Author Topic: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything." Update p 50  (Read 12784 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2013, 05:25:38 PM »
OP, I think it is polite to ask when a person is available to celebrate, and to suggest a restaurant, but I would never take a vegetarian to a churrascaria.

Eden

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2013, 05:27:23 PM »
I agree with everyone else on both counts, but I guess I'm the only vegetarian to love churrascaria!  I was a lifelong veggie until about 6 months ago, and every time I visited family in Dallas, I begged them to take me to Texas de Brazil.  Maybe it depends on the restaurant, but every time I ate there I had to be wheeled out on a stretcher.  That salad bar isn't your typical salad bar by any stretch.

That's been my experience at those restaurants as well. BUT I digress ... While I think MIL was incredibly rude to claim the date and insist on the restaurant, it sounds to me like the OP and Dude probably aren't being particularly direct or firm in their responses. I'd imagine something like this would be effective:

MIL: I'm taking you guys out on spooky's bday. I'm taking you to Brazilian Place
Dude: Thanks for offering. That's very generous. Let me check with spooky on her availability on that date, but we'll need to pick a different restaurant. That one won't work for spooky.
...
Dude: Sorry that date won't work for us, how about XXX and Restaurant 123?

MIL: I'm taking you

TootsNYC

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2013, 05:40:58 PM »
was she dictating the date, or proposing it?

You guys should just say, "Sorry, not that night. We're not available." Then act bewildered if she doesn't get it.

littlebird

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2013, 06:12:21 PM »
was she dictating the date, or proposing it?

You guys should just say, "Sorry, not that night. We're not available." Then act bewildered if she doesn't get it.

Your birthday, you do what you want. Totally within your rights not to be available, even to family members.

mich3554

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2013, 10:13:18 PM »
I agree with everyone else on both counts, but I guess I'm the only vegetarian to love churrascaria!  I was a lifelong veggie until about 6 months ago, and every time I visited family in Dallas, I begged them to take me to Texas de Brazil.  Maybe it depends on the restaurant, but every time I ate there I had to be wheeled out on a stretcher.  That salad bar isn't your typical salad bar by any stretch.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that.  It would be poetic justice if she did this to be rude or crass, and it turned out to be one of your favorite places.

This has been my experience at churrascarias as well.  The 'salad bars' are not your basic salad bars, but totally outrageous.  I think that the last one I went to had sushi, a huge selection of cold seafood, a cheese selection that I could have feasted on alone, and so many different salad choices that I couldn't begin to try them all....and I was there for the meat!

Ironically, we've got reservations at a new one tomorrow night!

hyzenthlay

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2013, 10:21:21 PM »
I would not insist a vegetarian visit a churrascaria, but frankly theone here in town is one of the better options for vegetarians. There salad bar is quite extensive, they have a veggie skewer and a pineapple skewer, and the 2 vegetarians I've gone with were very happy with their meals.

Now MIL sounds pretty pushy, but I don't think the choice of restaurant alone was necessarily all that bad. The rest of it though . . ugh.

NyaChan

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2013, 10:59:21 PM »
I don't think the invitation is rude so long as it wasn't a bait & switch.  As in MIL gets your commitment to her hosting you for your birthday on that day and then reveals that she is taking you to this restaurant.  As it is, she has merely extended an invitation.  It is up to the OP & her DH to either decline or accept. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:04:09 PM by NyaChan »

snowdragon

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2013, 11:00:21 PM »
I don't think the invitation is rude so long as it wasn't a bait & switch.  As in MIL gets your commitment to her hosting your for your birthday on that day and then reveals that she is taking you to this restaurant.  As it is, she has merely extended an invitation.  It is up to the OP & her DH to either decline or accept.

This

misha412

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2013, 11:20:46 PM »
I think the MIL was highly presumptuous/borderline rude for two things: 1. Setting the day/time to go out that would make the OP stay up later than normal with a 4:30AM wake-up time. 2. Choosing a restaurant that is over the top carnivore for a vegetarian.

She also seems to have a hard time grasping that, for medical reasons, the OP cannot eat meat and cannot drink wine. Yet, she insists on meals piled with meat served with endless glasses of wine. Whether her cluelessness is real or just passive/aggressive is hard to say.

The OP should have the right to go to a restaurant where she can enjoy the food for HER birthday.

If the MIL wants Brazilian BBQ, then the MIL needs to go there for HER birthday (or Easter or St. Patrick's Day or National Pig's Day (Feb 1)). To presume that her vegetarian DIL should suck it up and enjoy a sparse salad bar on her birthday is just wrong.

secretrebel

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2013, 01:24:05 PM »
Perhaps she is confused because you say "no meat" but eat fish, which is a type of meat. She might interpret that as "sometimes eats meat." Even if she doesn't understand pesco-vegetarian, though, she's definitely rude to push after DH's first objection.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who found ti a disconnect that the OP's husband was insisting she was a vegetarian so couldn't eat meat and yet was happy to go to a seafood restaurant!

Drunken Housewife

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2013, 01:31:25 PM »
Maybe a way to get the MIL to let go of the Brazilian restaurant is to say to her something like, 'It's Spooky's birthday, so I think we should go to one of her favorite restaurants.  Let's save the Brazilian restaurant for your birthday.  It's not Spooky's thing."    The MIL clearly doesn't get the vegetarianism angle, so maybe the giving-the-birthday-person-a-treat angle will sink in.

In general whether to take a vegetarian to a churrascaria probably depends on both the vegetarian AND the restaurant.  In this thread some people know of churrascarias with magnificent salad bars, but some people have been to some with really deficient salad bars.  Some vegetarians (such as me, sigh, and I wish it wasn't this way) are really grossed out by the sights and smells of a really meat-crazed environment, and others are not and might even like the smells. 

As a vegetarian, I'd put the specific etiquette as "be careful about inviting vegetarians to a churrascaria or steakhouse."  It could be fine, but it could be terrible.  It's the same for steakhouses.  A lot of people think that actually steakhouses are the best places to take vegetarians, because they think all steakhouses have great side dishes and salads, but actually I have been taken to steakhouses where I sat there nibbling on a dinner roll with nothing to order.  They don't all have salad bars.
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Deetee

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2013, 03:38:00 PM »
I would not insist a vegetarian visit a churrascaria, but frankly theone here in town is one of the better options for vegetarians. There salad bar is quite extensive, they have a veggie skewer and a pineapple skewer, and the 2 vegetarians I've gone with were very happy with their meals.

Now MIL sounds pretty pushy, but I don't think the choice of restaurant alone was necessarily all that bad. The rest of it though . . ugh.

Somewhat related. There was a group of us who always went out for brunch together. There was a pescatarian, vegetarian, Muslim (so no pork), no seafood person and a person who could not eat soy.

The place we almost always went? Dim Sum with carts. Which serves seafood, pork, and soy almost exclusively. Everyone found stuff they liked and had a great time and we kept going back for years every month or so.

The difference was that this was optional, people were free to suggest other options and it was informal.

So restaurant choices can be surprising, but the MIL is beyond the pale because if you are going to go to a restaurent that is iffy for a person with eating restrictions, you let them decide.   

Need to Change

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2013, 07:14:34 PM »
Bad as it is to insist a voluntary vegetarian attend a meat-fest in their honor ... I really believe it's several times worse to do that to an involuntary vegetarian, and force them to watch everyone else enjoy all that forbidden food ... with giant platters and skewers parading throughout the room.  On their birthday, no less!

I'm speaking as a diabetic who's learned to attend and enjoy occasions at various "Houses of Nothing But Desserts" without snagging one morsel of any of my former favorites.  (I'm carb-sensitive beyond the point of absurd so, unlike many diabetics, I can't get away with anything.)  There's always black coffee or tea, or water.  But there's No Way I'd be OK with someone -- one who knows better -- throwing a cake-fest in my honor.  Different restriction, same principle.

White Lotus

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2013, 08:29:00 PM »
Personally, I would appreciate it if people who eat fish and/or poultry would not identify themselves as vegetarians, and that ovo or lacto or ovo-lacto vegetarians and vegans would identify themselves as such.  Many's the time I, a lifelong ovo-lacto with vegan leanings, have been served chicken and fish because those are "vegetarian".  Not.  I think OP's misidentifying herself as a vegetarian when she is actually a pescetarian may have contributed to the MIL's choice of restaurant. If it truly has a superb salad-seafood bar, I think MIL would have mentioned it.

Need to Change

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2013, 08:50:00 PM »
I suspect that it may be hard for the OP to make her particular medical restrictions non-confusing, especially to certain people.  The only choices I see are to use a one- or two-word term that doesn't quiiiiite cover it (like vegetarian), or to present friends and family with a list that no one can reasonably be expected to remember.

That said, a birthday invite to a Brazilian steakhouse is waaayyy over the top for anyone with any kind of meat restriction.

(Most of the carnivores I know are unfamiliar with terms like "ovo-lacto" and "pescetarian," and the ones I'm related to tend to find them equally confusing.  My in-laws try, really they do, but they insist on serving me "low-fat," when my medical diet is "low-carb.")
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 08:54:13 PM by Need to Change »