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  #101  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
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cello56 cello56 is offline
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Originally Posted by Donder1 View Post

I don't want to get into it on vacation. Nor, do I want to feel angry, intimidated, insulted or stuck at a table with people who make feel that way. I want to have fun!
But, that's me. If two people want to engage in serious controversial topic discussions , have at it. But, leave me out.
Exactly! We go on vacation to relax and unwind. Neither DH or I have any interest in getting into a heavy duty philosophical discussions with perfect strangers over dinner! We have friends and family to serve that roll at home! This is especially true at a larger table where one or two people might be thoroughly enjoying their spirited discussion, but the rest of their tablemates might be very uncomfortable. This is why we now choose tables sized for the group of us travelling - whether that be just DH and I or with another couple. We have plenty of chances to talk to strangers when we are out and about the ship throughout the day, no need to bring that to the dinner table where we are for all intensive purposes a captive market!
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  #102  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:23 AM
secret1122 secret1122 is offline
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This is especially true at a larger table where one or two people might be thoroughly enjoying their spirited discussion, but the rest of their tablemates might be very uncomfortable.
This is not directed towards you, but to anyone who's made similar comments. We are not children. We are adults who are in control over our thoughts. Why are you letting something like words coming out of someone's mouth make you uncomfortable? Every child had heard the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Yet we get older and some people feel the need to be insulted, offended, or made uncomfortable by someone else's words. It's baffling that your comfort level can be affected by conversation. Now if someone is getting verbally berated, yelled at, or any other aggressive or mean comments directed to them I suppose that could be a different story. But to be bothered by conversation? I don't get it.
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  #103  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Exclamation From the sublime to the ridiculous!

Hypothetical opening comments at dinner:

"Hi everyone, I'm on the sex offenders list. I hate having to tell the authorities every time we change ports. anyone else in my boat?"

"Hi everyone, I just got a text message from my unmarried eighteen year old daughter asking me if I thought $1,000 for a late term abortion was a lot of money. I told her I'd ask at dinner tonight and get back to her."

Lighten up folks......find safe enjoyable subjects to put you in the right frame of mind for dinner. It won't be a reflection on your intellectual capabilities and no one will think less of you.

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Originally Posted by secret1122 View Post
This is not directed towards you, but to anyone who's made similar comments. We are not children. We are adults who are in control over our thoughts. Why are you letting something like words coming out of someone's mouth make you uncomfortable? Every child had heard the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Yet we get older and some people feel the need to be insulted, offended, or made uncomfortable by someone else's words. It's baffling that your comfort level can be affected by conversation. Now if someone is getting verbally berated, yelled at, or any other aggressive or mean comments directed to them I suppose that could be a different story. But to be bothered by conversation? I don't get it.

Last edited by Don P; May 2nd, 2012 at 11:28 AM.

  #104  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:26 AM
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I hope that communion consists of a glass of red wine with a plate of nice linguini with marinara sauce.
I'd prefer some fava beans and nice chianti.

  #105  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:48 AM
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This is not directed towards you, but to anyone who's made similar comments. We are not children. We are adults who are in control over our thoughts. Why are you letting something like words coming out of someone's mouth make you uncomfortable? Every child had heard the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Yet we get older and some people feel the need to be insulted, offended, or made uncomfortable by someone else's words. It's baffling that your comfort level can be affected by conversation. Now if someone is getting verbally berated, yelled at, or any other aggressive or mean comments directed to them I suppose that could be a different story. But to be bothered by conversation? I don't get it.
And conversely, I find some people entirely oblivious to what constitutes polite dinner conversation among strangers. How hard is it to understand that MANY people on vacation do not want to get into political, religious or any other philosophical discussion with strangers? For example, the party we were seated with a few years ago spent most of our dinners together demanding that I defend U.S. policies around the world. I was insulted, offended AND made to feel uncomfortable, because I was brought up to have better manners than to argue those points with strangers.

  #106  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:53 AM
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And conversely, I find some people entirely oblivious to what constitutes polite dinner conversation among strangers. How hard is it to understand that MANY people on vacation do not want to get into political, religious or any other philosophical discussion with strangers? For example, the party we were seated with a few years ago spent most of our dinners together demanding that I defend U.S. policies around the world. I was insulted, offended AND made to feel uncomfortable, because I was brought up to have better manners than to argue those points with strangers.
Demanding? Arguing? Well of course that would make anyone uncomfortable. I think, though, that we are talking about discussing.

I suppose one person's discussion may be another's argument, however...
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  #107  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Demanding? Arguing? Well of course that would make anyone uncomfortable. I think, though, that we are talking about discussing.

I suppose one person's discussion may be another's argument, however...
Yes, they certainly seemed to be enjoying their "discussion" with us.

  #108  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Don P View Post
Hypothetical opening comments at dinner:

"Hi everyone, I'm on the sex offenders list. I hate having to tell the authorities every time we change ports. anyone else in my boat?"

"Hi everyone, I just got a text message from my unmarried eighteen year old daughter asking me if I thought $1,000 for a late term abortion was a lot of money. I told her I'd ask at dinner tonight and get back to her."

Lighten up folks......find safe enjoyable subjects to put you in the right frame of mind for dinner. It won't be a reflection on your intellectual capabilities and no one will think less of you.

Sure......as if this is what is under discussion here. You can't seriously think this is what's being advocated.

"Safe" subjects put me to sleep. A lively discussion where I can hopefully learn something new is what puts me in the right frame of mind for dinner. Not everyone is the same.
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  #109  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:19 PM
dread_pirate dread_pirate is offline
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If the subject were brought up and I admitted my lack of religious faith, how many of you "faithful" would resist the opportunity to try to straighten me out.
I would. But then again, my faith does not advocate prostelytising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P View Post
Lighten up folks......find safe enjoyable subjects to put you in the right frame of mind for dinner.
And those are?

We've already been told on this thread that where you're from, what you do for a living, your kids, your grandchildren, your pets are off-limits.

I'm sure people can argue about whether the entertainment is any good - that could divisive at the dinner table.

Are we left only with the weather?

And people wonder why folks seem much less "friendly" nowadays - perhaps because it's easier to say nothing than to remember all these "rules."
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  #110  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:27 PM
rsfunk rsfunk is offline
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Originally Posted by donaldsc View Post
I would also add that I do not want to hear how wonderful your grand kids or pets are and I do not want to see pictures of either.

DON
And for that matter, please don't assume I have children at home and when I tell you I don't, please don't look at me like I have a genetic defect.
I chose not to have children.

OP-great topic! Thanks
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  #111  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:33 PM
johneeo johneeo is offline
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Originally Posted by Warmer Climes View Post
... For example, the party we were seated with a few years ago spent most of our dinners together demanding that I defend U.S. policies around the world.
OOOH! Would I have had a good time with them, responding with:

"As the most powerful nation on planet earth I have always been an advocate of totally annihilating every country on the planet. Then we would not have to justify anything, especially this ridiculous conversation."

They would have loved me.

  #112  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:37 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Demanding? Arguing? Well of course that would make anyone uncomfortable. I think, though, that we are talking about discussing.




I suppose one person's discussion may be another's argument, however...

And, THAT is the point.

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  #113  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:40 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Originally Posted by dread_pirate View Post
I would. But then again, my faith does not advocate prostelytising.


And those are?

We've already been told on this thread that where you're from, what you do for a living, your kids, your grandchildren, your pets are off-limits.

I'm sure people can argue about whether the entertainment is any good - that could divisive at the dinner table.

Are we left only with the weather?

And people wonder why folks seem much less "friendly" nowadays - perhaps because it's easier to say nothing than to remember all these "rules."

You might consider raising subjects about which you have things in common:

The ship you are sailing
The ports you are visiting
The entertainment on the ship
The good or bad weather you've enjoyed or not during the trip
The menu/dinner you are at that moment eating
My fish is delicious, how is your prime rib - probably will bring you to conversation about foods you/they like or not
Ships and travel in general

Those topics are bound to bring you to 'safe ports' to continue the conversation in a comfortable direction.
If your table 'clicks', it's great and your conversation will evolve. If the table does not 'click', you have offended no one.


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Last edited by sail7seas; May 2nd, 2012 at 12:43 PM.

  #114  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 01:03 PM
secret1122 secret1122 is offline
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Originally Posted by Don P View Post
Hypothetical opening comments at dinner:

"Hi everyone, I'm on the sex offenders list. I hate having to tell the authorities every time we change ports. anyone else in my boat?"

"Hi everyone, I just got a text message from my unmarried eighteen year old daughter asking me if I thought $1,000 for a late term abortion was a lot of money. I told her I'd ask at dinner tonight and get back to her."

Lighten up folks......find safe enjoyable subjects to put you in the right frame of mind for dinner. It won't be a reflection on your intellectual capabilities and no one will think less of you.
As extreme as those examples are, I can see you not wanting to discuss them or finding them inappropriate for dinner. That would be your choice. My comment was not about what you find appropriate, but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.
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  #115  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 01:19 PM
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As extreme as those examples are, I can see you not wanting to discuss them or finding them inappropriate for dinner. That would be your choice. My comment was not about what you find appropriate, but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.
Emily Post (1922): "Talk about things you think will be agreeable to your hearer."

"Try to do and say those things only which will be agreeable to others."

  #116  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 01:41 PM
Don P Don P is offline
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Default I'll try and make it simpler!

It seems to me a person has multiple choices if at this table. Contribute to the discussion is one choice. Another would be to ignore the question, and yet another would be to ask the Maitre dei for another table. In other words do whatever you want. A lot of these posts are trying to make fine points. They remind me of my kids. Oh waiter! Table change please.

UOTE=secret1122;33606484]As extreme as those examples are, I can see you not wanting to discuss them or finding them inappropriate for dinner. That would be your choice. My comment was not about what you find appropriate, but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.[/quote]

Last edited by Don P; May 2nd, 2012 at 01:44 PM.

  #117  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 01:47 PM
dread_pirate dread_pirate is offline
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
You might consider raising subjects about which you have things in common:

The ship you are sailing
The ports you are visiting
The entertainment on the ship
The good or bad weather you've enjoyed or not during the trip
The menu/dinner you are at that moment eating
My fish is delicious, how is your prime rib - probably will bring you to conversation about foods you/they like or not
Ships and travel in general

Those topics are bound to bring you to 'safe ports' to continue the conversation in a comfortable direction.
If your table 'clicks', it's great and your conversation will evolve. If the table does not 'click', you have offended no one.

Just as you find discussions of children and pets offensive (or at least disagreeable), I can virtually guarantee that there will be people who believe that the topics you listed above will also be disagreeable. Particularly if one of the guests at your table is the complaining type.

Just look at all the "hot button" topics on these boards!
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  #118  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:04 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Originally Posted by dread_pirate View Post
Just as you find discussions of children and pets offensive (or at least disagreeable), I can virtually guarantee that there will be people who believe that the topics you listed above will also be disagreeable. Particularly if one of the guests at your table is the complaining type.

Just look at all the "hot button" topics on these boards!

They may find the subjects boring but they will not find them offensive.

And therein lies the difference.


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  #119  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:17 PM
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It seems to me that a lot of Americans, in particular, are overly sensitive to what in most other cultures would simply be considered a discussion. I keep reading over and over in this thread about folks feeling "attacked" or that others "demanded" that they "defend" positions, etc. I work with French colleagues daily and also have traveled quite a bit for business reasons and I find many times that discussions with Europeans tend to be much more direct and in-depth and range over many of these topics -- even with business associates I barely know. Same with Australians and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Canadians.

I've sat at many different tables on many cruises (I prefer open seating to fixed and so will sit with different folks most nights) and only once can I say that someone at one of those tables attacked or even heatedly discussed a "hot button" topic in an insensitive way.

Why must conversation devolve to the lowest common denominator? Can't we all get out of our comfort zone just a little for the happiness of all? I'm willing to hear how delicious your fish is or how precious your grandchildren are if you'll reciprocate by indulging in some more substantial conversation as well.
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  #120  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Default Just not for us!

I don't need to defend it and I don't want to discuss it. I have no problem wanting to think relaxing and beautiful thoughts for a week.

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