Author Topic: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?  (Read 9396 times)

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MrsJWine

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2013, 02:28:56 PM »
I think if you hold the cake plate directly up to your face and gnaw, it works.

I will try this the next time I eat cake.  For science.

Don't make science wait, I think you must undertake this experiment without delay.

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Roe

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2013, 02:52:20 PM »
I think Miss Manners said, about PDAs, that when in a group you should not engage in pleasures that you would not share with everyone else present. So, unless you could see yourself cuddling with your hosts, or engaging in quick smooches with other guests, one should avoid it.

There's a serious principle behind this. The behaviour mentioned in the OP has the effect of setting the lovebirds as a group apart from everyone else. They *are* engaging in activities that visibly exclude the rest of the group. This, particularly when one is being offered hospitality from someone, is offputting and rude, even if the activities are not quite foreplay.

And this explains perfectly why I found them rude!  Thanks Twik for explaining it so well. 


pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2013, 02:54:14 PM »
I have to agree.  It makes me feel that my simple presence is an intrusion.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2013, 03:00:31 PM »
I think it would terribly rude to talk to the couple about what they can/can't do in your mother's house.  Just meet with them somewhere else other than at your mother's house.

Hmm, I wonder about this. Certainly there are times when one can, in a polite way, ask someone to modify their behavior in your home, with the option that all of you can meet somewhere else if they don't want to make that modification. (I'm assuming the OP would be a designee of her mother if she spoke to them about it, not that she would be an interfering third party.)

I guess the question is, is "level of PDA" one of those things that can be politely asked about, or not?

It would definitely be easier in some ways to just meet Zoe and Zac somewhere else, at least until they seem to have cooled off a bit on the PDA. But I don't think that's the only polite option. And what if that goes on for months or years, until Zoe finally asks why she hasn't been invited over lately? I think it would be a harder conversation to have at that point.
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bloo

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2013, 03:07:12 PM »
I think Miss Manners said, about PDAs, that when in a group you should not engage in pleasures that you would not share with everyone else present. So, unless you could see yourself cuddling with your hosts, or engaging in quick smooches with other guests, one should avoid it.

There's a serious principle behind this. The behaviour mentioned in the OP has the effect of setting the lovebirds as a group apart from everyone else. They *are* engaging in activities that visibly exclude the rest of the group. This, particularly when one is being offered hospitality from someone, is offputting and rude, even if the activities are not quite foreplay.

And this explains perfectly why I found them rude!  Thanks Twik for explaining it so well.

Ditto!

Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2013, 03:35:13 PM »
In a dinner party, does everyone at all times engage in conversation with the entirety of the rest of the group? At every dinner party I've attended, people will occasionally converse with one of their neighbors, and sometimes partake in the general group conversation.

If it's not rude to occasionally exchange a few words with the person beside you who is not your SO (provided, of course, that you are not ignoring the rest of the group for the majority of the evening), why would it be wrong to do so with a significant other (with the same caveat as before)?

Is it required that all people with significant others behave in public as if their SO is not their SO? Because that's the vibe I'm getting from many of these posts.

This is the behavior in question:
Quote
- When sitting around the table eating cake, Zoe dragged her chair right up close to Zac's, and nestled into his body (head resting on his shoulder) whilst she ate her cake;

- Later, when sitting on the sofa drinking coffee, Zoe sat so close to Zac that she was almost sitting on his lap. She also spent the entire time stroking his knee. When she wasn't stroking his knee, she was holding onto his arm.

- A couple of times, Zoe and Zac disengaged from the main conversion, and had a brief (lasting only seconds), whispered conversation of their own, which ended with Zoe giving Zac a quick, soft, kiss on the lips.

If the behavior as mentioned was constant through the entire evening, pulling them away from paying attention to everyone else, then yes, that would be rude. But it would be rude if it were anyone separating themselves from a conversation regularly. A couple few-second conversations concluded with a quick kiss, sitting close to a SO and touching them in a non-sexual way, and eating cake in a very inefficient way (C'mon, cake should be better appreciated!) don't seem that bad, unless the visit was a very short one.

And as a person who occasionally kisses her husband in public, who enjoys sitting beside him with her arm tucked into his, and who will rest her head on his shoulder if she's tired or headachey... being approached and told that my behavior was rude and making people uncomfortable would make me feel lectured and unwelcome.

I have often seen it said here that actions have consequences. That is true. Their behavior, though not bothersome to me, was unacceptable to the OP and her mother. As a consequence, they might no longer be invited over. That's fine. But keep in mind that informing the friend of this may have the natural consequence of the friend no longer wanting to be invited anywhere. These would all be people acting in polite ways, just with varying levels of how much PDA or judgment they are willing to bear to maintain a friendship.

greencat

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2013, 04:22:54 PM »
Actually, at formal dinner parties, you are not supposed to be seated with your SO, just to avoid the dinner being a bunch of couples mostly talking to each other. 


Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2013, 04:28:50 PM »
Actually, at formal dinner parties, you are not supposed to be seated with your SO, just to avoid the dinner being a bunch of couples mostly talking to each other.

I am aware of what a formal dinner party was supposed to entail, but the couple in question was seated next to each other at this party.

And my question of the appropriateness of a person conversing privately with anyone else (not a SO) still stands.

MariaE

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2013, 05:01:54 PM »
I think Miss Manners said, about PDAs, that when in a group you should not engage in pleasures that you would not share with everyone else present. So, unless you could see yourself cuddling with your hosts, or engaging in quick smooches with other guests, one should avoid it.

There's a serious principle behind this. The behaviour mentioned in the OP has the effect of setting the lovebirds as a group apart from everyone else. They *are* engaging in activities that visibly exclude the rest of the group. This, particularly when one is being offered hospitality from someone, is offputting and rude, even if the activities are not quite foreplay.

I can see this to a point, but I don't agree with it 100%. If DH and I are watching a movie with a group of friends and we happen to sit next to each other, I see nothing wrong with holding his hand even if I wouldn't do so with everybody
 
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2013, 05:32:44 PM »
In a dinner party, does everyone at all times engage in conversation with the entirety of the rest of the group? At every dinner party I've attended, people will occasionally converse with one of their neighbors, and sometimes partake in the general group conversation.

If it's not rude to occasionally exchange a few words with the person beside you who is not your SO (provided, of course, that you are not ignoring the rest of the group for the majority of the evening), why would it be wrong to do so with a significant other (with the same caveat as before)?

Is it required that all people with significant others behave in public as if their SO is not their SO? Because that's the vibe I'm getting from many of these posts.

This is the behavior in question:
Quote
- When sitting around the table eating cake, Zoe dragged her chair right up close to Zac's, and nestled into his body (head resting on his shoulder) whilst she ate her cake;

- Later, when sitting on the sofa drinking coffee, Zoe sat so close to Zac that she was almost sitting on his lap. She also spent the entire time stroking his knee. When she wasn't stroking his knee, she was holding onto his arm.

- A couple of times, Zoe and Zac disengaged from the main conversion, and had a brief (lasting only seconds), whispered conversation of their own, which ended with Zoe giving Zac a quick, soft, kiss on the lips.

If the behavior as mentioned was constant through the entire evening, pulling them away from paying attention to everyone else, then yes, that would be rude. But it would be rude if it were anyone separating themselves from a conversation regularly. A couple few-second conversations concluded with a quick kiss, sitting close to a SO and touching them in a non-sexual way, and eating cake in a very inefficient way (C'mon, cake should be better appreciated!) don't seem that bad, unless the visit was a very short one.

And as a person who occasionally kisses her husband in public, who enjoys sitting beside him with her arm tucked into his, and who will rest her head on his shoulder if she's tired or headachey... being approached and told that my behavior was rude and making people uncomfortable would make me feel lectured and unwelcome.

I have often seen it said here that actions have consequences. That is true. Their behavior, though not bothersome to me, was unacceptable to the OP and her mother. As a consequence, they might no longer be invited over. That's fine. But keep in mind that informing the friend of this may have the natural consequence of the friend no longer wanting to be invited anywhere. These would all be people acting in polite ways, just with varying levels of how much PDA or judgment they are willing to bear to maintain a friendship.

POD , my fiancÚ and I are a very touchy. Couple, and while we do tone it down in company, I would feel affronted if confronted with it.

Two questions:

1. Why is it assumed that it will wear off after a while?
2. Why is it assumed that it's to show off the people that you are with someone?

greencat

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2013, 05:48:28 PM »
When you're in a relationship, you want to feel assured that your partner is thinking about you and wanting to give them the same assurance in return.  Touching is a very basic way to communicate this assurance in the beginning of the relationship, and it serves the additional social function of broadcasting "Hands off!  This one is mine!" whether or not either partner actually feels threatened in the relationship by the other people in the room. 

Eventually, most relationships progress to the point where the partners feel secure enough that they don't need to touch so demonstratively or at all.

A little affection between a couple is a good and positive thing - but Zac and Zoe sounded like they were displaying inappropriate levels of territory-marking type behavior for the situation.

Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2013, 06:06:36 PM »
A little affection between a couple is a good and positive thing - but Zac and Zoe sounded like they were displaying inappropriate levels of territory-marking type behavior for the situation.

I think this is the main point of contention- I totally disagree that it sounds inappropriate. To me, this sounds like a completely normal amount of affection for a cake and coffee gathering with a friend.

Roe

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2013, 06:46:21 PM »
I think holding hands is just fine.  I assume that isn't what people are reacting too because hand holding is pretty common. 

For me, it's the head on shoulders while eating cake that is making me roll my eyes.  If I had friends like that (esp in their 30's) that would be the last time I invite them over.  Seriously, how childish and annoying can they get?

I have a friend whose DH *constantly* calls her 'babygirl.'  Yes, babygirl, over and over and over.  Yeah, try listening to babygirl about 100 times every night and it gets annoying.  Another friend and I made a game of it in order to get through the evening. 

Luckily, the 'babygirl' in question is close enough of a friend that otherfriend and I tease her about it.   Ha!  But I will admit, I can only take hanging out with her and her DH in small doses.  Too much 'babygirl' for me. (btw, friend is in her 40's and not a babygirl)  ;) 

Marcia

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2013, 07:53:32 PM »
Had you not listed their ages, I would have guessed high school.  I think that eating cake nestled up against your SO with your head on his shoulder is a bit much in public.  Whispering sweet nothings together and ending with a kiss in the middle of a small groups is, to me, also a bit much.  Hand on his knee, no big deal. 


I agree. At first I thought these were people who just graduated high school last year. I lean toward more immature behavior given their ages.

Raintree

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Re: Friends' PDAs, versus mother's discomfort. Who is right?
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2013, 08:30:17 PM »
It's a bit too lovey dovey in a group setting to me. And I agree with the mother that it's immature, like a couple of teenagers. Nothing wrong with a hand on the knee, or a quick touch in conversation, but I think leaning on each other during the eating of cake, is a bit much. The whispered conversation followed by soft kiss, well, if that was the only thing then I'd probably think it was no big deal, but combined with everything else, constantly, all evening, it becomes nauseating.

I know a couple who got together in their 40's, and all of a sudden both of them were posting on Facebook, "My sweetie and I are having a romantic dinner!" "My sweetie this! My sweetie that!" and posting links to each other's public walls to romantic songs with the comment, "I love you so much, my sweetie!" Everyone in the wider circle of friends was just rolling their eyes and commenting that it was all a bit much. This is what the OP's description reminds me of.

Darn, I don't have any cake to go try this eating manoevre.