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This sounds like a lot of trouble and effort since you have to come from work. Any chance you can just order some pizzas or egg rolls and soup from a chinese place and pick it up to bring to the party after you get out of work?

How well do you know your SIL?  Can you talk to her and express your concerns (weeknight, people coming from out of town and/or out of town relatives who don't have access to cooking facilities) and ask her to alter this (horrible and rude) plan?  Maybe suggest she provide the food and just ask guests to bring beverages, chips or desserts?
That's like really early U.S. history when Jane Doe married John Smith and became "Goodie Smith."


Isn't the old tradition that Mrs. Joseph Smith becomes Mrs. Jane Smith only once she is widowed?

Absolutely not!

She becomes Mrs. Jane Smith when she divorces him.

If he simply dies, she retains his name. It's a huge point of honor for some women of earlier generations. Huge.

I had a terrible dilemma because of this last year- a friend of the family had recently been widowed. I had always addressed any letters or cards to Mr and Mrs A. Michaels- the husband was called Andrew. Somehow it seemed really odd to address the card to Mrs A Michaels, but equally it felt wrong to address it to Mrs K Michaels. In the end I chickened out and sent it to Mrs Michaels... no initial
This is someone who really doesn't understand how to do a pot-luck. if 25 guests each bring enough food for 25 people, that's actually food for 625 people. Divide by 4 (for salad, side, main, dessert) and you still have meals for over 150. If everyone is supposed to bring something, then it should be enough for 3-4 people, not 25.
I am an attorney and I offer free consultations (up to an hour) so people can get more information about their case, see if we're a good fit, etc.  I have been shocked by the number of people who just don't show up.  I'll generally call and leave a message (because when I'm being blown off they don't answer their phones) stating that it's now half an hour past when we were supposed to meet and to call me if they would like to reschedule (in case they forgot or had an emergency).  I don't mind last minute cancellations as this is business and not social, but the no-shows drive me crazy.  I would love to be able to confront the people who do that but that's (a) rude and (b) not good business practice.  So that's mine.  :)

Interestingly that is one of the reasons why my office doesn't offer free consultations.  We get very few no shows when people value our time - and they value it becuase they're paying for it. 
Sure, some people choose not to meet with us when they find out its not free, but honestly, we don't miss them.

I've thought about doing that (mostly right after being stood up!).  So far I haven't changed my practice, but if it gets too bad, I may have to.  Which will annoy me to need to change based on rude people, who tend to spoil things for everyone else.  :)

Although this is ostensibly about rude people, there's something more important here. When you give a free consultation, you're telling people something about how you value your time. What you're saying is "My time isn't worth anything." This is related to the Craft Freebies thread in the off-topic folder. People have a very hard time understanding the worth of someone else's efforts. It's important to make it clear to them. That's why, in the Craft Freebies thread, many of the crafters will say "Sure. My hourly rate is $x and the materials will cost you $y." That makes it clear to the other person what the value is.

One mistake that people starting out in business make all the time is undervaluing themselves.  It's a well-known phenomenon. Charging someone, even a nominal fee, for a consultation sends the message that: 1) Your time is valuable; 2) You're good.

Relating this to the broader thread: When someone takes advantage of us, like being perpetually late, and we say nothing, we're sending them a message. "Your time is more valuable than mine" or "Your comfort/happiness/needs are more important than mine." Many of us (particularly women, but men as well) are socialized to think this. It's bad to be "selfish." While in excess, "selfish" can be bad (I'm using quotes because it's such a loaded term), in moderation, it's very important. So, it's important to show people how we want to be treated. By not holding dinner, or playing taxi, or resisting the thousand of other ways people take advantage of us, we show them that our lives are valuable, too. They may not like that, or even understand it, but it's important to send that message.

People here get up in arms when we use the term "training" or "teaching" with respect to other adults, but that's exactly what happens. It happens whether we like it or not. The feeling that it's "wrong" or "manipulative" is only the socialization against making waves taking control.  The only thing that we have any control over is whether this trainging happens consciously or unconsciously. When we just let things happen, we're unconsciously teaching people that it's ok to treat us badly. Instead, we need to make the conscious decision to not let them treat us badly; to teach them to treat us better.
This last month the schools have started bringing kids to the branch library for visits.  With little bitties, I usually give a quick tour then show an age appropriate movie (something on the order of Little Bear or Max and Ruby).

For older kids (8 and up), I do a more in depth tour, take questions, ASK question and, since it is the month of ghosts and goblins, I have been been telling them ghost stories before handing out bookmarks, pencils or, in yesterday's case, student dictionaries unearthed from the movie closet and which made quite a surprising hit).

Anyway, the group that came in yesterday was from a special school program, and the kids were various ages from 5 to 12.  And as I was given to understand, these were severely disadvantaged kids who were behavioral problems.  Let me tell you, if that was the case, these kids sure hid it well.  They were polite, mostly quiet, asked a lot of very intelligent questions and got excited about so many of things I told them.

At the end of the tour we wound up in the big program room where I asked if they wanted to hear a ghost story.  They all cheered and hunkered forward.

Except for one boy, probably 9  or 10, who was bigger and chubbier than his classmates...and who burst into tears at the thought of hearing a ghost story.  He was so upset his teacher had to take him out. 

Fearful that the kids might make fun of him, I commented casually to the teachers that I sympathized and mentioned that, when I was his age, I clapped my hands over my ears whenever someone announced a scary story.  "And the weird thing is that I now have a hobby collecting--ghost stories!"  The kids asked how many I had and I told them I had close to 25 books of ghost stories..."But even though I love them, I sometimes find myself reading with the lights on."  They thought it was funny an adult might be scared of her own hobby and we carried on.

About five minutes into the story, the teacher brought back the now calm boy.  He sat through the story and even began to giggle when I made jokes within the context of the story.  (For those of you who love scary stories it's the one called "Charlie" in which a series of progressively larger cats appear in a house out of nowhere to warn the human hero that they would decide what to do with him when "Charlie comes."  ,Our hero eventually leaps out the window and hollers "Tell Charlie I couldn't wait."  Most versions end there, some go on to have him confront the "Charlie" (or Martin or John) of the story who is bigger than a house...and hungry.

ANYWAY, sorry for the digression...when I got to the end, I leaned over to the young man who had been so frightened and gave him a fist bump and told him how impressed I was and I how cool I thought he was for coming back.  He seemed pleased, but I fear I might have been patronizing.

Do any of you who are fulltime story tellers have a way of dealing with children who become frightened during a scary story program?  (Next month I will be switching to funny stories, so the problem won't exist, but I do have other events where I am asked to tell ghost stories so I am curious.)
Not really about your question but given the info in the bolded area, you might want to let the administrators know about the excellent behavior. You wouldn't believe what a kind word of a praise does to a group of kids who are considered "trouble makers".

I had a patron* at the MFAH call our principal and praise our kids excellent behavior once. The principal passed on the praise and gave them ice cream at lunch.

Actually, at the risk of sounding like I am patting myself on the back, the teacher was organizing them into their groups and telling them which car they would be traveling in.  I asked if I could make one more comment to the group and he said sure.

I told them how impressive they were, how polite and how well they phrased questions and that I was thrilled to have them become part of our library system.  "If you ever need ANYTHING for a report, I want you to find me and tell me and we will get the materials."

The teachers were beaming when I finished.  The man who had been preparing them to leave said "Well, since Miss Librarian gave you such a glowing report, I've called the principal and not only are you guys getting back all your stars and points that you lost this week, we have a go-ahead on the next leg of our field trip.  We'll be going to (Fast food restaurant) where you may each order one item."

You never saw such happy kids.  I asked them to make sure at least one of them had some French fries for me.  We also had some brand new student dictionaries that had been donated years ago and we had no idea what to do with we gave each kid a dictionary as they left.  You would have thought we gave them the world.

Yes, I had a lump in my throat and I wanted to take them all home with me.

I don't understand why some people refuse to honor a married woman's wishes if she didn't take her husband's last name, or if she hyphenated her last name.  I've had a couple cases in my own family where I didn't necessarily agree with the choice to not take the husband's last name, but it wasn't my decision to make.
Holidays / Re: Holidays 2014
« Last post by HGolightly on Today at 11:19:39 AM »
Now that my parents have three (almost four) grand kids under five, my mom is finally putting her foot down to hosting the entire extended family.  She and my dad have had major health problems this year and all they want is to spend time with their kids and grand kids.  I am so happy with this as I am not treated well by mom's extended family and I hate the chaos, arguments and bad behaviour.  I look forward to having Christmas Eve with the inlaws and having a make your own taco bar.  My in laws are happy as there is an estrangement and they can spend time with their other children.  Christmas morning will be with DH and our kids then dinner with my parents, brother and his family.  For once, I cannot wait.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Instant justice stories
« Last post by Jocelyn on Today at 11:17:09 AM »
I'm a little skeptical about being sent home being a punishment for anyone.  >:D
My go-to is a wild rice casserole. It's easy and inexpensive to make and it travels well.
10 general / Re: Which Way To Handle?
« Last post by SamiHami on Today at 11:11:02 AM »
Well you could have said, "Hey! Say it, don't spray it!"  ;)

Then only rude person here was the spitter. Etiquette does not require you to eat food that others have spit on, no matter that they didn't mean to do it. You tried to handle it subtly and she didn't pick up on it. So your friend took it to the next level, by politely asking her to step back.  I'm sorry that she was embarrassed by it, but I don't see what else you and your friend could have done.
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