My personal list of most awkward dinning out situations runs pretty long and I’m sure each and every one of us has at least one of those horror stories to bring to the table. The solution or, at least, a politically, socially and emotionally correct way to deal with the situation in question often requires a whole set of negotiating skills and sometimes even a whole “battle plan” so before you freak out and decide that some people and even potentially great restaurants need to be erased from your life, do check out these 7 most awkward dining out situations I’ve found myself in:
1. Screaming Children
Is it so wrong to expect just a little bit of peace and quiet? Well… YES! But, don’t get me wrong, even some of my friends tend to bring their “very active” children literally everywhere and saying that I’m far from pleased would certainly be an understatement. I actually feel sorry for the little ones because they don’t feel any more comfortable then I do, they just have a bad way of showing it. Not much can be done here because blaming the kid would make you the bad guy (girl) so just suck it up and the next time you want to have a dinner that doesn’t end with migraines or food stains all over your brand new outfit, pick the most child-unfriendly place you can and hope your friends will get the hint.
2. The “I Forgot My Wallet at Home” Trick
Oh isn’t that just freaking convenient! A freeloader will always insist on visiting fancy restaurants and always forget to bring the wallet or worse, refuse to pay for a vast number of reasons like not having any cash at hand (only credit cards), having only large bills (oh, yeah?) etc.. Now, you don’t have a lot o choice here – you either cough up the cash and remember this encounter as one of the most awkward dinning out situations ever or leave all the awkwardness to the person who made it. I’d probably fall for it once as the chances are that the person in question is really telling the truth but in case that happens again, the solution is simple – I’m paying my half and the freeloader can stay to help with the dishes.
3. Can You Return This to the Kitchen, Please?
Raise your hand if one of your most awkward dining out situations involves bad food/drinks and the nasty looks you often get for trying to return them! Yup, I’m one of those people that have no problem with returning things just because they are not prepared correctly. I’m always very polite and that kind of minimizes the negative reaction that follows although there have been many both positive and negative experiences along the road. I’ve returned a Long-Island-Ice-Tea-gone-wrong once and received an apology, replacement and a complimentary fruit salad once but, when I tried to do the same with an almost totally raw steak… well, let’s just say they won’t see me or my money ever again.
4. Dessert, Anyone?
… Anyone?... Nobody? … Seriously? Okay, so some might say that being the only one interested in dessert isn’t one of the most awkward dinning out situations one can face but try saying that while you have 4 persons who can’t wait to go home scanning your plate and literally counting your every bite. I rarely stick with my initial decision in this case and promise myself I’ll eat that famous tiramisu next time. Bad choice, I know, but I simply can enjoy my dessert if I feel like the best and the fastest way to eat it would be to shove it down my throat Homer Simpson style.
5. Having to Wait for Your Table
Making a reservation for 6 o’clock doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have your table waiting for you at that time and that can be very embarrassing sometimes. It’s pretty much a standard practice so, in case you’re trying to impress somebody and choose a popular restaurant to do so don’t turn it into a big deal.
6. Oh, Come on, We’ll Split the Portion, You’ll Love It
Ugh, how do you tell someone you don’t want to eat the same thing he/she wants? Splitting the portion is totally fine with me but I don’t want to be forced into eating stuff I don’t like or don’t like enough to pay for them. Now, all this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re dealing with a person that can take (a polite) no for an answer, but if that’s not the case, the situation can get rather weird.
7. Bad Table
Every place has its regular customers and it’s normal to expect that they will get a better table than you – Isn’t it? Hierarchy, hierarchy… If you are the one who suggested that place, this definitely puts you in a bad position as everybody will complain and you will be the one feeling bad. There is a way around this, of course, but it requires you to be extra sweet and polite when asking for a different table. Be sure to leave a nice tip too, especially if you’re planning on revisiting soon.
What are the most awkward dinning out situations you had the misfortune to experience and how did you deal with them?
Top Photo Credit: futureatlas.com