Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Abby Got It Wrong:76-year-old father needs to "man up"

DEAR ABBY: I am a 76-year-old father of three sons and grandfather of five. The other night, I was dining out with my brother, one of my sons, his 31-year-old wife, and their two children, ages 5 and 2.
The server was standing next to me and the 5-year-old, poised to take our orders. My daughter-in-law was distracted by the 2-year-old, so I placed my order so the server would not be kept standing there.
My son chastised me for not waiting until his wife placed her order first. Embarrassed, I offered an apology. Was I wrong not to wait for my daughter-in-law to place her order? What would have been the proper thing to do? -- EMBARRASSED IN GARFIELD, N.J.

Dear Embarrassed: What would have been the "proper" thing to do?  You're 76, dude.    That's 24 years shy of a century.  At some point in your long life RESPECT from those younger than you should have crept in as normal everyday perk.  You did the right thing by allowing ample time for your daughter to speak up with her order. But because she was oblivious to that fact the below minimum wage server was losing precious tip money from other patrons who were ready to give their order, you did the absolutely right thing by ordering your food.  The hierarchy of courtesy in sequential order is: old women, young women, old men, young men and then children.  You did nothing wrong, except letting the disrespect go unchecked by your son.  What you should have done was to tell your son to "Shut the hell up!  I'm your father.  I brought you into this world and I'll take you out!"  and then slapped his face across the dinner table. 
Idiot Ballroom