Thou shall not disrespect the holy dinner table

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Asp-Z
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09 Jul 2010, 8:04 am

Is it is just me, or does no one else get the massive deal about the dinner table? Doing the tiniest of things seems to elicit anger from parents, just because it's being done at the holy dinner table :roll:

(my parents don't actually call it holy, I'm using that word to exagurate their overreaction to anything dinner table related)



Cidey
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09 Jul 2010, 8:40 am

My mother's pretty uptight about the dinner table( by the way, she really does call it holy) but she totally flips out during family gatherings.

I have to greet all my uncles' and aunts' plus cousins and stand politely while they chatter about how "I've grown, ohh..". There was one time my aunt asked me if I wanted a slice of cake, and I said no but didn't look at her because I barely knew her. The next day I hear she was furious at me 'cos I apparently 'have no respect for her'. Now that kinda stuff gets my mother angry.
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Cidey
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09 Jul 2010, 8:40 am

My mother's pretty uptight about the dinner table( by the way, she really does call it holy) but she totally flips out during family gatherings.

I have to greet all my uncles' and aunts' plus cousins and stand politely while they chatter about how "I've grown, ohh..". There was one time my aunt asked me if I wanted a slice of cake, and I said no but didn't look at her because I barely knew her. The next day I hear she was furious at me 'cos I apparently 'have no respect for her'. Now that kinda stuff gets my mother angry.
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Jeyradan
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09 Jul 2010, 9:17 am

My parents (my father especially) were rather like this. "Elbows on the table" was a cardinal sin. (By the way, my elbows are totally on the desk as I type this. Because I can!)
He also got very upset if we used our forks in our right hands (he approved of the European way, with forks in left hands and knives in right - absolute joy for someone right-handed who already has fine motor issues) or if a utensil squeaked on a plate (admittedly, the noise is horrible, but it happens).

When my brother and I were extremely young (pre-school-age), we were often babysat by a kind Indian lady who worked for our landlord. On one occasion, we were being extremely hyperactive (and probably quite annoying) at the dinner table, and she admonished us with the order, "You must respect the table." We found the terminology amusing and so in response, he and I immediately began salaaming the table and referring to it as "O great table." Yeah, we were little jerks. But fortunately she saw the humour in it...



Pistonhead
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09 Jul 2010, 9:20 am

*insert picture of Spock here*
I'll never understand the human predilection for consuming food in the presence of others. It does not leave much room for social conversation and could be accomplished just as easily in solitude.


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Coldkick
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09 Jul 2010, 9:53 am

I was slammed on a lot because I hated eating at the table, for one thing I could never sit correctly. I have to have my legs up like L from Death Note. Luckily I don't hold my utensils like him. :lol: I also just find it extremely awkward sitting there hearing others eat and randomly muttering things across to each other. I admit I still forget to hold my utensils correctly sometimes. I held them incorrectly for 10 years. :roll:



gramirez
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09 Jul 2010, 10:06 am

Dinner at my house has always been very informal. No one cared.


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Asp-Z
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09 Jul 2010, 10:20 am

Pistonhead wrote:
*insert picture of Spock here*
I'll never understand the human predilection for consuming food in the presence of others. It does not leave much room for social conversation and could be accomplished just as easily in solitude.


I imagined Sheldon saying that :lol:



Pistonhead
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09 Jul 2010, 10:39 am

Asp-Z wrote:
I imagined Sheldon saying that :lol:


I'm sorry Asp-Z, I do not have time to discuss this logically :lol:


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Jeyradan
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09 Jul 2010, 10:50 am

Coldkick wrote:
... I could never sit correctly. I have to have my legs up like L from Death Note.


Exactly! I sit cross-legged. All the time, everywhere, regardless of seating surface or whether or not there's really room to do so comfortably. It's just a thing. My father would look under the table every five minutes and demand, "Sit properly!"
As if it could possibly matter how I sat. He couldn't even tell unless he looked.



iniudan
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09 Jul 2010, 10:55 am

Cidey wrote:
I have to greet all my uncles' and aunts' plus cousins and stand politely while they chatter about how "I've grown, ohh.


I use to get that one also, but at 14 I was the tallest of my father's family side (except for a single cousin and myself all the family on father side is 5'4'' and less), so until 20-21 where they stopped to tell me it, I use to tell them if they were sure they were not simply the one getting smaller has a revenge for that annoying line. =p



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09 Jul 2010, 2:33 pm

My family were fundamentalist Southern Baptists, so the dinner table was in fact, holy - meals could not begin until after a lengthy prayer, after which Emily Post rules applied. It doesn't kill you to learn how to behave like a civilized human at dinner, and those skills will be useful later, from time to time. Seriously, its a half hour out of your day and you're getting a free meal. Follow the rules and kwitcherbitchin. A lot of people your age don't even have a family that cares enough to sit down and eat with them every day - that's more valuable than you may realize.

That said, I don't even have a dinner table in my place - my dining area is occupied by a weight bench and a treadmill which I actually use daily. I eat at my desk, if I had a dinner table, it would just gather dust, as I rarely have visitors and almost as rarely do any real 'cooking'.


Pistonhead wrote:
I'll never understand the human predilection for consuming food in the presence of others. It does not leave much room for social conversation and could be accomplished just as easily in solitude.


Actually, I not only get it, I kind of prefer it as a method of socializing, because it has a fairly specific beginning and ending point, rather than just going on interminably like some social interactions, while I awkwardly struggle to find an 'out'. Plus, since its rude to talk with your mouth full, I have time to consider my responses so as not to offend - and if all else fails, one can make small talk about the food or the service. Just be sure to wear a watch, so you can use the ol' "Oh, look at the time" if things get uncomfortable.



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09 Jul 2010, 3:30 pm

I consider myself lucky enough not to usually have to deal with dinner tables at home since we eat in the living room. However, my grandma is so strict at the dinner table at her house. She doesnt let us do anything that isnt completely proper. Once she yelled at me for choking on my water while she was reading half the bible before lunch.


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nodice1996
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09 Jul 2010, 11:51 pm

My family is fairly relaxed about table manners. The problem comes when I go out to eat with distant relatives, such as the cousins that I've never met before and am currently visiting.


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Leiservampir
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10 Jul 2010, 2:49 am

Willard wrote:
A lot of people your age don't even have a family that cares enough to sit down and eat with them every day - that's more valuable than you may realize.

And a lot, if not most, of that is caused by us westerners. Just so you know.
Which to me means that it's not actually that valuable.

Sure, we all know how to sit at dinner tables properly, but if it matters so much, why are we not out there helping those that don't?
Simple logic.

My [big] family [i.e not just parents] are pretty much pikeys that live in houses rather than caravans. We all have TV dinners and only ever sit at the table on christmas/boxing day/when there's visitors/when we're at a restaurant.
That said, even at christmas/boxing day in my nans house people are sat on the sofa. There's just too many of us when we're all gathered to be able to have a proper dinner-table-meal, unless the table is huge enough to fit;
Nan + Grandad
2x aunties + one girlfriend
4x uncles
6x cousins [5 below 10yrs] + me
mum + Stepdad
round a single table. And that's only the close family. On one side. So I can understand why people just don't bother anymore.


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gina-ghettoprincess
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10 Jul 2010, 2:45 pm

Last week my mum took my phone and my brother's iPhone because we were using them at the dinner table (he was playing games, I was texting my friend), and we didn't get them back until after dessert. I don't see the problem with texting at the dinner table, I was eating my dinner at the same time. And everyone always has really boring conversations at the dinner table at my house, they always feel the need to discuss things like gardening and shopping and the weather.

Luckily we only eat at the dinner table on Sundays, the rest of the time I eat in my room and my brother and mum eat in the living room.


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