Author Topic: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7, 19  (Read 11211 times)

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learningtofly

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Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7, 19
« on: March 26, 2012, 03:28:09 PM »
Hi all,

We're hosting a family holiday dinner in a couple of weeks.  It's my family and DH's family and it's easier for 80% of the people to come to our house and a request was made to have it here.  So we are.  Almost everyone is bringing something which makes life easier. My problem is my MIL.

We've had various holidays here before, but for some reason this time it's bothering her.  She kept grilling DH on the menu and stating that we wouldn't have enough food.  We have never run out of food and we're getting food from four different households.  I think she doesn't like being reduced to a few sides, but honestly otherwise she'll try and bring the whole meal and then complain that she had to bring the whole meal to our house.

I finally asked her why the menu was such a big deal.  (She had followed DH from room to room and when he stopped she made a big deal out of discussing it.)  That seemed to stop her.  Letting her know every household's contribution helped as well.  But honestly it's not as if DH and I couldn't pull off the whole thing ourselves.

We will have enough food.  We will also have enough food for those who don't like MIL's cooking.  Anything else that I can use to politely stop MIL from harping on the menu or trying to bring duplicates of items we already have?

« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 01:09:53 PM by learningtofly »

cattlekid

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 03:36:56 PM »
"We've got it covered.  Bean dip?" 

repeat ad nauseum

buvezdevin

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 03:37:38 PM »
Did she give any reply when you asked her why the menu was a big deal?
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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sparksals

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 05:39:41 PM »
Wow!  If my MIL did this, did not seem to think I was capable of providing proper hospitality and ensuring enough food, I wouldn't be inviting MIL to such events at my home.  Assuming improper hospitality is horribly gauche.

Jaelle

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 09:18:11 PM »
She sounds somewhat like my MIL, who did this sort of thing whenever DH and I hosted a holiday. One reason was that, in her worldview, certain holiday meals HAD to include certain things, and she had to be sure we were doing it "right."  :P   This was not a religious or ethnic thing, just a "we've always done it this way!" thing.

For example, a certain sort of bread had to be served with dinner for one holiday. DH says when he was growing up, no one ever ate it, not even his mom. However, she grilled him mercilessly to be sure we would have it. DH finally point-blank informed her we would not be buying and serving something no one liked. Undeterred, she showed up with a loaf. No one ate it.  ::)

She's gotten a little better as the years have gone on and I haven't ruined a holiday yet.  :)
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

shhh its me

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 09:42:22 PM »
  I'm not sure how to stop her from suggesting it over and over ....my mom suggested 4 lbs of polish sausage for dinner for 5 people (1 won't eat it ever) a meal which also included half a dozen vegtables, 3 types of potatoes , turkey , ham, 2 types of bread and pies. This is my one holiday meal , everyone gets their favorites I could cut the menu by 70% and still have a reasonable meal.    She was paniced for weeks  that I only had a  two pounds (two types or I would have went with one) I think sometimes people who used to be host get stuck in a loop "I need 4 lbs of sausage"  for 15-20 people.
    We also had this conversation... "Are you having corn? ", "well I was thinking 3 types of potatoes , peas & carrots , brussel sprouts ,  broad beans , 3 color bell pepper & cucumber salad and Cole slaw was enough" , " but you have to have corn, we always have corn" , "we have been getting carry out or going to a restaurant for 20 years, we haven't had corn for thanksgiving since then" ................" but we have to have corn"* she can't eat corn BTW so WE meant my Aunt who didn't care one way of the other, my husband who didn't want corn , my son who never experinced the traditional dinner with corn she was remembering and myself** I gave in on the corn (it's frozen corn so no big deal but not the sausage)  She was better  the second year, so there is hope.

SPuck

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 12:07:06 PM »
If she is going to work herself up in a tizzy let her do that. When it starts affecting you or your husband again, just ask "why is the menu such a big deal" like you did before or just say something "the menu is handled, there is no further need for discussion" and just repeat if she keeps trying to ask.

There is no polite way to deal with someone who doesn't drop a subject. There is only a blunt though properly  etiquette way to do so. What you have here is someone with a hamster on the brain that won't get off the wheel. You have to let that hamster tire it self in her own head.

This tendency runs in my family, and in myself.  The only thing that works when all else fails or for the individual and those around them not to indulge the anxiety.

learningtofly

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 01:50:35 PM »
OP here.  I thought we had this sorted out.  Silly me. 

I gave DH a list of what everyone was bringing and he told me that one of the items was similar to one his mother would probably bring.  I told him since it wasn't an item we had discussed with her that we would just have duplicate.  So food done.

MIL told DH she would be by hours earlier to help me set up.  :o  It's a table.  You put dishes on it.  Not to mention the fact that my parents will already be here.  I told DH that I am hosting the event in my house and as hostess I am perfectly capable of setting my own table. 

Apparently Tt wasn't enough.  I talked to FIL today and we talked about the upcoming dinner.  He said, "So MIL will be by a few hours earlier to help you set up."  I politely told him that I had it covered and was setting up the night before.  All she needed to do was show up in time to reheat her dishes. 

As to why I am so adament about this.  Last year MIL decided to show up hours in advance, ignored my mom in person and DH's written instructions and overcooked the main course.  My mom was not comfortable arguing with my MIL.  DH was very upset.  She also has a history of turning up the heat on our crock pot without telling us.  Since I don't want to have to guard my dinner I need her to not be here any earlier than necessary.

kherbert05

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 02:25:06 PM »
Make sure you have enough food that her contribution is completely extra. DH then needs to tell her that she is welcome to come after X time. If she shows up before X time she doesn't get to come in.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

SPuck

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 02:42:20 PM »
Didn't you mention in another thread that yelling was the best way to get through to her anyway? It might be rude, but if its the only thing that works.

learningtofly

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 04:08:13 PM »
Unfortunately yelling is the only way.  It just feels incredibly rude.  I'm going to call her 24-48 hours before dinner and "go over" the itinerary.  I'm going to tell her that I don't expect her before five.  Honestly, she'll show up at two and expect to be entertained if I'm not careful.

I'm also going to coach DH because I know she is going to call him to complain.  I am also prepared for the fact that she may ignore everything and show up when she wants.  In that case she's getting handed the remote for the tv and told to make herself comfortable.

AustenFan

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 04:13:45 PM »
Make sure you have enough food that her contribution is completely extra. DH then needs to tell her that she is welcome to come after X time. If she shows up before X time she doesn't get to come in.

I think making sure her food is completely extra is fantastic advice. OP, I would serve your dishes and send her home with her untouched ones. It's not very nice, but it's probably better then yelling at her just before dinner.

gramma dishes

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 04:21:57 PM »
Honestly, she'll show up at two and expect to be entertained if I'm not careful.

Funniest dingity dangity thing!  She arrives at 2:00, finds a note on the door saying "Hi Everyone, We're out for awhile.  See you at five!" --  and nobody's home to let her in!  Imagine that!?   >:D

TootsNYC

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 01:05:43 AM »
Unfortunately yelling is the only way.  It just feels incredibly rude.  I'm going to call her 24-48 hours before dinner and "go over" the itinerary.  I'm going to tell her that I don't expect her before five.  Honestly, she'll show up at two and expect to be entertained if I'm not careful.

I'm also going to coach DH because I know she is going to call him to complain.  I am also prepared for the fact that she may ignore everything and show up when she wants.  In that case she's getting handed the remote for the tv and told to make herself comfortable.

Can you tell her, in a regretful tone of voice, "It's nice of you to want to help, but there won't be enough room; I'm sorry to say that you'll just be in the way."

And feel free to ask her, point-blank, "Do you think we're unable to handle this?" "Do you think I'm a incompetent hostess?"

kudeebee

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Re: Yes, you are not hosting this holiday-Update post 7
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 12:23:29 PM »
DH needs to contact her the day before and say something like "mil, we look forward to seeing you and fil tomorrow for dinner.  Come at 4:45 pm and that will give you time to reheat xxx dish.  Do not come earlier than that.  See you at 4:45."

He may even need to call her the day of the dinner and repeat the message.

Then if she comes earlier do not answer the door or have dh go to the door.  "mil what are you doing here?  We told you 4:45.  We are busy with other things right now so I just can't let you in.  See you and dad at 4:45." Personally, I wouldnt answer the door.