Have you ever eaten with someone who, after the meal is complete, and you ate everything on your plate, says with great enthusiasm,”You Were Hungry!”
“That was a totally unsolicited and unwanted observation of the amount of food I consumed. The comment surprised me. I felt as if I were being observed and evaluated for how much I ate. And who likes to be judged?
I interpret the comment as an insulting one; it gives the impression that the person with you thinks you ate too much. Hearing that remark addressed to me made me self-conscious. It never occurred to me to pay attention to how much anyone else ate at a meal. So why is the amount of my food intake being observed, judged and evaluated?
When I mentioned my feeling of being insulted to a friend she said,
“Oh no. That is not an insult; My mother was from Italy. In Italy it means that the hostess is pleased that you, enjoyed the food and were happy with the meal“
This interpretation makes the comment,
”You were hungry”
a compliment. You might have been hungry when you started eating, but now you are happily satisfied. And the fact that you ate everything the hostess served is a compliment to her and her cooking.
A third interpretation of that comment is, “I’m glad you were not wasteful with food. It is not a commodity that anyone should take for granted, seeing the hunger in this community and around the world.” So when a person says “You were hungry,” it simply is confirming that you were appreciative of that meal.
It reminds me of my business partnership which lasted twenty two years. A business partnership is almost as hard to manage as a marriage. Two people discuss something, and each assumes that the other person understands a words the same way you do. It astounded me to learn how many ways there are to understand the same sentence. Hearing or saying the same words does not mean you understand an issue the same way.
So the comment“You were hungry”doesn’t mean what you assumed it did.Maybe. But still I wonder, “Does he think I’m getting fat?
Comments on: "EATING COMMENTS" (13)
The moment I started reading I thought of the Italian way. We are not happy unless you consume 10 times as much food as six elephants could hold and asking for more and hour later. I’ve had to get impolite (nasty and insulting) with my own relatives to please leave me alone, I’m full. Get than big spoon or more out of my face.
It’s somehow easier to get impolite with your own relatives; you know that they’ll always love you anyway!
My funniest similar comment was, “I’ve never seen anyone eat with quite so much (pause) enthusiasm.” Hmmm!
That comment is certainly open to interpretation!
Words matter a great deal to you. Not true for everyone. Maybe the first commenter was just happy that you appeared to enjoy your meal???? Many thanks, Adrianne
One of those comments that the speaker uses for…for what reason??
I was born in the middle of World War II. I still expect to eat everything on. my plate
That is a great rule: some of our fussier 21st century folks could use a few meaningful rules.
Still an insult. My ex father in law would always comment when I cleaned my plate. Appearently in his family one is supposed to leave food on the plate as a sign of self control. Not me. Finished every bite and loved the insults.
I never understood that rule of always leaving something on your plate; How wasteful!
I know right?
…and I was hoping that you would explain that strange custom to all of us…
Nope those people were fools