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Feb 13, 2009 07:10 PM

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. The original comment has been removed
      1. 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...