Not About Food


Follow-up to the thread on catering to in-laws' Midwestern tastes (boy, did I open a can of worms!!!)


Not About Food 106

Follow-up to the thread on catering to in-laws' Midwestern tastes (boy, did I open a can of worms!!!)

lauriejgs | Mar 4, 2014 11:21 AM

I am the OP who posted about my in-laws and their aversion to what they call "exotic" restaurants. Let me clarify a little bit of what is really going on here regarding my son and his birthday dinner. My parents recently celebrated a big anniversary and we weren't able to join them for dinner due to the horrible weather we've been having. So we decided to do a celebratory dinner this coming weekend that would encompass both their anniversary and my son's birthday. My mother-in-law happened to call us last weekend to see if we wanted to join them at Red Lobster for one of their other grandchildrens' birthdays. We had prior plans, so declined. Then MIL asked if we could do it this coming weekend and I mentioned that we already had planned to do a birthday/anniversary dinner with my parents. She asked if they could join us and I said of course. She had to add the "Nothing too exotic" reminder after that, so I said I would book a table at an upscale seafood restaurant that we all like.

Fast forward a day, and the seafood place could not accommodate us. I decided on a new Greek restaurant that is getting rave reviews. I checked the menu and there is something for everyone--fish, chicken, beef, rice, etc. I gave my MIL the news and this was her response. "I guess we can find something to eat there."

My husband told me that when he spoke to her a few days later, she again told him, " I hear we're going to a Greek restaurant. I hope there's something for great-Grandma to eat." He then reminded her that great-Grandma, who was a world traveler in her day, has been to Greece and that she and my FIL have also! She said she hadn't thought of that. Then he asked her if she checked out the restaurant menu online and she said no.

I need to add that whenever she and my FIL invite us out to dinner or over to their house, there is not much thought given to my teenage daughter, who has celiac disease. She has repeatedly asked me to bring food with me when we go there, as though she cannot be troubled to even grab a loaf of GF bread at the supermarket. I have asked her very nicely, more than once, to please just get GF versions of things for my daughter so that she is not made to feel singled out by us hauling her food around. It is very, very easy to find GF versions of things these days, and I have been very specific about brands so she knows what to get. It has made us feel bad that there has been such disregard for my daughter's needs, which is why it pisses me off royally (yes, here is my agenda) that we are expected to cater to their bland tastes during an event to which THEY INVITED THEMSELVES. OK, I'm done venting. I really am not trying to be a total bitch here, but my in-laws' self-centeredness has taken on greater dimensions with each passing year and it is harder and harder for me to cater to them. By the way, they are not old. They still travel plenty and stay active. It is not a matter of them being frail and unhealthy. Thanks, all, for giving me such thoughtful answers to this dilemma. I appreciate it, even though it's sometimes painful to have the finger pointed at me!

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