In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant gives advice on the fine points of entertaining at home and eating in restaurants. Here, Ruth Bourdain takes those questions and gives her own fucking answers.
Q. Dear RuBo: My boyfriend has horrible table manners: using his fingers when it’s not appropriate, eating as if meals are a race, etc. Think of how a 4 year-old eats and you get the picture. I enjoy going to restaurants very much, but I’ve stopped suggesting going out because his bad manners are kind of embarrassing. Do you have any suggestions about what I can do to improve his table habits without making him feel self-conscious?
A. Don’t be such a fucking douchette. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating with your hands. Four year-olds eat quite well in my estimation: they don’t natter on about calories, they don’t waste time on idle conversation, and they don’t fucking complain about how their loved ones eat to a major newspaper.
Now, in terms of your comparison to a four year-old, I don’t give a shit about his eating with his hands, but I do draw the line at cutting his food for him or washing the sauce off his pasta. That would just be weird.
Q. Dear RuBo: I often dine with slow eaters, so when I finish I politely place my cutlery on my plate and wait for them to finish. I was always taught that plates should not be removed until everyone at the table is done. But a friend tells me I am all wrong, and that nobody should ever sit in front of a dirty plate. Who is right?
A. I hate those slow-eating assholes, but then again, why are you being so uptight? If your friends are not finished but you are, that means it’s time to drink some (more) absinthe. Enjoy yourself. Take it easy. Go ahead and pack a bowl with tangerine zest and smoke it. If he is really really taking too long, blow some smoke in his face, or, better yet, challenge him to a grasshopper-eating contest if he doesn’t finish quickly. That will scare him into finishing up. Works every time.
Q. Dear RuBo: I want to pay for dinner with my rich friend, who always picks up the check. I appreciate his generosity, but I genuinely want–at least one time!–to show him mine. How do I do it?
A. Who the fuck are you people? WTF? Just let your rich friend pick up the check and go to town! Marrow bones, foie gras sundaes, black truffle pies - the whole nine yards. Otherwise, if you are footing the bill, you know that you’ll end up splitting appetizers and sharing dessert or some kind of bullshit like that.
If you really want to reciprocate, you could make a simple gesture. And by gesture, I mean a blow job. No man has ever turned down one in the history of humankind.