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School me on etiquette for dinner guests.... - Page 3

post #41 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

I have no patience for picky, especially in an adult, because picky is just a nice(er) word for controlling.  I wouldn't go out of my way to provide food she didn't like but picky is a choice, and it's her problem.  When you choose to limit yourself, you deal with the consequences.

 

 


I have always been a very picky eater.  I obviously eat way more things as an adult than I did as a kid but it has absolutely nothing to do with me being controlling.  I would never ask a host to make anything special of different for me.  Why have I always been a picky eater?  You tell me!  It's not like I made a decision as a kid not to like things. shrug.gif

 

post #42 of 82


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


Not true. It implies that you are incorrect. As in , your statement that people are products of their upbringing is not true. Im not calling you a liar, I just think your statement was not true for everyone.

Regardless, my point stands. If you were controlled as a child, it is your responsibility as an adult to learn how NOT to be controlling. Just like its your job to learn how to be flexible enough to eat something that is being served in someone elses home. I could see if you arent eating it because you are allergic, have moral issues, or its way too hot for you. But to control everyone's mealtime because you dont "like" anything. That is childish.


I suppose there's a fine line between incorrect and untrue. I would have said someone is "not correct" or "not right." 

 

 

Anyway, that is a dead horse.

 

I didn't see where the OP's MIL said that nobody else is allowed to eat what they please. She just also prefers to eat what she pleases. I don't see that as controlling. It's just inconvenient for the host if they feel they don't want to eat what the guest likes. Personally, I don't see why two adults can't just sit down together, talk about meals, and come up with a solution. I mentioned that my ex is a picky eater....his dad is far pickier. When they would come to visit, I would try to make things that he liked. They would stay with us, so they ate every meal at our house. Sometimes I failed, and that's when MIL would go fry him a burger patty or he would make himself a sandwich. Unless OP's MIL cannot do for herself, would that be so difficult?

 

However, I also don't come from the "my house, my way" school of thought, so YMMV. I don't expect a guest to eat something I put in front of them just because they're in my house. I don't even do that with my children.

 

post #43 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzer Beater View Post





Oh gosh, yes, this! When does she stop rating as a guest and become one of the family who has to follow some family norms? Unfortunately she doesn't do it anywhere else so maybe it just will not happen in my house... if the Queen invited her to tea and there was a nut in her bun she would not eat it!

 

 


Guest or family makes no difference to me. If you can't be polite and appreciate the effort I put into a meal, i do not cook for you a second time. I've had (non-family) guests do this to me on their first visit. Their second visit involved me handing them a take-out menu (which food they also complained about). There was no 3rd visit. I'm not going to invite back someone like that.
post #44 of 82
I can't edit to add what I forgot to say.

Part of my reasoning to not continue to subject myself to that attitude is that i don't want my child learning from that example. It is not acceptable to be rude to someone who is feeding you. You don't have to eat the food, but you do have to be polite. If you can't manage polite, then I'm not going to waste energy on you. You'll find yourself not invited back. And you'll find very few people in life put up w that entitled attitude.

Thats the message i expect my child to get. And he'll only get that because that's what i model for him.
post #45 of 82
I want guests to be comfortable in my home. A big part of that is providing food they will enjoy.

With challenging eaters for an entire week I would plan several meals that are simple, assemble your own affairs so I don't have to worry about each ingredient as much. I would also eat out as much as possible.
post #46 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

 


 

I didn't see where the OP's MIL said that nobody else is allowed to eat what they please. She just also prefers to eat what she pleases. I don't see that as controlling. It's just inconvenient for the host if they feel they don't want to eat what the guest likes. Personally, I don't see why two adults can't just sit down together, talk about meals, and come up with a solution. I mentioned that my ex is a picky eater....his dad is far pickier. When they would come to visit, I would try to make things that he liked. They would stay with us, so they ate every meal at our house. Sometimes I failed, and that's when MIL would go fry him a burger patty or he would make himself a sandwich. Unless OP's MIL cannot do for herself, would that be so difficult?

 

 



MIL doesn't SAY that nobody else is allowed to eat what they please... just nobody has ever ventured there for even one meal. Casual to Christmas, her home or her children's, each meal and each dish is done the way MIL wants, and her children just do it to avoid conflict. I arrived late in the mix and all this has been going on for years. She will even send notes for your holiday meal (she did this to my husband before we were together- I found her notes in one of his cookbooks, detailing ingredients, what time things should be started, and who should cook what). I am the first one (apparently) who wishes to end the insanity. I think I will sit down with her, and a cookbook, because you're right, two adults should be able to come up with a solution. If she won't compromise.... oh well.

 

 

 

post #47 of 82


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

I can't edit to add what I forgot to say.

Part of my reasoning to not continue to subject myself to that attitude is that i don't want my child learning from that example. It is not acceptable to be rude to someone who is feeding you. You don't have to eat the food, but you do have to be polite. If you can't manage polite, then I'm not going to waste energy on you. You'll find yourself not invited back. And you'll find very few people in life put up w that entitled attitude.

Thats the message i expect my child to get. And he'll only get that because that's what i model for him.


How would a guest politely decline to eat what was served? I get the vibe from several postings on this thread that declining to eat what's served is rude whether comments are made or not.

 

Honestly, if I'm going to INVITE someone to dinner, I'm going to fix what they like to eat. Not doing so is rude, IMO. Like I said earlier, I have a friend who is a picky eater, and actually they (she and her daughter) are our most frequent dinner guests. I make simple food when they come over. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans. Meatloaf with a green salad. That's because we love them and want them to enjoy the food as well as the company, and that's the sort of thing I wish MY children to learn. I'm not going to serve sushi and expect them to enjoy themselves. If you don't plan on serving food that's enjoyable, I see no reason for a dinner party. A non-meal gathering would seem more appropriate.

 

Someone staying with you for several days is different, though, especially when it's a family member. Some sort of compromise or food plan should be worked out beforehand.

 

post #48 of 82
I'd cater the first couple of days and then I'd take her to the grocery store and shop with her. That way, you can prepare meals together that you would both enjoy. Her meaty stuff can be in a separate pan than yours and you can share the salad or pasta.
post #49 of 82

I'm a really picky eater. I bring my own food if we're going somewhere for several days and I know there won't be appropriate food available. I also deal with food allergies and have learned that bringing my own food is so much easier than trying to figure out meals that everyone likes that fit with our restrictions.

 

I have been considered rude in the past because I do not eat things I think are gross. I just politely decline. I am not saying "ewww" while people are eating. I just say "No thank you, I'll stick with these green beans!" I find it more rude the way people try to force me to eat things even after I've declined.

 

If someone is visiting me for several days, I do ask them what kinds of foods they like and run the options by them when they are here. We are not a my-way-or-the-highway type of household at all. I often cook separate meals for myself and the children and my husband will make something for himself. We prefer different types of food and I see no reason why we all shouldn't enjoy our meals instead of just eating what is set in front of us.

post #50 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 


How would a guest politely decline to eat what was served? I get the vibe from several postings on this thread that declining to eat what's served is rude whether comments are made or not.

 

Honestly, if I'm going to INVITE someone to dinner, I'm going to fix what they like to eat.

 

 

 



I was raised that it is rude not to eat what is served, or at the very least pretend to and be thankful for it. I eat what MIL serves when she is in charge of the meals. Shouldn't she eat what I normally choose to serve? Somehow it doesn't end up going both ways here...

 

And in this situation INVITE isn't exactly the right word... the group will decide to eat in or out, and if it's in, I'm the cook. I wouldn't actually ever "invite" her for dinner because it stresses me out. If I let her cook in my kitchen, and she's happy to, she trashes the place. I'd rather give in to her pickiness than let her prepare a meal in my house again, it was chaos. And unfortunately, DH doesn't cook, but he did agree to man the barbecue one night, so that's a great start.

 

post #51 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 


How would a guest politely decline to eat what was served? I get the vibe from several postings on this thread that declining to eat what's served is rude whether comments are made or not.

 

Honestly, if I'm going to INVITE someone to dinner, I'm going to fix what they like to eat. Not doing so is rude, IMO. Like I said earlier, I have a friend who is a picky eater, and actually they (she and her daughter) are our most frequent dinner guests. I make simple food when they come over. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans. Meatloaf with a green salad. That's because we love them and want them to enjoy the food as well as the company, and that's the sort of thing I wish MY children to learn. I'm not going to serve sushi and expect them to enjoy themselves. If you don't plan on serving food that's enjoyable, I see no reason for a dinner party. A non-meal gathering would seem more appropriate.

 

Someone staying with you for several days is different, though, especially when it's a family member. Some sort of compromise or food plan should be worked out beforehand.

 


If you had read my first post, you would have seen me say that i ask everyone at the time of invitation for any allergies or foods to avoid. If they only give me a partial list, i cannot read their minds to pick out the items they omitted. I make good food, and do my darndest to cater to my guest's preferences. But to have them sit down at a meal, make a face and tell me they don't like shellfish but didnt tell me so beforehand is rude and inconsiderate of the time and effort i have put into planning and preparing the meal. (yes, i've actually had this happen.)

As for how to decline... In some cultures there is no polite way to decline food. In my house i would much rather you just be polite about it. Eat around the offending item when possible, eat the other dishes, etc. If I ask, i always prefer honesty (i.e. "i don't really care for onions" or "it was a bit spicy for me", etc), but delivered w the utmost in politeness and still acknowledging that i tried. Attitude really is everything in this kind of situation.
post #52 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Mko View Post

I have been considered rude in the past because I do not eat things I think are gross. I just politely decline. I am not saying "ewww" while people are eating. I just say "No thank you, I'll stick with these green beans!" I find it more rude the way people try to force me to eat things even after I've declined.


In some cultures it is considered rude not to eat at least a token amount of every dish on the table. In some a host is considered rude if they don't encourage a guest repeatedly to have some of this or that until the guest exclaims they're quite full and couldnt possibly eat more. So much of all our attitudes around food are cultural, and you need to accept your host where they're coming from. If all you said was no thank you, some cultures will hear "not this moment", and will keep offering. And honestly, if i saw you only eating one dish from my meal and you didnt give me a reason when i continued to press, what am i supposed to think?
post #53 of 82



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Mko View Post

I have been considered rude in the past because I do not eat things I think are gross. I just politely decline. I am not saying "ewww" while people are eating. I just say "No thank you, I'll stick with these green beans!" I find it more rude the way people try to force me to eat things even after I've declined.


In some cultures it is considered rude not to eat at least a token amount of every dish on the table. In some a host is considered rude if they don't encourage a guest repeatedly to have some of this or that until the guest exclaims they're quite full and couldnt possibly eat more. So much of all our attitudes around food are cultural, and you need to accept your host where they're coming from. If all you said was no thank you, some cultures will hear "not this moment", and will keep offering. And honestly, if i saw you only eating one dish from my meal and you didnt give me a reason when i continued to press, what am i supposed to think?


You're supposed to think I don't want whatever else you've made and that I'm perfectly happy with what I'm eating since that is what I'm telling you. Take it at face value that the person really is fine with what they're eating and don't be pushy. If I offer someone something and they say no thanks, that's fine. I am not going to be like "You really should try it! It's so great. Try it! Don't you want to try it? Everyone else is trying it!" That's really rude and I don't care what culture you're coming from. I do not like being pushed into trying something.

post #54 of 82

i cater to the special food requirements of my very-picky-eater relative because i love her.  i don't think that being a restricted/picky eater is something she is doing for fun especially to annoy me - she is very much mentally and physically stuck in the situation and i cook things she will enjoy when she is here as an act of solidarity, love, and comfort. 

post #55 of 82
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post

i cater to the special food requirements of my very-picky-eater relative because i love her.  i don't think that being a restricted/picky eater is something she is doing for fun especially to annoy me - she is very much mentally and physically stuck in the situation and i cook things she will enjoy when she is here as an act of solidarity, love, and comfort. 



Oh gosh I wish I could get to this point. You sound like such a caring person... unfortunately I'm not big enough to feel this way. I know my MIL isn't doing it for fun... I'm sure being unwilling to eat what others find normal is no fun at all. It keeps them out of nice restaurants and dinner parties... I don't want her to feel like she can't be comfortable having a meal at her own son's house... I'm going to do some soul searching and try to get the stick out of my butt over this. She is not going to change and my point isn't to make her miserable. (Okay, well the ornery side of me loves to think about that but I would never offer a meal I know would freak her out.)

 

 

 

 

 

post #56 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzer Beater View Post

I was raised that it is rude not to eat what is served, or at the very least pretend to and be thankful for it. I eat what MIL serves when she is in charge of the meals. Shouldn't she eat what I normally choose to serve? Somehow it doesn't end up going both ways here...

 

While it might be rude to not eat what is served, it's MORE rude to serve food you know a guest doesn't like or can't tolerate, ya know? 

 

You do have to just have sympathy for her.  It can't be fun not liking so many foods, like you said.  Having a "super taster" ds has made me more aware and tolerant.  To him, mild spice and mint BURNS.  And I have friends that have digestive problems with peppers.  At least it's a lot easier to cook for people who like basic bland food than food "snobs" who want their veggies steamed to perfection and sauces made just so with everything spiced to gourmet ideals. 
 

 

post #57 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Mko View Post



 


You're supposed to think I don't want whatever else you've made and that I'm perfectly happy with what I'm eating since that is what I'm telling you. Take it at face value that the person really is fine with what they're eating and don't be pushy. If I offer someone something and they say no thanks, that's fine. I am not going to be like "You really should try it! It's so great. Try it! Don't you want to try it? Everyone else is trying it!" That's really rude and I don't care what culture you're coming from. I do not like being pushed into trying something.


If you don't care where someone else is coming from, then why should they care where you're coming from? Relationships are a 2-way street, and they require communication and tolerance. If you have neither to offer, maybe you should just eat at home.
post #58 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



While it might be rude to not eat what is served, it's MORE rude to serve food you know a guest doesn't like or can't tolerate, ya know? 

 

You do have to just have sympathy for her.  It can't be fun not liking so many foods, like you said.  Having a "super taster" ds has made me more aware and tolerant.  To him, mild spice and mint BURNS.  And I have friends that have digestive problems with peppers.  At least it's a lot easier to cook for people who like basic bland food than food "snobs" who want their veggies steamed to perfection and sauces made just so with everything spiced to gourmet ideals. 
 

 



Well I guess my point is that she can tolerate very little... and she turns her nose up at things that adults consider normal. The list is endless and random. I also think a lot of it is in her head.... so I haven't knowingly served something she can't tolerate. In fact so far I have left out the nuts, the mushrooms, the spices, the vinegar, the dressing, the olives, the marinade, the pizza toppings, the bits lumps and texture, any dish that involves more than a couple ingredients, you get the idea. It's not NORMAL by a long shot, and honestly, I think it's crazy how her family has catered to her all these years. While she was cooking the meals in her own home, fine and dandy, she raised her kids that way. None of them stayed that way though, and they don't enjoy eating with her at all because of the control factor. I guess I would consider vegetarian/vegan, or allergies, or religious dietary concerns normal and be more chill about catering to them. If I thought she was a supertaster I'd be more sympathetic also, but she loved my dish with the pile of garlic in it when she didn't know it was in there (that was at a potluck and I didn't get a chance to tell her not to eat it- not being rude serving it to her in my house). She's told me on numerous occasions she is allergic to garlic. I'm not trying to be rude, and I won't be.

 

Answers here are pretty divided on whether or not I should cater to that. But ultimately I haven't had a conversation with her, and not sure I'm "allowed" to because nobody upsets MIL if at all possible. If she visits here and there it's no big deal, but to alter the menu for extended stays is a drag... and making two meals is a drag too.

post #59 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



While it might be rude to not eat what is served, it's MORE rude to serve food you know a guest doesn't like or can't tolerate, ya know? 

 

 

 

I agree.  She's a guest in your home.  You should cook what she can eat.  

 

I can't eat many foods because of DS's food allergies/sensitivities (I'm still bfing).  When you are a guest in someone's home and you are hungry but cannot eat the food everyone else is eating, it just sucks- there's no other way to put it.  I'm not normally picky, but I've realized that my son's health issues are greatly influenced by diet, and so I'm willing to make certain sacrifices.  My family thinks I'm crazy though and says I should just wean him so I can eat what I want.

 

About a month ago we were invited over to a friend's house for a get-together.  My friend told me what was on the menu ahead of time, just to make sure I could eat the food and not have to bring my own.  Everything sounded fine.  However, when I got there she had "forgotten" and put feta cheese and bread crumbs in the burger, sprinkled and melted cheese all over the sweet potatoes, and tossed a dressing into the salad that I couldn't eat.  I ended up eating the veggies and hummus that I brought for an appetizer and a few bites of DS's food.  Of course I said, "Oh, don't worry about it!  I promise, I'm fine just eating some of DS's food.  Don't worry about me!" But it leaves you feeling really, really terrible.  You feel bad for having to be picky and even worse for realizing that your friend doesn't think enough of you to realize you can't eat a single thing she's prepared.

 

I realize that the OP's situation is a little different.  Her MIL is just picky (although, sometimes aversions to certain foods can be the sign of an allergy).  Who knows why she does it.  Control?  Anxiety?  Sensory issues? Just for the fun of it?  I say, OP, that you just deal with it.  Is it really that big of a sacrifice for a week?

post #60 of 82

OP, are you feeling pressured by your MIL to have every dish on the table be to her specifications? I think that if there are 2 or 3 things she'll eat, or that can be served separately (sauce on the side or whatever) so that she can eat it, then you're well within your rights to also serve other, more flavorful dishes. I mean, you should also be catering to the dietary whims of the other several people at the table, right? wink1.gif I'm getting the impression that your MIL would be upset if even one dish of several contained ingredients she doesn't like -- is that accurate, or would she happily eat her poached chicken and mashed potatoes and just leave the flavorful dish alone? 

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