Dining Out Decorum

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Have you ever planned to have a nice, quiet dinner out only to go to a restaurant and feel like you are in the middle of another table’s party/argument/discussion/child rearing/fill in the blank?  Sadly, this happens to Mike and me more often than not.  Of course, we are not loud and usually only two of us, so it is easy to be overpowered by the toddler with big lungs, the angry husband, or the loud bachelorette party.

I know I am preaching to the choir, but maybe some young impressionable soul will read this and change their ways. I believe!

Here is my wish list.  What would you add:

  1.  If a couple are arguing, they should get their order to go, hold down their voices, or save the battle for private.  A couple of months ago, Mike and I found ourselves in the booth next to a couple trying to decide if they should move back to California. They were going at it!  Personally, I voted for them to go back to CA, only because I was tired of listening. This was lunch at Seasons 52 at the Shops at Legacy, which is a nice sit-down restaurant.
  2. If a child is having a fit, which is part of life, the child should be removed to the foyer until they calm. Again, a couple of weeks ago at Seasons 52 a couple and their screaming toddler were placed next to us. What seemed odd to me was that the child was screaming when they came in. You would have thought the restaurant would have seated them in a remote area of the restaurant or that the parents would have opted for a restaurant with a louder atmosphere where the child would have blended in.
  3. Men and boys should remove their hats as soon as they are seated at the table.
  4. No one wants to see couples smooching or touching. If a couple can’t make it through dinner, then they should take their food and PDA to go.
  5. Loud is bad!  It seems that when you mix a group of people, wine and a celebration they equal noise, which is fine. However, it might be more comfortable for the group and other diners, if a private room is reserved for the party or the party is held in a private home.
  6. This goes with the loud, but if a person has no indoor voice, then they certainly should refrain from cussing!  Children, elderly, and the gentler folks don’t want or need to hear it!
  7. It is sad this needs writing, but arse cracks (you know what I mean!) are not welcome at dinner.  Talk about losing my appetite!  Now there is a place for half dressed individuals, so they should go ahead and take their peep show home, the club, or the strip joint…just don’t take it to a booth near me.
  8. This one may just take the cake!  While dining at Seasons 52 recently, I looked down to see a wiener dog walking around.  Our poor server had no clue what to do. She got his leash and took him to the front. Later I saw a guest with this dog in the booth with him. Now, if this were a service dog, he would be so noted. I feel like a customer fibbed and said he had a service dog. But when he went to the bathroom, the poor doggy went looking for his master.  We love our fur babies, but seriously!

Maybe I shouldn’t complain; at least these folks are communicating!  Which brings up #9, electronic devises should be relegated to pockets and purses, unless the diner is alone. In that case, the diner is welcome to poke on their phone or laptop, but they must still refrain from talking  on it.

I am thinking that I might print the 9 sins of dining out and have them laminated.  This way, I could share them with tables in need of the information while dining out.  The only problem is that would create sin number 10, which is poor behavior should not be met with more poor behavior.  So when the dad takes his screaming daughter out of the dining area, the old man should not have clapped!  Later when the screaming child and her family left, he clapped and whistled.  Sadly, this was a really, really nice restaurant.  The poor owner looked like he was being mortally wounded.

This all boils down to self-absorbed behavior, which is so prevalent these days.  With a bit of training and self education, our society could go back to kinder, gentler behavior.  We could actually make manners cool again! Who is with me?

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