Woman Asks If She Was Wrong To Walk Out On Boyfriend Who Brought Bell To Restaurant To Get Staff’s Attention

Who brings a bell to a restaurant?

Last updated on Nov 16, 2023

confused woman gesturing with hand and looking at boyfriend Shift Drive | Shutterstock

A woman posted to the 'AITA' subreddit asking for advice on if she's in the wrong after walking out on a dinner date with her boyfriend. 

The woman, 30, begins her post by explaining that she's been with her boyfriend, Rhett, 31, for the past four months. The two live in different towns and he usually visits her on the weekends, but during this particular incident, she decided to visit his town and eat out at a diner for their date.


She explained that he brought a bell to dinner to "grab" the staff's attention.

"Rhett was already there when I arrived to the diner, we talked some, checked the menu," the woman wrote in her post. "When it was time to order he pulled a small bell out of his jacket pocket, lifted it up then started shaking it." 

The bell instantly produced a loud, annoying sound, causing the woman's ears to immediately start hurting. She was also confused, asking him what he was doing with the bell, to which he responded that he had been trying to get one of the waiter's attention.

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"I said it was embarrassing and he should stop right then but he kept shaking it. I can not begin to explain the looks we received from everyone," she continued.

The woman continued to ask him to stop ringing the bell, but he refused to stop until someone came over to take their order. She even threatened to leave the diner and cancel their date if he wouldn't stop, but that didn't deter him as he continued to ring the bell.

"Someone came already, but I'd already gotten up, took my purse and started making my way out," she wrote.

The woman's boyfriend followed her out of the diner, arguing with her about her decision to walk out.

She told him she was embarrassed by him, and he got upset, saying that he didn't understand why ringing the bell was such an embarrassment, trying to explain that it was a "perfect solution" for not having to sit and wait for a waiter to come over and take their order.


"I asked if it was acceptable to do this in [America] and he said 'yes, because it's a free country and people there usually don't give a sh*t,' but I said it's inappropriate and [embarrassing] here."

He continued, telling the woman that she was being too sensitive and overreacted over nothing, insisting that they go back inside the diner, but the woman refused. The two of them ended up leaving, and the woman's boyfriend kept telling her that she'd ruined dinner by canceling it and that she'd offended him by acting like his behavior had been shameful.

"I said I had a right to give an opinion on what he's done even if he thought what he was doing but he basically told me to get off my high horse and stop calling his 'genius' idea embarrassing."

She ended her post by writing that her boyfriend has been "sulking for days," and wants her to apologize.


"Maybe I overreacted. Maybe it's nothing where he lives, but here it's just unacceptable," she wrote.

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The man's actions provide insight into his personality — and people agreed that the insight is not promising.

"American here who worked in restaurants for over 10 years. People do not do this. And a few of the places I worked at would 100% kick a person out doing this," one person wrote. 

AITA for cancelling dinner when my boyfriend brought a bell to the diner to "grab" the staff's attention? reddit commentPhoto: Reddit


Servers are not servants, and there's certain etiquette people should follow when trying to get a restaurant's staff attention — none of which includes ringing a self-supplied bell.



Unsurprisingly, many people believed the man's commitment to ringing the bell is a relationship red flag, and they're on to something — It's believed that the way a person treats wait staff says a lot about their personality. As Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson has said, "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.