Saturday, May 16, 2020

Posture and Table Etiquette

"I always want to cross my legs under the table. Most men do, I believe.” And why not? It is a comfortable position. It enables one to sit more erect, too, at the table, and gives one a more graceful pose. I do not know what etiquette says about one’s legs and feet during meal time, but I suppose it goes no further than to suggest that they should be kept under the table, which is correct, I ween.
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For centuries, Asians and Middle Easterners, among many other groups, have dined at low tables, sitting on the floor with their legs crossed, while tall dining tables with accompanying chairs became the norm throughout the US. and Europe.




Western Dining Tables Badly Designed 

Only Now and Then is One Under Which a Man Can Cross His Legs

“I have discovered a very great defect in the architecture of the dining table,” remarked an epicure yesterday, “and the defect is universal. I have found in my time but very few tables built after my ideal, and it seems to me that some man interested in matters of this sort ought to start a revolution along these lines. When I sit down to a meal I want to rest. Eating and resting ought to go together. Restfulness at meal time, absolute comfort at the table and good food of the wholesome kind are things that will commend themselves to most men. Now, I have what I call a meal-time hobby. I always want to cross my legs under the table. Most men do, I believe.”

And why not? It is a comfortable position. It enables one to sit more erect, too, at the table, and gives one a more graceful pose. I do not know what etiquette says about one’s legs and feet during meal time, but I suppose it goes no further than to suggest that they should be kept under the table, which is correct, I ween. But I insist that among my inalienable rights is the right to cross my legs, and to cross them under the mahogany at that, if it pleases me so to do and adds to my comfort. 

What other people may think about it does not count for so much as a whit. And yet, it is a fact that one rarely enjoys this gracious privilege, because of the awkward, grotesque and unhappy character of the dining table. The tables ought to be made differently. They ought to be roomier, so that a fellow would have ample space in which to cross his legs if it pleases him to do so. Of course, if one does not want to cross one’s legs at meal time one need not do it, so the change could do no harm.—New Orleans Times Democrat, 1901


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©️Etiquette Encyclopedia

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