This put me in the shotgun position that marxdarx had been summarily ousted from. I was very, very silent the whole ride.
That is, until votania noticed it.
The only thing that could have made the situation worse, I was coherent enough to say, was turning around and cancelling our evening's plans. So we were headed in a dinnerward direction when B did that little thing where s/he won't go over 30 mph -- some sort of fuel injector clog, the Viking says?
So we pulled in at votania's old workplace, said hi to Clover (who was just leaving), collected our hugs, and went over to Shogun Express to get supper and let B chill out.
Everything was going fine, and marxdarx and I were going over the plans for making "computer salad" (slip of the tongue when I was talking about my cucumber salad) ... and then he left his chopsticks standing straight up in the bowl.
It's one of the things I grew up with, one of the politeness rules. You do not leave your chopsticks standing straight up in the bowl. That is like saying, "This food is crap, shit, and will make you sick." It's like leaving a two-cent tip. Only worse. And it was one of the politeness rules that I was taught.
No, I did not grow up in China. No, my parents are not Chinese. No, I do not embrace the Chinese culture wholeheartedly. But I do not think that it takes those things to make someone abide by certain standards of behavior. I do not ever leave my chopsticks like that, and when people who were not brought up with that rule are not in my presence, people whose behavior I am not responsible for, I do not give a good goddamn what they do with their chopsticks.
I likely would have twitched, sighed, perhaps asked if he was aware of the meaning of chopsticks set like that, and probably not made it an issue, on my own. Somehow, it became an issue. And when votania asked, I told the truth: yes, it bothers me.
No matter how it's phrased, I don't like it when people imply that I have no right to hold the social standards that I hold. I should not have to justify my standards of politeness to ANYONE. I have a right to them. I may not have a right to impose them on other people, but I have a right to hold them.