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Author Topic: Late Late Christmas
ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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This seems like such a petty thing to rant about, but it keeps getting on my nerves.

The Fiance's family (both sides) all lives around the same area we do, so Christmas with them involves opening presents at his mom's house, his paternal grandmother's house, and his maternal grandmother's house. I'm a fairly solitary person, but I'd made the decision to just enjoy what I could and not dwell on the hordes of people I should socialize with.

The first horde was a lot of fun; chaotic unwrapping of presents, multiple children shrieking out excitedly, one cousin taking a bunch of jewel stickers (that I got her) and putting them all over herself, all sorts of fun. We left them at about 4:30, as they were getting ready to eat.

The second horde was where the problem cropped up. We got there at about 5, and learned that supper wouldn't be served until the rest of the people got there, and presents were opened. Okay, fine, there were munchies and such, and I was hungry, but figured I could wait for a couple hours.

Dinner was not served until 9 pm.

Just to make it worse, most of the food was not to my liking. I ate very little, and left still feeling hungry.

I work early in the morning and get up at 5 am. The Fiance's extended family almost always eats very late, and it causes huge amounts of tension between Fiance and I. The family talks all the time about how "we shouldn't eat this late" and "Next year we'll have to do something about this", but every dinner I've ever gone to has been late, with the earliest being served at 7:45 pm.

I feel trapped there because we've agreed to go over for dinner, even though the majority of the time is spent waiting for people to finish cooking. The Fiance and his father tell me to just get used to it, but how am I supposed to get used to eating half an hour before I normally go to bed?

I apologize for this being so long, but it's irritated me for years now, and I see no end in sight. Le sigh.

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Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

Posts: 638 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Raven Waift
The First USA Noel


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I would suggest that you eat a small meal before you go over, and then eat a small amount when they finally serve dinner.

If it is always late, and you really can't bear to be there, show up later. They say 5, you know it won't be served until 7, don't show until 6:30.

However, I think it would be better to eat prior to going over, and then suffer through. For your fiance, the prep time and all that may be a part of his holiday. It may be boring to you, but it may be part of the tradition for him.

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Whereas as you are dancing happily in the fields of ignorance through which the stream of stupidity bubbles and flows. -BlushingBride
My my space.

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Enjal
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Why should you just get used to anything? It's time to stand up for yourself (and I hope Fiance backs you up). If dinner's not served by, say 7pm, you give Fiance a signal that it's time to go. If an excuse is needed, just tell them the truth and say that you have to work in the morning and need to get home to relax (I wouldn't necessarly mention not wanting to eat late if you think it'll cause trouble). You'll still be there for the socializing and presents and that's more important than staying for the food.

Here's the thing, someone's feelings might get hurt but you're the one who's going to have to deal with indigestion and possibly loss of sleep. They ought to be understanding of your situation and not make you feel like you have to stay so late to eat.

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"I'm a leaf in the wind"
New Lungs for George

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I second Raven Waift's suggestion. If you've eaten beforehand, you won't be hungry waiting for them to serve dinner, and if you don't eat much when they do serve it, you can probably avoid the overfull-at-bedtime problem. It sounds like a given that you'll be up later than usual that night, but it's only one night, and it sounds like it may be worth it to you to spend the time with your fiance and his family. If it isn't, of course, you should consider visiting them earlier and leaving before dinner.

It might be more fair for them to change their dinner habits for you, but I really doubt that would ever happen. You can't control them, but you can control yourself.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Fun with a 9mm
Deck the Malls


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Being engaged doesn't mean you two are superglued together! Drive separately from fiance, let the fam know you have to be at work early in the AM and leave when you wish. Just be sure you have someting at home for dinner.

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I'm not mean, you're just a big sissy. -Happy Bunny

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.- Verbal Kint

Trespassers will be pelted with jellyfish.- Daniel Cluley

Posts: 221 | From: Bradenton, FL | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Fun with a 9mm:
Drive separately from fiance, let the fam know you have to be at work early in the AM and leave when you wish. Just be sure you have someting at home for dinner.

I did seriously consider doing this exact thing. The only thing that stopped me was that we were going to visit other folks immediately before the late late people, and I didn't know where the first address was. Does that make any sense?

The Fiance is very good about backing me up when necessary with this part of the family, and usually we agree beforehand what time we're going to leave. I neglected to bring that up this time, and paid the price. If the food was good, I might not even complain that much, but my tastes just don't match with what they like. I didn't eat an actual meal all day; was served eggbake for breakfast (ick), no lunch, and then a mostly nasty dinner. The only good thing was the appetizers -- pork wontons!

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Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

Posts: 638 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Do they live near a Wendy's or something? I'd suggest, at some point during the festivities, that you and the fiance slip out for some "quiet time together" (no one should object to two engaged people wanting a few minutes alone!) and go off and have a cheeseburger!

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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How you approach this might depend in part on whether the meal(s) in question is a sit-down dinner or a buffet-style dinner. A sit-down dinner is a bit more problematic, as there is pressure to eat a full meal. Try to take tiny little portions.

How many people were part of both the first and the second hordes? If the first group ate at 4:30, there might be a good reason why the second meal was so late. Is eating a bit at the first gathering and arriving at the second one a little later a possibility? This might not work if they are two completely separate groups, though.

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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ladyknight, I'd suggest next time you and the fiance hit a fast food joint on the drive over to your future inlaws. That way you'd get a little something to quell the hunger, which would leave you in a better frame of mind to fully enjoy the family's chaotic approach to things. As Raven Waift said, to you what is a pointless Chinese fire drill is to them just part and parcel of the holiday tradition, the way things always have been. Try viewing it as a strange custom clung to by those of a different culture and graciously put up with it on such special occasions as Christmas.

Barbara "hamburgers eaten under such circumstances contain no calories" Mikkelson

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by ladyknight:
The only thing that stopped me was that we were going to visit other folks immediately before the late late people, and I didn't know where the first address was. Does that make any sense?

On the surface, yes, it makes some sense. However, not knowing where a place is is nothing that can't be fixed with a little planning. If you don't have a city map to find it and plan you're route, you can use a website like Mapquest or Google Maps to find it and plan the way there.

We go all kinds of places we've never been to before, but it's never stopped us. Our regular plan of action is to get on Mapquest, write the directions on notepaper, and tape it to the steering wheel.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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Jenn, I am aware of google maps and frequently use it, especially since The Fiance and I are apartment hunting. However, I didn't know the actual address of the first place we went to, nor did The Fiance. He only knows how to get there, not what the address is, and his directions are, shall we say, not always clear? In addition, getting my car would have involved us actually thinking this whole thing out the day before, so that I drove to his place separately, and then driving separately for the rest of the day. At the time, it seemed like a waste of gas. With what I know now, the gas would not have been a problem!

And Barbara, I did not know that hamburgers consumed under conditions of duress did not have calories. I shall have to keep that in mind for future visits.

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Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by ladyknight:
And Barbara, I did not know that hamburgers consumed under conditions of duress did not have calories. I shall have to keep that in mind for future visits.

It's a stress effect. Whatever residual calories they contain get worried off during the drive to the inlaws.

Barbara "thus says Sarah Tonin" Mikkelson

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Ms. Kringle
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Ladyknight, if they're otherwise nice people? I'd change my pattern for the big family get-togethers, and eat something small ahead of time, and perhaps even suggest that you bring some dish of something, that way you know there is something there that you will actually eat.

Granted, don't approach it as, "I'd like to bring X dish, so there's something at this craptacular that I'll actually eat," but approach it as, "Future MIL, I'd love to bring X dish to our get-together, so I can feel like I'm contributing something to this lovely gathering, would that be okay?"

This is not a hill to die on. If they were treating you terribly, THEN it would be a hill to die on. But, this hill is not it.

Ms. 'you were given the address of the wrong hill' K

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Beware corporate zombies! They will purchase your brain on E-Bay!

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