Cou­ple’s meal in­ter­rupted by FaceTim­ing

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - PUZZLES - By Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: Last week­end, my com­pan­ion and I went to one of our fa­vorite restau­rants for an in­ti­mate din­ner. Per so­cial dis­tanc­ing reg­u­la­tions, a mid70s cou­ple was seated ap­prox­i­mately 15 to 18 feet away. Halfway through our meal, they be­gan faceTim­ing with their great-grand­chil­dren and fam­ily.

Their con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ued for more than 10 min­utes, with ex­changes about what presents “Jack” had re­ceived for his birth­day and what the mother was fix­ing for din­ner.

To say that our din­ner was rudely in­ter­rupted by their overly loud and per­sonal faceTime dis­cus­sions would be an un­der­state­ment.

I kept think­ing that, surely, when they told their fam­ily mem­bers that they were hav­ing din­ner at a restau­rant, the con­ver­sa­tion would have been po­litely dis­con­tin­ued by one of them.

I didn’t even feel like stay­ing for the usual cof­fee and dessert and, on my way out of the restau­rant, I stopped by their ta­ble to gen­tly but firmly say I thought they had been ex­tremely rude. The man stood up and ac­cused me of be­ing the one who was be­ing rude. He went so far as to run af­ter our car yelling as we pulled out of the park­ing lot.

I don’t even carry a cell­phone with me when in a restau­rant, beauty sa­lon or other public place as I feel ev­ery­one de­serves pri­vacy on ei­ther side of the con­ver­sa­tion. Is it wrong to po­litely make peo­ple aware of their in­con­sid­er­ate ac­tions when it af­fects oth­ers?

— An­noyed in florida Dear An­noyed: It would have been per­fectly ac­cept­able to make your thoughts known to the man­ager of the restau­rant, while point­ing out that the car­ry­ings on at the nearby ta­ble was the rea­son you didn’t stay for dessert and cof­fee. frankly, you were lucky the man who ran af­ter your car didn’t go fur­ther than he did.

Dear Abby: Am I wrong? Our spe­cial-needs son and his dad (my hus­band, “Nick”) of­ten get into nasty ar­gu­ments. Usu­ally, it’s over noth­ing worth yelling about, but if it’s not go­ing Nick’s way, Nick starts yelling and swear­ing, us­ing ugly words.

As a mother, I step in and tell him to stop the yelling and swear­ing. Then he yells at me and tells me to “butt out” be­cause I’m mak­ing it worse and to mind my own busi­ness. As a mother, isn’t this what I am sup­posed to do?

Our son is 46, but he has the men­tal ca­pac­ity of an 8- to 10-year-old, plus other health prob­lems.

— Con­cerned mom Dear Con­cerned: I don’t think you are wrong for try­ing to in­ter­cede. How­ever, it might be more ef­fec­tive to point out to your hus­band, while you are both calm, that an adult sink­ing to the level of an 8- to 10-yearold is ridicu­lous and in­ef­fec­tive. I wish you had men­tioned what kind of things your hus­band and son ar­gue about, but since you didn’t, al­low me to point out that there are bet­ter ways to deal with con­flict than scream­ing matches.

Write­toDearAb­byat­mor P.O.Box69440, LosAn­ge­les,CA90069. An­drewsMcMee­l


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