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Giggling and other off-handed or possibly rude behaviour

Some people think it is proper to never smile or laugh (or show teeth), as it's considered rude in proper company where it appears that one ought to be staid.

I used to think the same when in galleries, when I was 16, a few decades ago.

Reading some other CH responses when people did giggle, or laugh (thinking of whatever) made me think of this. My husband and I are often out giggling. Something sets us off. Sometimes we have to leave the room. Other times we don't care.

Then there's propriety--do you dip this in that, or not? What about adding the sauce? I'm not talking about State dinners, when one looks around first to see what's proper (don't drink the waterbowl for dipping your fingers in, for example), but simply enjoying the food. Dip (and double dip) communally, if it's only the 2 of you? Using the crepe naan instead of the other raised naan to sop up the saag or experience other taste experiences?

Husband thinks it's a complement to the chef to try things in all ways. I'm half and half--I want to do all, but know that depending on the establishment (and company), it may be considered rude. While I don't know all of the particulars regarding pasta and their sauces, I do know that certain sauces are to be served with certain pastas because they complement one another better, and will defer to the chef (usually).

And then there's bread. I've heard both regarding mussels and the broth (I do sop up the broth myself, because it's a waste otherwise).

Of course, taste the food first. If there's bad or weak pho, add more seasonings. If it's perfect, there's no need. In this case, I don't care if I'm offending the chef--in a sense, he (she) should be made aware that this partiular patron didn't have something tasty!

What do you think?

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  1. ok, I'll bite. Giggling uncontrollably in a restaurant, annoying for others who are not in on the fun, it's as annoying as someone who speaks very loudly. It's just a question of respect. No one ever needs to be staid and not smile, even at state dinners.
    Whatever gave you that idea ?

    My husbands uses his bread to mop up the sauce sometimes, I could live without that, unless we would be eating in a log cabin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: superbossmom

      I'm not a fan of gigglers either. It's fine to smile and laugh occasionally, but I have to admit I get really annoyed when I am with or near by two people who giggle uncontrollably for minutes on end.

      I am not really all that concerned about eating the food in an "incorrect" way as long as it doesn't offend those people around you.

    2. be happy, just do it.

      If people complains that you are happy, or are enjoying yourself, then it's their problem, not yours.

      In my mind, there are very, very few places and occasions where laughing or giggling is innapropriate; restaurants or galleries are NOT one of those places.

      If I was a chef, I'd prefer people licking the plates than leaving half of it on the plate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Maximilien

        I think that if people are offended by others having fun, within reason, then the party of the first part is the one with the problem. Little else is important in life. I have several friends who are artists and I have been to some great parties in galleries.

        Insofar as offending chefs go, 1.) really, I don't think that's as common as some think although feedback is important to some; 2.) everyone has different tastes and one should be shy about adding ANYTHING to a meal they've paid for.

        Sopping? Mussels, yes, and they often are accompanied by bread suitable for this purpose although IF they were for some strange reason served at a state dinner, perhaps not. Pasta sauces, no.

        Double dipping? Two of you, you're intimate anyway, why not?

      2. The original post on this thread actually shocked me. Are people so uptight that seeing others enjoy themselves can ruin their meal? It is one thing if the table in question is giggling at extremely loud decibles where you cannot hear yourself talk but that is not what the OP said. When I go out to eat I want to relax and enjoy myself. And I love to giggle. It means I am having fun or my fiance is having fun. Most of our lives we are working, busy, stressed....we all need to giggle. If more people giggled this world would be a much better place. And it certainly makes eating out a more fun and enjoyable event.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NicoleFriedman

          I couldn't agree more. Giggle, enjoy, love life.

        2. I am rarely "happy" enough to let a giggle escape, and if someone was offended by it when it happened, I would tell them to go suck an egg! :-) Happiness keeps us healthy and helps us live vibrant lives. I have had the (mis?)fortune to be with a group of folks in which one or two were very loud gigglers, and while at first a bit shocking, I always go home with a smile on my face that someone, somewhere is truly happy.

          Go with the Gigglers, and give them a break, is my advice.

          As for sopping, the first time I saw it (when I moved to NY fifteen years ago), it seemed incredibly rude to me, particularly when the person places the un-sopped bits of bread directly on the table (not on a bread plate). I have since tried sopping myself (btw, it tastes really good), and have also looked around our world and noticed that all of us have only a few moments in this life, so why not enjoy them?

          That said, people who smack their foods, push their mouths into their plates (rather than bringing the food up with a fork), talk with their mouths full, etc. still irritate me, but no longer than for a minute or so. Then I think of my own blood pressure and let it go.

          For me, life is too short to worry about stuff like that...

          1. Okay, Caralien, you've given me pause here.... Giggle? I don't remember ever giggling in a restaurant, but I do remember laughing. Is there a difference, or are you including laughing with giggling?

            Either way, for me what is "appropriate" differs from occasion to occasion. When there are just two of us dining in a restaurant, it's natural to keep the volume of a conversation and any accompanying laughter low. When there's a table full of friends and someone pops a funny, the whole group laughs! There's no intent to annoy other diners, and hopefully it will not, but jokes and funny comments are an inherent part of good conversation, and good conversation is good for the digestion, as is laughter. So in a sense, you could say that a group laugh is a service to others!

            As for whether to sop or not to sop, to rest an elbow on a table or not, to inadvertently make a small slurping noise over hot broth or drink, I discovered many many years ago that if you can manage to do even the most outrageous things with grace and aplomb, not to worry. The world will think you are graceful and have great aplomb. It's soooooo easy to fool people! '-)

            1. Outbursts of laughter, or giggling, will happen. When they do, I usually try to stifle mine, or apologize to all around me. If you find them happening all of the time, or throughout the entire meal, you might want to closely consider what is going on.

              As one, who’s voice can carry to the “back tables,” I have to be very observant of my speech. Some time back, I learned that even my whispers were “stage whispers.” My wife to be pointed out that I was sharing too many intimate details and that others were now aware of my plans for later. Not a good thing, but I learned. Having a strong baritone that can easily be projected to the “cheap seats,” can be a curse. Same for my laughter. While I do smile a lot, I also attempt to comport myself in all restaurants, as I would wish all other patrons to do. Sometimes, a comment will trigger a good laugh. Hand usually goes quickly to my mouth and apologies go all around.

              As one who enjoys quieter dining, I do not wish to inflict my joy, or my humor, onto other diners. I do not appreciate their sharing with me.

              I do not mind other diners enjoying themselves. Heck, I appreciate it, so long as they are not sharing too much of their joy with me and my companion. There is probably a very fine line. I have had several meals ruined, because other diners wished for the entire dining room to be involved. As I am from the “old school,” when restaurants were fairly quiet, and were decorated with tapestries hung on the walls, with carpeted floors, I became accustomed to quiet dining.

              I hope that you are respectful of other diners.


              3 Replies
              1. re: Bill Hunt


                I certainly wouldn't do anything which noticably affected other diners! I too understand that there's a time and place for everything, not necessarily at every moment or in every environment!

                We have--rarely--left when our giggles got the best of us. Oddly, I've been less serious and more open to different behaviour the older I've gotten. That said, we usually prefer tables against the wall (in the corners if at all possible), which might reduce the possibility of annoying other guests. As others have mentioned, the smaller the restaurant and lack of window trimmings or carpeting would make for a louder experience, regardless of voice. Ditto with swearing like a sailor when in black tie. Having moved to the Northeast recently, I have noticed that people are louder here than in the South, excepting certain bars.

                The oddest behaviour I've seen recently was a girl (8 or 9?) out with what appeared older family and friends; for whatever reason, they requested a high chair for her--the type made for infants--and spoke loudly to her as though she was 3. The girl was at least 4' tall. This to me was disturbing, but fortunately we were at the end of our meal and left soon after then. I too do not wish to hear others conversations and won't generally notice anything as I'm usually concentrating on my dining companion(s) and food.

                I've also noticed that sometimes, when out with most children under the age of 6, they're loud. Other tables do take notice. I have no idea what to do in that situation, as the children are not mine, although I have picked up quite a few tricks regarding getting the kids to concentrate for a full minute of quiet (not using W.C.Fields methods, however). Preparation!

                Apologies for the length of this. We don't try to be rude, and either my husband or I will mention it if one of us happens to be out of touch with our environment.


                1. re: Caralien

                  "I certainly wouldn't do anything which noticably affected other diners! I too understand that there's a time and place for everything, not necessarily at every moment or in every environment!"

                  That covers any concern that I might have had. Ignore my comments, as you are way ahead of me. I read more into the OP, than was required, or correct.

                  I too have been guilty of letting the moment get past me. A laugh will ring out, and I will feel horribly guilty, apologizing to all. Most of it is because of my voice. If I do not keep it in check, I can bother even the folk in another dining room. I know this, and work to keep the "daemon" under wraps - still, dining should be a fun occasion, and I do smile a lot. However, I also know, all too well, the "dark side." Like I said above, my "whisper" is a "stage whisper" to many others.

                  I got it wrong - mea culpa, mea culpa. You made good points. Luckily, I have not gotten "the giggles" in a restaurant, since I was about 10. My father took me aside and had a stern talk with me. I can even tell you the long-defunct restaurant, and could point to the exact table, were it still in operation.


                  1. re: Caralien

                    As a parent, I find the phrase "restaurant voice" very helpful. My 2 (almost 3) year old knows what it means, and just me quietly saying it to her in her ear reminds her to immediately lower her voice. But when it is someone else's kid, I don't think there is much you can do. Unfortunate, that one.

                2. Isn't this whole issue of giggling or laughing a function of the kind of place where you find yourself to be? If at bistro you often must raise your voice and be more demonstrative (i.e. laugh, smile broadly, use hands) to get your point across to your server or date. Plus the atmosphere there and at other similar places invites a certain level of raucousness.

                  1. To me giggling is softer and sweeter. Laughing is a nice pleasant sound as long as it is confined to some chuckles. Loud guffaws, especially when accompanied with banging on the table with your hand for special effects, are not cool unless you are in a private room or in a sports bar, or the like! We were in a small restaurant for brunch, next to a table with a Mom, her sister and two teenagers who hooted and guffawed the entire time. I'm glad they were having a good time, but good grief, they could have brought it down a notch, or two or three. Drove us batty! We would have moved, but the place was packed.

                    Now about sopping - as Caroline said, you can do it gracefully. Don't do it lumberjack style and you'll be fine. If I am in a new place and they have dipping sauces, I'll ask my companion the protocol. After that I do what I want. Maybe I'd prefer this sauce with that instead of what it's meant for. I doubt the chef is going to storm out and fuss at me.

                    The rudest behavior of all is when you eat with someone and they keep telling you that you are doing it all wrong. I had pasta with a woman who kept pestering me to eat it the way she did, but I wasn't comfortable with that. Now that was rude!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: danhole

                      Well said danhole!

                      "I doubt the chef is going to storm out and fuss at me"

                      What an image this is: Chef stomps out, hollers "What are you doing, enjoying my sauce... oh wait a minute..."


                    2. The whole concept of what is rude behavior at other tables has been the subject of so many threads. The bottom line is that as long as it is not totally and completely invasive over an extended period it is fine in jfood's book. A group of guys all of a sudden bellowing great laughs at a joke, no biggie, loud and raucous for hours, not cool.

                      Jfood once sat, eating alone on business, between a mother daughter to his right and a couple to his left. Mother & daughter were discussing the inadequacies of the dughter's husband in the bedroom for 90 minutes and the husband to jfood's left was telling his wife about his affair and the upcoming separation and divorce. She had a steak knife in one hand. Yet it was jfood's chatting with mrs jfood on his cell phone that raised the vitriol of many on this site.

                      So to each his own. As long as jfood can enjoy his meal with his companions, what others do at their table is their own business.

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: jfood

                        Heavens to betsy, jfood! I would have gotten on the cell phone just to escape the other diners conversations. How uncomfortable for you.

                        An unexpected belly laugh is fine. Constant cackling is not.

                        1. re: jfood

                          Was it a hands-free or hand-held cell phone? Conversations held on a hands free in a restaurant I find really disturbing because the individual appears to be talking to him or herself or to an invisible friend.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            jfood was holding the phone to his ear. But as long as the conversation is at a minimum, it should not matter. it should not matter whether it is hand held or hands free if they are being considerate.

                            jfood got into a cab once in NYC and the driver was speaking on a hands free. jfood thought he was about to experience an explosive charge. then he saw the ear piece.

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              and if someone is talking to themselves or an invisible friend, so what?
                              if it isnt any louder than the conversation between real people at table on the other side - who cares?

                              1. re: thew

                                With few exceptions, and I may be in the minority, I find answering or checking the cellphone in a restaurant rude. We may do it at the end of the meal if we're travelling or there's a deadline which (even on "private time") has to be taken care of, but most have to speak louder into a phone, which likely carries it to more than your dining companion. For that, my husband (or I) will excuse ourselves and return afterwards. Regardless of handheld/speaker/earbud/bluetooth.

                                1. re: Caralien

                                  This has come up in many other threads. I agree with the checking, but some folk do need to answer. However, I overlook it, if they excuse themselves from the table, and continue elsewhere - the bar, the parking lot, where ever.

                                  If my cell vibrates, I know that it is an emergency, or a wrong number. My voicemail takes care of the latter. If my wife's cell vibrates, I know that she needs to look, and often needs to take the call. She is very good with pausing the call, until she is out of the restaurant, or at least all of the dining areas. At our club, there is a no cell policy. She has special dispensation, and knows how to exhibit perfect decorum. Other than a momentary, "let me put you on hold," no one knows. This is what we live with, and how we deal with it. The thought of carrying on a conversation, while dining, is totally alien to us.

                                  How others deal with it should be their business, and I only hope that it does not become my business, as I do not wish to be "included." Personal observations only - no hard, fast rules here.


                                  1. re: Caralien

                                    i tend not to talk on the phone while dining out - but my point is that as long as the volume of a diner is no louder on the phone than speaking to a diner at the same table, i can't what possible difference it can make which s/he is speaking to.

                                  2. re: thew

                                    Maybe it’s just me but I haven’t yet gotten used to a person at the table next to me, seated alone, speaking in an audible and often incredulous tone throughout their meal with head and hand gestures included. While it isn’t a crime or maybe not be considered rude by some I still find it personally disturbing at a minimum.

                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                      Sorta one of the things you gotta get used to when you eat amongst others. Jfood sees that at 2-tops all the time.

                                      Others may not like the tie, or placing grated cheese on seafood pasta, etc. but if they are not louder than other tables, they should have the same ability to have a conversation as 2-tops.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        I hear you but for me it isn't a function of volume. We are all used to hearing conversations in the background at restaurants. That isn't distracting. But hearing in the background a person responding to someone that we can't also hear, and persistantly, through a meal for me at least will (as you say) take some getting used to.


                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          I agree. It's as though the person isn't fully present, is turning his back on the rest of the room, and somehow making the space less special. Is that crazy? I find it less disturbing than I did 5 years ago, but I still don't like it.

                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            jfood has been saying for years that it is not the volume that bothers people the most but the ear has grown accustomed to a two way conversation and when there is only one side it makes the brain feel like it is going over a series of speed bumps.

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              I agree David. One-sided conversations are very distracting, and invariably those people always seem louder than everyone else. Did you ever notice that when some annoying cellphone people start revealing something super private they lower their volume, and then resume their annoying volume after sharing their 'secret' with the person on the other end? If they're aware that the microphone works when they speak quietly, why not speak at that volume the whole conversation? It's all about awareness and consideration.

                                              1. re: skylark938

                                                Did you ever notice that when someone wants to tell someone across the table something revealing, they lean across and speak in a low voice and then lean back and continue in their annoying volume

                                                And that awareness and consideration is for both celler and non-cellers.

                                  3. According to "Amy Vanderbilt's New Complete Book of Etiquite", it is okay to use your bread to sop up remaining sauce if you break the bread with your hands and drop it in the sauce if you then pick the bread back up with your fork. According to her that's appropriate even at State Dinners. Of course your milage may vary depending on what country you live.

                                    I feel like Cliff Claven for remembering this but my dad was a real stickler on table mannors.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: garfish

                                      I've always done this with sauce, tear my bread into little bits, drop them in the sauce and fish them out with my fork. This of course came after watching my little sister, (she was like 7 at the time) plow through a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, little globs of red sauce all over her chin, she then broke her bread, wipped her chin with it and ate it....dude.

                                      As far as giggles go, I love hearing people having a good laugh and tend to find myself laughing too, even when I have no idea what is going on...giggles make me giggle. The only time I get really uncomfortable is when I see/hear a diner being an ass to the server, that I cannot take.

                                      1. re: garfish

                                        i'm sure happy amy vanderbilt never saw me sopping up garlicky mussels butter and parsley with crusty french bread at le gaulois. or the garlic butter from their escargot. i only would use my fork to pick the piece back up out of the sauce if it was too soaked to grab without messing up my fingers.

                                        of course, this was a bistro. i would be daintier if in a fancier spot. it is the context.

                                        as to giggling, i haven't had a good giggling fit in years. it makes you so giddy and happy.

                                        one famous one in my history came with a best friend and i giggling about a band director's complaint that he could just not get any good bassoon players! nothing we could do would stop us from giggling. it only made it worse every time the word bassoon was uttered. <guess ya had to be there! at least we didn't have any iced tea shoot out of our noses!, like what happened with my older sister once at applebee's! we had to check the shopping bags at the table behind us for evidence of the outburst!>

                                        if i couldn't control myself in a restaurant, i'd excuse myself to go to the ladies' room. and laugh in there.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          I agree with alkapal regarding the broth from mussels/escargot. That said, neither have been served at black tie dinners, and my proper and improper friends usually agree that it's rude to waste such a good thing. I don't believe I could use a fork with bread unless it was for fondue!

                                      2. My favorite moments is having a wonderful meal with family or friends and having a great time laughing. Laughing and enjoying the company is one of the reasons why I enjoy food so much. When I see others laugh at a table near by, it makes me smile and even makes me and the company I'm with laugh too which is a good thing.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gourmet wife

                                          fairly off topic, but the reason laughing(by others) makes YOU laugh, is an evalutionary desire to be part of the group. To show solidarity and bond. Its really interesting stuff, these social interactions.........

                                        2. Large groups of women obnoxiously cackling with shrilling, shrieking screams mixed in, drives me crazy. You know the kind I'm talking about, when other customers catch eyes in disbelief, shaking their heads like, "Can you believe that they think that's ok?" There have been times that I've heard such high-pitched screams (of laughter) that you could swear that someone was shot, bleeding, or dropped dead. I've witnessed it often in restaurants, including very nice places, and most times management doesn't have the guts or skill to ask them to stop for fear of alienating them. What they don't realize is that they're losing credibility with all of the other diners for allowing it to continue. Life is too short, and I'm all for a great time, but it's also too short to have your meal ruined by loud, persistent wailing at the next table when there's nowhere to move to. Men can be just as bad, but the shrill, piercing, screams of oblivious women are the worst.

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: skylark938

                                            I think the nonstop giggling (sometimes it can be loud) is just as bad. I remember I was working in an office about 20-30 feet away from these two young women who seemed to spend the entire 8-hour day talking and giggling. My officemate and I would ponder what on earth they could find to talk and giggle about for such an extended period.

                                            1. re: skylark938

                                              Waiters aren't always concerned about specific diners driving the rest of the diners nuts. I was in a restaurant as part of a group of about twenty on a Sunday afternoon. We would meet once a month in varying restaurants to try the food and enjoy each other's company. On this particular Sunday afternoon, there were two or three couples at a table next to the window, and one couple had brought their child with them. The child was three or four and in a terrible-tantrum mood. The parents paid no attention while the child stood and screamed (ear-drum piercing volume!) and even wandered around hitting or kicking the backs of peoples chairs! We had to literally stop talking and wait for the kid to take a breath, then talk fast to be heard! The parents would occasionally get up and herd the child back toward their table, then rejoin the conversation with friends and the child would go off on a new attack.

                                              Finally our waiter brought someone something, and I said to him, "I'll give you ten bucks if you talk those parents into putting their child in the high chair and you give the kid a dish of ice cream." His reply was, "Oh no, I couldn't do that. They're regular customers." So the rest of the group joined in and he was offered a hundred bucks. He still refused. "I would truly like the money, but those people are really generous tipper and they come here every Sunday. You guys only come once every four or five months."

                                              We never went there again!

                                              1. re: Caroline1


                                                I guess the really generous tips were in lieu of paying a babysitter for the little monster. When I take my grandchildren out they know that one wrong move and food becomes to-go - we are out of there! My daughters knew that, too!


                                                1. re: danhole

                                                  The thing I couldn't wrap my brain around is why any parents with a modicum of sanity and who relish their hearing wouldn't welcome a babysitter so they could have a little quiet time over good food?

                                                  I have to share a funny story about my kinds in restaurants when they were little. Nobody's kids are perfect, even mine. My son was three, in fact, and my daughter was two. Our flight out of Las Vegas was delayed by a couple of hours and the kids were hungry, so we went to a nearby restaurant. Nice place. The kids were dressed well, my son in a really cute pair of lederhosen with embroidered suspenders. The hostess showed us to our table, and my three year old son did what he'd always seen his father do... He pulled out my chair and seated me! Everyone was sooooooooo impressed. And then he stood there and wet himself, creating a huge puddle on the carpet! <sigh> Fortunately his exceptional manners won him a lot of forgiveness. You just never know what to expect from kids. But my kids NEVER screamed. Thank goodness.

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    mack in the 60's i was about 4 when my parents took us on a trip to mexico - this was a time when there were like 2 hotels in acapulco, total.

                                                    anyway we were in some very expesive restaurant, when i was wandering around,a s was my wont, as a 4 yr old, not causing trouble, just meeting people, and exploring when i decided i was tired and needed a nap, so onto the floor i went. my parents were horrified, but suddenly the maitre d showed up , and slid a pillow under my head, and let me lie there.

                                                    now that's class

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      That is just too sweet Thew! Wonder where he got the pillow? Talk about being prepared.

                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                  I like your approach, but we're already Bad Uncle Jim & Auntie Caralien (having given our neice her first taste of ice cream, amongst other things).

                                                  MrCaralien (jim) has often mentioned his idea of paying the Mariachi band (or violinist or ...) some money not to play, and to leave us alone.

                                                  I personally like Mariachi bands, at weddings in Mexico. :) Just not during dinner.

                                                  But your waiter was off. At times when a nearby table was too much, I've asked to be moved. It's difficult, knowing (now) about servers, etc., after working in restaurants, but make the customer happy and pleasant. Dealing with a painful situation in lieu of dining well is something none of us should have to deal with.

                                                3. re: skylark938

                                                  skylark, now was this oblivious cackling after the third martini round for the "ladies"? made me think of the "first wives club" scene....

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    One incident was in the middle of a crowded restaurant where 10 ladies were sitting at a communal table in the middle of a crowded diningroom for brunch. They were exchanging gifts like it was some sort of shower. Maybe it was a sex toy party. One woman in particular was screaming bloody murder so loud that I was embarrassed for them. It was only noonish, so if they were on their third martini, they were hardcore. I should have woofed or growled at them. Maybe I would have unearthed a fellow hound!!!!

                                                    1. re: skylark938

                                                      i guess it would not have been "nice" to wander over with a full bloody mary in your hand and "accidentally" trip and toss it over the majority of the cackling wives club members -- although you'd had to have practiced the "flinging-spread-the-damage-spill" technique at home in the back yard beforehand. it is good for the repertoire, in any event. <bad, bad alkapal! bad girl!>

                                                      as to the wailing kids, i'd like to toss some ice water on them as they hit the side of my chair for the fourteenth time, while giving them the evil eye. "ooooh, ssoooooooo soooooorrrrryyyyyyy!"

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I have an evil stink eye look that I can give a child that usually makes them stop in there tracks and run back to their parents. The beauty of it is that I am such a gentle looking person so when the parents look over at me and I smile sweetly they never suspect a thing! Now my DH is a growler/barker himself. He just barks, straight faced. It's a hoot.

                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                          sometimes the evil eye backfires, and the kid squalls even louder!

                                                          i just laughed at picturing mr. h barking at some kid with a perfectly stone-straight face!!!!

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            No, this look is a run and hide kind. Got it from my dad. We called his the "dirty brown look" because of his brown eyes and bushy brown eyebrows that loomed out at you when he got the look. I have blue eyes, so I guess I have the dirty blue look . . .wait that sounds a bit, uh, dirty!

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              And this is exactly why we don' t dine out with our darling 3yr old. Because he can be as sweet as can be halo glowing and nano seconds later have split pea soup pouring from his mouth as his head revolves on his neck.
                                                              So meanwhile...I'll just bide my time and wait to enjoy a meal out and save you all from wanting to poke your eyes out with a fork.

                                                            2. re: danhole

                                                              I agree with the backfire--that too happens with the stinkeye. Then there are the parents to deal with.

                                                    2. This is a timely question for me, since my friend and I are having a friendly disagreement about something that just happened to me yesterday. I was at a restaurant seated & eating, when all of the sudden, to my dismay, my nose started bleeding. Well, since I did not want other diners to see blood pouring out of my nose and me trying to stem the flow, I got up, explained to the waitress my situation as briefly as possible (all the while holding a tissue to my nose), and told her that I will be right back and don't take away the food. Luckily, I was able to return shortly and resumed eating nose bleed free.

                                                      My friend said that I should have just sat there and, as discreetly as possible, held a tissue to my nose. She thought that running out as I did called more attention to the situation. Since I don't know how "discreet" one can be holding a tissue to her nose for god knows how long, I disagree.

                                                      I applied the golden rule, that basically, I would not want to see my fellow diners bleeding at a restaurant. So I chose not to subject them to the same.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                                        You had no way of knowing whether the nose bleed was going to end or turn into a major hemorrhage. I think you took the only reasonable action. I suspect if you had stayed at the table and hemorrhaged, your friend would be telling you you should have left. '-)

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          My sentiments exactly. Frankly, I was more concerned that they would take away my delicious meal before I had a chance to finish it than I was about my nose bleeding!

                                                        2. re: gloriousfood

                                                          I totally agree with Caroline! It would have caused my poor DH to pass out if he had looked over and seen a bloody nose - he is just that sqeamish, as are many.

                                                          1. re: gloriousfood

                                                            You did the right thing. Being someone who used to be prone to nosebleeds as a child, it makes sense.

                                                          2. Oh whoa is me! What an uncouth slob I’ve been! :-D

                                                            I had no idea it was an etiquette no-no to enjoy your leftover pasta sauce with bread. I believe I’m well-mannered and discreet about it. I have even been known to dip my bread in the leftover salad dressing. I feel that if it’s a good sauce or dressing, why waste it? I don’t “swab the deck” with it, but I see so much wasted food in restaurants I like to send my plates back empty.

                                                            Now, when it comes to noise (laughter and talking), I’d rather not hear the conversation from another table, crying babies or someone yackin’ on their cell phone. It can’t be helped most times, so I deal with it. But, loud, boisterous laughter can get very obnoxious if it persists. Giggling is fine, as it indicates someone is enjoying themselves. But if you’re giggling at my table, let me in on the joke.

                                                            If you’re the _only_ one giggling at a large table, attracting the stares of your fellow diners, you best keep the joke to yourself. ;-{}

                                                            1. Oh for heavens sake. People need to lighten up! You go out to have a good time or to celebrate. If that ends up in a giggle fit, so be it.

                                                              If you can't handle others having a good time, eat at home

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: janetms383

                                                                How can one resist a woman who giggles uncontrollably with food in her mouth?

                                                              2. I am a contagious giggler. I will giggle when I hear other people so I don't really mind. But when the gals go bonkers with there silliness, and the guys are obnoxious loudmouths, that is annoying. But have to admit, it is like dinner and a movie.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                  I feel the same way! Someone above said that it was a need to feel included, never saw it that way....hearing people laugh or giggle makes me happy and in turn makes me giggle. I also see those loud talkers as providing me with entertainment, never really bugs me (shrugging) unless like I said, they are brow beating a server...now that I cannot stomach

                                                                2. I'm loud. I gesture wildly and talk with my hands. I fling my hair back, make yummy noises and if something is funny, I laugh.
                                                                  Luckily when I'm out, I manage to do all of the above quietly.
                                                                  There are no rules at our table, except I don't like to see anyone licking their fingers (but they do, and, really, it's my own issue) and I hate it when people blow their nose at the table. And keep it classy, don't loudly use words that you wouldn't say to an 8 year old.

                                                                  1. I am very much in favour of people letting their hair down and giggling doesn't seem to be inappropriate to me in a restaurant insofar as it is not constant and staring at other diners which is plain rude! However, it was my birthday last Saturday and my SO and I went to our favourite Indian restaurant where the tables are quite close together and the atmosphere very relaxed with dimmed lights and soft music. We had the misfortune to be seated next to a very loud party of 6 students and one of the girls had such a loud, grating, hyena-like laugh that it was impossible to have a conversation. Everybody felt uncomfortable, even those that were with her as it was truly OTT and disruptive. You would certainly expect that if you go to a bar or pub or even a funky restaurant but not here! I don't think I would have complained to the restaurant or expected them to do anything about it but I think that people should be considerate of the kind of place they are in and if they want to laugh and be goofy, there are plenty of venues that are perfect for that.

                                                                    1. Oh my.

                                                                      I have had my share of staid and our dinners in my lifetime. Meals in which the chink of fork-on-plate or the rustle of a napkin lifted lap-to-mouth were the only sounds save the occasional "please pass the salt." All very proper, polite and quiet.

                                                                      And: Grim. Truly grim, no matter how the food tastes.

                                                                      I may be an unrepentant heathen, but I think food should be a joyful thing. Sharing the repast, even if it's a formal dinner, should have a sense of camaraderie and conviviality that comes through shared conversation and, yes, mirth. Otherwise it's just ritually stuffing our mouths to fuel the biological machine. In a properly subdued and refined atmosphere, of course.

                                                                      I just saw an episode of "No Reservations" in which Anthony Bourdain visits Saudi Arabia and thinks in advance that the dining will be staid and dour and rigidly adherent to what he perceives as Arabian mores. He reconsidered this by the end of the episode. He ate with people who were laughing and talking, eating with their fingers (horrors! in the US with questions regarding bread sopping being so troubling etiquette-wise, despite the fact that most of the world does it...) and genuinely enjoying a "feast" with friends and family. The happiness at the table, or at a platter, or on a rug, should be first. I can always eat something the can keep my body alive. I can't always get the happiness of eating with a mirthful group, enjoying life, and yes, occasionally mopping delicious stuff up with bread, so when there is laughter and enjoyment and bread-sopping goodness, I will always come down on that latter side.

                                                                      I like "good manners" as much as the next (and maybe sometimes more so, to my discredit), but I think we often lose sight of the *good* in favor of the *mannered*. We can, of course, have both fun and good manners, but worrying too much about laughter is just the wrong way to go, in my opinion. We need a bit more happiness and outright joyfulness in our dining. We should welcome that in others as well.