Sunday, November 6, 2011

To Floss or to pick, that is the question.


“The coast is clear”, the guy says to his wife after looking quickly to his right and then to his left. 

“Yep, the coast is clear”, says the guy sitting across from the married couple.

There we were, just another couple sitting at a restaurant, eating our dinner, enjoying our drinks, conversing in Spanish when I see the Toro’s face cringe.  I look to the people sitting at the table to our left and I couldn’t believe what I saw. 

The Toro and I love dining and having drinkie poohs out, especially on a Friday or Saturday.  We were about to go to Hillstone, a restaurant that has one of the best pork chops I have ever tried but I told him I wanted to try a new place.  So off we went to Stoddard’s.  Apparently, Stoddard’s used to be a corsetiere but the building pretty much burnt down except for the corsetiere and they were able to salvage the place and it was made into a bopping bar/restaurant. 

We were totally enjoying ourselves and I managed to overcome the fact that every time somebody opened the door a gush of freezing cold air from outside would rush into the dining area by wearing my down coat.  All of the tables are so close together in the dining part of the bar that it almost feels cozy.  The Toro and I were catching up on our weeks or lack-there-of when all of the sudden, all etiquette breaks loose!

After both males at the table beside us declared that “the coast was clear” to the petite woman, she whips out her dental floss and continues to floss all of her teeth.    After she finished her dental work, she proceeded to leave the used dental floss on her gobbled up sea scallops.

“No lo puedo creer!” the Toro tells me he can’t believe it.

I look over and my gag reflex kicks in.  This gag reflex of mine can sometimes be a total inconvenience but the flossers didn’t notice.

The Toro and I continue to comment in Spanish about etiquette, as our shock was pretty overwhelming.  Etiquette is sometimes a funny thing.  In Spain, you can find toothpicks in any establishment that serves beverages or food.  If they aren’t on the bar or directly on the table, when you order the check the waiter will bring you a little plastic barrel full of them, sometimes they are in plastic casing, sometimes they are in paper casing or you get the unsanitary toothpicks that are just hanging out in the barrel.  Toothpicking in Spain is quite common.  I thought it was pretty gross at first but then the “when in Rome, do like the Romans” kicked in and I, admittedly, would use a toothpick if I had eaten ribs.

I am not sure which one is more inappropriate at the table, flossing or picking?  What I do know is that as an American, it was the first time I had ever seen anybody flossing at a dinner table.  In Spain, a vast majority toothpick after eating.  Either or, perhaps it should be done in the bathroom.