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Friday, May 28, 2010

For the Love of God, Please Stop Talking About Your Hemorrhoids When You’re at the Fucking Restaurant!

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Communal Tables: Better than a Confessional!
  • Communal Tables: Better than a Confessional!
I don’t have the angst about communal dining many seem to harbor; my experiences had been generally positive... Until yesterday.

While eating for review at a new joint in North Portland, my companion and I were seated at a communal table. Initially, we were far enough from fellow diners to feel a modicum of personal space. That all changed when, halfway through our delicious meal, a couple of aged ladies were seated about three feet from us. Upon arranging themselves, they launched almost immediately into a conversation about hemorrhoids and various invasive surgeries meant to remove fleshy things from their bodies.

The conversation was inescapable. What. The. Fuck.

This is not simply a danger of communal dining. The previous day, in the same restaurant, I endured another inescapable conversation from another set of women about a long, slow, sad, ugly cancer death.

Lovely. And it happens more than you might expect. Then again, I'm dining out three to four days a week. So the law of averages (I actually don't know what that is and I'm too lazy to Google it) would suggest I'd be more likely to experience this kind of collateral overshare.

I understand that people need to talk about personal issues with friends. It’s integral to life. I also understand the sense of perceived privacy in a restaurant is nearly immediate and enduring. But I ask that you be just a little bit aware, for my sake and yours. I assume you don’t want me to hear about your distended bleeding anus. And I really don’t want to picture your surgery while tucking into my fucking omelet.

Help me out, Blogtownies! What do you do in these situations? Do you politely ask your neighbors to change the subject? Do you join the conversation with something even more disturbing like, “OH YEAH? YOU SHOLDA SEEN THE INTESTINAL PARASITE MY KID SHIT OUT YESTERDAY!” Do you just sit there and deal with it? Give me your tactics in the comments, below.

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