No matter how angelic we may be, (me included) we will undoubtedly irritate others at times . . . and some of you more than most.

I grew up in a large family which has its advantages and disadvantages. I cannot complain too much, because as Doris Day once crooned, Que Sera, Sera. And when we sat down to eat, we may have silently wished this piece of meat was steak instead of liver, but we certainly kept it to ourselves. Or being told we had to eat X number of prunes before we left the table. I distinctly remembered slipping a few of mine into my sister’s pocket who was sitting next to me.

When I first arrived in Kandahar years ago, those of us who arrived together would eat breakfast together for the first few days. I distinctly remembered a tall dark guy who had come in with us. He had a good sense of humor and bragged how he was a preacher and was going through a divorce at home. Because we ate anything we wanted, the first time we sat at breakfast, he had two full trays of food. He had enough food to feed three or four people, but he ate just enough to taste each item, then threw the rest into the trash bin. I was so pissed by his actions, I made a point to never sit near him again.

Several years ago, I was staying at the Garden Inn in Woodbridge, Virginia which has a nice full breakfast. I would fill out a form for what I wanted from the kitchen, and a few minutes later it would arrive. I had to get juices, bread and fruit myself. A nice breakfast. One morning when I came to eat, there were three large women and a young girl about 15. They were chowing down and yapping. I watched the waitress trying to keep up with their demands as they kept ordering more food, even though this was not all you can eat. They were even asking her to get them some more of the self-service items like juice and fruits. And before leaving, they asked for meals to go. When the sows finally left, I saw the table covered with food, some of it they had just ordered left untouched. There was so much wasted food that there were plates sitting on other plates of food. They did leave a couple of dollar bills for a tip though.

I saw the look of sadness on the waitress’s face as she started cleaning their mess, putting good food into the trash. When she passed by me, I told her, “You sure have a lot of patience.” She stopped and looked at me, and I saw tears form in her eyes as she said, “Thank you for noticing.”

She had every right to limit them on their orders, but those heifers were the type of people that would have made a horrific scene.

We like going to the buffets, especially the Chinese buffets that also have sushi. That is one place you will see food being wasted. Our favorite place has signs that say, Take What You Want, But Eat What You Take, yet some people just don’t care. There are people who see themselves as supreme, doing what they want regardless of others. I have dealt with many of these people throughout the world, and I firmly believe there is a special place for them in the Afterlife.

I remember the times we sat at the crowded table in the evenings with Mom and Pop.  When Pop finished eating, he would lay his dinnerware across his plate along with his coffee cup. Any napkin would go there also. I picked up that habit and when eating out with my wife, we will stack all dishes to where they could be easily picked up, and often the waitress will thank us. I am a people watcher and I notice the messes left by others, especially if children are involved. And even though I have a great desire to kick butts, (literally), I refrain because my wife has more common sense than me. I am doing my best to change that in her, but the woman is too damn bullheaded. I will keep trying though.