ($22, amazon.com), suggests playfully telling the person you’re happy to share your bread. Of course, at a restaurant, you can just ask the server to bring you another plate.