Friday, February 26, 2010

"I'll have a hot dog, please."

What sort of understood "rules" did you have growing up in your family? My family was wonderful and we laugh about some of our rules. First of all, eating out was a treat that RARELY happened. When I say rarely, I mean RARELY. We were not a family that enjoyed many Big Macs, Whoppers, or soft drinks. My grandfather was so funny because you could have only 2 things at Hardee's. For example, you could have a burger and fries or a burger and a coke but you couldn't have all three. As we grew older, he apparently let my younger brother order anything he wanted as long as he ate every bite. I wasn't so lucky!

Another rule was that we did not stop in restaurants on long trips. It wasn't that we couldn't afford to eat there, it was that my parents chose not to spend their money that way. So, we would eat sandwiches and drink cokes poured out of a hot 2 liter bottle. We'd stop at roadside picnic tables and munch away. I can remember a hot, hot summer in eastern North Carolina where we pulled over and ate smashed sandwiches, chips, and hot cokes.

My parents also taught me to be a good guest. To be a good guest, there are lots of rules, and I'll elaborate on most of them in another post. My friend, Frances, often took me to lunch at the Club. My mother told me that I should always order the cheapest thing on the menu and drink water. So I did. Frances confessed last week that she just thought I LOVED hot dogs because I'd order that hot dog meal for $1.25 every.single.time. Little did she know, hot dogs were not the food of my dreams! We laughed about this over lunch with W & K. W took us to the Club here, and I was just parched for a Diet Coke. A fountain Diet Coke is a real treat. However, I knew I was not supposed to be so rude as to order a beverage. W insisted that I was no longer under my parents' roof, and that as her guest, I should order that Diet Coke!! We laughed and laughed. She was also great at insisting we order whatever we like. What a fun lunch with great friends!

So, what rules did you have as a child?

17 comments:

DawnW said...

Oh we had many of those too!! I also grew up in NC, so I can relate to those hot hot summers AND ordering the cheapest thing on the menu!! My parents drilled that into me and to this day, i have to remind myself that I can order what I want - even when I go out with my husband and kids!! It's so ingrained in me that I still find myself first scanning for the cheapest thing -- and I'm 34 now!! Yikes! I'm getting better at it though!!:)

Lori said...

Oh that is too funny! It was a treat for me as well, to go out to eat growing up. I remember eating at Pizza Hut, and I thought that was the best meal I ever had! HA

mamamagnolia said...

We only got new clothes and shoes at the beginning of the school year. Shoes were made so much better back then because they actually lasted all year- good ole made in the USA. Even if we had a growth spurt we did not get new clothes- our pants just got shorter and short. Gotta teach my son about ordering the cheapest thing- he thinks he should order steak at Huddle House. I always comment- wait until we go somewhere that serves a good steak.

bevysblog said...

I can remember going on trips and the smell of warm apples in bags permeating throughout the cars all the trip!

Also, it was drilled in my sister and me to always say, "Goodbye Mrs. So-and-So, thank you for the ride" whenever an adult brought us home from an event, etc. I drill that myself in S. and J. AND.. I notice when other children don't say it to me!

Sherrie said...

ROTFL that is so funny! I need to teach my kids some of these dining out rules because they are the kings of updgrades. If there is a special drink or slush with a surcharge they are sure to want it. One thing when growing up is we RARELY ordered dessert in a restaurant.

GrannySmithGreen said...

Oh, the memories this brought back! We did so much like your family. Our vacation lunches sound so much alike. We had ice in the Cokes though--in a huge cooler that sat in the "way back". Ahh, the memories of small styrofoam cups is all coming back to me! Adorable post!

PinkPolkadotAA said...

So funny! Hubby and I were just talking about this the other day, about how going out to eat was such a special occasion when we were growing up, not like kids have it now!

Mrs. Expat said...

Your post brought back the same memories. We NEVER ordered drinks or dessert. When it came to adults they were always called Mr. or Mrs. soandso, not Bill or Jane. I instilled that in Hopsy and correct children that call me by my first name.

North of 25A said...

Such a sweet post! We NEVER had Kool Aid in our house (1960's) or the even more exotic TANG. I had to get the good stuff at the house of my BFF, Ginny. We were only allowed to drink milk - and since I have good bones despite menopause I am thankful

Henley on the Horn said...

Mrs. Expat, my parents are horrified to this day to have someone who is unfamiliar to them call them by their first name. When I was in my 20s, my best friend's mother told me to call her "Corinna", her first name. I have never been able to do it. She will always be Mrs. B---- to me :)

Travelbug Mom said...

Great post. The ONLY fast food I ever ate before going to college was a bucket of KFC that my parents would occasionally get - what a treat! You have given me so many topics to blog about now! I grew up VERY middle class with very little money, yet MANNERS, MANNERS, MANNERS were instilled constantly. It is a HUGE part of my parenting now and I ALWAYS hear how NICE my boys are....engaging adults in conversation, looking at them in the eye, dressing neatly with clean cut hair, holding doors and asking to help when asked over for dinner...etc. etc. etc. Sorry for the babble, but it is a GREAT topic! :)

Love Being a Nonny said...

Love this post! We had lots of etiquette *rules* too.

~always keep your left hand in your lap when eating and NEVER put your elbows on the table.

~hold the door for the person behind you.

~address people by their name...hello Mrs. B...and always Mrs. not her first name.

~Chores were done on Saturday mornings. No cartoons until after chores. I those days, cartoons were only on for a short time, so I can count on my hand the number of times we got to watch them. Chores usually took longer!

~Funny...the drink and dessert thing was the same rule in our house too. I, like you, still scan the menu for the least expensive thing. I have to remind my self that the hubs is paying and it is ok to order what I like. *Old habits die hard* as they say!

Jillian, Inc said...

We never ate out either growing up....not that there were many choices in my small Iowa town of 1,000. On the rare occasion we did get something other than food my mom made, it was usually a "carry out" Tombstone pizza from Fezz's Lounge. And I so remember those rest stop meals while traveling to and from my grandmother's house in Nebraska (the only vacation we ever took). "Lunch meat" sandwiches, carrots and fritos. *ugh* And then I'd have to get back in the unairconditioned red 1967 Chevy Impala with the patterned seats that made me woozie...and two older brothers that made me crazy. And we ALWAYS called adults by Mr/Mrs Last Name. Living in the south, I just cannot get into Miss/Mrs/Mr First Name. So our kids use the last name thing. And we get lots of weird looks. But that's OK.

3 Peanuts said...

So cute. Sounds like you were a good guest. My Mom always made sure we thanked people for a ride. AND we could never ask if someone could sleep or eat over in front of the person.

I pass these onto my kiddos too.
Kim

sevenalstons said...

What a thoughtful guest you were/are! My mother does the same thing when ordering off the menu when out with a friend who is paying. I've never thought about how she must have been "trained" to do that as a child since she didn't pass that one on to us. I've always thought she was so thoughtful to do so!

Mrs. Bogarde said...

This is so great! I love that you listened to your parents and followed their good advice! Hot dogs and water all around!!!

Heather said...

That brings back memories. We had McDonalds once a summer growing up and we always received Happy Meals, even up into our teens. We always brought food to eat on long road trips. Eating out was done, maybe, 3-4 times a year and always the steakhouse. We had the store brand soda in the summer and were allowed 2 cans a week. I loved the orange flavor!!! Clothes and shoes were reserved for birthdays, back to school, Christmas and Easter. Usually only 1 outfit at each holiday and 3-4 for school. Otherwise, we went to yard sales.