I know, that's not much of a confession. But honestly, if you use cloth napkins the reactions of others makes you wonder. As you can see from my picture my napkins are not much to boast about. Heck I made most of them from some well worn old kitchen curtains. I started using them a couple of years ago. Boy let me tell you, whip one out with your lunch bag at work and out comes the fancy, fancy remarks from the coworkers. "Next you'll be eating with china." We'll not even talk about when I started bring a bamboo plate instead of paper plates.
Now when I have someone staying to eat our potluck, I feel like I'm depriving my friends of a napkin. After every meal my plain old faded napkin is sitting by their plate all nice and folded and unused. Come on now, I eaten out at McDonald's with these people and have seen them wipe their mouths with their paper napkins when their eating a french fry, what gives? I asked one of my sons friends why he didn't use my napkins and he stated "Oh mom, I wouldn't want to stain it, we use those at my grandma's house on Thanksgiving."
What do you do? I feel funny insisting a guest use my napkins at my meal. That seems kinda like I accusing them of being a pig. But I want them to feel comfortable at my meals. Everyone should feel like they can wipe their mouth if they want to. Do you reassure them that it's OK. Be quiet and not feel guilty if they never wipe their mouth during the meal. Or buy paper napkins to use when your having company? Put a sign over your front door that says in big letters I use 'old' cloth napkins because I'm cheap and want to save a tree, so sue me and just wipe your mouth with the darn thing! I'm just not sure of the etiquette for this.☺