Addicted to novelty since 2001

How Do You Protect Your Lap?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve eaten meals with a napkin in my lap. In fact, if I eat anything at all, and there’s not a napkin (or ‘serviette’, if you’re feeling particularly Canadian) close at hand, I feel slightly askew. I thought this was common practice.

I was a little surprised to read the results of Matt’s informal survey of lap coverage:

Needing to grab a quick lunch before a noon meeting, I found a small table by myself. Putting my napkin across my lap reminded me of my previous question. I began looking around. And looking some more.

Out of 52 people whose laps I could surreptitiously survey without appearing to be crotch-shopping, only 1 contained a napkin. Is this an American v. Canadian upbringing thing? (Americans don’t believe in dinosaurs but do believe in keeping their beans off their jeans?)

Reading the comments on Matt’s site, there seems to be a delineation emerging between paper and cloth napkins. I’ll have to pay attention for this. I mean, I’m always surreptitiously surveying people’s laps, but now I have a legitimate reason.

9 Responses to “How Do You Protect Your Lap?”

  1. omega

    I’ve gotten away from “lapping” when there are paper napkins involved. They invariable seem to float away onto the floor and I’m faced with the prospect of putting something back on my lap that’s been on the floor. Yuck.

    In reading Matt’s site I was surprised no-one else commented about that; it’s a major factor for me.

  2. Johnny K

    I’d like to see you explain your crotch staring antics in a sexual harrassment case.

    I rarely use a napkin in informal surroundings. Cloth good, paper bad.

  3. Kim

    A female’s point of view

    If I drop food, it rarely makes it to my lap. And since I would feel rather silly tucking my napkin (paper or cloth) into my blouse, I leave it on the table.

    However, if dining in a fancier environment where cloth napkins are provided, I automatically place it on my lap.

    I tend to lean forward while eating so that if there is any spillage, it lands on the plate.

    It is also something we teach our 8 yr old son – eat over your plate – we haven’t done the fancy restaurant thing with him, and so haven’t shown him the cloth napkin/lap thing yet.

    My 2 cents.

  4. miss604

    I’m with Kim on this one – usually there’s a bit of a ‘shelf’ to catch anything that might drop so it never makes it to my lap. Cloth napkin = lap, paper napkin = usually in my hand/on table – i’m a lil messy can’t take me anywhere..sheesh …ooh and only my mom calls them serviettes :p

  5. Scratch

    Wow. Napkins and Serviettes? WHEW! Good thing nothing IMPORTANT happened on the 15th. And since I’m chimin in….

    Paper – hand. Cloth – lap. Never at the same table.

  6. josh

    napkin on the lap?
    p l e a s e can tell me why people do this?. its like saying im a pig so ill put this on my lap just in case i get food on my zubaz.

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