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Was I wrong to not order anything?


MargyB
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Well I'm curious, why pose the question in the first place if it was so innocuous, so easily dismissed? Even a mother-in-law couldn't argue much with I ate a late breakfast (more like lunch) and it's too early for dinner.

And there are two totally different views here of the same story but only getting the selected facets at a time gets widely divergent response. Obviously.

No hat no crow. Not even half.

But I love the opportunity for the debate.

And I hope Margy comes up with another great thread.

And I'm glad most of all that she will remain with us.

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I don't think most people's responses were directed at you personally.  I think it was more a response to the situation you described and how it related to similar experiences people have likely had to negotiate themselves at times.  We don't know you and your famliy and weren't there for the whole backstory and exact situation so the responses could only be to the general situation as it was originallly described and interpreted.

A surprising number of replies were personal and downright insulting. I wonder why so few people assumed good intentions, or at least non-bad intentions, out of Margy?

I do think we tend to filter things through our experiences. And I'm beginning to understand my gastronomy professor, who was adamant that no one insult or mock anyone else's food preferences or desires.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Even a mother-in-law couldn't argue much with I ate a late breakfast (more like lunch) and it's too early for dinner.

K8, I'm going to introduce to you a couple of MILs I know (mine and my husband's). And an Italian grandmother or two.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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I do think we tend to filter things through our experiences.  And I'm beginning to understand my gastronomy professor, who was adamant that no one insult or mock anyone else's food preferences or desires.

I think a lot of posters who felt she shouldn't eat anything if she didn't want to (or rather, cave to the wicked mother in law) were doing the same thing.

I'm glad MargyB decided to stay and continue the conversation. My hunch is she's still sorting out her feelings.

My personal feeling is that who was paying is irrelevant and the 3pm timing gave her a built-in excuse to be gracious and say, "I'm not hungry yet but you go ahead and enjoy your Latin-Cajun Turkey a la King Fiesta Noodle special. This iced tea is lovely." Some of you call this lying, I call it just getting through what can't be a whole lot of fun. And there's also a chance the menu looked worse than usual because it was only 3pm.

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Even a mother-in-law couldn't argue much with I ate a late breakfast (more like lunch) and it's too early for dinner.

K8, I'm going to introduce to you a couple of MILs I know (mine and my husband's). And an Italian grandmother or two.

You must have missed my post about my Mom-in-law who had Parkinson's. My husband's comment on it was that he hoped the pancakes would not come flying across the kitchen. She had a live-in caretaker to do all her own meals but his Mom cooked anyway when he came over.

But you know what I meant at least there were some excuses made. At least it wasn't let's all go to lunch but I'm gonna sit here like a rock because this picture of a Cobb salad isn't pretty enough for me.

It can be awkward if someone doesn't eat in a small family group like that.

It can be awkward if someone writes about not eating in a small family group.

Besides you were on the other side of this debate.

I don't know why and I beg for antibodies to be developed soon so I can be immunized, but mothers-in-law in general have a thing about feeding people especially their family, especially thier sons. You may think you are all going out to eat but no, there's more to it. Much more. I'm not sure I can find words to explain this phenomonon but it surely exists.

My Mom-in-law had Parkinson's with the huge un-controlled body movements. When her boys came over damnit she was gonna fire up the stove come what may. Back away from the gyrating little lady holding high the spatula.

So that is what you encountered there, Margy. It's a force of nature. World's collided, Girlfriend! A Mom-in-law is gonna see that food is prepared and that it gets eaten. Lightening is darkness by comparison to this force.

Reminds me of a line from an ancient Gary Cooper movie. He converted to being a Quaker, who are non-violent, because he wanted to marry one. The bad guys were on his ranch and he aimed his rifle at them, his wife gasps or something, he cocks the gun and peering down the barrel at the intruders states, "Thou are standing where I'm about to shoot."

No there's nothing wrong with not eating if you don't want to. Unless your Mom-in-law has you in her sites. Puts a whole new spin on BAM!

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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OK....I feel better now. Thanks everyone who rose to my defense! I totally accept responsibility for not putting all of the details in the original posting...but again was trying to err on the side of being brief. I also accept that I probably should have ordered something as many of you do feel that my not ordering anything was rude. I appreciate your opinions and will do better next time.

Chrisamirault you had me laughing at your response.....I appreciate it very much!

For those of you who felt the need to resort to name calling and nastyness, you said some very hurtful things and I feel sorry for you.

I'm now going to go out to lunch with a group of friends from work.....and I WILL order something! :)

Margy

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OK....I feel better now. Thanks everyone who rose to my defense! I totally accept responsibility for not putting all of the details in the original posting...but again was trying to err on the side of being brief. I also accept that I probably should have ordered something as many of you do feel that my not ordering anything was rude. I appreciate your opinions and will do better next time.

Chrisamirault you had me laughing at your response.....I appreciate it very much!

For those of you who felt the need to resort to name calling and nastyness, you said some very hurtful things and I feel sorry for you.

I'm now going to go out to lunch with a group of friends from work.....and I WILL order something! :)

Margy

"Cheers" To Our Famous Lunch Buddy!

:biggrin: Have a great lunch.

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To update my responses: knowing it was a 3 PM unplanned stop after a lunch at 11:30, I wouldn't have felt compelled to order anything beyond coffee, tea or the like.

My answer to the original question, based on the original post, remains that not ordering anything was rude and possibly controlling. I hope this is not what has been referred to as name-calling, as it was simply a reply to a question regarding a behaviour/situation posed. If it was taken that way, I apologize.

MargyB, I hope you do continue to post because, as others have said, you certainly started a spirited discussion!

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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OK....I feel better now. Thanks everyone who rose to my defense! I totally accept responsibility for not putting all of the details in the original posting...but again was trying to err on the side of being brief. I also accept that I probably should have ordered something as many of you do feel that my not ordering anything was rude. I appreciate your opinions and will do better next time.

Chrisamirault you had me laughing at your response.....I appreciate it very much!

For those of you who felt the need to resort to name calling and nastyness, you said some very hurtful things and I feel sorry for you.

I'm now going to go out to lunch with a group of friends from work.....and I WILL order something! :)

Margy

Bon appetit! :wink:

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Oh. If I name-called any mythical person, I don't apologize. I still say that in mythical situations sometimes there are times when mythically, even professionals even more intelligent than Dr. Phil would tell the average person to put their foot down. :smile: Even within mythical families.

MFK Fisher had a great line about the feelings at the average family dinner, and that line hints that often, they are not all filled with sweetness and light. Sometimes even sticking a smile on your face and bowing down to expectations does not make it all okay. You can smile and bow all you want, while being subtly stabbed by the expectations. One dinner, one lunch? Oh yes. Okay. But some people bow to much more, for years. Some women smile and say "It's okay" till their teeth hurt radiating with a pulse felt from their heart, from the smiles given while bowing to others who *are* about control. Not a pretty scene, no. And I am glad that Margy is not in it. But if she had been, I would have been glad to name-call even more to make my point. :wink:

Now shall we start a thread called: "How civilized *are* we, anyway?" :smile:

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If someone takes you out, and pays for your meal, but doesn't order anything for herself, would that make you feel uncomfortable? It would make me uncomfortable. There might have been some of that going on with the MIL.

I feel sorry for you.
Go right ahead. Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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It's all about the comfort, isn't it? We know Margy wasn't comfortable eating when she wasn't hungry and she wasn't comfortable eating food she didn't want. We suspect MIL wasn't comfortable having 25% of the table watch the other 75% eat.

Either way, not exactly comfort food.

I think your 'next time' choice is a good one, Margy. But then, I used to find something to order and eat whenever my Mom wanted to go to this one particular restaurant. It wasn't horrible, just no where I'd ever go without her. She liked the place. It made her feel...comfortable. And it made her happy that we were eating together. Me, too. Since those are my memories now, I'm glad.

Edited by hsm (log)
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OK....I feel better now. Thanks everyone who rose to my defense! I totally accept responsibility for not putting all of the details in the original posting...but again was trying to err on the side of being brief. I also accept that I probably should have ordered something as many of you do feel that my not ordering anything was rude. I appreciate your opinions and will do better next time.

Chrisamirault you had me laughing at your response.....I appreciate it very much!

For those of you who felt the need to resort to name calling and nastyness, you said some very hurtful things and I feel sorry for you.

I'm now going to go out to lunch with a group of friends from work.....and I WILL order something! :)

Margy

Margy, If ordering a bit of something next time will make life a better scene for you, fantastic. :cool:

And those that jumped to conclusions and expressed their ignorance with stunningly rude behaviour should never, ever stop you from posting. Or doing anything else for that matter. :laugh:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Wow, I read the first 100 posts and skimmed the rest, but several thoughts occur (these aren't directed at the original poster, but the discussion in general):

1) People seem to be equating being interested in food with only eating "good" food. Part of the fun (for me at least) of being into food is going to a bad restaurant, and figuring out what the most edible item they serve is, based on the style of restaurant and not what one is craving. Before when you didn't pay attenion you got a $3 steak and were dissapointed with the quality. Now you get the salad with no dressing and are thankful you're not eating what everyone else is.

2) People seem to be viewing these situations in extreme black and white terms ie. I refuse to lie, I refuse to waste any food ever, I have a right to not eat things I don't enjoy, etc. Do any of you have jobs? A big part of life is doing things you don't enjoy, or even feel is wrong for a greater good. Family is always the greater good.

3)

Since when does eating food you don't want to eat equate with love, manners or anything else?

This is the best definition of love and manners I've ever heard.

Edited by jsmith (log)
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(Snip)A big part of life is doing things you don't enjoy, or even feel is wrong for a greater good.  Family is always the greater good.

3)

Since when does eating food you don't want to eat equate with love, manners or anything else?

This is the best definition of love and manners I've ever heard.

Agreed. Here's what I said about that in the Food vs. Family thread. Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Another idea is to get drunk beforehand.

This is how I deal with my family in general - how we deal with each other, really. Cocktail hour, man. :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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I'm interested in the opinions of the board. I was visiting my in-laws with my husband and the 4 of us went out to lunch at an "Arizona Family Restaurant" in a senior community south of Tuscon. The menu consisted of very standard sandwiches, breakfast all day, hamburgers and a few salads. As I've gotten older and more "into" food, I've found that I have become more selective as to what foods I will or will not eat. There wasn't anything on the menu that appealed to me....I really did try to find something!   I did ask if I could order 1/2 of a cobb salad (although the picture did NOT look appetizing) and was told no. So....I chose not to order anything.

My mother-in-law made it pretty clear that my not ordering anything was not acceptable and that there were "plenty of things" to choose from on the menu.

So was I wrong? When you're with a group at a restaurant that doesn't have food choices you like, do you order something you don't want just to be polite?

Thanks,

Margy

This particular phrase struck me, in the original post.

Seems to me that family love and tolerance needs to be an interactive thing. Margie states clearly that she *did* try to order something and had already been put through the wringer in some sense by the server who would not serve half a salad.

These situations, to my mind, require Jack Nicholson at the scene to reprimand the server with the appropriate come-back like the one he used in "Easy Rider". :rolleyes:

Instead, Margie was reprimanded.

Whose comfort level was increased here with love and care shown by family? Looks like it was the servers level of comfort, to me.

If I had been at the table with my daughter and this situation had occured, I would want my daughter (or DIL) to be made comfortable, not the server. Utter nonsense, that they would not serve half a salad. If then, my family member had chosen not to order something, I'd move my chair closer to them, wrap my arm around the back of it, and give them lots of smiles while giving the server utterly nasty and hopefully imperious-looking stares every time they approached the table. :rolleyes: *

*(And honey, we'd have a blast. :laugh: Probably, we'd start laughing so hard at the utter ridiculousness of the situation that tears would be rolling down our cheeks. )

Another idea is to get drunk beforehand.

This is how I deal with my family in general - how we deal with each other, really. Cocktail hour, man. :wink:

Very traditional WASP thing to do, Megan. :wink: My small, far-flung family does that too. Even if the day starts with Brunch. Startling the amounts of alcohol some of them can consume while still seeming totally sober. :biggrin: (I always wish I'd see them go past that point of seeming totally sober, but it's never happened. Someone should do a socio-cultural study on this. :raz: ) And they still manage to get up at the crack of dawn to make others feel guilty about not getting to work before they do. :laugh: Scary, really. In a vaguely impressive sort of way. :blink:

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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This particular phrase struck me, in the original post.

Seems to me that family love and tolerance needs to be an interactive thing. Margie states clearly that she *did* try to order something and had already been put through the wringer in some sense by the server who would not serve half a salad.

These situations, to my mind, require Jack Nicholson at the scene to reprimand the server with the appropriate come-back like the one he used in "Easy Rider".  :rolleyes:

Instead, Margie was reprimanded.

Whose comfort level was increased here with love and care shown by family? Looks like it was the servers level of comfort, to me.

If I had been at the table with my daughter and this situation had occured, I would want my daughter (or DIL) to be made comfortable, not the server. Utter nonsense, that they would not serve half a salad. If then, my family member had chosen not to order something,  I'd move my chair closer to them, wrap my arm around the back of it, and give them lots of smiles while giving the server utterly nasty and hopefully imperious-looking stares every time they approached the table.  :rolleyes: *

*(And honey, we'd have a blast.  :laugh: Probably, we'd start laughing so hard at the utter ridiculousness of the situation that tears would be rolling down our cheeks. )

I wanna go order half salads with y'all. :biggrin:

However, the server can't rewrite the menu. Half a salad is half the price too. The manager of the place would make that call. I don't think holding the server hostage is correct either. The server knew what would fly & what wouldn't.

So there's a flag on the play.

And when I had my tea-room, people drove me effing nuts with special 'let's rewrite the menu' requests. So there's the manager's view of that. Some places do sell half salads, not all.

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Oh, yeah, Kate. Agreed. If the server seemed to be somewhat normal and not a total twit, I'd ask why no half salad, and if the response was "my manager" then I'd ask to speak (ah, "speak", sounds so "nice", dun't it now :biggrin: ) to the manager then I'd either charm said manager into changing said policy or alternately have a good laugh at management, probably making the server's day.

Half a salad. It's not like the place would go out of business for selling half a salad once in a while, indeed good customer service brings in more customers. Half a cow, now - that might be pushing it.

You'd need a cross-bow and a good saw. Half a salad, all you need is a willingness to please. :wink:

I tend to frequent restaurants that will give me half-portions or who will serve entrees as apps. I don't mind paying a little extra for the privilege and I tip very well. I'm not a big person and don't have a huge appetite, so seeing a pile of food before me actually sort of sickens me to the idea of eating at all. And so many of these things do not travel home in a doggy bag too well.

Maybe I should start a special interest group: Small-Portions Eaters Anonymous. :biggrin: Our motto would be: We pay for it so you don't have to. :laugh:

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Incredible discussion that can really only be found on eG!

Kudos to you MargyB, you've taken a lickin' and kept on tickin'.

I haven't posted here for months, partly for reasons that you considered not posting. When one is, or perceives oneself to be, treated shabbily, it is totally understandable to not want to return feeling like you've got a bullseye on your back. In my case I felt that not only I but other members I had come to care about had been treated poorly and since the source of the treatment originated from far higher on the food chain than I, I chose to at first ignore eG altogether, and then to just lurk.

But MargyB you've inspired me to return to the fray, at least a little bit.

Thanks. :smile:

Edited for grammar.

Edited by divalasvegas (log)

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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