Wandering Forks

meldy_nva(z6b VA)September 2, 2010

Not too long ago, we were eating dinner at a fairly nice restaurant (linen tablecloths, stainless steel utensils) and I was, of course, people watching.

Among the families there was a not-so-young couple sitting nearby; they were served just before our meals arrived. They had that stiffness you see sometimes when two people don't know each other very well, and neither seemed especially talkative. Frankly, it looked to me as though they had identical selections featuring lovely shrimps, but who knows, maybe one was salt-free or something.

The dinners were served, and she takes a sip of her wine. He (not saying anything) reaches over and stabs his fork into one of her shrimp and proceeds to eat it. Her face was absolutely blank, but her wineglass halted midway to the table. Still silent, he gets another shrimp from her plate and chomps. The wineglass was carefully put down, she leans forward and says something to him; then picks up her purse and departs. He looked offended, puzzled, and clueless.

Well, having been raised to think it rude to grab food from someone (even if he is your brother and grabbed first), I understand her reaction, but this isn't the first such incident I've seen recently. I'm wondering if this is some newish ritual that some/most/many are participating, or has it just been coincidental that my recent meals have been where one or more forks wander to other plates?

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tibs(5/6 OH)

Well, I ask first, and it is only with dh. Or if someone says oh my gosh you have to try this. I think I would have reached over with my fork and grabbed two of his shrimp. Growing up, eating off the same plate or with same utensils or drinking from the same cup was a deadly sin in my germ phobic mother's home.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 7:09PM
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calliope(6)

Sitting here LOL. No, I haven't seen that ritual around here, but we eat out so seldom, it may be going on and I just don't know the dance yet. The second time around, had he been sitting across from me, my fork would have wandered rather sharply somewhere around his knuckles, tines first.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:17PM
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rob333

My guess is, she found it an invasion of her privacy, or that it was just too initmiate a gesture. Why do I think that? I, as an older student, traveled out of state for a tournament with my team. A professor of mine went with us as a judge to the tournmnet (I wasn't in any of his classes any more at this poing. Nor had I ever fratenized with him before.). No, he didn't judge our team in any way. He and I had planned to go out by ourselves that evening, but the kids had other ideas. The girls each grabbed my arms and took me to their car, and the guys his. We all ended up at a restauarant together. Great fun. When he left to go to the restroom, I snitched a fry from his plate. When he got back, he looked at me and asked how many fries I'd taken. Smiled that knowing smile at him, and said one. But he knew who to ask, and I realized I'd given all away in that one move.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:22AM
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mwoods

If someone commits a faux pas and it's on a date,you'd think a simple few words of protest would do the trick. If she up and left,then there probably was a lot more going on than his taking some of her shrimp without her permission.You said they appeared stiff and non talkative..maybe indicating an argument before ever reaching the restaurant. You never know what's going on with people.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:41AM
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west_gardener

We have one "Wandering Forks" person in our extended family and no matter what we say, he continues to wander his fork. Is there such a thing as a Wandering Fork Syndrome?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:09PM
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gabriell_gw

After she left the table did he continue to eat his dinner and eat her's as well?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:28PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

He picked up her plate and shovelled the shrimp onto his; and was still eating happily (kid you not, a smile between bites) when we left.

I hadn't thought of an on-going argument. If it was a date, I suspect it was the last one.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:10PM
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