There are few things better than breaking bread with friends, family, and people with whom you’re intending to have sex. But poor food-sharing etiquette is definitely a deal breaker.
In the interest of saving relationships, here are some simple guidelines to follow when you’re sharing a meal with loved ones:
1. No matter how delicious someone’s food looks, at least let them taste it before you start begging for a bite.
You need to at least pretend you want to get to know their meal before you start sending it dick pics. (“MY EYES ARE UP HERE!” —Their fried chicken platter.) Both parties know you’ve noticed it and you really want a taste, but the polite thing to do in this situation is feign innocence. Once they’ve had a few bites and shared their thoughts on how delicious it is, you should pretend that you’re just now seeing it for the first time. (“Oh, that old thing?” —You, barely looking at the fried chicken platter.) You both know this is a lie, but it’s a gracious lie, a lie that gives them a chance to offer you a bite. Which they may or may not do. This leads us to…
2. If you want a bite of someone’s food and they haven’t offered it to you, you have to ask first.
First. You have to ask first. Like before you help yourself.
3. Give them a chance to actually answer the request.
There are too many people in this world who reach over and swipe a fry while asking if they can have a fry. It doesn’t matter if you birthed them or they birthed you; overconfidence is a turn-off. Taking people’s food without asking is theft, and it’s also a clear sign that the person you’re dining with needs to redo their home training.
If they say you can have a bite of their burger, don’t take advantage of their generosity. “A bite” may not be a standard unit of measure, but I can assure you that it does not mean “everything you can cram into your gaping maw at once, leaving me with nothing but a scrap of bun and a tiny corner of cheese.”
5. Always be prepared for disappointment.
“May I have a fry?” is, in fact, a yes or no question. That means the answer may be no. I mean, everyone really loves fries. And maybe they didn’t get very many with their order. Maybe they are really hungry. Maybe they finally decided to stop believing the lie perpetuated by Pinterest that zucchini “fries” are actual fries and they want to really savor their first time back in the sack with a potato. We all have our reasons for saying no on occasion.
More often than not, your fellow diner won’t eat everything on their plate, and they’ll offer you more fries than you ever dreamed of. (Note: Don’t jump the gun and ask them if they are done eating yet.) But if you decide that you won’t allow them to feed you their scraps like you’re an adorable stray dog they’ve decided to befriend, and that you’re going to do this your own grabby way, you may find a bloody stump where you were expecting to see that truffle fry.
If you order a salad because you’re trying to “be good” (side note: ugggghhhhhsjshhkgkeeuyrehgdfgeyr7dhfgg; like, eat or don’t eat as you see fit, but but kindly leave morality out of it) but then attempt to “share” someone else’s fries, you are the worst kind of dining companion.
Sure, if you all discuss what you’re ordering and you say that you really want the pasta, but you’re torn, because you also really want fries, and they say, “Well, I’ll get the burger and share my fries with you,” that’s fine. But if you order your burger without a bun and ask for a side of broccoli instead of the fries…and then you start reaching for their fries midway through the meal…they have every right to fight you.
You know how the old saying goes: “If you can’t be with the nacho you love, love the nacho you’re with.” AKA eat the first one you grab and focus on pulling a better one when you go back to the platter in 15 seconds. It’ll be OK.
Who among us doesn’t love dips and condiments? They really can make the meal. Unfortunately, some of you monsters have been misled about what the appropriate dip-to-chip ratio is in group settings. This is a party! Your poor chips are not being accused of witchcraft and you don’t need to take them for a spin in ye olde ducking stool!
Here is an incredibly common scenario: You and a friend are sharing a hummus appetizer platter. One person daintily dips their pita into the hummus, pulling it back with just enough hummus to get the flavor of it while still being able to taste the bread. The other person aggressively plunges the pita into the hummus, scraping the bottom of the bowl as they go, and then pulls back a smothered pita (and finger, which: gross), which means not only can they not taste the bread, but also they’re going to decimate the hummus supply in just three pita triangles. Why. Are. You. Doing. This.
Do your part to end this profoundly irritating situation by spooning some dip onto your app plate, you heathens. That way, each person can put some chips and a little dip on their own plate and enjoy the dip at their own pace without having to continuously return to the community bowl. (It also means you don’t have to take the unabashed double-dipper in your friend group out back and shoot them.) If you choose not to utilize this method, you will see that in just five minutes, the guac will be gone and so will your loved ones — from your life.
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