Author Topic: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?  (Read 4420 times)

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LifeOnPluto

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Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:12:55 PM »
Odd question, but I'm curious to see what people think.

I was watching a popular reality TV show the other night. The premise of this show is that each team (consisting of two people) take it in turns to throw a three-course dinner party at their homes for the other teams plus two celebrity chefs (a total of 12 guests). At the end of each episode, the other teams and the chefs score their cooking.   

Sometimes things go awry, and teams are slow in getting their meals ready. In this particular episode, the team who was hosting the dinner party took two hours (from after the main course was served) to serve their desserts. The other contestents were sitting at the table, getting bored and hungry. The conversation had flagged and no one was really talking. Then, one team decided to start singing at the dinner table. (FWIW, they were singing songs from musicals). The other contestents were not amused, and did not join in the singing. But the Singing Team seemed to see nothing wrong with what they were doing.

So - my question is, is it ever ok to burst into song at the dinner table (or find other ways to amuse yourself besides normal conversation) if things are growing dull? 

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 09:15:40 PM »
I think the answer could be yes or no, depending on who you're dealing with.  Personally, I'd find it annoying.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 09:19:15 PM »
My guess would be singing is not considered polite, unless the host is encouraging it, or it's somehow part of the program. 

My sisters-in-law both love singing, and often used to sing at slightly inappropriate times.  The story has it that my grandmother-in-law eventually had to make a strict "no singing at the table" rule for the house, to prevent my sisters-in-law from singing so much. 

My family has, for the most part, pretty terrible voices, so none of us sing at the table, or anywhere else! 

As far as "other ways of amusing yourself at the table", almost all of the ways I know how to amuse myself at the table are considered rude (setting up a goal post and trying to score with various objects, twirling various objects, playing with condiments), so I don't think I'm qualified to answer that portion of the question. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 09:26:46 PM »
To me there is no difference between singing at the table or doing a sililoguy at the dinner table.  Either one forces attention upon you and interrupts conversation amongst other diners.  But if the conversation in flaling and the diners are looking for entertainment, then I guess it is fine.

KenveeB

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 09:33:09 PM »
I think that a group sing would be fine, and singing a brief line or two would be fine as well. (I'll randomly sing a line or two of something when it's relevant, just like I'll sometimes quote a movie or whatever.) One or a small group of people basically hijacking dinner for their singalong is rude.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 09:39:28 PM »
I think that a group sing would be fine, and singing a brief line or two would be fine as well. (I'll randomly sing a line or two of something when it's relevant, just like I'll sometimes quote a movie or whatever.) One or a small group of people basically hijacking dinner for their singalong is rude.

I agree.  I think in some circumstances (like in a restaurant) it could be rude, but in others it could be jolly good fun!

WillyNilly

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 09:41:18 PM »
So everyone was essentially trapped at the table for two hours after the main course (so they'd already been at the table at least 30-40 minutes)? I think at that point singing a bit, so long as they were open to people joining in and starting the next song, etc, is ok. I think the real rudeness was making people wait 2 hours for dessert. For goodness sake I could whip up a dozen desserts from scratch in 45 minutes!

Jape

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 09:46:20 PM »
I vote rude.  Plus, I didn't think they were all that good, so not even entertaining.  I think a whole message board could be filled with the rudeness that's been displayed on that show though!

Winterlight

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 09:59:32 PM »
I think if you're holding dessert hostage for two hours you should be grateful that the worst thing that happens is a little singing.

As a general rule, though, I would vote against singing unless it's the group tradition.
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Sharnita

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 10:36:45 PM »
In about 99% of cases, rude.

Miss Tickle

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:47:45 PM »
I think if you're holding dessert hostage for two hours you should be grateful that the worst thing that happens is a little singing.


No kidding. Things happen and I'd be happy if my dinner table was still upbeat enough to sing and not just stare sullenly at each other for another hour. Was the singing what the producers wanted because an empty table isn't good tv?

Where does this air? Were the singers any good?

Bluenomi

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 10:59:38 PM »
Well my 2 year old thinks it is fine but considering she also thinks eating with her hands and ralking with her mouth full are ok I don't think I trust her judgement  ;D

TootsNYC

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 11:22:11 PM »
I was forbidden to sing at the dinner table. And I think Miss Manners has said it's not appropriate.

Ceallach

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 11:37:49 PM »
To us the worst part of that episode (yup I know exactly what you're referring to!) is that she wasn't a good singer. At all.  It was one of those cringeworthy situations where somebody thinks they're sharing a talent and entertaining the room, but are actually just making a fool of themselves. I was impressed that the other teams were so polite and didn't tell them to shut up! (although they made their true feelings known in the interviews afterwards).   

Definitely boorish behavior from the ladies singing. 
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blarg314

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Re: Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 11:53:02 PM »

It's only appropriate if *everyone* at the table thinks it's a good idea.