Pet peeve: Clearing the table before everyone is done

I have a list of pet peeves that I ocassionally feel the need to share with you all. I share joy. I share pain. Life, apparently, is for mass consumption and sharing. Today, is a day to share an irritant. It’s nothing large. Just a few thoughts here and there.

I shall start with a fact about myself. I eat slowly. Very slowly. I don’t do it purposely. It’s not as if I eat slowly as part of trying to lose weight or trying to be more deliberate in life. I just eat slowly. It’s not meant to annoy others. And, for the most part my eating companions are gracious about how slowly I eat. I tend to apologize for eating slowly. And others tend to encourage me to not feel badly about eating slowly. Now, if its a coffee or a cocktail I drink those quickly. I’ve got my priorities.

Considering that I eat so slowly, I think I am in my right to have the following pet peeve. I hate when a restaurant clears the table before everyone has finished eating. I understand some may do that in order to be more efficient. Some may do that thinking that the person who has finished would want their space cleaned. However, for those of us who eat slowly, it puts undue pressure on us to eat more quickly. It also means that we have to continue eating with all eyes on us. Furthermore, it makes us realize we need to find more compatible companions. I kid. But it does make glaringly obvious a possible big difference. This really shouldn’t be a problem unless one person eats all their food in five minutes and the other in a more measured manner. Allowing the plates to stay at the table can provide some semblance of civility. Plus, you can still then share some food.

I think I will leave it there as I need not elaborate any further. I may be a slow eater but I need not also be long-winded.

6 replies »

  1. I know what you mean. It seems they are hinting for you to hurry up and leave, so they can seat more customers, which means more money made. I don’t consider myself a terribly slow eater, but a bit slower than most, maybe. My husband, though, eats so fast! Sometimes he’s finished before I get a first bite, so he just has to sit and wait on me. haha!


  2. It is considered “rude” in Germany to start clearing dishes away if not everyone at the table is finished. Even in our quite ordinary family, it was not done until everyone was finished. An exception I remember: when one of us kids did not like our food and kept pushing it around on the plate. After a certain time, all was cleared away and we had to go hungry till the next meal. No extras… I am glad you brought this up – it is always bugging me when a waiter or waitress takes a plate of someone at my table as soon as it is empty.


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