Author Topic: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!  (Read 5395 times)

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Clara Bow

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I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« on: December 09, 2006, 06:40:42 PM »
I'm having my stepmother in law and father in law in for Christmas Eve and am planning on making them a big dinner for the holidays. The problem is this: I do not like anyone in the kitchen with me and my stepmother in law in her typical hamfisted fashion cannot leave off trying to muscle in. She will not take a hint, and I don't like her in there. She doesn't do things the way I lke them done and it is a source of great consternation to me to have to rerinse the dishes and the like because she half-did them.
So how do I politely tell her that I'm a kitchen facist and I appreciate but do not need her help?? :P
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

Hawkwatcher

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2006, 06:53:34 PM »
It does not sound like your stepmother-in-law is really helpful if she does not completely wash the dishes.  I do not blame you for not wanting any more of her help.

Could you try to have most of the meal completed by the time they arrive and most of the dishes washed?  You could also use paper plates (you could find nice Christmas-themed plates) and disposable foil pans.  If  most everything is done before she gets to your house and if there are very few dishes to wash, she may resist the urge to "help."

You could also try to find relatively simple things for her to do, like set the table or serve the dessert.

sammycat

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2006, 08:37:22 PM »
Would it be possible to have some DVD's or other entertainment that she particularly likes on hand that she could watch?  Or perhaps send her on an errand for some last minute thing that it is not really vital to have (in case she says no or can't find it) to keep her out of the house for a while?  Failing that, could your DH of FIL have a word to her about staying out of the kitchen?

Good luck!

Clara Bow

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2006, 08:41:24 PM »
I think I'll probably make use of my son and send her in to play with him, and I'll definitely have as much of the meal as possible done before she arrives...thanks for the input. I'm just very picky about my kitchen and I only tolerate a very few people in there. As she and I have a less than cozy relationship (though she has improved some since my son was born) I just don't feel totally comfortable having her in my room of the house.....
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

FoxPaws

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2006, 08:47:33 PM »
Don't hint! Tell her flat out you'd just rather other people stayed out of your kitchen while you're cooking.

The other alternative is to find one time-consuming chore and put her on it - chopping up all the fruit for the fruit salad by hand with a paring knife, polishing the silver, folding the napkins into swans - to keep her occupied and out of trouble.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Fluffy_Brit_Bunny

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2006, 04:05:22 AM »
Could you ask other family members to take her on a long walk to keep her out of the way while you clear up? Perhaps if someone decides to take your son for a walk, she might go along and leave you in peace.

shadowfox79

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2006, 04:58:53 PM »
I agree with what people have said so far, because I have seen at least one instance of what you don't do.

When we were invited for Christmas dinner with DF's family, his brother went into the kitchen to help. His brother is the most cackhanded individual you could ever meet. All we heard was a loud crash (a salad bowl hitting the floor) followed by my lovely FMIL's voice screaming "Get the HELL OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!!"

Keep her busy with your son or the table decorations, because I would hate to think of anyone having to deal with someone as useless as my brother-in-law bouncing around their kitchen.

graceh9

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2006, 05:13:42 PM »
first time:  'Oh I really like to take care of things in the kitchen myself and I would hate to waste your time with DS on chores -- he'd love it if 'granny'(whatever she is called) would spend some time with him and read him his new Uncle Grouchy book'

Second time:  if she really persists you do a sort of self deprecating thing as in 'I know you are being a good guest by trying to help out, but I am just nuts about the kitchen -- I really can't stand to have people in here trying to help when I am getting a meal out -- it is just the way I am (or it is 'just my thing'); please go enjoy yourself with DH and DS and FIL while I get this together'

Clara Bow

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 11:09:43 AM »
I love that story about the BIL in the kitchen...I've been so tempted to holler that at people. Bless my hubby, he cannot get his head around the way I set up the kitchen. I finally told him (after going on cabinet safari to find my salad tongs) that I don't rearrange his garage, he is to stay out of my kitchen. Period. He can wash the dishes, and fix himself something to eat, but he's not allowed to put anything where he thinks it ought to be.
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

shadowfox79

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2006, 11:21:42 AM »
Quote
I love that story about the BIL in the kitchen...I've been so tempted to holler that at people.

He is one of the most useless people I have ever met. When he was fixing up his new kitchen he bought a diamond-tipped circular saw - FFIL was round there to cut the tiles at a speed Superman would have been proud of. We just knew that if he was let loose with that thing he'd have had his arm off.

Miss Misha

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2006, 02:17:39 PM »
I am this way too, only I *live* with my MIL.  Since I remarried, I've learned to compromise - I let her chop stuff mostly and I'm very specific when I give her a task.  Yep, it would be faster for me to do it myself by the time I explain, but it makes her feel "useful".   

Sharnita

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2006, 02:22:33 PM »
Isn't there something she can do? Dry the dishes? put stuff in the fridge? She might see it as a way of bonding, socializing.

ZipTheWonder

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2006, 09:19:02 PM »
I think Grace has the right idea.  Make yourself out to be a neurotic about your territory, then assign your husband and son to amuse her elsewhere.

Lunadiana75

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2006, 09:37:22 PM »
I'm a kitchen fascist as well, in fact my anal retentiveness is legendary.  I loathe when people insist on "helping" when you repeatedly ask them not to and you have to go behind him and do double duty fixing what they messed up.  It's passive aggressive in my opinion to force help on someone. 

I flat out tell people that everything in my kitchen needs to be exactly just so and I prefer not to have anyone in there messing it up. 

gjcva1

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2006, 10:12:24 PM »
Bless my hubby, he cannot get his head around the way I set up the kitchen. I finally told him (after going on cabinet safari to find my salad tongs) that I don't rearrange his garage, he is to stay out of my kitchen.

oh i had that conversation with DH years ago!  it worked (either that, or me calling him at work to ask where he'd stashed this or that gadget while i was trying to fix a meal).  when he washes the dishes now, he leaves them stacked up for me to put away.