I can now admit that I didn’t always used to act very lady-like when a waiter would get my order wrong. See, I’m allergic to onions and I always say “no onions please” when I order my food but 9 times out of 10 my food arrives with scallions sprinkled on top. Um, did you know that scallions are a form of onion? I did. So are chives. Shocker right? Well, the waiter and/or cook must not be educated on this topic and it irks me to no end. I used to lose my cool, give dirty looks, speak in a nasty tone and just be plain rude. Would I get a new dish without onions that was probably comped (and spit on)? Sure. But it would also ruin our dinner.

I was totally unaware of my behavior but others were not. Finally, my then-boyfriend-now-husband let me know and told me he wouldn’t stand for it and found it to be a huge turn-off. He told me the cold hard truth – I was embarrassing myself and the people I was with (including him) by acting like an ungrateful, spoiled brat. He asked me if I wanted people to think of me in an ugly manner. Of course the answer was no. He told me that if I didn’t change he would have to seriously rethink our relationship because he wouldn’t marry somebody who didn’t respect the hard-working people of the service industry. Obviously that got my attention. I was completely oblivious to my own facial expressions and tones but I was aware when others acted in an ugly manner in restaurants or stores and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want others to look at me that way anymore, especially not my significant other.

So I changed and for the better. I order more specifically and make sure to show the waiter a smile and appreciation for having to customize my order. Does my food still arrive with onions sometimes? Sure. But I recognize how hard the waiter is working and sweetly ask for my food to be replaced. My now-husband is incredibly proud of me and recently when the waiter got my order wrong three times in a row he was impressed by my self-restraint and ability to keep my composure.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on the worst date ever, don’t lose your cool on the waiter. It’s okay to be thought of as that person there was no chemistry with but you don’t want to be remembered as rude. And if you’re on a date that’s borderline – still being decided if it’s going well or not – you don’t want to influence it for the worse because you were inconsiderate. Finally, if a date is going great, don’t ruin it by being ungrateful and impolite.

Women always say they want a man who treats his mother well, but it’s more telling how he treats the waiter. If he thinks the waiter is his personal servant it’s likely he’ll think of you that way, too, one day. And ungrateful women will most definitely be categorized as snobs and no one wants to marry a snob. You may say you don’t care what people think of you but you also don’t want to be thought of anything less than positive, right?

It’s the little things like saying “please” and “thank you” and actually meaning it that go a long way. It shows you are mature, have good manners and understand the value of hard work. Those are the virtues to want in your husband or wife and the mother or father of your future children.