Author Topic: Handling those ick in public moments.  (Read 2895 times)

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Ceallach

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Handling those ick in public moments.
« on: October 03, 2012, 12:59:55 AM »
DH and I were having dinner at a local club/restaurant earlier this week.   It's a fairly nice place in terms of dress code etc, but the restaurant is a bistro so self-seated and informal.    I was seated near the window with my back to the window, while DH was opposite me, so with his back to the "walkway" area. We were in the middle of our dinner.    DH was talking to me about something when a couple walked past us (so behind him) talking.  All of a sudden, one of those horrifying slow motion moments where you see something happening but not fast enough to react happened.    A teeny piece of spittle came from the man's mouth, flew across the air and landed (visibly!) on the top of my sweater.    Ewwwww!     

I reacted with a disgusted look as I glanced down to see this on my sweater.   The man actually realised as well what had happened and stopped to apologise.   I grabbed a napkin and dabbed myself off and said "It's ok".   They moved on.    It had all happened so fast that DH then asked me what on earth had happened! 

Is there ANY way to make these situations less awkward?  Also, is the correct etiquette to deal with it discreetly, or is it meant to be one of those "pretend it never happened" type incidents?   Realistically, we probably get things on us all day long without noticing, but it was awkward partly because both of us saw it which necessitated some form of social exchange be it polite ignoring or the interaction we did have.   As far as I can tell it really was just one of those things - the guy did not appear inebriated, nor to be deliberately spitting, just talking excitedly and it happened.   The sweater went into the laundry that night for psychological reasons.  (Such a pain, it had only just come out!)
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NyaChan

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 01:03:29 AM »
I think it went about as well as one could expect.  If the other person doesn't notice, I don't point it out unless it is particularly egregious and a possible repeat thing.  If they notice, I would want a quick apology, an it's ok from me and it is done.

Luci45

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 01:31:03 AM »
"Pretend it never happened" pretty well covers it. I do have sanitizer with me always so sometimes put it on a napkin to wipe it off, which can be done descretly. Or an old wipe from Sonny's BBQ lurking in the bpttom of my purse finally emerges.

Descrete is the word here. Stuff happens. Move on.

Girlie

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 09:46:03 AM »
I think the way it happened is about as well as something like that COULD happen.

If the man hadn't noticed, I wouldn't have said anything at all and just let it go.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 03:50:56 PM »
There really isn't a way to make situations like this less awkward.  The man was probably embarrassed and you were squicked out.  It happens.  It's life.  Life is messy.  He apologized and you acknowledge and accepted the apology.

I'mnotinsane

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 11:05:59 PM »
In this case it is better he noticed because it probably hastened his departure.  It is really distracting when people are conversing too close (hovering) to my table in a restaurant.

Ceallach

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 12:22:44 AM »
In this case it is better he noticed because it probably hastened his departure.  It is really distracting when people are conversing too close (hovering) to my table in a restaurant.

That definitely wasn't the case, they were walking past and fairly quickly too, certainly not hovering around.    Because it's a full club not just a restaurant there does tend to be a bit of through traffic - there are 5 restaurants, 3 bars, gaming rooms, that type of thing so it's noisy and busy.   We were sitting in the quietest corner of the bistro by the windows, but despite that there were people walking past our table fairly frequently.    (Not my #1 choice of dining, but it's an easy walk from our house, cheap, quality so good for a quick bite when we're desperate - it sort of feels like a nice night out but doesn't have to be planned).

That's actually why the whole thing was so bizarre - the odds that the exact moment he would walk past and that would happen.    And that it hit me instead of hitting the back of DH's head, or one of our plates of food!   (Sooo glad that we'd nearly finished eating already!)
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Isometric

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 12:30:32 AM »


Is there ANY way to make these situations less awkward? 

The disgusted look sure wouldn't have made him feel great. It was an accident, which I'm sure has happened to you, me and 99% of other people, whether it's noticed or not. Pretend it didn't happen, wipe it off, and yes, I'd wash the sweater too.

Ceallach

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 02:41:48 AM »


Is there ANY way to make these situations less awkward? 

The disgusted look sure wouldn't have made him feel great. It was an accident, which I'm sure has happened to you, me and 99% of other people, whether it's noticed or not. Pretend it didn't happen, wipe it off, and yes, I'd wash the sweater too.

So if you saw a glob of spit land on you, your first reaction wouldn't be a look of disgust?   I didn't say I gave *him* a dirty look!     It was more of a glance down and oh-no-please-tell-me-that-isn't-spit look.    I think it's a perfectly normal reaction personally.   At the time I had no idea he had noticed or was going to come over either.      I think I was quite clear in my post that I know it was an accident.     
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Isometric

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 06:09:48 AM »
Sorry, I honestly didn't  mean any offence. It looks harsher in print than in my head. All I meant was that it would be very embarrassing for the man. I think it's great he apologised, I'd just want the ground to open up and swallow me!

Ceallach

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 02:32:48 AM »
Sorry, I honestly didn't  mean any offence. It looks harsher in print than in my head. All I meant was that it would be very embarrassing for the man. I think it's great he apologised, I'd just want the ground to open up and swallow me!

That's ok, I was a bit surprised because I didn't think my reaction was rude per se.   I did feel bad for the guy as it must have been mortifying.   

All good, thanks.
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Just Lori

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Re: Handling those ick in public moments.
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 07:35:41 AM »
When something like this happens, I usually say something like, "Don't worry, accidents happen" or something to suggest that it could have easily been the other way around. 

If it's someone I know in a friendly situation, I might diffuse it with a joke: "Gee, Fred, you're taking our relationship to a new level here," but it would definitely be a situation where you have to know your audience.  I remember once being in a worker's cubicle with three or four other women.  One of the women audibly passed gas, and she quickly said "Oops, excuse me."  The coworker who "owned" the cubicle said, "What, am I at my house? Because that's how my house sounds every evening," and we all cracked up.  It was definitely the right response to an awkward situaiton.