Debbie Barnett

Debbie’s Golden Rule #15 – Be considerate by keeping food and drink off the Mah Jongg table. If you enjoy some treats, please remember before touching the tiles to wipe your hand’s, dear peeps.

It would be a lot easier if their were rules on how to play Mah Jongg with ettiquette. But since there are none, I hope these blogs will give a little help and insight into some things you might want to change during your game.

Golden Rule #15: Be considerate by keeping food and drink off the Mah Jongg table. If you enjoy some treats, please remember before touching the tiles to wipe your hand’s, dear peeps.

We can all agree that playing at different venues changes the availability of food at one’s game. 

Here is a list I’ve complied:

  • A senior center that provides a water dispenser but doesn’t allow you to bring in food or drink
  • A restaurant such as Panera Bread where you can order a full meal while playing
  • A community clubhouse with card room that has no restrictions on food
  • A community clubhouse that provides an array of drinks and snacks all tempting enough on which you want to put your paws 
  • Poolside
  • A cruise where food and beverages are available 24 hours
  • At a private home

If you are playing at a venue that doesn’t allow food or drinks, this rule can be kept for future use when your situation might change. However, what if you are playing at one that does or provides a plethora of treats at your disposal? Things can get messy or even rude. Here are some of the food complaints I’ve heard:

  • I don’t want anyone touching my brand-new tiles while eating.
  • I don’t want an open cup on the table; it might tip over and dirty my table cover or tiles.
  • Gross…those finger lickers are touching my tiles and putting their germs all over them.
  • I’m not too fond of it when he or she is chewing obnoxiously on their food. 
  • I wouldn’t say I like it when he or she brings a meal and eats it while playing.

If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, there are some simple solutions to implement whether playing in a private or public venue: 

  1. Set the rules ahead of time. We are not children and should be able to discuss these things in a friendly manner. 
    1. A break time to socialize and enjoy my food or your food, before, during, or after the game
    2. You allow snacks and drinks on snack trays but remind everyone to use napkins
    3. If playing with a 5th player (a bettor), everyone agrees that when he or she is out of the game, that’s a perfect time for them to eat
  2. Practice those good habits and behaviors which you should be getting pretty good at by now.
    1. Use your napkin frequently
    2. Chew with your mouth closed
    3. Wash your hands during a break
    4. Adhere to your group’s rules 

What are some of your food stories, and how did you resolve them? Leave a comment here or on Facebook. 

If you are a new mah jongg player or interested in learning how to play mah jongg, please check out my book, and my new online school

Golden Rule #16 coming soon. Don’t forget to read the previous blogs as well! And of course, don’t forget to keep my Golden Rules handy. If you think someone needs a little help with their habits or behaviors, you can pull out your sheet and say, “Hey guys, look what the teacher says!”

Happy Mah Jongging, everyone!

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3 responses to “Debbie’s Golden Rule #15 – Be considerate by keeping food and drink off the Mah Jongg table. If you enjoy some treats, please remember before touching the tiles to wipe your hand’s, dear peeps.”

  1. Marie says:

    How to tactfully tell a loud talker to tone it down

    • Debbie Barnett Author says:

      Hello Marie…I’ve have come across this once in a great while but not that often. There is never an easy way to do this but I feel honesty is the best policy. Why not say nicely, “Would you please lower your voice just a bit?” In most cases, the person on the receiving end will respond with something like, “Oh, I’m sorry was I talking too loud?” And of course, you can again answer politely, “Yes, and thank you for toning it down.”

      If you are not one who feels comfortable speaking up . . . well then, you might have to just suck it up.

      I might add another Golden Rule with some misc. annoyances and this might be a good one to add to those.

      Thanks for reading and following my blog posts!

      Enjoy your day!

      Hope this helps!

  2. Tina says:

    Yeah. This is a tough one. I’ve had plenty of close calls when doing the Charleston and someone insists on placing their coffee cup between us. Working around it is tricky and unnecessary. Wish they’d keep drinks and food completely separate from the play area. Thx!

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