Food for Thought

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dear Miss Manners:

Do you have any suggestions on how to announce to friends to stop taking tastes of my food and/or beverage?

One friend happily took her straw out of her drink and announced, "I'd like to taste that."

I responded, "Oh, I don't like people tasting my drinks or taking portions of my meal." She apologized.

Another time, another friend announced to the food server, "I am on a diet so I'll have a few of her fries."

I said to him, "Please order some because I don't like people picking from my plate."

I believe I am considered unfriendly or selfish by wanting them to eat their meals and let me eat my meal. One waitress brought two spoons with my dessert in case I wanted to "share." I returned the spoon to her.

One Sunday, a friend who attends many formal business lunches and dinners, so I assumed would have great manners, reached over and took one of the croutons from my salad and announced, "Not bad."

Two weeks later, he said, "Excuse me" and took a spoonful of my cappuccino and said, "Too sweet for me."

I don't need a running commentary on my meals. I am probably going to say to him, "I guess I forgot to tell you what most of my friends know: I don't like people poking around in my food so please don't reach over and take any of my food or beverage" unless you can present something more polite.

Other people dislike people eating from their plates but don't want to ruffle feathers.

Is that coffee you're drinking, Miss Manners? I think I'd like a taste. Here's my spoon.

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