Family meal.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by UKMummy, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    Last night was a family gathering for my niece,s 21st birthday. My Difficult Child lived with her mum, my sister for the last 2 years, he,s now in a shared house.
    He and I go through regular periods of estrangement, his choice. We've been talking for a few months but he often arranges to come around then doesn't turn up. Last week he asked if I could make him dinner as he had no food, I said of course, made dinner and he didn't show. No text or call.
    Anyway I knew he would be there last night, I worry about it but always put on a brave face.
    I was extra extra nice to him, always am. We had a drink in a cocktail bar before the meal, I bought him his drink. When I went to the bar the second time I asked if he'd like another. He said no, he didn't like the beer but he'd have a tenner instead (£10.00) !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I actually couldn't believe my ears. This may sound such a small thing but really, who does that ?????
    My son who has always had such a sense of entitlement to MY stuff. It makes me sooooooooo mad. Why do they think this is Ok?????
    I actually just ignored him but that set the tone for the night.
    I don't even like him anymore. And I know he can't stand me. I heard him make a joke later on about ' imagine how hard it is for me having to spend an evening with my mother'. Nobody laughed or commented.
    I wanted to stand up and scream, imaging what it's like for me having YOU as a son, an ungrateful, rude, lazy, entitled s**t !!!!
    I don't want to be around him anymore .......
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Just because we gave birth to them is no guarantee that we will like the person they choose to become as an adult.
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    UKM, I think situations like these are infuriating but also bring more clarity to what we will and won't tolerate. Another step toward a stronger boundary.

    Having him with you with a group for an evening. Sharing a cocktail and then dinner. If that doesn't go well, it gives us further affirmation for even stricter boundaries.

    At one point I told Difficult Child to call me once a week within a one hour period of time and if he called at any other time for any reason I would not pick up the phone. His behavior was so outrageous that we had to get to that point.

    I think that is perfectly okay and it clearly spells out that we are done with unacceptable behavior. You act like that, fine, but we don't be present to be a part of it. I remember it was very hard at first to stick to it especially as he tried to manipulate me into responding but it got easier as I was able to experience the peace of him not being in my life for a few days at a time without all of his dysfunctional behavior.

    They show us where they are at a particular point in time with their behavior. They can change and some do over time which gives us hope. But til then, take care of YOU.
  4. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    The opposite is worse think about it its a person that does not wanna be a burden at all and refuses any drinks, food basically any material things that you offer them because they do not wanna be a burden. Its terrible being the host to such a person and its even worse when they offer to give you money. I live in a culture where we make wine in huge quantities to have for guests the same with food and even room.
    It is just awful being around such a person its quite insulting actually and I do not joke here.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I come from a culture (Eastern European (Baltic) Jewish) where it is also traditional to feed and house guests.

    I do get a flash of awkwardness when someone doesn't want anything but "a glass of water, maybe" after I have cooked appetizers and made some tea cookies, etc.

    It's becoming more common in the US, though and because I was born and raised in America, I kind of get it. Some people won't take from you because they feel like if they do, they'll have to reciprocate. Others are "watching their weight" (especially annoying when they're already skinny). Others may be really picky eaters and are afraid of being faced with food they can't stomach. My cooking is sort of Euro as not only was I raised Eastern Euro, but I lived West Germany for several years during the Cold War. So stuff I cook my not smell quite as expected, etc.

    We don't do the wine thing so much, though I will bring a bottle of good wine as a guest gift, and if I am doing a full dinner, I will buy good wine/beer depending on what I'm serving and the proclivities of my guests.

    My family and friends, other than my sister, are not heavy drinkers, so we don't need huge amounts. I figure one beer for each person and half again as many to cover the few folks who might want seconds. Wine? a bottle per 3 people, with an x-tra bottle or two.

    Anyone reading this, DON'T take my amounts as a recommendation. My family and friends are very light drinkers, and I often don't drink at all. I've read amts as high as a bottle of wine per person and 3-4 beers per person.

    I did give in and get a french press, a grinder, and some decent coffee beans as I have a couple of friends who drink coffee. We decided that the process will be that I will heat water in my electric kettle, and they will take over coffee production from that point forward as I have no clue.

    A dad, I don't know if you do this as a custom, but in my family, its a custom to cook too much and then pack up individual containers of the leftovers (as meals) and send them home with the guests. Do you do that?

    It's sort of like if you aren't rolling in food, you didn't do a good enough job of taking care of your guests.
  6. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Yep we do that.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Silly, isn't it? Last family gathering I catered for, I handed out all the leftovers, got in my car to drive back home, and realized I hadn't saved any of the leftovers for myself!
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    UK. This was a painful post to read, for me. The cruelty of him, to you. Honestly, I do not know what I would do in your shoes, but I imagine I would have done the same. How graceless of him. How small he made himself.
    This I agree with, but what kind of boundary? In this case she was invited to a family gathering. Refusing would not be right. Why should UK not be among family?
    Now, I am thinking of my own son here who has been with us for the last number of months, most recently in our house. He is working with M remodeling some property we bought. The idea was that he live in one of them when completed. He got in an altercation (not his fault) when he was staying there. We let him move in with us. While it is "temporary" it is open-ended.

    So, I am not paying him for his labor because he is on SSI, because the property is for him, and because M is teaching him. While he is OK with this, I am not. I do not want him to believe that anybody can take advantage of his work or of him.

    M and I decided that I would buy him a series of gifts, as compensation partly, to motivate and acknowledge him, and to say thanks. I decided upon a laptop computer and a nice water filtration device which is a priority to him.

    His response: I do not deserve it for all I have done wrong.You guys don't have to let me stay with you, but you are.

    There is this element of moral masochism, self-flagellation, that he uses like it is a weapon. It seems like it is taking responsibility, but it is not. It feels as if it tries to take away all of the loving generosity I have had for all of these years. If I ever denied him, it was because he was out of control, and needed to learn. Does he not see that? Apparently, not.
    Well, Going, I will be coming to your house. This is exactly the way that I love to eat.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The problem is that so much of that good "peasant" (or "serf" in the case of my grandparents on one side. On the other side the grandparents ran a mill and bakery and were comfortably off.) cooking requires ingredients that are now considered "gourmet" and cost a fortune. I nearly died when I made a brisket for a family get together. $9lb for the brisket, and the parsnips and turnips for the roasted veggies were 3 dollars a lb.

    (and then, my "brother in law", my sister's 2nd husband, who is an Italian atheist, refused to so much as touch the brisket. I later found out it was because it "looked and smelled funny". So, I have my sister who isn't eating because she was high on meth. My brother in law, who won't eat anything "new or different", my mother who doesn't meat other than chicken or fish, and chicken only rarely. I and a couple cousins were the only ones swho ate the brisket. At least other than brother in law, the non-brisket eaters did chow down on the roasted veggies.

    We meat eaters divided up the leftovers. I think I ate brisket sandwiches for two weeks. Next time I got "invited to cook the entree" (for Passover) I cooked a capon, which cost a fortune, too, but at least everyone ate that.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    OMG, Going. Brisket is a long, long way back in the rear view mirror. And capon? I buy the Tyson whole chickens in the Walmart fridge and am so thrilled because they are infinitely better than the Foster Farms more readily available here, which are dreck.

    We buy most of our meat, fish and poultry on sale now at the mexican market, where when it goes on sale sells like crazy and is therefore fresh. (Do you have enough of a Latin population where you are, Going, to have Mexican markets? The vegetables and fruits are good too and when on sale, cheap. Like Roma tomatoes for .50c a pound--fresh and good. And sweet white corn 4 for $1.)I buy beef at between 3.40 and 3.70 a pound and chicken at $1 to $1.20 a pound, even breast meat, and fish around $2 a pound. Of course the beef I buy at these prices is not the coveted cuts, but mexicans typically eat these cheap cuts thin sliced and quickly pan fried, it is good and quick, especially with a lot of spices which I use.

    Even if we could afford it, because I do not understand why it costs so much, I do not buy. I do not think I have ever paid more than $5 a pound for meat. I long for lamb (years since I made it) and veal (decades) but I do not relent. And corned beef. Yum. They made a mistake at a cheap market I go to--mis-pricing a bunch at $2.75 a pound. I loaded up with maybe 6 packages of corned beef. They would not give me the meat at that price. I refused to pay theirs which was not a bad price really. I think, $3.50.

    There is so much to be done with the cheaper cuts of meat to be bought at the mexican market, I make do, and I am grateful for it.
  11. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My daughter likes to throw out little barbs like these, too, in an attempt to embarrass and humiliate me and get a reaction. I just give her a dead look like she is a small, misbehaving child and don't give her the satisfaction. She doesn't have the social sense to be embarrassed herself when people look at her strangely or look away and it gets quiet. I just avoid any situation where I may have to be in a crowd with her. However, when it is family, I DO say something. They know her and me and I feel comfortable letting her know it is not acceptable in that kind of setting.