So my humblemumble birthday is coming up and my MIL called my husband to arrange to take me out to dinner. A couple of things tweaked me about the VERY nice offer.
1. She set the date for the night of my actual birthday, rather than asking if we had made plans. My birthday falls mid-week and I rarely like to socialize into the late evening because it makes 4:30 AM alarm clocks even more evil than their default state.
2. She kept insisting on a Brazilian restaurant that specializes in what they call, "A Festival of Meat." MIL knows I'm a vegetarian for medical reasons and she has hosted me for dinner multiple times with this knowledge (I usually have boiled carrots and salad, which I do not object to). She kept explaining to the husband about the salad bar at this place and that they would have mushrooms and such at the table for me to consume.
I heard the Dude's side of the conversation and he was quite repetitive, "Doesn't sound like Spooky would have many options." "Doesn't sound like Spooky can eat much there." "No, she can't have chicken." "No, she can't have ham." "No, she can't eat that." "Mom, is that made from an animal? Then, no, she can't eat that."
I think she read about this restaurant and really wants to go, but she is of the mindset that restaurants are A Night Out and there must be some occasion attached to it. And my birthday is the next event on the family calendar.Is her presumption of the date rude?
Is her choice of restaurants rude?
Her culture and life experience have hard wired her to believe that she is not being a proper hostess unless you have food and wine in front of you the entire time. So, I have a hard time deciding if her insistence is impolite, cluelessness, or stubbornness? For what it's worth, I don't think she believes my dietary restrictions are really health threatening... because of the following:
Alcohol can give me seizures when I'm on a particular medication and she won't let it go when I politely refuse a glass of wine. My husband has lost his temper with her before when she asked me for the tenth or eleventh time if I was really sure I didn't want a glass of wine. I wanted it alright, but I really didn't want to end up in the hospital. Also: I would love to experience a festival of meat, but I don't want to experience four days of excruciating pain afterwards...
In the end, I told the Dude that Friday worked better for us and that I'd prefer to go for sushi, as I can still eat the fishies. He hasn't called her back, yet.