Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Embarrassed or bugged by dinner companions


Recommended Posts

Many years ago when I was a poor graduate student, a friend who was exceptionally animated and very controlling of every situation and who made a great deal more money than I and invited me out to dinner with others very often: I continually made it clear I couldn't afford to share the entire bill for the entire meal which was always what she insisted on and which everybody else went along with, whereas I preferred to pay for mine separately as I would order something small and maybe one beer or glass of wine, knowing exactly how much I could afford for any particular evening out. It seemed a simple enough thing to do, and as I'm not one to draw attention to myself, a thing that didn't have to draw any notice or attention at all. The bill, without tip, invariably was at least double or more what I ordered and enjoyed myself. She'd agree up front with my own plan for me, and then invariably make a huge deal after the meal that we *all* share the bill equally, including me, noting to anybody who happened to be listening during the settling up (which of course was everybody) that she'd pay for mine, leaving everybody with the impression that I was her own special charity case.

The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Many years ago when I was a poor graduate student, a friend who was exceptionally animated and very controlling of every situation and who made a great deal more money than I and invited me out to dinner with others very often:  I continually made it clear I couldn't afford to share the entire bill for the entire meal which was always what she insisted on and which everybody else went along with, whereas I preferred to pay for mine separately as I would order something small and maybe one beer or glass of wine, knowing exactly how much I could afford for any particular evening out. It seemed a simple enough thing to do, and as I'm not one to draw attention to myself, a thing that didn't have to draw any notice or attention at all. The bill, without tip, invariably was at least double or more what I ordered and enjoyed myself. She'd agree up front with my own plan for me, and then invariably make a huge deal after the meal that we *all* share the bill equally, including me, noting to anybody who happened to be listening during the settling up (which of course was everybody) that she'd pay for mine, leaving everybody with the impression that I was her own special charity case.

The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

Wow...some "friend". You aren't kidding about the control freak thing; sounds like she's the kind who *requires* attention from others, too. Yike.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

People who behave like this give breastfeeding mothers a bad rep.

Karen Dar Woon

Link to post
Share on other sites
The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

People who behave like this give breastfeeding mothers a bad rep.

mortifying

unfortunate

forced

not words I'd ever expect to hear in relation to breastfeeding one's own child.

sad, very sad.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, I'm laughing. She put the blanket over her own head to breastfeed her baby?! How very bizarre!

Years of therapy are indicated for this woman.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, I'm laughing. She put the blanket over her own head to breastfeed her baby?! How very bizarre!

Years of therapy are indicated for this woman.

Wouldn't you think that if it repulsed her so much that she would switch to formula? I know it's not considered the best thing, but really no one would put themselves through something when there are viable alternatives, unless they were a drama queen. I really think she has to be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...a friend who was exceptionally animated and very controlling of every situation ... then invariably make a huge deal after the meal that we *all* share the bill equally, including me, noting to anybody who happened to be listening during the settling up (which of course was everybody) that she'd pay for mine, leaving everybody with the impression that I was her own special charity case.

The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

I vote Drama Queen. She could have used the ladies room, which is what I usually did if I happened to be at dinner during the time my infant needed to be fed. But I suspect she liked the attention she was getting from people around her.

Have you been to dinner with this friend since? Any improvement? :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, I'm laughing. She put the blanket over her own head to breastfeed her baby?! How very bizarre!

Years of therapy are indicated for this woman.

Maybe the child too, once it gets wind of this story.

OK, so here’s mine.

This happened years ago, one very busy Sunday at a dim sum place in NYC Chinatown. My family and I were finishing up our meal when a family friend walks by. Our check arrives. Friend snatches it from the waiter’s hand, offering to pay. The customary “fighting over the check” ensues. Literally. Dad grabs the check back. Friend quickly takes it, turns towards the waiter, insisting on paying. Dad yells, “NOOOOOOO!”, practically wrestles her to the ground, grabs the bill, and stomps to the cashier to pay the bill. Mom is cringing in embarrassment, and my siblings and I are trying really hard not to laugh, as even a slight titter from one of us would mean serious consequences. What makes it funnier is that friend was about 4’10”, and Dad almost a foot taller than she.

The restaurant, friend, and Dad have since passed, and now siblings and I laugh openly at the memory, but Mom still cringes.

eta: so maybe not embarrassing for me, but I'll dedicate this post to Mom.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh god. I have friends who have probably thought of posting about a meal with me.

I invited them to dinner, at a well-known restaurant. After we were seated, they mentioned they werent impressed by the place, but that it was "ok". OK, so dinner isnt the treat I'd hoped, but the conversation was good, we could survive. The couple was 2 generations older than me, so to avoid the literal fight for the check, I flagged the waiter as I made a putative trip to the facilities.

I arranged to have the bill written up with appropriate tip, and delivered directly to me. The male friend nearly climbed over the table to get the bill. He was so uncomfortable with my insistence on paying (age, gender) that I think it probably spoiled the entire evening for both of them.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I vaguely recall posting this story somewhere on these fora some years ago, but it's appropriate to this thread.

To celebrate the birth of my daughter a few months before and me getting my Ph.D. a few days before, my wife and I went out to one of the better restaurants in town. My folks had flown cross country to see the baby and attend my graduation and were giving us a rare night to ourselves.

At the restaurant the maitre' d welcomed us with "Mr. and Ms. Mano." I pointedly corrected him, "It's Dr. Mano" and he quickly apologized and corrected himself. There were a number of good tables available, but he very appropriately seated us at the worst table in the place.

I don't recall how the crow tasted, but 20 years later I still remember the sweetbreads were outstanding.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

Link to post
Share on other sites
...a friend who was exceptionally animated and very controlling of every situation ... then invariably make a huge deal after the meal that we *all* share the bill equally, including me, noting to anybody who happened to be listening during the settling up (which of course was everybody) that she'd pay for mine, leaving everybody with the impression that I was her own special charity case.

The same friend, after she'd had her first baby, would breast feed at the restaurant dinner table, but only after making a big scene of covering herself entirely with a small blanket she'd bring for the occasion, making sure everybody knew just how uncomfortable and mortified she was by having to peform this thing, by which time everybody in the restaurant was rivetted to the scene and we'd all have to endure this circus atmosphere of the entire breast-feeding thing, during which she'd continually poke her head out from under the blanket and make much of how embarrassed she was and how mortifying the experience was and how unfortunate it was that she was forced to do it.

I vote Drama Queen. She could have used the ladies room, which is what I usually did if I happened to be at dinner during the time my infant needed to be fed. But I suspect she liked the attention she was getting from people around her.

Have you been to dinner with this friend since? Any improvement? :wink:

Helloooo? Breast pump at home, put it in a bottle. Not an option? Head for the ladies room. :huh:

ETC: Placement of statement.

Edited by judiu (log)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Much easier on the flow of the meal -

put the shawl over baby's head, without fuss or comment.

Continue conversation,

continue eating dinner.

Shawl over mom's shoulder and baby's head

avoids potentially unappreciated exposure

without delaying dinner.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The funniest and simultaneously embarrasing moment I can remember happened approximately 10 years ago. I was out with a couple of new friends at a hotel bar. One of the girls wanted to order a bottle of wine. We were all very young (20-ish) and new to the wine thing. She perused the wine-list and proceeded to ask the server questions. While doing this she is acting all "bougie". Of course, she settles on a niiiiiiiiice white zinfandel...cheapest on the menu. That would be all fine and good if she didn't make such a spectacle of herself. Even my young and unsophisticated palate knew we were ordering the kool-aid of wine. That was not the embarassing/funny part. The moment of shame came when the server brought the bottle over and poured her a small amount for tasting. She looked at the glass...looked at the server...and said in the loudest and rudest tone..."I want more than that!". I lost it, it was rude of me to laugh at her...but she was really putting on airs. I'm sure the server thought we were all idiots.

In the category of "annoying ex-boyfriend behaviour". I had a boyfriend who would only eat at Denny's or similar establishments. Everything else was to fancified for him. When we were at Denny's he would make his own "cappuccino" by biting tiny holes in the little plastic creamer cups and squeezing a stream of creamo into his coffee.This made a huge mess and attracted a lot of unwanted attention.

Edited by JasmineL (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
... biting tiny holes in the little plastic creamer cups ....

Too funny. If only you could have immortalized him on YouTube.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

She put a blanket over her own head? Whaa? I've waited on breastfeeding mothers several times, and it was never awkward. My favorite was a mother of what looked like about four children (they were having a family celebration in one of our private dining rooms) who had a Red Seal Ale while breastfeeding! She just had the one and sipped it very slowly, but it still cracked me up. Way to be, sister! My kind of mommy!

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

Link to post
Share on other sites
breastfed babies are the easiest to take ANYwhere. And, they are a very amenable dinner companion.

I only WISH my kid was still so easy to shut up at the dinner table.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband's then-boss, having had too much to drink while waiting for a table in a very nice Seattle restaurant, launched into a very colorful tale about something or other, and to make his point, HE STABBED THE TABLE - REPEATEDLY! - WITH HIS STEAK KNIFE!

His own boss (the CEO) is so appallingly rude to the waitstaff, the chefs, the owners, etc., that he is blacklisted at just about every fine dining establishment in Seattle. Be glad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh! And another one I've repressed until just a few days ago:

We went to visit an old friend who had invited us to "come for dinner" when we were in town. We called, he said C'mon over. We get there, meet his wife and little boy (about three or four years old), and stand around, chatting. Then she sits down, so we all do. No offer of tea, water, nuthin. OK.

Finally we figure out that there's no dinner. So we say, "let's go out!" He and she dicker for a while about where, and since we're out-of-towners, we haven't a clue. Finally they decide upon a place, and we go. Not bad, not great. She breastfeeds the kid at the table (remember, now, he's three or four years old), drawing as much attention to herself as possible (there was mention about how goooooood it felt). OoooKaaaay.

So the bill comes, and we say, "this is on us." She says, quite loudly, "Well, heckfire! If we'd known you were paying, we'd have recommended a NICE place!" Not OK. Our friend didn't react at all - he's either oblivious or used to it and resigned. On the way back to our hotel, my husband pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. We just looked at each other, sat silently for a moment, and then both of us simultaneously SCREAMED!!

This was about twelve years ago, and he just emailed us very recently. We are afraid to answer him, for fear of letting this woman back into our lives. Old friend/hideous wife. We're still thinking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My husband's then-boss, having had too much to drink while waiting for a table in a very nice Seattle restaurant, launched into a very colorful tale about something or other, and to make his point, HE STABBED THE TABLE - REPEATEDLY! - WITH HIS STEAK KNIFE! 

Is he related to or an admirer of Rahm Emmanuel? Emmanuel has been known to repeatedly stab a steak knife into a table and scream "Die! Die! Die!" while referring to his political opponents.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

Link to post
Share on other sites
My husband's then-boss, having had too much to drink while waiting for a table in a very nice Seattle restaurant, launched into a very colorful tale about something or other, and to make his point, HE STABBED THE TABLE - REPEATEDLY! - WITH HIS STEAK KNIFE! 

Is he related to or an admirer of Rahm Emmanuel? Emmanuel has been known to repeatedly stab a steak knife into a table and scream "Die! Die! Die!" while referring to his political opponents.

I don't think so, but he'd either get along very well with Rahm, or they'd kill each other. :biggrin:

Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest peeve is people taking the responsibility of ordering for the whole table. A friend's wife seems to think that this is her natural duty and proceeds to order whatever she thinks will be appropriate for the crowd. Thankfully my husband and I have spoken up and told her we'll make our own decisions. The other meek souls haven't been so lucky.

Another would have to be friends trying to get pally with the servers. I'm all for making polite conversation and treating the person waiting on me with utmost respect but there is a very obvious boundary beyond that. One of my husband's friends is convinced this will ensure better service and proceeds to slap staff on the back and ask personal questions, which often boils down to some distasteful jokes, and it's more embarassing than anything else. Suffice to say, I refuse to go out with him, only my husband does

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...