Recently there was a post at 8asians that cracked me up. It references a Dear Prudence article that basically asks the question of “how to eat sushi while sympathizing with Japan”. Personally, I just don’t really understand WTH the awkward diner is really asking. Are they really that compelled to go table to table to tell them that they sympathize? Does she really think that all Sushi restaurants are even run by Japanese people? I know a majority of Japanese restaurants in my area is run by Asians who are not Japanese. So how would we treat that situation? Wouldn’t that be an insult already since it would seem like you’re assuming that all Asians look the same? I mean really. Sometimes it’s just better to not say a word!
I’m loving the responses at 8asians. Very funny. I thought I’d answer this one too. Here’s the original question.
I was having lunch today at a Japanese restaurant, and I felt very insensitive enjoying my sushi without having a way to express my sympathy for the people of Japan over the recent earthquake and tsunami. I was at a loss as to how one might state that, though, without appearing rude or overstepping boundaries. After all, I didn’t want to act as if the people in the restaurant were more Japanese than American, but most were speaking Japanese to one another, so I’m betting more than a few have ongoing connections to the country. I felt that I was acting as an insulated American by not acknowledging the situation. What is the appropriate gesture at a time like this?
Here’s my response:
Dear Awkward Diner,
Have you ever heard the expression: “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, it’s better not to say anything at all”? Maybe in this case, if you have something really nice to say, but you have doubts on how to say it, it’s better not to say anything at all. Sometimes inaction is best. Why not just show your support by donating to the Red Cross? If you saw me and said something about that to me in a restaurant, I would admit that I would be very thankful. Just give to a cause. It’s easier to remain anonymous.