Why We Put Our Napkins In Our LapsPosted: January 2, 2014
Back when I was a kid, my parents made sure to keep me attentive to my manners. I fought them on one of their teachings. I didn’t see the sense in putting my napkin in my lap.
It seemed to me that if the napkin was on the table, it would be easier to see. I’m a visual kind of guy, so I still believe that, but…
Some People Are Risk Takers
Some friends took the risk of inviting me to a New Year’s Eve dinner party. A real dinner party – four couples at the table, silverware, china. Each of the four courses were successively more delicious than the last. Being invited to this event was a treat; the experience just skyrocketed from there.
So there I was, at this perfectly set table. The courses started with a delicious lentil soup. A crisp salad followed the soup. When the soup came out I took my napkin from the napkin ring and put it on my lap. That’s what my folks taught me to do. I did it, even though I couldn’t see the napkin.
Let’s pause here to address those of you who are snickering. For your information, I do know people who own napkin rings and they know me as well. Despite knowing me, they do invite me around. That is your lesson for today – people who own napkin rings are risk takers.
Now let’s get to my lesson.
Class Is In Session For The Guy With No Class
The main course arrived after the salad plates were cleared. In short order, though the hostess was anything but a short order cook, I had a full plate before me. My napkin ring owning friends didn’t realize that they were at their highest level of risk at that moment.
With my plate in front of me, I moved a serving dish of broccoli. I overturned my plate in the process and it emptied into my lap. Broccoli, carrots and half of a twice baked potato landed on me. The last thing to land was a serving of perfectly prepared fruit-stuffed pork roast.
Down came the pork roast. And as exquisite as it was, it did not feel nearly as good in my lap as the potato.
The embarrassment I felt from the sound of the plate emptying its contents over the side of the table cut through the delightful warmth of the potato in my lap. All I could say was “that’s unfortunate”.
Yes, “that’s unfortunate”. When you live as I do you know just what to say when you’ve got pork in your lap.
But then I realized the value of my parents’ tutelage. Every bit of food landed on the napkin on my lap. The perfect pork, the snugly warm potato. Even the carrots, who are known for their ability to escape, were all captured on my napkin. There wasn’t a mark on me.
I was able to resume the meal with minimal fuss; with my clothes unsullied by even a sprig of parsley.
Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad. I’m now modifying my position. Seeing the napkin is not as important as I’d thought.
Thank you to my napkin-ring-owning, risk-taking, relatively new friends for a fantastic eventing. The food was amazing. I enjoyed the company.
And that potato felt good.