Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: oogyda on May 05, 2013, 05:26:16 PM

Title: Family breakfast
Post by: oogyda on May 05, 2013, 05:26:16 PM
Oogydad and I stopped out for breakfast this morning.  We went to Denny's.  Not high-end, but at least they bring your order to you at the table.  We were given a booth and set out to enjoy our meal.  Shortly after we ordered, a family of Mom, Dad, Teen Girl and Tween boy were seated at a table near us. 

After they had placed their orders, Mom got busy on her Ipad, Teen girl got interested in her phone, and Tween boy put his ear buds back in to continue his game on a DS.  Poor dad just sat there with nothing to do.  I felt like asking him to join us since we were at least talking.  Of course, I didn't. 

This behavior continued even after their food was brought to them.  In the whole time they were there before we left, they didn't say a single word to each other. 

Very rude to the dad, but I kind of got the feeling he was used to it. 

If this is this the new way to do a family breakfast, I think I'll stay home and have a bowl of cereal.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Yvaine on May 05, 2013, 06:22:29 PM
I don't think it's "the new way" to do anything--it's just the way this one family behaved. After all, you and oogydad were there too, presumably enjoying a family breakfast in which you talked to each other. No reason to deprive yourselves of a nice breakfast out, if that's what you want, just because some people at another table were being rude to each other.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: ncgal on May 05, 2013, 06:27:33 PM
My rule, at home or out to dinner is that all cell phones and other devices are put away during the meal time. 

Feel for that dad. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: *inviteseller on May 05, 2013, 06:59:25 PM
They were rude to each other.  I say that since I got my DD her phone (electronic leash), I only see the top of her head because she is always hunched over it, but meals, especially meals out, or any family thing we do together (which with her almost 18 are few and far between) are phone free.  I see parents walking with their little ones, head phones in or yapping on a phone and the kids trying to get their attention and being ignored. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: kherbert05 on May 05, 2013, 07:03:29 PM
Maybe that is their way of starting the day. I remember being on vacation and Dad would still read his newspaper, Sis would be a grump (not a morning person), Mom would be thinking, so I brought a book to the table. Dad objected, I pointed out he was reading the paper, he agreed. The spring we had to move out of our house due to black mold repairs we did the same every day in the hotel restaurant for 2 months.


I picked up Loren and Brett one day over spring break. We went to Ihop. After we ordered, I pulled out my Ipad and showed them a couple of different activities we could go do - they voiced their opinions and we set our day. Once the food arrived we talked. After I finished and they were finishing/waiting for check, I got out the IPad again to check traffic and figure out the best place to park and walk from to go to 3 different venues. This woman at the next table stage whispered her disapproval of me paying more attention to my device than the kids. I laughed and walked on.


I'm sure she would have a fit if she saw us get in the car. I turned on my hot spot gave Loren her Ipad, Brett his Nook, started my podcasts (audio only) on my phone, and then started the GPS App (the podcast play through). There are those that say I gave up a perfect opportunity to talk with the kids. Except I don't talk to people when I'm driving in Houston rush hour traffic. I love the fact they are entertained, and not trying to talk to me. Brett is usually asleep 15 min into any drive, so Lauren is can't talk/play with him.  The only problem now is they bug their parents to put on their hot spot. (They don't have one).
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Deetee on May 05, 2013, 07:12:49 PM
I find it rude to pass judgement on how other people choose to interact or not. If someone is on their cell phone with me I can be annoyed etc.. But if they are with someone else that it up to them. For some people a chatty breakfast is like pokers in the eye. For others ( like me) I like a bit of conversation.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Surianne on May 05, 2013, 07:16:05 PM
I don't think you can judge them to be rude as an outsider.  I'm not very chatty in the morning.  Sharing breakfast with other people, each of us doing out own thing, sounds pretty good to me.  OP, I get that it wouldn't be your chosen style of breakfast, but that doesn't make you better than anyone else.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: rose red on May 05, 2013, 07:24:00 PM
My family don't like to talk much in the morning either.  We don't have gadgets, but often just stare into space with our own thoughts, people watch, read the paper, or concentrate on our food.  We still like sitting at the same table and feel the togetherness though.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: oogyda on May 05, 2013, 07:28:23 PM
Alrighty then. Sufficiently chastised.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: ccnumber4 on May 05, 2013, 07:29:20 PM
Why would another family's interactions with each other make you stay home instead of enjoying breakfast out with your husband?
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: peaches on May 05, 2013, 07:32:28 PM
I see this at every restaurant we go to. Not everyone at a table necessarily, and not every table, but there's a lot of it going on, and this is at the dinner hour.

It only bothers me if it's at our table.  :)



Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Roe on May 05, 2013, 08:03:00 PM
Sorry but that is very judgmental.  You have no idea how they relate to one another on a daily basis.  You got a glimpse of them, for less than an hour and based on that you 'pity' the husband/dad. 

My DH and I start our morning on our iPads.  When my mom visited, she wrongly assumed that we ignore one another every morning when the opposite is true.  We read the news and discuss current events.  Just because we are using technology doesn't mean we tune one another out. 

Those that think so make a very huge interesting assumption.   
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: lady_disdain on May 05, 2013, 08:19:40 PM
I feel that as long as everyone at the table is ok with something and it doesn't interfere with other tables, then how people interact is up to them. So, if everyone wants to read, fine, but a shouting match isn't (since it will annoy everyone around).

Breakfast, in my family, has always been a reading meal (newspaper, book, magazine). Every other meal, no way. We all agree with Oscar Wilde that "only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 05, 2013, 08:21:39 PM
I find it rude to pass judgement on how other people choose to interact or not. If someone is on their cell phone with me I can be annoyed etc.. But if they are with someone else that it up to them. For some people a chatty breakfast is like pokers in the eye. For others ( like me) I like a bit of conversation.
I agree. They could have been traveling for awhile and needed a break from each other. Dad could have been a real a** this morning and the family wanted to tune hin out.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: AngelicGamer on May 05, 2013, 08:38:49 PM
You'd hate it at our house.   ;D  Mom and I have dueling laptops at the dining room table.  She's been working all day and wants to watch TV and play about on the internet.  I'm a writer and in between far too many projects of original and fanfiction.  However, we visit and talk about whatever we're watching.  Or not, in the case of Sherlock.

When we are out, we do have our phones / Kindles with us.  Again, we love each other.  But sometimes, we just want to read.  We also talk while reading - her to show me a funny passage and me to say something that's happening in the world.  So, we are visiting.  It just involves electronic devices and seeming to be in our own worlds.  Also, if I or mom forgot one our devices (very unlikely - our phones are glued to us), I'd go spend the money to get a newspaper or ask the waitress if there's a newspaper the place has that I could buy/borrow.  So, I don't understand the part of dad not having anything to do.  I think that he could have asked the waitress - or even the two of you - about if there was a bin outside to get a newspaper out of.  However, that is me and my worldview in a suburb of a big city.  I don't know where you and your DH are, OP, and if that could really be done.

About headphones - I only break out headphones in the car when she wants to talk in private with work / relatives / friends of hers.  I love it, due to being a big introvert and wanting the downtown of music as it relaxes me for the next stop that we're going to make in the day.  That is kind of strange, but at the same time, it's a kid. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: NyaChan on May 05, 2013, 09:55:27 PM
I find it rude to pass judgement on how other people choose to interact or not. If someone is on their cell phone with me I can be annoyed etc.. But if they are with someone else that it up to them. For some people a chatty breakfast is like pokers in the eye. For others ( like me) I like a bit of conversation.

I totally agree with this.  There is no indication that the dad had any problem with this.  Now if he'd been trying to engage them in conversation and telling the kids to put their electronics away only to be ignored or talked back to, I'd think there was evidence that this was a situation where he was being ignored.  But if that's ok for their family and no one at the table is upset, who are we to say they are rude to one another? 

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: *inviteseller on May 05, 2013, 10:24:03 PM
I understand some people are not morning people (my own DD), but so little time is spent together as families anymore so I emphasize electronic free meals at my house, and while I don't think it is for everyone, I would have raised my eyebrows at the scene OP saw.  I see it a  a lot and to me, it is so sad when a family can't turn things off for an hour to have a meal together.  But I would never say anything, the thoughts would stay firmly in my own head.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: kareng57 on May 05, 2013, 10:52:52 PM
I understand some people are not morning people (my own DD), but so little time is spent together as families anymore so I emphasize electronic free meals at my house, and while I don't think it is for everyone, I would have raised my eyebrows at the scene OP saw.  I see it a  a lot and to me, it is so sad when a family can't turn things off for an hour to have a meal together.  But I would never say anything, the thoughts would stay firmly in my own head.


But you have no idea as to how they interact during other meals - maybe dinner is their usual-interaction time?

Dinnertime was our usual "family meal" - late Dh worked the night shift so he was never home before the kids got off to school.  However, he was up by around 4 pm, substantially earlier than most 9 to 5 dads.

I don't think that anyone here is in a position to judge this particular family.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: audrey1962 on May 06, 2013, 05:49:55 AM
Back in the day, people used to pull out the newspaper and read it at the restaurant table. I don't see how this is any different.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Sharnita on May 06, 2013, 06:24:22 AM
I understand some people are not morning people (my own DD), but so little time is spent together as families anymore so I emphasize electronic free meals at my house, and while I don't think it is for everyone, I would have raised my eyebrows at the scene OP saw.  I see it a  a lot and to me, it is so sad when a family can't turn things off for an hour to have a meal together.  But I would never say anything, the thoughts would stay firmly in my own head.


But you have no idea as to how they interact during other meals - maybe dinner is their usual-interaction time?

Dinnertime was our usual "family meal" - late Dh worked the night shift so he was never home before the kids got off to school.  However, he was up by around 4 pm, substantially earlier than most 9 to 5 dads.

I don't think that anyone here is in a position to judge this particular family.

It is also possible they homeschool and see at least one parent a whole lot during the day.  I understand not wanting that dynamic for your own dining companions and family and find it perfectly reasonable.  It probably isn't something we should impose on those who have no connection to us.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: wallaby on May 06, 2013, 07:11:03 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: ettiquit on May 06, 2013, 07:24:31 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.

I tend to agree with this.  While it is technically "judgmental" - we judge people all the time based on things we observe.  I can't imagine how boring it would be to sit at a table in a restaurant where all of my dining companions are otherwise occupied.

Granted, the dad could have been perfectly content to sit there doing nothing, but I'd probably be feeling sorry for him too.

My family is certainly guilty of using electronics at the table, though not for the whole time and definitely not while we're eating.   
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: squeakers on May 06, 2013, 07:33:23 AM
Maybe he is not a morning person and his family has learned he would prefer silence while he wakes up and then eats. I certainly don't "look impressed" until I have been up for a few hours.

We don't do electronics while eating out only because once or twice in the past things have been left behind (recovered but used as a lesson).  But we don't fill in the wait with chatter and once the food gets there we are too busy eating to be socializing.  Lunch or dinner time? That's a different story.  We actually have things to talk about (how the day has went, what we plan on doing later) vs nothing has happened since we went to bed and got up to eat.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 06, 2013, 07:50:37 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.

I tend to agree with this.  While it is technically "judgmental" - we judge people all the time based on things we observe.  I can't imagine how boring it would be to sit at a table in a restaurant where all of my dining companions are otherwise occupied.

Granted, the dad could have been perfectly content to sit there doing nothing, but I'd probably be feeling sorry for him too.

My family is certainly guilty of using electronics at the table, though not for the whole time and definitely not while we're eating.
I think if the OP had said "Was at breakfast, noticed a family of mom, teen and tween all engaged in electronics and Dad just sitting their with no interaction and no conversation. Do you find this normal?" most of us would have said "No, we try to encourage engagement as much as possible with dining companions."

But I know in my response I was reacting to the tone of her post which came off overly judgemental; deciding that it was  rude to the Dad, felt he was so neglected she had the urge to invite him to sit with them, that she was able to declare that he seemed used to being ignored, and that the encounter left her feeling like she'd rather eat at home.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: bopper on May 06, 2013, 07:58:10 AM
I make everyone put their phones away once we have been seated..I actually find that the kids talk when we are out as they have nothing else to do (:-)). I have seen other cases like yours though!
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: dawbs on May 06, 2013, 08:05:34 AM
I understand some people are not morning people (my own DD), but so little time is spent together as families anymore so I emphasize electronic free meals at my house, and while I don't think it is for everyone, I would have raised my eyebrows at the scene OP saw.  I see it a  a lot and to me, it is so sad when a family can't turn things off for an hour to have a meal together.  But I would never say anything, the thoughts would stay firmly in my own head.

You're free to have those thoughts--but you are making an awful lot of assumptions.
You are assuming that there is 'so little time' to spend together.  You assume they 'cant turn things off for an hour'. 
Heck, it's assumptive to even state that 4 people who are having breakfast together are a family--for all I know, it could be the chauffeur and 3 family members or 2 adults hired to chaperone minors to an airport. 
It could be that the whole crew is traveling home from a funeral and are emotionally exhausted and need to escape. 
It could be that the male adult speaks a different language.
It could be that being 'absent' from the family for an hour via electronics frees all of these people up to be 'present' from the family for the rest of the day.

If it's 4 people is it my style? no, not really.  But it's not hurting anyone outside the family, so it's nobody's business.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Zilla on May 06, 2013, 08:34:31 AM
We as a family don't talk much at restaurants being it's so noisy and busy.  That could have been very well us as my husband likes to relax/stare out in space with his thoughts while the rest of us will do something during the lulls.  At least the restaurants we go to, it tends to be loud.  Maybe we would be different in a quiet restaurant but even then we would probably not talk since it's so quiet.  ;)
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: perpetua on May 06, 2013, 08:36:19 AM
This was their family, their breakfast, their choice how to spend it, and absolutely none of your concern.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Yvaine on May 06, 2013, 08:40:25 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.

What bothered me about the original post wasn't the good or bad manners of the other family--it was how the "the new way" comment rang like yet another "kids these days and their gadgets" rant, when in reality people have been doing this same thing with newspapers and books for ages; how the post was really a vent anyway, which isn't allowed here; and the hyperbolic statement that the OP would forgo eating out if this was "the new way" to eat breakfast. I mean, why? Why can't the OP and her husband have a nice breakfast out if they want to, and they can talk to each other all they want during it? I just don't get how this other family had the power to ruin eating out for a pair of total strangers.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Thipu1 on May 06, 2013, 09:44:55 AM
I agree.  I would find the behavior odd but not rude.  After all, they weren't doing anything noisy to annoy other tables. 

Once, on a ship, we were assigned to a six person dinner table with a family of four like the one described.  All four were texting or doing something else throughout the entire meal.  THIS, we thought rude and asked the next day to be moved to another table.  If they had been at a neighboring table, we wouldn't have thought much about it.

At family gatherings that last several days, there are long stretches when people go off and do their own thing. However, when mealtime comes around, everyone puts the stuff away and we talk. 

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: sunnygirl on May 06, 2013, 09:57:45 AM
I agree that you can't pass judgement based on so little.
I have a close family member who has a form of autism. Sometimes he can have interact with others, but sometimes it's like shutters come down and he is literally incapable of communicating and seems genuinely unaware anyone else is there (like, when he finishes eating, he'll stand up and try to walk out of the restaurant and go home, even if I'm still eating). I am a very social person and love to chat constantly, and I find spending time with him when he is in "locked in" mode quite upsetting. If the two of us are alone and he goes into locked-in mode, I will put in my iPod and go on my phone, without any guilt -- I'm certainly not going to spend an entire meal staring at the wall in silence with someone who acts like I'm not there.

Obviously this is an extreme and probably very unusual example, the point is you don't know what circumstances go on in anyone else's life.

Also, I agree that we do make all kinds of silent (sometimes subconscious) judgements about people we see; we can't stop ourselves from having thoughts. But I think there is a difference between a judgmental thought entering your head, and starting a public thread online about it to denounce them. I mean, whenever I see someone wearing a certain item of clothing my brain goes, "eww" but I'd never start a thread saying, "People who wear X are tacky and awful."

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Chaney on May 06, 2013, 10:37:32 AM

If this is this the new way to do a family breakfast, I think I'll stay home and have a bowl of cereal.

I read this to mean that if she was part of that family she would rather stay home, not that she won't go out with her DH because of it. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: turnip on May 06, 2013, 10:55:53 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.

From all the time the OP spent observing the (non)interactions of the people at the next table, I'd say it's very clear that s/he wasn't giving his/her companion his/her full attention.    I certainly couldn't give you such detailed information on the people around me from the last time I ate out at a restaurant. 

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Yvaine on May 06, 2013, 10:58:36 AM

These people were not eating breakfast in their own home. They were dining out at a restaurant. This was a family with teenage kids. OP was the only one of us who was there and says the dad did not look impressed. Why can't we take that on face value and accept it for the purposes of the discussion? IMHO it is rude not to give your dining companions your full attention. The fact that the dad was left sitting on his own while his family were engaged with ipad/cell/ipod was pretty rude behavior on the part of his family IMO.

So be it if I'm in the minority.

I also don't feel OP was 'judgmental' or 'rude' in any way whatsoever to post this topic/observation about the family.

From all the time the OP spent observing the (non)interactions of the people at the next table, I'd say it's very clear that s/he wasn't giving his/her companion his/her full attention.    I certainly couldn't give you such detailed information on the people around me from the last time I ate out at a restaurant.

This is a very good point.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: oogyda on May 06, 2013, 11:15:54 AM
 
Chaney, you are correct in your interpretation. 

I posted an observation and voiced my opinion about it.  I thought that's what we do on this forum. 

If that's judgmental, then so be it.

If I have offended those who also conduct their lives in this manner, I apologize. 

However, I don't view it as any more judgmental than the majority of posts (excluding, of course, certain folders).  Even on posts where the OP is asking whether something was rude or not, the responders are making judgments. 

I have been judged as judgmental on a forum that passes judgment on people's actions.  Hello Pot.  My name is Kettle.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: AngelicGamer on May 06, 2013, 11:20:36 AM

Chaney, you are correct in your interpretation. 

I posted an observation and voiced my opinion about it.  I thought that's what we do on this forum. 

If that's judgmental, then so be it.

If I have offended those who also conduct their lives in this manner, I apologize. 

However, I don't view it as any more judgmental than the majority of posts (excluding, of course, certain folders).  Even on posts where the OP is asking whether something was rude or not, the responders are making judgments. 

I have been judged as judgmental on a forum that passes judgment on people's actions.  Hello Pot.  My name is Kettle.

I was with you until that.  It is uncalled for and is highly snarky.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: ettiquit on May 06, 2013, 11:26:27 AM

Chaney, you are correct in your interpretation. 

I posted an observation and voiced my opinion about it.  I thought that's what we do on this forum. 

If that's judgmental, then so be it.

If I have offended those who also conduct their lives in this manner, I apologize. 

However, I don't view it as any more judgmental than the majority of posts (excluding, of course, certain folders).  Even on posts where the OP is asking whether something was rude or not, the responders are making judgments. 

I have been judged as judgmental on a forum that passes judgment on people's actions.  Hello Pot.  My name is Kettle.

I was with you until that.  It is uncalled for and is highly snarky.

I had already been having similar thoughts (aren't most posts on eHell judgmental in nature?) too. 

I think people tend to call out the judgmental aspect when it's something they don't agree with or they're "guilty" of doing themselves.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: TurtleDove on May 06, 2013, 11:27:08 AM
Some people prefer to exist companionably in silence - I see this as no different than a family sitting watching TV or reading.  They are together, and the way I see it, if the "father" wanted something different he should have taken action to fix it.

As a rule, I am not on my phone when I am socializing, but I certainly don't think this is the OP's business.  Also, some people (like me) are totally capable of multitasking.  The fact I am scrolling instagram does not mean I am not listening to your story, or whatever.  Kinda like how as kids we were allowed to draw during church.  The drawing actually HELPED me concentrate as opposed to preventing me from listening to the sermon.  I find I perform better when doing more than one thing, especially if one of the things involves my hands.  I imagine some knitters here might agree (I don't knit, but I see this is requiring the same amount of effort as fooling around on a phone would).
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: rose red on May 06, 2013, 11:51:13 AM
The thing is, the OP doesn't know this family or their dynamics.  If she saw the father attempt to talk to his family and was ignored, then we can judge the family as rude.  But that's not the case.  He may even have asked for a quiet breakfast.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Roe on May 06, 2013, 11:55:37 AM
The thing is, the OP doesn't know this family or their dynamics.  If she saw the father attempt to talk to his family and was ignored, then we can judge the family as rude.  But that's not the case.  He may even have asked for a quiet breakfast.

Agree.  Most of us are saying the OP passed judgement because so much was left to the imagination.  OP's imagination let her assume (probably wrongly) that the man was so hurt by his family ignoring him.  We don't know that.  Not one bit. 

As for other posts that pass judgement, when there isn't sufficient evidence, we do ask the OP further questions or for clarification. 

Plus, the OP's post did have a "holier than thou" sense to it.  Maybe I read it wrong but that's how it read to me and I didn't appreciate it.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Wordgeek on May 06, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Oogyda, when you post on a public forum, it is unreasonable to expect everyone else to hold the opinions you do.  If you cannot be civil about a difference of opinion, this forum is not a good fit for you.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: GSNW on May 06, 2013, 12:33:11 PM
DH and I spend out Sunday breakfasts out talking while we are waiting for our meals (this is actually our "weekly meeting" but that's a different story) and then we read the paper while we eat.  I would be surprised if another diner found this offensive and wanted to stay home because we do this.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: *inviteseller on May 06, 2013, 12:33:44 PM
I am with OP on this..maybe it is their family dynamics but I would have the same feelings as her  if I saw a family out to eat and everyone is studiously ignoring each other. People use their phone/tablets/ipods constantly to the point of tuning out others (and yes, I love my ipod for when I am on the bus or house cleaning) .  I would almost bet that is how the family is normally and I do see this as the norm in  more and more families.  My dad read the paper during meals...but he would bring something up and we would discuss it.  We were allowed to have a book at breakfast time, but we would speak to each other too.  In my own family, the tv is on but it is more background noise and while it may sometimes be a quiet meal we are not ignoring each other, which is the feeling I get when I am with someone who cannot tear themselves away from their electronics.  If I am not good enough company for you to set that stuff down for an hour, then by all means, don't ask me out.   And with kids...they are only going to be kids for awhile so I would much rather talk to them then listen to my ipod or text someone or check facebook.  I think some people have judged oogyda real harsh on here for this.  She didn't make snarky comments at the family, she saw something at a table by her and found it off and posted. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 06, 2013, 12:41:11 PM
I am with OP on this..maybe it is their family dynamics but I would have the same feelings as her  if I saw a family out to eat and everyone is studiously ignoring each other. People use their phone/tablets/ipods constantly to the point of tuning out others (and yes, I love my ipod for when I am on the bus or house cleaning) .  I would almost bet that is how the family is normally and I do see this as the norm in  more and more families.  My dad read the paper during meals...but he would bring something up and we would discuss it.  We were allowed to have a book at breakfast time, but we would speak to each other too.  In my own family, the tv is on but it is more background noise and while it may sometimes be a quiet meal we are not ignoring each other, which is the feeling I get when I am with someone who cannot tear themselves away from their electronics.  If I am not good enough company for you to set that stuff down for an hour, then by all means, don't ask me out.   And with kids...they are only going to be kids for awhile so I would much rather talk to them then listen to my ipod or text someone or check facebook.  I think some people have judged oogyda real harsh on here for this.  She didn't make snarky comments at the family, she saw something at a table by her and found it off and posted.

Why are you so sure this is their norm?

If I had seen something similar and it was apparent the family was activelyignoring the Dad, I'd wonder what he did too tick off his entire family. He's the parent. If he didnt like the behavior he has the ability to modify it.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Tabby Uprising on May 06, 2013, 12:46:55 PM
The dad could have been as engrossed in his own thoughts as his family was in their gadgets.  Just because someone doesn't have an i-pad in front of them, doesn't mean their mind is blank.  For all we know he could have been sitting there lost in thought:

I can't believe Bob showed up to the office yesterday in a penguin tie.  Everyone knows penguins are my signature style.  He's such a copycat.  I bet he doesn't even know what kind of penguins were on his tie.  Why does that lady keep looking over here?  Maybe she likes my tie. I don't care what anyone says, today I'm putting the blueberry syrup on my waffles.  And the strawberry!
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Roe on May 06, 2013, 12:48:41 PM
I am with OP on this..maybe it is their family dynamics but I would have the same feelings as her  if I saw a family out to eat and everyone is studiously ignoring each other. People use their phone/tablets/ipods constantly to the point of tuning out others (and yes, I love my ipod for when I am on the bus or house cleaning) .  I would almost bet that is how the family is normally and I do see this as the norm in  more and more families.  My dad read the paper during meals...but he would bring something up and we would discuss it.  We were allowed to have a book at breakfast time, but we would speak to each other too.  In my own family, the tv is on but it is more background noise and while it may sometimes be a quiet meal we are not ignoring each other, which is the feeling I get when I am with someone who cannot tear themselves away from their electronics.  If I am not good enough company for you to set that stuff down for an hour, then by all means, don't ask me out.   And with kids...they are only going to be kids for awhile so I would much rather talk to them then listen to my ipod or text someone or check facebook.  I think some people have judged oogyda real harsh on here for this.  She didn't make snarky comments at the family, she saw something at a table by her and found it off and posted.


Just because we use newer forms of technology doesn't mean that people are tuning one another out.  Like I said before, DH and I use our iPads every Saturday morning as we eat breakfast.  (we are at home but still...same point) In my grandparents day, they used the newspaper as we use our iPads.  Either way, we don't tune one another out.  We bring up current events and discuss.  Our boys do the same with their phones and/or iPods.  We don't use our technology while we are out eating dinner somewhere but I'm not going to judge a family if they do.  After all, family dynamics can be complicated and quite personal. 

To assume that they are ignoring one another is an interesting assumption.

Also, Denny's is a location that travelers often dine at so as a PP mentioned, maybe they were a traveling family that needed a break from each other. My point is that there are so many variables that it would be impossible to know their family dynamics in a 30min period.  Plus, as another PP mentioned, the OP was so focused on them that she, in turn, ignored her breakfast mate.  We eat out often and I couldn't tell you what other families do or don't do, unless they cause a huge distraction.  I'm there to enjoy my meal and interact with my family.  How we interact with one another is no one else's business but our own.

If the OP had posted about a family who caused a major disruption while having breakfast, I'm sure she would've gotten different responses.  As it was, the family was minding their own business.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: RebeccainGA on May 06, 2013, 01:43:20 PM
My DP and I spend nearly every evening like this - I'm on my iPad, she's on her phone or laptop, we're watching TV at the same time, and yet, we have great conversations (I hold up the iPad to show her something, she hands me the phone or sends me a link, we discuss while the TV is paused, and continue once we're ready). We've done it out in public, many times - frequently one of us is reading something the other one sent them, or one is checking the weather and transferring funds while the other one checks out maps and info for an event we're heading to. If everyone's OK with it, tech can be fine.

Now, if this happened while we were at a pricy restaurant on a date or something, I think I'd be offended - but at a routine, 'pit stop' sort of meal? Especially breakfast, where some of us aren't awake yet? No big deal as far as that goes, in my family.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Two Ravens on May 06, 2013, 01:48:11 PM
The thing is, the OP doesn't know this family or their dynamics.  If she saw the father attempt to talk to his family and was ignored, then we can judge the family as rude.  But that's not the case.  He may even have asked for a quiet breakfast.

Also, most of the time, when people ask questions on this forum, it is because they were personally affected in some way. This family had no interaction with the OP. To me, asking if they were rude is akin to asking if a tree makes a sound when it falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: bansidhe on May 06, 2013, 02:04:45 PM
I think some people have judged oogyda real harsh on here for this.  She didn't make snarky comments at the family, she saw something at a table by her and found it off and posted.

Ditto. She expressed an opinion about the matter, just like people on this forum express opinions about other people's behavior all the time - including behavior I wouldn't give a second thought, let alone post about. Different strokes, etc.

She didn't claim that she knew that the behavior she witnessed was the norm for the family, nor did she imply that their behavior is a sign of the end times or anything else dramatic. She just said that it struck her as odd and might be considered discourteous (to each other).

Not sure what the big deal is.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: gellchom on May 06, 2013, 02:15:00 PM
The dad could have been as engrossed in his own thoughts as his family was in their gadgets.  Just because someone doesn't have an i-pad in front of them, doesn't mean their mind is blank.  For all we know he could have been sitting there lost in thought:

I can't believe Bob showed up to the office yesterday in a penguin tie.  Everyone knows penguins are my signature style.  He's such a copycat.  I bet he doesn't even know what kind of penguins were on his tie.  Why does that lady keep looking over here?  Maybe she likes my tie. I don't care what anyone says, today I'm putting the blueberry syrup on my waffles.  And the strawberry!
Oh, how I LOVE this!  Bonus points for working the OP into the reverie.

I do think that that OP sounded a little holier than thou, but I also agree that commenting on an observed lapse, or arguable lapse, of etiquette is not inappropriate on an etiquette board.  Every post doesn't have to be a request for help.  And in this case, tone aside, look at the interesting differing points of view that have been elicited.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: rose red on May 06, 2013, 02:39:55 PM
I think people are reacting strongly to implying the family was rude to "poor" dad, and that if this was the new norm, than she's staying home when she doesn't know if that was the norm.  Even if this is the new norm, you don't have to follow or have it affect your own meal.

If the OP has said "I thought it was so odd.  What do you think of this behavior?" I don't think the reaction would be as strong as they have been.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Yvaine on May 06, 2013, 02:41:58 PM
I think people are reacting strongly to implying the family was rude to "poor" dad, and that if this was the new norm, than she's staying home when she doesn't know if that was the norm.  Even if this is the new norm, you don't have to follow or have it affect your own meal.

If the OP has said "I thought it was so odd.  What do you think of this behavior?" I don't think the reaction would be as strong as they have been.

This, exactly. The tone did make it sound like an "end of civilization" thing to me. I've seen it in several threads, actually--someone will do something rude/annoying, and then the post takes the tone of "this must be what everyone is doing now," which is often not true.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Two Ravens on May 06, 2013, 03:30:52 PM
It reminded me of an experience I had. My husband and I were at breakfast and he was looking at his phone. The waitress came by to refill our coffee and loudly scolded him. "You need to put that phone down and pay attention to your wife!"

The thing was, he was playing Wordfeud on his phone...with me. It was just his turn. We were both pretty amused.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 06, 2013, 03:57:01 PM
It reminded me of an experience I had. My husband and I were at breakfast and he was looking at his phone. The waitress came by to refill our coffee and loudly scolded him. "You need to put that phone down and pay attention to your wife!"

The thing was, he was playing Wordfued on his phone...with me. It was just his turn. We were both pretty amused.

DD and I had a similar experience playing Drawsomething. But it was my sister walking up to meet us at a restaurant and she thought she was being clever scolding us for ignoring each other.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 06, 2013, 04:03:29 PM
It reminded me of an experience I had. My husband and I were at breakfast and he was looking at his phone. The waitress came by to refill our coffee and loudly scolded him. "You need to put that phone down and pay attention to your wife!"

The thing was, he was playing Wordfued on his phone...with me. It was just his turn. We were both pretty amused.

DH and I once knew a couple who would text to each other in public places so they could have private conversations or make jokes without being overheard.  Or they liked to make up stories while people watching which can't easily be done aloud.

DH and I both have smartphones and sometimes when together we'll pull them up to look something up that's pertinent to our conversation or answer a random text here and there but otherwise our attention is on each other.  Neither of us have tablets and aren't all that interested in getting them and I have little interest in getting my children tablets either. We've told them if they want something like that they'll have to earn the money to get it themselves because I'm sure they'd appreciate it more if they bought it themselves.  Though our oldest has a phone but that only cost us a penny. 

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: strawbabies on May 06, 2013, 04:25:57 PM
After ordering at a restaurant, DH and I will pull out our phones and not really talk to each other much.  Once the food arrives, we put the phones away and chat over the meal. 

If the dad in the family had a problem, he is always free to talk with his own family about how they behave in a restaurant.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: WillyNilly on May 06, 2013, 06:03:18 PM
It reminded me of an experience I had. My husband and I were at breakfast and he was looking at his phone. The waitress came by to refill our coffee and loudly scolded him. "You need to put that phone down and pay attention to your wife!"

The thing was, he was playing Wordfued on his phone...with me. It was just his turn. We were both pretty amused.

DH and I once knew a couple who would text to each other in public places so they could have private conversations or make jokes without being overheard.  Or they liked to make up stories while people watching which can't easily be done aloud.

DH and I both have smartphones and sometimes when together we'll pull them up to look something up that's pertinent to our conversation or answer a random text here and there but otherwise our attention is on each other.  Neither of us have tablets and aren't all that interested in getting them and I have little interest in getting my children tablets either. We've told them if they want something like that they'll have to earn the money to get it themselves because I'm sure they'd appreciate it more if they bought it themselves.  Though our oldest has a phone but that only cost us a penny.

DH and I used to pull out the Scrabble (actual game, not euphemism) and play often. But now that we have Words With Friends, we don't bother with all that hardware and just play on our phones. We are still interacting the same way, only now is more mobile, literally.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: ettiquit on May 07, 2013, 08:11:03 AM
The dad could have been as engrossed in his own thoughts as his family was in their gadgets.  Just because someone doesn't have an i-pad in front of them, doesn't mean their mind is blank.  For all we know he could have been sitting there lost in thought:

I can't believe Bob showed up to the office yesterday in a penguin tie.  Everyone knows penguins are my signature style.  He's such a copycat.  I bet he doesn't even know what kind of penguins were on his tie.  Why does that lady keep looking over here?  Maybe she likes my tie. I don't care what anyone says, today I'm putting the blueberry syrup on my waffles.  And the strawberry!
Oh, how I LOVE this!  Bonus points for working the OP into the reverie.

I do think that that OP sounded a little holier than thou, but I also agree that commenting on an observed lapse, or arguable lapse, of etiquette is not inappropriate on an etiquette board.  Every post doesn't have to be a request for help.  And in this case, tone aside, look at the interesting differing points of view that have been elicited.

You seem to be enjoying putting the OP in her place.

I think the criticism of the OP in this thread is a bit over the top, honestly.  She already acknowledged that she felt appropriately chastised.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: oogyda on May 07, 2013, 09:19:34 AM
Oogyda, when you post on a public forum, it is unreasonable to expect everyone else to hold the opinions you do.  If you cannot be civil about a difference of opinion, this forum is not a good fit for you.

I don't expect everyone else to hold the opinions I do, and in fact, have enjoyed many of the posts expressing differing points of view. 

What I don't expect is be called judgmental and holier than thou. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Miss Unleaded on May 07, 2013, 10:13:56 AM

Just because we use newer forms of technology doesn't mean that people are tuning one another out.  Like I said before, DH and I use our iPads every Saturday morning as we eat breakfast.  (we are at home but still...same point) In my grandparents day, they used the newspaper as we use our iPads. 

...

In the scenario you describe, all parties have reading materials.  In the OP's scenario the dad didn't.  To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it.  I generally carry my tablet everywhere and have a lot of books on it so I always have something to read, but I wouldn't get it out if there were other people at the table who weren't reading.  It just feels really off to me.  And if I saw someone in the situation the OP describes I'd feel quite bad for the guy.

It's possible the dad may not have been bothered (we don't know), but my feeling is that reading at the table when others are not is rude unless you know it doesn't bother them.


I think the criticism of the OP in this thread is a bit over the top, honestly.  She already acknowledged that she felt appropriately chastised.

Yeah I agree.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Van down by the river on May 07, 2013, 11:08:59 AM
At a restaurant I worked at, every day for lunch a couple would meet, order the same thing and do crossword puzzles. They never spoke to each other. I finally found out they are each doing the same puzzle. They have a race to see who can get the most answers during their lunch hour. The compare answers in the car as he drove her back to work before going back to the office. I judged them as bored married couple and learned the opposite was true. (She told me when he was home sick and she came alone reading a book)
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: NyaChan on May 07, 2013, 11:16:28 AM

Just because we use newer forms of technology doesn't mean that people are tuning one another out.  Like I said before, DH and I use our iPads every Saturday morning as we eat breakfast.  (we are at home but still...same point) In my grandparents day, they used the newspaper as we use our iPads. 

...

In the scenario you describe, all parties have reading materials.  In the OP's scenario the dad didn't.  To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it.  I generally carry my tablet everywhere and have a lot of books on it so I always have something to read, but I wouldn't get it out if there were other people at the table who weren't reading.  It just feels really off to me.  And if I saw someone in the situation the OP describes I'd feel quite bad for the guy.

It's possible the dad may not have been bothered (we don't know), but my feeling is that reading at the table when others are not is rude unless you know it doesn't bother them.



That is an interesting point.  I agree that it would be rude to pull out a book at a table without any warning to the other person there and knowing that they have nothing to occupy themselves.  But what if the person has a similar thing to do, such as a book or an ipad, but chooses not to use it while the other person does?  Is that still rude on the occupied person for not putting down their own device/book or should the unoccupied by choice person accept that they knew about the possible lack of conversation and chose to not to otherwise entertain themselves? 

Does that make any sense? Sounds odd when I type it out.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Surianne on May 07, 2013, 12:40:20 PM
At a restaurant I worked at, every day for lunch a couple would meet, order the same thing and do crossword puzzles. They never spoke to each other. I finally found out they are each doing the same puzzle. They have a race to see who can get the most answers during their lunch hour. The compare answers in the car as he drove her back to work before going back to the office. I judged them as bored married couple and learned the opposite was true. (She told me when he was home sick and she came alone reading a book)

That is awesome! 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: gellchom on May 07, 2013, 01:12:11 PM
The dad could have been as engrossed in his own thoughts as his family was in their gadgets.  Just because someone doesn't have an i-pad in front of them, doesn't mean their mind is blank.  For all we know he could have been sitting there lost in thought:

I can't believe Bob showed up to the office yesterday in a penguin tie.  Everyone knows penguins are my signature style.  He's such a copycat.  I bet he doesn't even know what kind of penguins were on his tie.  Why does that lady keep looking over here?  Maybe she likes my tie. I don't care what anyone says, today I'm putting the blueberry syrup on my waffles.  And the strawberry!
Oh, how I LOVE this!  Bonus points for working the OP into the reverie.

I do think that that OP sounded a little holier than thou, but I also agree that commenting on an observed lapse, or arguable lapse, of etiquette is not inappropriate on an etiquette board.  Every post doesn't have to be a request for help.  And in this case, tone aside, look at the interesting differing points of view that have been elicited.

You seem to be enjoying putting the OP in her place.

I think the criticism of the OP in this thread is a bit over the top, honestly.  She already acknowledged that she felt appropriately chastised.

I apologize, OP.  I see how that "bonus points" thing sounds now -- I didn't mean it was good because it put her in her place, I meant that it made it funnier to include in the father's reverie that he was looking at her, too -- I actually was glad that it didn't make it sound like it had upset him.

As to the "holier than thou" part, I just meant I agreed with others about the tone.  I know many people get frustrated at what they often call "pearl clutching" and things like "Is this the new normal?" or "Maybe I'm hopelessly old-fashioned, but ...." and so forth.  They do tend to sound like what they really mean is not a genuine question of whether there is some new standard so much as code for "Well, I know what's right and wrong here, and my manners are still excellent, and I am shocked at the boorishness of the world around me."  And poor Oogyda got all that projected onto her post.

And I meant it when I said that I didn't think that there is anything wrong with posting here just to describe poor manners viewed someplace. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Wordgeek on May 07, 2013, 04:11:48 PM
I don't expect everyone else to hold the opinions I do, and in fact, have enjoyed many of the posts expressing differing points of view. 

What I don't expect is be called judgmental and holier than thou.

Then respond in a way that indicates as much.  The tone of your posts came across to me as petulant, rather than fostering useful discussion.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Wordgeek on May 07, 2013, 04:13:32 PM
And to everyone else, "fostering useful discussion" is the goal here.  Please post accordingly.

Edited for typo.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Cami on May 07, 2013, 04:16:06 PM
We were on a short family vacation for several days and ate all of our meals in restaurants. We played a game, figuring the percentage of people who were talking/interacting with the other people in their party versus being on various electronic devices. At no time or restaurant did we ever encounter any less than 50% of all people were ignoring their companions in favor of electronica.

So I would say that this is the new way.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: gellchom on May 07, 2013, 04:38:29 PM
This whole string has made me remember a long car trip my husband and I once took through Nova Scotia and PEI.  We drove and drove every day, talking all the while.  When we would stop for meals, we'd often pull our our books and read for a change -- after all, we'd just talked for hours straight.  I remember getting a laugh at the idea that some young honeymoon couple would see us and say, "Isn't that sad -- they have nothing to say to each other.  Don't worry, honey, we'll never be like that!"

Breakfast is kind of like that a lot anyway for a lot of people.  At our house, we like to read the paper at breakfast.  We talk now and then, but mostly we read the paper.  I doubt I was able to do that when the kidz were home, especially when they were little, though.  Although I'm not sure that the talk at the pre-school and -work breakfast table would have qualified as "conversation" anyway!  At dinner, we always shut everything off, and we still do -- except sometimes when there is a baseball game on we both want to see.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Tea Drinker on May 07, 2013, 05:11:15 PM
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were wandering around on a summer afternoon, and stopped into a coffee shop. We got out our respective books, and were reading happily. Someone near us got very loud, and one of us asked him to please lower his voice.

The loud person nearby apologized for distracting us from our studying! We were both reading novels, just for the pleasure of it; I don't know whether this person looked at my book and thought "literature, it must be for a class" or just assumed that two people reading instead of talking must be studying. We do talk a lot, but we also like to sit and read our books: it would feel odd to have to separate in order to read.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: DottyG on May 07, 2013, 05:39:08 PM
Quote
To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it

And that's the key point.  You don't know (the "you" meaning everyone here as well as the OP).  As others have said, the onus is on the dad to say, "hey, "I'm bothered by this, kids" and do something about it.  It's not on outsiders to look over (physically or on a forum) and decide it's rude.  It's not rude to anyone but the people involved.  And that's the people at that table - no one else.  Not the OP or us.

Many alternatives have been given her as to why this might have been acceptable to this family.  And why it might not have been what the OP thought it was.  We don't know what the truth of the story was.  Only they do.  And if everyone at that table was fine with it, it's not rude.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: *inviteseller on May 07, 2013, 05:57:04 PM
I love to read when I eat but if I am sharing a meal with anyone, at home or out, I am not going to whip out a book and start reading when the other person is sitting there doing nothing and I know I am on the unpopular side of opinion on this, but I hate electronics at the meals.  Two people playing a game next to each other?  OK because you are interacting with each other, but when someone is on the kindle, someone has the headphones in, another is texting..why bother going out together because my idea is if you are going out to eat with a group, you are wanting to have a meal and conversation..not look at everyone playing with their gadgets.  I have told people I am having a meal with to stop with the texting or incessant phone checking.  My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me? 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: DottyG on May 07, 2013, 06:02:25 PM
Quote
My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me?

And that's an absolutely great rule to have when you dine with someone.  I'm all for your making that a requirement at your table.  What you can't do, however, is make that rule for someone else's table.  You don't have the right to do that.

Quote
why bother going out together

Because it might have been a stop for a meal while traveling.  Who knows?  It could be that they've just spent X hours in the car together, and they're at a point where they need a break from the "interacting" that you're talking about.  It may be that they're a very close family that interacts a lot.  But, for this one 30-45 minute meal, they needed to catch up with their emails or messages and are not neglecting each other.

Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: citadelle on May 07, 2013, 06:50:59 PM
One of the greatest joys for me in marriage is sharing comfortable silence. People interact in different ways. If you see my husband and I out for breakfast, and I am reading the paper, don't feel sorry for him. We are very happy together.

I sometimes wonder how others can talk, talk, talk all the time. And so loudly sometimes!
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: *inviteseller on May 07, 2013, 06:57:57 PM
Quote
My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me?

And that's an absolutely great rule to have when you dine with someone.  I'm all for your making that a requirement at your table.  What you can't do, however, is make that rule for someone else's table.  You don't have the right to do that.

Quote
why bother going out together

Because it might have been a stop for a meal while traveling.  Who knows?  It could be that they've just spent X hours in the car together, and they're at a point where they need a break from the "interacting" that you're talking about.  It may be that they're a very close family that interacts a lot.  But, for this one 30-45 minute meal, they needed to catch up with their emails or messages and are not neglecting each other.



I wouldn't go up to strangers and say anything, but I also would have felt bad for the dad.  I am just saying when I go out to eat, I am offended if the person I am eating with is more interested in their device than me.  I have had someone say "Oh I want to show you this"  I look at it, they put it away ok, but if they need to text or read postings instead of focusing on their dining companions then no, I don't see the point.  I see this more and more, so I don't think it can be explained away with rest stop or we've been talking all day in the car.  It is how a lot of people interact, and that is fine for some people, but I find using an electronic device over face to face interactions with people you are with rude.  Just a fuddy duddy, I guess  :P
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Surianne on May 07, 2013, 08:07:30 PM
One of the greatest joys for me in marriage is sharing comfortable silence. People interact in different ways. If you see my husband and I out for breakfast, and I am reading the paper, don't feel sorry for him. We are very happy together.

I sometimes wonder how others can talk, talk, talk all the time. And so loudly sometimes!

So true -- this would be my ideal relationship, being able to enjoy reading a newspaper, doing a crossword, or whatever together, without having to talk. 
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: wallaby on May 07, 2013, 09:52:35 PM
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My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me?

And that's an absolutely great rule to have when you dine with someone.  I'm all for your making that a requirement at your table.  What you can't do, however, is make that rule for someone else's table.  You don't have the right to do that.

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why bother going out together

Because it might have been a stop for a meal while traveling.  Who knows?  It could be that they've just spent X hours in the car together, and they're at a point where they need a break from the "interacting" that you're talking about.  It may be that they're a very close family that interacts a lot.  But, for this one 30-45 minute meal, they needed to catch up with their emails or messages and are not neglecting each other.



I wouldn't go up to strangers and say anything, but I also would have felt bad for the dad.  I am just saying when I go out to eat, I am offended if the person I am eating with is more interested in their device than me.  I have had someone say "Oh I want to show you this"  I look at it, they put it away ok, but if they need to text or read postings instead of focusing on their dining companions then no, I don't see the point.  I see this more and more, so I don't think it can be explained away with rest stop or we've been talking all day in the car.  It is how a lot of people interact, and that is fine for some people, but I find using an electronic device over face to face interactions with people you are with rude. Just a fuddy duddy, I guess  :P

POD *inviteseller.

To take the technology aspect out of it: Two people sitting in companionable silence reading the newspaper or reading books or playing crossword puzzles is not the same situation as the one described in the OP. If the dad had been sitting there reading a book or playing with their own electronic device I don't think OP would have even posted because there would have been no sense that the dad was being excluded/ignored - everyone would have been doing something.

If I went out to breakfast with a friend or colleague and they suddenly whipped out a newspaper or phone or whatever and started reading and they expected me just to sit there entertaining myself while they did that, I would find that very rude. I strongly resist the idea that this behavior is acceptable etiquette as a general rule. I am fine with the idea that people develop norms within their own close relationships where they are fine with each other doing whatever they want. Yes it is possible that in this family that was the case.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: DottyG on May 08, 2013, 12:32:56 AM
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the dad was being excluded/ignored

You are making an assumption as to this man's feelings. And you can't do that. Just because he was sitting there without a gadget doesn't mean he was feeling excluded, ignored or anything else. He may have had his own gadget and not taken it out just because he wanted to sit there and relax. And maybe even relax without talking. That's not an unreasonable thing to do. As an introvert, I completely understand the need, sometimes, to just.....sit. Not talk. Not do anything. Just relax and decompress. Be quiet and alone with my thoughts in order to recharge my own batteries.

Again, if you don't like people using gadgets at the table, by all means, make that rule for your table. It's perfectly legitimate for you to do that. You have that right. What you don't have, though, is the right to impose that rule onto other tables of which you are not a part. You don't get to require that they put their stuff away any more than they require you to pick one up and use phones or iPads or other things at your table. This is one of those times when you really do have to mind your own business and not get into other people's business. Because other people's tables don't involve you at all.
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Miss Unleaded on May 08, 2013, 04:32:45 AM
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To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it

And that's the key point.  You don't know (the "you" meaning everyone here as well as the OP).  As others have said, the onus is on the dad to say, "hey, "I'm bothered by this, kids" and do something about it.  It's not on outsiders to look over (physically or on a forum) and decide it's rude.  It's not rude to anyone but the people involved.  And that's the people at that table - no one else.  Not the OP or us.

Many alternatives have been given her as to why this might have been acceptable to this family.  And why it might not have been what the OP thought it was.  We don't know what the truth of the story was.  Only they do.  And if everyone at that table was fine with it, it's not rude.

I did say in my post, that we had no way of knowing whether the father minded or not.  It's possible he was ok with it.  It's also possible that the dad did make his displeasure known and his family ignored that.  I was trying to comment on the general etiquette of the situation in a constructive way without continuing to dogpile on the OP who already said in reply 8 'Alrighty then. Sufficiently chastised.'
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 08, 2013, 10:54:56 AM
I had a thought...it could be that the rest of the family gets carsick when they read in a moving vehicle.  While I don't get as sick as I did when I was a kid, I still can't read in the car without getting a bit queasy.  I'm fine with reading directions every few miles, but mostly I have to keep my eyes on the road or I'm not a happy camper. 

Though these days, I can't really do much on my phone without distraction.  I'm bringing my Kindle with me to the beach and will have my smartphone, but I don't expect I'll get too many chances to actually read it.   That and my friend and I are quite chatty. :)
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: LibraryLady on May 09, 2013, 11:09:15 AM
When Joe and I go out to eat, unless it is a very quiet place, we don't engage in coversation very much.  My voice is
soft, and he has some hearing loss, especially if there is much background noise. So if people look at us, not talking to
each other and commiserate that "look at that older couple, that have run out of things to say" - not true!!  We just
can't hear each other!!      ;)
Title: Re: Family breakfast
Post by: Calistoga on May 09, 2013, 03:56:22 PM
DH and I went out to dinner last night. I had my phone out the entire time... asking him trivia questions while we waited.