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Etiquette Lessons from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” Cast

Lately, I’ve been on a self-improvement kick. One of the things I’ve always wanted to improve is my manners. I never know what fork to use when faced with multiple options, never understand how to wipe my mouth daintily at dinner, and I’ve always been confused about the right way to dress and act in social situations. I sometimes even have trouble figuring out the perfect way to introduce myself to someone new.

This weekend, while watching MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore, I got a little education in etiquette, Jersey style. Luckily for you I’ve created this handy guide so you know just how to eat, pack and dress and how NOT to meet new people.

A picture of our etiquette instructors.

Food and Drink

Knife, fork and napkin dilemma: The first lesson is from “I wear my sunglasses at night” cast member Vinny. In the very first episode of Jersey Shore, Vinny shows us that forks and knives become optional when mama is around. You see, Vinny’s mother takes the time to reach across the table and cut Vinny’s food for him. At the end of the meal, she takes her hand and wipes Vinny’s face clean. So the next time you attend an upscale dinner or function don’t be intimidated by all the knives and forks in front of you, just bring your mom!

The finger food pickle: Eating finger food at a fancy function can be tense. After all, you want to enjoy the yummy treats… but how do you eat them delicately, with class, while avoiding looking like the little piglet you know you are? For this we take our lesson from Snookie. In episode three, Snookie took a pickle from the house refrigerator and proceeded to suck it. Once she had sucked all the juice out of it she then proceeded to bite, chew and swallow the dried pickle husk. So the next time you are at a fancy party just suck the finger foods first and THEN eat them.


How to be sexy without being sleazy: To learn how to dress appropriately for a night out, we turn to Jersey Shore cast member JWOWW. You see, many of us women have trouble finding that fine line between sexy and sleazy but JWOWW has really figured out how to walk that line in stilettos without falling. Following her shining example in every episode of Jersey Shore we find that exposing some boob and cleavage is good—but you simply must stop exactly one centimeter short of exposing the areola because, naturally, that would just be taking things way too far.

Packing tip: One of the female Jersey Shore cast members, Angelina, gave me a great idea for luggage for my next vacation. I’m always embarrassed that I can’t afford Louis Vuitton luggage and that really stops me from going on a lot of trips. I mean, what would people in the airport say if they saw my plain black Sears luggage? Oh, how they’d scorn me. Because of this, I paid special attention to the luggage brought in by the cast members of Jersey Shore. I mean, they knew they were going to be on television, after all. Surely that meant they would bring luggage that I can emulate without embarrassment. Imagine my surprise when Angelina walked in with all her worldly possessions in black garbage bags. Hooray! Packing for my next vacation just got easier!

Meeting New People

Keep your hands to yourself: If you want to meet new people, you need to have courage. If you want to be noticed, you have to stand out from the crowd. If you want to really stand out from the crowd, you should sucker punch a girl in the face like Jersey Shore non-cast member Brad Ferro did. While stealing drinks from the Jersey Shore cast, Ferro was heckled by Snookie. In response, he punched her right in the face. He has since lost his job and become the universal symbol for douchedom.

And there you have it, all the etiquette basics covered. While I wouldn’t expect this information to show up in Emily Post’s next book, further lessons await you on MTV.

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