Re: Shall We Hate Everyone? Do Let's!

1

Eating with the right implement is part of good manners, but so is not being mean little rich-kid assholes to guests, waiters, etc. Good manners make people more comfortable in your presence, not less so.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 7:01 AM
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If only parents had even some modicum of control over how much technology their children brought to the table.

1: Nonsense!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 7:09 AM
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That article confused all sorts of things. I feel like knowing which fork to use is in a different category of manners than not being a giant asshole to the waiter, or bringing your iPad to the table. If you need some outside person to teach your kid the latter kind of manners, you're probably an asshole yourself.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 7:09 AM
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Faye de Muyshondt, the founder of Socialsklz

No, no, no! I refuse to believe this is real. Surely the only possible explanation is that Alameida haxxored the NYT website and inserted that preposterous text.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 8:10 AM
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There are more important things in life than worldly success, or being thought well of others. One of these is not giving a shit about table manners.

The White House can fuck itself. The day I care I care about what people who amassed worldly power by bathing in blood and sin think of me is the day I hope God sends two bears to maul me, as in 2 Kings 2:24.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 8:35 AM
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Maybe you could team up with the Diogenes, founder of MzAnthropixxx.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 8:49 AM
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So, Walt has a bear fetish. Good to know.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 8:58 AM
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That article confused all sorts of things. I feel like knowing which fork to use is in a different category of manners than not being a giant asshole to the waiter

In that sense, at least, the "people will judge you by your table manners" point is correct. You can usually spot an asshole by how they treat waiters/waitresses.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:04 AM
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The last time I ate dinner at the white house it was a buffet and I ate standing up, so maybe kids these days should practice that. Also nobody seemed to look askance when I picked up my lamb chop by the bone and ate it that way, but maybe that'll come back to haunt me.


Posted by: Rutherford B. Hayes | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:12 AM
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3:

Agreed. The "I'm a giant a-hole" or "Don't be a giant a-hole" lesson is mostly going to be learned at home.

Sometimes by your kids realizing that they don't want to be an asshole like their parent.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:38 AM
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In my life so far, dinners ruined by excessive etiquette instruction outnumber dinners ruined by bad manners by a factor of at least 100.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:42 AM
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11:

Sign me on to 11. And many of them have been my attempts to correct my son's etiquette. Usually not worth it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:46 AM
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I think we should raise an entire generation to have crappy table manners, on the theory that, if they all have crappy manners, they will stop judging each other based on them.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:44 AM
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he has a weird jaw that would have needed to be broken to be re-set properly, to which extreme of orthodonty he never wished to progress.

My brother had such a jaw and did have it broken -- Bad Things were happening to the connected bones. (Viz. the skull, compressing the brain.) His poor head was swole up like a pumpkin for a month and he had to carry around wire-cutters because emesis can be lethal.

(We were staying on topic. Something had to be done.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:54 AM
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The last time I ate at the White House, I was impressed how Sasha and Malia took turns distracting Michele, while the other one tried to feed their broccoli to Bo, sitting under the table. I think Barack knew about it too, but he let it go because he wants his daughters to think he's a cool dad.


Posted by: Chester A. Arthur | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:54 AM
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But some sorts of crappy manners really are unpleasant. I, myself, have semi-godawful table manners, and have transmitted them to my children. And really, serving yourself from a common dish with your fingers is just gross if it's not the fourteenth century anymore. ("But Mom, I learned it from you!") I make a vague effort to behave myself better and encourage the children to do the same because I don't want future eating companions to have to stifle nausea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:58 AM
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Why are so many people eating at the White House?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:03 AM
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I count one in this thread, under the assumption that President Arthur is kidding.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:10 AM
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People are just so incredulous and untrusting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:11 AM
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Nu, you want I should eat at Subway?


Posted by: Barack Obama | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:39 AM
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Will-- I sent you an e-mail.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:45 AM
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2 - exactly.

And if someone could tell my children they're not supposed to be interested in conversation, I'd be grateful: they never shut up. I do have a little rule for Kid A, that if I haven't spoken for about 20 minutes, then it's crossed the line from conversation to monologue, and is probably time for bed.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 12:49 PM
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And if someone could tell my children they're not supposed to be interested in conversation, I'd be grateful: they never shut up.

Mine either. And he has no idea of what is appropriate for dinner (e.g. butts) or strangers. It's almost as bad as the eating noodles with fingers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 1:19 PM
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23.last: Ok, who's been putting their fingers in the Jell-o noodles?


Posted by: Jeffrey Dahmer | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 1:55 PM
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Jeffrey Dahmer sucks bone marrow at HTML.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 1:56 PM
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the which fork to use thing is less important than the not talking with your mouth full, which is less important than not interrupting people, which is less important than not being a dick to the waiter. but "not being a dick to the waiter" is actually already subsumed into the category "good manners." people with good manners are polite and thoughtful, and if you break a glass at their house and spill wine on their sofa they assure you it's no big deal and please don't give it a second thought. and if the waiter brings the wrong entree, a polite person (and their unfortunate polite table mates, who have all been encouraged to go on eating by the wrong-entree person and then have, to a man or woman, declined, as their food slowly cools before them) doesn't start eating, obviously, but attracts the waiter's attention in a polite way such as looking meaningfully at him or, depending on what kind of restaurant it is, waving at him, and then says, "I'm so sorry, but I think you must have mistaken my order for another person's. I was having two eggs over-easy with hash browns and whole wheat toast." then the waiter brings the new thing, he is tipped well if he handles the situation with unusual aplomb, but is never stiffed on the tip because that's bad manners also, and the world goes on turning smoothly.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:24 PM
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(e.g. butts)

I am so so ready to be past this stage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:28 PM
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With my kids, I mean.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:28 PM
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a polite person (and their unfortunate polite table mates, who have all been encouraged to go on eating by the wrong-entree person and then have, to a man or woman, declined, as their food slowly cools before them)

Actually, I think this is absurd. If a person sincerely wishes you to begin eating, it isn't polite to stand on ceremony and not do so, putting each of you out. Of course the person telling you to begin eating may not be being sincere; he may be saying it only because wishing you to begin eating is what a nice person would do, but he isn't nice and is himself only observing the formality. But that isn't a nice thing to do.

It is not, I think, correspondingly nice to decline to begin eating out of the wish that everyone who ordered together should begin together. Of course that makes sense if the dishes are just coming out one after the other and within (as one predicts) a reasonable period of time. But it does not make a lot of sense if one dish was just wrong, so that a new one must be got from the kitchen from the top. Is it really going to make the person who was brought the wrong dish feel better to know that his dining companions also had to wait, and moreover, their food got cold?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:35 PM
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Especially egg. Eggs don't taste good cold.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:39 PM
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people with good manners are polite and thoughtful, and if you break a glass at their house and spill wine on their sofa they assure you it's no big deal and please don't give it a second thought.

there was a very astute comment to this end several years ago that basically went "good manners isn't about whether you pick your nose in public, it's recognizing that everyone is a burping farting phlegm-filled mess and making other people feel less self-conscious about being so." I loved it, but then I could never find it again.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:49 PM
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making other people feel less self-conscious about being so
By joining in, presumably. It would be rude not to.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 9:54 PM
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There are more important things in life than worldly success, or being thought well of others. One of these is not giving a shit about table manners.
The White House can fuck itself. The day I care I care about what people who amassed worldly power by bathing in blood and sin think of me is the day I hope God sends two bears to maul me, as in 2 Kings 2:24.

see now walt, this is confused. this reminds me of some boomer-type bullshit: "manners are for the squares, man. my kids are going to grow up learning that the only thing that matters is how you eat on the inside. we're all just alimentary brothers from another mother". no, see, it does matter if you learn manners. the larger set of good manners contains "being kind to people" and "offering to be helpful to the elderly" and "not being an asshole to the waitress." within the smaller set of good table manners, do you really like to watch people talk when their mouths are full with half-masticated food, and bits are even falling or spraying out? even if you do, I assure many others do not.

as far as dinners ruined by arguments over manners, my grandfather, it's true, took time out of family dinners and suppers to yell at children behaving inappropriately (but not if guests were there, because that would be rude and boring). since we were all terrified of him it was an effective manners-learning-environment. in the case of dining with my (future) husband, it's not as if anyone said anything to him, at dinner, or ever, or even indicated by reproving glances that they felt he was sub-par in this, or any, regard. because that would be rude, see what I'm saying? so it did not ruin the meal.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:25 PM
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Teaching a reasonable set of table manners to children takes just about the same amount of persistence and effort as getting them to eat a reasonable range of nutritious food, and is accomplished during the same meal times, so might as well put in the effort. You are going to be eating meals with the little buggers for many, many years to come - why not invest up front to make those meals more pleasant? And as alameida points out, basic table manners are on the same continuum as other fundamental concepts of health, well-being and non-assholeness you'll be inculcating in the little savages.

I hand it to my European co-parent, though, to have taken the table manners project to a really lovely level early in our son's life. On the occassions when a bottle was presented as the alternative to mum, he always made sure to sit down and recognize that eye-contact and some pleasant chit-chat would be the appropriate and pleasant way to pass the meal, rather than zoning out. He reportedly would fade out the chit chat as the baby passed out . . . very sweet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 10:58 PM
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Having been raised never to eat until everyone is served, I feel more discomfort eating while others don't have food than I do waiting while my food gets cold.

Also, I went to college with a guy who ate with his hands. He used a fork to get the food to his mouth generally, but he would use his hand to push his food on the fork. He also chewed with his mouth open. It was nauseating, and I avoided eating meals with him at all costs, so having really terrible table manners can definitely have a social cost. In general, table manners are something I notice, along with poor punctuation or minor mispronunciation. I would never call anyone out about it, and it doesn't really affect what I think of someone, but it's something I can't help but notice.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-30-12 11:03 PM
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33: Wait, by "manners" you mean things like "don't punch the waiter in the head"? Then, I retract everything I said. I endorse this sentiment. Kids, don't punch the waiter in the head.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:13 AM
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For those interested, here is a picture of Ms. Faye Rogaski De Muyshondt (I'm guessing the money comes from the Rogaski side).

That article is amazing -- every single line is annoying, yet in a totally different way. It's like a mixed sampler of annoying aspirational tropes.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:41 AM
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I've been watching a fair amount of Supernanny in preparation for my kid growing up, and I have to say things look bad out there. If a family can have a meal without one of the kids actually punching or kicking an adult then it's a good day. High-decibel shrieks of anguish are a given. Supernanny's intervention improves things significantly, of course.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:45 AM
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See, now what you have to do is book one of them supernannies in advance.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:49 AM
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PGD--I have never myself seen "supernannies," although I understand the premise of the show to be that a gaggle of loathsome brats must be taken in hand by some woman with an implausible english accent. actual live children are a huge pain in the ass, but they will never get to the point of acting out like that unless you allow them to think that's acceptable. a whole lot of flaking and perpetrating will have gone on, where you were texting someone about the show you were watching, and your kid was all "I want a go-gurt" and then you ignored them and then they asked again, and you blew them off to keep texting, and then they screamed "gimme a fucking gogurt" and you started laughing, because, four-year-olds cursing is straight-up funny. then they learn, hey, that's how I ask for stuff.

there is no point in me being the annoying person who has taken her children out to eat in italy so many times, and tell you how on phi phi island in phuket the waitresses were so in love with my children by the end of the stay they were taking extra non-work time to pose for pictures with them. I haven't even taken them out in italy (except as nursing babes-in-arms). but there's basically two statuses, totally dependent on your unique children and their different ways of dealing with the world:

status a: your kid is a toddling/running/climbing ball of energy, waiting to clip the waiter like an offensive lineman getting a good hit on the quarterback right after the snap. or, your kid freaks out in new environments and emits a high, keening wail until she gets used to the place. verdict: stay at home. or, hire a babysitter.
status b: your kid can sit still and be relatively quiet and maybe draw on some paper your brought. she can eat with a fork if you cut the pappardelle up for her. verdict: go to a restaurant which you counterbalance on a sliding scale from expensive/perfect child to mcdonald's/who hasn't freaked the fuck out when there was a weird dart french fry.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 2:35 AM
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dart s/b dark

also, the warm feeling you will get when your children say "may I please be excused from the table" is matchless.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 2:39 AM
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1.last is correct and a thing I am always telling people. (Despite the pedantry I display here, I do not in fact correct people's grammar or word usage in public -- even when they say "tenderhooks" instead of "tenterhooks," which you have to admit shows remarkable forbearance.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 3:28 AM
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The supernanny is actually mostly about teaching reasonable parenting techniques like being consistent but not inflexible with discipline. I would in fact recommend it as one source of useful advice.

PGD and all you other newish parents, I highly, highly recommend Playful Parenting. Baby Signs is also pretty good on why using signs will make everyone's life easier, if you need convincing. Plenty of other books cover that, though.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 3:43 AM
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nosflow is right in 29, though I do find it difficult to go against ingrained manners and eat before others.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 3:47 AM
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I am now finished (for the moment, obvs) in making pronouncements. Thank you for your attention.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 3:48 AM
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Having been raised never to eat until everyone is served, I feel more discomfort eating while others don't have food than I do waiting while my food gets cold.

Don't Wait! You're not the bloody governess!


Posted by: Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 5:19 AM
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I haven't read her regularly in awhile, but it's nice to see that Miss Manners is still out there doing her thing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 5:43 AM
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if you are actually at a diner and you have fried eggs before you that are getting cold...eh, I'd say go on and eat. because cold eggs are repulsive (hard-boiled egg and cooled poached little bitchery line forms to the left). but at a fancy, expensive restaurant it is awkward to have all your fellow diners eating while you shiver before an arctic expanse of tablecloth. you will want to ask them how it tastes. everyone will feel obliged to give you bites, even if they don't want to and the servings are small. if you are the guest: awkward. if you are the host: also awkward. and note that the remaining diners must come to a spontaneous agreement; some people eating while others sit politely in front of their deflating bacon foam, wheat grass and heirloom tomato slice "BLT" is a no go. if it takes that long to get the new entree then the restaurant should really fix it for you in some way. it would be ideal if they took everyone's plates away and re-did them, but that would be very inconvenient, so likely they will comp you dessert or something.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 7:43 AM
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The best sort of fancy restaurants have 1:1 ratio of server to diner at table. Everyone's plate is put in front of them at precisely the same moment.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 8:05 AM
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some people eating while others sit politely in front of their deflating bacon foam, wheat grass and heirloom tomato slice "BLT" is a no go

At that kind of restaurant, if one person is not getting their food at the same time as everyone else, something has gone very wrong. I would wager they would in fact delay everyone else's food as well, despite the inconvenience.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 8:21 AM
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it is awkward to have all your fellow diners eating while you shiver before an arctic expanse of tablecloth
Some of us find it awkward for everyone else to wait for us. Not that my sense of awkwardness should be considered normal, but.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 9:48 AM
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(hard-boiled egg and cooled poached little bitchery line forms to the left)

How did you know that I was considering mentioning boiled eggs?!

you will want to ask them how it tastes. everyone will feel obliged to give you bites

This strikes me as quite odd. What's the problem? "Feel obliged"? Wouldn't you offer someone a taste if they asked you how your food was even if they also had food in front of them? Sometimes yes, I expect, sometimes no. Why would you feel obliged to offer a taste when they have no food, if you wouldn't when they had some food? It's not as if they're begging in the street; you know they've got food coming.

The best sort of fancy restaurants have 1:1 ratio of server to diner at table.

I ate at a restaurant like that once in Chicago, and everyone at the table (myself, father, uncle, aunt, several cousins, with everyone on the avuncular side being more accustomed to fancier restaurants than I was at the time and, for that matter, remain) thought it was laughable. Maybe they did it with too much of a flourish, but really, it was a ridiculous display. They would also, if you were away from your seat for a fraction of a second, replace your napkin. Consequently when I got up to go to the restroom I discreetly brought my napkin with me, leading, apparently, to some befuddlement on the waiter's part and some amusement on the table's.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 9:51 AM
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Regardless of the establishment, why would you bring your napkin into the restroom?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 9:56 AM
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To befuddle the waiter and amuse the table, obviously.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 9:58 AM
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The few times I've been at a restaurant like that I can't say I liked the feeling that there was a small platoon watching my every move waiting to offer (unobtrusive) assistance.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 9:58 AM
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53: I don't know about the other guys, but I use these silver tongs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:03 AM
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52: then don't get up from the table. Bunuel suggested (was it in The Discreet Charm?) a mechanism for eliminating the necessity.


Posted by: Jim | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:06 AM
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52: then don't get up from the table. Bunuel suggested (was it in The Discreet Charm?) a mechanism for eliminating the necessity.


Posted by: Jim | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:06 AM
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Sorry. iPad.


Posted by: Jim | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:07 AM
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56: I heard it with "spoon" as the punchline.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:10 AM
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60: No, the punchline was "The Aristocrats".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:14 AM
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Maybe my issue with alameida's pronunciamentos is really that since my parents brought me up into perfect virtue (which is to say, I'm well mannered), I find the little mechanisms on which other people need to rely to ensure that they remain more or less on course somewhat opaque. I apologize.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:18 AM
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38, 43: yeah, Supernanny is actually great. Thoughtful and systematic and caring -- she's very good on calm and authoritative discipline and appears to have a great touch with kids. Most of what is going on is that the parents are veering wildly between bribery/overindulgence and losing their cool and screaming themselves. Sometimes there is a little couples therapy to be done too. Overall, one of the few reality shows that is life-affirming/positive.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:23 AM
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Whoops, I means 40 and 43, 38 was my comment.

Also, Sir Kraab, re baby sign language -- my partner had some vague interest in that, but I'm not attracted. We're having too much fun with his vocalizations, which seem to me to communicate pretty well just by sliding up and down the scale from cooing to yelling. Plus there's a fun new one every week, the latest is a long high-pitched groaning like a creaking door effect in an old horror movie. The most common is 'em-meh' varying from a cute little whisper to a scandalized yelp. He's cute even when he's upset, I think 4-6 months must be the age of maximum baby cuteness.

All this seems much easier when there's just one kid, the adults set the household tone naturally and it just seems easier to feel in control. Because of age and other reasons we're seriously considering stopping at one but I do feel a bit of guilt about not giving him a sibling, I should submit an ATM sometime re the pros and cons of only childhood.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:31 AM
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57½: Bunuel suggested (was it in The Discreet Charm?) a mechanism for eliminating the necessity.

Yes, but you still had to get up to eat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:45 AM
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thought it was laughable

I once ate at a very old-school restaurant in St. Louis with my parents, and the service was not just those teams of waiters hovering, it also had all the showy stuff that seemed out of the 50s or something. I found it hard not to laugh several times, but my parents seemed impressed. Food came out on carts under silver domes, which would be removed with a flourish before the waiters transferred the food onto the plates you'd actually eat from. Vinaigrette for salad was mixed tableside, meat entrees were sliced tableside. I tried to get my parents to have a flaming dessert for the whole table so that we could experience all the ceremony around that, but they didn't go for it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:47 AM
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Overall, one of the few reality shows that is life-affirming/positive.

Also RuPaul's Drag Race.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:48 AM
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I bet the ceremony of pressed duck finished tableside is neat/grisly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:51 AM
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If only! I would totally have gotten that.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 10:56 AM
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I'm with Flip and Al. It's all about social comfort, and if the hosts want to play kick the now-emptied goat's head after dessert then one goes along.

When the kids were small and the black helicopters from the nanny state weren't always hovering, we used to park the car where we could see it from our table at "family restaurants". If they got hyper they got to sit in the car for a while. That took about two trials before the appropriate conditioning set in.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:02 AM
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Heh. That's what we do with the puppy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:02 AM
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71: You kick the puppy's now-emptied head after dessert? Well, I guess it is only polite.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:12 AM
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71 was to 68, you silly man.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:14 AM
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Neat/grisly.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:19 AM
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71: Well, kids are indeed like puppies and kittens, not adults. They need to be taught and they need to learn. This used to be generally known, it wasn't esoteric knowledge.

Y'all have a great new year. I'm off to visit with my now-grown kids, who, despite my parenting, still like me.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:19 AM
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66: Was it Tony's? Never went there myself.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:22 AM
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70.2 seems like a good idea that I would love to use, except I'm wondering if it would get CPS called these days. Probably...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:24 AM
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77: So just put them in someone else's car so it can't be traced back to you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:26 AM
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Just don't do it in the heat of summer. That would be twisted and selfish.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:27 AM
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79: I feel compelled to respond and say -- obviously. There are only about 5-6 months where I live in which that move would work weatherwise.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:31 AM
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I feel compelled to respond and say -- obviously.

I feel compelled to respond and say, RTFA!. "F" and exclamation point excised so as not to appear rude.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:34 AM
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76: It was! It was fine, but nothing to write home about. Tony himself did come around and talk to all the tables, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:35 AM
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Implausible British accent? I think she's from London.

My inlaws, lovely as they are in many ways (roughly equal to the amount of ways in which they are annoying) will still do stuff like bring out the iPad at a restaurant to entertain the ten and twelve year olds. I accidentally caused a moment of awkwardness at a family dinner in the summer when I told my kids to give Grampa his iPad back and engage in conversation like civilised human beings, and then my SIL told her kids to put their IPhones/whatever away and they then moaned about it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:43 AM
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They would also, if you were away from your seat for a fraction of a second, replace your napkin.

I was somewhere recently where they kept doing that, and also, if anyone set their napkin on the table between courses, they would somehow surreptitiously sneak up and fold it into a neat little triangle again. Where was that? Craigie on Main, maybe? Anyway, the meal wasn't as good as it should have been given the price, so maybe the excessive emphasis on napkin presentation was preventing the restaurant from focusing enough on the food.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:46 AM
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85

It probably wasn't the chefs replacing the napkins.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:47 AM
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86

I should submit an ATM sometime re the pros and cons of only childhood.

We should sort the 'tariat into only children and those with siblings and then decide which group is collectively more awesome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:50 AM
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85: Still, you know, all the money spent on training servers in the art of stealth-napkinery could have gone to paying better chefs or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:51 AM
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86: I was about to say "only children, duh" but then I remembered I have a sibling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:54 AM
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Then we can have the battle between oldest children and the more sensitive, caring, and yet well-balanced and resilient later-borns.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 11:59 AM
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Oldest child here, loser. Why are you punching yourself?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:02 PM
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91

Middle children rule.
Oldest and "babies" drool.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:02 PM
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92

Every middle child was a baby once.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:06 PM
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93

UPDATE and BLEG

||

(1.) I had a meeting with the executive director of the facility my parents are at. He totally caved but also seemed evasive. He wanted to get it sorted out in that meeting. I am definitely consulting a lawyer, because I think that this is a bit sketchy, and he may be charging us when he shouldn't be charging us at all.

(2.) Can anyone recommend a decent place to go for dinner in Cambridge at the last minute? I was supposed to go to the movies but then the theaters changed their show times for New Year's Eve. The last showing of Lincoln at Kendall theaters is at 5:15PM. Not 8 and 9. So I figured dinner.

Green Street seems to be requiring reservations.
Cucchi Cucchi might have space at the bar if we go earlier.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:07 PM
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92: Hence the quotes. but now I wonder why I even bothered.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:08 PM
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I meant that every middle child was a youngest child once, you twerp.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:10 PM
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I thought I'd do you the courtesy of omitting the quotation marks, assuming you'd be able to follow me into your own usage, but now I wonder why I even bothered.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:10 PM
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Middle children are all loons. Oldest children are clearly the best. Babies have vastly inflated egos.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:12 PM
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Example: my own youngest, in response to a comment about how she will always be the baby of the family - "is it because I'm the cutest?"

Further example: heebie.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:14 PM
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98.2: Further example: peep.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:17 PM
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95, 96: Ooh, harsh neb emerges from his den and sees his shadow. Twelve more weeks of blogging winter. But point taken.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:17 PM
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Dick.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:17 PM
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:) :) :) :) :)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:25 PM
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I am the hellish mutant only child/baby. Fear me (and my self-centeredness.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:29 PM
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Oldest child here, loser. Why are you punching yourself?

Word. That and the jumping out and scaring thing made a seamless transition from oldest sibling to parenting.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 12:30 PM
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Oldest siblings are obviously the best otherwise nobody would have more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:01 PM
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105: A sad thought for those of us who are only children. We must have been so awful our parents were terrified to have more.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:06 PM
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We must have been so awful our parents were terrified to have more.

I AM AS A GOD


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:06 PM
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Nah, the first-born child is usually an engineering prototype. Sometimes you get it right the first time, sometimes you run into major issues and have to go back and try again.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:14 PM
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Oldest children are clearly the best.

Never a truer word.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-31-12 1:45 PM
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My parents used to put the first waffle on the table with the ritual warning "First waffles are like first children; you have to try again." I ate a lot of badly-cooked waffles.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 1-13 9:53 PM
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111

So you're saying you're a serial infantivore or what?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-13 10:20 PM
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