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As you take up your knife and fork to cut that piece of meat or vegetable on your plate, look at the forefingers of both hands and notice whether the pads of your forefingers are resting on the backs of the fork and dinner knife respectively. Slide the forefinger of your left hand up to the ‘neck’ of the fork and the right forefinger to the ‘neck’ of the knife.

The next time you are in a public dining place, notice how many people have their fingers positioned correctly when they are about to cut meat, and you will realize why I am addressing the matter in this column. The stems of the knife and fork should be in the palm of each hand, covered by the three fingers; and not stuck out between the thumb and forefinger as if holding a pencil. The only time a stem of the fork should be seen stuck out between the thumb and forefinger is when a whole fish is ordered and the middle bone is being removed.

The thumb of each hand is also used to measure the correct position of the flatware and plate when setting the table. The one inch rule can be averaged by the length of your thumb from the table’s edge. This measurement helps to prevent your plate from being pushed or pulled when someone sits to eat.

Turning Back the Clock:

In my one year experiment to turn back the clock by my next birthday, I have concluded that it is easier to find external creams and lotions that texturize the skin than to tighten the muscles that really make a difference in looking younger.

Unless you have inherited excellent genes, facial exercise is key to any effective anti-aging regimen. This week I am focusing on my neck once again, as I slackened off and within one week I saw the difference.

Join me as I place my left hand between my lower neck and my collar bone and pull down slightly. I applied a little olive oil on my neck before doing so. I secure this grip by placing my right hand over the left firmly. Now I fold my bottom lip over my bottom teeth and smile widely. The bottom lip should touch the edge of the top teeth before ending the smile.

That is one round. Keep doing this for about 20 reps. Build up to three cycles. Stop at the slightest sign of discomfort. If you have any medical issues, please ask your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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