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Are elaborately folded napkins unequivocally lame? I have a bit of a swan-napkin fetish, but don't want people to feel like they're at 'formal night' on a cruise when they come to my house.

Elaborately folded napkins are not only twee and unnecessary, but they're also reliable early indicators of sudden-onset My Little Pony mania and a generally unhygienic mind. "Lame," however? It all depends on your intentions. If you love swan napkins for their kitschy artistry (eye of the beholder, obv.), by all means use them - it's no weirder than the legions of otherwise serious adults who collect Takashi Murakami dolls or indulge in the odd eighties-themed dance party every now and then. If, however, you love them because you believe that the whole of civil society simply forgot how to set a table after 1926, you should maybe consider an emergency style reboot.

Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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