Author Topic: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!  (Read 5439 times)

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Lynda_34

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2006, 09:04:12 AM »
I have three boys living with me, one is my son, the other two are friends of his whose parents didn't want them living at home anymore.
I've found things in the weirdest places but I really don't want to discourage them from "cleaning."  They will also get the munchies late at night and I'll wake up to the smell of breakfast cooking at 2 am.  Fortunately, they do clean up after themselves when this happens.

purchgdss

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2007, 03:36:14 PM »
Forgive me, I am new to the boards and have learned so much here (I am faaaaaaaaar from ettiquette savvy.

Good LORD!  Where is the good feeling of opening your home to a guest??  If you are that particular about your kitchen (it being the "heart" of a home and a natural gathering place), why have guests at all?

How crass to worry more about things being "just so" than about your guests feeling useful and appreciative of your efforts?  If you are that particular, you should enjoy their company and leave straightening the kitchen until after the guests depart.  I would hate when invited as a guest that someone made me feel unwanted in any way...... and would never return.


RoseRose

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2007, 04:17:57 PM »
Forgive me, I am new to the boards and have learned so much here (I am faaaaaaaaar from ettiquette savvy.

Good LORD!  Where is the good feeling of opening your home to a guest??  If you are that particular about your kitchen (it being the "heart" of a home and a natural gathering place), why have guests at all?

How crass to worry more about things being "just so" than about your guests feeling useful and appreciative of your efforts?  If you are that particular, you should enjoy their company and leave straightening the kitchen until after the guests depart.  I would hate when invited as a guest that someone made me feel unwanted in any way...... and would never return.



My father is the same way Auntie Venom is.  My brother and I are the only ones allowed in the kitchen when he's cooking or anything- and occasionally, if he's working with something extra complicated, it cuts down to only me.  It's not because he doesn't want to be social, it's for a few reasons:

1.  The kitchen in his home is very small.  Our family has learned to dance around each other, and if you add someone else into that, there will be people crashing into each other.  That's why sometimes it's just me and my father.  We're GOOD at doing multiple things in the tiny kitchen and reading each other's short words.  Anyone else gets in there, things get dropped or spilled.

2.  He is very particular about the kitchen.  He's reloaded the dishwasher after I've done it, because it isn't right.  He prefers doing it himself, so it gets done, then we can socialize in the living room with our guests.

It's not that we don't appreciate the offers, it's that, well, it's easier and more efficient to get it done our way.  Things go in certain places.  We do let guests who offer to help, help clear the table... and hand stuff to me or my brother as they enter the kitchen, or put it down and leave.  We appreciate them, but, they are guests in our home.

By the way, this all goes double for my grandmother, unless she's making something for my very picky grandfather, and even then, it's usually when my dad isn't in the kitchen.  They just can't work together on food- it's not that he doesn't appreciate the offer, it's that if she DOES help, they're liable to get into an argument.  I'm the same way, except that I'm newly an adult, so I can't argue, instead I get frustrated.

The kitchen is not necessarily the "heart" of the home.  Sometimes it is, but that's not true in every family (or every home!).  Our guests enjoy the comfy chairs of our living room, and our hospitality in our dining room (the kitchen doesn't even have a table, by the way).  We appreciate and enjoy guests, but that doesn't mean we have to let them into our kitchen.



Clara Bow

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2007, 04:22:09 PM »
I'm an OCD patient, so my wanting things just so is not me being intentionally rude...I do better some days than others, but the kitchen is a big sticking point for me.
Also, I don't like putting guests to work. Some people I'm comfortable with are totally welcome to help out because they know how my sickness works and how to work around it without driving me nuts. My stepmother in law thinks that I'm "dramatic" and has to do things her way, which is largely "half-a$$ed" and creates more work for me than it eleviates.
You know...I think I should have pointed out the OCD earlier in the thread. It may have been germane...
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Suze

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2007, 09:04:40 PM »
Our kitchen is a "two person" kitchen - any more than that and you will be in the way of ''somebody''  so extra people tend to hang out in the doorways to the kitchen.

No big deal - it is just part of our place.

my friends and I usually have to "body slam" <tounge in cheak> Mom back out of the kitchen when we are cooking.
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Lisbeth

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2007, 09:20:48 PM »
Do as much cooking as possible ahead of the event.

When it comes to cleanup, insist that your stepmother-in-law is a guest and you wouldn't dream of having her doing menial work in your kitchen.  If she insists, you might allow her to help clean off the table, but then you could say, "I've got things covered from here.  They're doing [fill in the blank] out there-I think they need you."
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caranfin

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2007, 09:56:19 PM »
Good LORD!  Where is the good feeling of opening your home to a guest??  If you are that particular about your kitchen (it being the "heart" of a home and a natural gathering place), why have guests at all?
Being a hostess does not mean being a doormat. The OP said her MIL doesn't just try to help - she tries to take over and have things done *her* way. It's not rude or crass to try to prevent that.
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Arianoor

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2007, 04:30:04 PM »
I used to be kitchen control freak.  (Thankfully I've calmed WAY down.)  I used to tell people to stay out of the kitchen for their own safety.  Stand at the door, sit at the breakfast bar, fine!  I'll make dinner, serve you drinks, and carry my end of the conversation, just don't get in my way. 

I had one friend who couldn't seem to respect that.  So one evening, after repeatedly tripping over her, I took her to the edge of the kitchen and pointed at the floor, "See the tile?"  She nods.  "See the carpet?"  She nods again.  "Stay off the tile!"  I handed her a fresh Long Island and asked her about her new BF.  She got the picture after that!

magicdomino

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2007, 04:51:25 PM »
A few years ago when I had my kitchen remodeled, the designer asked me if I liked people in the kitchen with me.  I told him that I was thinking about putting iron security gates in the doorways.   :)

It helps to assign one person to stir gravy. However, I find visitors far too distracting and invariably forget side dishes or burn something.  The heart of my house is right next door in the living room.

CutebutPsycho

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2007, 06:00:09 PM »
Tell her "Yes you sure can help, by STAYING OUT OF MY WAY!"

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BittyB

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Re: I Do Not Want Help in the Kitchen!!
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2007, 07:58:41 PM »
I love to cook, and I am psychotic about my kitchen space.  I think just about every one of my friends has heard, at least once, my yelling at DF to get the *bleep* out of my kitchen so I can finish the meal and serve it!  (We are extremely informal, this is not something I would say in "polite" company, for example during family gatherings the message is given in a much more delicate manner.)  I don't actually mind him in the kitchen while I'm cooking if I can give him a job - his job is to stir things and mash things.  Those are his ONLY jobs, but he is very well suited to them (he is a man who would never let your gravy burn on the bottom!).  However, when all the food is prepped or mostly prepped I add the finishing touches and serve up plates (there is usually an element of presentation involved) and that's also just about when he starts standing right behind me and consequently 100% in the way! 

I also let people hang out in the kitchen - that's actually the way I prefer it - but when we bought our house that was a specific requirement - there had to be enough space so that people could talk to me while I cook.  They wind up outside the kitchen itself, but they are still in hanging out range and that's perfect.