Disgusting dinner habits

Dear SAIG,

I am a very nice young man who believes in treating my dates well. When we venture out for dinner I take my companion to the nicer eating establishments in Anchorage such as Top of the World and Crows Nest. Not long ago I escorted a young lady to dinner. When the salad came I noticed that the lettuce was a little larger than I would have preferred. Knowing that large pieces of lettuce need to be cut in half I proceeded to do so. At that point I look across the table at my dinner companion. She was leaning over her plate with her head turned to the side, shoveling in a huge piece of lettuce. Her table etiquette was atrocious. I was very embarrassed. Needless to say I won't be dining with her again. However, I would like to find a better way to tell her why we won't be eating out again, other than you eat like a hog at a trough.

Disgusted at dinner.

Dear Disgusted at dinner,

I am glad that you didn't say anything at dinner, because you would have put her on the defensive. So kudos to you for being respectful.

The next thing is to just be polite when you tell her. Tell her that doesn't look very ladylike when it is meal-time. If she asks what you mean, be honest and give her an example. Even when being honest, be tactful. I don't think the hog at the trough thing would go over very well. Explain to her that you were embarrassed by her behavior.

Maybe she just doesn't know. Realize that everyone isn't educated in correct table manners. You would be surprised at the number of people who think it is OK to blow their nose at the table. I have met many people who have said they were never told that it isn't cool by their parents or anyone else. I, in turn, thought it was a no-brainer.

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Then offer to show her the correct way to eat out in public being. Being that you are trying to spare her feelings, I take it that eating was her only problem. If that is all she lacks, that can be remedied. If she lacks in other areas, think about whether it is really that important to say anything to her at all.

`Til next week be safe.

SAIG