Author Topic: Stop making us food!  (Read 7059 times)

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Giggity

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2013, 11:49:49 AM »
The other thing is my grandma is a "feeder," but only of men.

That would make me nuts and I'd have to mention it. Prejudice and bigotry are wrong no matter why they exist.
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Snowy Owl

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2013, 12:13:33 PM »
The other thing is my grandma is a "feeder," but only of men.

That would make me nuts and I'd have to mention it. Prejudice and bigotry are wrong no matter why they exist.

I think some of this comes down to an historical idea of "Men do hard manual labour and so need a proper dinner.  Women don't do manual labour."  My Grandmother was like this and despite the fact my father and my uncles all did fairly sedentary office based jobs, she had an urgent need to feed them at every opportunity whether they wanted it or not.  She never forgot to feed the women but she did focus her cooking on making sure her men were well fed. 

It used to annoy the women in the family very much but we could never get her to understand why.   

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VorFemme

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2013, 12:49:01 PM »
Dad grew up one of three sons in a farm family - with a baby sister who graduated high school about the same time as his parents sold the farm (Grandpa had arthritis).  The men were fed by Grandma - but as she was taking care of a garden, chickens, laundry, the house (with running water, an indoor bathroom, and 1950s kitchen appliances as her only modern amenities - no vacuum cleaner, this was the late 1950s early 1960s - so no microwave, no dishwasher, and she used a wringer washer in a shed, no dryer - clothes line) - she was BUSY and knew that women needed to be fed, too.

Just the men had to be fed first if they were going back out to do farmwork.  Women could sit around a few minutes longer & chat, then do the dishes together.
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NyaChan

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2013, 01:05:36 PM »
You know thinking about it, this kind of sounds (as does White Lotus' example) like a strange version of a cultural tradition we have in Hyderabadi culture called takalluf (politeness).  When serving a guest, hosts will out of politeness/hospitality repeatedly try to serve the guests more food as guests out of politeness will repeatedly decline to take food or will take only a little of the less choice parts.  If a host doesn't do that, they are considered rude, as if they didn't care whether or not that guest ate or not.  Different levels of forcefulness are required for the the importance of the guest or the level of formality between them and the host.

Here in the U.S. we now have developed the tradition of hosts saying, "Please, take whatever you would like, there is no need for takalluf between us," as the process is time consuming and in my opinion, irritating for everyone.  I'll never forget the story of how my Aunt's son-in-law stormed out of a family wedding, horribly offended because he was not offered the choice piece of meat from the main dish (turned out my dad's baby cousin who was much loved by everyone had been given it earlier by an unthinking relative when no one was looking).

Lynn2000

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2013, 01:13:44 PM »
The other thing is my grandma is a "feeder," but only of men.

That would make me nuts and I'd have to mention it. Prejudice and bigotry are wrong no matter why they exist.

Oh, it is kind of nuts. My grandma is kind of a character... Unusually liberal (for her age and location) in some ways, but with these very strong ideas about the differences between what women and men "ought" to do. For example, one of my adult female cousins was staying with my grandma for several days and kept saying to her, "What can I do for you while I'm here? Can I clean, cook, fix something, etc.?" and my grandma kept saying, "Oh no, dear, I don't want you to come here and work! Just enjoy yourself." Then, literally in the same conversation, she turns to my uncle and says, "Sometime next week, could you drive over to my town [some distance away], pick up a new DVD player from Wal-Mart, and install it for me?" Several of us had to comment on that, because it was so ridiculous--there was absolutely no reason why cousin couldn't do that, as cousin herself said. But electronics are something only men can figure out, so...  ::)

Actually I think it's insulting to both genders, because my grandma acts like the men couldn't possibly feed themselves adequately if someone didn't do it for them. Back on topic, I wonder if the OP's MIL has this attitude--maybe not about men, but perhaps about "the younger generation"? Like, somehow she imagines the OP and her DH sitting around their living room eating fast food or beans from a can or something, until they come to the oasis of real food that is MIL's house.
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scansons

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2013, 01:28:50 PM »
Maybe you could try redirecting her.  I know bunches of community groups who have hospitality committees, or whatever group puts on the potlucks.  If she has some need to serve food and be praised for it, that could be a very good way to go.  Maybe at her church. 

hobish

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2013, 02:01:27 PM »
Is this a change in behavior for her?

Do you help her store the leftovers so that she can enjoy them later?

My mother in law did that sometimes, and I would just thank her profusely, tell her we couldn't eat, and then help her put all she had cooked into single serving containers, take a couple and help her store in the freezer or fridge a bunch for her and the other son. It was a lot of work, but kept her and me busy so we could chat and cover the inevitable awkward pauses. (She had at least a hundred margarine containers.)

The thing that REALLY irritated me was when she would comment that we should lose weight and then insist on feeding us cookies - EEK! It was easy to refuse because I hated those cakelike cookies. You can quote me on that.

That is exactly what my mom would do with my grandmom. Worked out well for everyone, but especially Grandpop, who got all the leftovers :)

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BeagleMommy

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2013, 02:24:48 PM »
OP, I'm glad the tupperware is working so far.  When DH and I were first married, my FIL (who did all the cooking) kept insisting I should eat more that what I put on my plate.  No matter how many times I would say that I had plenty he would insist that I had to eat more.  I never ate any more and he would get upset.

At one point he actually placed more food on my plate.  Finally, DH and my MIL said to him "You do realize that BeagleMommy will get sick if she eats more than she's supposed to, don't you?"  In his mind I was a thin girl (oh, I remember thin!) who needed more "meat on her bones".  He came from a farming family and stockier women were the norm.  He kept forgetting that I was a diabetic.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2013, 09:28:30 PM »
Could you make sure your visits are short ones (eg no more than one hour), thus giving her no opportunity to get up and cook a second meal?

snappylt

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2013, 08:01:35 PM »
Kitchcat, your post stirred up some memories for me.  My mother had Alzheimer's.  Looking back, we realize that she was able to hide it for several years before the symptoms got so bad...

One of the things my mother used to do when we would visit was push food on us.  I don't remember her food pushing being quite as bad as you mention in your post.  (I don't remember her ever cooking us a second big meal an hour after cooking a first one, for example.  Her technique was to offer snacks just about every half hour, and I don't know that that was dementia-related.)  But your post got me to thinking.

Is there any chance that your MIL is literally forgetting that she just served you a meal when she starts to serve you a second one too soon?  Are there any other signs that she is slipping mentally?