My 16 year old son had a friend over yesterday. This friend “O” is 19 years old. He is a rather nice young man if a little bit immature for his age. They spent the afternoon playing video games.
My son had asked if O could stay for dinner ahead of time and I had said yes. I changed my dinner plans to accommodate the extra person. The afternoon proceeded normally, I prepared dinner. I called my son to set the table, O came upstairs with him. The meal was laid out and everybody started to eat.
O ate very little. He took a couple pieces of meat and a biscuit, but no salad. Because he took so little food, he was finished eating well ahead of the rest of us. When he was finished eating, he stood up, thanked me very much for having fed him, told my son to stay and finish his meal, cleared his plate to the counter, then went to stand about 10 feet away from the table texting on his cell phone.
The rest of us exchanged a confused look, but continued with our meal, although I did silently rush my son to finish so that he could go join his friend. It was the strangest, most polite, but rude behavior I have ever encountered.
First, I have always taught my children to eat whats put in front of you, like it or not. It only needs to be a very small portion to be polite, allergies not withstanding. Second, my children know not to leave the table until everybody is finished the main meal. They are allowed to excuse themselves before dessert if we are eating at home, but as a guest they are expected to sit tight until the very end of the meal. They are expected to join the conversation.
As I stated earlier, O was the politest rude person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I like O and I do give him credit for not using his phone while he was at the table. 0704-13
I approved most of the comments to this post but later decided to address those comments in the next day’s blog post since I believe many people incorrectly absolved O of any faux pas.