Author Topic: Gross Spin Off: I wish you hadn't used my cloth napkin for that & question  (Read 3100 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

allygmail

  • Guest
A more disgusting spin off to the cloth napkin topic.....

I had a family member over for the holidays.  We were using nice cloth napkins.  They blew their nose in a cloth napkin & set it on the table during the meal.  I was sitting right beside them.  I was disgusted & couldn't finish the dinner I'd spent all that time cooking.  Ugh. 

Sorry it is so gross, but here's the question: 
I see the family member at least once a month and this usually involves meals.  They seem to have gotten in this nose-blowing at the table habit more often.  Even worse - the used napkin/tissue inevitably ends up *on* the table during the meal.

What is a discreet way to tell them to knock this off this revolting habit?

Last time we went out to dinner, I tried to be subtle & told them they might want to go to the restroom to blow their nose.  But it didn't work.  I know this person would be mortified if I flat out told them, "look, I can't eat my meal when you are blowing snot all over the place"  >:D but I am frankly to the point that I dread meeting them.  It literally makes me gag when they do this.  I can't imagine that they don't notice everyone else clearing their plates when the noseblowing / tissue "issue" starts.  Ugh.  This is so gross to even remember.

I know I am not the only one bothered by this, but no one else wants to do anything.  Should I?  What would you recommend?

FYI - Since visiting is a long-ish drive, meals are always involved in any get-together with this person. 

ladiedeathe

  • Pushing the bounds of ministry, one gasp at a time.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1804
I would catch the family member by themselves and tell them that you had noticed they seemed to be having more issues with their sinuses lately, and that they had been blowing their nose at the table.

Calmly tell them that you are really sorry about this, but that nose blowing at the table made you ill, and did not allow you to finish your dinner each time it happened. Let them know that others seemed to be having the same reaction, and ask point blank that they go to the bathroom and use tissue from now on. Let them be mortified once now, rather than horrified a year from now when someone finally explodes and tells them they are sickening to their face.
"Here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Have chalice, will travel."

Chocolate Cake

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5138
I agree with Ladie's advice.  I would also throw in that you'd rather not have to launder "it" off of your cloth dinner napkins and that the disposable tissues are in the bathroom.

kingsrings

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9708
Ewww!!! I so wish that people would understand that blowing your nose at the table is disgusting! (Did you hear that, Dad??). And especially done with a cloth napkin. I think I would have to throw that away rather than attempt to launder the snot out of it, which would probably permanently stain, ewww. What is this person thinking? Ladiedeathe gave the best advice for handling this, I concur. It's a classy, non-invasive, but firm way to tell this relative to knock off this disgusting habit.

hellgirl

  • Procrastinator-extraordinaire!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1759
I would catch the family member by themselves and tell them that you had noticed they seemed to be having more issues with their sinuses lately, and that they had been blowing their nose at the table.

Calmly tell them that you are really sorry about this, but that nose blowing at the table made you ill, and did not allow you to finish your dinner each time it happened. Let them know that others seemed to be having the same reaction, and ask point blank that they go to the bathroom and use tissue from now on. Let them be mortified once now, rather than horrified a year from now when someone finally explodes and tells them they are sickening to their face.
I agree with Ladie's advice.  I would also throw in that you'd rather not have to launder "it" off of your cloth dinner napkins and that the disposable tissues are in the bathroom.

I agree with the above - except for asking them to use tissues. I think telling them what they have to use is going to far. Unlike telling them what they *shouldn't* use (being cloth napkins). Only because my DH finds them wasteful (he's weird about it) and not as good to use - but he carries a handkerchief (which he washes himself - yay!)

I'm thinking if they head off to the bathroom then paper tissues there should be used by them. But since they obviously have no issues using fabric cloths, I would include the gift of a pack of handkerchiefs with this little talk - to reinforce the 'don't use my napkins' message.

A bit OT - but what's the view on nose blowing at the table if the person uses the appropriate (technically - personal preferences notwithstanding) receptacle (?) from their pocket/bag, and turns as far away from the table as possible while doing so?

Summrs

  • Guest
Quote
but what's the view on nose blowing at the table if the person uses the appropriate (technically - personal preferences notwithstanding) receptacle (?) from their pocket/bag, and turns as far away from the table as possible while doing so?

NO!  It's NEVER acceptable.

allygmail

  • Guest
Thanks all for the great advice!

I like Ladiedeathe's approach & may also add a gift of some nice hankies for the person. That seems like a nice touch & maybe even a way to bring up the subject. 

A gift of handkerchiefs...with the clear understanding that they are not for use within 5 feet of anyone eating.  lol

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12409
How about having a portable pack of tissues with you when you visit?  As soon as they start getting ready to blow, offer them one.
or you could say
"If you need to go to the bathroom to take care of that, i won't mind."

Sibby

  • Guest
At a formal setting or for a really stuffed nose, yeah I agree blowing ones nose at hte table should not be done, but I don't agree that it's never ok.  A few sniffles, or a casual meal when you have a cold, discreetly (no horn blowing!) blowing ones nose at a table does not bother me.  If I could never put tissue to nose at a table i could never eat at a table again!

It is 100% ok to let people know tho that napkins - which are intended for use in wiping one's mouth - are not appropriate for use as handkercheifs.  Tissues or handkercheifs exist precisely for that reason.

ganjin

  • Guest
After all these years, I still remember Miss Manners' reply on this subject---perhaps from one of her books.   If you can't handle the situation with "one discreet swipe" of your OWN handkerchief or tissue, excuse yourself and go into the bathroom.

But then, I'm probably over-protective of my cloth napkins.  (See "The Stain that Outlasted a Marriage" in Etiquette Hell).

Jenzilla

  • Guest
My response - a gasp and horrified look. I would think that if this person would be mortified if openly confronted, then a reaction like that should get through to them.

If it were someone I felt slightly more comfortable about confronting, I might make a joke - "Well you might as well keep it (the napkin) for a handkerchief now, I don't think I want it at my dinner table anymore!"

BabyMama

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2414
    • Kim Chee Casserole
Ick, reminds me of my dad. He always blows his nose (not at the table--he's got some manners) but he'll put the kleenex back in his pocket. I remember as a little kid I would pray I'd never get the sniffles because he'd pull that nasty kleenex out of his pocket to wipe your nose. I THINK he's since stopped doing it (perhaps my mom clued him in that it's GROSS to reuse a kleenex, especially on someone else??) but blahhhh. Who does that??

hellgirl

  • Procrastinator-extraordinaire!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1759
(perhaps my mom clued him in that it's GROSS to reuse a kleenex, especially on someone else??) but blahhhh. Who does that??

I do that.

I buy 3 ply tissues, and they are reasonably large. If my nose merely dripped I am not going to throw away the tissue because a corner of it got damp (I do also use handkercheifs, so this may make this seem 'less gross' to me). I will use it a couple of times and then throw it away. It cuts down my tissue/paper usage and the expense quite a lot. It's all personal preference, and being discreet about it I guess!  :)

RainhaDoTexugo

  • got married!
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 23089
  • Tatum!
I completely understand people being grossed out by nose blowing at the table and agree that cloth napkins should never be used.  That said, I have bad allergies.  I'm usually okay, but there are days when I'm really really bad.  I would make every attempt to go to the bathroom at a formal dinner, of course, but there are also times when, if someone insisted I go to the bathroom to blow my nose, we'd have to open a new thread about the etiquette of bringing someone's nice china into the bathroom to eat during a dinner party.  I know it's unpleasant to watch someone blow their nose, and I agree that there are limits to what you should do (no honking, no leaving it on the table, try to turn away and not bring attention to it), but some of us really can't avoid it sometimes.  Rest assured, we don't like it either. 

I bet he'd really appreciate it if you leave tissues and a garbage can near his seat.  Seat him in the back corner of the table, so his garbage can will be more discreet, if you want.

Mari, it's one thing to reuse your own tissues (I've done it too), it's another to use your dirty tissues on someone else!