Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.

<< < (5/7) > >>

Biker Granny:
I think there's some over-reacting going on. 
If I see someone eating something that looks interesting and I feel I know them well enough, I'll ask what it is.

It would create a reasonable assumption that the person eating it might be a vegetarian.  What's wrong with asking?  It's not like I know the two other people ahead of my have asked the same question.

I might answer with "No....but if I was, this would be my main staple...I really love it."

No wonder no one wants to start up conversations anymore.

Tea Drinker:

--- Quote from: Biker Granny on September 18, 2013, 12:50:42 PM ---I think there's some over-reacting going on. 
If I see someone eating something that looks interesting and I feel I know them well enough, I'll ask what it is.

It would create a reasonable assumption that the person eating it might be a vegetarian.  What's wrong with asking?  It's not like I know the two other people ahead of my have asked the same question.

I might answer with "No....but if I was, this would be my main staple...I really love it."

No wonder no one wants to start up conversations anymore.

--- End quote ---

You also don't know that the two people ahead of you haven't asked the same question. If a question or remark seems obvious, whether it's "nice weather" or "you're very tall" or "are you a vegetarian?" you probably aren't the first person to ask it, maybe not the first person that day. At best, you might be the first one to ask it without following up with "did you play basketball in college?" or "why don't you eat meat?"

I don't mind having two people within five minutes ask me "is this where I get the train to the airport?" because that's impersonal and each, separately, has a practical use for the information. But it's not useful for a stranger to know whether I'm a vegetarian; it might be useful for them to know whether my lunch is, but "Is that vegetarian? I'm looking for more good vegetarian options" or "Is that vegetarian?" followed by "Can I get some around here, I'm looking for a lunch spot" makes it impersonal or about the asker: rather than demanding information about me, they're offering information about themselves.

There are lots of ways to start a conversation that don't start by asking for information about the other person's lifestyle or health.

Danika:
There's also tone and intent, of course. Someone could be a vegetarian and be very excited to find another possible vegetarian and say excitedly "OH! Are you a vegetarian?" And someone else might be saying it with their nose wrinkled up, in disgust, as an accusation.

whiskeytangofoxtrot:
My reply would most likely be a chipper, "Nope. I just like falafel."

Mmmm, falafel... doggone it, now I'm hungry!  :P

Biker Granny:

--- Quote from: Tea Drinker on September 18, 2013, 03:09:36 PM ---
--- Quote from: Biker Granny on September 18, 2013, 12:50:42 PM ---I think there's some over-reacting going on. 
If I see someone eating something that looks interesting and I feel I know them well enough, I'll ask what it is.

It would create a reasonable assumption that the person eating it might be a vegetarian.  What's wrong with asking?  It's not like I know the two other people ahead of my have asked the same question.

I might answer with "No....but if I was, this would be my main staple...I really love it."

No wonder no one wants to start up conversations anymore.

--- End quote ---

You also don't know that the two people ahead of you haven't asked the same question. If a question or remark seems obvious, whether it's "nice weather" or "you're very tall" or "are you a vegetarian?" you probably aren't the first person to ask it, maybe not the first person that day. At best, you might be the first one to ask it without following up with "did you play basketball in college?" or "why don't you eat meat?"

I don't mind having two people within five minutes ask me "is this where I get the train to the airport?" because that's impersonal and each, separately, has a practical use for the information. But it's not useful for a stranger to know whether I'm a vegetarian; it might be useful for them to know whether my lunch is, but "Is that vegetarian? I'm looking for more good vegetarian options" or "Is that vegetarian?" followed by "Can I get some around here, I'm looking for a lunch spot" makes it impersonal or about the asker: rather than demanding information about me, they're offering information about themselves.

There are lots of ways to start a conversation that don't start by asking for information about the other person's lifestyle or health.

--- End quote ---

One shouldn't be held responsible for the questions of others before them.

And I can only go by what what written on the OP.  I haven't read between any lines and added my own.

And these are not complete strangers.  This was at work so these were coworkers.  She's having lunch...her lunch looks interesting.  They asked what it was. Oh the horrors! :o
No one was demanding to know anything. From the OP the questions were asked with curiosity not disdain.   It was a very normal assumption that she might be a vegetarian because she was eating a vegetarian dish.  No one asked any thing more personal than that.  Maybe they were curious about the vegetarian eating lifestyle and thought it would be a good conversation starter.

Luckily this won't stop me from asking quite normal questions about something that interests me and might help me get to know someone a bit better.

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