Hands Off My Dessert

Reads 3606

Dear Edda,

I recently attended a socially-distant potluck dinner at the home of some new friends. Before all of the guests had arrived, two of them were talking about one of the others who hadn’t arrived yet, and how they didn’t feel like he was taking the whole distancing thing seriously. Apparently, he thinks nothing of flying across country and back between his two homes.

Well, after dinner, I was standing by the dessert table, dishing a piece of cake onto my plate. There was a wobble, and that very guy put his hand on the piece of cake to steady it and assist it onto my plate! I was appalled but didn’t say anything. I sat back down and proceeded to not eat the cake. Then the young couple who had made the cake became concerned that I wasn’t eating it. I made a really dumb excuse, but I felt bad.

What should I have done?

Just a Polite Guy


Dear Polite Guy,

We live in a society where politeness sometimes trumps (pardon the expression) taking a stand. In my book, if someone I didn’t know put their hands on my food on a good day, I probably would take a pass on eating it. But I think you were definitely within reason considering the current state of pandemic.

Should you have said something? Would it have changed the man’s mind or behavior going forward?

That’s a tough one. As for the bakers, I’m sure they’ve already forgotten about it.


Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to ed@edhat.com for Edda to answer.

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
SBSBSBSBSBsb Oct 10, 2020 05:06 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

I can’t believe someone tried to make you not spill your cake. Shame on them

REX OF SB Oct 10, 2020 05:25 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

In a case like that, there's nothing wrong with a little public humiliation. The second he put his meathooks on your piece of cake, you should have loudly said, "Oh, look, everyone—Helen Keller has decided to dine with us." But yeah, I know. Sometimes it's hard to think of appropriate things on the fly. You also could have simply stabbed his hand with your fork, then said, "Oopsie! Sorry!"

SBSand Oct 10, 2020 05:28 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

I would have handed him the cake and said it was his and then gotten another, but first let him know not to touch due to covid...

PitMix Oct 12, 2020 08:56 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

2nd this strategy. Hand the plate to him and get yourself another piece. And give him a withering stare.

dukemunson Oct 10, 2020 05:55 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

You could have said something, and it might have changed his behavior going forward. But the behavior that it might have changed is his politeness! As you said, the guy genuinely Tried to help you! That obviously doesn’t mean you need to eat that cake (COVID or not)... but you did the polite and socially correct thing to do. More people need to choose the polite and socially appropriate thing to say/do (looking at you Mr President!!)

Ahchooo Oct 10, 2020 08:33 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

I’m not sure his possibly-coviddy hands were really a threat. The virus gets you through your lungs and nose and eyes, not your gut. I’d be concerned that he got close enough that he could touch the cake, but not concerned about the touch itself. But yeah, if you feel uncomfortable eating something, you shouldn’t. You did the right thing. If you see the bakers again you can explain, and say how awkward you felt and how good the cake looked. Or maybe they’ll read Edhat and understand.

shorebird Oct 10, 2020 09:50 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

“That cake looks delicious, but I’m on a low carb diet and I’ve already hit my carb limit today.”

a-1602402044 Oct 11, 2020 12:40 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

COVID or no COVID, I would have insisted he take the cake (ha ha) and served myself a new slice.

USA in ruins Oct 11, 2020 12:54 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

At Duke munsun. Had to get your dig in on our president over a place of cake. How childish is that?

dukemunson Oct 11, 2020 06:55 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

USAinRUINS - I’m not sure.. But I guess...maybe slightly childish? I feel pretty confident though that our President and our school board deserve quite a few “digs”... so... I’m going to remain slightly childish and continue to bash them both in every thread I pop into no matter how off topic (though I thought i tied it in decently there... I mean, it’s a good thing to have and follow some social norms. Many of our politicians would be well served to remember that and simply and politely say “thank you” and not eat the damn cake instead of making a scene... most notably right now of course the President. Possibly the most important aspect of being President, is being and acting PRESIDENTIAL! Kind of like the main thing about being on the school board is, you know, actually working and trying to do what’s best for our kids. I know...Crazy concepts!!)

sacjon Oct 12, 2020 11:21 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

USA - it's no more "childish" than every single word out of trump's mouth and every single one of his actions. Telling someone they're being childish when criticizing that president is the epitome of hypocrisy.

paglinsb Oct 11, 2020 02:36 PM
Hands Off My Dessert

"Oh, please, YOU take it since you've already touched it. I'll take another."

LCP112233 Oct 12, 2020 10:34 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

Why would anyone have a pot luck when there is a pandemic?

a-1602527229 Oct 12, 2020 11:27 AM
Hands Off My Dessert

If you're worried about someone touching your piece of cake, then you definitely should not be a potluck with people you don't know. Cooks and servers touch your food all the time when you order at restaurant, so how is this different? Please avoid large gatherings with people you do not know. This is EXACTLY how this thing spreads - parties/gatherings of people from multiple households. If you get COVID, it's because you were at a potluck, breathing other peoples' germs, not because someone touched your cake.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.