This past weekend I had a terrific, three-and-a-half-hour brunch with two of my oldest and dearest friends. We met up in our hometown in New Jersey, at our favorite local diner, and claimed a cozy table for the majority of the morning. As usual, we ate too much, made a bit too much noise, and covered every topic from personal hygiene (sorry, cozy couple next to us!) to dating, marriage, and pregnancy, to work and fashion and hairstyles and everything in between. We don't get to see one another but for a few times a year (we all live 3,000 miles from each other) so it was wonderful.
The best part: we all eat off each others plates without compunction. Without an eyebrow raise from the other person. Nope, in fact, stealing a forkful of my pal's stack of blueberry pancakes is encouraged, and she dove into my enormous omelet with a mighty flourish. The chicken apple sausage we ordered was pretty much "for the table", and I knew that my other friend wouldn't be polishing off her home fries, so I counted a bunch of those as mine, too.
Honestly, it was one of the best, most intimate parts of the meal. And it's something that not all friends, or couples, approve of. In fact, I think I see a trace of a wince on my husband's face when he sees my fork coming his way. Plus, I think Miss Manners would definitely call it uncouth. But bite-sharing (always with permission, I might add!) is one of the ways I most especially enjoy a meal, be it at a greasy diner or even at a more fancy restaurant. And in a strange way, I think it helps you eat healthier, more balanced.
What do you think? Is forkin' in on someone else's food your m.o.? Does it drive you crazy when dining companions can't keep their mitts off your order? Are your feelings situation-specific? (i.e. it's okay at home or in a casual environment, but where there are wine glasses there should be no forks crossing…)
Photo from Flickr