One evening, the famous etiquette authority Emily Post hosted a dinner party in her Washington DC home. There were many famous political and social luminaries there, and the guest of honor was a third world dignitary. The evening progressed comfortably through the various courses, and everything was going beautifully until coffee was served. To the astonishment and horror of all those present, the guest of honor picked up his cup and saucer, poured his coffee from his cup to his saucer, blew on it, and then slurped it from the saucer. The other guests, simply aghast, turned to Emily Post to see how she would handle this horrible gaffe.

No doubt you can guess what she did. She picked up her cup and saucer, poured her coffee from her cup to her saucer, blew on it, and then slurped it from the saucer.

Emily Post once said, “Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” She ably demonstrated that evening that it is far more honorable to make someone feel comfortable than to make him feel self-conscious.


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