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15 Things to Never Say at the Dinner Table
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Wit + Delight
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We’ve all been there before — at the table, in the middle of eating dinner with a mouthful of pasta, and all of a sudden someone says something so horrific/embarrassing/depressing/uncensored that you’d rather crawl under the table than sit upright in your seat.
Family dinners should be about family bonding and catching up with light, funny banter that should never be confused with the update on your bowel movements or your recent breakup.
Learn this and never forget it — no matter who you’re sharing a meal with, there are just certain topics you should always avoid when eating.
While we’re pretty sure that everyone knows the general rules of thumb when it comes to table manners (don’t chew with your mouth open, no elbows on the table, etc.) you should be very aware of where conversations can lead if you open up the floor for discussion.
So without further ado, let’s talk — or not talk — about the things you shouldn’t say at the dinner table.
- When Are You Two Getting Engaged?: If you’ve known the couple long enough, you know enough about the status and/or length of their relationship to know that a proposal is either on the horizon or it’s not. Also, it’s most likely a discussion they’ve already had and don’t need to be reminded of. If they have something to share, they will.
- What Exactly Is This?: No, no, no. Even if you have a genuine curiosity, just wait for the host or hostess to explain what’s for dinner because nine times out of 10, your question will sound rude.
- I Can’t Do This Anymore: Whatever it is — live at home, date your girlfriend, talk to your parents — have this conversation after dinner and somewhere in private. It’s just going to create a super awkward atmosphere for everyone else.
- Man, This __________ Is Going to Go Right Through Me: This should be a given. No one wants to hear about your bathroom woes, ever.
- Heard You Got a Raise — That’s Awesome, How Much?: Never, ever ask someone about money. It’s right up there with religion and politics. A big, fat NO. If they want to share, they will on their own.
- Haven’t You Had Enough?/Someone’s Hungry: If they want another serving of mashed potatoes or more pasta — who cares? Let it be.
- Can I Take Your Dish? If they have a fork or spoon still in their mouth, chances are they aren’t finished eating, so let them throw their napkin on the dish and set their utensils down before asking them this question. And while we’re at it, it’s also rude to get up from the table when other people aren’t finished eating, so sit back down!
- That Looks… Interesting: Even if you really mean it, use the word "good" instead, otherwise your chef for the evening will assume you mean it looks unappetizing to you.
- Oh My Gosh, Did You Hear About That Gross________: Thanks for ruining everyone’s appetite, jerk.
- Your Father/Mother and I Are Getting a Divorce: Who wants to eat after hearing that? No one.
- I’m on a Diet/I’m Not Hungry: Sure you are. Please tell us how what we’re eating is horrible for our bodies too while you’re at it.
- This Is Great, but It Would Be Better with _____: Do you want to cook? No? Then shut up.
- Who Are You Voting For? This is an easy one and will never end well, so just avoid it and say "How about them Yankees?"
- Whispering: Everyone else at the table is going to assume you’re talking about them. Like the saying goes, "secrets, secrets are no fun, unless they are for everyone." Boom.
- Nothing at All: Silence speaks volumes, and even worse are facial expressions. No raised eyebrows or scrunched faces ever.
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