Okay so you’ve looked it all over and you feel like you know how to put together the perfect table setting. You’ve set your table spotlessly and spent hours agonizing on your seating chart to ensure your guests are perfectly seated. You have chosen the meal. You have arranged the centerpiece (not too big). Then your brother’s girlfriend will take the glass of water on his left instead of on his right. It’s boring … but the worst thing you can do is correct her in front of everyone (and, hey, maybe she’s left-handed).
The whole point of the label is to avoid this. If everyone knows the rules, after all, they will rarely be broken. But as these rules fade and are often seen as quite old fashioned, people are forced to make mistakes for starters. As a good and courteous host your job is just to … let them be. The label, as Sharon Schweitzer tells Martha Stewart, is “fluid and built on a foundation of consideration, respect and honesty.” Correcting someone publicly is therefore a major misstep.
The best thing you can do as the host of a party where someone stuck up is help everyone adjust – by gifting the person who spoofed theirs a new drink. , for example – and just continue with a smile. Ultimately, it’s more about having a good time and bonding with old and new friends, rather than wondering whether or not they’re using the right fork.