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9 Ways To Be A Gentleman According To My Grandma

We all know that grandmothers know best, especially when it comes chivalry and gentlemanly stuff. Here are nine things I learned from my grandma (aka Bubbe) about how to be a gentleman.

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1. When Walking with a Date, Walk on the Outside

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Why does it matter what side you're on when walking with your date? Well, if a car zooms by and splashes up a puddle onto the sidewalk, the person on the outside (nearest to the street) will get wet, while the person on the inside will stay beautiful and dry.

2. Use a Fork and Knife Properly

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There are basically two ways to use a fork and knife—European and American style—neither of which is gripping your utensil in a fist. If you eat like a caveman, then that's how people will see you. (Skip to 0:55 in the video.)

3. Use the Right Utensils


At fancy meals, there are an overwhelming amount of utensils on the table. Lots of people don't know which spoon to use for their soup, or which fork to use for their salad. They may not even know which plate is theirs for bread and butter. But it's pretty simple. You use the utensils from outside-in. So for your first course, you use the outermost utensils (that make sense).

Your bread plate is to your left. Your water glass is the glass that looks like a goblet or regular glass, your red wine glass is fat and short, and your white wine glass is tall and skinny. Your dessert spoon is small, and your soup spoon is big. Any questions?

4. Share Food Politely


During a meal, there are usually a few things that are meant to be shared. A gentleman knows how to share food politely. That means taking your portion and putting it on your plate, and not using the communal plate as your personal dipping bowl. Let's say you get a giant baguette at your table. To take a piece, grab the whole loaf, rip off the portion that you'd like, put it on your bread plate (to your left), and put the rest back in the breadbasket. Make sure your hands are clean.

If you want butter, use the communal butter knife to scoop a portion of butter and smear that portion onto your bread plate. Put the communal butter knife back, and use your own butter knife to butter up your bread. This goes for things like guacamole, salsa, hummus, etc.

5. Pass the Salt...and the Pepper

Cheryl / Via Flickr: eraphernalia_vintage

Salt and pepper are best friends. Because of this, you never want to split them up. If someone asks you to pass the salt, you pass the pepper too. Salt and pepper stay together. You don't want to break up best friends, do you?

7. Express Yourself Properly


Speaking properly is important. The way you communicate tells the world a lot about yourself. Don't cut people off when they're speaking, and wait for your turn to speak. If you have FOMO, express your regret correctly. Instead of saying "Oh, I should have went to Emily's party!" say, "Oh, I should have gone to Emily's party!" Also, "anyways" is not proper English.

8. Have Telephone Etiquette


People rarely speak on the phone anymore, but when you do, make sure you are polite and charming. Your good looks won't get you anywhere if no one can see you.

Whenever you answer the phone, answer with a salutation. "Hello" works. When the other person replies, if they do not announce themselves, and you don't know who it is, ask who's calling. The term, "May I ask who's calling" works here.

When you call someone on the phone, after they answer, announce yourself and ask to speak to you whomever you called for. Say something like, "Hi, this is Clark, may I please speak with Lois."

It's easy. Just be polite and always introduce yourself, unless of course it's a close friend who already knows you. But, if you call up a hot date and her mom picks up, you can score yourself some serious brownie points by being a charming, polite, gentleman on the phone.

9. Know Where to Find a Clean Bathroom

Novotel Century Hong Kong Hotel / Via

Whether it's you who needs to go, or a date, friend, or relative, knowing where to find a clean bathroom is key. Hotels will often have the cleanest bathrooms of any places, and if you ask politely, they'll usually let you use the lobby loo. Ask the concierge something like, "Where might I find the restroom, please?" And you're in. If you're with a date who really needs to go, she'll think of you as a hero if this trick works.

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