Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where is Grandma when you need her? When I was young she was there to tell me to take my elbows off the table, or don’t talk with food in your mouth. Well, she is not home anymore. You’ll find most grandmas at the Casino or driving across America in her brand new camping super bus that has a bumper sticker that says “I’m spending my kids inheritance.” So, who is teaching our children manners anymore? Do we even need to know that stuff in this age? Most meals are being had by children stuffing their dirty fingers into a brown paper bag thrown in the back of the seat of the car by Mom who says eat fast you have a soccer game.
Manners and etiquette is a serious problem here in America. In Europe, in the Orient and even in the Middle East rituals and elegance are still practiced widely. They still have highly financed Kings and Queens that are greeted with respect and have privy to the utmost in manners and social graces. This country has none of that however, if you are luckily enough to be President or something, you will have to eat at a sit down white tablecloth dinner some day with leaders of other countries. Where is the greasy bag from the fast food place? Pass it around.
We need to change that about the stupid Americans. Well, most of us can remain uncouth but our finest human products should have manners, elegance and charm to go along with their superior intelligence. There is a school that agrees with ME and they are attempting to do something about America’s uncouthness.
So, the question remains. Can students preparing for Masters Degrees in say Science become Masters of Charm as well? Names like Darwin and Newton and Pasteur are carved into the granite building representing MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A place where students measure the lengths of angular momentum. A place fill of brainy mathematicians and scientists.
There is more to life than angular momentum and hydrogen atoms. After all, you can be an absolute genus and still not know witch fork to use at an elegant dinner. So, this college is offering something fun like earning your charm degree. They boast that you can earn a credit per class just to get students to sign up for these classes; up to 6 credits towards your Bachelors Degree. It can’t be bad to learn stuff you are supposed to know anyway.
They teach stuff like how to hold a utensil at a dinner with putting down your fork with the points up on your plate. Do not make noises while you eat. If you want to take a bite of your vegetable you can do it with a knife and can even cut lettuce. They are offering social graces to a student body however unfairly as a bunch of science nerds.
Charm School is an elective where it consists of 20 minute classes in subjects like, “How to make a Charming First Impression “ where you learn the importance of a firm hand shake, to use eye contact or repeating the person’s name that you have met. Another course is, “Dressing for Success” where most students don’t even own a good quality fabric suit or conservative dress. There was an entire course dedicated to “Tying a Bowtie.” How can you be cool at the end of an event with your bowtie left open if you don’t even know how to tie it at the beginning of an event? No, clip on ties are not cool.
It is ok to be a nerd, but a charming nerd is just so much better. So reciprocate and thank your host in person. Let them know who you are at their event. Stand behind your chair, and with your left hand pull out your chair and with your left foot be seated . Then with your left hand open your napkin and place it on your lap. Do not talk with food in your mouth. Do not put any personal items like your keys or a cell phone on your table. Yeah, a lot of do not’s.
When you are done eating, place your utensils at a 35 degree angle on your plate; then you will have earned your first degrees at MIT. Degrees at Charm School that has existed for 19 years at the college in things like a Doctorate of Chat or a Doctorate in Charm. So, how elegant are you? Burp!  Get me another beer no frigin glass.

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