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Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

Hate to generalize, but I went to a private school and we didn't have the level of disciplinary problems that I hear about in public schools. In the entirety of my high school career there was exactly one "fight" on campus and that was when someone from another school came on campus on a date and sucker punched one of our football players and then ran away. Perhaps the boarding school would be a similar biased sample?

Sep 16, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

These lists do sound like a drag, but reading through the posts I had a couple of thoughts:

1. Although a 12 year old without delays or psychological issues may be able to self-police, we place an emphasis on inclusion for special needs kids who may have different needs. Might this change some minds about whether the requirements are appropriate at a certain age?

2. Since when do 12 year olds consistently display great judgment and the ability to think about consequences? The ability to imagine consequences *and judge the likelihood of the consequence occurring* is a well-studied deficiency in developing brains well past age 12... By outlawing allergens you are both removing risk for the most severe allergy sufferers from inadvertent ingestion and contact, as well as removing temptation of ingestion by the allergy sufferer and temptation to "test" the severity of the allergy by other kids who may not have actually seen a severe allergic reaction or who may hear the message at home that most allergies are exaggerated (now, where would they get that idea?!?).

Sep 15, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

I said that I *hope* the person is excited about the gift I've given them. Why would I give someone something if I didn't care if they liked it or not? If they don't like it, I could note it for next time and not make the same mistake twice.

If I give a gift and the person just says "thanks" I'm not offended. Frankly, it's hard to offend me, so I wouldn't be offended even if I didn't get a "thanks". I might wonder if they received the gift or somehow didn't know who it was from, but I'd probably figure that they were busy and forgot to mention it.

But I would certainly not be offended if they said more than that and indicated that they enjoyed it or how they planned to use it. I love those comments and cards. Some of the comments here seem to say that there is actually something wrong with saying anything beyond "thank you" and I find that very bizarre.

I am not clear where your prestige comment comes from.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Wow. I had to re-read my post to look for the ass-licking. Really must have touched a nerve. Never meant to offend you by implying that a thank you plus might be appropriate. sheesh. What do the etiquette rules say about using the strong language you used in your post in response to mine? I would think the rule is:
Post. Someone posts reply sans ass-licking comments and other profanity. Others post constructive replies. Done. But you tell me...? :)

And for the record, I don't condone lying and I also think you can find something positive to say about the very thoughtful hand-crocheted toilet-paper doll that someone clearly spent so much time making for you, even if it's simply that you have never seen anything like it and it must have taken them quite a bit of time to learn how to make something like that.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

I never said her response was normal or polite in any culture. I simply object to the apparent consensus that there is simply one rule that says that a simple thank you is always sufficient and therefore any gift giver who is not completely satisfied by that response is wrong.

I understand that simply because someone has an expectation it's not per se a reasonable one...but keeping an open mind that someone may have an expectation may better prepare the host for the various reactions, even the rude or uncalled for ones, he or she may encounter. To the extent the host is more interested in communicating with the gift giver than simply doing what is "required" of the host, in some cases the host may choose to alter his or her behavior to align with the expectation of the recipient.

So I guess I have three points: (1) there's no one *right answer* to what is sufficient or required by a gift recipient that carries across all cultures, communities and situations, and I think it's to everyone's benefit to know that, and (2) it may come down to a choice of being right and having a crap time because someone is miffed, or doing more than you think you should have to do to communicate the thanks you meant to communicate in the first place, and having a better time because a guest isn't miffed, and (3) any person, Roz included, may just be unhappy no matter what and perhaps nothing the OP could have done would have made an ounce of difference in her response.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

I don't think that's accurate. My point is simply that to some people, a simple thank you in response to a gift may communicate to the giver something other than what the recipient intends. If the giver is from a culture or community where more of a big deal is put on about a gift, a simple thank you may convey displeasure with the gift. In that case, having a consensus that no one is ever obligated to do anything else, no matter who the giver is, what their expectation or cultural or community practice is, is to condone rudeness.

Put another way, if I told you that in Thailand shrugging your shoulders is considered offensive, you could either say that (1) you don't mean to cause offense when shrugging your shoulders and no one should take offense at shrugging, so you are not required to change your behavior, or (2) while you don't mean any offense by shrugging your shoulders, you acknowledge that others may interpret that gesture in an offensive way that you do not intend, therefore, in some cases, if you shrug your shoulders and the person you are communicating with seems to take offense, you *may* have inadvertently done something that the person, legitimately, considered rude due to his or her cultural or community standards.

From the responses, my guess is that the consensus here would be (1) and that a simple conversation should not be accompanied by a demand to gratify the other person's ego by making you avoid a simple shrug that they should very well know wasn't meant to cause offense.

In this case, I didn't know the Roz backstory, so perhaps this is just a persnickety individual who wouldn't be happy no matter what the OP had done with the cocktail napkins. Dunno.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Agreed that Roz's behavior was rude. but I don't see the point in having a *consensus* that explicitly ignores the possibility that etiquette rules may vary from community to community. It's a big world our there to have a *consensus* that there is one right etiquette rule and if people don't like it, they are wrong and should just deal.

Might the inappropriateness have something to do with being on the spectrum? If that's the case (and you may never get true confirmation), does that make any difference? Is a host only *required* to follow an etiquette guideline or should a host try to do what's reasonably necessary to figure out how to make the guest feel comfortable and to communicate their thanks in a way that is understandable to the recipient.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Seriously? Not one single person from a culture expecting more demonstrative thanks than the OP gave would ever act like this? Hrm. Seems pretty farfetched.

Regardless, my example was in response to a demand for a cite that in some cases a "simple thank you" has *not* always been sufficient response to a gift. I stand by that and am fairly put off by the comments to the effect of X is the only standard out there, anything deviating from it is incorrect. It's a wide, wide world out there, so I'd hope that people at least keep an open mind that some people may expect more than just a simple "thank you" in response to a gift and may get the wrong message (e.g. that the gift wasn't good enough or appreciated) if that's all they get. I agree that sulking is not a great way to handle it.

To clarify: I never meant to imply that Roz was, in fact, Japanese or demonstrating Japanese culture. In Roz's case, she was clearly expecting something more than the simple thank you she got. As for why she was expecting it, no idea.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Restaurants and 'Presold' dinners

Fair points. In this case, I'd guess that the winery wants to get people in the door thinking that you might order a second glass of wine or take home a few bottles each time.

I personally don't think these deals are per se sketchy, but that could totally depend on the particular restaurant.
I agree that the Seattle examples may have been safer bets due to the reputation and experience of the people involved. I guess you have to weigh whether it's a place you want to gamble on or not. For me, in some cases where I've taken more of a gamble, like with the Kickstarter campaign for the pop-up chef opening his first restaurant - I had never eaten his food because I was never able to get to the pop-ups but LOVED his menus - it was such a small amount of money (around $100 I think) that it wasn't going to feel too burned even if it didn't pan out.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Restaurants and 'Presold' dinners

They are absolutely giving the restaurant a loan and what's the problem with that?

In response to securities laws, these sorts of promotions, on a larger scale, have become somewhat popular around Seattle for new restaurants (usually by established restaurateurs). One that comes to mind was a very well established chef who wanted to open his second location and offered something along the lines of for $1,500 now you would receive a $500 gift certificate per year starting in the year the new place opens, each year for 4 years, and the certificate was redeemable at either of the restaurants. Those sold out VERY quickly and I've seen a similar offer at least two other times for newer restaurants.

It's sort of a Kickstarter effect, and I personally *love* Kickstarter. I contributed to a Kickstarter campaign of a favorite restaurant that closed and wanted to reopen a new place. In exchange for my contribution, I received coupons for meatballs & sauce to be redeemed in the future. I don't expect to be treated poorly when I go and redeem my coupons and I suppose I stand to lose my "investment" if they close before I redeem. But I'd be in the same boat if I bought a gift certificate to the place. On another Kickstarter campaign, I contributed to a former pop-up chef trying to open his own restaurant. I got two seats at his opening party which was really fun. If he hadn't opened, my "investment" would have been lost, but it was a relatively small amount of money and I had fun with it so I don't see the problem.

Sep 12, 2014
akq in Not About Food

We are going to dinner at a Jain believing household

It sounds like flowers and food are major landmines. Maybe a pretty dishtowel or notepad or something like that?

Sep 11, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Good BBQ in Seattle?

I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Jack's BBQ! I've attended two of the Seattle Brisket Experience events he's put on and really loved the food. I can't wait to hear what all the Hounds think once they've finally opened for good!

Sep 11, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

I stand by that. I think that in addition to "thanks" most gift givers would like something more to indicate that the recipient actually likes it. Maybe I'm overstating it, but when I give a gift, I've put some thought into it and hope that the recipient is excited about the gift. To me, that's why a thank you note includes more than just "thank you" - gift givers want to know something "personalized" about what the recipient liked about the gift and how she plans to use it (or has enjoyed it).

Sep 02, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Glad it all worked out.

Sep 02, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Wow. Your right to do with them what you will! No matter what you do with it, no one is allowed to take offense! I could take the napkins, throw them in the garbage can in front of R and she better not take offense! I mean, they are freaking cocktail napkins and it is my right, plain and simple!

Sep 02, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

They were left out with no explanation about why they were there and they were left in the wrapper so no one would use them. It sounds like most of the posters here would find it extremely rude to tell any other attendee that R brought the napkins because they might feel that their gift was inadequate or that they should have brought a gift...so apparently they were left out as some sort of secret acknowledgement?

Sep 02, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

See, e.g. Japan.

Sep 02, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Fawning is your word, not mine. Acknowledgement doesn't seem out of line to me. But to each his own.

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

In some cultures, it has *never* been enough.

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Agreed to a point. If I took a gift that I thought the host would just love and it was met with a lukewarm response, I'd probably be a little confused and embarrassed. Wouldn't be a tantrum, but it might not put me in the most social mood if I thought that the host wasn't happy with me due to my faux pas gift. Dunno. Sounds like something else is going on with R.

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

When one writes a thank you note, it doesn't just say "thank you," does it? It includes some kind of complimentary description of the gift and some kind of plans for its use (e.g. Thank you for the lovely turkey napkins. I cannot wait to display them on my Thanksgiving table!). That's all I am advocating.

If the host does put them out for use at the party, I would acknowledge that the gift-giver contributed them and I don't think anyone's going to feel uncomfortable if I say that R generously brought these adorable turkey napkins that are just too cute not to use tonight. BFD.

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food
1

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Perhaps in your experience, but that's not universal. Haven't you ever been to a dinner party where the host served a special bottle of wine that someone at the party brought from their cellar as a treat? Did it seem like "fawning" over the wine-bringer to mention how lovely it was for them to bring it and what a treat it was? Pretty standard where I'm from.

I hardly wrote that a host needs to prostrate oneself to the gift-giver...It is, however, very telling that you call demonstrating gratitude "drama."

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

It's all cultural, I guess. Where I grew up, gift giving is important, and there is a ritual involved in acknowledging the gift, etc. If the recipient isn't very enthusiastic about the gift (e.g. "Thanks" followed by placing gift in a drawer), that would be seen as a slight. Perhaps keep an open mind that others may be used to/expecting a different sort of acknowledgement of their gift?

Anyway, I'd probably only say anything to the other guests if I did put them out - I would want the giver to feel acknowledged for his/her contribution. BFD.

Aug 29, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

It may not have been that you didn't use them that caused "confusion" or "offense," but simply the lack of demonstrative appreciation? While I agree that you're not under any "obligation" to use them at the party, most people giving a gift want more than a "thanks" while you whisk them out of sight into a drawer somewhere. I'd either just put some of them out and made at least one comment to another guest (in front of R) that R brought these cute turkey napkins, or said something to the effect that the napkins are so cute and will be perfect for T-giving and how thoughtful R is, etc. You have to kind of make a big deal about it and either say it's so great you have to share it now (at the party) or it's so great you have to keep it for yourself.

Aug 28, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Billing issue... what would you do?

I'd tell the mgr that I am disappointed in how it was handled. You made a point to have the server confirm the total and discount before you paid, and tipped accordingly given how generous the discount was. When they discovered the mistake, they should have just sucked it up. If they just couldn't live with giving the extra comp, they should have contacted you and apologetically explained the mistake. But in no event were they authorized to change the amount of the credit card charge after the fact. That is theft and fraud and should never happen again.

If I liked the place, I'd leave it at that. Hopefully the mgr would apologize for the error and off to reverse it or make it up to you some other eay.

If I was so-so on the place I'd tell the mgr that I will give them the opportunity to reverse the additional credit card charge, or if they won't do that, I'd let them know that I'll be disputing the charge with my cc company, but then I wouldn't eat there again.

Aug 24, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Day Long Snacking Report

Wow, what a day. Sounds like the only thing that stood out in a good way was the first pastry. Too bad, but hopefully you had fun!

Aug 15, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Summer veggie dish for a crowd?

+1 on the green beans. I do garlicky green beans - lightly steam green beans and toss with melted garlic butter/olive oil. Crowd pleaser. Pesto sounds like a winner, too.

Aug 15, 2014
akq in Home Cooking

Ballard/Fremont/Phinney/Greenwood Searching for Not So Darn Sweet Thai Food

I'll have to try them again and report back. My memory was that several noodle dishes, a stir-fry (probably cashew chicken) and a red curry were all extremely sweet.

Aug 14, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Ballard/Fremont/Phinney/Greenwood Searching for Not So Darn Sweet Thai Food

Thai Siam is very close to home & they are very nice, but I've always struck out there with the level of sweetness. We did have the Tom Kha and it was quite good, so I agree there, but what else do you recommend there? Would love to give it another try.

Aug 12, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Katsu Burger closed yesterday

SAD! We were just talking about going there last week but didn't...missed out! The nori fries and delicious katsu will be missed.

Aug 12, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle