Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Are You A Mr. Bumble?

Written by Patti on August 16th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Yesterday I unveiled the website for my new venture, Dazzling Manners. Since I will be teaching etiquette lessons this fall, I thought it might be fun to discuss the 5 top table manner bumbles.

As a frequent hostess, and now, etiquette instructor, there are a few things that really ire any hostess. What are they?

5. Taking center stage – and staying there. You know this person. You cannot get a word in edgewise. These guests are fun, but they are exhausting. If you have a table full of really shy guests (but why would you?), this person can be really entertaining. But for the most part, don’t be this guest. They hog all the conversation and don’t let anyone else speak. If this is you, you better have some terrific stories under your belt, and once you’ve told them all, you may not be invited back.

4. Holding the wine glasses by the bowl, not the stem. I know this may seem petty, but when I have gone to all the trouble to make every glass gleam and you put your grubby paws all over the bowl, only to mar the look of the entire table, I take offense. Call me mean and petty, but hold the glass by the STEM! It is just tacky to put your prints all over the stemware. Hopefully, CSI isn’t looking for you, because you’ve been caught.

Stems only, please!

3. Using your PDA to text or check social media at the table. Are you serious? This is the height of rude manners. And yes, I have seen this happen at my table. It is not pretty. This move gets you kicked off the list.

2. Eating with your mouth open. Really? Did you not remember anything your folks taught you? Hang on to that thought and chew, your turn to talk is coming up.

This guy gets it.

And what is the number one Mr. Bumble move? I bet you guessed it!

1. Don’t be late! Five to ten minutes is acceptable, anything later is not. By being late, you are telling your hostess (who has worked all day to make everything special for YOU), “my time is much more important than yours.” Not so. This applies mostly to dinner parties. You can be a touch later for cocktails parties and hootenannies. But, if the souffle is in danger of falling and the roast is getting cold, you can bet that your hostess will remember that for next time.

Did you notice I never mentioned elbows on the table or hostess gifts? That’s because your thoughtful behavior is more valuable to me.

Please don’t be a Mr. Bumble. But, you couldn’t possibly be, could you? You are all royalty to me.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Queen – Killer Queen


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Lisa says:

    I’m guilty of the holding the glass by the bowl. Fine with champagne but some wine glasses are so BIG that I worry it will topple over and stain the tablecloth.
    I do try to discreetly wipe my fingerprints off from time to time in case Hercule Poirot shows up!

  2. Patti says:


    You are the perfect guest!


  3. Patti says:


    Red wine glasses aren’t as bad, in fact it’s perfectly acceptable, etiquette-wise.

    Hercule Poirot? LOL!!!