Author Topic: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself  (Read 8895 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Girlie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 513
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 12:53:08 PM »
Such a small thing for the "whole" family to be outraged about, IMO.

I'm rather shy, and my husband's extended family is quite loud and boisterous, and when we were first going out, I was intimidated by them. However, I did at least feel like I was being given a chance and that everyone wanted to like me. Now things are fine.
However, if I had felt unwelcome, things like this might have gone on, too. It kind of sounds like the channels of communication have never been opened between these two, especially since the biggest gripe the MIL has is that her probably-future DIL doesn't seem to know how this family runs things, or else is too unsure of how to participate without feeling like she's intruding. Sounds to me like Amy was right on this one, and a little graciousness might go a long way.

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8715
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 01:39:04 PM »
It reminds me of a 'test' that a guy I know said he performed on a woman on a first date.  If he opened the car door for her and she didn't lean over to open the door for him, apparently she was unworthy to date.

My response to that test is always to remember the ex-boyfriend who lectured me for not doing that--even though he constantly forgot to actually lock his car door in the first place! I'd see by glancing over that it was unlocked and leave it be. I finally got sick of hearing how rude I was, and developed a habit of pretend-unlocking it even if I could see it was already unlocked, so he'd have no room to complain. (Yes, the relationship had Many Problems.)

AylaM

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 326
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 01:41:01 PM »
Quote
She said, "I guess I should get up," and I said, "I think you should!" This was the first and last time she ever did.

The FDIL was one of two people sitting at the table and made a comment/observation about getting up to help.  It seemed more like a question than anything.

This would have been a great place to say "In our family, the cook prepares the meal and everyone else clears the table as a 'thank you' "

The MIL didn't.  She snarked. 

It would be the last time I helped as well

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12768
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2012, 02:17:48 PM »
Such a small thing for the "whole" family to be outraged about, IMO.

I always take statements that "everybody" or "the whole family" or "the neighborhood" is upset with a grain of salt that would fill Hallein. More often than not, only one person is unhappy and everybody else silently ignores or makes polite agreement-sounds to make them go away. Or, the "everybody" is just a ploy to claim more authority.

Quote
She said, "I guess I should get up," and I said, "I think you should!" This was the first and last time she ever did.

The FDIL was one of two people sitting at the table and made a comment/observation about getting up to help.  It seemed more like a question than anything.

This would have been a great place to say "In our family, the cook prepares the meal and everyone else clears the table as a 'thank you' "

The MIL didn't.  She snarked. 

It would be the last time I helped as well

Me too! Talk about hostile. You really have to wonder what the underlying issue is. Odds on favorite: "That witch is taking my little boy away!!!!" Since it's not socially acceptable to say things like that, she finds some relatively trivial issue to get her knickers in a twist about. Add in a bit of "our way is the only way and anyone who doesn't already know that is an ignorant, rude boob" and you've got this fMIL.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6257
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 03:22:53 PM »
I'm suprised at the comments about the letter writer.  She doesn't say anything negative about the FDIL other than she has one pet peeve since she met her. 

As far as a guest clearing the table, I can understand a first time dinner guest not jumping up to help when everyone else starts clearing the table.  But I really can't imagine not figuring out the social norms of the family by now.  If everyone chips in to take dirty dishes in, carrying serving pieces back into the kitchen and helps put the food away, I would not feel comfortable not helping out.

But you'd think the writer could figure out all she has to do is make a comment like "Sue, would you mind picking up the napkins and taking them to the laundry room?".

But I'll admit I have a personal bias.  My DHs sister never offered to help after meals.  She just sat, drank wine and chatted.  My sister's DH stopped that by always saying "Jane, if you'll clear the table, I'll load the dishwasher." or something similar.

Edited to fix spell check fixes.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 05:24:32 PM by Hmmmmm »

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 03:36:46 PM »
If I invite someone to dinner I do NOT expect them to clean up afterwards. This girl is not family at this point, she's just gotten engaged. So since the first time this girl met his family, she's been expected to act as a member of the family and know what the expectations are. Really, the first time?
 Sounds to me that this girl has been failed by the entire family, but especially the boyfriend/finance who never seems to explain to her. And now she has a family that resents her and and MIL that would rather snark and write letters about her than have a heart to heart about how things are done in her family.

 Frankly I pity the girl.

SPuck

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 967
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2012, 03:47:15 PM »
As far as a guest clearing the table, I can understand a first time dinner guest not jumping up to help when everyone else starts clearing the table.  But I really can't imagine not figuring out the social norms of the family by now.  If everyone chips in to take dirty dishes in, charities serving pieces back into the kitchen and helps put the fod away, I would not feel comfortable not helping out.

I don't know, people can be particular about there plates. Across most social groups I am connected with (personal friends, family, family friends) all the hosts generally handle there own plates. Thanks giving and if someone staying for an extended period of time, are the only time guests help with plates. After 30 years with the same dish washer my parents still argue about how to load it.

That, and with the use of the we in this letter, I can't have any sympathy for the writer.

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4142
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2012, 04:04:55 PM »
As far as a guest clearing the table, I can understand a first time dinner guest not jumping up to help when everyone else starts clearing the table.  But I really can't imagine not figuring out the social norms of the family by now.  If everyone chips in to take dirty dishes in, charities serving pieces back into the kitchen and helps put the fod away, I would not feel comfortable not helping out.

I don't know, people can be particular about there plates. Across most social groups I am connected with (personal friends, family, family friends) all the hosts generally handle there own plates. Thanks giving and if someone staying for an extended period of time, are the only time guests help with plates. After 30 years with the same dish washer my parents still argue about how to load it.

That, and with the use of the we in this letter, I can't have any sympathy for the writer.

For me, it was the overall tone of the LW that made my hackles rise.  I agree with ART2000K.  This is just a concrete reason for her to express her real (and displaced) anger.  This woman sounds like she is spitting nails.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2012, 04:36:37 PM »
When I go to my dad's I don't make a single move to get up and help after dinner.  Not because I wouldn't but because I know it stresses my stepmom out to have people in her kitchen (ironically because my dad is so particular about how the dishwasher is packed, a nuance I actually know the rules to).  Others stand to help but I know its not actually helpful. 

When I was a kid, my mom hated when anyone helped clear up, because my mom felt there was all night to clean but limited time to socialize - the dishes could wait.

As an adult, I have a tiny kitchen and a super small dishwasher.  I'll refrigerate a few key things and then I like my mom figure I can clean up any time, and like my dad I'm a bit anal about how the dishes should be stacked, so I don't want anyone in my space.

And so I'm in a habit of not helping - because those closest to me don't like help and I myself don't want the help.

Now I do tend to look around when I'm a guest to try to see how others are handling it, but my instinct is to enjoy my coffee and the conversation.

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2360
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2012, 04:38:03 PM »
It reminds me of a 'test' that a guy I know said he performed on a woman on a first date.  If he opened the car door for her and she didn't lean over to open the door for him, apparently she was unworthy to date.

My response to that test is always to remember the ex-boyfriend who lectured me for not doing that--even though he constantly forgot to actually lock his car door in the first place! I'd see by glancing over that it was unlocked and leave it be. I finally got sick of hearing how rude I was, and developed a habit of pretend-unlocking it even if I could see it was already unlocked, so he'd have no room to complain. (Yes, the relationship had Many Problems.)

That's from a film, there's a clip of it at the beginning of an Ataris song (Your Boyfriend Sucks).

Edit: The song's called Your Boyfriend Sucks, I wasn't commenting on anyone's boyfriend!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 04:41:03 PM by Snooks »

Girlie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 513
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2012, 04:54:14 PM »
Such a small thing for the "whole" family to be outraged about, IMO.

I always take statements that "everybody" or "the whole family" or "the neighborhood" is upset with a grain of salt that would fill Hallein. More often than not, only one person is unhappy and everybody else silently ignores or makes polite agreement-sounds to make them go away. Or, the "everybody" is just a ploy to claim more authority.

I agree completely. I also think it's entirely possible that the future MIL is snarking about it to the relatives, and they're saying something basically mild, like, "Yes, I'm surprised she doesn't help," and the FMIL is choosing to describe it as being "outraged."

Really, how big of a kitchen can you have that an entire extended family can comfortably fit in order to help clean? Whether the letter writer means to or not, she comes across to me as though she's looking for something to not like about this girl. In my humble opinion (and experience), if this is all she could come up with, she ought to be thankful.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12623
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2012, 05:18:04 PM »
Paternal Grandmother had a small kitchen - but with one person washing, one drying & handing out the clean dishes to be put away, while someone else handed dirty dishes to the washer (one six foot counter had the washing sink, the rinsing sink, and the drying rack on it - as well as a short bit of counter to the other side of the sink for dirty dishes - plenty of room for the two of them or a small group - not enough for the family-as-a-whole).  And while we washed, dried, scraped plates, put away leftovers, and such (cheek to cheek, as it were) - we gabbed for about twenty minutes - then it was all done and back to the party!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2012, 05:22:08 PM »
Paternal Grandmother had a small kitchen - but with one person washing, one drying & handing out the clean dishes to be put away, while someone else handed dirty dishes to the washer (one six foot counter had the washing sink, the rinsing sink, and the drying rack on it - as well as a short bit of counter to the other side of the sink for dirty dishes - plenty of room for the two of them or a small group - not enough for the family-as-a-whole).  And while we washed, dried, scraped plates, put away leftovers, and such (cheek to cheek, as it were) - we gabbed for about twenty minutes - then it was all done and back to the party!

If 3 people can fit in the kitchen, IMO its pretty darn large!

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2012, 06:26:25 PM »
Every family does it different and does things differently. 

For instance the LW states that 'everybody knows the cook doesn't clear'".  I don't know who 'everybody' is, but they don't live at my house.

She needs to ask her to help clean up if it is so important to her to have 15 people tromping through the kitchen.

She should be focusing on how happy her son is with the future DIL, as it looks like she is going to be his wife.

Hahahahahahahaha! I actually laughed out loud to the bolded (agree w/everything else!)

I just got done spending all day doing intensive cleaning while everybody is gone. I almost don't want anyone to come home for a day or so, so I can enjoy it! (j/k)

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15815
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Today's ask amy or cleaning up after yourself
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2012, 07:14:08 PM »
I have nothing new to add, but I think the LW is looking for an excuse to not like this girl.

Different families have different practices with regard to this and the LW has to have been living under a rock not to know this.  She needs to get over herself.