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Mar 5, 2008 12:52 PM

Childish reaction to food at resto?

My hubby and I dined with a 40 yr old girlfriend of mine. She agreed to do sushi if it was 'cooked' You know - where the hole roll is fried, or the center is made with crab or shrimp that's already cooked.
She's eaten 'cooked' sushi with us in the past at a different restaurant nearby and really enjoyed it. As per our usual custom, I'm allowed to be the 'order-NAZI' and I always over-order, getting far more than our party of four could possibly eat (like 8 specialty rolls?).
Well, the rolls came and looked gorgeous and huge. We all dug in and she started to behave like a complete child- making faces and gagging movements. (BTW- her reasoning for not eating 'raw' fish is that it is too dangerous for one's health- too many bacteria, too much possibility of picking up illness/bugs) She continued this face-puckering, hand movements and verbal complaining throughout the meal. It was to the point of motor-mouth childishness, where my hubby and I, and our other friend were in shock.
I simply didn't know how to react and turned away, continuing to speak to my hubby as though nothing was happening. The restaurant was crowded and noisy, so I doubt others noticed what was going on at our table, but frankly, I was uncomfortable to the point of wanting to get up and leave. It was not a fun meal, to say the least.
I've known her for a while and she's always had food hang-ups, insisting that everything be cooked to death. This particular experience was unbelievable. We are hesitant to share another meal with her.
What would you have done? Clearly, we'll never invite her for sushi again, but I am not sure if I could have handled the situation any better?

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  1. I think you did a good job trying to ignore that sort of behavior. She was clearly trying desperately to get everyone's (albeit negative) attention at the table, and not being a receptive audience to this silliness was a smart move.

    I'd definitely NOT ever go out to for sushi with her -- or any meal, for that matter - again. If she's such a major pain to be around during something that should be a pleasant experience, something you thoroughly enjoy and live for (as per the CH motto), I suggest you spend your time with her differently.

    Though my guess is anyone who behaves like that has some *issues* that go far beyond food. Just my opinion.

    1. So she was eating her cooked ones while making faces at your raw ones? If it were me, and I tend to be a bit blunt with my friends since that's how our relationships are, I would've just said something along the lines of "knock that sh-t off and grow up a bit. This is good stuff." I understand some folks have food hang-ups (especially when it comes to sushi) that are restricting to their companions, but I also know when I'm sort of forcing someone to eat at a place I want to eat at. I'm usually willing to put up with some complaining if they've made their tastes known previous to us sitting down and will offer to buy dessert somewhere else if it seems like it'll help. Her continued behavior was inexcuseable, but how reluctant was she when you agreed on the restaurant?

      I can't imagine a friend of mine, who I've known for a while, getting away with behavior like this without me saying something. Then again, my friends and I tease each other all the time. Keeps us grounded :)

      1. yipes. childish, indeed. frankly i would keep my dinner outings with a person like this to tasty pub-grub fare or italian and the like. i have friends that are this picky, but they know their limits and let me know "i don't really like that... could we ____ instead?" or they order terriyaki chicken and rice if we go for japanese. or, better yet, we just go for coffee and dessert.

        1. I have to agree with Lingua above and assume that her "issues" extend beyond the table. If I encounter a particular dish I do not care for, I was raised to mask my reaction, not to broadcast it to the entire resto. And it is no more than common courtesy to be an enjoyable dining companion (her judjements of what you ordered shock me). How she could have thought her behavior in any way enhanced the dining experience you, her companion is beyond me. I completely aggree that you did the right thing by doing nothing and not making a scene. Surely you have many friends who have better manners with whom you can dine. She'd never join me at a restaurant again - no matter what kind.

          1. My age 30ish sister did the same thing when we had sushi once...she literally spit out a piece of raw nigiri she insisted on trying! And yes, lots of gross-out faces and complaining as well, even though there were lots of cooked options for her. I basically acknowledged that she obviously doesn't like it, but told her that it was very hard for the rest of us to enjoy our food if she complains, so please stop it. She still made some attention-seeking attempts after that, but that mostly curbed it. I know it's probably a little more challenging with a friend than a sister, but I think being direct (but also polite) is best. I would have another meal with your friend, but I agree not sushi. And if the issue occurs again, I would acknowledge her feelings of disgust but be direct about the fact that it is making it hard for you to enjoy your meal.