Author Topic: Family breakfast  (Read 8387 times)

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Van down by the river

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2013, 12:08:59 PM »
At a restaurant I worked at, every day for lunch a couple would meet, order the same thing and do crossword puzzles. They never spoke to each other. I finally found out they are each doing the same puzzle. They have a race to see who can get the most answers during their lunch hour. The compare answers in the car as he drove her back to work before going back to the office. I judged them as bored married couple and learned the opposite was true. (She told me when he was home sick and she came alone reading a book)

NyaChan

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2013, 12:16:28 PM »

Just because we use newer forms of technology doesn't mean that people are tuning one another out.  Like I said before, DH and I use our iPads every Saturday morning as we eat breakfast.  (we are at home but still...same point) In my grandparents day, they used the newspaper as we use our iPads. 

...

In the scenario you describe, all parties have reading materials.  In the OP's scenario the dad didn't.  To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it.  I generally carry my tablet everywhere and have a lot of books on it so I always have something to read, but I wouldn't get it out if there were other people at the table who weren't reading.  It just feels really off to me.  And if I saw someone in the situation the OP describes I'd feel quite bad for the guy.

It's possible the dad may not have been bothered (we don't know), but my feeling is that reading at the table when others are not is rude unless you know it doesn't bother them.



That is an interesting point.  I agree that it would be rude to pull out a book at a table without any warning to the other person there and knowing that they have nothing to occupy themselves.  But what if the person has a similar thing to do, such as a book or an ipad, but chooses not to use it while the other person does?  Is that still rude on the occupied person for not putting down their own device/book or should the unoccupied by choice person accept that they knew about the possible lack of conversation and chose to not to otherwise entertain themselves? 

Does that make any sense? Sounds odd when I type it out.

Surianne

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2013, 01:40:20 PM »
At a restaurant I worked at, every day for lunch a couple would meet, order the same thing and do crossword puzzles. They never spoke to each other. I finally found out they are each doing the same puzzle. They have a race to see who can get the most answers during their lunch hour. The compare answers in the car as he drove her back to work before going back to the office. I judged them as bored married couple and learned the opposite was true. (She told me when he was home sick and she came alone reading a book)

That is awesome! 

gellchom

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2013, 02:12:11 PM »
The dad could have been as engrossed in his own thoughts as his family was in their gadgets.  Just because someone doesn't have an i-pad in front of them, doesn't mean their mind is blank.  For all we know he could have been sitting there lost in thought:

I can't believe Bob showed up to the office yesterday in a penguin tie.  Everyone knows penguins are my signature style.  He's such a copycat.  I bet he doesn't even know what kind of penguins were on his tie.  Why does that lady keep looking over here?  Maybe she likes my tie. I don't care what anyone says, today I'm putting the blueberry syrup on my waffles.  And the strawberry!
Oh, how I LOVE this!  Bonus points for working the OP into the reverie.

I do think that that OP sounded a little holier than thou, but I also agree that commenting on an observed lapse, or arguable lapse, of etiquette is not inappropriate on an etiquette board.  Every post doesn't have to be a request for help.  And in this case, tone aside, look at the interesting differing points of view that have been elicited.

You seem to be enjoying putting the OP in her place.

I think the criticism of the OP in this thread is a bit over the top, honestly.  She already acknowledged that she felt appropriately chastised.

I apologize, OP.  I see how that "bonus points" thing sounds now -- I didn't mean it was good because it put her in her place, I meant that it made it funnier to include in the father's reverie that he was looking at her, too -- I actually was glad that it didn't make it sound like it had upset him.

As to the "holier than thou" part, I just meant I agreed with others about the tone.  I know many people get frustrated at what they often call "pearl clutching" and things like "Is this the new normal?" or "Maybe I'm hopelessly old-fashioned, but ...." and so forth.  They do tend to sound like what they really mean is not a genuine question of whether there is some new standard so much as code for "Well, I know what's right and wrong here, and my manners are still excellent, and I am shocked at the boorishness of the world around me."  And poor Oogyda got all that projected onto her post.

And I meant it when I said that I didn't think that there is anything wrong with posting here just to describe poor manners viewed someplace. 

Wordgeek

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #64 on: May 07, 2013, 05:11:48 PM »
I don't expect everyone else to hold the opinions I do, and in fact, have enjoyed many of the posts expressing differing points of view. 

What I don't expect is be called judgmental and holier than thou.

Then respond in a way that indicates as much.  The tone of your posts came across to me as petulant, rather than fostering useful discussion.

Wordgeek

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2013, 05:13:32 PM »
And to everyone else, "fostering useful discussion" is the goal here.  Please post accordingly.

Edited for typo.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 09:57:35 PM by Wordgeek »

Cami

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #66 on: May 07, 2013, 05:16:06 PM »
We were on a short family vacation for several days and ate all of our meals in restaurants. We played a game, figuring the percentage of people who were talking/interacting with the other people in their party versus being on various electronic devices. At no time or restaurant did we ever encounter any less than 50% of all people were ignoring their companions in favor of electronica.

So I would say that this is the new way.

gellchom

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #67 on: May 07, 2013, 05:38:29 PM »
This whole string has made me remember a long car trip my husband and I once took through Nova Scotia and PEI.  We drove and drove every day, talking all the while.  When we would stop for meals, we'd often pull our our books and read for a change -- after all, we'd just talked for hours straight.  I remember getting a laugh at the idea that some young honeymoon couple would see us and say, "Isn't that sad -- they have nothing to say to each other.  Don't worry, honey, we'll never be like that!"

Breakfast is kind of like that a lot anyway for a lot of people.  At our house, we like to read the paper at breakfast.  We talk now and then, but mostly we read the paper.  I doubt I was able to do that when the kidz were home, especially when they were little, though.  Although I'm not sure that the talk at the pre-school and -work breakfast table would have qualified as "conversation" anyway!  At dinner, we always shut everything off, and we still do -- except sometimes when there is a baseball game on we both want to see.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #68 on: May 07, 2013, 06:11:15 PM »
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were wandering around on a summer afternoon, and stopped into a coffee shop. We got out our respective books, and were reading happily. Someone near us got very loud, and one of us asked him to please lower his voice.

The loud person nearby apologized for distracting us from our studying! We were both reading novels, just for the pleasure of it; I don't know whether this person looked at my book and thought "literature, it must be for a class" or just assumed that two people reading instead of talking must be studying. We do talk a lot, but we also like to sit and read our books: it would feel odd to have to separate in order to read.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

DottyG

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #69 on: May 07, 2013, 06:39:08 PM »
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To me it feels rude to read when the other person at the table doesn't have reading material, unless you know they aren't bothered by it

And that's the key point.  You don't know (the "you" meaning everyone here as well as the OP).  As others have said, the onus is on the dad to say, "hey, "I'm bothered by this, kids" and do something about it.  It's not on outsiders to look over (physically or on a forum) and decide it's rude.  It's not rude to anyone but the people involved.  And that's the people at that table - no one else.  Not the OP or us.

Many alternatives have been given her as to why this might have been acceptable to this family.  And why it might not have been what the OP thought it was.  We don't know what the truth of the story was.  Only they do.  And if everyone at that table was fine with it, it's not rude.

*inviteseller

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #70 on: May 07, 2013, 06:57:04 PM »
I love to read when I eat but if I am sharing a meal with anyone, at home or out, I am not going to whip out a book and start reading when the other person is sitting there doing nothing and I know I am on the unpopular side of opinion on this, but I hate electronics at the meals.  Two people playing a game next to each other?  OK because you are interacting with each other, but when someone is on the kindle, someone has the headphones in, another is texting..why bother going out together because my idea is if you are going out to eat with a group, you are wanting to have a meal and conversation..not look at everyone playing with their gadgets.  I have told people I am having a meal with to stop with the texting or incessant phone checking.  My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me? 

DottyG

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #71 on: May 07, 2013, 07:02:25 PM »
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My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me?

And that's an absolutely great rule to have when you dine with someone.  I'm all for your making that a requirement at your table.  What you can't do, however, is make that rule for someone else's table.  You don't have the right to do that.

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why bother going out together

Because it might have been a stop for a meal while traveling.  Who knows?  It could be that they've just spent X hours in the car together, and they're at a point where they need a break from the "interacting" that you're talking about.  It may be that they're a very close family that interacts a lot.  But, for this one 30-45 minute meal, they needed to catch up with their emails or messages and are not neglecting each other.


citadelle

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #72 on: May 07, 2013, 07:50:59 PM »
One of the greatest joys for me in marriage is sharing comfortable silence. People interact in different ways. If you see my husband and I out for breakfast, and I am reading the paper, don't feel sorry for him. We are very happy together.

I sometimes wonder how others can talk, talk, talk all the time. And so loudly sometimes!

*inviteseller

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #73 on: May 07, 2013, 07:57:57 PM »
Quote
My phone is put away (and I have no problem with checking a ringing phone in case it is an emergency)  and I am paying attention to you (general) would it kill you to pay attention to me?

And that's an absolutely great rule to have when you dine with someone.  I'm all for your making that a requirement at your table.  What you can't do, however, is make that rule for someone else's table.  You don't have the right to do that.

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why bother going out together

Because it might have been a stop for a meal while traveling.  Who knows?  It could be that they've just spent X hours in the car together, and they're at a point where they need a break from the "interacting" that you're talking about.  It may be that they're a very close family that interacts a lot.  But, for this one 30-45 minute meal, they needed to catch up with their emails or messages and are not neglecting each other.



I wouldn't go up to strangers and say anything, but I also would have felt bad for the dad.  I am just saying when I go out to eat, I am offended if the person I am eating with is more interested in their device than me.  I have had someone say "Oh I want to show you this"  I look at it, they put it away ok, but if they need to text or read postings instead of focusing on their dining companions then no, I don't see the point.  I see this more and more, so I don't think it can be explained away with rest stop or we've been talking all day in the car.  It is how a lot of people interact, and that is fine for some people, but I find using an electronic device over face to face interactions with people you are with rude.  Just a fuddy duddy, I guess  :P

Surianne

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #74 on: May 07, 2013, 09:07:30 PM »
One of the greatest joys for me in marriage is sharing comfortable silence. People interact in different ways. If you see my husband and I out for breakfast, and I am reading the paper, don't feel sorry for him. We are very happy together.

I sometimes wonder how others can talk, talk, talk all the time. And so loudly sometimes!

So true -- this would be my ideal relationship, being able to enjoy reading a newspaper, doing a crossword, or whatever together, without having to talk.