Author Topic: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?  (Read 3864 times)

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shadowfox79

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Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« on: April 03, 2007, 06:15:30 AM »
DF has invited his family over for dinner as a bit of "family time" before our wedding at the end of this month.

I love his family, however, I don't love his sister's boyfriend.

DF's family are a clan of extremely polite yet picky eaters. They are the masters of making food look eaten when it isn't. We, in return, do everything in our power to ensure that the food we provide does not involve pasta (FFIL hates it), excessive spice (FMIL can't stomach it - we just have lots of pepper and such on the table), vegetables that aren't separate (DF himself - won't touch most veg) and so forth.

The food isn't really my problem, anyway, as DF will be doing most of the cooking.

However, Sister's Boyfriend (who I will refer to as Git) is not only picky but utterly ungracious and ungrateful. If he doesn't like the food, he will refuse to touch it. Any of it. I've seen him sit in a restaurant, arms folded and pouting with rumbling stomach, refusing to eat just because he wanted to go somewhere else, even though his favourite dish was on the menu. Basically, Git is quite capable of throwing a hissy fit and ruining the meal if he's not in the mood for something we offer.

Since uninviting isn't an option, does anyone have any tips for playing the gracious hostess without banging him over the head with a pan?

loopey2u

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 06:50:17 AM »
I'd probably make something you know he likes, but if he sits there like a bump on a log and doesn't eat it's not your problem.

I'm all for accommodating guests likes/dislikes, but this guy sounds like he doesn't like anything, or just likes to be difficult on purpose.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 08:31:24 AM »
I like the pan option.  Do you have a cast iron skillet?  ;)

You can try to have something on the menu that he likes, but it sounds like there's no guarantee that he'll actuallly behave.  I'd suggest ignoring him as much as you can without being rude -- I'm sure he thrives on attention.

shadowfox79

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 08:41:48 AM »
I like the pan option.  Do you have a cast iron skillet?  ;)


I do, actually  ;D

I'm fully expecting him not to behave. The last time we met socially he was in a major strop because DF's brother had gone out and bought him some shelves from IKEA and he had decided they weren't the right ones. They were the ones he had asked for, just from a different branch, but he decided they were wrong and ordered DF's brother to take them back because he didn't want them.

He's a git, basically.

MrsP81

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 08:45:22 AM »
I would treat him like a child having a hissy fit. Tell him that his behaviour is innappropriate and when he is ready to act like a grown up you will talk. Polite? No. But I would have no patience for a grown man who acts like that.

Bob Ducca

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 08:49:58 AM »
I would treat him like a child having a hissy fit. Tell him that his behaviour is innappropriate and when he is ready to act like a grown up you will talk. Polite? No. But I would have no patience for a grown man who acts like that.

Yup.  Being a "gracious hostess" doesn't mean being a doormat.  If he sits there and pouts and says nothing, then just let him be.  However, if he tries to cause a scene or become rude, I would ask him to leave.  You don't have to put up with that in your home.

megswsu

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 09:30:37 AM »
This guy 'pouts' if he doesn't get his way?! How old is he? 4? I agree with the others. Ignore him. His bad behavior and apparently picky eating are his problem. If he wants to act that way, he's just looking for attention so don't acknowledge it. Or you could try the skillet.  >:D





kathrynne

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2007, 09:31:04 AM »
I would treat him like a child having a hissy fit. Tell him that his behaviour is innappropriate and when he is ready to act like a grown up you will talk. Polite? No. But I would have no patience for a grown man who acts like that.

Yup.  Being a "gracious hostess" doesn't mean being a doormat.  If he sits there and pouts and says nothing, then just let him be.  However, if he tries to cause a scene or become rude, I would ask him to leave.  You don't have to put up with that in your home.
I'm sure it's not especially polite, but I'd have a pacifier, rattle and jar of babyfood available. If he pulls this infantile garbage, whip his plate away and replace it with the articles more suiting to his behavior.

Why on earth does anyone tolerate this stuff? Sheesh!

shadowfox79

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2007, 09:34:40 AM »
This guy 'pouts' if he doesn't get his way?! How old is he? 4? I agree with the others. Ignore him. His bad behavior and apparently picky eating are his problem. If he wants to act that way, he's just looking for attention so don't acknowledge it. Or you could try the skillet.  >:D

It's shocking, isn't it - that a 30-year-old man could be such a brat. But then, I've met his family, and they're the most obnoxious bunch of people you could ever hope to avoid meeting.

I think I'll have the skillet on stand-by.

shadowfox79

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2007, 09:37:10 AM »
I would treat him like a child having a hissy fit. Tell him that his behaviour is innappropriate and when he is ready to act like a grown up you will talk. Polite? No. But I would have no patience for a grown man who acts like that.

Yup.  Being a "gracious hostess" doesn't mean being a doormat.  If he sits there and pouts and says nothing, then just let him be.  However, if he tries to cause a scene or become rude, I would ask him to leave.  You don't have to put up with that in your home.
I'm sure it's not especially polite, but I'd have a pacifier, rattle and jar of babyfood available. If he pulls this infantile garbage, whip his plate away and replace it with the articles more suiting to his behavior.

Why on earth does anyone tolerate this stuff? Sheesh!

Trust me, if it wasn't for the whole "he's DF's sister's boyfriend and therefore family" thing (and in DF's family, that does make him family - they include everyone) I wouldn't tolerate it. I'm still not sure why DF's sister puts up with him. Mind you, she can't work out why I put up with her brother, so...  ;)

FoxPaws

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2007, 09:46:01 AM »
It might be worth an e-mail to FSIL to say "Here's our menu for the family dinner. We wanted to give you advance notice so Git could eat beforehand if there's nothing to his liking."

(I'm a notoriously picky eater, and I would actually appreciate this. :))

How does the rest of the family react toward his hissy fits?
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

shadowfox79

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 09:50:56 AM »
It might be worth an e-mail to FSIL to say "Here's our menu for the family dinner. We wanted to give you advance notice so Git could eat beforehand if there's nothing to his liking."

(I'm a notoriously picky eater, and I would actually appreciate this. :))

How does the rest of the family react toward his hissy fits?

Not a bad idea, actually.

The general response varies according to the family member. FSIL doesn't take any rubbish from him, but can't shift him if he's in one of his moods. FFIL has also told him to wind his neck in on several occasions and FBIL has no qualms about arguing with him. FMIL and DF are more for family harmony and tend to just ignore him.

There is little point shouting at Git, I've discovered. He just sits there like a sack of cement and lets it all bounce off him. Unfortunately, also like a sack of cement, he manages to be solid and immoveable and generally in the bloody way, which can rather put a crimp on an evening.

IndianInlaw

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 10:00:46 AM »
Accept the fact that he's the death of the party and there's nothing you can do or say to change him.

Let him sit there while the rest of you go about your business.

willow08

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2007, 10:05:17 AM »
While the cast iron skillet option is tempting, I think ignoring him is the best way to show him you're not going to let him ruin a perfectly acceptable dinner.
Icing is the greatest invention known to man.  It's edible glue.  How awesome is that?- Ralphie May

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Guess who's coming to criticise dinner?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2007, 10:13:44 AM »
Accept the fact that he's the death of the party and there's nothing you can do or say to change him.

Let him sit there while the rest of you go about your business.

I totally agree.  Just go about your business while he's pouting.  He's the one missing out on the fun, family socializing and great food. That's no skin off your nose.

It doesnt ruin the dinner if nobody pays attention to it, imo.

If he does stupid stuff (like refusing to pass the salt) THEN I'd say address it "If you are going to act like a child, then I suggest you leave for tonight, we wont tolerate that behavior in our house." Dont yell, dont blame him, dont even address his reasons for acting like a child.  The above sentence is enough.  (next time, seat him and his GF at the ver END of the table).  preferably next to some younger folks, so that they dont disturb the dinner of the adults. 
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou