Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Christabeldreams on February 21, 2013, 05:37:39 PM

Title: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Christabeldreams on February 21, 2013, 05:37:39 PM
So, last Saturday  I went out to lunch with some friends, one of whom brought her 12 year old with her (the child was invited too, rather than simply leave her at home alone) It was a separate checks event. We order, child orders an appetizer with her meal, probably because she was hungry, having come from swim practice. The appetizer arrives before our food, and while the girl is in mid bite of a cheese stick, the mother picks up the plate, holds it aloft and says, “Anyone want some of (name)’s cheese sticks?” One person accepted, and I declined, because something about the situation set off my hinky meter, the girl did look surprised and a little hurt. Was it right to go off?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 05:40:59 PM
Yes. You were right. Mom may have been within her legal rights, since she was paying, but she was unkind to her child. It doesn't sound like this was agreed on beforehand or anything, hence the surprised look.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 21, 2013, 05:47:59 PM
Yes, this is very rude, and invasive of a child's basic boundaries. Both the mother, and the person who accepted it, are in the wrong.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 05:56:39 PM
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Christabeldreams on February 21, 2013, 06:00:06 PM
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.

That's a very good point, however, I've eaten with this family several times and this is the first time this has happened, if that helps.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 06:04:43 PM
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.

Maybe--but especially given the look of surprise, I as an outsider to the family would err on the side of not eating the kid's food, as the OP did. If it is a rule that she share, she can share with her mom, but I wouldn't want to participate just in case it isn't okay with her. Especially since I remember how hungry I always was at that age, and how hungry swimming has always made me.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 06:11:54 PM
I defnitely think it is fine to opt out, I just wouldn't try to evaluate the parents' decisions. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 06:14:49 PM
I defnitely think it is fine to opt out, I just wouldn't try to evaluate the parents' decisions.

I might well evaluate it in my head, if I thought the parent was being unkind. That's my right. I wouldn't say anything except "no thank you." But everyone privately evaluates things all the time.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 06:18:07 PM
It's rude.  If someone order an appetizer or soup or dessert with their meal, it's theirs.  Even the mother asked if anyone want (name's) cheese sticks, so she acknowledge it's the daughters.

Like others, I would simply decline but I would feel a bit uncomfortable about what she did.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 21, 2013, 06:24:40 PM
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   We've sat and waited for everyone to be served before digging in on a few occasions.  Perhaps the mother wanted to share for this reason.  Certainly I would offer to share my appetizer if I was digging in everyone else is waiting.  Usually people decline, but I don't want to be munching away without at least offering. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Thipu1 on February 21, 2013, 06:27:17 PM
I agree.  It's rude of the mom.

  A 12 year-old isn't a baby.  If she orders something she wants to eat, chances are good that she'll eat it especially after something as strenuous as swim practice. 

At that age, parents have to be careful and not treat a child as if she were a baby. Offering her food to others is not proper. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 06:27:39 PM
Another option if you felt really uncomfortable might have been to order another app and shared it with everyone, including the girl.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 06:29:50 PM
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

Is this only because she's a minor? I don't think every appetizer is automatically "for the table" unless something is actually said. There's no way I'd feel entitled to a friend's appetizer if it looked like she was ordering it as a complement to her meal rather than as a shared dish, and that would extend to a friend's kid too.

I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   We've sat and waited for everyone to be served before digging in on a few occasions.  Perhaps the mother wanted to share for this reason.  Certainly I would offer to share my appetizer if I was digging in everyone else is waiting.  Usually people decline, but I don't want to be munching away without at least offering.

The adults could have ordered appetizers too, if they wanted to eat at appetizer-time. We don't even know for sure that they didn't. I've rarely been to a restaurant meal where somebody didn't have food at a random time when other people didn't have food, like if someone ordered soup or a salad and nobody else did, or if someone's food just took longer or got messed up. There's often a perfunctory offer to wait followed by a "no, go ahead," but not always.

ETA: I wonder if mom thinks it's polite to offer your appetizer to everyone and wanted to model that for the kid--but she should have modeled with her own dang food, IMO.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 06:32:21 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 21, 2013, 06:43:43 PM
I would never do that to my children.  Although they will usually offer up to share, that is their choice.  To pick another persons plate up, whether it is a child or not and start offering their food to others shows a lack of respect for their feelings (and appetite).  And if there was an issue about eating in front of others, the mother shouldn't have let her order an appetizer, but I assume everyone made up their mind to not have one, so to me, that gives tacit approval for whoever ordered to go ahead and eat. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 06:46:11 PM
When an appetizer is ordered without discussing with the table, it's part of that person's meal and up to them to offer.  Would the mother offer up her daughters soup or salad, or even the main course?  I doubt it.

It's like when I order dessert and the waiter take it upon his/herself to provide extra forks "for the table."  No, just no.  Joey doesn't share food!  ;)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 21, 2013, 06:47:54 PM
If it is a family tradition, I would have expected the child to offer.

Sorry, no pass from me on asking "do you want some of (name's) appetizers". I suspect that this is the same sort of mother who goes, "Oh, do you you like little Ava's toys? Here, take them - SHE won't mind!"
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 06:53:50 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

I cannot imagine ordering an appetizer for myself, that I intend to eat myself, and then having my spouse grab it from in front of me, hold it aloft, and offer it to everyone else at the table without a word to me. It's possible that some people arrange their relationships this way, but it still strikes me as very very unusual.

And since the girl look surprised and a little upset, I would assume it was *not* a general rule for that family.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 06:54:47 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

I cannot imagine ordering an appetizer for myself, that I intend to eat myself, and then having my spouse grab it from in front of me, hold it aloft, and offer it to everyone else at the table without a word to me. It's possible that some people arrange their relationships this way, but it still strikes me as very very unusual.

This, and I'd be telling my partner he was buying me a new one so I could actually eat it.  >:D
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 06:56:52 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

I cannot imagine ordering an appetizer for myself, that I intend to eat myself, and then having my spouse grab it from in front of me, hold it aloft, and offer it to everyone else at the table without a word to me. It's possible that some people arrange their relationships this way, but it still strikes me as very very unusual.

And since the girl look surprised and a little upset, I would assume it was *not* a general rule.

That is OP's interpretation of how she looked.  We don't know whether the girl intended to share or not.  I have never ordered an app plus meal in my life without intending to share.  I doubt I am alone in that.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 06:59:23 PM
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   We've sat and waited for everyone to be served before digging in on a few occasions.  Perhaps the mother wanted to share for this reason.  Certainly I would offer to share my appetizer if I was digging in everyone else is waiting.  Usually people decline, but I don't want to be munching away without at least offering.

If you wait to eat an appetizer until all of the entrees are served, in many restaurants the appetizer would be cold and less pleasant by then. Not to mention that you now have two plates of food you'd be trying to work through as fast as everyone else worked through the entree only, otherwise you'd hold the group up at the end. That's wildly impractical. There's a reason servers typically bring appetizers before entrees.

And when I eat, I think of all the components of the meal as being 'my meal'. My drink, my appetizer, my salad, my desert. It's all part of 'my dinner'.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 06:59:41 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

I cannot imagine ordering an appetizer for myself, that I intend to eat myself, and then having my spouse grab it from in front of me, hold it aloft, and offer it to everyone else at the table without a word to me. It's possible that some people arrange their relationships this way, but it still strikes me as very very unusual.

And since the girl look surprised and a little upset, I would assume it was *not* a general rule.

That is OP's interpretation of how she looked.  We don't know whether the girl intended to share or not.  I have never ordered an app plus meal in my life without intending to share.  I doubt I am alone in that.

Never in your life? I believe you, but I find that unusual. Most people I know sometimes get an app and a meal, sometimes get an app to share and a meal for themselves, and sometimes an app as a meal. Oh, and sometimes a couple might get an app to share between the two of them but not with the rest of the table. It's enough of a jumble that I'd never assume it was for me unless the person offered. The person who had ordered it, not another member of their party purporting to speak for them.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 21, 2013, 07:01:17 PM
Might be an interesting assumption based on my own experiences as a teen, but I wonder if the mother disapproved of how much food her daughter ordered, despite the fact the girl had clearly done a good amount of physical effort to justify the calories, and decided she'd reduce the amount of food her child had by offering it to others.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: kherbert05 on February 21, 2013, 07:02:00 PM
In my family appitizers were always for the whole table. Something like cheese sticks my parents would have ordered enough for the whole table even in a seperate check situation.


That said - the after swim practice thing really swings it for me. The adults shouldn't have accepted if they knew. The kid was probably famished. I remember going out to eat after Sis's swim meets. My parents would have sis order some type of salad with eggs/meat/cheese even before we gave our drink orders and added please bring that as soon as possible. Sis would eat that salad  before we even got our first course, then would eat a full meal. Normally that would be unacceptable due to the wait till everyone is served rule being important to our parents. Sister needing to eat after that much exercise was an one of a few exceptions to the rule.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 07:02:37 PM
Yvaine, I think this sentence actually adressed everything you asked about.

I have never ordered an app plus meal in my life without intending to share.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 07:03:22 PM
Might be an interesting assumption based on my own experiences as a teen, but I wonder if the mother disapproved of how much food her daughter ordered, despite the fact the girl had clearly done a good amount of physical effort to justify the calories, and decided she'd reduce the amount of food her child had by offering it to others.

Quite possibly. I got some of that type of grief at that age--my appetite shot through the roof due to puberty, and though I was actually quite a skinny kid, my dad interpreted my increased appetite as greed.

Yvaine, I think this sentence actually adressed everything you asked about.

I have never ordered an app plus meal in my life without intending to share.

Sharnita, I read your post the first time and was responding specifically to that sentence. I said I believed you but that it's unusual.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 07:04:47 PM
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

I cannot imagine ordering an appetizer for myself, that I intend to eat myself, and then having my spouse grab it from in front of me, hold it aloft, and offer it to everyone else at the table without a word to me. It's possible that some people arrange their relationships this way, but it still strikes me as very very unusual.

And since the girl look surprised and a little upset, I would assume it was *not* a general rule.

That is OP's interpretation of how she looked.  We don't know whether the girl intended to share or not.  I have never ordered an app plus meal in my life without intending to share.  I doubt I am alone in that.

This is a bit like a poster saying "I overheard Bob call his friend Mary a little witch the other day. Mary looked surprised and hurt. I think Bob was rude." And someone responding "That's just your interpretation of how Mary looked. They are friends, he probably calls her that as a pet name and she doesn't mind."

And while there may be many people who order appetizers with the intention of sharing them for the table, I think there are far fewer people who would be totally okay without *someone else* snatching their food away from them and *offering it for them*. Maybe you're totally cool with other people just taking your food without asking you. Most people aren't.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 07:06:48 PM
And while there may be many people who order appetizers with the intention of sharing them for the table, I think there are far fewer people who would be totally okay without *someone else* snatching their food away from them and *offering it for them*. Maybe you're totally cool with other people just taking your food without asking you. Most people aren't.

This is really the crux of it. Whatever one's feelings about sharing food, it's not up to someone else to decide you'll share it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: acicularis on February 21, 2013, 07:23:26 PM
This is really the crux of it. Whatever one's feelings about sharing food, it's not up to someone else to decide you'll share it.

I agree. It's not really "sharing" if someone takes it from you.

When I was a kid and we were at a restaurant, I hated it when my mother would suddenly plunge her fork into my food. If I protested, her response was "You can share." Uh, that wasn't sharing, that was stealing.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 21, 2013, 08:03:39 PM
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

Is this only because she's a minor? I don't think every appetizer is automatically "for the table" unless something is actually said. There's no way I'd feel entitled to a friend's appetizer if it looked like she was ordering it as a complement to her meal rather than as a shared dish, and that would extend to a friend's kid too.

At what point did I imply the app was "for the table" or that the OP or anyone else was "entitled?"  The mother offered.  I don't see this as rude, or the OP accepting a cheese stick as rude either.  She declined.  Totally fine.  If the OP or other table guest just dived in on someone else's app, that is an entirely different story.

My family generally order appetizers to share.  If we're working on separate tickets, one group buys one, the other group buys one, and it's a free-for-all after that. 

I have no idea what the typical norm is for this family or what their thoughts are on sharing an appetizer.     

I think it's polite to offer, not necessary, not rude to not offer.  In this case, mom offered.  Agreed that the other table guest could have ordered appetizers too if they really wanted to and could have declined the offer. 

Share an app, not share an app, totally circumstantial.

I didn't even consider the soup/salad situation, but usually those are pretty automatic, are they not? Everybody grab a fork, dig in!  ;D 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 21, 2013, 08:05:42 PM
In my family, DD would have been rude.

DS can order whatever meal he wants when we go out, but if he orders apps, they are to share. Unless, of course, he orders them as his meal.

If DS ordered apps and digs in when they get to the table,  I would have assumed he forgot the rule and forgot his manners.

There have been plenty of times where he gets the app all to himself for whatever reason, so I do understand how he might forget that we have that rule.

Even without the rule though, if one person at the table has food while the rest don't, it's only polite to wait for every to get their food(entree) or offer some of yours(apps).
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: JenJay on February 21, 2013, 08:08:00 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table. Maybe the other Mom's family is like mine? I'm not suggesting it's wrong not to share, just that they always have been at every meal I've been to (including with my parents, DH's parents, friends, etc.). If someone else has ordered and is paying for the dish I will take a small piece if there is plenty (and I like whatever it is) otherwise I would decline.

I have a 12yo DD and I could see her thinking "Yay, Mom doesn't want any, that means all 8 for me!" and then, if I offered them around, looking upset like "Nooo! My mozz sticks!"  ;D. I wouldn't consider them hers, they'd be ours, even if I wasn't having any. I'd make sure I provided her enough to eat even if that meant ordering an additional app or a dessert if she finished her meal and was still hungry.

That said I would never ask her to share something that was a single serving - her entree, sides, drink, dessert, etc. I will ask my kids for a bite but they're allowed to say no. They'd just better not whine if Mom declines to share, too.  ;)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 08:11:16 PM
Those last two examples are pretty close to how our family operated and what I would have expected as a kid.  I wouldn't assume all families did but I would not assume they didn't.  And if I was truly worried a kid might go hungry I guess I'd order a second app for the table that the child could share if she chose. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 08:12:31 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table.

I'll generally offer a bit of mine if other people don't have any food yet, or offer to trade if they do have apps, but that only applies to ones that are "mine." (i.e. I wouldn't offer my partner's app unless I knew his plans for it.) And if I am given a piece of anyone's appetizer without having anything to trade for it, I will assume I should help pay for it. I've been known to decline the nibble if I know I can't afford a "share" in it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: doodlemor on February 21, 2013, 08:13:20 PM
unkind

That is the pertinent word here.  If the mother continues to push boundaries like this, there is likely to be a difficult adolesence for this girl.

If others wanted appetizers, they could have ordered some for themselves.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 21, 2013, 08:16:48 PM
I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   .

If you wait to eat an appetizer until all of the entrees are served, in many restaurants the appetizer would be cold and less pleasant by then.

That thought of waiting was about the entree, not the appetizer.  Of course you eat the appetizer.  That's what it's for. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 21, 2013, 08:17:31 PM
unkind

That is the pertinent word here.  If the mother continues to push boundaries like this, there is likely to be a difficult adolesence for this girl.

If others wanted appetizers, they could have ordered some for themselves.

Unkind? The mother is treating her daughter to a meal at a restaurant. Letting her chose her meal and letting her also pick an appetizer. I think expecting her to share the appetizer that her mother paid for is not unkind.

If that is the case, then my parents were monsters because I hardly ever got to eat in restaurants when I was 12.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 21, 2013, 08:22:03 PM
Do you think the mother should have ordered for a 12 year old? Letting her choose her own food is pretty basic at that age.

I think the telling part is that the mother asked, "Does anyone want any of Daughter's apps?" Not "Here, let's put these in the centre for everyone to share." She was giving away someone else's food.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 08:28:54 PM
Do you think the mother should have ordered for a 12 year old? Letting her choose her own food is pretty basic at that age.

I think the telling part is that the mother asked, "Does anyone want any of Daughter's apps?" Not "Here, let's put these in the centre for everyone to share." She was giving away someone else's food.

And that the daughter was surprised. If it's a rule that apps are for everybody, the kid should not be surprised by it. You talk about these things before you even get to the restaurant, rather than surprising the kid and roping non-family members into an intrafamily power struggle about what the kid should be ordering. I remember occasions when our parents told us what items from the menu we could choose from. I remember that if I wanted something else, I had to ask and might be told no. Because it was a rule and it had been communicated.

As an outsider, I don't want to be roped into participating in a child's chastisement, which is what this feels like, whether the chastisement was for ordering too much monetarily or too much calorically, or for not automatically offering to share.

The kid was surprised, so if this was a rule, it was badly communicated. And I have to say, it sounds like the kid behaved pretty well. She only had a moment of letting her disappointment show, and didn't blow up or say anything rude.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 21, 2013, 08:29:06 PM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

So unless we hear something from the mom herself, I can't say the mom was rude in the least - we don't know the rules of their family regarding eating out, appetizers, etc. It is not rude for a parent to reinforce their rules about shared meals and graciousness regardless of a 12 year old pouting about said enforcement.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: JenJay on February 21, 2013, 08:33:51 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table.

I'll generally offer a bit of mine if other people don't have any food yet, or offer to trade if they do have apps, but that only applies to ones that are "mine." (i.e. I wouldn't offer my partner's app unless I knew his plans for it.) And if I am given a piece of anyone's appetizer without having anything to trade for it, I will assume I should help pay for it. I've been known to decline the nibble if I know I can't afford a "share" in it.

I think that's where the divide is, how we all define whose app is it.

In our family DH and I wouldn't have separate apps. We'd agree on which one sounded good and order it to share. If the kids are with us we'd get two orders or we'd all agree one two different apps and share them.

In a family where the custom is that the app is only for the person who ordered it I do think anyone else would be rude to offer it around. I will occasionally order an app as my meal and then it is mine but I'd ask that it be served along with everyone else's meal so there was no confusion.

Do you think the mother should have ordered for a 12 year old? Letting her choose her own food is pretty basic at that age.

I think the telling part is that the mother asked, "Does anyone want any of Daughter's apps?" Not "Here, let's put these in the centre for everyone to share." She was giving away someone else's food.

I could see myself referring to them as "DD's apps" if it was something I didn't like but I was letting her splurge, either because it was a special treat to go to lunch or because she was extra hungry. I wouldn't be thinking of them as hers in the same way that her entree and drink are hers.

My DD wouldn't have to run her entree by me but she would have to ask if she could get an app, soda or dessert. She would order for herself after I'd okayed it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 08:35:49 PM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

So unless we hear something from the mom herself, I can't say the mom was rude in the least - we don't know the rules of their family regarding eating out, appetizers, etc. It is not rude for a parent to reinforce their rules about shared meals and graciousness regardless of a 12 year old pouting about said enforcement.

In my family, we would not be in trouble.  We were also taught it's rude to take something offered without offering something back.  So was the other lady rude not to order an additional appetizer and offer some to the mother and daughter?  No, because every family is different.

Like others, I feel the surprised look means sharing is not the rule in their family.  And where did it say the girl was pouting?  She gave a surprised and a little hurt look and kept silent.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 08:36:06 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table.

I'll generally offer a bit of mine if other people don't have any food yet, or offer to trade if they do have apps, but that only applies to ones that are "mine." (i.e. I wouldn't offer my partner's app unless I knew his plans for it.) And if I am given a piece of anyone's appetizer without having anything to trade for it, I will assume I should help pay for it. I've been known to decline the nibble if I know I can't afford a "share" in it.

I think that's where the divide is, how we all define whose app is it.

In our family DH and I wouldn't have separate apps. We'd agree on which one sounded good and order it to share. If the kids are with us we'd get two orders or we'd all agree one two different apps and share them.

In a family where the custom is that the app is only for the person who ordered it I do think anyone else would be rude to offer it around. I will occasionally order an app as my meal and then it is mine but I'd ask that it be served along with everyone else's meal so there was no confusion.

A lot of times with my SO, we do get something to split. But with a larger group, I might just pick something that looks particularly good to me, and maybe other people will agree to also get apps and we'll trade around. Basically, there's so much variation that I wouldn't want to assume, if I were the outsider to the family.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 21, 2013, 08:39:58 PM
I think the time for the mother and daughter to discuss the appetizer and who it was for was when she ordered them.  My oldest is going to be 12 soon and when we go out, appetizers are to be shared, it's just how we do it.  If he ordered an appetizer and he made it clear he expected it to be just for us, I'd say "Either you get it to share or you don't get it at all." before the appetizer comes.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 21, 2013, 08:40:56 PM
Do you think the mother should have ordered for a 12 year old? Letting her choose her own food is pretty basic at that age.

I think the telling part is that the mother asked, "Does anyone want any of Daughter's apps?" Not "Here, let's put these in the centre for everyone to share." She was giving away someone else's food.

And that the daughter was surprised. If it's a rule that apps are for everybody, the kid should not be surprised by it. You talk about these things before you even get to the restaurant, rather than surprising the kid and roping non-family members into an intrafamily power struggle about what the kid should be ordering. I remember occasions when our parents told us what items from the menu we could choose from. I remember that if I wanted something else, I had to ask and might be told no. Because it was a rule and it had been communicated.

As an outsider, I don't want to be roped into participating in a child's chastisement, which is what this feels like, whether the chastisement was for ordering too much monetarily or too much calorically, or for not automatically offering to share.

The kid was surprised, so if this was a rule, it was badly communicated. And I have to say, it sounds like the kid behaved pretty well. She only had a moment of letting her disappointment show, and didn't blow up or say anything rude.

We don't know that the daughter was surprised, just that she looked surprised. If she had forgotten about the rule up until the moment that her mother offered everyone, that could also explain that look of surprise.

Also, if its not something that comes up often, it would be very easy for the daughter to forget.

I know all kids aren't the same, but my DS is 12 and I am always surprised by the things that "surprise" him.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 08:43:52 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table.

I'll generally offer a bit of mine if other people don't have any food yet, or offer to trade if they do have apps, but that only applies to ones that are "mine." (i.e. I wouldn't offer my partner's app unless I knew his plans for it.) And if I am given a piece of anyone's appetizer without having anything to trade for it, I will assume I should help pay for it. I've been known to decline the nibble if I know I can't afford a "share" in it.

I think that's where the divide is, how we all define whose app is it.

In our family DH and I wouldn't have separate apps. We'd agree on which one sounded good and order it to share. If the kids are with us we'd get two orders or we'd all agree one two different apps and share them.

In a family where the custom is that the app is only for the person who ordered it I do think anyone else would be rude to offer it around. I will occasionally order an app as my meal and then it is mine but I'd ask that it be served along with everyone else's meal so there was no confusion.

A lot of times with my SO, we do get something to split. But with a larger group, I might just pick something that looks particularly good to me, and maybe other people will agree to also get apps and we'll trade around. Basically, there's so much variation that I wouldn't want to assume, if I were the outsider to the family.

I often order an app to share with my SO. But we *discuss* that before we order, and agree to one that sounds good to both of us, and order it with the full understanding that we are sharing it. That doesn't sound at all like what happened here. But even in the prior-agreement situation, if my SO and I agreed to a particular appetizer between the two of us in the middle of a larger group meal, and he took the plate and offered it to the group without asking me, I'd be surprised and seriously ticked.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 08:46:19 PM
This is really interesting to me! In our family of 5 appetizers are always shared. If there aren't enough to go around we'd order two plates. It would never occur to me not to offer a piece of our app to the other people at the table.

I'll generally offer a bit of mine if other people don't have any food yet, or offer to trade if they do have apps, but that only applies to ones that are "mine." (i.e. I wouldn't offer my partner's app unless I knew his plans for it.) And if I am given a piece of anyone's appetizer without having anything to trade for it, I will assume I should help pay for it. I've been known to decline the nibble if I know I can't afford a "share" in it.

I think that's where the divide is, how we all define whose app is it.

In our family DH and I wouldn't have separate apps. We'd agree on which one sounded good and order it to share. If the kids are with us we'd get two orders or we'd all agree one two different apps and share them.

In a family where the custom is that the app is only for the person who ordered it I do think anyone else would be rude to offer it around. I will occasionally order an app as my meal and then it is mine but I'd ask that it be served along with everyone else's meal so there was no confusion.

A lot of times with my SO, we do get something to split. But with a larger group, I might just pick something that looks particularly good to me, and maybe other people will agree to also get apps and we'll trade around. Basically, there's so much variation that I wouldn't want to assume, if I were the outsider to the family.

I often order an app to share with my SO. But we *discuss* that before we order, and agree to one that sounds good to both of us, and order it with the full understanding that we are sharing it. That doesn't sound at all like what happened here. But even in the prior-agreement situation, if my SO and I agreed to a particular appetizer between the two of us in the middle of a larger group meal, and he took the plate and offered it to the group without asking me, I'd be surprised and seriously ticked.

Totally agree. And if I were another friend at this meal, and I could see from your body language that you weren't cool with your SO offering it around, I wouldn't want to take any.

Because that's really what this is about--PPs, your families may have all sorts of rules and that's fine--but I think it best to err on the side of consideration when you're the non-family member witnessing the situation.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on February 21, 2013, 08:46:35 PM
I'm torn on this. If the mother had offered up part of the daughter's entree (e.g. french fries), I would absolutely agree that this was not ok. For an appetizer it's not so clear-cut to me for several reasons.

1) Like some PPs, I have always seen appetizers as something to be shared. If that's the norm in this family, then the mother may have assumed that the daughter knew the appetizer would be shared. Often I've seen someone order an appetizer and offer it to the whole table once it came out. Sometimes I've seen it shared within a particular subgroup (e.g., within a family or among a few people planning to split the cost). In the latter case, it usually was a collective decision by the subgroup. However, I don't recall having ever dined with someone who ordered an appetizer to consume completely by themselves, unless they were ordering it in lieu of an entree. I've seen people order, e.g., an appetizer and a salad to serve as their meal. They usually specified that they were ordering the appetizer as their meal and had it brought out with the other entrees. In the OP's case, it was apparently ordered like a normal appetizer.

2) I wonder whether the daughter was actually "authorized" to order an appetizer for her personal consumption. If an appetizer (especially a personal appetizer) is not something the daughter has blanket permission to order, then the mother may have decided to avoid publicly contradicting the order and instead treat it as if Daughter was ordering the appetizer on behalf of their family (making it mom's prerogative as parent and payer-of-the-bill to offer it around). When I was a kid, meals out were generally an entree and a drink (soda, water, milk, etc.) for each person. Occasionally an appetizer (for the entire table) or dessert, at the discretion of whoever was paying. My parents never really restricted what we kids could order as our entrees--we could decide whether we wanted a large entree or a small one; we were welcome to add on the salad bar, etc. But I would never have ordered an appetizer or a dessert without discussing it with them first. I still wouldn't if the meal was their treat. IME, those simply aren't part of a meal out unless the person paying the bill specifically offers it.

I think it depends very much on the family rules/customs. If the daughter is typically allowed to order an appetizer for her own personal consumption as part of her meal, then I'd say it's rude to change the rules on her with no warning and start sharing her food around the table. But if that's not an established custom in their family, then I lean towards the parent paying the bill having a perfect right to insist on sharing the appetizer.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 21, 2013, 09:14:34 PM
If, in your (general your) family, it is known that if you order an appetizer, it must be shared, that is fine,  But if you are dining with a mixed group and no one else brings up sharing an appetizer, I think it is rude for someone to start offering the food you ordered , that is sitting in front of them instead of the middle of the table, to others at the table. My family does not eat out often, but when we do (myself, DD 17 DD 6), they know they can order what they want (knowing they have to eat it all), and if my older DD wants to share an appetizer with me, fine, if not we get our own, altho sometimes the 6 yr old will take a bite.  Not that anyone else's way is wrong, it is the family rule, but I feel if this was the way the family did it, Mom should have said "My DD wants to order an appetizer for us all to share".  That way, everyone knows how it is going to be without the confusion over if it is all hers or a shared item.   
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 09:17:38 PM
I don't really get "where the food is" as a valid point.  I have seen apps ordered explicitly to be shared and placed only in front of one person.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 09:36:11 PM
I don't really get "where the food is" as a valid point.  I have seen apps ordered explicitly to be shared and placed only in front of one person.

In which case it would be the *person who ordered it's* responsibility to move that plate to the center of the table so as to indicate to the rest of the group that the app was meant for group consumption.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: misha412 on February 21, 2013, 10:13:29 PM
My take is that the mother was rude.

She let the child order the appetizer, apparently without discussion of whether it was allowable or if it was going to be for everyone. She then proceeded to take the appetizer specifically ordered by her daughter and offered it to everyone without even speaking to her daughter about it.

Just because the child is 12 does not mean she should not be accorded a modicum of respect. If the mother did not want her to have the appetizer, stopping her from ordering it in the first place was the way to go. If the mother did not expect her to order it, but saw that she did, the mother should have spoke with the girl about the intentions of the appetizer (sharing or only for girl). When the order arrived, the mother could have quietly asked the girl if she intended to share. Any of those scenarios would have been treating her daughter with respect.

If I were the OP, I would have declined the offer. The girl was obviously ordering for herself.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: sweetonsno on February 22, 2013, 12:44:35 AM
Based on the information given, I think the mom was rude. What has essentially happened is that Mom gave her daughter a gift and then took part of it away to give to someone else. Over and over on eHell we see that once you give a gift, it is no longer yours. The recipient can do with it what he or she wishes.

Yes, in some families, appetizers are automatically supposed to be shared or offered. However, we have no evidence that is the case here.

We have a young woman ordering an appetizer without comment from her mom (who is presumably paying), then we have mom physically taking the appetizer away (again without comment) to offer it to someone else. If Mom wanted the appetizer to be shared, she should have clued her DD in either when she ordered ("Cheese sticks sound great. Let's share them.") or quietly when DD started digging in ("Don't forget to offer them to our friends, DD.")
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: PeterM on February 22, 2013, 01:16:07 AM
We don't know that the daughter was surprised, just that she looked surprised.

The only way that sentence makes sense to me is if you're accusing the daughter of feigning surprise. Which doesn't make sense to me.

Quote
If she had forgotten about the rule up until the moment that her mother offered everyone, that could also explain that look of surprise.

If she had forgotten some rule that we have absolutely no evidence exists in their family, she would've been surprised by her mother's actions. She wouldn't have just looked surprised.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: PeterM on February 22, 2013, 01:26:08 AM
Is this only because she's a minor? I don't think every appetizer is automatically "for the table" unless something is actually said. There's no way I'd feel entitled to a friend's appetizer if it looked like she was ordering it as a complement to her meal rather than as a shared dish, and that would extend to a friend's kid too.

At what point did I imply the app was "for the table" or that the OP or anyone else was "entitled?"  The mother offered

It wasn't the mother's food to offer, unless you think the fact she was paying for it makes it so. In which case, I have to ask if you'd apply that rule to any instance where someone is paying for another's food. If the daughter was ten or fifteen years older, for example, would you be okay with the mother offering her appetizer to the table?

Or what if it's a work outing, with the boss or company paying? Can the boss offer up an employee's appetizer to the table?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Perfect Circle on February 22, 2013, 02:59:45 AM
It would never cross my mind to share my child's food with anyone if she had chosen her meal and was eating it happily. I am happy to order a shared appetiser or sides but only if it has been discussed prior to the order.  As far as I am concerned it's my child's food, she is entitled to eat what she ordered and I don't have the right to go and hand some of it over to someone else.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 22, 2013, 03:32:43 AM
Based on the information given, I think the mom was rude. What has essentially happened is that Mom gave her daughter a gift and then took part of it away to give to someone else. Over and over on eHell we see that once you give a gift, it is no longer yours. The recipient can do with it what he or she wishes.

Yes, in some families, appetizers are automatically supposed to be shared or offered. However, we have no evidence that is the case here.

We have a young woman ordering an appetizer without comment from her mom (who is presumably paying), then we have mom physically taking the appetizer away (again without comment) to offer it to someone else. If Mom wanted the appetizer to be shared, she should have clued her DD in either when she ordered ("Cheese sticks sound great. Let's share them.") or quietly when DD started digging in ("Don't forget to offer them to our friends, DD.")

I completely agree with this. Even if it was standard in the family, the mother should have allowed DD to offer them up for sharing. What she did was incredibly rude.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 22, 2013, 05:44:27 AM
Is this only because she's a minor? I don't think every appetizer is automatically "for the table" unless something is actually said. There's no way I'd feel entitled to a friend's appetizer if it looked like she was ordering it as a complement to her meal rather than as a shared dish, and that would extend to a friend's kid too.

At what point did I imply the app was "for the table" or that the OP or anyone else was "entitled?"  The mother offered

It wasn't the mother's food to offer, unless you think the fact she was paying for it makes it so. In which case, I have to ask if you'd apply that rule to any instance where someone is paying for another's food. If the daughter was ten or fifteen years older, for example, would you be okay with the mother offering her appetizer to the table?

Or what if it's a work outing, with the boss or company paying? Can the boss offer up an employee's appetizer to the table?

I never said that the appetizer was automatically "for the table" or that anyone was "entitled" to it.  That is where I take exception. Whether or not the mother was out of line is in question, but at no point did I say the other table guests were "entitled" to the appetizer.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: FlyingBaconMouse on February 22, 2013, 07:27:16 AM
My take is that the mother was rude.

She let the child order the appetizer, apparently without discussion of whether it was allowable or if it was going to be for everyone. She then proceeded to take the appetizer specifically ordered by her daughter and offered it to everyone without even speaking to her daughter about it.

Just because the child is 12 does not mean she should not be accorded a modicum of respect. If the mother did not want her to have the appetizer, stopping her from ordering it in the first place was the way to go. If the mother did not expect her to order it, but saw that she did, the mother should have spoke with the girl about the intentions of the appetizer (sharing or only for girl). When the order arrived, the mother could have quietly asked the girl if she intended to share. Any of those scenarios would have been treating her daughter with respect.

If I were the OP, I would have declined the offer. The girl was obviously ordering for herself.

That's my take on it. If it was a house rule, then why didn't the mom say something when they ordered, like "Remember, those will be for the whole table"—especially if the kid just came from practice and is likely to be hungry enough to forget that?

When I was out with family as a child, I saw that kind of conversation happen all the time. It would simultaneously remind the child to share and let the other diners know it was okay to share the app.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: NyaChan on February 22, 2013, 07:33:51 AM
If I ordered an appetizer with my meal and no one else did, I would feel somewhat obligated to at least offer it around, especially if I had food in front of me and no one else did.  I don't think the mom did anything wrong here.  I think this is one of those cases where it would be rude for a non-parental person to do it, but IMO being a parent comes with some leeway in terms what is and isn't rude to do with your child.  There are any number of reasons why the mom might have offered it around - perceived need to be polite, maybe the kid wasn't supposed to eat so much cheese, maybe mom had reason for not wanting her to eat so much at that point.  It isn't as if the mom pried the food from her daughter's hands as she protested.  Not a big deal.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: weeblewobble on February 22, 2013, 08:46:52 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 22, 2013, 09:00:48 AM
Anyone else remembering that display of everything Michael Phelps ate? :D Obviously, he was someone at the very highest level and so he's probably an extreme case, but swimming makes you HUNGRY.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 09:02:17 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

There is no indication that mom did not understand that. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: weeblewobble on February 22, 2013, 09:06:32 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

There is no indication that mom did not understand that.

Offering the daughter's food to other people after daughter had been to swim practice and was likely very hungry/in need of calories is an indication that the mother didn't understand that.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 09:14:42 AM
I guess this is more a difference in parenting styles v rude.  I personally think it is rude to allow your child to order food, then take it away for others (who are adults and could have ordered their own appetizers).  But we are seeing that it is the norm in some families that you are required to share, kind of like you are giving the child the pleasure of ordering for the family.  So I am of the opinion this isn't right/wrong, but a parental choice, not one I would make, and I would raise my eyebrow at if I was at the table, but others do accept this.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 09:21:01 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 09:23:08 AM
And while there may be many people who order appetizers with the intention of sharing them for the table, I think there are far fewer people who would be totally okay without *someone else* snatching their food away from them and *offering it for them*. Maybe you're totally cool with other people just taking your food without asking you. Most people aren't.

This is really the crux of it. Whatever one's feelings about sharing food, it's not up to someone else to decide you'll share it.

Agreed. Sharing is a voluntary action, not someone else taking the plate away from the person who's eating.

And this is coming from someone who habitually shares her appetizers.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 09:24:24 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: delabela on February 22, 2013, 09:31:55 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

There is no indication that mom did not understand that.

Offering the daughter's food to other people after daughter had been to swim practice and was likely very hungry/in need of calories is an indication that the mother didn't understand that.

Well, in all fairness, it's not like she tried to give the child's entree away.  She's clearly not trying to deny her child food after swim practice.

I would never, ever order an app without offering to share with the others at the table (unless it was something I knew they didn't/couldn't eat).  On the other hand, if my child ordered an app, we would discuss sharing it before they ordered it or before it arrived.  So I can kind of see that maybe mom went into automatic mode when she offered the food, but it does seem a bit rude not to ask the child if other people can have a taste. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: perpetua on February 22, 2013, 09:34:38 AM
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: weeblewobble on February 22, 2013, 09:34:48 AM
I think the "without asking" thing is what keeps sticking in my proverbial craw.  If she had just asked her daughter if it was OK to offer the food to others, I would be willing to give the mother a pass.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Christabeldreams on February 22, 2013, 09:35:10 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it.

OP here, and I'd like to point out that the girl had permission to order an appetizer. That was part of why I found the mother's actions so confusing.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 09:36:25 AM
If people intend to share apps, it is rude to let only one person order some, then eat theirs, without any prior discussion.

So, the rest of the table was rude if this was a "sharing" thing. If it wasn't, then the mother was rude.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 09:39:31 AM
Perpetua, apps in the US tend to be big.  I would imagine a cheese stick appetizer coming with at least 6 cheese sticks, maybe 8.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: onyonryngs on February 22, 2013, 09:39:50 AM
When I would ask my mom if I could order an appetizer, I assumed it was going to be shared.  I think that a lot of assumption is being based off a look.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 09:40:27 AM
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

Appetizers in the US are generally big enough to constitute a full, if somewhat small meal.  Something like cheese sticks would typically be 5-8 sticks (cheese, breaded then fried), 2-3 inches long x as fat as an adult finger, served with a small bowl of dipping sauce like marinara.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 22, 2013, 09:40:37 AM
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

It depends on the restaurant, and in some cases on the genre of restaurant. A lot of "pub and grill" type places have apps that are enormous--most people are going to share or else have it as their meal. Other places have smaller nibbles that you can eat and then still have an appetite for your dinner. Or in some cases there's really only enough for two people, but not four or five.

OP here, and I'd like to point out that the girl had permission to order an appetizer. That was part of why I found the mother's actions so confusing.

With this confirmation, I'm even more sure of my position. This wasn't rulebreaking by the daughter--it was the mom either appropriating her kid's food or not being clear enough if she meant "you can order it to share."
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 09:49:48 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it.

OP here, and I'd like to point out that the girl had permission to order an appetizer. That was part of why I found the mother's actions so confusing.

Permission to order it explicitly for herself?
Because it would still stand if the family rule is "appetizers are shared" then the girl asking if she could order them might translate to "can I order cheese sticks [for the table]?" in that family.  If that's what the mom always taught her, then that's what the mom is going to hear.

When I go out to eat with my DH he often asks "hey mind if I order [an appetizer]?" or "should I order [an appetizer]?"  He doesn't need my permission.  He's asking because its understood that if he orders it, he expects I'll eat at least some it and he's trying to gauge how much food to have brought out for our meal. Its just an absolute understanding that appetizers are shared to the point where it wouldn't occur to him to order just for himself (or if I ordered an appetizer that I wouldn't be sharing).


(This assumes a casual restaurant, in a fancy place where everyone gets 3 or 4 courses as the standard and things aren't sized or presented to be shared, we wouldn't expect to share... but that's not really the kind of restaurant that serves cheese sticks.)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 22, 2013, 09:51:03 AM
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 09:51:37 AM
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

I really don't see eating an appetizer when no one else ordered one as "eating in front of people who don't have food yet". I feel like that rule is per course. So you shouldn't eat your appetizer until all appetizer are there, but it is okay to eat it now and not wait until the entree is there if not everyone ate an appetizer. If someone is only ordering dessert does that mean you can't eat your meal until their dessert is there because otherwise you are eating in front of people who don't have food yet?

I guess I am in a different camp from the majority of people on this thread. When I was growing up we were never required to share appetizers so would be very surprised that people at the table expected to share with mine. If they wanted one they should have ordered their own.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 22, 2013, 09:56:08 AM
(This assumes a casual restaurant, in a fancy place where everyone gets 3 or 4 courses as the standard and things aren't sized or presented to be shared, we wouldn't expect to share... but that's not really the kind of restaurant that serves cheese sticks.)

It doesn't really have to be fancy for the app to be small, though. The casual Thai place I ate at a few nights ago has small apps. There's just about enough for two people to each have some of the app and then eat a full dinner afterward. And that's just the example on the top of my head.

I've generally seen larger servings at cheese-stick-type places, but I wouldn't want to presume my area is representative of all restaurants everywhere, and besides, I think it's getting off topic to critique the girl's caloric intake. I mean, it's not like I'm obligated to hand over half my dinner to my dining companion if I order something that's more calories than the USDA recommends for my weight and activity level.  ;D Manners and nutrition are two different things.

(And I am sure the caloric needs of a competitive swimmer are far greater than my own anyway.)

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 10:05:36 AM
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it. 

I don't get from the OP that this girl was trying to 'take' anything.  If she was not allowed to order or have an appetizer, then Mom could have spoken up then and told her no.  She allowed her to order food then took the plate, without a word to the daughter and tried to pass it to others.  And I find that disrespectful.  When waitstaff comes to get drink orders to get you started, they will ask if anyone is having an appetizer.  Why should anyone at the table be punished for ordering because they were hungry and the others weren't by having their food taken and passed around.  I don't care how big or small an appetizer is, if you order one, IMO it is yours to eat or share.  If the mom knows, say daughter will eat an appetizer and not her meal thus wasting food, then the mother tells the daughter beforehand what the expectations of the meal and ordering will be...not just arbitrarily offering the food she obviously had permission to order for herself to others.  I have had meals out with friends and family and some will order apps and some won't, some people will share, some won't and I don't consider the non sharers of the food they ordered to be rude.  It is theirs, they decided what to eat, and I don't care if it is a child or an adult, it is rude to take others food unless you have been offered by the person who is eating it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 22, 2013, 10:08:07 AM
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.

The "not eating what others eat" doesn't apply in a restaurant. Everybody else COULD have ordered an appetizer--they didn't want to. But they DID have the chance. They were offered the chance. You are not bound by  "social cues" of the others at the table when you are ordering and paying your own way.

That's like saying "there's chocolate cake on the table but no one else takes a slice. You do--therefore you are rude."

The only other time "rude to order more" applies is if someone is treating you. (it's not about separate checks; it's about whether you cover the entire cost of your own meal, which you can do w/ a shared check and a little math.) But if you want to spend a ton of money on appetizers and the lobster, and they want to eat a grilled cheese, you can go ahead and splurge. They had the OPPORTUNITY to order more / expensive food. Their choice doesn't bind you somehow.

And I agree w/ wolfie--you aren't required to refrain from eating your appetizer because other people don't have their entree.

Here in NYC, a cheese-stick appetizer is 5 to 6 cheese sticks. Regardless of how many people are at the table.

And in my experience (of shared and not-shared appetizers), the shared appetizers have ALWAYS been negotiated at the time of ordering.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 22, 2013, 10:10:59 AM
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.

The "not eating what others eat" doesn't apply in a restaurant. Everybody else COULD have ordered an appetizer--they didn't want to. But they DID have the chance. They were offered the chance. You are not bound by  "social cues" of the others at the table when you are ordering and paying your own way.

That's like saying "there's chocolate cake on the table but no one else takes a slice. You do--therefore you are rude."

The only other time "rude to order more" applies is if someone is treating you. (it's not about separate checks; it's about whether you cover the entire cost of your own meal, which you can do w/ a shared check and a little math.) But if you want to spend a ton of money on appetizers and the lobster, and they want to eat a grilled cheese, you can go ahead and splurge. They had the OPPORTUNITY to order more / expensive food. Their choice doesn't bind you somehow.

And I agree w/ wolfie--you aren't required to refrain from eating your appetizer because other people don't have their entree.

Here in NYC, a cheese-stick appetizer is 5 to 6 cheese sticks. Regardless of how many people are at the table.

And in my experience (of shared and not-shared appetizers), the shared appetizers have ALWAYS been negotiated at the time of ordering.

This. And while the kid was being "treated" (as far as we know. I suppose it's even possible she had her own money, like some of what people are discussing in the deli thread), according to the update, she was specifically given permission to order an appetizer along with her meal, so she was not going against the terms her mom originally set.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 10:19:50 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 10:28:31 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 22, 2013, 10:29:26 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

Same.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 10:32:25 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 10:39:10 AM
...If she was not allowed to order or have an appetizer, then Mom could have spoken up then and told her no....If the mom knows, say daughter will eat an appetizer and not her meal thus wasting food, then the mother tells the daughter beforehand what the expectations of the meal and ordering will be...not just arbitrarily offering the food she obviously had permission to order for herself to others...

A lot of posters keep bringing up that the mom should have said something beforehand.

Its the child's mother.  Surely they have had hundreds of thousands of conversations about food prior to this outing.  The mother very well could be operating under the impression that her daughter is old enough and smart enough to not need to be told one million and one times that she needs to share, that having been told so at every meal prior to this was sufficient prior warning of what the family's expectations are.

Not to pick on you inviteseller, as many have posted similar thoughts, but as an example didn't you just last week post a thread about your 17 year old daughter and her guest ordering their own food knowing full well you were cooking them dinner?  And when you asked your daughter about it - because you expected she should have known better from all your years of raising her - she basically shrugged and said she thought it wouldn't be a big deal?  You, in that thread, very clearly expressed that you didn't think your daughter should have had to been expressly told of the meal expectations in your family for that evening, as you felt the little you did say about it being taco night should have been clear enough based on the norms of your household for her to know what was expected. You expected your daughter to just know, without it being spelled out for her.

Without knowing what the expectations in that family are regarding appetizers, I don't think any of us can say the mother was rude. As many posters have pointed out, they come from families where sharing appetizers would be an unspoken expectation.

And considering its the OP's friend, and there didn't seem to be any other indications of lack of manners, I think we should assume the mom wasn't being rude, she was simply re-enforcing a family norm.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 22, 2013, 10:44:35 AM
The fact is we don't know this family's norm.  We can't assume the mother is rude, but we also can't assume the same about the daughter because maybe she never had to share before and she never got that talk for the millionth time.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 10:45:45 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.

If that is your rule then I would expect him to gently nudge you with a "hey can I have that" or something similar to remind you of the rule. but to just take a plate from in front of someone and offer it to others strikes me as boorish and controlling and I would be watching the relationship more closely to see if I should be offering any extra help. This would also go if the wife offered the husband's food.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 10:48:26 AM
And again, I think this boils down to a families way of doing things.  In my family, no one would ever  presume to pick up another's plate and start offering it around.  If you want an appetizer order your own, or discuss before hand if anyone wants to spit (which we do with the bigger appetizers).  And I have encountered people in my life who I had to quit going out with because in either the separate checks/split checks, would never order their own appetizer but assumed that anyone else's was up for grabs and help themselves when it has not been offered. 
WillyNilly, my DD's know their restaurant manners, but we still discuss ahead of time (usually on the way to the meal) who we are dining with, if it is someone treating us, the limits so not to look greedy or if it is a new eating experience, what kind of foods will be available.  My older DD is 17 so we usually don't have these discussions any more as she knows the usual dining experiences, but she will still ask questions, and because my younger DD is a horribly picky eater, we have discussions about what she is expected to eat to get to the dessert part (her favorite).  I have learned that assuming because we had this conversation 50 times before, doesn't mean they forget the 51st  ::) 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 10:53:23 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.

If that is your rule then I would expect him to gently nudge you with a "hey can I have that" or something similar to remind you of the rule. but to just take a plate from in front of someone and offer it to others strikes me as boorish and controlling and I would be watching the relationship more closely to see if I should be offering any extra help. This would also go if the wife offered the husband's food.

He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 22, 2013, 11:03:50 AM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.

If that is your rule then I would expect him to gently nudge you with a "hey can I have that" or something similar to remind you of the rule. but to just take a plate from in front of someone and offer it to others strikes me as boorish and controlling and I would be watching the relationship more closely to see if I should be offering any extra help. This would also go if the wife offered the husband's food.

He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If he just took some for himself, I wouldn't think twice about it - nor if he offered to others and you smiled and replied, "Oh yes! Please help youself." If you looked surprised and kept quiet, I, too, would be on the lookout for red flags.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 11:12:09 AM
But if your families rules is that appetizer = share, and my families rule is appetizer is yours to eat or share and we have a meal together and and my DD is the only one to get an appetizer, are we rude because she doesn't share because of your families rule?  This may be what happened at OP's meal.  There are basic rules of etiquette that all should follow, then there are family rules of acceptable behavior. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 22, 2013, 11:25:18 AM
I read the entire thread first and with your update I say the mother was disrespectful of her daughter.  I would think that was very Mommie Dearest of her.  If it set off your hinky meter, I'm sure it set off others'.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: FlyingBaconMouse on February 22, 2013, 11:30:18 AM
There are basic rules of etiquette that all should follow, then there are family rules of acceptable behavior.

That's one of the problems for me. There may or may not (I lean toward may, personally) be a communication problem between mother and daughter, but there's also a communication problem between the mother (and/or child) and the group if, instead of thinking of it as a fun night out, the OP is left wondering whether people were complicit in taking away a kid's food.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 11:35:28 AM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 11:37:43 AM
Agreed. Even if this was a long-standing family tradition, it's clear that not everyone follows it. Mother would, even in the best interpretation, have been much more gracious to have said, "Dear, may the rest of us share your cheesesticks?" That would have clarified that the child was in agreement as to the disposition of said refreshments. Even better, it would have encouraged the child to remember to offer for herself next time.

Even (especially?) in a family, basic courtesies, such as asking permission to take anything that can be referred to as "yours", should be followed.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 11:42:33 AM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 11:44:34 AM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.

Though, interestingly, the mother referred to the app as "Daughter's app", rather than saying "does anyone want some of the cheese sticks". That would indicate a nominal ownership understanding.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: rose red on February 22, 2013, 11:48:33 AM
Although I don't agree with the action, I don't see it as a red flag.  Just something that happens in life, especially with family.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 11:49:34 AM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.

Did you discuss it with the table beforehand? In my experience if the apps are for sharing we discuss it beforehand. Otherwise the apps are for the person who ordered it, unless that person asked if anyone wanted any. So it looks like we would have two very different culture clashes if the two of us ever ate dinner together!
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 22, 2013, 11:50:15 AM
instead of thinking of it as a fun night out, the OP is left wondering whether people were complicit in taking away a kid's food.

I really think this is exaggeration. The child was not going to go hungry. She presumably had a meal coming in addition to the appetizer. Whatever the opinion about the mom's offer, she was not taking food from her starving child's mouth.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 11:52:01 AM
Although I don't agree with the action, I don't see it as a red flag.  Just something that happens in life, especially with family.

As the person who said red flag it is only one in the case of a couple - I would then wonder what other control issues are in that relationship. But I wouldn't say/do anything - just pay closer attention. It could be that this is just one of those couple things that they are okay with and I wouldn't be. I would only say something if I noticed other signs.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Dalek on February 22, 2013, 11:53:12 AM
If there were 20 cheese sticks , the mom may have been worried some would go to waste. It that her DD would fill up and not be able to eat her meal.

The mom was wrong to get the rest of table involved in her parenting. If she wanted her DD eating the whole plate, she should have told her before she ordered.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Christabeldreams on February 22, 2013, 11:54:42 AM
If there were 20 cheese sticks , the mom may have been worried some would go to waste. It that her DD would fill up and not be able to eat her meal.

The mom was wrong to get the rest of table involved in her parenting. If she wanted her DD eating the whole plate, she should have told her before she ordered.

OP again, and as I should have stated in my first post, the appetizer was small, meant for one, maybe two people.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 11:56:26 AM
instead of thinking of it as a fun night out, the OP is left wondering whether people were complicit in taking away a kid's food.

I really think this is exaggeration. The child was not going to go hungry. She presumably had a meal ciming inaddition to the appetizer. Whatever the opinion about the mom's offer, she was not taking food from her starving child's mouth.

You miss the point. The moment was uncomfortable for the group because the group is left wondering if they were party to and involved in a bizarre and rude exchange between mother and child. If it was *not* a bizarre and rude exchange between mother and child, then the mother did a terrible job communicating *to the group* that what was happening was perfectly alright.

If the understanding between mother and child had always been that apps were shared, the mother should have prodded the daughter to share the app herself, or at the very least gone through the motions out loud of asking the daughter if she minded her app being shared. It would have involved the daughter in the 'sharing' in a way that signaled to the group that the daughter was in on it, either as a decision or as a rule.

Since the mother did not involve the daughter in any way, and the daughter's face betrayed surprised and possible hurt, those watching are left uncomfortably wondering what the heck is going on.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 11:59:24 AM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.

It's also a very different thing to assume that YOUR appetizer is not really yours, but rather the table's, and to assume that Joe's appetizer is not really Joe's, but rather the table's.

If you found yourself at a restaurant with a group of friends and Joe ordered himself an appetizer, which he began to eat without offering it to the table, would you just grab it for yourself from in front of him on the assumption it was meant for the table? I would think not.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 12:06:07 PM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.

If that is your rule then I would expect him to gently nudge you with a "hey can I have that" or something similar to remind you of the rule. but to just take a plate from in front of someone and offer it to others strikes me as boorish and controlling and I would be watching the relationship more closely to see if I should be offering any extra help. This would also go if the wife offered the husband's food.

Seriously. If a husband grabbed his wife's app and offered it to the table, I'd immediately look to her. If she indicated, by facial expression or otherwise, that she was fully supportive of the offer, I'd think it was a joint decision. But if she looked weirded out, surprised, or remotely upset, I'd assume he was being a jerk.

And if my SO and I had a perpetual understanding of 'apps are always shared with groups', and one day we were with a group and he seemed to be hogging the app he ordered, the most I would do would be nudge him and say softly, "want to put that in the middle?". I would never, in a million years, just grab it from in front of him and offer it myself when it looked like he wasn't going to. It feels incredibly disrespectful.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 22, 2013, 12:10:14 PM

Since the mother did not involve the daughter in any way, and the daughter's face betrayed surprised and possible hurt, those watching are left uncomfortably wondering what the heck is going on.

My daughter looks surprised/hurt/maybe even angry when I ask her to share toys with others, too. But she should still share. She isn't going without the toys, and she isn't going hungry, either.

Because this exchange involves food, it seems to strike a very deep, primal chord. But it is still just some cheese sticks. The girl is not going without food.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 12:10:24 PM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.

It's also a very different thing to assume that YOUR appetizer is not really yours, but rather the table's, and to assume that Joe's appetizer is not really Joe's, but rather the table's.

If you found yourself at a restaurant with a group of friends and Joe ordered himself an appetizer, which he began to eat without offering it to the table, would you just grab it for yourself from in front of him on the assumption it was meant for the table? I would think not.

As I said, I've never experienced someone ordering an app just for themselves.  I understand that other posters have had very different experiences than I have, but that doesn't change my experience. We don't know the appetizer dynamic for this family, we don't know why the mother offered the food, or why the daughter's expression changed. Maybe the mother was rude, maybe she was just following the usual family practice. We don't know. But in my family, with my kids and husband, this would not have been rude; it would have been expected. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Jones on February 22, 2013, 12:12:48 PM
I vote the mom was rude, particularly since the app was single person sized, and Mom acknowledged it wasn't hers by referring to it as her daughter's.

As a side note, I have never heard of a blanket "must share apps" rule before this thread.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 12:17:43 PM
He wouldn't have to ask if he could have some, he would already know that he could.

If the point is to remind you of the sharing rule I would much rather that he ask a question he already knew the answer to to prompt you to share, rather then act like your parent and just hand it out to other people. I feel that just taking someone's plate and passing it around without even discussing it with the person who ordered it is much much ruder and would consider it a red flag. Even if I knew that your rule was to share apps. I would be taken aback at that type of behavior.

I think the bolded is the sticking point. It's not my plate just because I was the one that ordered it.  It belongs to the table. I ordered it for the table.  I expect anyone at the table who wants some to take some.  I've honestly never eaten at a restaurant with a group where anyone ordered an appetizer just for themselves.  It's always been my experience that appetizers are for sharing and don't belong to any one person.

It's also a very different thing to assume that YOUR appetizer is not really yours, but rather the table's, and to assume that Joe's appetizer is not really Joe's, but rather the table's.

If you found yourself at a restaurant with a group of friends and Joe ordered himself an appetizer, which he began to eat without offering it to the table, would you just grab it for yourself from in front of him on the assumption it was meant for the table? I would think not.

As I said, I've never experienced someone ordering an app just for themselves.  I understand that other posters have had very different experiences than I have, but that doesn't change my experience. We don't know the appetizer dynamic for this family, we don't know why the mother offered the food, or why the daughter's expression changed. Maybe the mother was rude, maybe she was just following the usual family practice. We don't know. But in my family, with my kids and husband, this would not have been rude; it would have been expected.

That is why I did not ask what you have done in the past. I asked what you would do IF you found yourself in a situation where someone ordered an appetizer and began to eat it without offering it to the group. I do assume you would not just grab the plate from out of in front of him, but I'm interested to hear if you would.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 12:23:58 PM

Since the mother did not involve the daughter in any way, and the daughter's face betrayed surprised and possible hurt, those watching are left uncomfortably wondering what the heck is going on.

My daughter looks surprised/hurt/maybe even angry when I ask her to share toys with others, too. But she should still share. She isn't going without the toys, and she isn't going hungry, either.

Because this exchange involves food, it seems to strike a very deep, primal chord. But it is still just some cheese sticks. The girl is not going without food.

This isn't about the girl 'going without food'. No one is catastrophizing that the girl is starving, please don't pretend like we are.

But that doesn't change the fact that this was an uncomfortable exchange all around. If there is no family rule in place, then Mom was terribly rude to take away her daughter's plate, even if it was 'just some cheese sticks'. If there is a family rule in place, Mom would have been better served by reminding the daughter to share, rather than just snatching her plate away without even a word. That feels like a public punishment, and is uncomfortable even if you *know* they have an app-sharing rule.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Moray on February 22, 2013, 12:29:41 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Aeris. The mom may or may not have been rude to the daughter, depending on family dynamics, but that's not etiquette, that's parenting. The mom was definitely rude to the other diners, but not because sharing is or isn't inherently wrong. The mom was rude because she handled the app sharing in a way that made others uncomfortable.

It's not the end of the world, but she could have done a lot better.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 12:35:46 PM
That is why I did not ask what you have done in the past. I asked what you would do IF you found yourself in a situation where someone ordered an appetizer and began to eat it without offering it to the group. I do assume you would not just grab the plate from out of in front of him, but I'm interested to hear if you would.

If it were one of my siblings, kids, spouse, or inner circle type people, I might put some on my plate without asking and no one would think twice about it. If it were someone outside of my usual circle, I wouldn't just take some, but I would wonder, silently, why they weren't sharing.  But I don't see what that has to do with the situation in the OP.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 22, 2013, 12:39:27 PM
Aeris put it perfectly.

Like Jones, I'd never heard of a blanked "must share apps" rule before this thread either. Sharing apps may happen, but then it is discussed when ordering, and it is the exception rather than the rule. It would definitely not be taken for granted.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 22, 2013, 12:41:15 PM
Mom was terribly rude to take away her daughter's plate, even if it was 'just some cheese sticks'. If there is a family rule in place, Mom would have been better served by reminding the daughter to share, rather than just snatching her plate away without even a word. That feels like a public punishment, and is uncomfortable even if you *know* they have an app-sharing rule.

The verb snatching paints a very specific, punitive picture. I disagree that the action was necessarily punitive, because of the fact that the daughter had enough food to eat. That is why I commented about the fact that she wasn't starving.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 12:46:58 PM
As a side note, I have never heard of a blanket "must share apps" rule before this thread.

Me neither. Sharing apps, yes. Assuming apps are always shared, no.

If the apps are for the table, that should be announced when ordering them. If not, they belong to the person who ordered them, and forced sharing is rude.

Really, it's not hard to clarify that when ordering. Also, if you intend to share, would it not be appropriate to ask if the apps suit the table? Ordering something "for the table" without checking if the table wants it is rude as well, IMO.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 12:53:34 PM
Mom was terribly rude to take away her daughter's plate, even if it was 'just some cheese sticks'. If there is a family rule in place, Mom would have been better served by reminding the daughter to share, rather than just snatching her plate away without even a word. That feels like a public punishment, and is uncomfortable even if you *know* they have an app-sharing rule.

The verb snatching paints a very specific, punitive picture. I disagree that the action was necessarily punitive, because of the fact that the daughter had enough food to eat. That is why I commented about the fact that she wasn't starving.

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

The daughter was poised to eat the whole appetizer herself, with the plate in front of her. Either she reasonably thought the app was hers, or she forgot the app-sharing rule in place in her family. If she reasonably believed the app was hers, mom was rude. If she had simply forgotten the app-sharing rule, then why didn't mom just *remind* her of the rule? But instead, apparently, she just took the plate from out from under her without so much as a word. That feels disrespectful, and the *manner* of it is punitive, even if they have this assumed apps-sharing rule.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 01:02:35 PM
That is why I did not ask what you have done in the past. I asked what you would do IF you found yourself in a situation where someone ordered an appetizer and began to eat it without offering it to the group. I do assume you would not just grab the plate from out of in front of him, but I'm interested to hear if you would.

If it were one of my siblings, kids, spouse, or inner circle type people, I might put some on my plate without asking and no one would think twice about it. If it were someone outside of my usual circle, I wouldn't just take some, but I would wonder, silently, why they weren't sharing.  But I don't see what that has to do with the situation in the OP.

Because earlier wolfie said that passing around a plate without even talking to the person who ordered it is really rude. You responded by asserting that it isn't rude as apps are automatically owned by the table and not by the person ordering them. But you clearly wouldn't just reach over and grab someone else's plate of apps if they were not offering them up for sharing. You would think it was strange that they weren't offering, and possibly even rude in your circle, but you wouldn't just reach over and grab them.

If the rule in this family is that they are shared, and the daughter appeared to be neglecting that rule, the appropriate way for the mom to handle it would have been for her to *remind* the daughter of the rule. Not just reach in and grab. Not only because I do think that grabbing the plate without a word is disrespectful to the daughter, regardless of the rule, but also because it leaves everyone else at the table unsure of what they are being involved in.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 22, 2013, 01:07:03 PM
Quote
If the rule in this family is that they are shared, and the daughter appeared to be neglecting that rule, the appropriate way for the mom to handle it would have been for her to *remind* the daughter of the rule. Not just reach in and grab. Not only because I do think that grabbing the plate without a word is disrespectful to the daughter, regardless of the rule, but also because it leaves everyone else at the table unsure of what they are being involved in.

Best way to trim the quote tree.

Since the girl was just back from swim practice -- and remember the warnings about not eating just before swimming? -- she was probably hungrier than usual.  Her mother should have known that, especially if the daughter was the only one to order an appetizer. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 01:13:28 PM
If the rule in this family is that they are shared, and the daughter appeared to be neglecting that rule, the appropriate way for the mom to handle it would have been for her to *remind* the daughter of the rule. Not just reach in and grab. Not only because I do think that grabbing the plate without a word is disrespectful to the daughter, regardless of the rule, but also because it leaves everyone else at the table unsure of what they are being involved in.

And I disagree. Reminding her daughter of the rule would have drawn attention to the fact that daughter had forgotten the rule and put her on the spot. Simply offering the app to share reminded her daughter of the rule without putting her on the spot. Which could also explain the girl's facial expression, "Oops, I forgot to offer them to everyone." Again, I'm not saying the mother wasn't rude, I'm saying we don't know enough to make a determination.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 22, 2013, 01:23:02 PM
OP again, and as I should have stated in my first post, the appetizer was small, meant for one, maybe two people.

This changes the dynamics. 

If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: betty on February 22, 2013, 01:24:20 PM
In my opinion and experience, appetizers are intended to share when it is agreed upon before they are ordered. Appetizers belong to the person ordering if they intended to have them for themselves. If you want an appetizer, order one or discuss sharing before someone else orders one. In my family, we usually share appetizers but we discuss it before we order.

Do people think desserts are always for sharing, too? If we all have a chance to order dessert, but only I do, am I obligated to share? If not, what's the difference?

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 22, 2013, 01:26:46 PM

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

Ok, I see the disconnect. I don't see this as as something being taken away. It is being shared, not taken away completely.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 01:28:12 PM
Quote
Do people think desserts are always for sharing, too? If we all have a chance to order dessert, but only I do, am I obligated to share? If not, what's the difference?

Good question.  And brings up what a poster in the beginning said.

I, too, hate it when the waiter determines that the dessert I've ordered is going to be shared amongst everyone at the table when he brings forks/spoons for everyone with my dessert.  I may share it around, but I feel like that should be my choice to do.  By taking it upon himself to bring utensils for everyone, he's made it uncomfortable for me and makes me feel like I'm now required to share when I may or may not have wanted to.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: wolfie on February 22, 2013, 01:29:10 PM
For the people who think that apps are always to share - how are they paid for? Are they split among everyone at the table? or is the person who ordered it treating?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 22, 2013, 01:31:11 PM
The only restaurant where the apps are automatically shared in my experience is the tapas place I'm going to tomorrow night.  We also share the bill equally.

Dim sum might be another such scenario, but I don't see how apps are automatically assumed to be shared. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: daen on February 22, 2013, 01:37:04 PM
And I disagree. Reminding her daughter of the rule would have drawn attention to the fact that daughter had forgotten the rule and put her on the spot. Simply offering the app to share reminded her daughter of the rule without putting her on the spot. Which could also explain the girl's facial expression, "Oops, I forgot to offer them to everyone." Again, I'm not saying the mother wasn't rude, I'm saying we don't know enough to make a determination.

"DD, you forgot to offer those around" would draw attention to it.
"Would you like me to pass the cheese sticks for you?"  - less so.

Like some previous posters, the rudeness in this situation is the failure to say anything to the daughter before offering food that the mother explicitly states is the daughter's. Even if there's an understood "apps are for sharing" rule, I would still like to have the opportunity to consent to said sharing in that particular incident, regardless of the fact that my answer is already known or understood.

(I realize I'm biased in this - I've worked in a therapy modality, and it was repeatedly stressed that just because the patient gives consent to physical contact by coming to this type of therapy session, the therapist still needs to ask consent before making contact that would be considered intimate - inner thigh, for example. (I know it's not entirely analogous - that's just what's driving my bias.))
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 02:12:09 PM
If my child shows a surprised look on their face, it is because she is surprised by someone's actions, not because she forgot a rule.  I think OP was unlucky enough to witness a mom/daughter power struggle.  And I stand by my belief mom because she showed not only a complete lack of respect to her child, but to her lunch mates by involving them in some family thing.  And you can gently remind your child of a rule without embarrassing them. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 22, 2013, 02:56:38 PM
I will say there have been times that I have got an appetizer as my meal because I wasn't hungry enough for an actual entree.  But when I've done that I've made it clear by saying "I'm not all that hungry so I'll get the appetizer sized portion of chicken nuggets."
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Mikayla on February 22, 2013, 04:31:29 PM

"DD, you forgot to offer those around" would draw attention to it.
"Would you like me to pass the cheese sticks for you?"  - less so.

I agree that the second is better than the first but, like everyone else, I'll respond based on my own experience.  My take is very similar to what Willy Nilly and Judah have been saying.  If I had ordered an appetizer and then forgotten the expectation that it's to be shared, my mom would not have asked my permission to enforce her own rule!  She would have done exactly as this mom did.  But then, she was a one-woman wrecking crew when it came to certain types of manners she wanted to reinforce in me.

And I do think it matters that this is a mom and her kid vs a husband and wife.  A lot of moms use these situations as teaching moments.  Obviously, if the norm in that family is different, then that's a game changer, but on the face of it I don't have a problem with what she did.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 04:36:47 PM
So, those of you "appetizers are always to share" posters, what about desserts?  A couple of us have touched on it, but what do you think?

Do desserts have the same rules?  Are you required to share them as well?

(And, to all posters, what do you do if you don't want to share, but the waiter brings forks for everyone making you feel like you have to anyway?)

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: nayberry on February 22, 2013, 04:40:30 PM
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

Same.

+1

in the UK we had a funny (but not e-hell approved i am sure) advert for quorn (i think)  where one of the family tries to take food from another members plate and the line "touch my food, feel my fork" (with fork poised..) is used, 

if i am out with friends/family we normally discuss what is being ordered, ie garlic bread, normally order enough to share,  and sometimes i am out with a group and we have one or two veggies with us and we check if they want to order just for themselves (tapas for instance) or share, pizza...  but i'd never assume that something was for everyone to dig in


and i think the mum was rude



DottyG - if i order dessert my friends know better than to presume i'm sharing ;)  i might offer a taste but normally only to my hubby, sometimes not even he gets to have any (no giggling!)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 04:42:16 PM
In general, desserts aren't usually served remotely the same way as apps.  They don't come in pieces/sticks/sections so sharing can be a bit harder. I frequently do offer to share dessert but the presentation of appas almost always lend themselves to sharing, dessert (salad and soup) not so much.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 04:44:12 PM
Quote
They don't come in pieces/sticks/sections

That would depend on what it was.  There are certainly desserts that have distinct pieces/sticks/sections.  Let's assume it's one of those kinds for my question if that's pertinent.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 04:45:43 PM
So, those of you "appetizers are always to share" posters, what about desserts?  A couple of us have touched on it, but what do you think?

Do desserts have the same rules?  Are you required to share them as well?

(And, to all posters, what do you do if you don't want to share, but the waiter brings forks for everyone making you feel like you have to anyway?)

No, desserts aren't to share, unless we've agreed to it before ordering.  DH and I almost always share a dessert if we have one at all.  Appetizers are in a class by themselves in this regard.

I've never had a waiter bring a fork for everyone to share one dessert. I suppose I would say something like, "oh, I wasn't intending to share. You all should go ahead and order if you want dessert."  :) But I'm not one to give in to this type of social pressure.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 04:46:07 PM
In general, desserts aren't usually served remotely the same way as apps.  They don't come in pieces/sticks/sections so sharing can be a bit harder. I frequently do offer to share dessert but the presentation of appas almost always lend themselves to sharing, dessert (salad and soup) not so much.

Cheese sticks are fairly easy to share, but most appetizers I order are not in pieces/sticks/sections at all. This may well depend on the type of restaurant, but whether an appetizer is easily sharable based on configuration seems to be not at all a sure thing.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 04:46:39 PM
Judah, why the distinction between the two?  (Asking this seriously)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 04:48:05 PM
Quote
I've never had a waiter bring a fork for everyone to share one dessert. I suppose I would say something like, "oh, I wasn't intending to share. You all should go ahead and order if you want dessert."   But I'm not one to give in to this type of social pressure.

What I really hate is when the dessert is for my birthday, and the waiter presumes to bring utensils for all.  I'm sitting there with my plate being passed around the table thinking, "But that was MY birthday treat :( "

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 04:51:13 PM
The apps I order always seem to be and the desserts never seem to be.  SInce I am answering for myself reversing for either is impossible for me to answer.  For example cheese sticks, bread sticks, chips, quesadillas - all pieces or sections.  Ice cream, pie, cake - not smaller pieces or sections.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 05:00:33 PM
Judah, why the distinction between the two?  (Asking this seriously)

Partly because they just are. It's just the way it's always been done, IME. And I suppose that's partly because appetizers are generally a platter full of something easy to share.  You wouldn't share a chicken breast or a salad, but apps are usually individual bite-sized somethings that are easy to share out.  And partly because, to me, apps aren't meant to fill you up but to take the edge off your hunger while you wait for your dinner.

And this is going to make it sound like I have all kinds of crazy rules for dining, but honestly, I'd never given this much thought until this thread, but, to me, an appetizer  is not the same as a starter. A starter is a salad, or bowl of soup, or some other individually sized first course to your meal.  An app is the pre-meal tidbit to tide you over until the meal starts, usually with a starter of some sort. And in my experience, starters and appetizers have their own sections on a menu.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 05:05:12 PM
Quote
Ice cream, pie, cake

Well, no.  Those items are not in sections.  You are right.  But there are desserts that are in sections.  For instance, sopapillas are distinct items that come more than one on a plate.  I was in a restaurant not long ago where they had these little "poof" thingies that were definitely in pieces.

I'm not talking about ice cream, pie or cake.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 05:07:04 PM
Quote
an appetizer  is not the same as a starter

That's an interesting distinction.  I'm not sure I've thought about it before.  I guess I've always thought they were the same thing.  Something else to think about!

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 05:07:36 PM
Quote
Ice cream, pie, cake

Well, no.  Those items are not in sections.  You are right.  But there are desserts that are in sections.  For instance, sopapillas are distinct items that come more than one on a plate.  I was in a restaurant not long ago where they had these little "poof" thingies that were definitely in pieces.

I'm not talking about ice cream, pie or cake.

You also aren't talking about things I order for dessert so you aren't asking a question I can answer.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aquamarine on February 22, 2013, 05:09:56 PM
If I ordered an appetizer for myself and let's say my mother or a spouse decided I didn't need to eat it all and offered it up to the table I would be ticked off and would correct them saying "no I ordered this because I wanted it, I did not order it for the table, you misunderstood".  I would expect most people ordering something for themselves would feel the same way.  The mother offering the food to others was rude and presumptuous and apparently OK with embarrassing her own child.  That being said I would talk to my child later in private and tell them that it would be a nice thing to offer some of the appetizer to others unless it was going to be their dinner portion.  A nice thing to do but not necessarily a required thing to do.

When I order appetizers for the table I make it crystal clear they are for everyone, when this is not made clear I assume the appetizers others order are for themselves.

Some people seem to believe that everything must be shared with everyone, I am not one of those people.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 22, 2013, 05:12:52 PM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.
-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I beleive in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter. 

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 05:15:36 PM
Sharnita, then you're probably not the person that can best respond to the first part of the question, you may be right.

So what about the second part.  Let's say you do have your cake, pie or ice cream....and everyone at the table gets a spoon when your dessert is set on the table in front of you (usually, it's with a comment of "I figured everyone would want to share this, so I brought extras for the table!!!!!!!!" with a huge grin by the waiter ::) )?  What do you do?  Do you have to share?  If you don't want to, what can you say or do?  I'm asking honestly, because I'm not sure what the most polite answer is!  Sometimes I may be the only one to order dessert at the table, but I really don't want to share it around with everyone.  And I kinda resent the fact that the restaurant is putting me in a spot where I feel an obligation to do so.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 05:16:59 PM
Well, great.  NOW I want calamari!  Thanks Hmmmmmm! ;)

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 22, 2013, 05:19:16 PM
In my experience, when the table is discussing whether or not people will be ordering dessert, the ones that decline usually say its because they are too full from the meal.

Also, if I have a slice of cake and multiple spoons, there is too much possibility of "double dipping".
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 05:21:32 PM
Quote
In my experience, when the table is discussing whether or not people will be ordering dessert, the ones that decline usually say its because they are too full from the meal.

And yet, surprisingly, room in their stomach opens up when given a spoon and see my dessert!  If you're full, you're full.  That means you don't have room for a bite of my dessert, right?!

Quote
Also, if I have a slice of cake and multiple spoons, there is too much possibility of "double dipping".

I agree.  So what's the EHell way of graciously stopping it from happening?

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 05:26:06 PM
Dotty, I tend to take that as divine intervention to spare me from too many calories and decide that sharing was meant to be. A lot of times I do ask for  extra spoons/forks, though.  If double dipping were a concern I might say "Give me your plate" and scoop a bit onto each person's plate before I used my spon/fork to take a bite.

As far as the question somebody asked about what I think/do when somebody else orders an app and follows their own family's rules  - and don't share.  I realize that each family has their own rules, I don't expect others to abide by my rules and I am able toaccept that their rules aren't really my business.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on February 22, 2013, 07:21:32 PM
So, those of you "appetizers are always to share" posters, what about desserts?  A couple of us have touched on it, but what do you think?

I stated in my post that IME appetizers are always shared unless they're order in lieu of an entree. Before I answer your question about the dessert, I'd like to clarify that statement in a couple of ways.

1) What I'm thinking of as an appetizer is sort of platter of individual pieces of whatever the appetizer is: cheese sticks, potato skins, asparagus spears wrapped in ham, etc. I don't recall ever seeing a restaurant appetizer with only 2-4 pieces, either. I'm thinking more along the lines of 8-12 pieces (a sampler-platter type appetizer might have 3-4 pieces of different items, but several items). To me, such appetizers appear to be sized and presented with sharing in mind. Apparently small appetizers sized for 1-2 are out there, but I was not aware of such a thing when I posted.

2) Like Judah, I make the "starter" vs "appetizer" distinction. I don't think of something like a soup or salad served before the entree as an "appetizer"--to me that means one of the platter-type things I described before.

3) While I think of appetizers as something to be shared, I would never presume that I was invited to share someone else's appetizer unless invited. I would never order an appetizer without planning to share (unless it was ordered as an entree), and I would be quite surprised if a member of my family or one of my friends did. However, I assume that the person who ordered the entree will offer it to whoever they wish to share with, whether that's the entire table or a subgroup. Or they wouldn't offer to share with anyone, and I would be surprised and file it away as a new data point in my experiences of appetizer-related behavior.  ;)

In the case of the OP, I would expect the mother to have the right to offer up a platter-type appetizer that she purchased for sharing, even if the child chose which one to order. Now that it's been clarified that this was a small, individual serving-type appetizer, that sounds more like a "starter" that wouldn't be shared.

Do desserts have the same rules?  Are you required to share them as well?

(And, to all posters, what do you do if you don't want to share, but the waiter brings forks for everyone making you feel like you have to anyway?)

I don't expect desserts to be shared, although it doesn't surprise me when people offer. The appetizers I have encountered in restaurant seem designed to offer several portions worth, both in size and in presentation as small, individual finger foods. The desserts OTOH usually seem designed as a single portion, at least in presentation (restaurant desserts often seem quite large). I'm thinking in terms of pie, cake, ice cream, a brownie, etc., which is the kind of thing I'm used to seeing in restaurants.

If the waiter brought extra forks? It's not something I've personally run into (I rarely have room for dessert in restaurants), but I hope I'd say something like "Oh, no thank you. I don't need any extra forks." And if anyone else at the table indicated that they expected to share my dessert: "Oh, I was planning to eat the whole thing. Do you want to order something now? I'll wait." And then, if they wanted a dessert and mine wouldn't suffer from sitting until theirs came out, then I'd wait to eat with them. Otherwise, I'd go ahead and eat mine and then sit and chat while they waited for and finished theirs.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: kudeebee on February 22, 2013, 07:51:00 PM
As a side note, I have never heard of a blanket "must share apps" rule before this thread.

Me neither. Sharing apps, yes. Assuming apps are always shared, no.

If the apps are for the table, that should be announced when ordering them. If not, they belong to the person who ordered them, and forced sharing is rude.

Really, it's not hard to clarify that when ordering. Also, if you intend to share, would it not be appropriate to ask if the apps suit the table? Ordering something "for the table" without checking if the table wants it is rude as well, IMO.

I agree with this, too.  When we eat out with our immediate family, we do share apps.  When we eat out with others, I never assume that the apps they order are for us nor do they assume that the apps we order are for them.  Sometimes we will discuss ordering apps to share.  It is so simple to do "Do you guys want to share some apps?"  If they say no we don't care for any or no, why don't we each get our own, then fine.  If they say yes, then we do.

i think it is rude to grab someone else's apps and offer them to share, even a family members without checking with the person first.  What if that was to be the main part of their meal?  What if they wanted the extras to take home for a snack?  You can ask quietly if they want to share with others, but please accept a "no" answer and not embarrass them in any way.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 07:54:09 PM
Quote
The desserts OTOH usually seem designed as a single portion, at least in presentation (restaurant desserts often seem quite large). I'm thinking in terms of pie, cake, ice cream, a brownie, etc., which is the kind of thing I'm used to seeing in restaurants.

But go on the updated information that I'm not talking about pie, cake and ice cream but desserts that have "pieces" to them.  What then?

Quote
I hope I'd say something like "Oh, no thank you. I don't need any extra forks."

Can you do that, though?  I mean, if he's already putting down forks at each person's place, it seems really awkward to say, "Oh no, take all those back from everyone.  I'm not sharing."  It just seems kind of touchy when it's already in the works.
 
Sharnita says she takes it as a divine sign that she doesn't need the calories.  But, darn it, sometimes I want my own dessert. :(  Especially, like I said above, when it's my birthday, and they bring me out something special to celebrate it.....and then tell everyone they can have some, too.  I should get to make that decision - not the restaurant.
 
 
(ETA:  Is this "waiter makes assumption that it's going to be shared" thing a US one, maybe?  Maybe this doesn't occur in other parts of the world.  If so, I wish you'd come over and educate our servers that it's not a nice thing to do to us.  It puts us on the spot.  Seriously, it's all happening so fast, there isn't time to catch them before everyone has a fork at their side - sometimes the forks/spoons are passed out even before the dessert is placed on the table.)
 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 08:01:25 PM
Maybe part of the reason it happens here is because it is portions are so huge?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Kimblee on February 22, 2013, 08:01:46 PM
I think the "without asking" thing is what keeps sticking in my proverbial craw.  If she had just asked her daughter if it was OK to offer the food to others, I would be willing to give the mother a pass.

It seems very off to me, but I freely admit I have food issues. It just seems if she adknowladges its "DD's" food, she has no right to mess with it. Parenting isn't "good-will" its a choice adults make to roduce and provide for a dependant being.

In this case, i see it as DD is fresh from swim practice, and depending on how many people agreed to "share" her food, she might not have gotten enough to comfortably wait for her entree. I know after swim or volleyball i usually needed something right then and there. In these cases I was allowed to order a starter, since the time it took to cook the meal might have been "over the limit" I a few times ordered an ap and had all of it eaten by family members because it was "SOOOOOO good" and the time it took for me to point out the occourance to my mom/stepdad, plus get the replacement order left me shaking and in tears. Now, its possible this girl had a snack before getting to the resturaunt, or didn't work out as hard as my swim practices tended to be, or a thousand other maybes. So take it as worth the expense you paid for it.

And I have seen lots of cheese stick "platters" that were three or four pieces. My little brother is a cheese addict and often he'd gobble two or more and after our parents got their shares mine had already gone down DB's throat. Not that I'm bitter. (I'm really not. I like cheese sticks but not enough to get mad over The Vaccuum Boy's getting mine. Besides, stepmom and dad never had me after an athletic event.)

And couldn't Mom have prompted DD "Are you gonna go ahead and offer it to everyone else?" quietly and given DD the chance to play gracious giver? By 12 its possible she would appreciate that chance.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 08:03:03 PM
Quote
Maybe part of the reason it happens here is because it is portions are so huge?

With desserts?  Not always.  I've had desserts that are very much a 1 person thing that still get this happening.

Not all portions here are huge.

ETA:  Note - spin-off thread created for the dessert portion (see what I did there? ;) ) of the thread.
 
 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on February 22, 2013, 08:44:28 PM
Quote
The desserts OTOH usually seem designed as a single portion, at least in presentation (restaurant desserts often seem quite large). I'm thinking in terms of pie, cake, ice cream, a brownie, etc., which is the kind of thing I'm used to seeing in restaurants.

But go on the updated information that I'm not talking about pie, cake and ice cream but desserts that have "pieces" to them.  What then?

Quote
I hope I'd say something like "Oh, no thank you. I don't need any extra forks."

Can you do that, though? I mean, if he's already putting down forks at each person's place, it seems really awkward to say, "Oh no, take all those back from everyone.  I'm not sharing."  It just seems kind of touchy when it's already in the works.

My general experience with appetizers is that appetizers are designed to be shared by two or more people. My general experience with desserts is that one order of dessert in a restaurant is meant to be a single serving. Thus, in general, I would expect appetizers to be shared and desserts not to be. In either case, I would not assume that the item was intended to be shared with me until it was offered. I would simply be more surprised to see someone consume their entire appetizer (of the platter type that I'm used to) without sharing I would be regarding other items like dessert. I don't know what I would expect from a dessert in pieces, because I can't think of any examples that I've encountered in a restaurant.

In the extra forks situation, the waiter is taking an inappropriate action based on an erroneous assumption. If it is obvious that the forks are being provided for your dessert, then I see no reason why you could not politely correct the assumption that extra forks were needed. Will it be awkward? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on who you're dealing with. Ideally, your tablemates would realize that the waiter's assumptions about your dessert do not have anything to do with your actual intentions for the dessert and would not assume that they're invited to share unless you say so. You would have to decide if you think it would cause awkwardness with your friends and whether your desire to avoid awkwardness outweighs your desire to eat your whole dessert.

When I say that I think "appetizers are for sharing," I'm not saying that anyone has a right to assume they'll get some of your dish or that it would be rude for someone who doesn't feel that way not to share the food they purchased. For me, the question of whether the family in the OP follows the "appetizers are for sharing" rule factors into the question of whether the mother (who purchased the food) had a right to share it even though the daughter ordered it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: misha412 on February 22, 2013, 09:59:51 PM


When I say that I think "appetizers are for sharing," I'm not saying that anyone has a right to assume they'll get some of your dish or that it would be rude for someone who doesn't feel that way not to share the food they purchased. For me, the question of whether the family in the OP follows the "appetizers are for sharing" rule factors into the question of whether the mother (who purchased the food) had a right to share it even though the daughter ordered it.

This comes down to how people perceive the child and the situation.

If the parents respect their 12 year old as an individual who should have a say over the food they ordered, asking or prompting would be appropriate.

If the parents believe that if they are paying for the food they have the right to do with it as they please, asking has no place in their perception. Basically the 12 year old should be grateful for a meal and not expect that her meal is hers if the parent decides otherwise. This would include appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Lindee on February 22, 2013, 10:32:02 PM
I think it comes down to would it be rude if the mother had leant over and grabbed a plate belonging to one of the other diners at the table and offered it to everyone?  If that would be rude, and I think it would be, then it was rude to do it to her daughter. My mother would probably had done this but she felt I was  an extension of her with no rights or feelings and that volunteering my time and possessions to others was her right.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 22, 2013, 10:34:12 PM
My mother would probably had done this but she felt I was  an extension of her with no rights or feelings and that volunteering my time and possessions to others was her right.

Given that your mother felt this way, I am sure that informs your view of the subject. I don't think it is clear from this one example that the mother in the OP shares those views.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Allyson on February 23, 2013, 12:41:44 AM
Yes, I think it's pretty much impossible to know exactly what the dynamics were in that situation--a 'surprised look' could've been many things, and also I find it's harder than we think to correctly interpret someone's expression! (I get asked 'what's wrong' based on my facial expression when I'm doing just fine, for just one example!'

With that said, as the person being offered, I'd be uncomfortable accepting food someone offered for someone else. So I'd do the 'safe' thing and decline. (Unless it was sushi, then I might have to see how my willpower is that day...) The only thing in the situation that's controllable or etiquette-based to me is the reaction of the person being offered the food. The rest of it is too hard to interpret from just that exchange, I think.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: PeterM on February 23, 2013, 03:19:28 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 23, 2013, 03:48:00 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.

Same. It would either be 4-6 cheese sticks (or whatever) or it would say clearly in the menu:"Enough to share", "For two people" or something similar.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 23, 2013, 04:40:45 AM
I've never heard this rule about appetizers must be shared.  Heck, I've never even heard of appetizers being shared.  When I order food, I order what I want to eat.  M and I *might* trade halves of each other's appetizers, but I'd never feel entitled to it.  Also, I don't know what Wide Wide World of Food places there are out there, but 20 mozzarella sticks?  That's not an appetizer, it's an artery glue gun.  I've never gotten more than five sticks when I ordered them.  What about fries?  Are fries to be shared also?

I further want to know... why are appetizers different?  What makes them not able to be possessed by an individual?  Because to me, ownership of one's food is an important step in learning self-determination.  I considered myself on the road to adulthood the first time I cooked fro myself (not microwaving or reheating, but cooking from scratch.)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: starry diadem on February 23, 2013, 07:25:28 AM
I'm flummoxed both by the assumption 'appetisers' must be shared or that they are somehow separate from the meal that so many posters have said would follow.

This may be because there's no precision about terminology.  To me, the appetiser is something like the little bowl of olives and/or nuts that the restaurant puts on the table for you to nibble on while you consider the menu (and coincidentally to make you eat less, so they can serve smaller portions of the expensive food and make a bigger profit, but that may be just me being cynical).  These are something quite separate from the meal itself and absolutely are for sharing with everyone at the table.

I put 'appetiser' in quotes above because what we appear to be talking about in this case is a starter course - that is, something you have to order at the same time you order your main course, but which is served separately first (yes, I'm dotting i's and crossing t's here, but I want to be very clear).  I can't for the life of me see why that is automatically for sharing, unless previously agreed before the order goes in.  DH and I may agree we'll share a portion of garlic bread or something similar, but that's part of our discussion of the menu.  There's no presumption that we'll share, especially if we only order one because one of us doesn't want a starter.  If that's the case here, and I think it is, then this isn't something separate from the child's meal but an integral part of it, and it *is* rude to take the plate away from her and share it out with those people who didn't, for whatever reason, order a starter.  And that's why it puzzles me that so many people suggest she still had her meal to follow.  She had her main course to follow, but part of her entire meal was shared, and not of her own volition.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 23, 2013, 08:12:23 AM

This comes down to how people perceive the child and the situation.

If the parents respect their 12 year old as an individual who should have a say over the food they ordered, asking or prompting would be appropriate.

If the parents believe that if they are paying for the food they have the right to do with it as they please, asking has no place in their perception. Basically the 12 year old should be grateful for a meal and not expect that her meal is hers if the parent decides otherwise. This would include appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks.

That would explain the behavior but not justify it.

I still think this mother was rude.  Had I been there I might have said "No thanks. Sarah's had a very active morning; she needs to eat."
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: jaxsue on February 23, 2013, 08:36:22 AM
Aeris put it perfectly.

Like Jones, I'd never heard of a blanked "must share apps" rule before this thread either. Sharing apps may happen, but then it is discussed when ordering, and it is the exception rather than the rule. It would definitely not be taken for granted.

ITA.

I do share apps, but I make a point that they are for everyone when ordered. If someone else orders an app and doesn't offer it to others at the table, I don't assume they're up for grabs.

The one situation where I don't share apps is when it's my meal, and in that case I request that it comes when everyone else gets their food.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Bethalize on February 23, 2013, 10:10:33 AM
Was it right to go off?

Control over someone else's food is a dominance issue, so yes, it would set my hinky meter off. If it was a husband offering a wife's food up I'd be unimpressed. If the mother knew the child would spoil her main course by eating the full plateful she shouldn't have allowed the order.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Tea Drinker on February 23, 2013, 10:25:34 AM
With regard to ruining the 12-year-old's appetite for the main course:

That only feels like an issue to me would be if there were major nutritional issues, and I don't think that applies here, since an athlete who has just come from practice needs those calories and protein and will probably be fine with the fat. It's not the same as eating a huge chocolate bar and then not having room for dinner.

I went out for dinner with my mother and my husband last night. I cheerfully ordered an appetizer, and commented at the time that this might mean I took my main course home for later. In the end, we did have them wrap it up, leaving room for dessert. This works well for me because I like variety--and the leftover duck from last night is going to be today's lunch.

The dessert was a bit of an indulgence, and there'd be nothing rude in a parent telling the 12-year-old "no, finish your rice/chicken/vegetables." But with most entrees, taking them home for later isn't wasted food (especially if you have a microwave). I'm assuming this wasn't a financial issue, or the mother would have said something about "remember, we agreed no appetizers" or something: it doesn't save money to let the 12-year-old order cheese sticks and then take some of them away from her.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Twik on February 23, 2013, 10:32:12 AM
Basically the 12 year old should be grateful for a meal and not expect that her meal is hers if the parent decides otherwise. This would include appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks.

No. Children are entitled to be provided for by their parents. Food is not something that parents provide as an exercise in charity, any more than education, shelter or clothing. Judith Martin wrote an excellent article in which she said that there is something very wrong in expecting minor children to treat such things as presents on behalf of the parents, which the parents could withdraw at any moment.

Parents are obligated to feed their children, and also to teach them civilized behaviour. This is not done by playing, "Here, this is yours ... oops, now I'm giving it to someone else. Because you don't really have anything other than what I may (temporarily) give you."

I would give the mother a break for no more than creating an awkward impression if it is a family tradition, understood by the daughter, that appetizers are for the table. If she's playing power games ("You should be grateful I don't make you sit there, without any food at all, while the rest of us eat, because every mouthful you eat is at my discretion,") she is toxic.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 23, 2013, 10:40:20 AM
No. Children are entitled to be provided for by their parents. Food is not something that parents provide as an exercise in charity, any more than education, shelter or clothing.

I wanted to say this, but honestly, not having children I didn't know if it was my place.  Thank you.

Related story: Once, when I was a youngin', we lived with particularly toxic people.    I'm not getting into the details, as they truly aren't important, but let's say for argument's sake that the husband of the family (Al) was supposed to watch over their kids and myself while my mother and the wife of the family (Betty) went out to do school clothing shopping for us.  Al's glasses got broken by accident when he sat on them, and he accused us of putting them there for that purpose.

When Mom and Betty got home, he relayed this to my mother, who believed me when I said I was innocent.  When Mom took me to the bedroom to show me what she'd gotten, Betty exclaimed "Wait, you're still giving those to D?!"

Mom, for her part, look at Betty as if she'd suddenly grown a second head that plays The Merry-G-Round Broke Down while it dispenses soft-serve, and said to her "D needs clothes, and I bought them for him for school.  What am I supposed to do, make D go naked?"

We didn't stay there much longer.  Sorry for threadjack/diversion.  Play on!
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 23, 2013, 11:14:08 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.

Actually I have, but that was years ago.  Most of the time it's 8 or 10.  I don't eat out much or order appetizers when I do, so I can't really speak about what the norm is, but in my experience, it's been 8 to 10.  Maybe some places have dropped it to about 6.  You end up having to buy more appetizers for 4 or more people. 

The pizza place I like to order from used to have 12 but later dropped to 10, then 8.  Eight cheesesticks for a table of 4...maybe you want to get 2 appetizers or be happy with 2 cheesesticks each.  If this was 8 cheesesticks and the OP, her friend, and mom each had 1, the child would still have 5.  If there were only 4 cheesesticks, that's not really an app made for 4 people, is it? 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Moray on February 23, 2013, 11:26:33 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.

Actually I have, but that was years ago.  Most of the time it's 8 or 10.  I don't eat out much or order appetizers when I do, so I can't really speak about what the norm is, but in my experience, it's been 8 to 10.  Maybe some places have dropped it to about 6.  You end up having to buy more appetizers for 4 or more people. 

The pizza place I like to order from used to have 12 but later dropped to 10, then 8.  Eight cheesesticks for a table of 4...maybe you want to get 2 appetizers or be happy with 2 cheesesticks each.  If this was 8 cheesesticks and the OP, her friend, and mom each had 1, the child would still have 5.  If there were only 4 cheesesticks, that's not really an app made for 4 people, is it?

The OP has clarifed, a couple of times, that this was not a mega-app. It was a small serving designed for a single person.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Sharnita on February 23, 2013, 11:30:05 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.

Actually I have, but that was years ago.  Most of the time it's 8 or 10.  I don't eat out much or order appetizers when I do, so I can't really speak about what the norm is, but in my experience, it's been 8 to 10.  Maybe some places have dropped it to about 6.  You end up having to buy more appetizers for 4 or more people. 

The pizza place I like to order from used to have 12 but later dropped to 10, then 8.  Eight cheesesticks for a table of 4...maybe you want to get 2 appetizers or be happy with 2 cheesesticks each.  If this was 8 cheesesticks and the OP, her friend, and mom each had 1, the child would still have 5.  If there were only 4 cheesesticks, that's not really an app made for 4 people, is it?

The OP has clarifed, a couple of times, that this was not a mega-app. It was a small serving designed for a single person.

The original comment was made before that clarification.  Then the question was asked whether there are ever apps that big, not whether it was that big in the OP.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 11:36:03 AM
Perhaps it depends on the type of restaurant. I know when I have gone to places like Olive Garden or other chains, the apps tended to be larger (with some advertised as 'sampler platters'), while the small non-chain local restaurants in my neighborhood all have appetizers that are clearly designed for one person, both in size and construction (not pieces easily shared).

I've never before heard the distinction between 'starters' and 'appetizers'. I think it's a good way to think about it, as clearly there are two categories of food that comes before the entree, but I just don't believe that those words have taken on the distinct meanings given them in this thread. I spent a bit of time on menupages.com glancing at menus, and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason. Most places either have a 'starters' section OR an 'appetizers' section, but not both.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 23, 2013, 11:44:24 AM
If there were only 4 cheesesticks, sharing with 2 other people at the table was probably inappropriate and mom probably shouldn't have offered.  I had 10 to 20 cheesesticks in my mind, and sharing one or two did not seem like a big deal, especially in light of a meal to follow.

Have you ever actually seen an appetizer order that had 20 cheese sticks? I'm pretty sure I've never seen a single order that broke double digits, and I've never even heard of anything I'd describe as "an appetizer" with no qualifications that came anywhere near 20 cheese sticks per order.

Actually I have, but that was years ago.  Most of the time it's 8 or 10.  I don't eat out much or order appetizers when I do, so I can't really speak about what the norm is, but in my experience, it's been 8 to 10.  Maybe some places have dropped it to about 6.  You end up having to buy more appetizers for 4 or more people. 

The pizza place I like to order from used to have 12 but later dropped to 10, then 8.  Eight cheesesticks for a table of 4...maybe you want to get 2 appetizers or be happy with 2 cheesesticks each.  If this was 8 cheesesticks and the OP, her friend, and mom each had 1, the child would still have 5.  If there were only 4 cheesesticks, that's not really an app made for 4 people, is it?

The OP has clarifed, a couple of times, that this was not a mega-app. It was a small serving designed for a single person.

I was commenting on a question unrelated to the OP's question - are there ever 20 sticks?  My original opinion on OP's questions was based on more servings (enough for a table of four), before the OP clarified that the appetizer was really only meant for one or two people. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: misha412 on February 23, 2013, 03:39:55 PM
Basically the 12 year old should be grateful for a meal and not expect that her meal is hers if the parent decides otherwise. This would include appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks.

No. Children are entitled to be provided for by their parents. Food is not something that parents provide as an exercise in charity, any more than education, shelter or clothing. Judith Martin wrote an excellent article in which she said that there is something very wrong in expecting minor children to treat such things as presents on behalf of the parents, which the parents could withdraw at any moment.


Actually, I totally agree with you. I noticed some statements from others that implied the kid had no right over what she ordered because the mother was paying. That was the reason for my original statement. I do not understand the thinking that some have that a child should have no expectation of control over something a parent provides.

I think the mother was rude. However, I don't think it was a dominance thing since she gave the kid permission. I think it was her trying to be nice and share with others in the spur of the moment. She may not have been thinking about how her kid perceived it though.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 23, 2013, 11:19:45 PM
As a mother of a teenager, I think the mother was rude. Whatever their family dynamic, to offer something you allow your child to order to the remainder of the people present is a bit mean.

The plate the child received sounds like a "small plate" kind of addition, rather than a classic appetizer. Small plates are becoming more popular, and are meant to be an addition to a meal, not really designed for sharing. As to appetizer sharing, as a family, we generally order one or two appetizers to share amongst three people. I would not assume an appetizer must be shared, as all of the people present were given the opportunity to order an appetizer when placing their order for a meal.

All you's are general.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 24, 2013, 02:13:52 PM

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

Ok, I see the disconnect. I don't see this as as something being taken away. It is being shared, not taken away completely.

But you know--that's what "sharing" is--there is very little true "sharing."

You don't share your cookies with someone else; you give some of your cookies to them, and then you don't have as many.

You can't truly "share" cheese sticks--you can only give some of them away (or, as this mom did, TAKE some of them away).

You don't even really "share" toys--you take turns with the dump truck, which means that while Joey is having his turn, *you aren't having one at all.*

I believe grownups should *stop* using the term "sharing." Because then they will understand exactly what they are asking their children to do.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 24, 2013, 02:21:08 PM

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

Ok, I see the disconnect. I don't see this as as something being taken away. It is being shared, not taken away completely.

But you know--that's what "sharing" is--there is very little true "sharing."

You don't share your cookies with someone else; you give some of your cookies to them, and then you don't have as many.

You can't truly "share" cheese sticks--you can only give some of them away (or, as this mom did, TAKE some of them away).

You don't even really "share" toys--you take turns with the dump truck, which means that while Joey is having his turn, *you aren't having one at all.*

I believe grownups should *stop* using the term "sharing." Because then they will understand exactly what they are asking their children to do.

All I can say is I disagree. There is nothing wrong with having less so that someone else can have some.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 24, 2013, 02:41:18 PM
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 24, 2013, 03:08:18 PM
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.
The definition of share includes "participating jointly" which seems equally accurate to me, and has a sense of altuism rather than loss. I prefer to use share, but you are of course free to use "give up"
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: baglady on February 24, 2013, 03:16:24 PM
I don't think we can make a blanket assumption or rule as to whether it's appropriate to share appetizers, as there are so many differences in portion sizes and individual appetites as well as group dynamics. A half-dozen cheese sticks could be an appetizer for one (especially if that one is a hungry teen fresh from an athletic activity), or an app. for two, or part of an appetizer mix-and-match for 10.

The only time a parent should be offering around her child's appetizer is if the child has made it perfectly clear that s/he doesn't want any more. But that wasn't the case in the OP. Even if it were, a 12-year-old is capable of making the offer herself (perhaps with some prompting from mom).
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: citadelle on February 24, 2013, 03:25:03 PM
.

The only time a parent should be offering around her child's appetizer is if the child has made it perfectly clear that s/he doesn't want any more. But that wasn't the case in the OP. Even if it were, a 12-year-old is capable of making the offer herself (perhaps with some prompting from mom).
Or, I would add, if sharing was the clear intention of making the order in the first place, even if the suggestion for the order came from the child.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 24, 2013, 04:07:03 PM
I think we all need to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 24, 2013, 04:15:54 PM
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.

Wait, if that's the case than what constitutes "sharing"? Wiki says that sharing is "the joint use of a resource or space," but it also says it is "the process of dividing and distributing." They also point out that sharing "disjoints the connection between usage and ownership of a product." I think the confusion comes from issues of ownership, the idea of borrowing instead of technically sharing, and what item or resource is actually being dealt with. You don't share an item like a dump truck or toy the same way you share food because food is a finite, single use resource.
To bring it back to the thread topic, the problem comes from the mom offering to divide the cheese sticks that the daughter felt belonged to her. Obviously since the daughter couldn't expect to get the cheese sticks back ::), her mother was effectively giving them away. The only problem is that not everyone feels they were hers to give. I personally don't feel they were. She could have asked her daughter if she wanted to share her appetizer with the others. I think most people say "share" when they really mean "give away," but that's semantics. I choose to say share instead of give because that designates resource distribution from gifting: I would not say to someone "Here is the birthday present I am sharing with you." Sharing may mean something belongs to nobody unless it belongs to everyone, or it may mean something belongs to somebody who is going to distribute it among everyone. It can also cover borrowing and lending and that's a whole 'nother ball of wax! :P
Sharing as a word suggests generosity. Imagine if someone asked "are you going to give that to me?" instead of "are you going to share that with me?". Which sounds more polite? If they asked the first way, you might think they wanted the whole thing, not just a share.
Dividing resources suggests that whoever is responsible also retains their amount - if you share things you usually keep some for yourself; if you give things out or away then the amount you keep can vary from your equal share, to less, to none.

I guess giving and sharing are not the same thing, but they are definitely interrelated and both are considered polite and generous.

As long as you are giving or sharing things that belong to you. ;)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 24, 2013, 04:21:57 PM
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.
The definition of share includes "participating jointly" which seems equally accurate to me, and has a sense of altuism rather than loss. I prefer to use share, but you are of course free to use "give up"

If I have the appetizer first, and consider it to be mine, and I give you some, we are not "participating jointly." I am giving you some of my appetizer.

If we agree in advance to participate jointly in the consumption of the appetizer, I will argue that "share" is the right term. And perhaps I can say, "I would like to share my appetizer with you."

But many, many parents use "share" when issuing orders to their children, when they really mean "give some of yours to someone else." I think that's what was going on in this case.

And saying, "but that's semantics" is really a bad idea. Semantics matter.

And I think we should all use the word "share" a *great* deal less than we do now.


("are you going to share that with me" is just as rude as "are you going to give that to me"--and remember that the wording I would suggest is "would you give some of yours to her?" so your analogy is not right--you left out the very important "some of," which I carefully included in all my examples.)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 24, 2013, 04:34:46 PM
I think we all need to agree to disagree.

Then what's the purpose of *any* of this?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: gollymolly2 on February 24, 2013, 04:59:49 PM
Well the purpose is to talk about etiquette. We could discuss the etiquette of being offered food that you think the giver does not actually want to give up. We could discuss the etiquette of someone else giving away food you planned on eating. We could discuss the etiquette of family traditions when someone outside the family is involved.


Or we could argue about what share means.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: catrunning on February 24, 2013, 05:43:16 PM
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.           
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 24, 2013, 05:52:26 PM
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.         

The red is why I hate being the first person on the waiter's mind.  I hate looking like a pig in front of others.

The blue is another point.  I think it also should take other factors into consideration.  I was once with a party of eight in a place that specialized in prime rib.  By the time the entire table had been served the first two meals to exit the kitchen were cold.  That should not have to happen.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: GLaDOS on February 24, 2013, 05:54:57 PM
I think in this instance, the mother didn't handle the situation well, since at least you, OP, came away feeling 'off' about it.

Personally, without getting into whether appetizers are meant for the table or not, I think the mom was out of line. The girl was 12, but she was autonomous enough to decide what she wanted to eat, and had permission to order it.  The mom didn't respect that autonomy by taking the cheese sticks and offering them to the OP and the other diner without asking or prompting, and I think that's what's getting the side-eye from the people who feel it was rude, myself included.  I don't know why she did that, but my first thought was /the mom/ had a sudden spur of "Must be polite and offer!" and acted on it thoughtlessly.

I've read though the thread, but I don't think I saw how things turned out. Can I ask what happened after the mom offered and how the girl behaved?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: cass2591 on February 24, 2013, 05:59:10 PM
Or we could argue about what share means.


I agree that it's time to put that semantic argument to rest.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 24, 2013, 06:23:26 PM
I am interested in all the differing viewpoints here.  I don't think we all will ever agree rude/not rude because everyone has such differing views on dining out.  I do seem to in the minority about allowing my kids to not only order, but eat a whole appetizer in front of people who chose not get one, but as it has yet to ever be an issue with dining companions, I will not change it.  Maybe I see the mom in the OP as rude, and possibly controlling, for taking the food she allowed her daughter to order and offering it up because I allow my DD's some broader freedoms in eating, especially for the treat of eating out. 

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: doodlemor on February 24, 2013, 06:41:38 PM
I am interested in all the differing viewpoints here.  I don't think we all will ever agree rude/not rude because everyone has such differing views on dining out.  I do seem to in the minority about allowing my kids to not only order, but eat a whole appetizer in front of people who chose not get one, but as it has yet to ever be an issue with dining companions, I will not change it.  Maybe I see the mom in the OP as rude, and possibly controlling, for taking the food she allowed her daughter to order and offering it up because I allow my DD's some broader freedoms in eating, especially for the treat of eating out.

POD
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: PeterM on February 24, 2013, 07:43:23 PM
I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served. 

Doesn't that mean they'd have to eat their appetizers and entrees in the same amount of time everyone else eats just their entrees? Otherwise they'd end up eating after everyone else was done, which is the same situation at the other end of the meal.

I don't understand the idea of "It's rude to eat before others" when applied to different courses. I mean, forget appetizers. Those are an extra, optional course. What about meals that include soup or salad? Is it rude to eat those if not everyone at your table ordered a meal that comes with one or the other?
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: proudmama on February 24, 2013, 09:32:56 PM
I read this entire thread with great interest.  My family usually shares appetizers, but sometimes, my DS orders one as his meal.  He does not have to share that. 

We were out to dinner with a very big party.  My son ordered an appetizer in place of a meal.  When the runner brought it out, someone at the other end of the table said to put it down there and that he would pass it down, even though the rest of the food was brought out at the same time.

By the time it got to my son, there was almost nothing left.  Because of how big the table was, I just assumed that someone had actually ordered that as an appetizer and that the kitchen messed up and just brought it out late.

There was no food for DS.  I asked the waiter and he commented that it already came out.  When the other person realized that he had passed my DS's dinner, he got defensive and said 'We always share appetizers.  He should know better than to order one just for himself.'. I made the waiter bring my DS another plate,  but that took some time.

Not every family does things the same way.  I would never take a plate away from my kids (13 and 10).  But, unless they were really hungry, they would share.  And if it was after one of their sporting activities, I would never expect them to share.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 24, 2013, 09:42:33 PM
I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served. 

Doesn't that mean they'd have to eat their appetizers and entrees in the same amount of time everyone else eats just their entrees? Otherwise they'd end up eating after everyone else was done, which is the same situation at the other end of the meal.

I don't understand the idea of "It's rude to eat before others" when applied to different courses. I mean, forget appetizers. Those are an extra, optional course. What about meals that include soup or salad? Is it rude to eat those if not everyone at your table ordered a meal that comes with one or the other?
I don't either.  For a family meal in the house, yes, wait till everyone in the house has been seated, but with different courses and different choices, it seems as if the appetizer orderers are denied their starter, so why bother.  And if there is a slow eater, do they finish or just quit because everyone is done?  I don't focus on what everyone is eating at what time, I am usually enjoying conversations and the atmosphere (and the fact I don't have to cook  ;D) to be concerned.

Proudmama..did they charge you for a second meal for your son, or did the lout who just assumed plate of food was for sharing pay for it? 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: proudmama on February 24, 2013, 09:55:59 PM

Proudmama..did they charge you for a second meal for your son, or did the lout who just assumed plate of food was for sharing pay for it?

The waiter comped the first plate because he felt bad that he was not at the table when the runner brought the food.  We only paid for the plate our son actually ate.  I think it should have been added to he other check.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Cheapie on February 24, 2013, 10:08:52 PM
I haven't read through the whole thread and I, obviously, wasn't present at the meal.  But, from reading the OP's first post, it just kind of stood out to me that the 12 year old, who had just gotten done with swim team practice (if I remember right from the post) meant for the appetizer to be part of her meal like a side dish ... not a plate to be shared ... and the OP was able to pick up on this.

I'm kind of of the mind that if the girl wanted an appetizer "for the heck of it", she most likely would have OK'd this with her mother while checking out the menu options.  And yes, I would think that the mother would be within her rights to share that appetizer with the table even though her daughter was the one who wanted it.  But again, it seems to me that the girl order the appetizer as a "side" to her meal and it should have been treated as such, even by the mother.

On a side note, it doesn't seem as though this was a very large group, so the mother was most likely aware that her daughter was ordering an appetizer along with her meal.  It seems a bit strange to me that the mother didn't take a moment to question what the daughter was ordering.  I can't imagine just letting my son order an appetizer with his meal without questioning him.  If we are having an appetizer for the table, I wouldn't be letting my son decide on and order it.  There would be a discussion as to the choice and who exactly was hungry for one.  Again, the way the daughter ordered the appetizer without consulting her mother just kind of seems as though she meant it as a side to her meal instead of as an "official" appetizer, and as such it should not have been shared with the table.  I have done this myself, although I usually take home part of my entree (due to the fact that I am not on a swim team! lol)  A big bowl of clams (appetizer) with a chef salad is my usually meal at one restaurant, and no, I don't share the clams.  They are not on the entree menu so the appetizer is the only way I can get them.  If DH and DSons want clams they know to order another bowl.  Oh, plus I get half a chef salad for lunch the next day.  Yum.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Jones on February 24, 2013, 10:24:50 PM
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 24, 2013, 10:26:40 PM

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.


That would make me crabby. When my appetizer AND entree arrive, now I have twice as much food to make my way through in the same amount of time that everyone else is using to eat an entree only.

And one of the cool things about appetizers is being able to concentrate only on them, without the distraction of all the other flavors on the plate. Ditto the entree.

I'm guessing there was more to it than this simple idea--I have no idea of the stepkids' ages, or whether there was already the issue of teaching them to wait for everyone else and be mindful of the family and dinner-table members as a whole.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Cheapie on February 24, 2013, 10:51:09 PM
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.

Any chance you remember the post number? 

I'm just wondering if the OP remembers the manner in which they discussed it.  If the girl asked "Mom, can I have an appetizer?", I would still think she was wanting it as a side.  If she asked "Mom, can we get an appetizer?", then I think sharing it is more than OK.  Of course, I doubt that the OP remembers the exact wording and she might not have even heard the whole discussion.  It would just be interesting to know if the girl used her language in a way that the mother would have known her exact intent when it came to the appetizer issue.

I'll try to take some time later to go through the whole thread. :)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Jones on February 24, 2013, 10:55:28 PM
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.

Any chance you remember the post number? 

I'm just wondering if the OP remembers the manner in which they discussed it.  If the girl asked "Mom, can I have an appetizer?", I would still think she was wanting it as a side.  If she asked "Mom, can we get an appetizer?", then I think sharing it is more than OK.  Of course, I doubt that the OP remembers the exact wording and she might not have even heard the whole discussion.  It would just be interesting to know if the girl used her language in a way that the mother would have known her exact intent when it came to the appetizer issue.

I'll try to take some time later to go through the whole thread. :)
It was #71, but doesn't say exact wording, just that the sharing was confusing to the OP because the child did have permission.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Cheapie on February 24, 2013, 11:09:23 PM
Thanks so much Jones!  Saves me a bit of time going through all the posts!  I'm a slow reader. :D
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 24, 2013, 11:53:31 PM
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.         

The red is why I hate being the first person on the waiter's mind.  I hate looking like a pig in front of others.

The blue is another point.  I think it also should take other factors into consideration.  I was once with a party of eight in a place that specialized in prime rib.  By the time the entire table had been served the first two meals to exit the kitchen were cold.  That should not have to happen.

Re. the blue quote. Does the rule not take the difference between hot and cold meals into account? It does in Denmark.

Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

That way no warm dishes are spoiled by going cold :D I actually thought that was pretty universal, so I was surprised to read your comment :)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 25, 2013, 12:05:48 AM
Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

That way no warm dishes are spoiled by going cold :D I actually thought that was pretty universal, so I was surprised to read your comment :)

I have never heard this! It seems sensible, though.

But I also think it's different in a restaurant where not everybody orders every course anyway. So maybe if you have soup, you wait till everybody who did order soup has theirs, but you don't have to sit and watch your soup go cold while waiting for someone who didn't order soup to get their entree.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Library Dragon on February 25, 2013, 12:11:11 AM
MariaE:

Country and dish rules vary too.  In Italy you are expected to begin eating your pasta as soon as its served.  Since timing is everything for pasta you don't risk your pasta going cold or continuing to cook in a warm sauce.  This holds for a casual trattoria or upscale ristorante.

At home family style is different. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Mammavan3 on February 25, 2013, 12:11:47 AM
I must say I'm stunned to hear that some people think appetizers are always shared by everyone at the table. And I must be eating at all the wrong restaurants because all of the appetizers I've ever ordered would never be enough to pass around a table full of people - three medium stuffed mushrooms, two silver-dollar-sized crab cakes, eight tiny mussels or baby clams, five shrimp, or three half slices of melon wrapped with prosciutto. It's generally only a few bites meant to whet one's appetite for the meal to come.  Something like a hot or cold antipasto or pu pu platter, which is many times more expensive than any other appetizer, would be an exception to this.

When we eat out with family, we often share two or three appetizers, but that's generally because we're paying the bill and our guests are too polite to order individual appetizers. When eating out with friends, someone will generally ask if we want to order a few appetizers for the table or else someone will announce that's she's ordering the X and ask if anyone else would like to share it.  But we often order our own appetizers without sharing.

DH and I have been married 46 years. We ALWAYS cut a small piece of our entree and place it on the other's plate to sample. If either of us is engrossed in conversation and forgets to do this, neither of us would just reach over and take a small bite, even though the other would never mind. DH doesn't care for olives, and if some sneak their way into his food, he passes them to me. I would never just help myself to them without asking. It's even more important to extend the basic courtesies to those closest to you than to friends or acquaintances. To me, this is especially true with children, for whom we are supposed to be modeling appropriate behavior. So I feel that the mother was very rude indeed.

In my mind, assuming that an appetizer is always shared by everyone at the table may be a custom in some circles or areas but it is not required by the dictates of etiquette.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: PeterM on February 25, 2013, 12:25:44 AM
Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

I think that makes far too much sense to ever catch on in the States.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on February 25, 2013, 01:13:54 AM
Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

I think that makes far too much sense to ever catch on in the States.

 ;D ;D ;D

Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

That way no warm dishes are spoiled by going cold :D I actually thought that was pretty universal, so I was surprised to read your comment :)

I have never heard this! It seems sensible, though.

But I also think it's different in a restaurant where not everybody orders every course anyway. So maybe if you have soup, you wait till everybody who did order soup has theirs, but you don't have to sit and watch your soup go cold while waiting for someone who didn't order soup to get their entree.

Oh absolutely! The rule is per course, not per meal.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 25, 2013, 01:16:09 AM
Quote
it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

Yvaine already touched on this above, but I don't agree with this as a completely set in stone rule.

For instance, I was at dinner the other day and was the only one to order soup. It didn't come with my entree; it was an optional thing. I didn't have to wait for the rest of the table to get food before eating it. In fact, everyone would have thought I was completely crazy to do so.

I think we need to get away from a blanket rule in our minds as to whether its ok to eat if others aren't. Because it doesn't always apply.

Now, that said, there is an expectation that you wait until others get their entrees before starting (in my opinion). Because they're, basically, going to come out together. If they don't, it's usually because the waiter just has to go back and get the other tray with the remaining dishes.  Again, though, this is a grey area. If the table is huge, it could be that you just have to wait until your end gets your food. That's a "play it by ear" type of situation.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 25, 2013, 05:47:44 AM
I've read that in hosted situations a considerate host or hostess should take that into consideration and say "Please don't wait; just start" when about four people are served.

Never heard the rule about hot vs. cold, but it makes sense.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 06:01:12 AM
When my elder 2 were toddlers, and I do this now with my youngest, we'd order their meals when the waiter asks if anyone wants an appetizer, or with the drinks.  That way the little ones don't have to wait as long for their meal to arrive.  Works pretty well, except for one place that didn't bring out his chicken nuggets till after we had received our entrees.  ::)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: m2kbug on February 25, 2013, 09:38:43 AM
I must say I'm stunned to hear that some people think appetizers are always shared by everyone at the table. And I must be eating at all the wrong restaurants because all of the appetizers I've ever ordered would never be enough to pass around a table full of people - three medium stuffed mushrooms, two silver-dollar-sized crab cakes, eight tiny mussels or baby clams, five shrimp, or three half slices of melon wrapped with prosciutto. It's generally only a few bites meant to whet one's appetite for the meal to come.   

In my mind, assuming that an appetizer is always shared by everyone at the table may be a custom in some circles or areas but it is not required by the dictates of etiquette.

I think for a lot of us, at least for me, I envisioned an appetizer that was large enough it could be shared among 4 people, which has typically been the case when we've ordered one.  You still only get one or two of the appetizer servings per person, as you would an individual appetizer, there's just enough for a whole group on one plate.  Eight potato skins or a basket of fried zucchini or onion bloom is an awful lot for one person as an appetizer, it's just always been a share type of deal, usually agreed upon in advance. 

Of course any appetizer that hits the table isn't an automatic free-for-all.  It's usually agreed upon or the person who ordered makes it clear they bought it to share, dig in.   

It sounds like restaurants are moving towards more of a "starter" type of appetizer made for one or two people, in which case, I would imagine it's more of an individual dish over a shared dish and I would not see sharing as a table as a "norm" in this case unless you order more than one for the table.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 25, 2013, 11:06:02 AM
Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

That way no warm dishes are spoiled by going cold :D I actually thought that was pretty universal, so I was surprised to read your comment :)

I have never heard this! It seems sensible, though.

But I also think it's different in a restaurant where not everybody orders every course anyway. So maybe if you have soup, you wait till everybody who did order soup has theirs, but you don't have to sit and watch your soup go cold while waiting for someone who didn't order soup to get their entree.


Miss Manners has addressed this as well, saying that in a restaurant situation where lots of meals are coming out, and one or two may be more delayed, you may start as soon as *most* of the people have been served.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Asharah on February 27, 2013, 07:09:09 PM
I read this entire thread with great interest.  My family usually shares appetizers, but sometimes, my DS orders one as his meal.  He does not have to share that. 

We were out to dinner with a very big party.  My son ordered an appetizer in place of a meal.  When the runner brought it out, someone at the other end of the table said to put it down there and that he would pass it down, even though the rest of the food was brought out at the same time.

By the time it got to my son, there was almost nothing left.  Because of how big the table was, I just assumed that someone had actually ordered that as an appetizer and that the kitchen messed up and just brought it out late.

There was no food for DS.  I asked the waiter and he commented that it already came out.  When the other person realized that he had passed my DS's dinner, he got defensive and said 'We always share appetizers.  He should know better than to order one just for himself.'. I made the waiter bring my DS another plate,  but that took some time.

Not every family does things the same way.  I would never take a plate away from my kids (13 and 10).  But, unless they were really hungry, they would share.  And if it was after one of their sporting activities, I would never expect them to share.
Hello, it may have come from the appetizer list on the menu, but that was your son's ENTIRE DINNER that he stole. I hope you made it clear to him that he had swiped your son's entire meal.

As I recall, somebody else here posted a similar story. She was visiting relatives and they went for lunch before she had to catch her train home. They ordered family style, but since OP was a vegetarian, she ordered something extra for herself since otherwise all she would have had was bread and salad. Food was served when she was in the ladies room and by the time she returned to table, somebody took her food, thinking it was an extra side despite it being set at OP's place and passed it around, leaving her with next to nothing for herself. She said nothing and started filling up on bread and salad. (There wasn't time to order and eat anything else before she had to leave, and this was in the UK where ordering something boxed up to go isn't normally done.) Somebody started admonishing her for only having bread and salad when she had a long train trip ahead of her. She let them know she had ordered something else for herself, but apparently they had all helped themselves to it while she was in the ladies room. Some of the relatives were a bit upset about her having to leave without having a real lunch. At that point OP just left to catch her train. Apparently after she left they deduced which Aunt was responsible for taking and passing the plate. OP gets a nasty e-mail from guilty Aunt's daughter, who wasn't even present, about how her poor mother cried all night from the scolding she received for taking OP's lunch, and it was all OP's fault for "making such a big deal about it."  ???
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 27, 2013, 07:37:24 PM
In that situation, I can see how that could have been an unfortunate accident - but not something that required a scolding from the group. The girl who had to leave sounds like she handled it with grace. But shame on the relatives for scolding the aunt.

If a meal is family style, it's understandable that an accident like this could happen.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: snowdragon on February 27, 2013, 10:13:29 PM
I've skimmed the thread - but I would have been livid if someone did that to me. I do not share food or drink with anyone and I would simply have stopped eating at the point when someone else took my food.  ( and if I were the one paying for my meal, I would refuse to pay for something that was taken from me)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 27, 2013, 10:18:50 PM
I've skimmed the thread - but I would have been livid if someone did that to me. I do not share food or drink with anyone and I would simply have stopped eating at the point when someone else took my food.  ( and if I were the one paying for my meal, I would refuse to pay for something that was taken from me)

I agree with this. I am much the same way. Usually I order an appetizer as my meal, so for someone to presume that they can eat the whole thing would be beyond the pale. Then again, normally I don't dine in large groups, and usually it's just me and my sister, and she knows I like getting apps for my meal, so all is good :)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Asharah on February 28, 2013, 12:08:12 AM
In that situation, I can see how that could have been an unfortunate accident - but not something that required a scolding from the group. The girl who had to leave sounds like she handled it with grace. But shame on the relatives for scolding the aunt.

If a meal is family style, it's understandable that an accident like this could happen.
I got the sense Auntie was a bit of a drama queen, and since OP had already left, we don't really know if she got scolded or if she was just trying to somehow "blame the victim" so she wouldn't have to take responsibility for taking OP's lunch. I mean she lied to her daughter about OP "making a big deal" so she could be lying about the rest of the family scolding her.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Venus193 on February 28, 2013, 05:36:07 AM
I agree on Auntie being a drama queen.  She should be called out on that by someone who was present.  Drama queens keep doing this until the people in their lives consequence them for it.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 28, 2013, 05:57:19 AM
Yep, I know the type.  They get rightly called out for doing something low and all of a sudden it's the victim's fault.  ::)
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: secretrebel on February 28, 2013, 06:04:46 AM
In that situation, I can see how that could have been an unfortunate accident - but not something that required a scolding from the group. The girl who had to leave sounds like she handled it with grace. But shame on the relatives for scolding the aunt.

If a meal is family style, it's understandable that an accident like this could happen.
I got the sense Auntie was a bit of a drama queen, and since OP had already left, we don't really know if she got scolded or if she was just trying to somehow "blame the victim" so she wouldn't have to take responsibility for taking OP's lunch. I mean she lied to her daughter about OP "making a big deal" so she could be lying about the rest of the family scolding her.

Or aunt could have completely unintentionally passed around what she thought was a sharing dish and been mortified that she caused someone to go without their meal, gone home and spoken of her embarrassment to her family and her family then jumped in knowing too little of the situation to understand it and behaved rudely.

If the aunt did this accidentally I feel for her too. It could have been an innocent error.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on February 28, 2013, 07:21:41 AM
In that situation, I can see how that could have been an unfortunate accident - but not something that required a scolding from the group. The girl who had to leave sounds like she handled it with grace. But shame on the relatives for scolding the aunt.

If a meal is family style, it's understandable that an accident like this could happen.
I got the sense Auntie was a bit of a drama queen, and since OP had already left, we don't really know if she got scolded or if she was just trying to somehow "blame the victim" so she wouldn't have to take responsibility for taking OP's lunch. I mean she lied to her daughter about OP "making a big deal" so she could be lying about the rest of the family scolding her.

Or aunt could have completely unintentionally passed around what she thought was a sharing dish and been mortified that she caused someone to go without their meal, gone home and spoken of her embarrassment to her family and her family then jumped in knowing too little of the situation to understand it and behaved rudely.

If the aunt did this accidentally I feel for her too. It could have been an innocent error.

Or maybe the family just likes scolding everybody. They scolded the vegetarian too, for supposedly not ordering enough food. They sound like a whole panoply of drama queens.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Asharah on February 28, 2013, 08:28:53 AM
The other thing was that all the rest of the food was placed in the middle of the table to share. According to the waiter OP talked to, her plate had been specifically set at her place at the table. And it was not a big serving dish like everything else.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on February 28, 2013, 11:58:48 AM
Quote
Or aunt could have completely unintentionally passed around what she thought was a sharing dish and been mortified that she caused someone to go without their meal, gone home and spoken of her embarrassment to her family and her family then jumped in knowing too little of the situation to understand it and behaved rudely.

This is how I read it (the story as told above - I don't remember the actual, original story in its entirety).

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: asb8 on March 01, 2013, 08:14:03 PM
Here's a link to the story

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=15036.0
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: snowdragon on March 01, 2013, 09:42:58 PM
Here's a link to the story

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=15036.0

Wow.... :o
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Lore on March 02, 2013, 09:29:41 PM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.
-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I believe in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.

Pod to all of this especially the bolder.  It is always rude to eat in front of friends at your table when they have nothing to eat and you are holding up their meal. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on March 02, 2013, 10:14:56 PM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.
-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I believe in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.

Pod to all of this especially the bolder.  It is always rude to eat in front of friends at your table when they have nothing to eat and you are holding up their meal.

If I were the only one, I'd ask the waiter if it were possible for me to get my app and my main course at the same time.  When I want mozzarella sticks, I want them dangit.  I don't hardly ever go out to eat, when I do, I'm going to eat the food I want to eat, that's the whole point of treating yourself.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: snowdragon on March 02, 2013, 10:50:36 PM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.

-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I beleive in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.


What would you do with someone who does not follow your rules?   I would be really upset if you imposed them on me...especially "sharing" food. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on March 03, 2013, 12:02:46 AM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.

-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I beleive in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.


What would you do with someone who does not follow your rules?   I would be really upset if you imposed them on me...especially "sharing" food.

I also don't see how four mozzarella sticks is a "group" appetizer.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: kudeebee on March 03, 2013, 12:05:24 AM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.

-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I beleive in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.


What would you do with someone who does not follow your rules?   I would be really upset if you imposed them on me...especially "sharing" food.

I take exception to the bolded as well.  If you are dining with a group, discuss ordering appetizers as you stated later on.  However, there is nothing wrong in ordering an appetizer to eat yourself or to share with your dining companion only.  In my experience it does not delay getting the main course by that much and usually people are busy talking anyway.

As to it being rude to eat when others don't have their food, that is not always true.  If you get an appetizer or a starter--such as soup or salad that come with some meals and not with others--it is not rude to eat those when they come out and are served to you.  Not everyone's meal comes with a starter, for example a sandwich platter probably won't but a dinner entree probably will.

Also, if you are with a very large group, there is nothing wrong with starting to eat your meal while it is still hot.  Most often someone will say, "don't wait on the rest of the food, eat while your meal is hot."  I hate to see people sit and wait until everyone is served and by then some meals have cooled.  We were out with a group of 18 last weekend at a very busy restaurant.  There was a time lapse of about 4-5 minutes between the first and last meals arriving and we encouraged the others to start and not wait.  Didn't bother me in the least.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: MariaE on March 03, 2013, 12:24:24 AM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.
-If you are dining with a group and only one person orders an appetizer but you and other's don't then when you are offered part of the app you decline. If the person who ordered the app stops eating it and it's just sitting there, it is fine to say "you know I think I will try one".  You can also accept if the person who orders it says "No really, take some. I just really wanted some calamari but if I eat all of this I won't be able to eat my main course."
-If you are dining with just one person and you want an appetizer you discuss options with the your dining companion. Actually, I believe in any group dining instance you should ask your companions if they plan to order an appetizer because if everyone says no, then you should ask if they are ok with you ordering one since your request will delay them getting their main course at most restaurants.
-If you order an appetizer that is obviously meant for one person such as a cup of soup, I see no need to offer to the other tablemates.

I've taught my kids the same rules so would be very suprised if they ordered cheese sticks and didn't offer some to others.  My kids were also swimmers and I know how hungry an after practice teen or tween is, but that didn't give them the right to forget what I consider to be their etiquette rules. I would have done similar to the mom and picked up the cheese basket and offered to the other dining companions because I would have thought my DD's hunger had taken over her ability to be gracious.

On the dessert discussion I've also seen instances where one person orders a dessert while the rest of the table turns it down but still the waiter brings multiple forks or spoons. I always find this preseumtious of the waiter.

In a situation where you're dining with friends, I completely disagree with the first three points. I'm allowed to order an appetizer if I want, I don't have to share it, and if others want to share theirs with mine in a situation where I didn't order one, I'm absolutely allowed to accept... If they didn't want me to have one, they shouldn't have offered it.

In a situation where you're dining with strangers/acquaintances, I still completely disagree with the first two point. The third one still wouldn't be rude I think, but it could get awkward.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: sweetonsno on March 03, 2013, 10:47:09 AM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.

<snip>


What would you do with someone who does not follow your rules?   I would be really upset if you imposed them on me...especially "sharing" food.


I take exception to the bolded as well.  If you are dining with a group, discuss ordering appetizers as you stated later on.  However, there is nothing wrong in ordering an appetizer to eat yourself or to share with your dining companion only.  In my experience it does not delay getting the main course by that much and usually people are busy talking anyway.
<snip>

Me three. While I think it's nice when someone shares his or her appetizer, I certainly don't expect it or think they are rude if they don't. I couldn't quite put my finger on why it irked me until this morning, but it boils down to this: your companions aren't rude for choosing to not subsidize your meal. Expecting someone to give you part of the appetizer they ordered and paid for themselves is an awful lot like expecting them to split the check evenly when you've ordered a bottle of wine and the lobster and they stuck to soda and a Cobb salad. True, it's not on the same scale, but it's the same sort of expectation. If you want to eat what someone else is having, either order it yourself or offer to split it (the dish and the cost).
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 04, 2013, 08:04:53 AM
My group dining expectations is this:
-If you order a group type appetizer (cheese sticks, calamari, fried mushrooms) that comes in pieces then you offer some to your dining companions.

<snip>


What would you do with someone who does not follow your rules?   I would be really upset if you imposed them on me...especially "sharing" food.


I take exception to the bolded as well.  If you are dining with a group, discuss ordering appetizers as you stated later on.  However, there is nothing wrong in ordering an appetizer to eat yourself or to share with your dining companion only.  In my experience it does not delay getting the main course by that much and usually people are busy talking anyway.
<snip>

Me three. While I think it's nice when someone shares his or her appetizer, I certainly don't expect it or think they are rude if they don't. I couldn't quite put my finger on why it irked me until this morning, but it boils down to this: your companions aren't rude for choosing to not subsidize your meal. Expecting someone to give you part of the appetizer they ordered and paid for themselves is an awful lot like expecting them to split the check evenly when you've ordered a bottle of wine and the lobster and they stuck to soda and a Cobb salad. True, it's not on the same scale, but it's the same sort of expectation. If you want to eat what someone else is having, either order it yourself or offer to split it (the dish and the cost).
It seems you've dismissed my bullet #2 which is if you don't order an appetizer, when a dining companion offers you part of their, you decline because you don't have something to share back and you made the decision to not order an appetizer when it was

On the other post about delaying your dining companions, in my experience it does delay the mains by at least 10 to 15 minutes.  If it doesn't then the restaurant isn't giving you time to finish your app prior to brining the mains to the table. If it is a social day and no one is on a deadline then I'm sure most dining companions would say "sure go ahead, no problem". But if it's a quick lunch with work companions, I'd be fine with someone saying "would you mind them bringing it with your main as I need to get back to the office for a meeting."

As I started the post, this is MY expectations. If someone doesn't have the same ones, I'm obviously not going to reach across the table and help myself. But within our family, appetizers are always shared so if I offered others at the table part of my daughter's cheese sticks she ordered, she wouldn't blink an eye because that is "our" norm. Any look of suprise would have been because she realized she hadn't offered it to others. 

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Calistoga on March 05, 2013, 09:35:59 AM
It was the child's food. Not the mothers. If it was understood within the family that appetizers are to be shared, then she needed to encourage her child to offer, not do it for her.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Yvaine on March 05, 2013, 09:46:32 AM
On the other post about delaying your dining companions, in my experience it does delay the mains by at least 10 to 15 minutes.  If it doesn't then the restaurant isn't giving you time to finish your app prior to brining the mains to the table. If it is a social day and no one is on a deadline then I'm sure most dining companions would say "sure go ahead, no problem". But if it's a quick lunch with work companions, I'd be fine with someone saying "would you mind them bringing it with your main as I need to get back to the office for a meeting."

Interesting! I never actually noticed that. I've never timed it, but it always seems to be that if a table only orders mains, the food takes long enough that people could have ordered and eaten appetizers while waiting, and it seemed to me that part of the point of appetizers was to kill time while the kitchen cooked the more time-intensive entrees (since most apps are things that can be prepared very quickly). Or maybe the wait just seems longer when there's nothing to munch on...
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: LadyR on March 05, 2013, 12:51:48 PM
On the other post about delaying your dining companions, in my experience it does delay the mains by at least 10 to 15 minutes.  If it doesn't then the restaurant isn't giving you time to finish your app prior to brining the mains to the table. If it is a social day and no one is on a deadline then I'm sure most dining companions would say "sure go ahead, no problem". But if it's a quick lunch with work companions, I'd be fine with someone saying "would you mind them bringing it with your main as I need to get back to the office for a meeting."

Interesting! I never actually noticed that. I've never timed it, but it always seems to be that if a table only orders mains, the food takes long enough that people could have ordered and eaten appetizers while waiting, and it seemed to me that part of the point of appetizers was to kill time while the kitchen cooked the more time-intensive entrees (since most apps are things that can be prepared very quickly). Or maybe the wait just seems longer when there's nothing to munch on...

This. Most places I've eaten, mains take the same amount of time regardless of whether your order appetizers or not. And appetizers often come out much, much quicker.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 05, 2013, 01:03:22 PM
On the other post about delaying your dining companions, in my experience it does delay the mains by at least 10 to 15 minutes.  If it doesn't then the restaurant isn't giving you time to finish your app prior to brining the mains to the table. If it is a social day and no one is on a deadline then I'm sure most dining companions would say "sure go ahead, no problem". But if it's a quick lunch with work companions, I'd be fine with someone saying "would you mind them bringing it with your main as I need to get back to the office for a meeting."

Interesting! I never actually noticed that. I've never timed it, but it always seems to be that if a table only orders mains, the food takes long enough that people could have ordered and eaten appetizers while waiting, and it seemed to me that part of the point of appetizers was to kill time while the kitchen cooked the more time-intensive entrees (since most apps are things that can be prepared very quickly). Or maybe the wait just seems longer when there's nothing to munch on...

This. Most places I've eaten, mains take the same amount of time regardless of whether your order appetizers or not. And appetizers often come out much, much quicker.

I think that could be true in some places and some appetizers. Like at TexMex, our entrees are not going to be slowed down if we order a bowl of queso to go with our chips. But last week we were at a Peruvian restaurant and did a starter of empanadas that were made to order. Had they started our DD's seabass at the same time they started our empanadas, her entree would have been ready a long time before we recevied our appetizer.

At our favorite steak house, the waiter will bring out appetizer and ask as if we'd like for him to have the kitchen start our steaks or wait a little longer.

At a pizza place we favor, their pizza's take 90 secs to cook. So from the time you order they can literally have the pizza assembled, cooked, and sliced within 5 minutes. So again, the pizza would show up before our order of cheesesticks if the waiter didn't hold our pizza order till after he brought out cheese sticks out to us.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: snowdragon on March 05, 2013, 01:08:15 PM
About the list of "rules" I'm an adult, I am paying for my own meal and my companion is an adult presumably paying for theirs  -  I will not ask permission to order what I want. I would not expect to make the decision on their ability to or what they want.  This is part of the reason why I hate having people "treat" me - I want to be able to order what I want with out worrying about it.
  If my ordering an appetizer slows you down so much, then ask that your meal come with my appetizer. But don't expect tour have adults ask your permission to eat what they want. 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on March 05, 2013, 02:25:30 PM
Quote
If my ordering an appetizer slows you down so much, then ask that your meal come with my appetizer. But don't expect tour have adults ask your permission to eat what they want.

This.  And I think that, if someone asked if I could get my appetizer at the same time as my entree because they have a meeting to get back for, I'd wonder why they even agreed to go to lunch.  And I'd be a little miffed.  It sounds like they didn't plan correctly for lunch and probably should have stayed back at the office that day.  Anything could happen to delay a meal - not just the ordering of an appetizer.  And if someone is that crunched for time, they chose unwisely to go to lunch.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 05, 2013, 02:53:33 PM
Quote
If my ordering an appetizer slows you down so much, then ask that your meal come with my appetizer. But don't expect tour have adults ask your permission to eat what they want.

This.  And I think that, if someone asked if I could get my appetizer at the same time as my entree because they have a meeting to get back for, I'd wonder why they even agreed to go to lunch.  And I'd be a little miffed.  It sounds like they didn't plan correctly for lunch and probably should have stayed back at the office that day.  Anything could happen to delay a meal - not just the ordering of an appetizer.  And if someone is that crunched for time, they chose unwisely to go to lunch.

A couple of weeks ago, a vendor took a few of us out to lunch after a meeting to a local seafood restaurant. When the vendor issued the lunch invitation she mentioned she'd be leaving directly from the restaurant to get to the airport for her afternoon flight. The restaurant was primarily chosen because 1)it's close to the office 2) is pretty fast on getting lunch out.  Normal expectation is that if you order off their lunch menu you can be in and out within 30-45 min. We had a table of 8 and the first 7 of us order off the lunch menu and turn down the suggestion of soup, salad, or appetizer. The last to order decides he wants to start with a bowl of gumbo, then have a salad, before the main courses are brought. So we all sat for almost 20 - 25 minutes after ordering going through baskets of bread while he finished his soup and salad before our main courses were brought. As our host, I'm sure our vendor didn't feel comfortable saying to the waitress "would you go ahead and bring my entree and I'll eat and leave" since she did have to pay the bill.

Now this is an extreme example, but we do all leave the office with some expectaion on how long a lunch will take. Because of the way our office is laid out and located, it takes 15 minute minimum to get from desk to car and drive to a restaurant so 30 minutes is taken up on travel. So yes, someone ordering an appetizer that takes an additional 10 to 15 minutes now means that I have less than 15-20 minutes to eat my main course and pay my bill.   

But, you are correct that it is completely within your right to order anything you want. I just wouldn't enjoy being the only person at a group dining table eating an appetizer while everyone else sat waiting for me to finish so they could get their main course.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on March 05, 2013, 03:05:59 PM
Like the others, though, I've never really found that ordering an appetizer prolongs the meal that much.  They're brought out, like others have said, while the entrees are being cooked, so it's not that much longer.  If it makes the lunch that much longer, it would seem to me that the restaurant isn't doing its job correctly - and I'd quietly let the waitress/manager know.  A restaurant, such as one would eat in for an informal work lunch, should know how to time things such that people aren't waiting long periods of time.  Yours was not the only table, I'm sure, trying to eat and get back to work; they should be used to that scenario.

Edited to clarify:  The above refers to a lunch type situation.  There have been more formal places where it's expected that a meal might lengthen due to the various courses.
 
 
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: DottyG on March 05, 2013, 03:13:24 PM
Also, in the case you described, the vendor could have easily told the waitress that she was trying to make a plane flight and to bring the food out accordingly.  Sounds like she didn't do the simplest thing she could have to prevent the problem.

If I'm in any kind of a rush to eat and leave, I let the waitress know that.  They're usually good about working with that and getting things out more quickly.

Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 05, 2013, 04:02:07 PM
Also, in the case you described, the vendor could have easily told the waitress that she was trying to make a plane flight and to bring the food out accordingly.  Sounds like she didn't do the simplest thing she could have to prevent the problem.

If I'm in any kind of a rush to eat and leave, I let the waitress know that.  They're usually good about working with that and getting things out more quickly.

Not trying to argue but clarify.

So for the bolded, if said to the waitress would your expecation be that the waitress would:
-bring out the other guest's soup and salad together and then bring all of our entrees at the same time
-the waitress would bring out the soup for the one guest and then bring his salad and our entrees then the other guests entree after he finished his salad
-bring the one guests soup, salad and entree all at the same time with all of our entrees?

While I can see how any of these scenarios would reduce the amount of time, it seems wrong to take control of someone else's meal course timing.

And our waitress was aware we were in a hurry. But bringing his gumbo, his eating it and her coming back to remove the bowl took at least 10 minutes and then again the same for his salad. There wasn't much that she could do about it since he had ordered 3 courses.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Mammavan3 on March 05, 2013, 04:21:55 PM
The rudeness is not in the time it took to deliver and aeat the soup and salad and thus delaying the meal but in no following the host's lead in ordering only an entree.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: gollymolly2 on March 12, 2013, 08:27:55 PM
Like the others, though, I've never really found that ordering an appetizer prolongs the meal that much.  They're brought out, like others have said, while the entrees are being cooked, so it's not that much longer.  If it makes the lunch that much longer, it would seem to me that the restaurant isn't doing its job correctly - and I'd quietly let the waitress/manager know.  A restaurant, such as one would eat in for an informal work lunch, should know how to time things such that people aren't waiting long periods of time.  Yours was not the only table, I'm sure, trying to eat and get back to work; they should be used to that scenario.

Edited to clarify:  The above refers to a lunch type situation.  There have been more formal places where it's expected that a meal might lengthen due to the various courses.

I'm a bit late to the thread but just FYI, I've worked at a number of chain restaurants - the type people often go to at lunch. All of them had computer systems that automatically delayed the entrees if someone ordered an appetizer. Thats not to say that every restaurant does this, of course, but it's pretty common.
Title: Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
Post by: Girlie on March 15, 2013, 10:24:46 AM
I have to admit that I'm a bit conflicted about this particular scenario.

In my family, my mother would never have that. Then again, my mother would never let us order an appetizer just for ourselves, either. Even now, as adults, the familial understanding is that if appetizers are ordered, everybody shares. Of course, this is the norm in my family, where we believe nothing should ever be shared except food and bathroom space.

I think if the mom was trying to make a point to her daughter, and if the mom wasn't also offering up her daughter's entree, then all the OP or anyone else can do is sit back and participate or not based on their own conscience. I don't necessarily agree with the mom or the method, but not knowing the dynamic, I don't want to call judgment on her, either.

I don't think the mom was wrong per say, but I would not have felt comfortable taking the food, either.