Boyfriend's Food Etiquette Bugs Reader
DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother always made sure I was taught proper dining etiquette from a young age. I am very thankful to her, and I feel confident in most dining situations. I have noticed my boyfriend commits one of the faux pas of dining etiquette; he cuts up all of his food before he starts to eat. I haven't mentioned it to him at the risk of seeming old-fashioned, but I do feel a little bit embarrassed for him when this behavior occurs when we're out to dinner. I do not expect us millennials to be uptight about etiquette, but nice manners always make a man more appealing. How can I broach this subject without becoming a preacher or, worse, a mother? I just want him to be the best he can be, but these dining habits are just hurting him. -- Cut As You Eat, New Haven, Connecticut
DEAR CUT AS YOU EAT: I say just tell him. You can broach the topic by admitting that you grew up in a household where you had to learn every single rule of the table. Admit that it may have been a tad annoying when you were young, but you appreciate today what you learned.
Tell your boyfriend that you don't want him to be mad at you, but you want to give him a tip you learned early on that seems to make a difference at the dinner table. Unless you are a kid and you need your mommy to cut up your food, you are supposed to cut off one -- or maybe two -- pieces of meat, veggies, whatever it is, and eat. As your moniker implies, cut as you go. If he poo-poos your suggestion, you can point out that, like it or not, the way that people eat is noticed. Why have a faux pas stand in the way of an otherwise awesome dining experience?