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Author Topic: Family breakfast  (Read 33246 times)

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #75 on: May 07, 2013, 09:52:35 PM »
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.

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

POD *inviteseller.

To take the technology aspect out of it: Two people sitting in companionable silence reading the newspaper or reading books or playing crossword puzzles is not the same situation as the one described in the OP. If the dad had been sitting there reading a book or playing with their own electronic device I don't think OP would have even posted because there would have been no sense that the dad was being excluded/ignored - everyone would have been doing something.

If I went out to breakfast with a friend or colleague and they suddenly whipped out a newspaper or phone or whatever and started reading and they expected me just to sit there entertaining myself while they did that, I would find that very rude. I strongly resist the idea that this behavior is acceptable etiquette as a general rule. I am fine with the idea that people develop norms within their own close relationships where they are fine with each other doing whatever they want. Yes it is possible that in this family that was the case.


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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2013, 12:32:56 AM »
the dad was being excluded/ignored

You are making an assumption as to this man's feelings. And you can't do that. Just because he was sitting there without a gadget doesn't mean he was feeling excluded, ignored or anything else. He may have had his own gadget and not taken it out just because he wanted to sit there and relax. And maybe even relax without talking. That's not an unreasonable thing to do. As an introvert, I completely understand the need, sometimes, to just.....sit. Not talk. Not do anything. Just relax and decompress. Be quiet and alone with my thoughts in order to recharge my own batteries.

Again, if you don't like people using gadgets at the table, by all means, make that rule for your table. It's perfectly legitimate for you to do that. You have that right. What you don't have, though, is the right to impose that rule onto other tables of which you are not a part. You don't get to require that they put their stuff away any more than they require you to pick one up and use phones or iPads or other things at your table. This is one of those times when you really do have to mind your own business and not get into other people's business. Because other people's tables don't involve you at all.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 12:34:39 AM by DottyG »

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2013, 04:32:45 AM »
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.

I did say in my post, that we had no way of knowing whether the father minded or not.  It's possible he was ok with it.  It's also possible that the dad did make his displeasure known and his family ignored that.  I was trying to comment on the general etiquette of the situation in a constructive way without continuing to dogpile on the OP who already said in reply 8 'Alrighty then. Sufficiently chastised.'
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 05:00:52 AM by Miss Unleaded »


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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2013, 10:54:56 AM »
I had a could be that the rest of the family gets carsick when they read in a moving vehicle.  While I don't get as sick as I did when I was a kid, I still can't read in the car without getting a bit queasy.  I'm fine with reading directions every few miles, but mostly I have to keep my eyes on the road or I'm not a happy camper. 

Though these days, I can't really do much on my phone without distraction.  I'm bringing my Kindle with me to the beach and will have my smartphone, but I don't expect I'll get too many chances to actually read it.   That and my friend and I are quite chatty. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata


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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #79 on: May 09, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »
When Joe and I go out to eat, unless it is a very quiet place, we don't engage in coversation very much.  My voice is
soft, and he has some hearing loss, especially if there is much background noise. So if people look at us, not talking to
each other and commiserate that "look at that older couple, that have run out of things to say" - not true!!  We just
can't hear each other!!      ;)


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Re: Family breakfast
« Reply #80 on: May 09, 2013, 03:56:22 PM »
DH and I went out to dinner last night. I had my phone out the entire time... asking him trivia questions while we waited.