Author Topic: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?  (Read 23612 times)

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GLaDOS

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #195 on: February 24, 2013, 06:54:57 PM »
I think in this instance, the mother didn't handle the situation well, since at least you, OP, came away feeling 'off' about it.

Personally, without getting into whether appetizers are meant for the table or not, I think the mom was out of line. The girl was 12, but she was autonomous enough to decide what she wanted to eat, and had permission to order it.  The mom didn't respect that autonomy by taking the cheese sticks and offering them to the OP and the other diner without asking or prompting, and I think that's what's getting the side-eye from the people who feel it was rude, myself included.  I don't know why she did that, but my first thought was /the mom/ had a sudden spur of "Must be polite and offer!" and acted on it thoughtlessly.

I've read though the thread, but I don't think I saw how things turned out. Can I ask what happened after the mom offered and how the girl behaved?
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cass2591

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #196 on: February 24, 2013, 06:59:10 PM »
Or we could argue about what share means.


I agree that it's time to put that semantic argument to rest.
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*inviteseller

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #197 on: February 24, 2013, 07:23:26 PM »
I am interested in all the differing viewpoints here.  I don't think we all will ever agree rude/not rude because everyone has such differing views on dining out.  I do seem to in the minority about allowing my kids to not only order, but eat a whole appetizer in front of people who chose not get one, but as it has yet to ever be an issue with dining companions, I will not change it.  Maybe I see the mom in the OP as rude, and possibly controlling, for taking the food she allowed her daughter to order and offering it up because I allow my DD's some broader freedoms in eating, especially for the treat of eating out. 


doodlemor

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #198 on: February 24, 2013, 07:41:38 PM »
I am interested in all the differing viewpoints here.  I don't think we all will ever agree rude/not rude because everyone has such differing views on dining out.  I do seem to in the minority about allowing my kids to not only order, but eat a whole appetizer in front of people who chose not get one, but as it has yet to ever be an issue with dining companions, I will not change it.  Maybe I see the mom in the OP as rude, and possibly controlling, for taking the food she allowed her daughter to order and offering it up because I allow my DD's some broader freedoms in eating, especially for the treat of eating out.

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PeterM

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #199 on: February 24, 2013, 08:43:23 PM »
I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served. 

Doesn't that mean they'd have to eat their appetizers and entrees in the same amount of time everyone else eats just their entrees? Otherwise they'd end up eating after everyone else was done, which is the same situation at the other end of the meal.

I don't understand the idea of "It's rude to eat before others" when applied to different courses. I mean, forget appetizers. Those are an extra, optional course. What about meals that include soup or salad? Is it rude to eat those if not everyone at your table ordered a meal that comes with one or the other?

proudmama

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #200 on: February 24, 2013, 10:32:56 PM »
I read this entire thread with great interest.  My family usually shares appetizers, but sometimes, my DS orders one as his meal.  He does not have to share that. 

We were out to dinner with a very big party.  My son ordered an appetizer in place of a meal.  When the runner brought it out, someone at the other end of the table said to put it down there and that he would pass it down, even though the rest of the food was brought out at the same time.

By the time it got to my son, there was almost nothing left.  Because of how big the table was, I just assumed that someone had actually ordered that as an appetizer and that the kitchen messed up and just brought it out late.

There was no food for DS.  I asked the waiter and he commented that it already came out.  When the other person realized that he had passed my DS's dinner, he got defensive and said 'We always share appetizers.  He should know better than to order one just for himself.'. I made the waiter bring my DS another plate,  but that took some time.

Not every family does things the same way.  I would never take a plate away from my kids (13 and 10).  But, unless they were really hungry, they would share.  And if it was after one of their sporting activities, I would never expect them to share.


*inviteseller

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #201 on: February 24, 2013, 10:42:33 PM »
I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served. 

Doesn't that mean they'd have to eat their appetizers and entrees in the same amount of time everyone else eats just their entrees? Otherwise they'd end up eating after everyone else was done, which is the same situation at the other end of the meal.

I don't understand the idea of "It's rude to eat before others" when applied to different courses. I mean, forget appetizers. Those are an extra, optional course. What about meals that include soup or salad? Is it rude to eat those if not everyone at your table ordered a meal that comes with one or the other?
I don't either.  For a family meal in the house, yes, wait till everyone in the house has been seated, but with different courses and different choices, it seems as if the appetizer orderers are denied their starter, so why bother.  And if there is a slow eater, do they finish or just quit because everyone is done?  I don't focus on what everyone is eating at what time, I am usually enjoying conversations and the atmosphere (and the fact I don't have to cook  ;D) to be concerned.

Proudmama..did they charge you for a second meal for your son, or did the lout who just assumed plate of food was for sharing pay for it? 

proudmama

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #202 on: February 24, 2013, 10:55:59 PM »

Proudmama..did they charge you for a second meal for your son, or did the lout who just assumed plate of food was for sharing pay for it?

The waiter comped the first plate because he felt bad that he was not at the table when the runner brought the food.  We only paid for the plate our son actually ate.  I think it should have been added to he other check.

Cheapie

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #203 on: February 24, 2013, 11:08:52 PM »
I haven't read through the whole thread and I, obviously, wasn't present at the meal.  But, from reading the OP's first post, it just kind of stood out to me that the 12 year old, who had just gotten done with swim team practice (if I remember right from the post) meant for the appetizer to be part of her meal like a side dish ... not a plate to be shared ... and the OP was able to pick up on this.

I'm kind of of the mind that if the girl wanted an appetizer "for the heck of it", she most likely would have OK'd this with her mother while checking out the menu options.  And yes, I would think that the mother would be within her rights to share that appetizer with the table even though her daughter was the one who wanted it.  But again, it seems to me that the girl order the appetizer as a "side" to her meal and it should have been treated as such, even by the mother.

On a side note, it doesn't seem as though this was a very large group, so the mother was most likely aware that her daughter was ordering an appetizer along with her meal.  It seems a bit strange to me that the mother didn't take a moment to question what the daughter was ordering.  I can't imagine just letting my son order an appetizer with his meal without questioning him.  If we are having an appetizer for the table, I wouldn't be letting my son decide on and order it.  There would be a discussion as to the choice and who exactly was hungry for one.  Again, the way the daughter ordered the appetizer without consulting her mother just kind of seems as though she meant it as a side to her meal instead of as an "official" appetizer, and as such it should not have been shared with the table.  I have done this myself, although I usually take home part of my entree (due to the fact that I am not on a swim team! lol)  A big bowl of clams (appetizer) with a chef salad is my usually meal at one restaurant, and no, I don't share the clams.  They are not on the entree menu so the appetizer is the only way I can get them.  If DH and DSons want clams they know to order another bowl.  Oh, plus I get half a chef salad for lunch the next day.  Yum.

Jones

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #204 on: February 24, 2013, 11:24:50 PM »
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #205 on: February 24, 2013, 11:26:40 PM »

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.


That would make me crabby. When my appetizer AND entree arrive, now I have twice as much food to make my way through in the same amount of time that everyone else is using to eat an entree only.

And one of the cool things about appetizers is being able to concentrate only on them, without the distraction of all the other flavors on the plate. Ditto the entree.

I'm guessing there was more to it than this simple idea--I have no idea of the stepkids' ages, or whether there was already the issue of teaching them to wait for everyone else and be mindful of the family and dinner-table members as a whole.

Cheapie

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #206 on: February 24, 2013, 11:51:09 PM »
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.

Any chance you remember the post number? 

I'm just wondering if the OP remembers the manner in which they discussed it.  If the girl asked "Mom, can I have an appetizer?", I would still think she was wanting it as a side.  If she asked "Mom, can we get an appetizer?", then I think sharing it is more than OK.  Of course, I doubt that the OP remembers the exact wording and she might not have even heard the whole discussion.  It would just be interesting to know if the girl used her language in a way that the mother would have known her exact intent when it came to the appetizer issue.

I'll try to take some time later to go through the whole thread. :)

Jones

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #207 on: February 24, 2013, 11:55:28 PM »
Cheapie-OP says in the thread that the daughter did clear the appetizer with her mother prior to ordering.

Any chance you remember the post number? 

I'm just wondering if the OP remembers the manner in which they discussed it.  If the girl asked "Mom, can I have an appetizer?", I would still think she was wanting it as a side.  If she asked "Mom, can we get an appetizer?", then I think sharing it is more than OK.  Of course, I doubt that the OP remembers the exact wording and she might not have even heard the whole discussion.  It would just be interesting to know if the girl used her language in a way that the mother would have known her exact intent when it came to the appetizer issue.

I'll try to take some time later to go through the whole thread. :)
It was #71, but doesn't say exact wording, just that the sharing was confusing to the OP because the child did have permission.

Cheapie

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #208 on: February 25, 2013, 12:09:23 AM »
Thanks so much Jones!  Saves me a bit of time going through all the posts!  I'm a slow reader. :D

MariaE

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #209 on: February 25, 2013, 12:53:31 AM »
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.         

The red is why I hate being the first person on the waiter's mind.  I hate looking like a pig in front of others.

The blue is another point.  I think it also should take other factors into consideration.  I was once with a party of eight in a place that specialized in prime rib.  By the time the entire table had been served the first two meals to exit the kitchen were cold.  That should not have to happen.

Re. the blue quote. Does the rule not take the difference between hot and cold meals into account? It does in Denmark.

Here the rule is: Cold dish - don't start eating until everybody has been served.
Warm dish - don't start eating until your two neighbours have been served.

That way no warm dishes are spoiled by going cold :D I actually thought that was pretty universal, so I was surprised to read your comment :)
 
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