Is it just me being picky or do people have really horrible table manners these days? Sometimes I have looked across at a person when they did things and said to myself, You have GOT to be kidding me!!! Why would someone choose to have such obviously horrible table manners when good table manners are sooooo sexy!!
Recently, I watched a 5 year old pulled cheese off of his pizza. He toyed with his long string, rolling it around his little fingers while he chewed away merrily. I was laughing as his mom said, Stop that. Don't play with your food. But she was amused too. He's knitting cheese, I said. Keep in mind that cute at 5 is not cute at 35.
I sat across from a guy who slurped his spaghetti, had grime under his nails and was thinking that I was super into him. What?? Must be something about an extra rush of oxygen to his brain from the slurping. Not cute!!
A college roommate who invited me out to dinner with her boyfriend--just the three of us! She didn't like him that much and I felt embarrassed that she used me as a shield. I was even more embarrassed as I watched her cut up her steak. She held part of it with her hand, tugging as she sawed away with her knife. Then she ate it with her fingers. Gross. Why was this guy still dating her?
I was faced with dodging a goodnight kiss after a date with a guy. It was easier to tell him that I was never really attracted to him than to tell him the complete truth. Yes, I wasn't attracted to him anymore, but it was a matter of degrees. Was it the curve in his back, telling me too much information and his penchant for complaining? Nay! The veritable straw had already broken the camel's back at dinner, everything else was dessert when too full with far too much icing made with rancid butter. He used his hands to eat when he could have used a fork. He shifted chunks of meat around in his taco salad with his whole hand. There were two good points: The date ended and at least he knew how to use a napkin.
I have had the pleasure of being seated across from a few guys who didn't realize that there is a proper way to hold a fork or a spoon. You hold it like a pencil--not a baseball bat! It was like eating with a 5 year old. I don't expect a small child to be able to eat properly because their motor skills are still developing, but I do expect that much from a grown man or woman!
This behavior should come with a warning label--don't do this at home or you might do this in a restaurant in front of someone you really like. A guy I dated actually thinks I don't want to date him anymore because he's an atheist and I am Christian. Um, well, that's part of it, but the other part is that he has rotten table manners. My cousin, finally couldn't take it anymore with one guy she had been dating for a year. She said, I can push, push, push with my knife, knife, knife. She finally push, push, pushed him out of her life, life, life and found someone who treats her like a queen and has good table manners.
I thought I could forgive some bad habits when I went out with a guy who I was really attracted to. I mean, we were eating finger food on our first date. He licked his fingers. Middle finger, index finger, thumb. He only did it once. I tried really hard to ignore it when we had sushi on our second date. Middle finger, index finger, thumb. Then I noticed he REALLY looked at each finger as he did this because he did it twice. But, gosh we had such intense chemistry! Surely I could work with this. Someday I would tell him. He didn't do it the next time I ate with him. That was good. But then when he had a burger and fries...yep, you guessed it. He looked intensely at his hand. Middle finger, index finger, thumb. Lick, lick, lick. Gross, gross, gross!! Get a napkin! Colin Cowie did a social experiment on some people and licked his fingers at dinner. The whole table assumed that if Colin Cowie did it that it must be OK, and soon they were all doing it. He later said, It is never OK to lick your fingers at the table. Maybe it's a slight dose of obsessive-compulsive disorder with that guy. We broke up for other reasons, but I'm glad I don't have to deal with his bad table manners. That's for mommy to teach, not a girlfriend.
A human licking fingers at the table? Not cute.
A gecko licking his fingers at the table? That's very cute.
As far as I'm concerned, I shouldn't have to sign up for a lifetime of watching some guy chew with his mouth open. Yep, I've seen that, too! Unfortunately, I was on a date! It was combined with slurping, putting his elbows on the table and licking his fingers. I was so horrified that I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I was lightly banging my head against the bathroom stall asking myself and God, How do I get home without holding his hand or kissing him?
I shouldn't have to watch someone lick their fingers, eat with their hands when it's not finger food, slurp spaghetti, talk with a mouth full of food, cut food up into tiny pieces like a mommy does for her 5 year old, etc. I shouldn't have to say anything to anyone, either. People don't do that on TV because it looks gross! So please don't do it in real life!
Mothers--Please teach your children good table manners so someone doesn't sit across from your kid someday and think Are you freaking serious??? I told that to the lady with the 5 year old. She started laughing again!!
I've written about some of these guys before. I'm so embarrassed for them that I've even left out their online psydonyms!!! I'm sure men have experienced equal horrors at the table with women. I would love to hear about it.