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Author Topic: S/O Of Taking Someone a Meal  (Read 25145 times)

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Re: S/O Of Taking Someone a Meal
« Reply #105 on: August 25, 2014, 03:21:17 PM »
If SIL is the only one who finds the pizza disagreeable once every three months, is it that bad that his wife and children get something to eat, not having to prepare dinner, while he fixes himself a sandwich or Chef Boyardee?  I'm considering myself, and while I might not be 100% thrilled with Papa's, it's edible.  At least the rest of the family gets something they thoroughly enjoy and I get out of cooking.

I can't stand cooked peas and carrots, but guess what I'm dishing up once in awhile. 

If this was weekly or every other week, even monthly, I can see asking to stop the favor or use another venue, but if the OP is opting to do this three or four times a year, suck it up as long as the rest of the family enjoys it. 

Again I question, does it have to be pizza?  Are there any other choices as far as inexpensive, convenient, family meals?

POD to wolfie's response, and also, IIRC, the family is Daughter, Son-in-law, the 3-year-old granddaughter, and the 8-month-old grandson. Maybe the OP too, if she stays for dinner. I'm guessing the baby doesn't eat the pizza. The 3-year-old might eat and like pizza, but she probably doesn't eat all that much of it, and at her age her parents have considerable control over her food choices. That leaves Daughter, Son-in-law, and the OP. Of the three adults, one of them doesn't like the pizza at all (Son-in-law), and Daughter doesn't care for it enough to tell her DH to suck it up because she likes it. Which suggests to me that really, it's the OP who's enjoying this particular pizza the most. Seen in that light, it just doesn't seem like that great of a favor to me.

It would be different if there were, say, four teenagers in the house who all loved the pizza, and Daughter loved the pizza, and only Son-in-law didn't and had directly asked the OP to bring something different--in that case you would kind of wonder, hey, can't you eat something else once every few weeks, so everyone else can have a treat they love? But that's not what happened. Instead, you've got Son-in-law either eating something he doesn't like or fixing himself a different meal; the baby eats something different anyway; the 3-year-old probably wouldn't know any different one way or another; the Daughter thinks it's okay but not enough to put her husband out. Therefore I don't see this particular pizza getting a lot of utility at their house.

Not only isn't it getting a lot of utility it might even be causing strife. Because after I said I didn't like it and it kept coming anyway I would start asking my spouse what I did to upset his mother so much and why she hates me. And it would probably be pretty frosty in the house after that dinner as I started wondering if my spouse was ever going to stick up for me and make sure that a dinner everyone could eat would happen sometime.


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Re: S/O Of Taking Someone a Meal
« Reply #106 on: August 25, 2014, 03:42:54 PM »
This thread reminds me very much of the "Fishcake saga" thread from a month or two back.   If I recall, the OP came from a family that eats what's put in front of them with a smile on their face, and the husband didn't eat what he didn't care for.  It seems like E-hell was pretty split on how the couple should navigate that problem too.

Digging below the surface, it seems very similar.....someone brings/prepares food or does a favor for someone else who doesn't care for it, and then is upset when the offering is rejected.

Providing food or meals for our families and loved ones is such an emotional subject to begin with, tie that in to how different families handle eating issues, likes/dislikes/allergies/intolerances you name it, and it's just a total crapshoot that you navigate meals without hurt feelings.

I tend to think that the OP has a lot of backstory with her SIL and may be overblowing this particular incident.  I do think that it would have been a better move on the part of the daughter and SIL to decline any further offers of pizza without explanation.  But most people I know would have probed a little to see if there was a reason behind declining the offers of a parent, which would have still ended up with the real reason coming out.


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Re: S/O Of Taking Someone a Meal
« Reply #107 on: August 25, 2014, 03:55:25 PM »
^Yes! Food is a really emotional issue for a lot of people. I have been noticing that especially as lately I've had major food restrictions--so many social events are contingent on eating, which just doesn't hold much appeal for me anymore. People always want to get together for lunch or a coffee or grab a bite after work--no one says, "Let's go for a walk in the park to catch up," it's always, "Let's have a drink/meal and catch up."

Personally I feel very strongly about not eating things I don't want to eat. I've always felt that way but now it has a new health-related tinge to it. Of course I was raised with "if you don't like it, don't eat it" and we never had vegetables because my mom didn't like them herself. I know other people are firmly in the "clean your plate" or "you can't reject it until you've had one bite" camp and I don't know that anyone is wrong, but I do think it's wrong to tell other adults what to do with their food. The conflict comes when I'm just doing my thing, and someone else interprets that as a rejection of their own way or of their love or hospitality, when I didn't mean it that way at all, and wasn't even thinking about it in terms of them.


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Re: S/O Of Taking Someone a Meal
« Reply #108 on: August 26, 2014, 12:49:49 AM »
I think putting it in very general terms (and I'm not talking about this specific situation, but just as food for discussion): there are two kinds of people when it comes to doing favours. There are those who genuinely want to help and who will therefore make the favour useful to its recipient and make sure it is going to be so before they do it, and there are those who just want to be seen to be doing something nice and/or get the kudos/praise for doing people favours, without much thought to whether it'll actually be useful or not.

When doing a favour, it's probably a good idea to think about your motivation. In the case of food, to my mind, a favour in which one of the recipients of the favour specifically doesn't like what is to be received isn't really a favour - it's more of a burden. Because now he has to cook something separate for tea if he wants to eat too.

I used to ("used to" being the operative phrase here!) have a friend who would do the second type of favour rather than the first, because what she actually wanted was for everyone to pat her on the back and gush about what a good person she was for doing it. When that praise was not forthcoming (because the favours missed the mark, because she hadn't thought whether they'd be useful to the recipient, because all she was interested in was her praise), she took massive offence and threw her toys out of the pram. She was exhausting to be around, and I would rather she had never done me any favours at all than to have to deal with that.