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Was I wrong to not order anything?


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Order what you want or don't order if you don't want to.

Eat a little or eat a lot or don't eat.

Smile and laugh a lot. If you feel like it. I do, but I've hated the few times in my life when someone (usually a guy) says "smile" to me as if I were a performing seal placed there to please. Makes me want to bite or growl or spit, instead.

Life does go on, whatever happens.

(Sorry if I didn't repeat the mantra right, it's been a downhill slide since they kicked me out of Bodhisatva school. :rolleyes: )

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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?



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:

I think that is the operant definition of alcoholism among WASPs. It is not how much you consume, but how you conduct yourself. A faux pas would be to have your stiff upper lip visibly loosen a tad. :biggrin:

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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. 

I agree. All this talk of "rights"! I actually have no doubt, under the Supreme Court's privacy jurisprudence, that the OP has a constitutional right not to eat anything at that wretched establishment. But speaking in terms of such rights doesn't help resolve the issue of what's right. I have a right to walk up to an ugly person and let her know just how ugly she is, but that doesn't make it right. In the real world we have to consider others' feelings. Sometimes that involves making concessions. Ordering a "garden salad" without dressing and a diet coke doesn't seem like an outrageous concession to make to ensure a smooth social lunch.

Edited by eipi10 (log)
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I'm more interested in the behavior of the MIL.  I think it was hella rude for her to make a big stink over what Margy was ordering or not ordering.  What are you supposed to do after that?

Funny. What a shift. Now we're jumping to conclusions again. Now we're at: MIL is a controlling bitch that made a "big stink."

I humbly suggest that as none of the rest of us were at the table during the social event in question, none of us really knows what happened - the mood, the tone, the actual words, the possible rolling of eyes, the history of the relationships, previous meals offered, foisted, enjoyed, refused...

It would be interesting to hear both sides of the story. I wonder if somewhere, on some sort of MIL board, the MIL is busy gabbing with her girlfriends: "Wait til I tell you what my DIL did this time."


I suspect that, like most things, the truth lies somewhere in between these two "MILzilla vs DILzilla" extremes.

I feel sorry for the husband. This can't be a good thing. On any level.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Please, don't put words in my mouth! I didn't call Margy's MIL a bitch! She did, however, press the issue of ordering to the point of making Margy uncomfortable, which, to me, anyway, is rude. Whether Margy was rude or not, it was DEFINITELY rude to make her feel like she was BEING rude. Does that make sense?

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Out of a controversial thread, these two stand out for me:

But the day my father is no longer available for me to take him there, will be a sad day for me, indeed.


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.

Grandma and Grandpa's dining out involved the HoJo Tuesday Night all-you-can-eat rubbery fried clams, greasy fried frog legs at Bill Knapp's, and numerous inquiries into my unmarried status. None of these things were pleasant.

I would trade anything in the world for one more dinner with them.

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Please, don't put words in my mouth!  I didn't call Margy's MIL a bitch!  She did, however, press the issue of ordering to the point of making Margy uncomfortable, which, to me, anyway, is rude.  Whether Margy was rude or not, it was DEFINITELY rude to make her feel like she was BEING rude.  Does that make sense?

The MIL may have been rude, but it's like the old joke:

Q: Where does a 1000 lb pound elephant sit?

A: Anywhere it wants

What does a mother in law say to her daughter in law? ...

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