Manners & Misdemeanors

The Worst Dining Habits of All Time, Ranked

These offenses aren't just distasteful-they're downright appalling.
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Since the beginning of mankind—or at least since the Roman Empire—humans have gathered to eat food in a communal fashion. One would think, after thousands of years, certain criteria for dining in a group would be “set in stone,” as it were, to keep peace among the natives. However, time and again we find ourselves encountering distasteful—and downright appalling—dining taboos.

The worst offenders are as follows:

1. DOUBLE-DIPPING


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I don’t care if you're 3 or 93—this is by far the vilest of communal eating wrongs. What makes you think I want your saliva in my dip? This also goes for chefs putting the spoon back in the pot after a taste.

2. TOUCHING ALL OF THE FOOD.

I once watched a 6-year-old touch every piece of cake on a three-tiered serving tray. Perhaps he was counting them? Yay for math, boo for your grimy mitts on the dessert. (We all know children don’t wash their hands after picking their noses.)

3. EATING THE BEST PART OF A DISH BEFORE PASSING.

Please stop eating all the fried onions off of the green bean casserole, and picking all of the shrimp out of the pasta. Yes, we know, it’s your favorite part—but it’s everyone else's favorite too! What entitles you to the cream of everything?

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4. THE PRESUMPTIVE ADDITION.


Please do not squeeze lemon over the seafood tower we are all about to share. I hate lemon on my oysters, and now, you've ruined them for me. The same goes for salting or saucing. Also, as someone who strives very hard to make perfectly-seasoned food, please do not automatically add salt to it before you try it. This shows your lack of forethought and an impulsiveness I find to be a character flaw.

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5. CHEWING WITH YOU MOUTH OPEN.


Just don't do it. Ever.

6. BLOWING YOUR NOSE AT A RESTAURANT.

Is there anything worse than sitting down to indulge in a fine meal, only to discover that the gentleman at the next table over has decided to clear his sinuses into a hanky? Unforgivable. Take it to the restroom!

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7. TALKING ON THE CELL PHONE AT DINNER.


It’s just obnoxious. It’s even more obnoxious at a restaurant. I'm not interested in listening to you on the phone—whether you're my dinner companion or someone close by. Oh, it’s an important business call? Fine. Take it to the lobby.

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8. BEING RUDE TO THE SERVER.

Making someone take four trips to the kitchen because you think of something you want each time they return is rude. Speaking down to staff is rude. Making a server wait while you take five minutes to decide on your main… also rude. Tipping poorly: rude. They are a server, not a servant.

9. TAKING HALF OF A CUPCAKE FROM THE COMPANY BIRTHDAY PARTY.


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Here’s the thing: Either you commit to eating a cupcake or you commit to NOT eating a cupcake. By taking a half, you are just letting the next guy know that sadly they only get half of their favorite flavor. If you had eaten it entirely, there would be less pain not knowing what might have been.

Also: Taking half a bagel. Egregious! Yes, bagels are a lot of carbs for a single meal—so if you’re going to take half a bagel, please take the bottom half. And don't even get me started on the person who leaves behind the stump of a muffin...

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Vikki Fraser
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