Bad Manners Or Just Me?

Lounge By mbelgard Updated 17 Apr 2009 , 3:48pm by beachcakes

mbelgard Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 3:55pm
post #1 of 82

I need to know if I'm overreacting to something or if this is normal.


I'm having a holiday meal with company for the first time on Easter. It's just my husband's parents so it isn't a huge group or anything.

I had mentioned to my MIL that I was still deciding what to make for desserts and she told me that my FIL likes lemon stuff. I told her that I know that but no one in my house really eats lemon desserts. She told me that was okay, they'd just take the leftovers home!!!!! icon_eek.gif She also mentioned a salad that only one person in my house eats and I told her that it didn't seem worth it and again she told me they'd take leftovers home.

She has also implied that they expect leftovers in general from the meal. They are not starving seniors living off cat food, it would be understandable if that were the case.

It would neve occur to me to tell someone that I expected leftovers, let alone that they should make a food they don't like so I can have it and then bring the leftovers home.

Am I wrong? Is it normal for people to do this? I know that leftovers are sometimes offered but I always thought that manners dictated that you don't ask for them.

81 replies
Karema Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 4:16pm
post #2 of 82

I think it is is bad manners but that's just how some people are. My MIL always comes to our house for dinners with a container to take food home. When she first started this I was shocked. I thought it was rude to bring your own container expecting leftovers. Then I got into a fight with my husbands aunt because I gave a party for my kids and I put the food away and left a little out for people to take some home. She wanted to take almost all of it and then opened the containers that were mine. She just kept saying she would have lunch and dinner for tomorrow. Unfortunatly some families are like that. They come to your house thinking that they deserve food to take home when you paid for it and have already fed them. Now when I go to my MIL house I say "Oh I have my container so I wont have to cook for tomorrow!" I pack my food and dont have to cook the next day. Hey I figure if she wants to be like that I will benifit from it too because they just didnt understand why it was rude.

kakeladi Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 82

Well it probbly is bad manors but...... I would make both dishes *in a small quantity* - like 1/2 the recipe or even 1/4 icon_smile.gif
That way it shows you love them but there won't be much, if any leftovers icon_smile.gif

michellenj Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:19pm
post #4 of 82

Yes, she's being a tad rude, but if she wants those things so badly, why don't you ask her to bring them? And then she can take her leftovers/dishes home with her. I know there are certain dishes in my family that we just "have" to have at every holiday, it's an atrocity to think that we wouldn't have them, are these dishes like that?

If you want to be evil, just don't make them and tell her that the store was out of lemons and salad ingredients, so you couldn't make them.

foxymomma521 Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:26pm
post #5 of 82

I give Kakeladi credit... If it were me I wouldn't make anything that I was told to make. I'd make what I know will get eaten and let it be. (but I'm one of those that HATES to be told what to do)
Mention to her what you have decided to make, and that she is welcome to bring anything else she may like. My MIL is the queen of rude, and I think I've just gotten to a point where I won't put up with it anymore. Remember~ If you do it once, it will be expected every time. So, when next year rolls around and you want to make that fab easter cake, but can't because you are stuck making something only 1 person will eat, you'll kick yourself!

mbelgard Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:28pm
post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Yes, she's being a tad rude, but if she wants those things so badly, why don't you ask her to bring them? And then she can take her leftovers/dishes home with her. I know there are certain dishes in my family that we just "have" to have at every holiday, it's an atrocity to think that we wouldn't have them, are these dishes like that?




But she doesn't want to make them she wants ME to make them for just them to eat.

There are no dishes that my husband's family considers a "need" at a holiday. If that's what it was I would understand a little more. My MIL doesn't make lemon dessert for every holiday and the other salad is a fruit salad that my youngest gags on and my husband won't touch it either.

My older child does like it but for just 6 people I don't want to make more than one fruit salad so I want something that more people will eat.

Deb_ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:42pm
post #7 of 82

This is my answer when my MIL says something like yours did. "My menu is set, but feel free to make the dishes and then you'll have the leftovers".

This happened at Thanksgiving. My MIL is French Canadian and insists on having French Meat Stuffing (hamburg, potatoes) with the turkey. Her DH and kids all HATE her FMS and never eat it but she insists on having it.

So every year she makes it (her's looks like regurgitated food it's utterly disgusting) and every year she's the only one out of 22 people to eat it.

You'd think she'd get the hint by now. I really think it's a "power" issue with her.

Oh by the way, I always make an announcement before dinner that "Grandma Kelly has made her Famous French Meat Stuffing and it's right there in the red casserole".

I do NOT want any of the other guests to think that I made that awful looking stuff she calls stuffing. My SIL makes the same thing and it's very good, it's not that I don't like it..........I just don't like hers it's gross.

margaretb Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:23pm
post #8 of 82

With some people, it would be okay for them to tell me that they want me to make something and take home the leftovers. They are my very good friends. With other people, I would just take it as a suggestion and feel free to ignore it. Is it possible that she didn't mean it as an order? I could see this conversation:

Me: I don't know what to make for dessert yet.

Mom: How about blah blah blah?

Me: Um, I think you would be the only person who would like it.

Mom: Good, then I would get the leftovers!

And it would just be her giving me a suggestion and she wouldn't actually be insisting that I made her dessert.

I say just make whatever you decide to make, and if they ask where's the --blank--, just say I decided not to make it. Why not? Because I chose a different menu to accomodate all the family.

indydebi Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:42pm
post #9 of 82

We dont' have sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving because I don't like them, so I'm not cooking them. (and no one else really likes them anyway). For years, there was no pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving because I don't like, so I dont' make it. Hubby is the only one who eats pumpkin pie, so if he wants it, he stops at the grocery and buys one of the ready made ones (Don't EVEN think of buying a frozen one and expect ME to bake it, buddy boy! icon_mad.gif )

But pretty much, if we don't eat it, we don't make it. And I like kakeladi's idea of making 1/2 or 1/4 amounts. We were invited to a dinner at a friend's once. 7 people for dinner and she served 6 rolls. icon_lol.gif

Bad traditions can be started ... and bad traditions can be stopped. How DARE someone take food out of my refrigerator that *I* could use for *MY* lunch and dinner the next day! Why not just come over at dinner and jerk it right out of my kids' mouths?

Oh geesh, y'all got me on another of my rolls again! icon_razz.gif

mbelgard Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:28pm
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretb

With some people, it would be okay for them to tell me that they want me to make something and take home the leftovers. They are my very good friends. With other people, I would just take it as a suggestion and feel free to ignore it. Is it possible that she didn't mean it as an order? I could see this conversation:

Me: I don't know what to make for dessert yet.

Mom: How about blah blah blah?

Me: Um, I think you would be the only person who would like it.

Mom: Good, then I would get the leftovers!

And it would just be her giving me a suggestion and she wouldn't actually be insisting that I made her dessert.

I say just make whatever you decide to make, and if they ask where's the --blank--, just say I decided not to make it. Why not? Because I chose a different menu to accomodate all the family.





If she had stopped when I said that it wouldn't be a popular item so that was out I would not have had an issue with it. My big issue revolved around the leftover part and her arguing with me after I said no a couple more times.



It doesn't help that I feel I'm already doing her a favor by inviting her to a meal at our house. She does about 90% of the color changes at her church so she's REALLY busy during Easter week and wouldn't have time to make a meal for the holiday. We don't go to church so I'll have time that weekend but it isn't like I'm not busy with other stuff.

funcakes Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 9:36pm
post #11 of 82

from your post I don't know if you have something really special in mind to make yet or not, but if not I would suggest making individual tarts. I made these for Easter one year and they were very popular. That way you could just make 3 or 4 of them with lemon curd and the rest with an assortment of other fillings, blackberry,chocolate, almond etc. She would have her lemon dessert and you would not have to make an entire dessert for her to take home.

Actually, I like when my family brings their own containers for left overs, otherwise after the holiday I have NO containers to store thing in. But that's just me. I always have more than enough food and my husband and I are living alone now, we don't want to eat leftovers for the rest of the month. It is very different if you have a family to feed.

My daughter always teases me about my calculations for how many desserts I need for a holiday. She was telling her friend about how my rule is 1 more dessert than the # of people invited. Her friend says, but what if another person wants a second piece. My daughter had to explain, No, not one more serving, one more dessert as in if there will be 8 people there will be 9 different desserts to choose from. Oh, yeah that's addiction.

ApplegumKitchen Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 10:27pm
post #12 of 82

mmmmmm...... lets put another slant on this....

Let's say you were ALL going to her house and she cooked all the things that she liked and NOTHING that you did..... would you think that was rude? like if she served you up the lemon desserts that her hubby likes?

Sorry but I think it is nice to try to accomodate my guests tastes - surely you could have a number of dishes (not all enough to feed everybody) and how hard would it be to include 1 lemon dessert .... its not like she asked for Beluga Caviar - and if there were a couple of pieces leftover... what harm would it be for her to take soem leftovers

Geesh you would never survive in this house .... heheheehehe..... we have around 65 for most family celebrations (and thats JUST extended family) we have some foods that have been made every year that are just done as a sort of tradition thing - like my mother-in-law used to make a chocolate cake at Easter and decorate with these tacky little family of fluffy chickens - hen and Rooster!! with mini foil covered easter eggs...... when she died my sister-in-law kept those tacky decorations and "Mums Easter Cake" continued....not everybody ate it ... but it is a tradition that was special and really didn't cost that much -

After all ...... its ONLY food ...... and family should be more important than worrying about the food that they eat.

.....OK - putting on my protective armour NOW!!! ready .... waiting.... in the firing line!!

michellenj Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 10:27pm
post #13 of 82

At my grandma's house, you are expected to pack yourself up a plate to take home after the meal. She saves her Cool Whip containers all year, and makes us go to town after dinner. When I'm a guest at someone's house, I don't expect to take home the leftovers, but sometimes I might accept if they are pushed on me, and are something that I would want to eat.

mbelgard Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 11:25pm
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumKitchen

mmmmmm...... lets put another slant on this....

Let's say you were ALL going to her house and she cooked all the things that she liked and NOTHING that you did..... would you think that was rude? like if she served you up the lemon desserts that her hubby likes?

Sorry but I think it is nice to try to accomodate my guests tastes - surely you could have a number of dishes (not all enough to feed everybody) and how hard would it be to include 1 lemon dessert .... its not like she asked for Beluga Caviar - and if there were a couple of pieces leftover... what harm would it be for her to take soem leftovers

After all ...... its ONLY food ...... and family should be more important than worrying about the food that they eat.

.....OK - putting on my protective armour NOW!!! ready .... waiting.... in the firing line!!




Where in my posts did I say that I was making nothing that my in-laws like?

I don't see how it's unreasonable to not make food that my family won't eat. It isn't like my FIL will only eat lemon desserts, he just likes them alot and will eat about anything.

I also want to know where I said that sending leftovers was horrible. I just can't believe that she has told me she EXPECTS them. Until she said told me that she expected them I was likely to send some if it looked like we had lots left. I do have a husband with two hollow legs and children who take after him so I'd keep stuff for my own family first.


It isn't like I have unlimited time to make extra food either. That week is also filled with finishing touches on my boys' regalia, I've been spending 20 hours a week for the last 5 weeks on that alone. And I'll be preparing for a trip the following weekend unless the dikes in Fargo fail for a pow-wow.

Deb_ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 11:59pm
post #15 of 82

It really stinks that the holidays cause us so much stress. I keep telling myself that I am going to try my hardest to not do these things to my kids when they're married and have families of their own.

I'll go wherever they want and eat whatever they put in front of me. I never want to be the source of their stress.

Too bad our MIL's don't feel that way icon_rolleyes.gif

Good luck mbelgard.........it's your house and your dinner so you should make and serve whatever makes you, your DH and kids happy!

Kiddiekakes Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:10am
post #16 of 82

Well... I was raised that you don't ask for things unless they are offered. I would never go over to any family members house with a container in hand and expect to fill it up! My my mom always sends us home with leftovers but if she doesn't ask.. I don't take and sometimes she makes me take something I don't like and I just say.. I don't like that! I do however think it is rude for anyone to assume that they have free rein on the leftovers. It is your meal...you cooked it.... you bought the groceries... you are entitled to do with it what you please and if that means pack it all up after dinner and put it in the fridge. So be it!!

indydebi Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:12am
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

I keep telling myself that I am going to try my hardest to not do these things to my kids when they're married and have families of their own.




Join the "what a great mother in law I have!" club! thumbs_up.gif We don't put our kids under any kind of demands and the result is that they WANT to spend the holidays with us.

We understand they have three families ... her parents, his parents and their own family and we respect their time and schedule.

I think parents who don't respect their children as adults and who don't recognize their adult children have their OWN families and lives at the holiday, and don't recognize their adult children have to split their time between multiple families .... well, they are just selfish bratty parents.

Carson Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:25am
post #18 of 82

I do think it is rude...but what do you do about in-laws? Its an age old question.

When I am invited somewhere for supper - I would never in a million years demand certain things. I should at my MIL's though, last night she made potatoe salad with instant mashed potatoes. YUCK! We ended up having to pick something up on our way home because everyone was still hungry.

At our easter we usually have pie (and sometimes cake or another dessert). There is always at least 3 different kinds to suit people's tastes, one always lemon.

Do what you are comfortable with. If you don't want to share any or all your leftovers, immediately pack up what you wish to keep and put in a spot that you are obviously trying to hide it, like a different fridge or a downstairs freezer (if possible). Make some comments like "the kids will love this for their lunches tomorrow" or "we never seem to have leftovers - dh is going to be so happy".

I have a crazy MIL who only loves herself and her dog - so I know how frustrating it can be. I got my wisdom teeth out today (yep, and I'm sitting on CC -sad lol) and my MIL phoned my DH for a ride somewhere and actually got mad because he said he had to stay with me 24 hrs after surgery and there is no way I could possibly look after my two young kids alone. I think she hung up on him - without one question the entire day about how I am (even though we gave her a ride on the way to my surgery).

Deb_ Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:26am
post #19 of 82

Debi it's so refreshing to hear that and I hope we'll have the same situation some day! You're kids are VERY lucky that you guys don't put any of these crazy holiday pressures on them.

7yyrt Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:49am
post #20 of 82

I would say, yes it's rude.
You'll have to ask your husband if it's considered rude in his family. After having two children, it seems odd that the subject is only now arising.
In any case, now is the time to set the rules. Decide with your husband what you want to do, and stick to it from now on.
Good luck.

mbelgard Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 1:34am
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

I would say, yes it's rude.
You'll have to ask your husband if it's considered rude in his family. After having two children, it seems odd that the subject is only now arising.
In any case, now is the time to set the rules. Decide with your husband what you want to do, and stick to it from now on.
Good luck.





She is a rude, pushy person but this topic is only coming up because it's the first time we've done a holiday meal for company. Until now the extended family got together and while my MIL pressured me to host it I refused.

She's also been getting worse every year. It wasn't bad until my husband's brother died about 5 years ago right after she quit working. I suspect she's bored.

It's a little hard to get bossy over the menu at a child's birthday party which is about the only time they come over to eat even a casual meal.




Indy would you adopt my husband so I can have you for a MIL? Mine is so bad that last year when we went to my parents' for Easter for the first time in 5 years to attend my great grandma's 100th birthday my MIL pouted to me.

She won't do it in front of her son, I think because she knows he'd get pissed.

maria892 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 5:58am
post #22 of 82

Well, food to me should be shared.

We were invited to a friends house for dinner and they totally catered for my daughter who is Vegan. They thought it was a fun challenge to cook something different. And it wasn't just one dish - there was a a selection.

When we have a family party, we always cook so there are always leftovers and we always hand them out. I always pack for my Nieces and Nephews who don't normally cook the traditional meals and don't have time to. I even send food home for the ones that couldn't make it.

Food is for sharing and to have family is special. I like to please all my guests and I always cater for them. It stretches the creative thinking and makes me a pleasant host.

It's only food - share it......

Who knows, you might even feel like you've done a nice thing and put a smile on your face. icon_smile.gif

jules06 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 6:09am
post #23 of 82

I think it's the fact that mbelgards' inlaws expect all the leftovers, without checking that she may want them first & expecting a say in the menu ( without just offering to bring something ) that she is objecting to...not so much the whole sharing, caring, family scenario

Is that close mbelgard ? 'cos I totally feel for you !!!

Franluvsfrosting Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 6:23am
post #24 of 82

My dh has an aunt who once made a lemon pie and used an entire bottle of lemon juice. (He said it tasted like PinSol smells!) Guess she wanted it extra lemony? To this day the man will not touch anything with lemon flavoring.

I don't like lemon pie and neither do any of our four kids. If I were to host a dinner and one person wanted lemon pie and insisted they'd take home the leftovers I'd invite them to bring it. Then they have the convenience of already having a container! If she doesn't bake she's welcome to pick one up at a bakery.

It's one thing to be a nice hostess who ensures the comfort of your guests but when they start thinking you're a short order cook, well I just don't play that way. It may seem selfish but it's really more like self preservation. I have four kids and the entire meal to make and you want me to cater to one person? Not happening. icon_smile.gif

ApplegumKitchen Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 6:51am
post #25 of 82

This is not some obscure guest - this is your husbands parents - surely they deserve to be treated like SPECIAL people. I am sure you said this was a FIRST - its not like they are asking you to do it every day.

Guess it depends on how much importance you place on family - I would delight in cooking something special JUST because my father-in-law liked it .... AND I do it regularly.... He is in his 80's ... and visits every Sunday - and I always have some treats cooked and LOVE to give them to him - as your parents (and in-laws) age they deserve to be treated as SPECIAL - I don't think it is asking a lot - I know he appreciates what I do for him, and there are another couple of daughters-in-law that will not even take the time to speak with him - nor make an effort for him to have a relationship with his grandchildren. He is a lovely man (albiet VERY set in his ways and would appear to some to be grumpy but underneath he is a pussy-cat)

I am a busy person, I work, I have a family and a large property to look after - I do volunteer work and am always stretched time-wise - I don't whine about it - because I get returned TENFOLD what I give.

I wish I could explain the JOY you get from giving - its something money can't buy!! People love to come to our home - because we always make them feel like they are welcome - even if you are on a tight budget its amazing what you can come up with to feed a tribe of people with a little creativity - and funnily enough once you have done this for a few times you will find that people suddenly start offering to BRING something - I don't dictate what it is - its just put out for all to share - and we normally end up with MORE than enough food - and for all different palates!

Be careful that you don't end up bitter twisted LONELY old people because you shut out all the people in your life - and count every pea that is dished up.

ClassyMommy Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 8:44am
post #26 of 82

I think that often times in laws forget how much work it is to have little ones in the house and make meals, cook, clean, work all the time! I think that you have a family of 4 to feed, she has a family of 2. She wants lemon, she brings lemon. She wants leftovers, she gets nothing! If she wants leftovers, perhaps she could make a meal in the crock pot the same day and come home to it. Not that you shouldn't make this a special day or anything, but that you should create a menu that everyone can enjoy and that is "do-able" for you and go with it. Afterall, you are the one doing all of the cooking and there are only 6 people to make an extra fruit salad to accomodate one of your kids, but not your whole family...that is just stupid!

Do I think that you are going to be a bitter old lady counting peas one day? NO! I think that you just want to feel that you aren't being expected to do these things that are obviously unreasonable.

Do I think that your religion/lack of religion has anything to do with it? NO! Okay, you are atheist and having people over to your house for Easter. You are enjoying your family on a religious holiday, what more could they expect? Don't allow her to walk on you. NO LEMON THIS YEAR!!! NO LEFTOVERS EITHER!!! More than one dessert for 6 people is also a waste! And why should she get leftovers when you have kids to feed?

indydebi Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 10:26am
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumKitchen


Guess it depends on how much importance you place on family -



No disrespect intended, but this is bull. How come when people want to quote the "but it's FAMILY" crap, it's always a one-way street? how come you're not reprimanding the MIL, who is making these demands (!) on a woman who is suppose to be on bed rest? How come MIL isn't the one being told, "Don't be so demanding .... because it's FAMILY!" In my experience, people who use this line usually have normal families with common courtesy and manners.

I place a great importance on "family" .... and I pretty much haven't seen my parents in 16 years. And those on here who know the story will understand how much better my life is that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumKitchen

I wish I could explain the JOY you get from giving -



I have no doubt she understands the joy of "giving". It's the pain of people just "taking" that is the issue here. It's the ritual of "you have extra so therefore I deserve to take it".

Just because you have 2 cars and I have one, doesn't mean you have to give me your 2nd one. If you want to experience the joy of giving and hand it to me is one thing .... for me to demand you hand over your keys is totally another.

Kiddiekakes Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:15pm
post #28 of 82

Well said Indydebi....

Deb_ Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:30pm
post #29 of 82

Ditto to indy's statements!

It really does depend on the family and the individual. My family has always been close knit and I credit that to my late parents.........family was the most important thing in the world to my Mom and Dad.

However, they NEVER put any demands on us, and they respected us as adults.

My in-laws are not a warm, loving couple. They live 6 hrs away and the only time they will call my husband is if they're coming to MA and need a bed to sleep in.

I host their family every Thanksgiving, if I didn't they wouldn't see each other. They come, they eat, they sleep here and never once have they said "Thank you, for doing this for our family".

They're just ungrateful and ignorant. I can't wait to see what happens if one of them becomes ill and they need one of their children to help them. I'm thinking that there will not be a huge rush to PA.

I do it for my husband so that for 1 day of the year he can feel like his family is somewhat normal.............whatever that is icon_rolleyes.gif

mbelgard.............maybe you should just order a pizza and call it a day!

mbelgard Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 1:20pm
post #30 of 82

Thank you indy.


I would like to know what my lack of religion has to do with anything about this other than me having more time that day than my MIL? I really get the feeling that the comments about the joy of giving are based on that, I might be wrong but I do.

As to why we celebrate the holiday:

I LOVE holidays, my kids get stuff in their boots on the 6th of December, green eggs on Dr Suess day and every other time I can fit something fun in. My husband and I were raised Christian so naturally we celebrate those holidays too, just without the religion.

So I'm not even being extra nice to my MIL by going out of my way to cook a meal for a holiday that I don't celebrate.


I also still fail to see what the point is in making a dish for one or two people when I can make stuff that everyone will eat instead. It isn't like my FIL is vegan and NEEDS special food so he doesn't go hungry.

If my MIL had requested something that at least most people will eat I would seriously consider it even if I hadn't been planning on making that item.

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