Open thread

by EPI Staff on April 12, 2010

Welcome to Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

DG April 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

Hello. My husband and I have had general disagreements about his mother’s diet. She is on a restrictive macrobiotic diet (no salt, butter, fats, animal products, etc.). It has become more restrictive over the years. We therefore never go out to eat with them unless it is to a Japanese restaurant. They are coming to visit next weekend (they live about 2 hours away) and are bringing my husband’s grandmother to visit for the first time (his father’s mother). I’m newly pregnant and can’t take the thought of cooking, so it would be great to go out to eat. Typically when his parents visit, his mother brings her own food or gets Japanese takeout and we get takeout from a restaurant next door (a pizza place). I really don’t want to serve his grandmother pizza or hoagies the first time she comes. I keep suggesting that we find a nice local restaurant where his mother can specially order what she needs. But my husband is resistant. Generally, we always have to cater to his mother’s needs. I’m a little tired of it honestly! She won’t try to go out to new restaurants and I think it’s a little rude to expect everyone else to revolve around her very restrictive diet. Am I being unreasonable?

Reply

Karen April 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

You’re not being unreasonable. I’m a vegetarian and I never change or restrict my family or friends’ restaurant choice. I work around it the best I can. Recently my extended family chose a steak house for a gathering. I kept my mouth shut and ordered vegetables. Can you order in some catered food from the pizza place? Pasta and salad and chicken parm maybe? This way your mother in law can order from the Japanese restaurant? It sounds like she tries to work around it because she brings her own food and orders from a separate place. It does seem somewhat inconvenient that you are limited in restaurant choice, however. How does she react if you present her with some other choices that seem to have options for her?

Reply

Graceandhonor April 15, 2010 at 6:39 am

I can see how tiresome this situation has become. It is a shame that those with unusual needs often forget how off-putting they become, when they forget THEY are the exception to the rule. It then festers and becomes a passive-aggressive bone of contention. The secret is presenting your feelings in a non-confrontational manner at a calm time. Sometimes people forget and no longer think of the desires of others.

The lynch pin in this is your husband. He should take the lead in addressing this issue with his mother, because otherwise, things are going to continue deteriorating and I can’t imagine how miserable your family gatherings will become. His duty is to you and your future children, and setting an example for your children of sane eating habits, and awareness of, and fairness in, the needs of others.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: