Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finally, A Rant

Often, I think of something I want to post on, but Sheila beats me to it, or else she posts something different yet similar enough to dissuade me from my original idea.  This is, most likely, a service she is purposely rendering to humanity, and I accept.  Thank you, dear.  However, I’m really feeling derailed over her recent post on children and discipline, because that’s about all I’ve got in my head these last few days.

I shall take a little portion of the subject and whine until the baby gets tired of the cracker he is eating, at which point I will publish this post abruptly and without proofreading.  Sometime later, maybe tomorrow, I’ll come back to read it over and I’ll say, “Well, cuss.  That really doesn’t make any sense at all, and it certainly doesn’t say what I meant.”

And now, the rant.


I think that pretty much sums it up.  I realize that I, myself, me, personally, was brought up in the style of a slightly older generation.  Everyone, for example, that is my parent’s age grew up sitting at the table for several hours after mealtime (how come it was always the evening meal?) starting at a plate of cold-growing somethingorother and just knowing deep in their soul that “it” could never be stomached.  Everyone in the generation previous to that probably did so as well, and they were doing it in an age when sugar, butter, and meat were rationed.  My grandmother still thinks we are in that age.

I am, alas, too young for such things, but my parents were backward and uninformed and so raised us to clean the plate or else.  I have no problems with that method (I have not, in fact, since I was about 12) now, and I’m happy to report that I have never been to a home, a function, a party, a rave, or any other meal-type occasion away from my own kitchen where I refused food because I didn’t like it.  I like everything.  (Except Brussels sprouts, which are icky, but I would eat them with aplomb were they served to me in public.  But no one in public is dumb enough to serve clearly icky food.)  This paragraph reflects also the rearing of my non-blogging Local Friend Who Has Moved Away To Someplace Nice And Left Me Here.

Such was not the experience of many my age (including my husband), nor is it the experience of anyone I’ve been meeting lately who is under the age of eighteen.  I am not amused by a young someone being served food at my table and reflecting after the first bite, “Hmmm…not a total thumbs down, but I’m still really not liking it at all.”  I mean, yes, that’s hysterical, and honesty is a great virtue.  But that’s not nice.  It wouldn’t be nice for this same ten-year-old to say to me, “Hey, you’re pretty fat from having a baby, aren’t you?  Because I can see how your stomach is hanging over the top of your pants!”  That would be honest, but that would not be nice.  It would be rude.  In my old-fashioned and backward mind, it is also rude to make honest observations about one’s EXTREMELY NARROW food preferences in front of the person who is voluntarily sharing her time, her space, and her grocery budget with you—tell everyone about it on the ride home, kiddo.

Is this wrong of me?  Most of the people in my extended family think so.  My backward and old-fashioned mother agrees with me, of course, but she is backward and old-fashioned about this, remember, so she’s probably not a good backer as far as political clout is concerned.  I feel immensely justified in this miffedness.  Once before, the comment (from a considerably older child with equally narrow food preferences) was, “Ugh! It’s disgusting! I can’t stand it!!” and he spit out what had been in his mouth onto a plate.

In my house.  At my table.

Hell no.  (As St. Paul would say.)

That’s not cool, people.  I don’t like it.  It is rude.  When you are a guest, you are a guest and that’s final.  Whatever liberties you take at home might be liberties you take at home, but I have no use for such behavior from visitors.  Biblically, one would have given up one’s own bed, the best of the food, etc etc etc (Lot tried to give people his own daughters to save a guest from getting, well, rudely compromised, but that was going a bit far).  The guest is the greatest of blessings a house can receive, and guests who are mindful of that status should reflect their awareness by graciously accepting any proferred hospitality, or finding away to politely turn down a particular dish.  Coming into the kitchen, requesting a menu, then saying, “Oh, well, I’ll eat just the bread and salad.  I can’t stand lasagna!” isn’t really what I meant.

And for the record, the thumbs down was for macaroni and cheese.


  1. Thank you!!! finally somebody said it!! :)

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself, Jenn. This has been a sore source with me for quite sometime. Thank you. Really.

  3. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I never got options... that's not true. I always had an option, and my mother would remind me of it at almost every meal. The option was "Take it, or leave it" but there was no complaining. If I didn't finish my dinner, it would wait for me, occasionally still sitting on the counter the next morning at breakfast (although I was never made to eat it the next morning)

    I was a picky eater myself, but in the past, oh, 5 years or so, I've tried (and liked!) many more foods than I thought imaginable due to eating with company, and out of "politeness"

    On a side note, I recently had a guest, who STILL has me peeved, because they thought it completely appropriate to say "This wing burger would be fabulous if it had a big hunk of beef steak tomato on it" P.S. They were/are aware that hubby and I generally don't enjoy tomatoes, and therefore - don't buy them. Sorry sista, but eat your damn burger (that you say is delicious anyway) without the side commentary and critique!

    So I am with you 100% If you don't like it, suck it up. Either don't eat it, don't eat much, and above all else, keep your trap shut about it! (Like how I'm leaving MY rant on YOUR blog :-P lol)

  4. My mom always says, "My kitchen is not a restaurant! You get what I serve; nothing else is on the menu!"

    I remember staying up late, late, late, because of zucchini.

    Now, I still find myself utterly incapable of eating shellfish. I occasionally try. I turned them down at Sean's place, which horrified my mom when I told her about it, but that's Sean and I knew he wouldn't mind. But maybe if my parents had EVER fed me shellfish, I would like them? Their attitude, though, was "Why waste good shrimp on someone who won't appreciate them?"

    I can't see anyone older than six making a rude comment about not liking the food at someone else's house ... at least, not without getting punished when we got home!