Manner Monday®: Blowing your nose at the table? “What Would George Say?”

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by Carey Sue Vega in Manner Monday

Happy Presidents Day!  Thanks for the great response to “What Would George Say” from last week!  When providing corporate level training, this question usually always comes up at some point – it’s not just the 5th graders 🙂 so I thought I’d share another rule from George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation which he penned at the ripe age of 16 (yes, 16). It highlights another one of his ‘archaic’ rules and shows how it’s still REALLY relevant in today’s modern world.

Rule #90 “Being set at meat scratch not neither spit, cough, or blow your nose, except there’s a necessity for it.”

In other words:  Sometimes it happens and a bodily function accidentally slips up on you in the presence of others.  If you’re at the dinner table, do your best to cover your mouth with your napkin and not draw attention to it and politely say ‘excuse me’ to your neighbor who may have heard you; at some point, I’m sure it has happened to them and they completely understand.

If you feel a sneeze coming on and are not able to make a quick enough getaway: sneeze into your shoulder, turning your head and body away from your neighbor.  Make sure to catch the sneeze in your shoulder so you don’t share it with the table behind you.

If the bodily function is something completely within your control, such as blowing your nose, excuse yourself to the restroom where you can take care of things privately.  You tablemates will be eternally grateful.

I wonder if George knew how hip his ‘rules’ would still be today?!?!

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Thanks for reading!
Carey Sue



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