TODAY

TODAY   |  April 23, 2013

Modern manners around the dining table

Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, helps sort through which etiquette rules are outdated and which still hold true in a digital age.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a three-day look at modern manners in this day and age where we're tethered to our digital devices it can be hard to remember how to interact face-to-face, what rules still hold and what are outdated. anna post is the great, great granddaughter of emily post and coauthor of the 18th edition of " emily post 's etiquette." good morning.

>> good morning, thank you.

>> we're on a date, okay, it's our first date.

>> okay.

>> do i always pay if i asked you out?

>> these days whoever does the asking does the paying typically or that's the time to negotiate who is going to pay.

>> but if the check comes, should you at least offer to pay?

>> a lot of women do. lot of make the reach, and i think it makes us comfortable sometimes that we feel like maybe if the date doesn't work out so well we weren't taking advantage of our date getting a free meal.

>> it creates an awkward moment. if you reach for your wallet and i accept, i say yes you can pay or chip in, does that basically say i have no interest in continuing this relationship?

>> no, don't read anything into it at all. first date, keeping it nice and light.

>> a lot of boomers are back out there, and they're in the dating world and sometimes you might think what you learned and practiced as a younger individual no longer applies. for example, is it always required or expected for a man to get up and hold a chair for a woman?

>> not always. these are wonderful gendered manners many people grew up with and are comfortable, if you are, by all means pull them out, show her she's special.

>> men holding doors for women outdated or relevant?

>> still lovely but if you grew up not doing this on a first date if you pull this out and it's not authentic it's going to show.

>> if we're having dinner and you get up to go to the bathroom, should i stand as well?

>> if you've always done this for women, yes. i wouldn't start doing something unnatural for you.

>> if it's a big table with a lot of people and you get up every time a woman gets up --

>> you'll be getting up a lot.

>> i get that look and i say i am standing. hello. so with this world a lot of busy families, it's rare you get to sit down with the family but if you do it's a good opportunity to teach the kids manners.

>> this is the perfect opportunity to sort of exhibit the manners that you want them to have, also keep an eye on the manners that may be sneaking in from the play ground you don't like so much.

>> napkins placement.

>> in the lap.

>> on the lap. what else, now this is something that a lot of people still do, elbows on the table. is that bad or not bad?

>> this is now i'm not going to go against your mother because she's right in part. what ryan was showing we're engaged, here and talking but i'm not going to pick up my glass and you don't want to eat or drink with your elbow still on the table. sit up to do that and no slumping. exactly.

>> all right.

>> i'm waiting to are to you stand up.

>> yes, i have to go to the restroom.

>> the other guys always look at you like really, you had to do that to me?

>> now we have to do it.

>> i feel like there's a meeting we should get to.

>> conference table.

>> we'll have a meeting and the first question is these gender roles .

>> let me get that for you.

>> thank you, matt.

>> these gender rules on a date don't apply in the board room .

>> today business is about people doing things for business.

>> anna, do fee a favor.

>> you interrupted.

>> sorry.

>> so bad of me taking the wrong seat.

>> your first tip is don't reach across the table to shake. hi.

>> that's rude.

>> stand up to shake hands . if you can't get around the table and the hand's already out there shake it but at least stand up to do it.

>> next rule has to do with don't check your device during a meeting.

>> yes, absolutely. you want your attention fully to be with the people you're scheduled to be with. if you're always on your device even if you think you're multitasking you don't look like it.

>> and quickly showing up late.

>> say something.

>> pet peeve.

>> don't say it right there in the moment, maybe a light joke if you know each other but if al is doing this all the time, then maybe address that later.