7 People You Don’t Want to Be at the Dinner Table

January 29, 2019

Like dating, eating is another activity that’s more fun when you share it with someone else. The back-and-forth makes it that much more fulfilling and worth getting out of bed for. “Here, try my dumpling,” you say. “No, you try my dumpling,” they reply. Before you know it, you’re exchanging bites of so many other things.

As social beings, we like to dine with others not just because it’s customary in our culture (i.e. salo-salo), but also because good company at the dinner table significantly increases our appetite. However, there are exceptions. All of us have little quirks and eccentricities that others may find annoying. While sharing one or two traits with these 7 people may be forgivable (and let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of at least one or two), taking it too far will make our companions wish they’d just stayed in and ordered take out.

7. The Skinny Friend Who Eats a Lot

Skinny girl who eats a lot

It’s mankind’s greatest mystery. How can a five-foot tall, 90-pound lady gobble up seven cups of rice and eleven refills of iced tea, all in one sitting, and still have room for cupcakes and coffee? All it takes is one four-cow-strong burp and she’s back to looking like a matchstick. Sure, you love your friend because she’s totally willing to keep you company on your burrito binge, but since your metabolism is on the average-to-slow side of the spectrum, you just can’t help but feel a little bitter and insecure whenever you two go on dinner dates.

There’s also the guy version of this. He’ll eat a family-sized box of pizza by himself, stay up all night playing X-box, eating chips, and chugging sodas but will still look better in skinny jeans than his sisters in the morning.

6. The Skinny Girl Who Eats Way Too Little

Skinny girl who eats like an ipis

Usually, this is the first girl’s friend who’s been driven to this unhealthy eating habit because of envy. Even when you’ve already agreed to eat half of her burger, she’s still unable to finish her much smaller half. No matter how tiny the serving, she can never finish her plate. Even mentioning the starving kids in Africa does little to change her mind. Sometimes, you wonder if you should even order for yourself at all since you’ll end up just eating her food anyway.

5. The Picky Eater

The picky eater

There are three types: the one who just started her diet, the gym buff, and the vegetarian.

You know who’s on a new diet as soon as you pick up the menu. She’ll ask the most specific (or stupefying) questions to the poor waiter such as Is it okay if I have this with multigrain bread when I’m on Atkins? Does Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette have any gluten at all? Is butter a carb? She spends more time on her iPhone, computing calories using MyFitnessPal, than actually eating the food she ordered.

Gym buffs are  no less vocal about their diet plan. They’ll talk about their new protein shake like a real estate broker would about leases and mortgages, elaborate on pre- and post-workout meals like a math major during his thesis defense, and pop more pills (they’re supplements, they explain) at the dinner table than Lindsay Lohan at a rave. Throughout all this, I just nod and pretend to look genuinely interested.

The vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian/hippie/Chin-Chin Gutierrez is the pickiest eater of all. What makes their situation even worse is that they can only get a decent meal at probably two out of any ten restaurants in the city. Now I have nothing against folks committed to this lifestyle, and I have friends who are hardcore vegetarians, vegans, and pescetarians (bless your heart, you are doing a wonderful thing for the ecosystem), all I’m saying is it’s hard for me to feel good about my steaks and pizzas and burgers when you look so happy pecking away at the field of grass on your plate. It’s totally just my problem though, you just go on eating what you want.

4. The Food Thief

The pick-plate

I don’t mind sharing my food most of the time (unless it costs over three hundred bucks and my fist is bigger than the serving). What irritate me are the people who pick up stuff from my plate, or worse—sip my drink, without asking. If you’re starving and haven’t eaten for a week, forgive me for not being more considerate. Otherwise, get your greedy hands off our plates, please.(See also: personal space, introverts, and Downton Abbey.)

3. My Mom

mommy chef

I have a few reservations about dining at Filipino restaurants, mostly because of my mother. I risk sounding like a total mama’s boy by saying this, but she could cook most Pinoy dishes better than half the places I’ve tried. Still, this good fortune does have a bad side. Since she knows her way around the kitchen, she usually has something to say about any particular local dish, mostly negative. It’s always too salty, has too much MSG, or is too pricey for something she could easily prepare at home. Although I agree with her most of the time, I wish just once that we could just sit at the restaurant, have a good conversation, and enjoy our meal, the ambiance, and the fact that we’re having Kare-Kare outside the house.

2. The Bill-Evader

bill evader

We all have that one sneaky friend who goes full-on ninja as soon as the server arrives with the bill. He takes out his wallet slowly or pretends to be searching for it, but really, he’s just waiting for the rest of you to furnish the entire amount. Either that or he flees to the bathroom for an “emergency call” as soon as the bill arrives. Conveniently for him, everything’s been paid for by the time he gets back. You know who you are, I’m watching you. You still owe me for last Thursday’s dinner.

1. The Foodstagrammer


Wait! Stop, don’t eat your food yet. The Foodstagrammer needs to take a photo of everyone’s order first. So what if it’s getting cold? Capturing the perfect top-view angle and lighting (oh yes, we try.), deciding which filter or frame to use, and arranging the utensils around the plate just so is way more important. Talk about #firstworldpains.

298,776 takes later, the Foodstagrammer stitches the best shots together to form a collage, tags each post with #foodie #instafood #munchies #yum #yummy #omnomnom #happytummy #getinmybelly #igers #igersmanila, and happily waits for the deluge of likes he or she hopes will now follow. Obviously, all of us on the Pepper.ph team are guilty of this in some way, so don’t judge us too harshly when you see us snapping pictures of our Ramen or whatever, please?

Do you share eating habits with one or more people on this list? Have any others you want to add? Tell us by leaving a comment below!

Addi dela Cruz Addi dela Cruz

Addi writes nonfiction that reads like fiction and fiction that isn't meant for children. He lives for breakfasts, getting new stamps on his passport, and perfecting his yoga tree pose. In between episodes of MasterChef and Hannibal, he dreams of owning a café that would serve the best hot chocolate in the South and have 12 tables at most.

29 comments in this post SHOW

29 responses to “7 People You Don’t Want to Be at the Dinner Table”

  1. Adrian De Leon says:

    Hahaha! Super laugh trip yung Chin chin Gutierrez reference. Great article! Nothing pisses me off more than the bill evader.

  2. Lars Roxas says:

    Meron akong kilala nung college, wala na ngang binibigay sa bayaran, sa kanya pa sukli

  3. Maureen Antoinette says:

    Include those “noisy chew-ers”. Yes, I invented the term hahaha

  4. Kimberly says:

    my college friend! hindi nag aambag kahit barya pero pag dating ng pagkain, sya halos kumakain! and another friend, dahil nagtitipid kaming lahat nung college at jolibee lang ang makakainang maayos sa tapat ng fatima valenzuela, most of the time we eat spaghetti… alam mo yung iilang piraso na lang yung hotdog, at yun pa yung paborito mo, biglang tutuhugin ng tinidor ng katabi mo. hahaha

  5. alyssa says:

    Food thief!! My mom always snatches the fried chicken skin on the edge of my plate when I intend to save it for my last bite! Then she’ll say, “akala ko ayaw mo eh…”

  6. Francis says:

    My mom always gives me food that I didn’t really order or I didn’t really want and she says “try this!” I genuinely say “No, thanks, I’m full” if I’m really full or “I don’t like that food” when it’s not the food I like (that’s why I ordered something else). Then she’s not going to believe me and insist that I’m being shy or restricting myself because of my diet. It is really irritating but she is just being sweet so I don’t react negatively and I always end up eating them anyway.

  7. Irene says:

    Had a classmate who was, not only a bill evader, pero she also asks for the bill para ipa-reimburse sa office niya. I wonder if she ever wonders why we never invite her anymore 😀

    • Katrina says:

      Ah, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s cheating her employers naman. Some companies provide their employees with an “allowance” instead of doing it via a raise because (1) it’s tax-free for the employee (to an extent) and, (2) you can easily discontinue an allowance, but you can’t reduce wages as easily.

      Believe me, most companies know that their employees didn’t really eat those meals with clients.

  8. Raxenne Dosher Maniquiz says:

    I can totally relate to #3!!! Hindi kami kumakain anywhere na pwede nyang lutuin na lang yung food. Hahaha. Or pwede i-hack. Nahawa na rin ako sa kanya. Can’t eat without comparing.

    Huhu #1. I envy their metabolism.

  9. acidicboy says:

    how about the know-it-all “foodie” who has eaten in all the popular places and has an opinion on everything including the glass of water?

  10. Katrina says:

    How about one who always orders the most expensive item on the menu when someone else is paying for the meal?

  11. Sergia Susana says:

    “What irritate me are the people who pick up stuff from my plate, or worse—sip my drink, without asking……get your greedy hands off our plates, please.(See also: personal space, introverts, and Downton Abbey.)”

    A huge AMEN to this one!!! I absolutely hate it when people try to eat off my plate without asking! Geez, does it take way too much effort to say, “Can I have a bite of your burger/ramen/cupcake?” -_-

  12. 33 says:

    Number 5 is kind of offensive, don’t you think? Not everyone goes on those diets because they need to lose weight/yay environment yay. Some of us can’t process meat right. Running on the TMI side here, I get constipated when I eat red meat. It’s not fun. I have to eat veggies and fish because they agree with my metabolism most. I like my pizza and pasta and every baked pastry as much as the next person, but it’s really, really hurtful to get flak for something I can’t control either. 😐

    Others live their lifestyle and don’t impose it upon others. If they do, it’s their problem. I kinda bet it’s better to point out the dieting person who rags on EVERYONE’S food because it’ll make THEM (and others on the dining table) fat and they feel righteous about it. A person like that deserves a kick up the ass and a wedgie that could slice though their nethers. It’s my food, not yours! D: I think that’s what you’re trying to convey? I’m sorry if I’ve misinterpreted it.

    I do realize this article is for fun, but isn’t calling people out on an admitted insecurity just a way of telling others to feel bad about themselves because you feel guilty for enjoying something they might not be able to? That’s kinda a selfish way to put it. :/

    I’m sorry if I’ve taken parts of this article to heavily, but some of the misconceptions about people on an alternative diet doesn’t sit well with some and I just wanted to point it out.

    I honestly enjoy your articles and try to cook some of the stuff you guys put up that doesn’t run contrary to what I’m allowed to eat. You guys are so creative and fun, and hope the site stays that way. 🙂

  13. Regina George says:

    “Is butter a carb?”

    Pepper.ph is approved by Regina George.

  14. tm says:

    i think Food blogs like pepper.ph stemmed from the popularity of the idea that people love to Foodstagram their food, or take and share their meals. so i guess, if No foodstagrammer, no pepper.ph?

    • Lars Roxas says:

      that’s actually close to truth. 🙂 Dwight has been very candid about the fact that when they first founded Pepper.ph, a part of it was just so they had a place to display all the gorgeous photos from (their food photography studio) PhotoKitchen. 😀

      Fortunately, things turned out well, because otherwise I wouldn’t have a job. (and that would suck.) 😛

    • Addi dela Cruz says:

      Me, I started following Pepper.ph because of the photos of the food, which would reel me in to read the articles. It’s a pretty cool strategy, if you ask me; the same way that Facebook posts with an image are more likely to attract engagement than those with just plain text. People are really inclined to visuals. 🙂

  15. […] always full. However, for some reason, it wasn’t during my visit. That’s great for me, because taking pictures of the place and the food makes some people uncomfortable. Fortunately, no one mistook me for a […]

  16. D Camacho says:

    Number 7 and number 1 :)) sorry not sorry!

  17. Aydha Verder says:

    i don’t mind them getting food from my plate…but sipping my drink??? it’s a big no-no even if you asked…not unless your my husband 🙂

  18. Kim says:

    great article! love the illustrations. 🙂

  19. Gay says:

    I absolutely envy my skinny friend who doesn’t get fat when she eats a caldero of rice.

  20. Ngeks says:

    Haha the bill evader. I have thid friend na lagi nalang pag kuhaan na ng bill, apparently nandyan na daw yung sundo niya maaga siyang susumduin ng driver because may lakad ang parents. Always. Hehehe

  21. Punky says:

    hahaha my mom is exactly the same. i think it’s the gift/curse of most kapampangans

  22. […] daylight. Ten minutes after our food arrived, we still hadn’t touched anything. We were too busy snapping away with our phones, ignoring the other tourists staring at us with judgemental […]

  23. […] 7 People You Don’t Want to Be at the Dinner Table […]

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