or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › s/o of etiquette for dinner guests
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

s/o of etiquette for dinner guests

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

So after reading many of the responses from the 'etiquette for dinner guests' thread I am wondering something:

 

I do not eat red meat.  Have not for about 13 years.  Whenever MIL invites us over for dinner she serves red meat.  If it's pasta, she cooks the hamburger in the sauce and mixes it with the pasta, if it's a cookout there is only burgers and salad.  We live about 40 minutes away, for the most part only go over if we are invited and only are invited about 3-5x/year.  The exception is Thanksgiving. Now for the past 5+ years it's really been just annoying - I eat the salad and/or bread.  Basically, whatever is offered that is not beef.  But for the 5 or so years before that I was either pg or bf or both so starving!   So, is it unreasonable of me to expect that she would offer something that I eat or should I just continue to plan to stop at Wendy's on the way home? ;)

post #2 of 68

I don't know.

 

I still struggle with this.  DS2 is allergic to milk and when we eat at someone else's house, I usually check to see what we're having before and then either feed him at home or bring him something he can eat.  I do expect my mom and mil to accomodate us (they typically do or give me a heads up that they're planning something that he can't have), but with everyone else I ask before.  Potlucks are easier, I just take something he can eat.

 

In your case, I'd ask when she invited you.  Then you can take something you like or maybe offer to bring a dish so that you can eat something besides salad.

post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response.  I did bring something once.  I was the only one who ate it and I got plenty of dirty looks.  I really have *mostly* moved on about this as the years have gone on but was just wondering what others thought.  Maybe it's just an IL thing?

post #4 of 68

 

We-ll, if I invite someone to dinner, I ask whether they eat meat, have allergies or sensitivities etc. I think it's part of being a good host. My DS's girlfriend (so not quite a DIL, but close enough) is vegetarian.  If she comes to dinner I try to make sure we have a vegetarian meal - or at least something where the meat dish is served on the side, rather than as the only option.

 

It's too bad your MIL won't accommodate you just a little. After 13 years, I don't know what the answer is for you. Sounds like you are already doing what I'd suggest - plan to eat before or after or possibly offer to bring a salad or side dish that you know will be okay. 

 

 

post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrie View Post

Thanks for the response.  I did bring something once.  I was the only one who ate it and I got plenty of dirty looks.  I really have *mostly* moved on about this as the years have gone on but was just wondering what others thought.  Maybe it's just an IL thing?



No, not just an IL thing.  My own family used to do this all this time when I was vegetarian.  It caused me major food stress.  The only thing that helped was that I married a guy who was also a vegetarian so we had a bit of a quorum going on.  I learned to always call ahead and made sure there would be at least one dish we could eat...and if not I brought one because I would rather get crap from people then starve orngtongue.gif And seriously, I was veg for 15 years but my family never got used to it.

 

But my family belongs to the same school of eating as the OPs MIL in that it is gospel truth that every meal HAS to have a meat, salad, veg, and starch or it is simply not a meal.  Period.  This is soooo not how we eat at home.  We are more of one-pot meatless meal folks.  Whenever my mother visits us it makes her crazy that we don't eat "real" dinners but after about ten years she has mostly gotten used to it. 

 

I have found food to be a source of much intergenerational stress on both sides of our family.  Especially trying to find places to eat out, oy!  My mom doesn't want to eat anywhere that doesn't provide her typical-style meal (meat, veg, starch), and I usually can't find anything I want to ingest at the places she chooses.  And yet we end up eating out together at least once a month, lol.  Breakfast is the only meal that really works.  My IL's are similar in that they have absolutely no desire to eat anything new or "exotic" (which means nothing they can't get at Denny's or a Tex Mex place) and my FIL is obsessed with breakfast.  He brings up where he eats his breakfast (Burger King) and what exactly he gets (You get yer cro-sant and yer sausage and some purtty nice potatoes too...) as a regular topic of conversation.  So when he visits us he is always very put out when we make them breakfast  instead of going to BK.  So I guess he has food stress too lol.gif.

 

Anyway OP I think were I in your shoes I would make stuff for dinner that you want to eat and provide something more bland for your MIL.  Yes, it's more of a hassle but it shows your MIL that she cannot dictate the meals for everyone only for her self.  And only that because of your politeness.

post #6 of 68

I think that's rude. I always accommodate my vegetarian friends by serving either a vegetarian meal (which many of ours are anyway) or serving plenty of hearty side dishes if we're having meat as a main course. 

 

But OP, since you know that this is how they are and that they're apparently not going to change, I'd just eat right beforehand and eat the salad and dinner roll or whatever at their house. 

post #7 of 68

I would bring something every time. I have a child with food allergies and take his food everywhere.  When I am nursing it is the same.  I have no issues taking food somewhere that won't help me out for whatever reason.  Be it my MILs, Moms or restaurant!

post #8 of 68
I would bring your own food and disregard any dirty looks. You deserve to eat a meal too, you know? I'd try to bring something similar to what was being served (i.e. a veggie burger if they're grilling), otherwise bring enough to share if you think others would be interested.

I've been veg*an for 16 years and have lots of allergies, and I've brought my own food to countless places. Many people have become amazingly accommodating, especially my new circle of friends, and will be careful to prepare something I can eat, which I think is the sweetest thing ever. love.gif However, I generally expect that I will not be able to eat what's served and always have something with me, sometimes an actual meal & other times just enough snacks to get me by without being too obvious, depends on the situation. With close family, I will often buy something and leave it at their house for future visits (i.e. a bag of GF pasta or a box of frozen veggie burgers). And even the people that don't know how to cook something I can eat, are usually more than happy to set aside some veggies without the butter or sauce before they add the meat.
post #9 of 68

I'm a vegetarian (have been for 24 years!) and I STILL can't get a decent meal when i go to my Dad's place for dinner! I bring my own food, or we stop at a local drive thru that has both great grilled cheeses for me and gyros for DH... My Dad and Step Mom are equal opportunity dinner hosts--no one seems to be able to have a satisfying meal at their place--thank god for the drive thru! LOL!

 

When my poor MIL tried to cook me vegetarian meals she always made something out of eggplant--which is the one veggie I can not stand. I ate it anyway.

 

My FIL lives near an awesome food coop so the first thing I do when we go to his place is go there and get my vegetarian supplies for the visit. What's hilarious about this is that FIL has started to do the same, but in reverse: He shows up at our place with enough meat to last for his visit. Last time he arrived with an entire ham. Works for us!

 

I guess i don't really have a point here, just randomly chiming in...

 

OP, try bringing something. Or eat beforehand. If you eat beforehand at least you won't be starving while she serves dish after dish that you can't eat.

post #10 of 68

It almost sounds like your MIL is going out of her way to ignore your being a non red meat eater..

If I have someone as my guest over for dinner I do prepare something to their tastes etc...veggie allergies whatever within reason...

If they still don't like what I made, well I don't really want to hear about it thanks, either eat it or don't I don't care but don't tell me you hate it yk...

 

As a guest at someone else's house I ALWAYS end up trying whatever it is they make regardless of whether I think I will like it or not. I was just brought up that way and I'm not a vegetarian or anything so it isn't incredibly difficult but there was one time I choked down a sweet potato with pineapple and PEEPS at a BF's family's Easter dinner. I did it because it was the polite thing to do and it wouldn't kill me. 

 

This was my issue in the other thread. People work really hard to prepare big meals and if they don't know about your preferences or whatever and they make something you just don't like (different from being a veggie or allergic) I think it isn't too much to ask to at least try it, or pass on it and don't bring attention to the fact. I'm the cook in my house and I think I tend to get a little defensive about people not eating my food because I really do bust my butt to make delicious meals. Thats my own issue though.

 

So your question... As a guest I eat what I am offered because I find that the polite thing to do. Period. I don't have to deal with being a vegetarian who is being served meat though so it's not a hard rule for me to follow.

post #11 of 68

I would expect a member of my immediate family who knows I did not eat red meat would accommodate me, especially after 13 years.  To do otherwise seems rather controlling.  In your situation, I would just bring my own food and kill her with kindness - "I didn't want to put you out since you were putting so much work into this, so I brought my own entree."  However, judging from my experiences with my own MIL, be prepared to hear about how RUDE! you are by bringing your own food to her house!  You can't win with some people.

post #12 of 68

I think it's rude that they don't accomodate you at all but I wouldn't expect them to since they've shown that they're rude. I was vegetarian for many years and it was always frustrating to eat at someone's house and not have them prepare anything I could eat. Bacon in everything. :( I often just stopped at a fastfood place on the way home and grabbed a baked potato or a veggie sandwich.

post #13 of 68

Personally, I think it is ideal and most polite to provide food for all guests.  Personally, I guess I don't really understand *not* doing such a thing.

 

I'm vegetarian, have been since I've known dh.  FIL used to make special meals for me that were vegetarian (or vegan, when I was vegan).  I so appreciated it (we used to eat with them several times a month).  MIL does not, or never lets us know whether she is so we always just bring food that I can eat (although we'd bring food even if I did/could eat other food she made, to be honest - we're just people who believe in bringing food to share).

I really don't expect being accommodated, but it's nice to know in advance how much I will need to fend for myself if I am having a meal with other people.

 

I think it can end up being hurtful at times sure, but yeah - I think the polite thing to do is just bring your own food or stop somewhere afterward.  Ultimately it's about the company and spending time together and not who eats what when.    

 

 

post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrie View Post

So after reading many of the responses from the 'etiquette for dinner guests' thread I am wondering something:

 

I do not eat red meat.  Have not for about 13 years.  Whenever MIL invites us over for dinner she serves red meat.  If it's pasta, she cooks the hamburger in the sauce and mixes it with the pasta, if it's a cookout there is only burgers and salad.  We live about 40 minutes away, for the most part only go over if we are invited and only are invited about 3-5x/year.  The exception is Thanksgiving. Now for the past 5+ years it's really been just annoying - I eat the salad and/or bread.  Basically, whatever is offered that is not beef.  But for the 5 or so years before that I was either pg or bf or both so starving!   So, is it unreasonable of me to expect that she would offer something that I eat or should I just continue to plan to stop at Wendy's on the way home? ;)

I'm assuming you've told your in-laws that you aren't eating these dishes because of the red meat. If she knows you don't eat beef but always serves only that when you come then she is being extremely rude.

Since she has been doing this forever I don't think she cares about your feelings. I'd just eat before you go, bring food you like to eat,  plan to eat after you leave or just not join them for meals.
 

 

post #15 of 68
Honestly, id stop going over there for meals outside holidays. Go for an afternoon visit and leave before dinner. Since they're close, its not like you're spending the night. Plan to stop for dinner after the visit, and you can turn a previously stressful visit into a relatively fun family outing.

I am curious though whether you have said anything to her in the last 13 yrs or just suffered in silence? I mean, if its deliberate on her part, thats one thing. If its obliviousness its another. You could try calling and discussing the menu beforehand, asking for chicken or turkey or fish, if you think it might be worth the effort.
post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 

She knows.  I did not eat any meat for about a year and then slowly began eating everything but never could get to beef.  I think she did ask me point blank once why I was not eating whatever it was and I told her that I do not eat red meat.  Another time she offered me her pasta sauce.  I (with a very surprised voice) asked 'oh there's no hamburger in it?'  Her reply was 'well yes but you can pick it out.'  I very nicely refused the sauce.  It was one of the few times she did not premix the pasta and the sauce.  At this point I know that she knows what I do and don't eat - I mean come on I eat chicken, pork and turkey and I know that she knows this.  Honestly, it is really not an issue at this point anyway because I do not go over there unless GmaIL is going to be there.  MIL has pissed me off for the last time.  The last time I was there was Christmas and I do not plan to go any time soon.  DH and I have been together for 19 years and married for 14 years.  The food thing is just one of a list of many things.  I was just curious after reading the other thread on having a guest for dinner.  Maybe it's different to people if someone is just picky vs. allergic or has made a choice to not eat a specific type of food.

post #17 of 68

I know I'm going to get jumped on for this, but I personally have very little tolerance for people whose food choices make no sense to me. "No red meat" is one of those, sorry. Although I would do my very, very best not to show it, deep down I would be rolling my eyes. Same with people who won't eat fish, or will only eat veggies that aren't green, or will only eat chicken if it doesn't have bones in it... honestly, to me it seems like they are just being purposely difficult. And no, this doesn't apply to allergies, I wouldn't want people to eat something that they are allergic to.

 

I know I should be more accepting but I'm really not. I also can't be around the raw food people, they annoy the sh!t out of me.

 

I don't mean any offence to you personally, I'm sure you're a great person and have your own reasons... But when people have to ask if a dish has an ingredient they don't like, instead of just tasting the dish to see if they like it or not, that I find really irritating. Again, I wouldn't show it and wouldn't go out of my way to make things they don't like... but I still think they're acting like spoiled children. 

 

So... you think your MIL is purposely serving beef, she probably thinks you are purposely saying you don't like beef just to annoy her, since you are not vegetarian and haven't even tasted her food. Well actually it sounds like she *is* doing it on purpose, but I just wanted to offer a different viewpoint. eat.gif

post #18 of 68
Thread Starter 

Okay so I'm going to answer your post not because you asked but because it will make me feel better.  I do not eat beef because I got to see bunches and bunches of little calf noses heading to slaughter.  It bothered me and the idea of eating one of those creatures makes my stomach turn.  I don't know why I don't feel that way about the rest of the animals I eat or why drinking cow's milk does not bother me  - well it does but I try not to delve into that because I know that I would go back to being veg. and I don't want to.  As for her food - she is still making the same food that she make for the 5 or so years i ate it before I stopped eating meat and I can tell you she is a great cook!  I am not trying to be difficult and honestly, I tried very hard to hide the fact that I was not eating much if any of the meals she served over the years.  I think she was the only one at the table besides DH who even realized what I was not eating.  So, there is my reason.  Again, not that you asked. :)  I guess the one thing that did/does come out of it for me is that I am very accepting of other's food choices/ allergies/ aversions.  One more little tidbit - I am allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, etc. and I can't tell you how many times we've been invited over to have the dessert have that in it.  Grrrrrr.  While that does bother me, I can live w/o dessert but but dinner?

post #19 of 68
As she knows you don't eat it and doesn't accommodate in any way, I vote for not ever being there for mealtimes. Even if it means leaving and going to a restaurant.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrie View Post

Okay so I'm going to answer your post not because you asked but because it will make me feel better.  I do not eat beef because I got to see bunches and bunches of little calf noses heading to slaughter.  It bothered me and the idea of eating one of those creatures makes my stomach turn.  I don't know why I don't feel that way about the rest of the animals I eat or why drinking cow's milk does not bother me  - well it does but I try not to delve into that because I know that I would go back to being veg. and I don't want to.  As for her food - she is still making the same food that she make for the 5 or so years i ate it before I stopped eating meat and I can tell you she is a great cook!  I am not trying to be difficult and honestly, I tried very hard to hide the fact that I was not eating much if any of the meals she served over the years.  I think she was the only one at the table besides DH who even realized what I was not eating.  So, there is my reason.  Again, not that you asked. :)  I guess the one thing that did/does come out of it for me is that I am very accepting of other's food choices/ allergies/ aversions.  One more little tidbit - I am allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, etc. and I can't tell you how many times we've been invited over to have the dessert have that in it.  Grrrrrr.  While that does bother me, I can live w/o dessert but but dinner?

I wrestle with the same disgust because I drink a lot of milk and frankly the milk cows have it worse than the beef ones in my opinion...also were you referring to veal or beef? I couldn't figure out because you mention calf noses...

 

Of course the simple solution is to either not eat it as you are, but if you actually enjoyed the taste get humanely raised local beef from a small farm where the animals lead great lives...Idealist I know but that is the only way I can live with myself eating meat at this point...

 

Out of curiosity, do you eat eggs? The commercial egg production practices are why we now own our own chickens....Those chickens lead lives that I wouldn't wish on any creature ever. It's hard to say which is "worse" because they are all pretty horrendous IMO...
 

I am accepting of other's dinner choices in the sense that I don't mind cooking to a person's tastes but I am also the cook so I have to make decisions and in my family you at least try what you are offered. You don't have to eat it if you don't want to but at least try it so you can show appreciation for the effort the cook put into it. Obviously, allergies etc... not withstanding.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Talk Amongst Ourselves
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › s/o of etiquette for dinner guests