Distractio­n-free din­ing

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane Dear An­nie

DEAR AN­NIE >> I’m sit­ting at Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port close to din­ner­time. There are limited op­tions for seats and ta­bles for peo­ple to eat at. You know the scene — folks stand­ing be­hind din­ers who look to be fin­ished.

There is a mother and two daugh­ters who, from the look of the trash around them, fin­ished a long time ago. They’re all play­ing on their phones and won’t va­cate their un­nec­es­sary seats with a ta­ble.

Why are some peo­ple so rude and obliv­i­ous when the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are try­ing to make room for oth­ers? — Burned Up at the

Air­port DEAR BURNED UP >> The mother and her two daugh­ters sound obliv­i­ous to oth­ers around them. The saddest part of your let­ter is that they are not en­gag­ing with each other be­cause they are all play­ing on their phones. Not only is the mother be­ing rude to the peo­ple around her, but she is be­ing es­pe­cially rude to her daugh­ters in set­ting a bad ex­am­ple. Eat­ing a meal to­gether with fam­ily, even if at an air­port, should be a cell­phone-free zone.

As for why peo­ple are rude, there are a mil­lion rea­sons. But try not to let it get to you so much. Imag­ine the mother as a tod­dler not get­ting her needs met and now act­ing out as an adult. Try to show some com­pas­sion for rude peo­ple. As the Brazil­ian nov­el­ist Paul Coelho ob­served: “How peo­ple treat oth­ers is a di­rect re­flec­tion of how they feel about them­selves.”

Of­ten­times, rude peo­ple know they are be­ing rude and could be look­ing for a fight. Or maybe they learned the be­hav­ior from their par­ents and don’t know any bet­ter. So if you do con­front them, be pre­pared for an un­pleas­ant ex­change.

The best ad­vice I can give is to live by ex­am­ple. Teach your chil­dren to be po­lite, and, most im­por­tantly, be con­sid­er­ate of oth­ers. DEAR AN­NIE >> I read with in­ter­est the let­ter from “Grandma,” who was upset by her fam­ily’s eat­ing habits. In our fam­ily, it is the grand­mother who has the fussy eat­ing habits, not by choice, but for med­i­cal rea­sons.

And I am also care­ful in my eat­ing habits. If I were to eat even one piece of nonor­ganic bread, I would be ill. and yes, if I ate it for three days, I would have longterm symptoms. Your fam­ily is smart not to eat that bread, as it is full of glyphosate, which has been banned in most coun­tries be­cause it is poi­son. My so­lu­tion, when I visit oth­ers, is to take my food to their homes. If it is a cel­e­bra­tion, I bring a dish that ev­ery­one can share, if they choose.

On the other side, when my grand­chil­dren come to visit, we take them to the store and have them choose the foods that they will eat. The par­ents some­times bring some foods that they like. They have also cho­sen to go to a nearby restau­rant. Some­times, we have taken them to restau­rants. Rather than be of­fended or crit­i­cize, I feel it is their choice. En­joy their vis­its while you can. Life is much too short.

An­nie, there is much more I could say on this is­sue, but I tried to keep it brief. Thank you for your col­umns. I look for them each day in our pa­per. — Eat­ing Healthy DEAR EAT­ING HEALTHY >> Thank you for your in­ter­est­ing com­ments about avoid­ing foods that make you sick. You are not alone, and your so­lu­tions are ex­cel­lent.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http:// www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

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