Author Topic: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First  (Read 10000 times)

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cicero

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2013, 05:54:19 AM »
the LW says that it doesn't keep them from eating the meal - they just do so in a different order (It doesn't say one way or another, but i took this to understand that it *doesn't* hold everyone else up, i.e., LW eats the dessert while everyone else eats appetizers. I could be wrong, but that's what the letter sounds like).

It wouldn't bother me if someone did this - but I would think that a colleague who felt the need to share the reason (which sort of comes across as: "they didn't let me do this when i was a kid; now that i'm an adult, ain't nobody gonna tell me how to eat") was sharing a bit too much.

I do, however, find it rude that LW became "the target of criticism" - if a boss or supervisor would pull the person aside and explain that it's not appropriate in a business environment, that is one thing. but for others to comment? none of their business.

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bopper

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2013, 11:21:32 AM »
The LW's culture (most culture's) has a script as to how a meal is eaten.
Appetizers, Entree, Dessert.

Sometimes I am in Europe and they have a cheese course last.  That is not in my script, so I never have any room left for the cheese. :-)

So the LW has chosen to go against the script.

The coworkers notice that the script is changed and that makes them feel uncomfortable.

They may also feel it is childish to want to eat dessert first and childish ==> unprofessional.

So the LW has to decide whether her eating dessert first is more important than how she is regarded by her team of coworkers/clients.

Belle

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2013, 12:43:29 PM »
There are different rules for different types of dining situation. Everybody knows this. Only boors refuse to acknowledge it.

If I'm eating at home, I put on Netflix and feel free to eat out of the ice cream carton. If I'm in a restaurant with friends, then I will order that 3rd glass of wine. If I'm eating with my wife, we eat off each other's plates. None of these things are good ideas in a business situation.

In a business situation, you want to appear polished and professional. Eating your pudding first is neither of those things.

Agreed. Plus, I rarely eat dessert when out with business colleagues (unless we were at a meeting that included it as part of the meal). When I'm eating out with friends or family, the meal is more leisurely, so we might order dessert and coffee. With colleagues, we often want to get back to work or the hotel, so we don't eat dessert. Eating dessert first adds extra time onto the meal if people weren't planning on ordering dessert.

StoutGirl

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2013, 01:06:49 PM »
My Dad likes to joke and say that if he dies during a meal, at least he would have had the good stuff if he had dessert first.  That is how we do it in our house, eat the sweet item sometime before the meal.  At restaurants, we almost NEVER order dessert, mostly because we are too full and still have food on our plate.  I think the only exceptions are a Scandinavian restaurant near home where they have amazing pies, and Betty's Pies near Duluth if we ever go up north.

However, if there is a fabulous looking chocolate or lemon cake on display, I would certainly request it right away and eat it with my meal.  I would probably switch back and forth, eat a few bites of my entree, then a few bites of cake.

Twik

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2013, 03:17:22 PM »
It's a little bit like writing to DA that you want to go to work dressed as the Easter Bunny, but people are being disapproving, and you want to be reassured it's OK.

It's certainly harmless, and it's debatable whether it could be construed as rude, but it's blatantly swimming against the corporate tide, and one must judge for oneself whether this will be acceptable in one's workplace. If people are complaining to you about it, the odds are that it's hurting you professionally.
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Mikayla

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2013, 03:49:29 PM »
I didn't like what Abby had to say, but the thing to remember is she is not an etiquette maven.  She's an advice columnist giving her worldview (which I find puzzling most of the time, but that's another thread).

I liked the way Nya Chan put.  I'd never say anything, but it wouldn't go undetected.  It would interrupt my biorhythmic dining flow :)

Margo

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2013, 04:03:01 PM »


Sometimes I am in Europe and they have a cheese course last.  That is not in my script, so I never have any room left for the cheese. :-)

Where does the cheese course come in US dining?

(a lot of places here you have the option of the  cheese instead of dessert, unless you're going for a 4 or 5 course meal)

EllenS

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2013, 04:17:03 PM »
I've never seen a cheese "course" in US restaurants, unless you order a cheese sampler as an appetizer or dessert.
I'm sure some restaurants do it, but it is not standard.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2013, 04:24:56 PM »
Weird! In the UK you can choose a cheeseboard or pudding, (like at this restaurant http://www.loch-lomond.co.uk/dining/colquhouns-restaurant/colquhouns-dinner-menu/), or at bigger, fancier dinners you would get a pudding course then a cheese course to finish. We always do this at CHristmas, for example.



Katana_Geldar

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2013, 04:27:23 PM »
DH sometimes orders the cheese selection instead of dessert, he doesn't have much if a sweet tooth.

magicdomino

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2013, 05:59:36 PM »
Some of the more expensive U.S. restaurants now offer cheese courses, but even there it is isn't something that you can count on finding.

jmarvellous

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2013, 06:21:18 PM »
I find this sort of thing mildly unpleasant in a professional setting, very mildly unpleasant in a less professional setting or family setting.

I am not keen on acts of "rebellion" against things that are neither oppressive nor unconscionable to begin with. Framing it as 'having fun' or 'eating what I'm in the mood for' is much more palatable to me as a fellow diner.

It does mess up the flow somewhat, unless your waitperson is very good about timing dishes and visiting your table the right number of times. It's not something I'd speak up about, but it is pretty indulgent when you don't yet know if the rest of the table is going to get multiple courses at all.

On a completely selfish level, I rarely if ever order dessert because I can't afford it monetarily or dietarily, so I get a little jealous of the person eating the delicious creamy or chocolatey thing. All on me, there, but disappointing nonetheless.

hobish

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2013, 06:37:08 PM »
Unless she's expounding on them at length I don't see why the LW's reasons for her eating habits have any bearing on the situation any more than a vegetarian's does, or someone who keeps Kosher, or someone who skips the salad course. It's really no one's business any more than those things are. Just because she put it in the letter doesn't mean she's sitting at lunch telling her coworkers, "Mommy wouldn't let me eat dessert, so now I eat it first! Nya nya nyah! If the only thing she is doing is eating her pudding before her meat I think the coworkers need a large dose of MYOB. And plate.

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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2013, 06:46:08 PM »
The letter said that this was done at restaurants where the writer could "order dessert at the same time as the meal." My understanding of this is that the LW receives their dessert and entree simultaneously and at the same time that everyone else receives their entrees.

In this thread, it seems that one of the major objections from posters who disapprove is that the LW is ordering an "extra course" and will either delay the group or simply eat more courses than everyone else at the table. For those that feel this way, would you consider it wrong to order an entree and a separate side item to eat at the same time? I.e. assume the LW ordered a regular entree and also ordered, e.g., a side salad or a baked potato or an order of fries that was not part of the standard entree "package." If such an item was ordered separately and served alongside the LW's main course, would you consider it an "extra course"? Does it matter if it's listed in the menu as an "appetizer" instead of a "side" (assuming it's ordered to come alongside the entree regardless)?

To me, a small extra item ordered a la carte and served alongside the entree would not be an extra course, but a side. Where that item happened to be listed on the menu is pretty irrelevant to me. I've ordered appetizers as entrees before (and dined with others who did so), and I'd think nothing of someone ordering an appetizer as a side item to their meal. I see the dessert thing basically the same way. Someone having a slice of cake or pie as a side is definitely unusual, and doing so in a business setting could be unwise. But is there any practical difference for the other diners between the person having a side of cake and having a very typical side of baked potato or salad?

DavidH

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2013, 07:49:55 PM »
On ones own, there is no reason not to order food in any order you like, but at a business dinner, it is odd at best to eat courses out of order.  There is an entire set of etiquette rules around dining out, from which utensil to use, which direction to spoon soup, etc.  Among those are timing ones dining to finish around the same time as others at the table.  It's not as simple as eat what you want, how you want, when you want.  It is definitely rude to call the person out for a mistake, but that doesn't make ignoring the etiquette rule polite.

I don't think there is a rule saying you have to order course appropriate food, but I can't decide if it's because that's obvious to most people or because you really can order from any section of the menu for any course. 

I'd vote it's not technically rude, but a really bad idea and distinctly odd.