Dinner at my place for my sister who says I ignore her and her three kids: 2 sons and a daughter. The kids attend the same elementary school and none of them are in special ed. ok?
I made a roast, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, chocolate pudding, and Pillsbury crescent rolls (by request).
None of the kids placed their napkins in their laps and all of them chewed their food like cows. My sister didn't intervene and I know she knew better because we were raised in the same well-mannered house. My niece began making a "river" out of her mashed potatoes, so I tapped her on the hand with my fork and told her to knock it off. The niece screamed bloody murder and ran into the bathroom. Now I'm the asshole uncle and my sister says I should apologize. There is no way in hell.
[quote]My sister didn't intervene and I know she knew better because we were raised in the same well-mannered house.
We've been over this time and time again: your halcyon memories of being "Mommy's perfect little angel" are bullshit. You and everyone else were little hellions as kids, because THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO (and your parents have long since blocked out the memories of your painful childhood years, particularly the "terrible twos," car trips from hell, and any teenage rebellion). Expecting a bunch of seven-year-olds to display perfect manners and act like Little Lord Fauntleroy is just ridiculous.
Somehow I suspect you did a bit more than "tapping your niece on the hand" if she "screamed bloody murder and ran to the bathroom." Granted, girls that age can be dramatic, but not *that* dramatic. Fess up -- to yourself *and* to us -- what *really* happened; suck it up and apologize to your sister; and start being the cool uncle instead of the Niles Crane-wannabe with a colossal stick up your ass.
What do you mean a river of mashed potatoes? What do you mean by "tap"? Did you poke her with the tines?
When you're a parent, you choose your battles. Also, you work little by little on some things, teaching lessons over time. I'm not saying your sister is doing the right thing, but I'd need more info before I could judge.
Also, if you truly didn't yell at, scare or hurt the child, but were simply another adult setting boundaries, you have nothing to apologize for.
I take care of kids. If you confronted them for being out of line but were not a jerk about it, there is no way in hell you should apologize for having appropriate boundaries. But I wasn't there and didn't see you in action, either. So I'm saying this making assumptions that you were not being a jerk.
Your relationship with your sister, who possibly has horrible boundaries and that's why her kids are not mannered, is more important. Don't judge her parenting style, because that won't go over well. Neither should you put up with disrespect for your home, or kowtow to tiny tyrants. It was enough that you made them pudding and Pillsbury crescent rolls. If confronted, just calmly say those are the rules at your house. The end.
I sympathize with you OP. I cannot stand terrible table manners either.
Ever since she got divorced, my sister seems too fragile to parent. These kids will suffer in the long run because they are on the highway to Bratville.
Sounds like this kids need a strict nanny.
That's the best you could come up with, OP?
That was profound.
Unless you remove the hand she will never completely learn the lesson.
An adult who "taps" a child's hand with a fork is in no position to teach table manners to anyone.
How dare you fork you niece
[quote]I made a roast, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, chocolate pudding, and Pillsbury crescent rolls (by request).
In future, don't bother with all that.
Get something delivered and keep it very casual.
The 'Atrocious table manners' of your niece and nephew are ultimately none of your business.
Holy Christ, there are a lot of fraus here.
OP, cut them off and wait until they're older to attempt to socialize with them again. I don't like kids until they turn into "people" anyway, which tends to happen around 14-15. And although it doesn't seem like it now, those years will go by very quickly.
I'd tap that!
[quote]I don't like kids until they turn into "people" anyway, which tends to happen around 14-15.
((snort)) Those are the worst years.
The tiresome Niece And Nephew Troll.
Yes, your nieces and nephews are badly behaved, badly educated, badly dressed and utterly filthy in their personal habits.
They don't write script, they are attached to their newfangled gadgets all the time and they do not respect their elders. They do not write thank you notes or send birthday greetings. Back in your day, you would have been punished for behaving so badly. You were a calm, gracious, studious, sparklingly clean and vivacious, convivial child, full of wonder at the world outside of you. You could not wait to demonstrate your adult table manners, sophisticated behavior and conversation to the gathered fold.
Children today do not even know how to dial their iPhones with a stylus.
Rather than being the "asshole" uncle or the "cool" uncle, try being the "absent" uncle. Has worked like a fucking charm for me.
I forgot to add "imaginary" in front of "nieces and nephews."
My sister still cuts up my nieces food on her plate. The child, now 12, fists her fork and jabs it into he pie hole.
She will not be inheriting the family silver...
OP, do you dial your phone with a pencil?
I would've pulled your sister to the side and asked her to control her kids. It's the same problem with being a step parent, only the birth parent should do the talking.
Slap their faces! SLAP THEIR FACES VICIOUSLY!!!!!
Are they fat?
I was about to read you the riot act over "Pillsbury crescent rolls" until I saw they were "by request".
It IS sad, OP. But unfortunately you are not as high-class as you seem to think and your sister is trash, along with her little tots.
OP, didn't your mother ever tell you that it is bad manners to point out others' lack of manners. You embarrassed your niece and your sister at the table. Shame on you.
And who the hell wants to eat such a heavy meal during the summer? Throw some burgers on the grill and keep it casual.
Forget feeding those hogs a roast, garlic mashed potatoes and roast broccoli.
Instead, make a greasy meatloaf covered with ketchup, along with a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and open a can of peas. Oh, and mix up a couple packages of dry gravy mix with water for them to soak their meatloaf in.
That's the kind of welfare dinner those slobs deserve.
Being an "absent uncle" is the way to go.
[quote]so I tapped her on the hand with my fork and told her to knock it off
Uncle displays vulgarian table manners of his own.
I'm as well curious about this "mashed potato river." Could you explain a bit more?
BTW, you don't put your eating utensils on other people's hands. How very rude.
I live in Europe and had not seen my American niece (my sisters kid) in 10 years. She came to visit a month ago. The last time I had seen her she was 16. I was not expecting to see the slim, well dressed, well groomed, well mannered young lady that she has become.
People change, sometimes for the better.
[quote]We've been over this time and time again: your halcyon memories of being "Mommy's perfect little angel" are bullshit. You and everyone else were little hellions as kids, because THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO
OP didn't claim he was a perfect angel; he claimed that his parents, unlike his sister, actually bothered to correct their kids' less-than-perfect behavior. I guess they didn't do a very good job, however, if OP finds it acceptable to tap somebody's hand with his fork during dinner.
Sounds like your sister is raising two fat pretentious cunts who will be Special Little Snowflakes and never be able to handle any criticism.
Great, like we need more of those.
Look at all the Mary!s in this thread.
What is the big mystery about what a "mashed potato river" is? It's easy to use a fork to drag through the potatoes to create long hollows or "rivers" to which the gravy could "flow." It's a way better use for a fork than poking someone in the hand with it for being creative! If they were doing this on someone else's plate *then* it would be bad manners, OP. At least these kids didn't add to the river area by placing upright "trees" of roasted broccoli, did they?
So open mouth chewing and not putting napkins in the lap are "atrocious"? Most kids would've ignored you totally while staring at a screen only to say "Next time order a pizza, Uncle Faggot!"
I am 52, and fond of the mashed potato "river" thing. Who wants to eat dry potatoes???
Assuming these kids aren't made up.
You served roast broccoli and garlic potatoes to kids who specially requested Pillsbury crescent rolls?
Just out of curiosity how much later were you eating then when the kids normally ate? You know that always improves a kid's behavior, feeding them late.
You serve a kid mashed potatoes and gravy - and you don't think they will make mashed potato rivers? You must have had a very sad childhood.
Your sister has kids, real or make believe, get over yourself. Wrap the crescent rolls around some hot dogs and call it a day.
Instead of those pesky chopsticks is it okay to just pick up sushi pieces to eat with one's fingers?
And is it okay to pick up bacon, too?
Is cutting of spaghetti portions with the side of the fork, instead of using a knife, a bad thing?
My nieces only act out at meals when their mother is around. When it's just Daddy or Grandma, the kids are angels. Maybe the kids behave that way to get attention from their mom. Just a thought.
Ahh, the official plural. Notify the OED.
This is a timely post for me OP, as last week I finally told my sister to back off. She kept coming to me with her kid's fucked up issues and I don't have children myself.
I chose not to have kids, and she dropped out of school and married early, against our late parent's wishes.
Her messed up life is not my problem.
Now I just have to stop feeling guilty.
The only frau in here is the OP. He sounds like a total cuntbag.
ugh my 3 nephews are beastly too - -I try to avoid as long as I can between visits..
Like a kid, at home, is going to put a napkin in his lap.
give me a fucking break OP
Kids used to put napkins in their laps at meals all the fucking time, R46.
You were perhaps raised in a barn but most of us older than 35 were raised in households where table manners were expected, not requested.
Otay, Leave it to Beaver.
I, however, live in the real world.
What I do tell my 15 yr old nephew.... DON"T SMACK.
Your future date won't appreciate it.
Thank you, r37. It was elbows off the table, napkins on the lap and the fork on the left, knife on the right. Bread and butter plate left, drink right.
[quote]your halcyon memories of being "Mommy's perfect little angel" are bullshit. You and everyone else were little hellions as kids, because THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO
No. At minimum, I would have been warned if I did anything like that at the table, and slapped if there was any back talk. When children are raised that way, they don't grow up to be rude pigs that go on message boards to speculate that manners are only other people's twisted memories.
I hope I never have to hear your trashy food gargling conversation and screaming Kool-Aid stained toddler in any restaurant I visit.
Some of you Little Miss Manners sound very angry, and are in fact quite rude yourself.
Some of us under-35s also have a share of the manners market.
My father was absolutely despotic at the dinner table and to leave, I had to ask verbatim, "May I be excused?" He also used to roar at me when I pronounced a word indistinctly--like "wader" instead of "waTer."
Finally, when I arrived at the age of 8, he decided I was a barbarian and sent me to etiquette class every Wednesday night, which taught by an out-of-work catalog model. If you've never seen the "proper" way for a woman to enter or exit a car, you owe yourself the laugh.
Sip, don't slurp
Sip, don't slurp
R52 my husband was sent to Manners Classes when he was a preteen too. In the 80s his divorced Dad saw how badly mannered his kids were turning out (he only saw them 6x a year) and slung them into a class ASAP. My husband was pissed at the time but really had GREAT manners now.
Kids today have no manners because parents don;t want to bother their precious angels about such things or are too exhausted/lazy to enforce rules every day.
I seriously worry about the next generation as adults. yikes!
I have two nephews who have appalling manners, I mean really offputting for the adults sitting at the same table - the nieces are OK. They are just at an age when that's how boys behave. I think they'll improve with age, as all kids do.
That would only happen at a formal family dinner though - if it's just your sister and her kids OP why not have a more casual pizza-and-salad thing?
It's much easier as a host to just let it go - you are not the parent so you have no right to correct their behaviour. If it bothers you that much don't invite them to eat at your home, take them to the local all-you-can-eat-buffet or something equally casual.
Is it acceptable to lick the butter knife?
r56, only after you stabbed someone with it who used their knife to eat peas.
I wonder what OP would do if he ever saw a kid with truly atrocious manners? Stab them all with carving knives and set them alight with a chafing dish? What a Mary.
This thread is full of defensive mommies who let little Kolton and Kaylen do as they please, manners be damned!
OP's prissypanties are in a WAD!
I think op is delightful. Very sweet of you to go to all the trouble . You sound like an uncle whom cares. You were correct sir.
Uncle Bottom, is that you?
"You are not the parent so you have no right to correct their behavior."
Bull-fucking-shit, R55. A child at my dinner table will hear anything I need to say.
I detest parents who let their own sloppy values and their rude children disturb EVERYONE ELSE's life. I don't blame the kids as much as their parents who clearly don't give a damn.
Absolutely correct, op, teach your niece some manners, without them she will never get invited anywhere.
Some years ago, I was at least a college grad, maybe even a grad school grad by then, I learned that some people do a " kiddie table " at Thanksgiving and other celebratory or extended family meals. I was astounded, I never heard of such a thing. I asked my Mom how come we never did this when I was growing up. She said it was becuase she, my father and various aunts and uncles believed children should sit with the adults, this is how children learn table manners and how they learn to BE adults, how to sit like ladies and gentlemen. G-d knows I have my share of mother issues (ye g-ds, younhave no idea), but she did a few things right, and this was one of them. Thanks Mom.
Why are so many gay men such sanctimonious pricks?
Because of children's atrocious manners, r66.
"If everyone were suddenly stripped of all their worldly goods, our manners would be one of the few things we'd have to distinguish us from the savages."
Regardless of one's economic station, you can tell a lot about a person by his/her manners. We all have to get along in this world, courtesy and good manners make it easier.
I'm 40, and we had a "kid's table". That you had to sit at until you were 18 (at family gatherings at least.). It was humiliating. When you were a teen, you had to be the one yelling at the toddlers.
You might be surprised, R66, that some of us replying on this thread are sanctimonious lesbians.
Be advised: all gay people are watching you and your brats with disdain.
I'd suggest R63 that when you are making your guests feel welcome by haranguing them with unwelcome lectures you should serve an enticing selection of quaaludes and valium to help them get through an evening with an obnoxious, sanctimonious cunt like you.
This did not happen.
I would bet this table manners thing is symptomatic of losing our social institutions. I would bet, for example, that you also went to church as a child, which meant that from a very early age, you had to learn how to shut up and be still for an hour at a time.
I think we're raising fundamentally different adults these days. When I look at my youngest brother, who's under 10 years old, and always had one of his nintendo things or his Ipad at restaurants when we've eaten together, I'm sort of agog at how little he observes the world around him.
[quote] I think they'll improve with age, as all kids do.
They won't improve with age if they are not taught early on that their manners are atrocious. We were rapped on the knuckles by our parents for holding our forks incorrectly or for resting our elbows on the table.
Kids today hold their forks in their fists like they are going to stab themselves.
Animals, just animals.
I was watching a college football game with my dad and brother. SEC, baby.
Dad says here's a bag of chips if anyone's interested. Brother opens it, puts some in his hand, and eats them.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I see him spend about 2 minutes licking every finger on his rt hand. He then sticks that hand back in the bag, roots it all around, pulls out some more chips........
AND then has the nerve to hold up the bag and ask me if I want some. He's 47 BTW.
On football weekends, my dad and I also have to beat him to the new carton of ice cream, because this is what he does......
Puts 1 scoop in his bowl, licks the spoon up and down, then runs it across the top of the carton, and then back in for another scoop.
I've told him, more than once, not to do THAT, but he's an ignorant jackass who doesn't listen. So, my dad and I just have to beat him to the ice cream.
Your brother's on the Securities & Exchange Commission?
SEC = southeastern conference
Thanks, I went to a university that has no football team (just ice hockey and baseball).
[quote] None of the kids placed their napkins in their laps
Does ANYBODY do this anymore? I thought napkins on the lap were only for prisses?
[quote] Does ANYBODY do this anymore? I thought napkins on the lap were only for prisses?
It's also for people who don't like stains on their clothes.
[quote]You and everyone else were little hellions as kids, because THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO (and your parents have long since blocked out the memories of your painful childhood years, particularly the "terrible twos," car trips from hell, and any teenage rebellion). Expecting a bunch of seven-year-olds to display perfect manners and act like Little Lord Fauntleroy is just ridiculous.
No, R2, you are incorrect and hopelessly stupid about this. Stop infantilizing other people's children.
Yes, all children do need to be taught manners. It's a question of the willingness of the parents to do the necessary WORK to teach their precious little darlings correctly. It begins when they are toddlers.
At seven years old, I did not have "perfect" manners. I had certainly learned to put my napkin in my lap and chew with my mouth closed. I knew better than to play with my food or throw tantrums if corrected at table by an adult. If I had indulged in any of those behaviors, my parents would have corrected it, and me, immediately.
My parents took their parenting responsibilities seriously. They made the time and put in the effort to teach us manners. At times this was very trying and I assure you that they remembered it quite clearly for the rest of their lives. It's a pity that OP's sister (and a lot of other parents) can't be bothered to raise children properly.
OP has done nothing that requires an apology. If he chooses to make one in order to keep the peace with his sister - fine. He doesn't owe it to her nor does he owe it to her ill-mannered spawn.
[quote]Does ANYBODY do this anymore?
Yes, everyone does this all the time.
[quote]I thought napkins on the lap were only for prisses?
That's because you have no manners and don't know anyone who does have manners.
r84 dials the phone with a pencil.
r73 & r83 are RIGHT ON!
OP, If I were you, I woulda shoved that fork up your trashy little niece's vageen.
[quote]A child at my dinner table will hear anything I need to say.
[quote]I detest parents who let their own sloppy values and their rude children disturb EVERYONE ELSE's life.
[quote] You and everyone else were little hellions as kids, because THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO (and your parents have long since blocked out the memories of your painful childhood years, particularly the "terrible twos," car trips from hell, and any teenage rebellion). Expecting a bunch of seven-year-olds to display perfect manners and act like Little Lord Fauntleroy is just ridiculous.
I think you're underestimating how intelligent children are.
My youngest brother, at the age of 3, could go to a restaurant and eat neatly and quietly--with his napkin tied around his neck instead of lying on his lap, of course. A friend of mine that accompanied me to dinner with them said, "I have never seen a kid that age act so well. It's really amazing."
It's about parenting.
With my Dad being an attorney for a restaurant association, our family was often invited to dine out. My brother and I would never have been allowed to go with our parents if we didn't behave and have good table manners. I was about six or seven when I asked "What's that?" as a waiter placed finger bowls with lemon wedges in front of each person. I knew all about napkins on the lap, which utensils to use, but a finger bowl was a puzzlement. "Don't drink it," were the first words from my mother.
One day, at a dinner at our aunt and uncle's home, at the end of the meal our five cousins each left the table with their dishes, scraped the dishes clean and placed them in the dishwasher. The next day, we had a new rule in our house - we had to clear our own dishes from the table at the end of the meal. This has carried on to the next generation in our families.
Earth to R76: bring an extra carton of ice cream yourself, or suggest to your father that HE do.
I once visited a few days, following by housesitting a week, my brother, SIL and 3 nieces (at the time, 13, 16 and 18.) Decent table manners, but their friends were in and out of the house ALL the time (sometimes even when my nieces weren't there!); long story short, I had bought, myself, about a week's worth of food (I was free to eat anything my brother had; he's generous; this was just food that I liked (cheeses, fruits and vegetables.)
ANYway, I noticed after a few days, things missing; figured nieces' friends, not knowing differently, were eating some of "my" food. I pleasantly moved it to the sitting room I was crashing in; didn't say a word; preserved my food (had called my equally single aunt, in CA, to consult about this, hee-hee!)
Too bad your brother keeps doing it, though.
[quote]Does ANYBODY do this anymore? I thought napkins on the lap were only for prisses?
What kind of a boorish animal are you that you think putting a napkin on your lap is prissy?
I can smell the stink of garlic knots from Olive Garden on you!
I'm a Frau- whatever.
I cannot stand bad table manners- all 3 of my boys knew from a VERY early age how to properly sit at a table and eat properly. I admit to being thoroughly obnoxious by telling my friends kids: " eww! We don't want to see or hear what you're eating!" I don't care if I'm a bitch. You do your kids a major disservice by not teaching them common courtesy, proper table manners, say thank you and please-
I cannot stand entitled little brats- if you were my brother, I would have appreciated your actions.
[quote]"Next time order a pizza, Uncle Faggot!"
I know it's [italic]wrong[/italic]...
You failed miserably, OP, and you make me vomit.
A true queen would immediately remember Anna Wintour's order to Karl Lagerfeld regarding Lindsay Lohan, "She's your guest; control her!"
Shaming your sister into controlling her spawn: satisfying on so many levels.
Who the fuck thinks chewing with your mouth closed or having a napkin in your lap is excessively prissy? It's common, decent table manners. Good luck navigating a business dinner if you can't even chew your food properly.
[quote]Who the fuck thinks
Jesus, OP. Let's talk about your table manners when you're eating out the ass of Saturday night's trick.
We had a kids' table at family holiday dinners when I was a kid, but that was because there were too many people to all sit at the dining room table. The kids were relegated to the kitchen table, both tables being within sight and earshot of each other.
R60 - just out of curiosity when people in the financial sector where having dinner and talking financial tools which would bring the US and world economy close to complete collapse do you think they had their napkins in their laps?
Do you think when Dick Cheney and George Bush were have coffee and Danish and deciding to lie to the world about WMD in Iraq they were chewing with the mouths closed?
Good table manners are a sham. Who the hell cares?
I've also been to enough business dinners to know it's not the guy with his napkin in his lap that gets everyone's attention. It's the guy with the best idea. If it isn't it's a business dinner of no consequence or a group of people who are about to go out of business.
R100, you're full of shit. Pigs are used and discarded. A slow-witted gentleman always comes out ahead. It's why we hire consultants for everything.
OP, I bet your sister has a clothesline, too. Punch and delete!
To those who think it's wrong to admonish someone else's kid, take a note from last century. Children were accountable to all adults (granted, kids also had free reign to go where they liked unaccompanied, unlike nowadays). If any adult called you on misbehavior, they were the authority and you must comply. It's only when a community works together that things flow smoothly. Adults supporting each other shows kids it's not just their parents who "are mean". We all have the rules. We can't let children run free if we can't trust other adults to step in as needed.
I frequently step in. If I see a hurt child who doesn't have its own adult around, I help. If I see bullying or fighting, I'll intercede. I don't exactly want to be a busybody, but I also don't want to feel responsible for doing nothing, which is erroneously thought as the polite thing (and why do many violent crimes are not reported by neighbors - noone wants to step up). I can't sit there and watch children being little shits and do nothing about it. It's not about stepping on someone else's territory, it's about presenting a unified front as adults who know society's rules. It's about support, not interference.
You shouldn't need a napkin in your lap if you know how to eat properly.
be careful r103 getting involved w/un accompanied kids (esp if you are a non-parent) can cause you a heap of trouble...
R103, it's free REIN.
I agree, r103, thanks for that thoughtful dialog.
R106, get a life.
yeah R100, I bet eating with you is a real joy, what with you wiping your hands on your clothes and food falling out of your mouth while you chomp away. Apparently you were raised in a cave.
I had to teach an etiquette course at my company because the new crop of juniors had appallingly bad table manners. They took it seriously and seemed stunned at all they didn't know.
R100, I never want to do any sort of business with you.
Everyone knows you should use your best manners when dining with a QUEEN.
[quote]Instead of those pesky chopsticks is it okay to just pick up sushi pieces to eat with one's fingers?
Well, actually, in Japan, sushi is commonly eaten with your hands.
[quote]R100, I never want to do any sort of business with you.
I agree. I wouldn't want that to even live in the same neighborhood.
R106, oops. When I wrote it, I did think it looked off, but it was late and I was distracted. I would hope the rest of my post shows I have at least a smidgen of intelligence and ability to put thoughts together.
As for doing business with someone who has poor table manners? Well, we weren't taught much about table manners during my childhood, so mine are not perfect, but I'm still certain if someone ate like a barbarian, I would be appalled, regardless if we were conducting business or I simply saw them at the next table. I would be instantly and privately turned off. If they didn't get the very basics about social graces, it would put everything they said under suspicion. They'd instantly lose credibility and I'd think them an oddity.
So far no one has come up with a single reason why good table manners are important.
There seems to be a consensus that many people are willing to dismiss someone based upon their table manners.
Although I'm not sure I see the difference between dismissing someone based upon table manners and dismissing someone because they are gay.
Plus as I tried unsuccessfully to point out - I don't think good table manners are any indication someone will behave well or ethically once they put down their fork.
I also find it interesting that a couple of people posting would not want to do business with me because I don't care about good table manners. After all I never said I don't have good table manners.
I guess fortunately for me the line of people who want to do business with me but I won't/can't do business with them is much longer than the line of people who I want to do business with and won't do business with me.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess all those who are fixated on good table manners have thrilling jobs as someone's assistant, or as we use to say secretary.
[quote] all of them chewed their food like cows
I can not stand when anyone chews with their mouths open. If anyone is doing this in front of me, I will ask them to chew with their mouth closed. It's the only time I will ever actually reprimand someone's manners.
[quote]So far no one has come up with a single reason why good table manners are important.
Then take your trencher and sops out to the back porch, away from civilized peoples.