My List of the Top 10 Essentials of Good Etiquette

1. Please and thank you make the world go ’round. Use them frequently with everyone you meet– they’re not just for special occasions.

2. After ringing the doorbell, step back a foot. It gives the person opening the door some breathing space.

3. Always announce yourself first when calling. “Hello, this is X. May I speak with Y?”

4. If you’re the person being asked, “Is this X?” The correct response is, “This is he/she.”

5. When the restaurant’s maitre’d comes to seat you, step back and let your host or hostess proceed to the table ahead of you.

6. Your napkin goes in your lap upon sitting down at the table. On your chair should you excuse yourself to go to the Ladies or Men’s room. On the table when the meal is complete and you are leaving.

7. Unless you are expecting an emergency call– from a doctor, your child’s teacher, etc– electronic devices have no place on the table during a meal.

8. Short of visible shards of glass, or the possibility of anaphylactic shock, don’t comment on the food unless your comment is favorable.

9. If you are a guest and there is something peculiar about your food, or you would like a refill on your drink, tell your host and let him speak with the waiter.

10. Again, there’s no need to look at your electronic device in between finishing the meal and leaving the restaurant. Give your dining companions your full attention until your goodbye’s are complete.