I will apologize upfront by saying this is the first time I've seen this thread, and I haven't read through the majority of the posts. Perhaps my story doesn't even fit here, but when I saw the tread title the first thing I thought about was my experience at one of the first dinner parties my former husband and I hosted as a young couple.
We had invited another couple we didnt know very well over for dinner. We had a nice meal, all prepared by me, and while our children played quietly together and ate in the other room, we adults sat around our dining room table enjoying good food and conversation.
Once we finished eating, we all pushed our chairs back a bit and continued talking while still sitting around the table. It was then the husband removed one of his shoes (sandles, I think), placed one foot on top of his other knee, and began to PICK HIS TOES AT THE DINNER TABLE and clean in between each digit!
My husband and I found this totally disgusting, but we were speechless. It's funny now, but was absolutely gross at the time. I don't remember his feet being particularly clean either.
So....after reading it all I can say, 1) I hate runny eggs, 2) my visitor's feet were at the opposite end of the spectrum from Don's post, and 3) I detest fresh tomato and hate eating anything touched by fresh tomato. For instance, if fresh tomato were put on a sandwich I was supposed to eat I would discretely remove what I could, but woud cringe inside as I ate the sandwich because there's just no way to remove all traces of fresh tomato.
There are also odd moments that have nothing to do with eating, as anybody can attest who is non religious and who has been invited by a household where they say grace, especially when there is a killer moment such as "let's let our guest lead us in saying grace."
This is often shown in American movies. The French equivalent in movies is a goy being invited to a Jewish event -- a Sabbath dinner or a holiday meal. Naturally the goy is always totally clueless as to what is supposed to be done, and generally at any Jewish table, there are the super devout and also the other ones who don't give a crap.
htmb - my husband and I have just had a loud laugh at your dinner guest 'toe picking incident'!! You are too polite. Even if I did not know them well they would have had some icy remark headed their way Or I may have said " Hey Bert, can I help you with your pedicure, like maybe get you some foot rub ??"
Right, tod, but you have to understand that we were very young and this was probably one of our first dinner parties with "older" guests. I actually excused myself from the table as quickly as I good, but these days I'd give them a similar suggestion to yours.
I'm also reminded of friends of ours whose parents fed their dogs from the dinner table using the same eating utensils. We only ate at our friends' house once.....once was enough. The dogs would sit in their owners' laps and food was alternated from doggy mouth to human mouth and back again. We found this to be totally repulsive.
Oh I understand completely htmb! Only a young couple taken unawares would keep silent
As for the dinner table mutts share and share alike....I can't begin to comprehend it only to say my husband once saw a couple that allowed their great big dogs to lick the plates clean before putting them in the dishwasher. Oh gawd, please say they had the temp. on max heat....!
I will confess that whenever my family had dogs (or cats), dinner plates were commonly placed on the floor at the end of the meal, depending on what had been eaten that night. They absolutely loved it.
I must admit when I was young we had a cat, to keep the mice at bay. Then later a small dog was added, which the cat absolutely dominated after a few scuffles when the dog was first introduced. However both would be fed from scraps from the table and allowed to clean the plates. The cat would sometimes sit on the windowsill behind my chair and occasionally I would feel him land on my shoulder. A paw would flash past my cheek and the tasty morsel that I was about to put in my mouth, would disappear from my fork All done in a split second, but it earned the cat a slap. That cat was a great character, he could get in and out of the house through an open bathroom window. One party trick when we were at church was to climb up over the roof and sit at the front crying for help. People would get quite concerned until they learned who he was. Another that my mother detested was to bring in live mice or young birds or rats at night, and sit outside my mothers bedroom door shouting for her to come and inspect his prize before he played with it. She hated having to rescue them when they took refuge in a corner inaccessible to Smutty
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
I lived on a farm from the age of ten up and we scraped all meal leftovers into a pot which was then put out for the dogs. I'm sure my parents pulled out any dangerous bits such as corncobs, chicken bones and the like. We also had a cat to help keep down the mouse and rat populations. Only the cat was allowed inside, as she was also my sister's pet. The dogs were never allowed inside the house unless the weather was severely cold, and even then they were confined to the kitchen.
Kerouac, my paternal grandparents had a collie dog that they loved so much I imagine my grandmother shared her ice cream cones with him, too.
In '96-97 I had a backpacker type restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. A lot of locals would eat there too. Naturally they ate with their right hand, scooping rice and accompaniments into a tidy ball then transferring it to the mouth. Foreigners were mostly fascinated by it all, though some thought it "backward". Food actually tastes better when eating without the taste of metal implements.
The locals all used toothpicks after a meal to get the stringy bits out. Very discreetly with the left hand covering the mouth. They were aghast at the foreigners who opened their mouths wide and without covering their mouths,dug around inside, showing all their teeth "like monsters"
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
The 'Bush Telegraph' has just reached darkest Africa so we are now being entertained by Come Dine With Me on the telly. Some of it is funny, some down right ludicrous, but some of the episodes have been very revealing about certain guests and their table manners/odd habits. Of course the TV people filming it try to get the host to ply their guests with as much alcohol as possible....this always succeeds in bring out the worst in dinner guests. From almost rubbing their noses in the plate of food set down before them while they inhale the vapors, to spitting out a glob of food, pulling a face so the host cant but help notice, to openly slating the food before they have even taken three bites.
Yes, it all makes for entertaining television and we can only hope never to find a person like that eating at our table!
Commenting on the post by Questa - I have noticed this teeth-picking habit in Chinese restaurants and even with their one hand covering the mouth I find it distasteful but realize it's a culture thing. Some African people here permanently walk around with a tootpick or some type of plastic or metal object stuck in the side of their mouths. Their motto must be 'ready and waiting, serve up the grub!'