During my senior year in college, my roommates and I decided to participate in an etiquette dinner. It wasn't because we wanted to learn etiquette either... It was because this dinner was a 5-course meal, sounded absolutely delicious, and cost only $5. So we went!
They taught us everything from how to properly cut up our food and which pieces of silverware to use for various courses down to how to accept a toast in your honor, how to give a proper toast, and dinner conversation rules. The lady they brought in to educate us (you would think we were heathens the way she treated us!) was very thorough and very strict. You can imagine how "proper" our dinner conversations were that evening. I believe we even ended up nicknaming her but the name we gave her escapes me now... (Do any of you that came to that dinner remember??)
Anyway, this week has been busy due to a symposium being held at the college. Since I was on the planning committee for the past couple months, I happened to be invited to the dinners this week. We had speakers from all over the place in town for the week: academics, doctors, government officials, you name it! I was trying to make a good impression but when I got to dinner that first night, I had more forks than I knew what to do with! I took a deep breath, sat down and started rifling through any stored knowledge I had from that dinner two years ago. I may not have gotten everything right, but I definitely faked it well enough that no one noticed the difference! I'm so glad I attended that etiquette dinner. I was glad then, too, but more because of a full belly than because of the new manners I had learned.