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Embarrassed or bugged by dinner companions


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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.

That's a peeve of mine too. There are a couple of people I know who always do this whenever a group of people gets together for a meal. They may ask a couple people in their immediate vicinity for their opinions, but not the entire table. I usually don't even realize it's happening until after I see the waiter walk away from the table without taking anyone else's orders. I don't understand how anyone can have the balls to do that.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Oh my........reading this thread just opened the flood gates to the memories of a meal I really hoped I never had to think about again.

A girl I had worked with for a while was leaving the job and she invited about 7 of us to a meal. I took her aside and asked if she was sure about that, although the restaurant she choose was a very reasonably priced Italian, I knew this was a lot of money to her. She wouldn't hear of it....."I'm buying you guys a meal, you really helped me out when I had a hard time, etc.".

So I had a word with the others and we decided, o.k. she can pay for the food, but we are getting the drinks and dessert.

The night came......

Without having discussed this before none of us ordered starters, clearly everyone felt we wouldn't drive up the expense for this girl anymore then necessary.

Whilst we where going over our menu's the host and her housemate where whispering something and called the waiter over.

She said we are having this pizza (pointing at the very cheapest pizza on the menu).

One of the people at the table, lovely guy, but never was any good at taking subtle hints, said o lovely I'll have this pasta.

From that moment on the evening went rapidly downhill, clearly our host intended to order the cheap pizza for the whole table and she got really p****** off when we put in our own orders. Mind you there was nothing extravagant, the difference was just a few dollars.

We decided to ignore her foul mood and actually had a nice meal, until our host pulled her roommate to the side in between dinner and dessert and we could overhear her say. "If they think I'm paying for this, they are not eating what I told them to eat".

When it was time to pay up, she opened her bag and out came a big A4 notepad, pen and calculator (did she actually ever intended to pay, I never just happen to have an A4 notepad in my handbag????). She calls over the waiter and asks for a menu.

Turned out that between them they had memorized exactly what everyone ordered, what and how much they had to drink and even who had asked for some extra bread (never mind that this was for the whole table and they happily munched away on it them self).

This was my cue to get up and visit the ladies room. When I got back I stopped at the bar and overlooked the carnage going on at the table. The waiter, who had been fantastic all evening, came over and said don't worry about it and gave me a drink on the house, making me feel even more embarassed.

But it didn't stop there.....

When the bill was finally paid, we couldn't get one person (who had way to much to drink) to leave the restaurant. Finally with the help of my friendly waiter, we managed to literally shove him out of the door.

We all had to go to the same underground station to get out of the city center, but while I thanked the waiter (again), they all just disappeared, leaving me with this huge lump of a man that could barely stand on his feet.

It took me 20 min. to get him to cross the road, and then we still had to negotiate the stairs into the station. Honestly I know it sounds bad, but after a while I was just thinking about giving him a little push.

I was home an hour and a half later then any of the others, while I lived closest to the restaurant.

Can you imagine my shock when three months later this girl phones me and said "I had such a lovely time that evening, I would like to meet up for dinner"? :shock:

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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! 

Golly, shades of Rahm Emanuel.

[written before I noticed others saying exactly the same thing.... but good grief, what weird, and sort of scary dining companions....]

Edited by devlin (log)
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To clarify regarding the friend who'd breastfeed at table with the blanket over her own head.... And now I'm wondering whether I'm clarifying anything.... Anyway, the blanket was HUGE and would cover not only her but the baby as well. It was like nursing under a chador. I seem to recall she did have a breast pump, or I think she did, although this would have been around the time they were only gaining currency with new moms. But yeah, that would have worked out better all around.

Wow. Brings back the memories.

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I love my mother. I really, truly, deeply do. She is a wonderful woman, and I would do anything for her.

There. I've said the correct caveat.

Years ago (*many* years ago), my entire immediate family was out at some restaurant. I honestly can't remember which one, but my dad, mom, two brothers, and myself were all together, probably on a vacation. All three boys are within six years of each other (my oldest brother is six years my senior), and at the time, we were all probably 13-19 years of age, or something like that. Teenage boys have *voracious* appetites, and one of them could probably consume enough food in one sitting to feed several third-world nations for a year.

Once the entrees were completed, the server asked us if we'd like dessert, and the three boys, after getting the nod from dad, said "You betcha!", and proceeded to order. Nothing for mom, thanks. Nor for dad.

Out come the desserts, and wouldn't you know it: mom wants to "try" my eldest brother's dessert. Sucker. That's what you get for sitting next to mom. Hmph. Fine. There's your bite.

Oh, no, that's not good enough...she wants to *choose* her bite. Eldest brother is not amused, but relinquishes, be it ever-so-reluctantly.

Oh look! Mom sees middle brother's dessert, and wants to "try" his, too! It's a *miracle*! Once again: she wants to *select* her bite. Middle brother is not amused.

Guess what? Mom's got her eye on my dessert. I cannot actually remember whether she was able to abscond with a bite of mine before there was a *major* commotion at the table.


"I'm just having one bite!" But we all knew that this could be a *total* lie, even if she genuinely meant it.

"Why should *you* get to pick which bite you get?!?!??"

"Because I'm only taking one bite!!!"

By this time, all three boys are basically incensed. We know mom, we *love* mom, and we know that she has The Sweet Tooth From Hell. It is not to be denied, and never to be trusted. But we're ticked: she can't have it both ways...she either *wants* dessert, and can order some, or she *doesn't want* dessert, and can feel good about herself for demonstrating some self-control. Heck, we may have even been willing to let her get away with a bite from each person's if she hadn't been so absolutely insistent on getting the bite that *she* wanted. It was total BS, and we were calling her on it.

We turned to dad and vocally objected, and he'd been relatively quiet on the subject to this point. He knows the score, but is just trying to lay low and see if the issue will resolve itself...and clearly, it ain't.

In what can only be described as A Moment Of Teenage Nirvana, my dad, bless his heart, turned to my mom and said, in a somewhat irritated tone:

"XXXX, if you *want* dessert, I will *buy you* dessert. Really! The boys asked, and we told them they could have some, and they ordered it for themselves. You tell me what you want, and I'll get it for you. But if you *don't want* dessert, you can't fault the kids for being annoyed with you when you start taking what's theirs, *and* demanding certain pieces. Now, XXXX, do you *want* dessert?"

Mom, whom I love dearly, was clearly embarrassed. She'd been called out by both the kids *and* her husband, the man she thought would back her up on it. She quickly said "No..." and didn't have much more to say about the issue. We finished our desserts in a far better mood, and enjoyed them. This experience has *never since* been duplicated by my mother.

The tale, however, is part of family lore, and it somehow gets better, and more laughter, every time we tell it. And yes: I will often give mom a bite of my dessert if she asks for it, and yes, I'll usually let her pick her spot/bite, too. But I'm 36 now...take me back to 13, and you're talking a different story.

I smile every time I think about this. It's a wonderful, funny, and warm memory.

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  • 3 years later...

OMG NeroW! You dated my boyfriend!

Seriously..my boyfriend isn't that bad, but close. He won't eat anything with bones still in it. No onions, no vegetables except canned corn or corn on the cob, or peas. Gourmet to him is chicken parmagiana from Olive Garden, but he hates going there because it's too fancy for him. No alcohol, except a Mike's hard lemonade once in a while. He used to only eat processed cheese, but now likes some of my "weird" cheese like Havarti with dill, or pepper Jack cheese. He says he's allergic to yogurt. Nothing too spicy. No tomatoes in the chili. No tofu. He does, however, like rice if it is mixed in with whatever sauce the protein is served with. (Gravy, or mixed with the General Gau's chicken, which is all he will eat from a Chinese place.) He too would get grossed out by things like mopping up egg yolks with toast, or getting ketchup out of a bottle with a knife. On our first date, I was so nervous I shredded my paper straw wrapper onto the table and learned years later how much it bugged him. Playing with food, or anything to do with food, totally creeps him out. He can't even watch me cut up raw chicken for dinner (Chicken Helper, of course).

The only difference is, he doesn't try to enforce his habits on me, like you indicated about the butter. In fact, he bought margarine the other day for his new apartment and bought butter sticks for me :) This was after I unsuccessfully tried to explain to him why margarine is bad. Fruit, he will eat apples...and that's about it. He thinks granola bars are healthy. He also thinks diet soda is good for you. I try to explain that "good for you" and "not as bad as the other stuff" are two different things.

Another difference between you and me NeroW...I am still dating this guy. But we'll see how long that lasts dry.gif

Kate - that was nine years ago. Please tell me it's over - or at least that you converted him!

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My boyfriend (who knows I am posting this) has given me these annoyances:

1. Won't eat sweet things - he can't stand sweet things; unless it is a gigantic sippy cup of pure sugarcane juice with a slight hint of orange. I adore sweet things but it's like drinking sugar syrup with a smidgen of water. I gag after three sips; he goes back for seconds.

2. Can't stand paninis or bread in general - "God! Too dry" but will scoff down two banh mi (Vietnamese bread rolls) in seconds.

3. Can't eat anything spicy - nothing at all. Any Korean hot pepper paste or flakes present -- can't do; but cuts so many Thai chilis into his hoisin sauce that it makes my eyes bleed. Incidentally - I can eat Korean hot pepper paste straight from the container.

4. Can't eat Korean BBQ because it has too much sugar; but adores thit kho (Vietnamese braised pork) which I make with two whole disks of palm sugar.

He is, needless to say, Vietnamese. And extremely picky.

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