Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sometimes You Can't Win

We had multiple brisim today so hubby and I had to split up and head in different directions. At the first bris I was at, I was just plain thrilled to see family and old friends I hadn't seen in years. The parents of the newborn were beaming and the grandparents were also beaming. As far as I'm concerned the bris was just "perfect." Yes, there was a seudah after the bris, and it was breakfasty type foods. Frankly, getting up and having to travel a long distance very early on a Sunday morning is not what I'm used to, and that early I just wanted something to break the night's fast--I wasn't looking for a cordon bleu meal presentation.

Apparently there were some people who were expecting that "Uber" meal. I overheard a few people comment that there "wasn't enough to eat at the meal, not enough variety, not enough of the "classy/expensive" items" at the meal. And then there was "When people have money like these people do they have to treat their guests better." I was floored at the comments. No one but no one was going to go away hungry from this meal if they wanted to eat. It was presented buffet style and you took what you wanted to eat. Just what were these people expecting at 8 something in the morning?! And because the baalei simcha have money means that they have to show that by an over-produced meal? (Just so you know, there was smoked fish and lox and tuna salad, a variety of rolls, spreads, sliced cheeses, an omelette making station, raw sliced veggies, juices and tea and coffee and cake.) Were people perhaps expecting champagne and caviar for breakfast? No, there weren't 58 varieties of herring. So what? There was plenty to eat without there being an overwhelming amount of food.

To be fair, most of those there, the majority of those there, were perfectly happy with what was out there to eat--frankly, most people were more interested in speaking to their neighbors at the table than in what was for breakfast. And yet, those comments from the minority rankled. They rankled because we hear that type of comment all too often. They rankled because the speakers are more than willing to pass on their nasty comments to others who weren't at the bris. They rankled because they are a gross breach of etiquette. The only comment necessary, to host and hostess and to other guests, is "Thank you for inviting me. The meal was delicious." That and "mazal tov."

Perhaps before we go looking to put a course in economics and budgeting into our yeshiva school systems, we should establish a course in etiquette and good manners. There are apparently some in Klal who are sadly lacking in that area.


SubWife said...

While growing up, we had a 2 year course in ethics/etiquette in our public school in Russia. We were taught how to set the table, how to behave at the table, how to give/accept gifts, etc. Unfortunately, it didn't really "stick" with everyone. I have a feeling that with people you are describing that course wouldn't stick either. it's not that they don't know what's appropriate - one doesn't need a course to realize that disparaging people who have just hosted you is rude and disgusting. Some people are just judgmental and negative and have a need to criticize everything. If the full meal were served, they would complain about hosts who are so rich, they don't know what to do with their money. I could almost pity these people - almost - because they only see negative in everything and poison their own lives and those close to them.

aminspiration said...

That is really sad. Some people are never happy and some people just go to simachot to eat and then analyze it for years on end. People do the same things at weddings. You do not go to a simcha for the food rather to celebrate the people who are having the simcha. Too often people forget that.