Author Topic: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First  (Read 11308 times)

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Surianne

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2013, 07:59:23 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.

I agree.

I hate work lunches for this reason--for some reason, coworkers seem to stare at my plate far more than anyone I go out with by choice, and I get very tired of defending my eating decisions ("Yes, I did eat the salad around the onions."  "Because I don't like onions."   "Why should I eat them if I don't like them?" etc).  That's a different situation, of course, but I'm using it to illustrate why I think it's best to mind your own plate rather than someone else's. 

I don't think there's any immaturity in the letter writer choosing to eat her food in a certain order, and I think the others need to learn to mind their own business.

miranova

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2013, 08:08:18 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.



I have to totally agree with this.  Regardless of what posters feel they "should" be able to do or if they feel that coworkers "should" mind their own business, the reality is that in a business situation, I'm not going to risk that.  I'm not going to just assume that my coworkers will find it cute or endearing.  They may find it odd and uncomfortable, and find me unprofessional.  That's not a risk I'm going to take if I care about my career.

Twik

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2013, 04:21:43 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.

Very good summary.
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EllenS

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2013, 04:30:39 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.

But the LW did say she explains to her coworkers that she does it because she wasn't allowed to as a child.  That doesn't make it rude, but yes it is going to make her coworkers think "Why is this grown woman compelled to rebel against someone who isn't even here?"

I agree the coworkers are rude for commenting, and if it truly doesn't hold them up, then it is NOTB. However, saying stuff like this in a business setting makes a person look silly and childish.  In some careers that is not a problem, but in most it is.
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Allyson

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2013, 05:24:24 PM »
I doubt I'd notice, let alone care, if it didn't hold everybody else up. If it did, well then I'd put it in the same category as the guy who takes twice as long to eat his entree but won't leave till he's done or consider taking it 'to go'.

I think sharing one's rebellious reasons for doing so in a professional situation is perhaps not the *wisest* choice depending on how the coworkers' are together, but it really depends on how business-y it is. Some coworkers are very friendly and casual and this would be seen as funny. Others, not so much. So, I think context is important.

Seeing as how it's not at all unusual to go somewhere and *just* get dessert, I don't see why getting dessert in place of an appetizer is a big deal. If one is working in an environment where it's very important not to stand out, then I wouldn't do anything to go against the norm I suppose, but I've never been in that situation.

EllenS

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2013, 05:36:25 PM »
I think sharing one's rebellious reasons for doing so in a professional situation is perhaps not the *wisest* choice depending on how the coworkers' are together, but it really depends on how business-y it is. Some coworkers are very friendly and casual and this would be seen as funny. Others, not so much. So, I think context is important.


Very true.  And I think it is likely that LW's real problem is that she is out of tune with the context of her co-workers. 
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shhh its me

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2013, 05:37:48 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?

My thinking is ....if I order fries as a side I wont also eat whatever side came with the meal. It takes about the same time to eat a steak and baked potato as it does to eat a steak and fries, if I had fries and potato I'd still eat the same amount total amount of starch.  It would take me longer to eat a slice of cake then a steak and potato because cake would be totally separate. I'll eat the same amount of steak and potato as I would have in the previous plus cake, so it will take me longer to eat the meal with cake first.
I'm also thinking about the times I've tried to order 2 apps as a meal and the confusion that always caused, about 30% of the time one would be severed as an app course and the 2nd would come out with the entrees, 30% of the time both came out before any of the other entrees.

IF LW is correct and she's not eating longer then everyone else or its not effecting the timing of the rest of the tables entrees , then I would just privately think it was bit different but not say anything.

Now had a co worker announced "I always eat dessert first because my mother wouldn't let me do it that way."*and did so several times during a business conference* I would think she was bizarre (as a general rule didn't most of us have to have dinner before dessert the vast majority of the time) attention seeking, and would likely have a daydream about all the things my mother made me do all the time and wonder if she rebelled over any of those...does she not look both ways before crossing the street , does she never leave the house in clean underwear, only wears white after labor day;p 

IF her announcement came at because someone said "we'll all get dessert why don't you eat yours with us?" or something like it that would make me doubt if she was capable of putting her personal preferences (I would seriously consider whether it was a compulsion at this point) aside to be professional.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2013, 05:45:14 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.

There's several restaurants that we go to here in the states that offer a cheese plate that can be ordered as a shared appetizer or as a dessert course. But a charcuterie with house cured meats and artesenal cheeses as an app or a main replacement seem to be more popular in the last 5 year.

HappilyInsane

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2013, 07:24:19 PM »
"Life is short, eat dessert first."  Never heard of anyone actually doing it, until now. 

I've always heard it as "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first." You just never know when you might drop dead between courses. Having said that, I also believe that there is a time and place for everything and a professional setting or dinner with colleagues is not the place for this. I think there was a large helping of rudeness all around in that story.


You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat.  >:D

This gets quoted a lot around here at family meals lol.

blarg314

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2013, 10:56:29 PM »
There is an entire set of etiquette rules around dining out, from which utensil to use, which direction to spoon soup, etc. 

I like that way of looking at it.

Eating courses in the expected order fits in with the type of etiquette that includes which utensils to use, what to do with your napkin, how to hold your fork, etc. These rules, in general, make no logical sense, and vary wildly between cultures. In casual situations there can be a general agreement to ignore some of those rules. But in more formal/public situations, you are expected to follow them, or people will look at you funny.

For example, there's no logical reason why you shouldn't eat mashed potatoes and gravy with your fingers instead of a fork. In other cultures (like India) eating messy foods without any cutlery is normal and expected, even in a public/business situation. If I'm home alone, I'm free to do so. But if I eat potatoes and gravy with my fingers with my business colleagues, and explain that I'm doing this because my mother always made me use cutlery... again, there's no *logical* reason why this is a horrible idea, but it will affect my professional reputation, and possibly chances of advancement/continuing employment. And I'll likely be eating alone from there on.

johelenc1

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2013, 10:59:57 PM »
I think people who complain about someone eating their dessert first have too much time on their hands.  I could seriously care less if a dining companion eats their dessert first, separates all their food into little piles or has it all on separate plates.  What in the world would it have to do with me?

I thought Dear Abby was way off on this one and presumptuous to lecture him on calories as well.  Very few people actually don't eat their dessert because they have "filled up" on the "nutritious" portion of their meal.  Seriously, if you want dessert, you order it no matter what!

Although I can see how the LW comment on why she eats dessert first could be seen as immature, I guess I heard it more as a little joke (even if true).  Annoying, nosy co-workers:  Why are you eating dessert first.  That's SO stupid.  LW:  (little laugh)  I always do it like this.  My parents never let me so it's my way of rebelling in adulthood (little laugh and shrug of shoulders). 

If I were a (not nosy, annoying) co-worker, I would laugh too.  And then, maybe order a piece of pie.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 11:12:56 PM by johelenc1 »

Psychopoesie

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2013, 11:41:33 PM »
I don't see the big deal about ordering dessert first, if it doesn't stuff up the timing of others' meals.

Maybe if it was a really formal occasion where you needed to mind which fork you used. Although, I'd expect courses would have a fixed order at that sort of event, anyway.

Personally don't see it on the same level as eating with fingers where the norm is with cutlery or vice versa.

I'm probably most surprised by there being so much pressure to conform that eating a meal in a different order could be seen in a negative light professionally.

hobish

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2013, 01:44:03 AM »
I have to admit, it has been years since I've done the "business lunch" thing, and when I did I was terrible at it.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:45:49 AM by hobish »
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veryfluffy

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2013, 02:19:29 AM »
Eating lunch with co-workers is also different from a "business lunch" with clients or the boss, where possibly more formal rules might apply. They were travelling together on business, and had to eat. I'm picturing this scenario when they pop to the local bistro for lunch:

Waitress: "So what can I get you all?"
Mavis: "I'll start with the carrot soup, and then a mushroom omelette, please."
Norman: "A Caesar salad, and then the salmon fischcakes."
Albert: "Clam chowder to start, and a cheeseburger, with everything."
LW: "The creme brulee -- I know that's on the dessert menu, but it's my favourite so can I have that as my starter please? Then I'll have the fishcakes as well."

What would be the big deal? That everyone else is jealous that they don't have the gumption to eat their favourite thing first?
   

cicero

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Re: Today's Dear Abby - Eating Dessert First
« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2013, 02:40:01 AM »
Eating lunch with co-workers is also different from a "business lunch" with clients or the boss, where possibly more formal rules might apply. They were travelling together on business, and had to eat. I'm picturing this scenario when they pop to the local bistro for lunch:

Waitress: "So what can I get you all?"
Mavis: "I'll start with the carrot soup, and then a mushroom omelette, please."
Norman: "A Caesar salad, and then the salmon fischcakes."
Albert: "Clam chowder to start, and a cheeseburger, with everything."
LW: "The creme brulee -- I know that's on the dessert menu, but it's my favourite so can I have that as my starter please? Then I'll have the fishcakes as well."

What would be the big deal? That everyone else is jealous that they don't have the gumption to eat their favourite thing first?
exactly - it's like i will often ask if they can substitute another veg or side salad for the carb that *comes with* the dish. it's a matter of preference. if they can't or won't, then they won't. not a biggie. i certainly wouldn't expect anyone to bat an eye or comment.

however, if my request came along with a huge dose of "my mom made me do this and now i'm doing that"... yeah, that would be weird.

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