I was chatting with someone at the cafeteria yesterday while grabbing breakfast. We were having a nice conversation about life and family which is always an enjoyable thing while you are waiting at the omelette station. Something in the conversation led us to talk about preparing meals for work. You know I very much love to do that when I have the time! In fact, this week I had prepared my meals for the first three days and then found myself with no time to prepare on Wed night for the rest of the week hence omelette station. Coincidentally, she had done the same which is why we were there at the same. We were talking about things that we prepare ahead of time, and when I shared what I had this week her response was… not so nice. So here I am. Trying to share with you some be nice etiquette because this world can sure use more of that.
And of course I am aware that people are different. Not only there is an age difference between the two of us but we are also from two different backgrounds. I point this out because I think this should have nothing to do with being nice. Some people call it “be nice” but as I was raised, we called it good manners. And whenever I share my opinion, especially on this blog, I keep in mind to clarify ahead of time that my intent is not offend others or impose my opinion. I simply find a nice way to say things and clarify my intent. Easy peasy. So let me take you to the details of that conversation that got me sharing more here with ya.
We were talking about things you can easy prep for breakfast. I mentioned in the past I had been a huge fan of overnight fridge oats. I mean, I would have that almost every day until the doctor clarified which foods I have an intolerance for and decided to switch things up. She is a fan of breakfast muffins or mini-quiches which I do like too. More on the muffins side for me as cheese is not a good friend of mine sadly. And then I shared that for this week, I had actually done something really different but I was so glad to change things up. This week I had boiled ripe plantains with cinnamon for breakfast. Her response to my food is what got to me because I found it extremely rude. She said: “ugh!”… m-u-l-t-i-p-l-e times! Are you kidding me? That was not nice!
I went to clarify that ripe plantains are in fact a huge staple in the Guatemalan diet. Most commonly people slice them and fry them and some add sour cream and sprinkle a bit to sugar on top. Or we boil them with cinnamon and eat them like that and some people also top it with sour cream. Or we boil them and blend them into something we call “atol” but I don’t think there’s anything like that in the American diet. “Atol” is a type of hot smoothie or soup… I mean I know that sounds off but is the best way to describe. Here’s some pics of these so you have an idea of what it looks like.
When I first moved to the US, I lived in New York. Over there, I was exposed to some cuisines that I had never tried. I mean, I figured all Latinos pretty much ate similar food but I was soon to discover that was not the case. How can I ever forget all the food fails I had while in NY. By “food fails” I meant things that were offered to me that I had never had before and that I had no idea my taste buds would so very much dislike… like a ton! But my mama bear raised me well, so I politely accepted, took a few bites, complimented the food and made a mental note to politely decline next time. I did not spit the food out nor did I said something rude that would hurt the other person’s feelings because that is just not nice to do. Offer me some pumpkin and rather than telling you how disgusting I think it is, I will nicely say: “thanks but pumpkin is not my thing”. Nice and proper, right? Why would I said something like “ugh” or “barf” when I know you are eating that?! I mean, heck no!!!!!! (yup, extra exclamations needed here).
Back to good manners. I get it, we don’t all like the same stuff. That is fine but don’t be rude and use certain words to share your disgust for a particular food. Seriously. Don’t! I respect all different diets out there and if you are a vegetarian, for instance, don’t go saying how disgusting it is to eat animals when we are trying to order something at a restaurant. Be FREAKIN’ polite and say you’re vegetarian and need to look into details at the menu to find something for you. And trust you me, I am a good person at heart, so I will likely order something vegetarian too or a meat that doesn’t have a strong odor to avoid offending you. Why, because I freakin’ have good manners and that is the right thing to do. But you making barfing sounds to the ingredients as you read the menu… that is RUDE! Again, you don’t have to take a bite of my chicken, just keep it to yourself. Maybe you’ll order eggplant parmesan and I will be respectful and not say my true feelings about eggplant and offend you. I mean, come on!
Ok, maybe I am getting a bit irritated. Well, more like a lot irritated, but is simply good manners. And that is with everything not just food. Maybe I don’t like the shoes you are wearing but I am not gonna say something like: “ugh, your shoes are so ugly! Why did you get those?” because that is not nice, it does not show respect of your fashion choices, and it is really none of my business. So, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all! Don’t come to me with the “speak up your mind” argument because while that is in fact a right every person should have, it doesn’t give you or any one really the right to offend others. We still need to be careful with our words, and sometimes keeping things to yourself is the best way to go.
Just saying. You don’t have to agree. It’s my opinion and as always I don’t say with the intention to offend anyone in particular.