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by Abigail Van Buren

Restaurant-Goer Sounds Off About FaceTiming Customers

DEAR ABBY: Last weekend, my companion and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for an intimate dinner. Per social distancing regulations, a mid-70s couple was seated approximately 15 to 18 feet away. Halfway through our meal, they began FaceTiming with their great-grandchildren and family.

Their conversation continued for more than 10 minutes, with exchanges about what presents "Jack" had received for his birthday and what the mother was fixing for dinner. To say that our dinner was rudely interrupted by their overly loud and personal FaceTime discussions would be an understatement.

I kept thinking that, surely, when they told their family members that they were having dinner at a restaurant, the conversation would have been politely discontinued by one of them. I didn't even feel like staying for the usual coffee and dessert and, on my way out of the restaurant, I stopped by their table to gently but firmly say I thought they had been extremely rude. The man stood up and accused me of being the one who was being rude. He went so far as to run after our car yelling as we pulled out of the parking lot.

I don't even carry a cellphone with me when in a restaurant, beauty salon or other public place as I feel everyone deserves privacy on either side of the conversation. Is it wrong to politely make people aware of their inconsiderate actions when it affects others? -- ANNOYED IN FLORIDA

DEAR ANNOYED: It would have been perfectly acceptable to make your thoughts known to the manager of the restaurant, while pointing out that the carryings on at the nearby table was the reason you didn't stay for dessert and coffee. Frankly, you were lucky the man who ran after your car didn't go further than he did.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Covid 19 | Aging