Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 Rules of etiquette for dining with friends

 “There’s nothing more fulfilling, more than distracts ourselves from ourselves, than simple human company.” – Tristan Fidler

Friendship is explored in issue #10 of I am Still in Yesterday’s Clothes. A wonderful little zine that my friend Tristan Fidler has being putting together for the past six years. A theme is chosen for each issue (Parties, Music, Movies etc.) and contributions are sought from friends. So it seems fitting for the tenth and final issue to revolve around the theme of ‘Friendship’.

I read this zine all in the one go, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I knew over half the people who had contributed, so it was lovely to read articles about friendship written by friends, and learn about what people do for friends, what makes a good friend, how one would want to kill their friends, the friendzone, all about BFFs and more!

Tristan ends his editorial piece in the zine with “Throughout the featured contributions, I trust something vibes with you about how you see yourself and others as friends”… and it reminded me, and made me think about what an awesome bunch of friends I have. The majority of my friends, people who I have know for many years have been a result of the Perth music scene - people who I met through going to local music gigs, attending the same parties, played in a band with or played on the same line up with and similar minded friends of friends etc. etc. Music has always been and still is my biggest connection with people. In recent years, I have made many new friends through a connection with food as a result of food blogging as the Blue Apocalypse, which has also lead me to plunge into some food related projects/events and connecting with many more awesome food people. 

Music + Food = Life + Friendships

But for me, it’s not about having the same music tastes (ie: you don’t have to listen to metal music) or food tastes (some of my best friends are vegetarians), but the reasons behind the choices made – the way you go about making decisions and the search…the search for something interesting or different, and sticking up for your choices even if they are unpopular.

I’ve never cared too much about the type of music someone likes because I think that what’s more important is why they like it. If you like something because everyone else likes it, it doesn’t really amount to much but if you like something because it has been an active choice, a consideration of factors and an elimination of alternatives. I can respect that, no matter what it is. The same goes for food.

Tell me a story behind your music and food choices, and I will listen with interest.

I contributed a piece to issue #10 of I am Still in Yesterday’s Clothes.
If I was going to write about friendships, it would have to revolve around food of course! 

So here are my 10 Rules of etiquette for dining with friends.

Do you agree/disagree? Let me know what you think :)

10 Rules of etiquette for dining with friends.

1. Respect all the food choices

These days you’re probably faced with friends that have a variety of dietary requirements – vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut free, paleo etc. and sometimes it can be hard to swallow “like you don’t eat what?!” But with friends, the food you like to eat should not be a deal breaker. 

2. Don’t preach

Further to the point above, friends should not preach and try converting others to their eating preferences. This does not make for good dinner conversations. 

3. Just eat it

Generally, the polite thing to do is wait for everyone else’s dishes to come out before you start eating your own, but you’re eating with friends not family. It is acceptable to tuck in first.

4. Sharing is caring

The only reason you eat out with friends rather than by yourself is so that you can order more dishes and try different things. Order to share when dining with friends and everyone benefits.

5. Company vs Food

So what’s more important when dining out? The company or the food? I say the company and if you have a bad food experience and your company doesn’t make up for it…well maybe it’s time to find some new friends.

6. Table Manners

Elbows on the table, using the wrong knife or fork is fine in the company of friends. Friends don't judge. But talking when your mouth is full resulting in food spraying across the table is gross. Draw the line at that shit.

7. Look out for each other

Friends look out for each other but telling each other when there is food stuck on their face or between their teeth.

8. Put your phone down

No calling, messaging, tweeting or facebooking on your phone while out with friends. 

There are people in front of you – tell them what’s on your mind!

If you take a photo - #latergram it.

9. Split the bill evenly

When dining out with a group of friends, the law for the bill is to split it evenly at all times, even if it results in your individual bill being one or more drinks over. This is the price paid for having friends.

10. Drinks

While pouring or buying yourself a drink, it is customary to top up everyone else’s glass or ask if they want a drink as well. 

Cheers to friends :)

You can get a copy of I am Still in Yesterday’s Clothes from Etsy.