Social Dilemma - Is It Rude to Ask for Salt and Pepper?

Today's social dilemma is something that I've always wondered about so I'm glad Sherry wrote this email.  

Okay, so this social dilemma happened to me this week when I went to dinner at a friends house.  She recently got remarried to a really nice guy who happens to be a chef at a local restaurant, so I was really looking forward to having dinner there because I knew the food would be great.  Okay, we go to dinner, it's lovely, he made a fantastic chicken dish.  But there was no salt on the table.  Now I'm a salt-aholic.  I'm not proud of it, but it's true.  So I asked for some salt because there was no salt or pepper on the table.  You would have thought I killed their first born.  Apparently it's rude to ask for salt or pepper or any seasoning when a chef cooks for you because it implies he didn't make the dish right.  For me it just implies that I like salt.   I just thought they forgot to put salt and pepper on the table.  Anyway at the end of the night, I ended up apologizing and instead of saying no problem, he said please don't ever do that again.  So I guess I was rude and didn't even know it.  Have you ever heard of this?  Is it rude to ask for salt or pepper?  I thought it was a little weird there was none on the table to begin with.  Help me out with this please.  Thanks so much - Sherry

Is it rude, when at a person's house for dinner, to ask for the salt? Does that imply that the food has no taste or that the chef has not properly seasoned your meal? I've also heard the opposite . . . is it rude NOT to have salt and pepper on a table forcing someone to ask for salt?

NEW YORK - APRIL 23 (PHOTO ILLUSTRATION):  Salt and pepper shakers are seen in a diner April 23, 2009 in New York City. New York City's health department is discussing regulating the amount of salt used in restaurant food.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Imag

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