Proper Politesse – Etiquette Tips – An Unsavory Practice By Sherry Gordon-Harris

Greetings, Traveler Weekly Readers!

I’m Sherry Gordon-Harris, Certified Etiquette Consultant, owner and instructor of Royal Purpose School of Etiquette. Our purpose is to assist with the Total Refinement of You, including children and adults, by offering classes and workshops on Etiquette and Proper Manners.

As we learned in the last article, Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Manners are a person’s outward bearing or way of behaving toward others. It’s a way in which a thing is done or happens. In general, Etiquette is simply respecting others and not causing an offense to others.

One Etiquette “sin” is blowing your nose at the dining table. Never blow your nose at the table or in a room where people are eating. Blowing your nose at the dining table or in public is disgusting and rude. It could cause people who are eating or about to eat to lose their appetite. The sound of mucus being expelled and the munching of food are an unsavory combination. Hearing nose-blowing at the dining table is disgusting to the sense of taste, unappetizing, unpalatable, and just downright yucky. Even if the nose-blowing isn’t followed by a loud, unattractive honking, it can still offend. And as one person puts it, it causes them to “lose their understanding.” That is definitely considered an offense.

So what do you do if you have to blow your nose while at the dining table or in a room where people are eating? Whether you are in public or in private, there is a proper course of action for several different scenarios. If it is a slight drip of a runny nose, it can be dapped with a tissue because that is silent. But if you feel it’s going to be loud or that you’ll need to actually blow your nose, it’s best to leave the room. Excuse yourself to the restroom or a place far enough away from the area to not be seen or heard. Remember to wash and sanitize your hands before returning to the table.

It is inappropriate to blow your nose or even wipe your nose on a cloth napkin. That is not the purpose of the cloth napkin. Use a facial tissue, a paper napkin, or your own handkerchief. And never open these after blowing your nose to examine the resulting contents “as though expecting to find rubies and pearls.” Always discard the item yourself. Do not place it on the table or ask the wait staff to discard it for you. No one else should touch it.

It has been my pleasure sharing this Etiquette tip with the Traveler Weekly Readers. There’s more to come. Well wishes to you and your family. I encourage everyone to “Live your life with Purpose in a Royal Manner.”

So whether you, your family, or group want to learn Etiquette for the first time or just want to brush up on your skills, consider enrolling in a scheduled class or book a private class with Royal Purpose School of Etiquette LLC. We can help with the Total Refinement of You. Contact Sherry Gordon-Harris at (309) 585-6145 or e-mail or visit Thank you.