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The proper way to “dip” sushi

{ Friday, May 27th, 2011 }

Name: Lisa F. 

Location: Bellevue, WA

Question:  Hi Mrs. Goode, I have a question about the proper way to “dip” sushi.
I was recently giving a piece of my sushi roll a small bath in soy sauce when
someone mentioned that they thought the way to dip your sushi was to only dip the
top (not the rice) in the soy sauce.  Is this true?

Answer: Thanks Lisa for writing in! I actually had to do some research on this subject, since I am not a Sushi eater. But, here is what I found. One should never dip sushi in soy sauce from the rice-side and suck up too much amount.  It will be too bitter to eat, and will damage the taste of sushi seriously.

Reason:   Sushi rice has been seasoned with vinegar carefully and finely enough, and you need not to add any soy sauce at all, otherwise it breaks the balance of the taste of the rice.  In any case, Shari (sushi rice) determines the taste of the whole sushi after all.

For more interesting information on proper Sushi eating, and to see pictured demonstrations, go to the link below, to get more info:

Hmmm…What to write about…Bingo!

{ Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 }

I don’t mean Bingo, as in the game. I mean, I was trying to really think about something profound to discuss. When I do my blogging, there may be some fun light things, but I also want to touch on serious issues that have to do with manners, as well. One of my favorite Tweets I sent out last week was a quote that stated, and I am paraphrasing Emily Post here, ‘having good manners isn’t just what fork one is supposed to use. It is how one should treat others.’ So, when I say, bingo, I mean to imply that I found the perfect topic. Mean and ignorant comments and words.

I was horrified just now as I was reading through Facebook. Sometimes, on the right-hand margin, there will be an area that suggests people you may know, or groups to join.  I was shocked to see someone with the obviously fake name Re Tard. I clicked on the name to see if I could get any clues as to who the classless person was that thought this would be such a funny joke. I couldn’t find any clues. I did report the name to Facebook as being offensive. Why has that word become so popular to use? I do not hear it from only adolescents either. It is mind boggling to me to hear a large number of adults, parents of my kid’s friends, use the word as an adjective. What kind of example is that setting for their kids? When a child takes manners class from me, I hit that topic head on. I tell the kids, I do not allow it. To me it is more offensive than many four-letter words. Why? Because it takes a member of our society who is mentally and/or physically challenged, and demeans them. I feel the same way when I hear people say something is “so gay.” As if that is a bad thing. I was so happy to see a public service commercial regarding this very thing. When I hear people use these poor choices of words, I am immediately sad for them. I pity their uneducated lapse in judgement. I am scared for their children. And, I am sure keeping my children as far away from them as I can.

To correct during a meal, or after?

{ Thursday, May 19th, 2011 }

Name: Marilyn
Location: San Jose, CA

Question: Is it appropriate to correct a teenager at the table regarding their
manners, or should you wait until the meal is over and all have left the table?

Thanks so much for your question, Marilyn. I think you really need to read the situation. Are you at the table with a group of people that they are comfortable with? i.e., grandparents, siblings, close relatives or family friends? If they are doing something blatantly rude at the table, it is fine to try and catch their eye, if you are not sitting right next to them, and try to correct them. For instance…If their mouth is covered in sauce from their pasta, and they have failed to use their napkin, motion to them to wipe their mouth. If you are out with a group of people that you aren’t as close with, maybe business associates, or new girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents, that would be too uncomfortable for everyone if you were to correct them in that situation. The best thing to do, is a quick review before an evening out. If there is something you would like to address, do it after the evening if over.

Are Manners a Thing of the Past??

{ Monday, May 16th, 2011 }

Am I imagining it, or is there serious lack of manners in today’s society? There seems to be an entire generation of 20 somethings that are in serious need of a class on social skills. I feel that there is an, “I deserve” mentality, and it is scary. I found this to be most prevalent in the working world. I was an old lady in her late 30’s/early 40’s at the time. The new college grads that I worked with definitely had an air about them. They knew it all, and they deserved to be held on a pedestal. Why is that? Did they ever work in the trenches? Did they know what it was like to not be handed things on a silver platter? Case in point…A well-known sexy company in Silicon Valley. They hire new college grads at high salaries, and they are given lots of stock, and perks. Incredible perks. I would go in to another building, and see someone coming up behind me. I would hold the door for them. It was more common than not that these employees would walk right in without so much as a nod in my direction. For all they thought, that was my job. They were so overly indulged, I was there for their convenience. I was opening a door, so that they didn’t need to use their badge to unlock the door. What concerns me is that these same individuals will parent some day. Will they teach their children the correct way to interact with others? Will they show respect to all? Or will they perpetuate this same selfishness?

Using humor in teaching manners…

{ Sunday, May 15th, 2011 }

Sometimes using humor to teach manners is just the ticket to getting through to children, and adults. I recently posted two humorous videos here which will make your children, as well as yourselves, chuckle. When you use extreme situations, such as the videos I posted, you can’t help but realize how important it is to not be rude while eating. They are extremes, sure, but no one wants to see someone’s food in their mouth as they are chewing, or speaking with their mouth full. Have you ever been eating with someone who was talking with their mouth full, and been in the line of fire of a piece of stray food being spit in your direction? These situations are  great learning experiences. It should make a person think twice before they do the same thing. The thought process should be something to the effect of…I am chewing my food. I just thought of a story I want to share. Rather than start telling the story now while my mouth is full, let me wait and finish chewing and swallowing. I remember when the guy across from me just told a story while he had food in his mouth, and I got a piece of his carrot spit in to my water glass. I don’t want to gross others out, so I will do what is correct. By watching these videos (though one is of a dog:), it still should portray just how important it is to maintain some sort of decorum at the table.

Eye Contact

{ Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 }

Name: Peter Cullen
Location: Menlo Park CA

Question: My kids are shy so many times they don’t voice their gratitude or make eye
contact when around adults. Because they are shy, some have told me that it comes
off as rude. How do I emphasize this with my kids that they need to be confident
about basic manners which are acceptable around adults.

Dear Peter,

This is one of the most difficult situations. Many children are excessively shy. Usually adults recognize a shy child. But, in my classes, I tell the child to look in to the adults eyes long enough to find out what color their eyes are. Even that little bit shows they are trying to make an effort, and that should be applauded. Shyness is a difficult thing to conquer, and by taking baby steps such as naming a person’s eye color, is a great step toward not coming off as ungrateful.

Ask Mrs. Goode Manners!

{ Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 }

Name: Caroline Caldwell

Location: San Jose, CA
Question: What do I do with my napkin if I need to leave the table during dinner?

Great question, Caroline! Thank you for your question. If you need to leave the table for a short time during mealtime, you place your napkin on your chair. Do not announce to all where you are going. Just simply place your napkin on your chair, and make sure to push your chair back in. If you are finished with your meal, and all dishes are cleared off the table, then you will place your napkin on the table as you leave.

College Grads and Manners

{ Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 }

One of my favorite classes I taught manners to was a group of high school juniors from various schools in the San JoseUnified School District. A group called, San Jose Leadership Academy, led by Rick Holden. Rick had talked a few years ago to a CEO of a company in Silicon Valley. The CEO told Rick that he would never hire a new college graduate until he had eaten a meal with them in a nice restaurant. A prospective employee’s manners were weighed in the context of the interview! I thought about it at the time, and realized what a critical need this was for young adults entering the work force. But, we need to start impressing the importance of manners, now, while our kids are young as well. Have you ever been out to dinner with a prospective client, or a date, and been humiliated at the lack of manners that individual had? Having good manners empowers you and gives you a leg up in sticky social and business situations. Do you have a funny story to share?

The world doesn’t revolve around me?

{ Monday, May 9th, 2011 }

One of the most important topics I try to convey to my students is that you walk on this earth with other people. Be aware of your surroundings. Do you go in to a store and just walk right in? Do you look to see if someone is behind you so you can hold the door for them? Do you give up your chair to someone that may need it more than you? Do you wait for other’s to come out of the elevator before barreling on in? What about your conversations? Do you or your children speak too loudly when in smaller venues? Know your surroundings, and act accordingly. The cliched saying of ‘treat others the way you would want to be treated,’ really is the golden rule to live by. When you put yourself in other people’s shoes, more than likely you will end up being a very well-mannered and thoughtful person. How would I feel if I was walking in to Starbucks, and the person a couple feet in front of me just let the door close in my face? When I hold the door open for someone, and the person(s) just walks in without acknowledging me, how does that make me feel? We need to impress this upon our children. But, if we do not practice these simple acts of kindness, then we are just as much to blame for a selfish new generation of children. Always be cognizant of your surroundings, and others.