Author Topic: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)  (Read 10703 times)

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freakyfemme

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Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« on: October 29, 2007, 12:20:48 AM »
Hey all,

Remember the disastrous dinner outing last year, where my family went to a Chinese restaurant in a busy mall in Toronto during Boxing Week with my uncle, his boyfriend, and the boyfriend's mother, who spoke almost NO English, and couldn't hear very well either?  Well, long story short, we'd already spent the entire AFTERNOON in Toronto (my brother had to return something to a computer store that was across town from the restaurant), and it was horrendously noisy, crowded, and unpleasant, which aggravates my panic attacks, but of course, according to my mom, those are "all in my head," and I'm "just being a delicate flower." 

Then, at the restaurant, I was berated for refusing to let my uncle's boyfriend hug me, for eating more than my share of green beans when almost ALL the other dishes contained meat, not eating more than a few bites of tofu (I stopped when I detected chicken fat in it) or red bean soup (I hadn't chosen it, but I tried a bite anyway, and I legitimately didn't like it, I was just kind of shocked, like "Wow, why does this soup taste SWEET?!") and not making enough conversation with my uncle's boyfriend's mom, when, aside from the language and hearing barrier, the noise level in the restaurant precluded any kind of conversation in the first place.  Basically, I was made to feel uncomfortable the entire time, and then accused of being rude. 

My mom gave me the silent treatment and refused to be seen in public for a few days after the incident, and she says that my uncle and his boyfriend don't really want to have anything to do with me anymore (it doesn't matter to me anyway, we're not close, and I saw my uncle in the summer, and he was perfectly nice to me, and seemed happy to see me).  She says she was glad I didn't invite them to my university graduation last spring, after the way I behaved.......but, she sees every event that involves them as "mandatory," and says that I should be there and "try to redeem myself," and one occasion won't do it, it's apparently an ongoing process.  So, I have a feeling that this Christmas is going to be a repeat of last year's visit, but there's no way I'm going to allow myself to be subjected to that again.  I just need to make that clear to my mom, and not be bullied into going again.

That said, I'd be fine with visting my uncle and his boyfriend if we went to my uncle's HOUSE (or if they came to ours), so the visit would be conducted in a pleasant, relaxed environment that wasn't anything like a big Toronto mall during Boxing Week, and so I'd know that my food wasn't being cooked by strangers who didn't speak English well, and thought that "vegetarian" just meant "contains vegetables."  But, I know that trying to establish boundaries like that would be rude, because it's not up to a guest to determine the terms of an invitation, ESPECIALLY not a guest without "voting rights" (not being one of the "heads of the household" like my parents), and ESPECIALLY not when I was the one who was "rude" last year.......never mind that my parents and brother made homophobic jokes and "Chink jokes" all the way there and back, and told me to "lighten up" when I told them to stop.

Anyway, just to clarify--I need a way to say NO to the busy Chinese restaurant (my uncle's boyfriend is Chinese, and those are the only kinds of restaurants he'll visit), NO to the offensive jokes behind their backs, NO to the scapegoating, and NO to being forced to stuff my face with inedible (to me) foods against my will, and if that means saying NO to the visit altogether, then so be it. 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 12:23:47 AM by freakyfemme »

caranfin

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 01:29:17 PM »
"Mom, this trip didn't work last year. I can promise you that if you make me go, this year will be a repeat."
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

freakyfemme

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 02:48:48 PM »
"Mom, this trip didn't work last year. I can promise you that if you make me go, this year will be a repeat."

That'll just be misread as "What, you mean you're NOT PREPARED TO BE POLITE?!?!?!"  Then she'd give me the silent treatment and be embarrassed to be seen with me whether I go or not......good try, though. :)  I think I might be able to get out of it if I say I'm teaching a clarinet lesson that day, though......and if I really am, even better, I get to check in with Stella too. :)

caranfin

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 02:52:10 PM »
Well, being me, I would respond with "I notice you expect a lot more of me than of yourself. You were horribly rude to me last year. You ridiculed my panic attacks, mocked my vegetarianism, and made incredibly rude jokes about uncle and his BF. Yet you expect me to be this perfect little princess. Maybe you should act as a better role model."

But no, I don't expect you to say that.  :)
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

MDefarge

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 06:04:30 PM »
Suddenly be really really ill? Possibly female troubles/stomach issues? I wouldn't normally recommend lying about not wanting to go someplace, but I have a feeling that if you go your mom is going to see *anything* you do as "rude."

sammycat

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 08:51:09 PM »
(my uncle's boyfriend is Chinese, and those are the only kinds of restaurants he'll visit),

Aside from everything else, I find that to be very rude.  Just because he's so picky everyone else has to continually cowtow to eating his preferred food?  One person in a largish group shouldn't be able to continually have his way and I can't believe everyone goes along with it.  I'm a picky eater too but I don't expect an entire group of people to only eat at the places I like.  Why can't he suck it up for one meal a year?


freakyfemme

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 11:59:28 PM »
(my uncle's boyfriend is Chinese, and those are the only kinds of restaurants he'll visit),

Aside from everything else, I find that to be very rude.  Just because he's so picky everyone else has to continually cowtow to eating his preferred food?  One person in a largish group shouldn't be able to continually have his way and I can't believe everyone goes along with it.  I'm a picky eater too but I don't expect an entire group of people to only eat at the places I like.  Why can't he suck it up for one meal a year?



Well, it's harder to say something about that, because since my uncle's boyfriend is so "aggressively Chinese," as it were, if we say we'd prefer to eat at a non-Chinese restaurant (and yes, it has to be TRADITIONAL Chinese, none of those buffet places), then we become "racist."  ::)

Chocolate Cake

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 10:06:50 AM »
The best way to prepare yourself, in my opinion, is to recognize and come to accept the fact that nothing you say or do will please your Mother in this regard.  And, no matter what, she will be angry, or will shun you for a time, or something equally unpleasant.  When you are comfortable with that idea, you can simply decline to participate and let the chip fall where they may.  Because you anticipated the fall-out, you will be able to handle it.

freakyfemme

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 06:12:05 PM »
The best way to prepare yourself, in my opinion, is to recognize and come to accept the fact that nothing you say or do will please your Mother in this regard.  And, no matter what, she will be angry, or will shun you for a time, or something equally unpleasant.  When you are comfortable with that idea, you can simply decline to participate and let the chip fall where they may.  Because you anticipated the fall-out, you will be able to handle it.

I think I might be in the clear if I say something like, "Hey, you know, Uncle and Boyfriend treated us last time, so why don't we have them over to our house this year?"  For some reason, Boyfriend *will* eat non-Chinese food if it's at someone's house, it's just restaurants he's picky about.  But anyway, if I volunteered to help with the cooking, table-setting, clean-up and whatnot, I can see everything working out really well.

willow08

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 04:15:20 PM »
Your mom is overreacting to your relatively minor behavior (and fabricating your uncle's reaction to the behavior) to keep the strong arm on you so she can control which events you go to and how you behave in order to "redeem" yourself. (And giving herself a free pass for her own, far more icky "jokes.)

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willow08

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 04:16:28 PM »
The best way to prepare yourself, in my opinion, is to recognize and come to accept the fact that nothing you say or do will please your Mother in this regard.  And, no matter what, she will be angry, or will shun you for a time, or something equally unpleasant.  When you are comfortable with that idea, you can simply decline to participate and let the chip fall where they may.  Because you anticipated the fall-out, you will be able to handle it.

I think I might be in the clear if I say something like, "Hey, you know, Uncle and Boyfriend treated us last time, so why don't we have them over to our house this year?"  For some reason, Boyfriend *will* eat non-Chinese food if it's at someone's house, it's just restaurants he's picky about. 

That smacks of weird control issues, too.
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freakyfemme

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 12:37:19 AM »
The best way to prepare yourself, in my opinion, is to recognize and come to accept the fact that nothing you say or do will please your Mother in this regard.  And, no matter what, she will be angry, or will shun you for a time, or something equally unpleasant.  When you are comfortable with that idea, you can simply decline to participate and let the chip fall where they may.  Because you anticipated the fall-out, you will be able to handle it.

I think I might be in the clear if I say something like, "Hey, you know, Uncle and Boyfriend treated us last time, so why don't we have them over to our house this year?"  For some reason, Boyfriend *will* eat non-Chinese food if it's at someone's house, it's just restaurants he's picky about. 

That smacks of weird control issues, too.

Actually, I'm not even sure that Boyfriend is even all that wild about eating non-Chinese food at our house.....now that I think of it, I remember the very first Christmas after he started dating Uncle (I was in grade eleven, and they'd started going out the previous spring or summer), and their Christmas gift to our family consisted of a set of various woks and other Chinese cooking apparatus, and some basic ingredients, such as noodles, oyster crackers, fish sauce, and other things.  I wasn't vegetarian then (I didn't become vegetarian until November 1st of 2001, so that was in the fall of grade twelve), but I remember being kind of grossed out at the idea of FISH sauce.......I've never been wild about seafood.  So, the accoutrements for procuring Chinese cuisine just languished in the kitchen until my mom gave up and threw out the food, and put away the cookware.....somewhere.  But, now that I look back on this, I'm thinking, wow....holy veiled hint, Batman. ::)

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2007, 11:27:19 AM »
I like the idea of offering to host a meal if you still want to make the effort to spend the holiday with your mother, uncle, and his boyfriend. 

Since the boyfriend has made a big display of gifting Chinese cook ware and a strong preference for authentic Chinese cuisine, how about learning some authentic dishes to prepare for a meal at your home?  There are plenty of strictly vegetarian dishes in Chines cuisine and you could also prepare a few of your own favorites, just to help ensure that there's a few items that everyone might enjoy.
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freakyfemme

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2007, 08:20:19 PM »
Bumping because I'm going home for Christmas break soon.....

Elle

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Re: Need a script for Christmas holidays (it pays to be prepared)
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2007, 08:47:20 PM »
What about picking up a Chinese/ English dictionary? Dog-ear the page for 'vegetarian' in case you end up at the restaurant again. Maybe if you bring a phrasebook to dinner you can converse with Uncle's BF. (My thinking is that you got 'so engrossed' in trying to talk to Uncle's BF that you just didn't know how 'mannerless' you were being  ::). A built in excuse if you will.)

Your mother is going to get upset about something, so accept it and do what you can to have a good holiday.