Author Topic: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?  (Read 5197 times)

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sweetonsno

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2013, 03:35:59 PM »
I think the only real issue here was the lack of help with clean-up. However, I also am highly averse to crowded, chaotic situations, like the quagmire of suds, elbows, and plate-scraping that results when more than two people try to mash up by the sink to clean. Because I specifically want to be left alone during certain tasks (moral support from the other side of the counter is fine, but stay out of my way), I wouldn't be too upset at a family clearing out of the dining area. It makes things go much more smoothly. I will always ask if I'm needed, but if someone assures me that I'm not, I take their word for it.

I think that in the future, it's fine to ask someone for help if you need it.

"Bob, would you please help us clear?"
"Maura, would you help pack up the leftovers?"
"Katie, would you pour the port/brew the coffee?"
"George, can you give me a hand with the dishwasher?"

etiquettenut

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2013, 03:41:39 PM »
I don't blame you for giving family F the side-eye. Not offering to help clean up is extremely rude.

I agree with Toots that they should have been extra helpful once they saw that everyone had brought something and they didn't - even if they were told not to by Matriarch.

Which leads me to my next thought. It is quite possible that Matriarch did tell family F not to bring anything because everyone else had it covered. If she did, I actually think it was a faux pas on her part. She should have asked them to bring something, anything, to prevent them from looking like moochers. The rest of the family doesn't know if there was a legitimate reason F didn't bring anything; all it looks like is that they didn't contribute equally.

I also think that if I was in family F and knew that other families were bringing dishes, I would have insisted on bringing something, if only to avoid the exact situation in the OP. I agree with the previous poster who said to see what they do next year.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 03:45:20 PM »
My initial reaction would be the same as yours "a family of moochers".

But I wonder if the matriarch did tell them to not bring anything. Maybe their previous offerings were not well liked and she ended up with a lot of left overs from it. But even then, I'd feel odd walking into a family holiday dinner where everyone had contributed and bringing nothing.

The not helping out makes me wonder if they are feeling left out or apart from the family some how. Did they help in years past?

sammycat

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2013, 08:20:08 PM »
I don't blame you for giving family F the side-eye. Not offering to help clean up is extremely rude.

I agree with Toots that they should have been extra helpful once they saw that everyone had brought something and they didn't - even if they were told not to by Matriarch.

Which leads me to my next thought. It is quite possible that Matriarch did tell family F not to bring anything because everyone else had it covered. If she did, I actually think it was a faux pas on her part. She should have asked them to bring something, anything, to prevent them from looking like moochers. The rest of the family doesn't know if there was a legitimate reason F didn't bring anything; all it looks like is that they didn't contribute equally.

I also think that if I was in family F and knew that other families were bringing dishes, I would have insisted on bringing something, if only to avoid the exact situation in the OP. I agree with the previous poster who said to see what they do next year.

I agree.

lady_disdain

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2013, 08:40:59 PM »
Since they have offered and brought food in the past, I doubt they are moochers. They also went of their way to mention that grandma had told them not to bring anything (from the list in the OP, I can see why - that is a ton of food!). I give them a pass on food.

As for help, is it possible that they had helped the matriarch before hand, with other stuff?

If there is no history of this family being moochers, I would be inclined to think that there was more going on than what I saw and not concern myself with it.

VorFemme

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2013, 09:12:06 PM »
As a military member & later spouse - we sometimes had 13 hour drive to make it "back home" for Christmas.  Bringing food was not possible unless we drove.  If we drove, I would bring something that would travel - cookies or brownies or pick up rolls at a grocery store close to the gathering place. 

But after a while, we quit going back every year...just too much to coordinate!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Nebulous

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Re: Thanksgiving - was this rude or am I just overly judgmental?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2013, 11:56:58 PM »
I don't know if you are being overly judgemental - it's possible that there is a back history here that is coloring your view.

This is probably a big part.  Maybe it's not so much that it was rude, but past observations of Family F combined with this recent experience made me feel like they were being inconsiderate.  The prior Thanksgiving was horrible - they came very late, left very early and did not contribute.  M was so disappointed - she wanted to socialize and enjoy her family and it didn't happen.

As for this year, I don't know the full story - that is between M and Family F.  The only thing I have to go by is my limited observations.  As I mentioned, I would never talk about this with M or Family F - I just wanted to get some perspective so I came here.  I think the part that bugs me the most is that I love M and I want her to enjoy her favorite holiday. When I became able to contribute to it, I didn't wait to be asked, I offered to help - especially this year due to P's poor health and her disappointing experience last year.  It may be that Family F is just used to M doing everything and not noticing that the situation has been evolving as family grows larger and M and P grow older.

Other general observations - Family F has contributed in the past (sometimes bringing a veggie platter or salad, other times bringing a vegetarian main dish), but they don't do so consistently.  Distance isn't a factor as we are all fairly local (within a half-hour's drive or less).

They also went of their way to mention that grandma had told them not to bring anything...

Actually, I don't know if M asked them to bring anything or not. The way Family F worded their response, it let me to believe that M told Family F what everyone else was bringing.  This would leave an opening for Family F to offer to bring something, but apparently they felt everything was "all taken care of".  But perhaps they offered to bring a veggie tray but M already had one.  I think Family F was also contacted last so that may be a big contributing factor ;D  Since I don't know, nor will I ever know, what that conversation was like I won't fret about it.

As for helping out, I don't know if they assisted M with any preparations.  I was there for a good portion the day before helping with cleaning and set-up, but it's possible they came by in the evening.  On Thanksgiving they arrived after I had, and left before I did.  But as some people pointed out, it can be hard to cram a bunch of people in the kitchen for cleanup.  M's house is a bit smaller, so that is a very valid point.

I want to thank you all for helping me gain some perspective.  I think I just needed to work things out a little bit.  I really want to let go of any negative feelings towards Family F, especially as Christmas is coming.  I don't really contact Family F much (I don't have their email and we don't communicate via facebook), but I may do so more in the future for group gatherings.  After all is said and done, M had a great Thanksgiving this year, all the families stayed later and the adults did something they've never done - actually play games together!  I have a truly blessed family if this is the worst thing I can complain about  :)

What about Family E???

Eeek!  I had written a completely too long and boring back story with lots of details... and a little part of me thought it was fitting that each family ended up with a "letter grade". Then I went back and edited to simplify and I totally missed this error!