My, my, Internet! You have strong feelings about the etiquette of naming conventions on wedding invitations!
(Which I love, by the way!)
(Wait, that was unclear… I love BOTH naming conventions on wedding invitations AND your strong opinions.)
Anyway, I have had etiquette on the brain lately, and had an experience this weekend that I would love your thoughts on.
I was at a work event with a few people I’d just met. We went to a local restaurant – nothing fancy, something between a Houlihan’s and a McCormick & Schmick’s in terms of niceness – and ordered some spinach and artichoke dip to share. The restaurant provided us all with appetizer plates, so I used a spoon to scoop some dip onto my plate and took a couple of chips as well.
Others at the table disregarded the plates and simply dipped their chips in the communal spinach and artichoke dip pot.
Listen. It is well-recorded in these pages that I am a huge germaphobe. So it probably wouldn’t surprise you that I was a little grossed out by the idea of sharing dip with people who were pretty much strangers. Although, had I been with a few super close friends, I STILL would have encouraged the dip-to-plate method of eating.
Even with my husband, occasionally. For instance, when we order spring rolls at a Thai restaurant and the spring rolls are accompanied by delicious plum sauce. My husband and I will spoon plum sauce onto our individual plates and dip our spring rolls there, replenishing the sauce on our plates as needed.
My thought process is thus: If you use only a spoon in the dip, you won’t get chips or crackers or bits of spring roll wrapper in the dip… Leaving it pristine for your dining companion.
Plus, the dip-to-plate method completely eliminates the possibility of the Double Dip, which grosses me out.
As an aside: Yes, yes, I KNOW that some people do not care at ALL about double dipping… And in fact share drinks and will take a bite from someone else’s hamburger – even biting over the other person’s original bite marks. But not everyone is OKAY with this, case in point being ME.
And, while I am not a Natural Sharer of Food (think Joey from Friends), I do TRY to be open to sharing… But as long as I can use YOUR fork to move a bite of my food to YOUR plate. I don’t want you to eat off of my plate. I don’t want you to eat off of my fork. And VICE VERSA. It is delightful that you want me to enjoy a bite of the most delicious halibut that you have ever tasted, but PLEASE, for the love of cheeseburgers, PLEASE use my fork to transport the bite.
The exception here is my husband, although ONLY OCCASIONALLY. It is a rare day indeed when I will eat something off his fork or vice versa. And very rarely, purely for the sake of our relationship, will I do the same with his parents. (My in laws are kind, generous, share-happy people.)
What do YOU do, Internet? Do you prefer the dip-to-plate method? Or are you a free-for-all type of dipper?
How do you share food with others? Do you have boundaries when it comes to food swapping?
And as long as we’re on the general subject, what about food in your own home? When I’m entertaining, I always put out just a portion of the olives or guacamole or stuffed mushrooms that I’ve whipped up. Then, if my guests eat everything I’ve set out for them, I replenish the food. (Believe me – no one is going hungry at my house!)
Also – and yes, I know this sounds wasteful – I will throw away anything that my guests haven’t eaten. I am not one to pour the remaining chips from the bowl back into the bag… Or to pop the leftover olives back into the jar… Or – heaven forbid – to dump the remaining salsa back into its container.
Writing all this out, I feel like I come across as a huge weirdo. And yet, I stand firmly behind my Food Sharing Policies. Now I’d like to know if I’m the only weirdo out there.