= AITA for telling my wife to observe better table manners at a work dinner function? =

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Me and my wife had just gotten married last September, and it was arranged so we are still learning more things about each other as time goes but something that she did at my work dinner function irked me.

Annually around May or June our workplace would host a dinner function celebrating our milestones and presenting awards along with providing refreshments and letting everyone mingle along.Since we weren't able to host it the past years due to Covid this one was done in a more grand way, and it was held last Saturday.We were allowed and encouraged to bring family along so this time around I decided to bring my wife.

It was a buffet style setup, and once we had chosen our food we would sit in a table of five and in my table I was joined by two of my managers and their families as well. Everything was going well till my wife started eating, she would instead of using a knife ,use her hands to tear up the roasted chicken , causing the remnants and the sauces to be stuck to her fingers and she would chew loudly with heropen. Thewas whenever there was any bone or meat lumps stuck to her teeth, she would openly take it out from herinstead of using a tissue toit out.We also had a cocktail shrimp platter for every table, and she kept taking quite a bit and eating fast leaving not much for the rest. The final straw was when she spilled a glass of water over the table even thought I told her not to put it too close to the edge of her elbow. I'll admit this felt quite humiliating especially in front of my superiors and in that anger and embarrassment I told her a bit harshly that she should observe better table manners and that people at our table are judging her.

This obviously offended her and in hindsight I should have said it more kindly but in my defence I was also overwhelmed by everyone secretly judging. However, she refuses to take responsibility and still thinks the spilling water incident aside she did nothing wrong and blames me for ruining the atmosphere because she just wanted to support me at the event.

I know I'm somewhat of anhere but am I the only one or should she have been more aware about the table manners? If this was at home it is okay, but this is a formal event where even if you aren't you jolly well learn some basic table manners and etiquette right?

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I might be the AH because I could have advised her about the table manners in a much more nicer way, instead of getting angry but then again my wife didn't apologise for or acknowledge her poor table manners. So yeah not really sure if I'm the AH alone or she is too.

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Search out a place that teaches Business Etiquette and proper Business Conversation classes BOTH of you go and everyone will learn something! If you go too, she won’t feel singled out, plus, with so much international business going on, it will be nice to learn other customs you may encounter together.

OP as another desi, this comment is the best.

I will say though - in professional settings and for desis, our "image" still does play a role in the judgement of our professionalism.

I attend a lot of work events for my fiancé, and I make sure I am ensuring all my actions and conversations are to support him, elevate him andshow him in the best light. I am an extension of him, and thus, I need to play in his world when I am at dedicated work events for his company.

This needs to be a mutual agreement. She shouldn't be the centre of attention at any event, for better or for worse.

Prep her up (and yourself) with the business etiquette and conversation classes. Everyone learns something with this to be honest. It would not look as good either if she was left at home (and it isnt healthy for the relationship) but she definitely needs to understand the impact.

Intent doesn't equal impact right now.

And then after,the chicken sabji with your fingers and the rus rolling down your hands while at home.

There are also social media people like Myka Meier who make short etiquette videos for formal dining - it’s half etiquette, half “huh, why didn’t I think to do it like that before That’s a great supplement to this idea.

5 more replies

I noticed in some of your comments that you have spoken to her about this before and made an effort to explain to her the importance of etiquette. This is really important information you should’ve put in the post. NTA she knows this is important to you and should’ve acted accordingly, however the way to handle the situation was likely not to criticize her in front of your superiors as they likely judged that just as if not more harshly as they don’t know the whole story and all they saw was your clear embarrassment turn anger. I doubt they’ll think poorly of you for your wife’s dinner etiquette but they may for seeing you speak to her in a harsh way for a clumsy accident.

Thanks for posting this! I was about to say… she’s your

*wife,* has the literally never displayed these behaviours before and spontaneously lost all sense of decorum at your work function, or have you just never said anything?

I agree with you totally, NTA, especially if OP has tried to enlighten her before now.

Yes she often eats with her hands at home, and outside she usually has the same issues. I try not to be too overbearing but yeah, when it's fast food she separates the hamburger instead of eating it normally as a whole. That is still whatever, but yeah formal events especially in front of my colleagues was a bit emabrassing.

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