One of the few guests was Rivky, a Baalas Teshuva whom I met at a wedding a few years back. She's really sweet, doesn't have much family and has been a 'guest' at our meals before. This time, she asked if she can bring a 'plus one'. Turns out Rivky was dating this guy Shmulie, and as he had traveled to see her, didn't really have a set place to be. And so commenced our meal.
I was curious to see her mystery man as I never really could put her as any specific 'type'. I was sitting directly opposite the two and at certain points during the meal, felt a bit nosy, as they were quite obviously flirting with each other without hesitation, with all of us around. Except everyone has somewhere else to look/focus/ and concentrate on. I had already thought of every excuse to leave the table and has to make do, so I let me eyes rest on the chicken platter.
And that's when it happened. Shmulie took chicken from the platter, put it in his plate and licked his fingers quite obviously between bites. I couldn't believe it at first but then I noticed my brother staring with the same expression.
And that's not all, he didn't get up from the table ONCE, even to ask if we need help, or bring his plate. Instead he roughly asked/ordered people to pass the dishes and platters to him.
Not even saying anything complimentary, as in 'this meal was good' or 'this salmon is delicious' just busy with the food and himself and his fingers. I
I watched as my mother served him with dignity, as she does everyone ele, yet the other guests were offering to help or actually helping but not him.
Frankly I was surprised Rifky didn't notice. It's really not her type as she is super polite. I know she's an 'older' single (whatever that means anymore) but i figured if it's not her first date she must notice certain mannerisms (or lack thereof) about Shmulie?!?
Needless to say they stayed the longest of all the guests and even though we were exhausted, we sat and listened and made conversation until finally the lights went out and that sorta pushed Shmulie to let Rivky know he was ready to leave.
As I closed the door behind them, I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief that it was over. Although I'm sad for Rivky if she will continue on dating him. She deserves better and better is someone with basic manners. Someone who will treat her properly and help her out in everyday life, such as a Shabbos meal. I hope whatever is Bashert works out and that she gets a real mentsch like she deserves.
That meal was a true eye opener to me...and everyone else at the table.