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Author Topic: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?  (Read 12702 times)

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snappylt

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Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« on: July 30, 2012, 05:25:10 PM »
Background: (I was reading a recent Ask Amy column and it triggered a memory from years ago.  The letter I refer to is the very last one at http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ask-amy-in-polite-company-politics-is-usual-topic/2012/07/17/gJQAfAcmEX_story.html, where the letter writer asks about a spouse who takes a sip out of her beverages.)

The memory this brought up for me is of a very sweet woman ("Mrs. X") with whom I taught school many many years ago.  One day at lunch in the faculty room, as Mrs. X was unwrapping the sandwich she brought from home, another teacher at the table commented that there was already a big bite missing from the corner of Mrs. X's sandwich.  Mrs. X laughed and said that it was a family tradition that she and her husband each took a bite out of the other's sandwich in the kitchen in the morning, and then they'd be thinking of each other when they unwrapped their sandwiches at lunch.

I was the only man, the only unmarried person, and the youngest person at the table that day.  I think I made a grimace or something at the thought of taking bites out each other's sandwiches.  Mrs. X wasn't offended at me, instead, she and the others laughed and told me that when I got married someday I'd understand.

I hadn't thought about this in years until today.  But my wife absolutely does not like me tasting bits of her food, so I don't.  And I truly can't picture my wife taking a bite out of my sandwich, either.

So, here are my questions:  Is this taking a bite out of each other's sandwiches business very common?   And, the etiquette question is: Am I correct in my assumption that it is polite to trade bites of sandwich, as long as both people agree beforehand?


PS: (I do realize that there's a difference between Mrs. X in my story and the letter writer in Ask Amy, because the letter writer's husband was taking sips without permission.)

Judah

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 05:35:52 PM »
Every marriage is going to be different, of course.  In my marriage, the sandwich scenario would be fine. DH and I share food and drink all the time, but he would never continue to eat or drink something of mine after I asked him to stop. That's a respect issue.
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yam

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 05:50:29 PM »
Every marriage is going to be different, of course.  In my marriage, the sandwich scenario would be fine. DH and I share food and drink all the time, but he would never continue to eat or drink something of mine after I asked him to stop. That's a respect issue.

This, exactly! My spouse and I frequently share each other's food, but if there's something one of us doesn't want to share for some reason, we respect that request.

I think the sandwich story is cute.

Sanity Lost

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 05:53:51 PM »
POD!

I frequently steal bites of my DH's sandwiches and he laughs. Though if he really doesn't want to share, he tells me so, and I will listen. It's just how it works with us. I know a couple who thinks it completely gross and is actually squicked out by it. Meh, we just don't do it around them.

It depends on the people involved.

Amava

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 05:56:16 PM »
It's only okay if both are okay with it.
So in your sandwich example, it's fine. Cute and loving, even. Though not something I'd like for myself.

In the letter, the husband is rude and unkind for insisting to continue to do something his wife has asked him not to and that he could easily avoid.

rose red

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 06:17:16 PM »
It's not just spouses.  My siblings and I try each others food and drink all the time.  We've been doing it our whole lives so it doesn't seem gross.  I imagine I would be fine doing this with a husband too (with permission). 

Arianoor

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 06:23:54 PM »
Rude unless agreed upon.

DF thinks I'm a weirdo because I ask for a bite rather than just taking one.  I was raised in a very rigid please and thank you culture and his family are a pack of wild animals.  Okay, okay, not quite but I haven't heard a please out of one of them in the almost four years we've been together!

Thipu1

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 06:32:50 PM »
Every marriage is going to be different, of course.  In my marriage, the sandwich scenario would be fine. DH and I share food and drink all the time, but he would never continue to eat or drink something of mine after I asked him to stop. That's a respect issue.

Agreed.  We'd be fine with this.  We don't take bites of each other's sandwiches but plates are regularly raided for a taste.  We call this a 'tax'. 

Of course, we'd never do this in a restaurant when dining with others but, when dining out alone, it isn't unusual for us to exchange plates half-way through a course.     

JenJay

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 06:39:19 PM »
The sandwich thing I find adorable. What I do not find adorable is when DH is reaching for my plate and asks "Can I have some of that?" as he's scooping some up (what if I wanted to say no?!) or snags a bite/sip without asking. Asking first and being gracious if you're told no is the key! I'll usually say yes but sometimes DH and I are sharing something and he'll finish his and start eyeing mine. Forget it, bud!

weeblewobble

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 06:45:40 PM »
This sort of goes back to the locked thread about the wet washcloths: Whether it's ok for a spouse to do something because it's what they're used to/what they expect from marriage, even if that thing inconvieniences or irritates their partner. 

My opinion is no.  Once the other spouse expresses that they don't like that tendency, whether it's leaving their wet wascloth on top of someone else's towel or taking a sip of the drink*, the offending party should make every effort to stop doing that thing.  They should not scoff at the other for being "too sensitive" or tell them that this is they way they've always done it or that's the way things were done in their family. They should acknowledge the other spouse's feelings and at least make an attempt at changing.

Now, if the offended spouse is finding dozens of little things to be offended over. That's a different problem. 

*For some people, like my husband, that would not be a problem.  I can trust him not to backwash or drink the whole beverage in one gulp.  But I have seen other husbands take their wive's sodas, after depleting their own, and drain them dry, leaving the wife without her own drink while the husband has had two. I think that shows a blatant disregard for their wives' comfort and enjoyment and, in my opinion, is a red flag for the rest of the relationship.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 06:51:52 PM by weeblewobble »

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 07:07:23 PM »
DH & I share food frequently.  Based on our respective body masses, we usually go for a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio.  If there are 3 somethings, I get one & DH gets two.  If there are 4 somethings, I get one & DH gets three.  Just last weekend, I bought a box of pastries at 50% off.  DH was eating while I drove home.  When I saw him grab his third buttermilk donut, I shot a sideways look and said, "That one is mine."  He already took a bite by the time I finished my sentence.  He looked at me, sheepishly, and I reminded him, "It's along walk home."  He handed over the last buttermilk donut.  Being a nice person, I still gave him the last bite, just to let him know there were no hard feelings. :-*

When eating out, we often buy one entree and share it.  That way we have room in our tummies and our budget for an appetiser and dessert.  We are going out to dinner tonight with friends who are foodies, too.  We'll probably share everything we order.  Some people have different preferences and I'll respect them.  I won't stab a bite off someone else's plate unless we have already decided to share.  Even then, it's a good idea to check first.  It can get dangerous with everyone stabbing forks across the table. >:D
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Sterling

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 07:21:10 PM »
MY husband and I share food and drink all the time.  When we go to the movies we get one soda and split it.  We share desserts and anything else we might have.  I actually think the sandwich thing is cute.
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SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 08:31:10 PM »
My husband and I routinely share food, but this is something that has to be mutually agreed upon. Both have to agree to do it or it shouldn't be done.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 09:02:59 PM »
I think it's a bit odd to make it a "tradition", but it's not a big deal if they're both okay with it.  Now, if someone were to randomly take a bite out of someone else's sandwich without getting permission first, that's different.

LizC

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Re: Taking bites out of each other's sandwiches?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 12:35:05 AM »
Agreed-upon couple thing: perfectly okay, not rude.

This got me thinking: DH and I do share food, but generally we offer it, and it's a little taste, or offering a bit I'm unable to finish. He always gives me his tomatoes or guacamole. He is lovely. I don't share food from my plate with most of my kids, but I will with my oldest daughter, if we're evaluating flavors, ingredients, etc. In my family of origin, my sister and I will share tastes, but my parents and brothers and I do not. I wonder if that means anything?

On the plus side, a friend of mine recommends *not* sharing drinks, as it can introduce foreign mouth flora, and increase the risk of cavities. DH has no cavities, I have no cavities, and we've been swapping flora for 17 years, so I guess we're okay. But it was hilarious to hear my teenager sharing that tidbit with a friend, who then re-thought random kissing. :)