Ron and I will have some great cross-cultural discussions at times. One was around punctuality (I feel like I’ve blogged this already – that or I’ve told it to so many people that I’ve composed it in my head already).
I hate lateness. My whole family hates lateness. We consider it a disrespect of someone’s time. I never understood the whole fashionably late thing. I thought it was rude. Who are we all kidding? If you really don’t want folks at your house until 10 then for God’s sake say show up at 10 – don’t do this oh party is at 8 but no one will show up until 10. Don’t play these passive-aggressive guessing games. At my house you show up on time or you don’t get to eat.
Ron’s theory – and he says this is cultural – is that the reason Filipinos (and again, this is from his experience as an immigrant – not first-generation, American-born) are always late to parties is that to show up on time is to appear greedy – that you want to get all the food for yourself. I picture cars parked outside my house with everyone staring at the front door wondering who will go in first.
In my family, you don’t show up late – to show up late is to slander our hard work in meal prep (especially mom and you don’t want to slander ma mere). A lot of times, folks come early and actually help us cook (Ron said that ‘that’s what you have maids for…’ – his grandmother had an entire staff when he was growing up).
This also extends into never taking the last bit of a meal or appetizer – it appears gluttonous. I notice that Ron and Gilbert always let me eat the last gyoza at Ecce. Nevermind that these are the same fatties that down 2 bowls of rice each. The staff at Ecce doesn’t even ask anymore – they bring them each two bowls of rice whenever we go there. I have to roll them home.