Manner’s Camp? “Yes, Sir!”

After work a few of my buddies and I ran into each other at Publick House on Devine St. While we were sitting there talking junk or whatever, one of the other dads asked, “You got your kids going to any camps this summer?” I answered, “I guess, some. I know Finley had Manner’s Camp this week.”

Slow couple of silent seconds tick by while they all look at each other.    .    .   and laughter ensues.  “Well yoooou’re the worst father eVer.”

The moment was super funny and while everyone was making fun I got to tell them about our dinner last night.

At present our dining room is almost useless. It may be in the category of negative because we have to heat and cool this never used space. We may use it once a year, if that.

Thanks to Manner’s Camp, Wednesday night may have been our ‘one’ for 2017.

Finley decided to bring her new ‘manners’ to dinner last night. Here’s the scene: We had more of our dishes, silverware, and stemware out than Jennifer and I haven’t used in months, perhaps years.

Finley had them in all the right places, too. She told Jen, Ivey, Nora, and me where to place our napkins while seated and where we should put them when we were properly excused. She told us when we were allowed to pick up our forks for the first time, and not to place our elbows on the table. She told us not to eat too quickly, and not to eat too slowly. She continued to show us how our silverware should be placed when finished eating our meal. (Tip!; I learned from Mimi, the matriarch of our family, when we moved back to Anderson, SC: In the most genuine Southern charm I can type, “Dalin’ bo’way. (pause) Yoa’silva should be placed on your plate at fora’clock. You neva want yoa’knife and fowark to look like the are in’a fight with one’anotha.”)

Check that. Got it, Mimi! I’m 43 now and it’s still clear!!!

I should host freakin Manner’s Camp!

I won’t take you through the entire dinner, but our graduate had a whole piece of white bread properly draped over our bread plates (the bread was bigger than the surface of the plates, btw). Further, she cut up and plopped out the biggest, gnarliest glop of butter for service on two butter plates these eyes have ever seen.

Further still, I tried to pass every request to the right the best I could.

To bring it all home, I think Ivey farted a few times and Nora asked about Ivey’s exposed left boob, so, there’s that.

In all, Finley’s dinner was awesome. It’s the most dishes we’ve had to tote from table to sink in forever, but it was fabulous.

Big Thank You to Betsy Mitchell and the ‘Summer At First’ at First Baptist Church, Columbia!

To my good friends at Publick House that I laughed with about this (and anyone reading); I get where Manner’s Camp would sound stupe and/or terrible, and yes I’m crass at times, but Finley had a lot of fun! Manner’s Camp helped reinforce something that Jen and I think are important – Manners Matter.

Thank you!

Franklin Jones

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