Author Topic: Rude not to drink?  (Read 6659 times)

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MamaMootz

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Rude not to drink?
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »
DH and I had a disagreement this past weekend while staying at his mom's house. She doesn't know how to cook very well and wanted to make me some coffee in the morning. She tried to brew instant coffee in her coffeemaker and it tasted just awful.

My question is this: do you drink the coffee anyway or do you tell his mom that it's bad?

I was of the opinion that I drink it anyway, because I don't want to insult her hospitality. I just took some sips from the cup and said my stomach was bothering me a bit, so I couldn't finish it and I left it at that.

DH picked up his cup and dumped it down the sink straightaway, stating he couldn't drink that.

I contend he was rude. Thoughts? Does the fact that this is his mom and family pay any part in whether or not it was rude?
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Judah

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 10:50:57 AM »
I would have dumped the coffee in the sink as your husband did, then I'd say, "Mom, what were you thinking? You can't brew instant coffee in a coffee maker." Then I'd make a fresh pot. In my family, this would be fine, expected even. 

I don't think your husband was rude, but I don't think you should have had to sip swill either.  For someone you aren't close to, I probably would try to fake it, but not for my mom.

ETA: You weren't rude, but it was unnecessary to drink the coffee.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 10:53:21 AM by Judah »
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LadyL

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 10:53:20 AM »
DH and I had a disagreement this past weekend while staying at his mom's house. She doesn't know how to cook very well and wanted to make me some coffee in the morning. She tried to brew instant coffee in her coffeemaker and it tasted just awful.

My question is this: do you drink the coffee anyway or do you tell his mom that it's bad?

I was of the opinion that I drink it anyway, because I don't want to insult her hospitality. I just took some sips from the cup and said my stomach was bothering me a bit, so I couldn't finish it and I left it at that.

DH picked up his cup and dumped it down the sink straightaway, stating he couldn't drink that.

I contend he was rude. Thoughts? Does the fact that this is his mom and family pay any part in whether or not it was rude?

How did his mom react? Is she touchy about her poor cooking skills or is it more of a running gag type thing in the family? In my family, if someone overcooks the meat or something we can say something about it without them getting offended because they don't want us suffering through unappealing food just to be polite. They'd be more upset if someone *didn't* tell them and then they went to take a bite or sip themselves and realized it tasted bad. But that's my family culture, everyone's is a little different. I would say that you were definitely polite and your husband could probably have erred more on the side of politeness but I can't say 100% that he was rude.

Regardless, I have found that it is best to let my partner take the lead with his family and not try to manage his dynamic with them too much (unless he is having a problem with them and wants my input). Families are complicated and I still haven't figured out the decades worth of feuds, silent rules, etc. that govern my in-laws behavior, and I've given up on trying  ;D.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 10:54:00 AM »
I think there are much softer ways of saying, "that coffee didn't turn out well."

Like, maybe, "That coffee didn't turn out well! Maybe it's because it's instant--and it gets messed up if it's brewed. Anyway, let me make a new pot."

If it's someone you're sort of close to, this kind of feedback can be a kindness.

But you don't just dump it down the sink in a rejecting manner.

Dorrie78

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 10:54:50 AM »
He was rude. All he had to do was take a few sips and then busy himself (stand up, look out the window, do some dishes, check the fridge, get the paper - anything) and pour the coffee away when mom wasn't paying attention. One of my biggest pet peeves is the idea that just because someone is family, you can be rude to him or her. Would you tell your friend that the coffee was terrible? Then don't tell your mom. Just decline it the next day. The one exception in this particular scenario is that I also think it would be okay for DH to say to mom later in the day "do you mind if I pick up some X coffee for tomorrow - we really like it in the mornings." I do think there is more flexibility with family about making requests or suggestions like that.

atirial

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 11:01:52 AM »
I think he was rude to just dump it down the sink, after she did at least try to make it. There's nothing wrong with taking a sip and then 'forgetting' the coffee and being busy with something until it has gone cold. Alternatively, could you tell her that something has gone a bit wrong with that coffee and offer to make a new one? If she knows she's a bad cook and isn't sensitive about it, you can be a lot more upfront, but still, just dumping it down the sink is rather rude.

Betelnut

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 11:05:19 AM »
I don't think either response is wrong.  It's his Mom so he can be more blunt (if that is how their family rolls).  It's your MIL so being more polite is also fine.
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SleepyKitty

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 11:08:49 AM »
I think it all depends on the family. What would be unquestionably rude to a stranger can be perfectly polite within the family - depending on the family and the context. So, I wouldn't hesitate to ask my sister if she had used a gift I had given her, or why I wasn't invited to something, and I wouldn't hesitate to tell her she had brewed the coffee wrong and I couldn't drink it. But I wouldn't hesitate because I know that she would not be upset by these things, and I would not be upset by them either (for example if she had not used the gift). I would never do the same to a stranger.

I mean, why just leave coffee sitting around until it gets cold? It's going to get dumped, not drank, no matter what. The only reason to maintain the polite fiction is because to do otherwise would upset or hurt his mother, and I don't get any sense from the OP that was the case.

Etiquette needs to be flexible to be useful. So yes, I think the fact that it was family vs. a stranger makes a difference. I don't think that one can always label an action rude without understanding the dynamic, and this is definitely one of those cases.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 11:11:18 AM »
In my dad's family, that would be a no big deal thing - my mom's family, it would have been the basis for a crying jag. Since it's your DH's family, I'd hope he knew what was appropriate for his family's dynamic, and would have done only what was reasonable for them.

No harm, no foul here.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 11:32:38 AM »
I think this is a "know your audience" thing.  If your DH knew this would not upset his mother I see nothing wrong with it.

My mother likes her coffee STRONG.  I mean, it could take paint off a car.  However, I can tell her that I just don't like how strong she brews it and I'd prefer tea.

Now if you'd said that to my SIL the reaction would be grumpy silence and my DB would hear about it for weeks afterward.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 11:34:46 AM »
My mother likes her coffee STRONG.  I mean, it could take paint off a car.  However, I can tell her that I just don't like how strong she brews it and I'd prefer tea.

Yeah...I pick on my mom's tea, because she likes it about 9 parts sugar to 1 part tea.  ;D And she picks on me in return for liking it black. Know your audience.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 11:40:52 AM »
I found his method to be abbrassive.  A pleasent 'Oops, I don't think you can brew instant coffee would have been a more polite response.

NyaChan

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 12:22:01 PM »
Your method is absolutely not rude, whereas your husband's method in almost all situations would be.  It may be that in his household it is not, but as that would be the rare exception, I vote on the side of just not drinking it and making a small excuse.

Jenny13

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 12:46:34 PM »
I would have drank it anyway.  Though, their relationship may be different. I would have told my own mother that it was awful, but not my MIL.
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Mikayla

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Re: Rude not to drink?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 12:47:32 PM »
His behavior would have been totally rude to a friend or extended family.  With parents/sibs, it depends on family dynamics.  In my family, most people would want to be told if they were making something un-drinkable, and they wouldn't mind if it was direct.