Jump to content
BigKeith

Rules for conversation in the dining room!

Recommended Posts

Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.

 

In my America, good manners, discretion, and respect for others has ALWAYS been appropriate behavior. Nothing "panzification" about it. It takes an adult to know when to practice those traits. "Little girls" and little boys are the ones who don't know when or how to practice good manners.

Edited by boogs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why must conversation devolve to the lowest common denominator?

 

Have you ever had a conversation with a complete moron?:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

If I can add, if someone says they don't have children please don't make any assumptions about it. Just accept the fact and move on. If you decide that you absolutely HAVE to know then perhaps wait until you know them a little better before asking it. For some people not having children is a choice, others are desperately trying to children, and some can't have children either due to genetic or medical problems. If this is your first or second meal with them, they might not feel comfortable giving you their medical history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

My inlaws have cruised a few times, always with family which I think is a fantatic thing because the thought of someone having to share a table with them depresses me. They are the kind where nothing is EVER right, or good enough. So dinner conversation with them is something like this:

 

"What do you think of the ship?" - it's too large/small/pointy, things are too cheaply made/too expensive, and it's too hot/cold/wet/dry/bright/dim.

"What did you think of this port?" - too expensive, all the sellers are just there to take advantage of tourists, the locals are too pushy/quiet/foreign, it was too hot/cold/wet/dry/sandy/rocky.

"Have you seen any of the shows?" - they're too boring/loud/busy, the performer is too weak/loud/short/fat, the theatre was too cold/hot, the seats were too hard/soft.

 

You get the idea.

 

Of all of their vacations over the last decade+, I've never heard them say a positive thing about any of them. I really pity anyone who has to sit with them at dinner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My inlaws have cruised a few times, always with family which I think is a fantatic thing because the thought of someone having to share a table with them depresses me. They are the kind where nothing is EVER right, or good enough. So dinner conversation with them is something like this:

 

"What do you think of the ship?" - it's too large/small/pointy, things are too cheaply made/too expensive, and it's too hot/cold/wet/dry/bright/dim.

"What did you think of this port?" - too expensive, all the sellers are just there to take advantage of tourists, the locals are too pushy/quiet/foreign, it was too hot/cold/wet/dry/sandy/rocky.

"Have you seen any of the shows?" - they're too boring/loud/busy, the performer is too weak/loud/short/fat, the theatre was too cold/hot, the seats were too hard/soft.

 

You get the idea.

 

Of all of their vacations over the last decade+, I've never heard them say a positive thing about any of them. I really pity anyone who has to sit with them at dinner.

 

I travelled with a couple like that once. Never again!

 

I'd take a discussion about religion or politics over that any day.

 

Lois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this thread and seeing the hackles it raises proves my point exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A sense of humour is called for at dinner tables- I think most of us will have had the best laughs of the cruise when eating with others. Laugh, enjoy the company, and live and let live- that's always been my cruising motto.:cool:

Jo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

I don't see how this relates to my comment at all. Unless you quoted me by accident...

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

 

And therein lies the difference.

 

 

Thank you, someone gets it. If you get OFFENDED by some of these topics, then you need to see someone about your sensitivity issues. I bet even an 8 year old girl wouldn't be bothered by a conversation about politics. Bored maybe, but not offended or hurt by it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my America, good manners, discretion, and respect for others has ALWAYS been appropriate behavior. Nothing "panzification" about it. It takes an adult to know when to practice those traits. "Little girls" and little boys are the ones who don't know when or how to practice good manners.

You're 100% correct and I agree with you. Unfortunately I never said anything about manners. I was discussing people getting OFFENDED over subjects.

 

I'm starting to see why certain topics can be considered in poor taste for dinner. I've already had two people quote me only to then respond to a comment that I never made on a totally different subject. Maybe that's where the problem lies. You bring up religion in conversation, and the other person only hears you say how ugly they are :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're 100% correct and I agree with you. Unfortunately I never said anything about manners. I was discussing people getting OFFENDED over subjects.

 

I'm starting to see why certain topics can be considered in poor taste for dinner. I've already had two people quote me only to then respond to a comment that I never made on a totally different subject. Maybe that's where the problem lies. You bring up religion in conversation, and the other person only hears you say how ugly they are :)

 

So now you are calling me ugly??? Let's take this out to the parking lot right now! :D:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So now you are calling me ugly??? Let's take this out to the parking lot right now! :D:D

:D That's funny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are just home from an expensive small ship cruise where there was very little dinner table conversation due to the size of the tables (nearly all were for 8 people) and the age of most of the passengers.......very old.

 

It was difficult to hear over the general din in the dining room and the distance across the large tables made the situaiton more difficult.

 

Most people visited with the folks closest to them and ignored those across the table.

 

Conversation as such was rare.

 

As far as bringing up religion, politics, abortions, sex and/or the elections......forget about it.

Edited by PennyAgain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We solve the problem, we get a table for 2. That works best. :D

 

We were once at a table with two very pleasant people, who were a little bit evangelical.

 

My DH just said: "We don't share your religious beliefs, but we still want to dine with you. Can we talk about something else?" Being nice people, they agreed, and we continued to enjoy their company for the rest of the cruise.

 

On the other hand, at a sailaway, one woman, after asking where I came from, replied: " Oh, New Zealand! We were there for 2 weeks, at a camp to bring Christianity to the Mayorees" (she meant Maoris). What? Maori aren't savages, many of them are already Christian, and our country doesn't need someone from the US to come over and convert us!

 

I just said: "I'm sure they appreciated that." She didn't notice the sarcasm. I walked away. There is no way that I would have considered having any further dialogue with that person.

Edited by celle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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"

 

I would feel uncomfortable with a stranger asking me to respond to your above statement. My perception is that this stranger felt that they were above the fray and that they were so sophisticated and intellectual that they could deal with most any subject brought up at the dinner table. That's a bit smug and condescending for my taste. To end this discussion, at least from my side, I simply would change tables. We're done. Enjoy your cruise. I know I will enjoy mine.

 

simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America.QUOTE=secret1122;33612328]

I don't see how this relates to my comment at all. Unless you quoted me by accident...

 

Thank you, someone gets it. If you get OFFENDED by some of these topics, then you need to see someone about your sensitivity issues. I bet even an 8 year old girl wouldn't be bothered by a conversation about politics. Bored maybe, but not offended or hurt by it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a European cruise many of the highlights in ports will be the great religious buildings. I'm not religious, yet appreciate them for their architecture and symbolism.

 

It is very hard to not talk about these amazing places you are seeing. Prior to our visit to Istanbul's Blue Mosque we discussed what to expect with a muslim couple, who had greatly enjoyed seeing other churches earlier in the cruise. Very informative.

 

We travel to learn about other cultures and hope curiosity is welcome.

 

Maybe "What should not be discussed at dinner", should be added to the list of topics not to raise as it has got people more agitated than it should.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

_______________________

 

I am with Cynthia on this. I can discuss, and I have discussed every "taboo" subject listed here with total strangers. Not once has there ever been a heated disagreement or arguement. It is interesting to see how others think. I had the best converation with a young lady in Paris who was working for EgyptianAntiquities at the Louvre. We talked about what is what like for her, as a Muslim, living in Paris. We talked about Obama. We talked about politics. We talked about her dog. We never tried to change the others views. Two hours later she gave me her business card and invited me to see the collection that is not on display. From what I understand this was a huge honor.

 

This is not the first time, nor the last time ( I hope ) that I have such a conversation. Perhaps it is because we were both willing, both respectful, and both curious about each other??

 

I enjoy people. I like meeting them and learning about our differences..however, if someone was not like-minded I would not " go there" .

 

Denise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

_______________________

 

I am with Cynthia on this. I can discuss, and I have discussed every "taboo" subject listed here with total strangers. Not once has there ever been a heated disagreement or arguement. It is interesting to see how others think. I had the best converation with a young lady in Paris who was working for EgyptianAntiquities at the Louvre. We talked about what is what like for her, as a Muslim, living in Paris. We talked about Obama. We talked about politics. We talked about her dog. We never tried to change the others views. Two hours later she gave me her business card and invited me to see the collection that is not on display. From what I understand this was a huge honor.

 

This is not the first time, nor the last time ( I hope ) that I have such a conversation. Perhaps it is because we were both willing, both respectful, and both curious about each other??

 

I enjoy people. I like meeting them and learning about our differences..however, if someone was not like-minded I would not " go there" .

 

Denise

 

 

Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?:D

 

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.

When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

 

Lois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"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"

 

I would feel uncomfortable with a stranger asking me to respond to your above statement. My perception is that this stranger felt that they were above the fray and that they were so sophisticated and intellectual that they could deal with most any subject brought up at the dinner table. That's a bit smug and condescending for my taste. To end this discussion, at least from my side, I simply would change tables. We're done. Enjoy your cruise. I know I will enjoy mine.

Wow, I really think you keep responding to someone else's comments, but you keep quoting mine. I have not once mentioned that I would bring up ANY conversation at dinner, so I'm not sure why your perception of me would be something negative based on something I never said. Are you even reading the same thread as everyone else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?:D

 

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.

When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

 

Lois

 

 

What a kind and generous offer, do you include any OBC?

Where are we going?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by electro viewpost.gif

Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?:D

 

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.

When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

 

Lois

 

 

What a kind and generous offer, do you include any OBC?

Where are we going?

 

_______________

 

:D I am requesting a balcony and beverage card.

 

I would love to see Israel, Australia,India, Barbados, Russia, Portifino and the Easter Islands...all in one cruise. When shall we go?

 

Okay, Lois...I gotta ask...your DD? What is her degree in ?

 

Denise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?:D

 

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.

When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

 

Lois

 

 

I'm in!

 

Word of warning -- just don't ask me about ancient history over dinner. I can go on all night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?:D

 

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.

When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

 

Lois

Can I come too? I promise to be polite while discussing any or all of the above topics!

 

What does your DD study?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After reading through everyone's comments, there's one topic I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned, but could lead to some very funny comments. I think most husbands will agree with me on this. A wife should not mention that her husband's snoring sounds like a lumberjack clearing a forest! And if she does, it's only fair that the husband gets to say that she is not allowed to put her ice-cold feet on him!:D:D

 

Unless it's to mention the fact that those Breathe Right strips they left in our bathroom on the Ecstasy really work! I tried one out as a goof the first night and now I am a true believer.

 

And no longer a lumberjack. But I'm still OK.

Edited by ElvisAndretti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Precisely. As an athiest I often have to put up with the strongly devout trying to "save" me. I don't need saving, thank you very much. I don't try to convince them that their religious beliefs are wrong, why do they try to convince me that I'm wrong? And why is it that I have to be respectful of other's religious beliefs, when they're not respectful of mine? I don't believe in religion, that's my belief. Please don't try to shove yours down my throat. And yes, that's what very often ends up happening because invariably someone will decide that I'm obviously just not educated enough about religion or haven't heard enough about it or that it's their mission to "save" me, and from then on every single interaction with them includes "friendly" lectures on why I simply must see the light and embrace their religion.

 

One of these days I'm going to make up religion centered around my cats, and when people try to "save" me I'm going to give them literature about the Great Cat. Maybe then they'll just decide that I'm nuts and leave me alone.

 

I'm perfectly fine having a debate on the merits of and differences between religions - but honestly I'd rather not have an intensive debate about *anything* at the dinner table.

 

Have you heard the good news about the flying spaghetti monster?

 

http://www.venganza.org/

 

He boiled for your sins.

 

That usually brings THAT conversation to a screeching halt. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in!

 

Word of warning -- just don't ask me about ancient history over dinner. I can go on all night.

 

_______________________

 

You can school us on Roman and Greek history...and I will take us to the more current subject of the British Monarchy starting with the Plantagenet period to the current reign of the Saxe-Coburg ( Windsor ) family.

 

Fun Fun!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are we going?

 

Baltic/Russia on MSC in Aug.

 

Can I come too? I promise to be polite while discussing any or all of the above topics!

 

 

 

Absolutely, the more people to have great conversation with, the better.:D

 

What does your DD study?

 

 

She is doing her Master Degree in Holocaust Studies. She will graduate in June.

 

 

She has a BA in Religion and a BA in History.

 

Lois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of these days I'm going to make up religion centered around my cats, and when people try to "save" me I'm going to give them literature about the Great Cat. Maybe then they'll just decide that I'm nuts and leave me alone.

 

My religion does not allow me to worship cats. However, if I'm allowed to just sit there and pet them for an hour, I'd be glad to attend your services!

 

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 wish I could have been there. I would have just glared at them and said "For the past 100 years or so, the United States has spent its blood and treasure defending or rescuing pretty much every other country in the world from tyranny, oppression, Communism, Fascism, ****sm, drought, famine, and natural disasters. And what has your nation done for us? Uh-huh, that's what I thought. Given that, I hardly feel I have to justify our actions to ungrateful whiners like you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She is doing her Master Degree in Holocaust Studies. She will graduate in June.

 

 

She has a BA in Religion and a BA in History.

 

I wish I could come. My knowledge of the Holocaust is pretty much limited to reading Hitler's Willing Executioners, so I would relish the opportunity to learn from your daughter. I suspect, though, that more than a few folks would find our conversation to be distasteful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She is doing her Master Degree in Holocaust Studies. She will graduate in June.

 

 

She has a BA in Religion and a BA in History.

 

--------------

 

Lois, could you also pay for your daughter to attend our cruise?? I would love to talk to her !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say, get it all out of the way with this opening question: Should the government ban prayers in school for a girl who is about to get an abortion but cannot really afford it due to the bad economy, and should I have sent that girl the $1000 I paid for this cruise instead of sitting here watching you overweight people eat that disgusting escargot?

:p:p:p:p:p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should the government ban prayers in school for a girl who is about to get an abortion but cannot really afford it due to the bad economy, and should I have sent that girl the $1000 I paid for this cruise instead of sitting here watching you overweight people eat that disgusting escargot?

-----------------------------

 

Yes. And probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you heard the good news about the flying spaghetti monster?

 

http://www.venganza.org/

 

He boiled for your sins.

 

That usually brings THAT conversation to a screeching halt. :D

 

Another stopper:

 

I tell them I am a Baal worshiper and sacrificed my firstborn to Moloch and the darn security people gave me trouble about bringing my Asherath Pole on board. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another stopper:

 

I tell them I am a Baal worshiper and sacrificed my firstborn to Moloch and the darn security people gave me trouble about bringing my Asherath Pole on board. :D

 

Got to love a troublemaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She is doing her Master Degree in Holocaust Studies. She will graduate in June.

 

 

She has a BA in Religion and a BA in History.

 

--------------

 

Lois, could you also pay for your daughter to attend our cruise?? I would love to talk to her !!!

 

I'm sure she would love that but unfortunately, I can only afford to pay for one cruise for her.;)

 

Lois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Electro: DW and I reenact WW2, we are total history geeks, err, buffs, and one of her favorite subsets of study is the Holocaust!

 

We're in, make two places at the table, please!

 

Oh, and if you really want an eye-opening dinner conversation, sit down with a bunch of old, burned-out Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, or ER staff when they are trading "war stories". We have a tendency toward discussing the REALLY WEIRD things that patients present as medical problems. And our appetites aren't usually affected by the gory details or situations that make most sane people run for the hills! :eek: Our main problem is to keep the ambient conversation below the hearing level of our neighboring diners to prevent them from reaching for a "distress bag".:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and if you really want an eye-opening dinner conversation, sit down with a bunch of old, burned-out Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, or ER staff when they are trading "war stories". We have a tendency toward discussing the REALLY WEIRD things that patients present as medical problems. And our appetites aren't usually affected by the gory details or situations that make most sane people run for the hills! :eek: Our main problem is to keep the ambient conversation below the hearing level of our neighboring diners to prevent them from reaching for a "distress bag".:rolleyes:

 

LOL, try eating with a group of the folks I work with -- veterinarians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My religion does not allow me to worship cats. However, if I'm allowed to just sit there and pet them for an hour, I'd be glad to attend your services!

 

Hate to tell you this, but as far as the cats are concerned that pretty much is worshiping them :) They would also be very pleased if you brought them offerings of tuna.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another stopper:

 

I tell them I am a Baal worshiper and sacrificed my firstborn to Moloch and the darn security people gave me trouble about bringing my Asherath Pole on board. :D

 

Not really related but I'll share it anyway... when I was in my late teens I bought a lovely pendant, it's a silver snake wrapped around an obsidian crystal. I didn't buy it for any particular reason other than that I liked it. But I found it would come in quite handy, if I happened to be wearing it and was being hit on/pestered by some annoying guy I'd just touch the pendant and look him right in the eyes and say "Oh I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to mate outside the cult". That would usually do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×