The finger bowl

02 Mar 2019

At a formal dinner, people from all backgrounds are present: those who like to strut their stuff, flashing their jewellery and clothes. Those who would like to disappear in the folds of the tablecloth because they really don’t feel comfortable, or those who don’t really take any notice of what’s going on and just enjoy themselves and chat away, totally oblivious to everything around them.

The host, a charismatic kindly man observes all the different guests. One guest who is particularly uncomfortable in this opulent setting takes the finger bowl and lifts it to his lips. Another person in a group of show-off (look-at-me) types watches the man with a sneer. The host takes his own finger bowl and proposes a toast to the gathering.

The people in the show-off (or vain) group are forced to copy their host, even though they are horrified by the breach of etiquette. The others just laugh and clink bowls, which makes the atmosphere feel more relaxed.

The host had nothing to gain from his friendly gesture, apart from the satisfaction of having stopped one of his guests being humiliated.

What about you? How have you got someone out of tricky situation with flair?

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Gundula

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