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How to respond? Someone I hardly know bringing us dinner & I'm embarrassed.


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Oh, dear. Major discomfort. Yesterday one of the post-flood "How are you faring?" phone calls came from a family who lives up the road a couple of miles. The woman left a message (since, as always, I didn't answer the phone;)) and left a number should we need any help. I had to think twice who she is, since we don't know these people. I've spoken to her a couple of times over the years and she's very nice, but I didn't even know her last name. (I realized later she's the wife of a pastor. They live right next to their church. When we first moved here, we visited once and were completely put off by some of the theology. The pastor later came and visited us at home ~ again, very nice guy ~ and was sort of insistent that we read this-and-this verse, etc. I basically had to say, "No. It's not our cuppa. Thank you and good bye.")

 

Now Hans phoned her back and thanked her for her concern. Since they look down toward our place, on the river-bottom, it's no wonder they feel for us. It does look shocking after a flood. But we really are fine and Hans assured her of that. He just mentioned that later, in the spring, we end up with a lot of work due to clean-up and dike repairs. She said they really, really want to help us in some tangible way and said she'd bring us dinner tonight. He thanked her for the offer, told her it's not necessary, etc. but she insisted it's the least they can do and so on.

 

So this woman is bringing us a meal tonight and quite honestly I feel like a total idiot about it. It was one thing to get meals from my church family and friends when I was post-partum/surgery, but in these circumstances, we don't deserve any kind of help like that. I wish there was someone else I could point her toward, but I don't personally have anyone in mind. I mean, there are people in the wider region who have lost their homes due to mudslides, but they aren't local and I don't know them. I'm sure for her it's more of a "helping a neighbor" thing, and I do totally appreciate that. I just feel like an idiot to be on the receiving end given the fact that I'm healthy and capable and really not in dire straits.

 

Okay, so what would you do? As silly as I feel taking the meal, I feel just as silly or sillier calling her back and saying, "Please don't do this", kwim? Would you just accept it graciously? Call and thank her profusely but assure her it's not needed? Or...what?:001_huh:

 

(Btw, while I'm stressing about taking this meal, my children are acting like deprived waifs. "I hope she brings something good!" "I wonder if she's going to bring dessert, too!" "I can't wait until dinner!" Good grief!:tongue_smilie:

Edited by Colleen
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Obviously this neighbour has a huge desire to help you. I find it hard to accept help from people too because there's always someone way worse off than us but it's okay to accept the generosity of this family. (Personally I always hate accepting meals because I prefer my own cooking to others lol! But my kids find it an adventure so let them enjoy it.)

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It's a gift, don't deprive her of being able to do this for you. I understand how you feel though, it's difficult for me to ask for help when it's needed, let alone receive it when it's not. Plus we're picky eaters and everyone seems to bring bad Italian food. But, it's on her heart to do this for you and it's a nice gesture so I say accept it and say thank you.

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You don't need it, but it sounds like she needs to feel like she is helping someone, and you are a visible "someone." Hey, she can see the water on your place.

 

Enjoy, and hope the cleanup in spring goes okay. I'm in Eastern WA and though we had a lot of snow, we didn't have too much rain afterwards. I cringe over the pictures of the west side!

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Please accept her gift as she means well. I'm sure if the roles were reversed you would also be looking to help. It probably makes her feel good being able to help you so let her enjoy being able to do this. Hope the kids enjoy the meal and it isn't something totally child inappopriate lol!

Stephanie

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Personally I always hate accepting meals because I prefer my own cooking to others lol! But my kids find it an adventure so let them enjoy it.

 

Thanks for your reply, Rose. I said to Hans, "Did you tell her what kind of wine to bring?":D (These folks have probably never bought a bottle of wine in their lives.) My boys are probably exicted, among other reasons, because they're reasonably sure chard and/or kale won't be part of the menu.

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everyone seems to bring bad Italian food.

 

:D One of my most awkward post-partum meals was when a woman brought pizza from a local joint. This was just for Hans and me because the older boys were at my parents', and as it so happens, we really dislike that pizza. So we didn't eat it, and then Hans went and got some take-out from a place we do like. It all felt so very silly. I mean, again, I appreciated the thought, but in our circumstances Hans was more than capable of just getting take-out, kwim? Oh, well. Thought that counts and all that. :)

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One of my most awkward post-partum meals was when a woman brought pizza from a local joint. This was just for Hans and me because the older boys were at my parents', and as it so happens, we really dislike that pizza. So we didn't eat it, and then Hans went and got some take-out from a place we do like. It all felt so very silly. I mean, again, I appreciated the thought, but in our circumstances Hans was more than capable of just getting take-out, kwim? Oh, well. Thought that counts and all that.

 

On that note, one of my best postpartum "meals" was a crisp 20.00 from an acquaintance who wanted to bless us but had no time to prepare a meal. Hubby went out and got exactly what we wanted...take-out Chinese...

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Thanks for your reply, Rose. I said to Hans, "Did you tell her what kind of wine to bring?":D (These folks have probably never bought a bottle of wine in their lives.) My boys are probably exicted, among other reasons, because they're reasonably sure chard and/or kale won't be part of the menu.

 

lol! My son would pray that whatever they brought would have lots of preservatives and be highly processed! I can't figure him out given that he lives in a home where fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods (everything cooked from scratch) are and always have been the norm.

 

Enjoy your meal (actually don't forget to post and tell us what she brings).

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Of course it's ironic that the very thing you were concerned about yesterday has come home to roost in a big way *sigh.*

 

If I were uncomfortable enough about it, I might try to phone and say something like, "I'm feeling really uncomfortable about this because we really are doing fine right now. Is there any way we can transform your generosity into some lifting and toting in March when we clean the field of debris? That's what would really help--knowing we could have some help later."

 

If this does not help, you have a genuine boundary-challenged neighbor on your hands (the religion story was quite telling and I understand why you are concerned). If it doesn't work, you might have to swallow accepting this dinner (pun intended), and then make sure you set boundaries with them from now on.

 

Someone told me something long ago that I try to remember: It's not really help if the person doesn't feel helped. (I'm not talking about dysfunctional relationships here, just normal relating. Cramming something down someone's throat that they don't want is not help. So IMHO you are perfectly justified in feeling uneasy.)

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lol! My son would pray that whatever they brought would have lots of preservatives and be highly processed! I can't figure him out given that he lives in a home where fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods (everything cooked from scratch) are and always have been the norm.

 

Enjoy your meal (actually don't forget to post and tell us what she brings).

 

It's a grass is greener kind of thing, don't you think? I know my MIL says when here kids were little they envied people with store-bought cookies, because she always made theirs. Now we all wait with great anticipation for the next batch of "grammy cookies!" :lol: When he's on his own he will learn to appreciate you.

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It's a gift, don't deprive her of being able to do this for you. I understand how you feel though, it's difficult for me to ask for help when it's needed, let alone receive it when it's not. Plus we're picky eaters and everyone seems to bring bad Italian food. But, it's on her heart to do this for you and it's a nice gesture so I say accept it and say thank you.

 

 

:iagree: I have a hard time being on the receiving end, especially if I feel it isn't warranted. However, I have learned not to deprive people of the joy of giving and try to accept gracefully.

 

 

 

I thought of you today as a stranger came to my door. I thought it was an unannounced guest, they were thankfully at the wrong house. :lol::lol:

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All you can do is smile and say "Thank you!" Then, when someone else is in need, pay it forward.

 

Since dh has been deployed we have a group of friends that is absolutely dying to be helpful. Of course, what I NEED is time to do all of the things I need to get done, but all of these women work full time and baby-sitting isn't something that would pop into their minds as something helpful. However, they have started hosting dinners for me once a month and everyone who comes is supposed to bring a meal for me to take home. Talk about feeling strange! It has transformed from a few friends getting together and having a great time and me taking home a few pot pies, to big, formal get-togethers with people I don't know well at all. The last time we did this I went home with gift cards to 5 different restaurants, a giftcard for groceries, and enough cereal to feed my kids for a month. Voicing concerns that maybe the help would be better directed to people actually in NEED has led to hurt feelings, so I cheerfully take what I can use and pass on the things that I can to people who really need someone to help with groceries. I figure this is a service to them as much as from them.

 

I do understand how you feel - just enjoy the dinner.

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It's a grass is greener kind of thing, don't you think? I know my MIL says when here kids were little they envied people with store-bought cookies, because she always made theirs. Now we all wait with great anticipation for the next batch of "grammy cookies!" :lol: When he's on his own he will learn to appreciate you.

 

I mean heavy german-style (well at least my mom's german-style) bread. No fluffy stuff at our house. We thought it such a treat to get white, spongy bread. Well now I'm the mom and it's freshly ground ww bread at our house! lol!

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Oh, dear. Major discomfort. Yesterday one of the post-flood "How are you faring?" phone calls came from a family who lives up the road a couple of miles. The woman left a message (since, as always, I didn't answer the phone;)) and left a number should we need any help. I had to think twice who she is, since we don't know these people. I've spoken to her a couple of times over the years and she's very nice, but I didn't even know her last name. (I realized later she's the wife of a pastor. They live right next to their church. When we first moved here, we visited once and were completely put off by some of the theology. The pastor later came and visited us at home ~ again, very nice guy ~ and was sort of insistent that we read this-and-this verse, etc. I basically had to say, "No. It's not our cuppa. Thank you and good bye.")

 

Now Hans phoned her back and thanked her for her concern. Since they look down toward our place, on the river-bottom, it's no wonder they feel for us. It does look shocking after a flood. But we really are fine and Hans assured her of that. He just mentioned that later, in the spring, we end up with a lot of work due to clean-up and dike repairs. She said they really, really want to help us in some tangible way and said she'd bring us dinner tonight. He thanked her for the offer, told her it's not necessary, etc. but she insisted it's the least they can do and so on.

 

So this woman is bringing us a meal tonight and quite honestly I feel like a total idiot about it. It was one thing to get meals from my church family and friends when I was post-partum/surgery, but in these circumstances, we don't deserve any kind of help like that. I wish there was someone else I could point her toward, but I don't personally have anyone in mind. I mean, there are people in the wider region who have lost their homes due to mudslides, but they aren't local and I don't know them. I'm sure for her it's more of a "helping a neighbor" thing, and I do totally appreciate that. I just feel like an idiot to be on the receiving end given the fact that I'm healthy and capable and really not in dire straits.

 

Okay, so what would you do? As silly as I feel taking the meal, I feel just as silly or sillier calling her back and saying, "Please don't do this", kwim? Would you just accept it graciously? Call and thank her profusely but assure her it's not needed? Or...what?:001_huh:

 

(Btw, while I'm stressing about taking this meal, my children are acting like deprived waifs. "I hope she brings something good!" "I wonder if she's going to bring dessert, too!" "I can't wait until dinner!" Good grief!:tongue_smilie:

 

 

 

I do understand how you feel. My general rule for this is: if I have told them twice (or even thrice) that they needn't bring me XYZ, but they STILL insist on doing so, I will accept graciously.

 

What I end up doing with said item, might be another story, depending on what it is, but in the end, I feel that if someone is so determined to give me something, then I'll just have to accept.

 

Of course... I do have different rules if the "something" is money, or an attempt to "save my soul." Those I simply refuse. Period.

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All you can do is smile and say "Thank you!" Then, when someone else is in need, pay it forward.

 

Since dh has been deployed we have a group of friends that is absolutely dying to be helpful. Of course, what I NEED is time to do all of the things I need to get done, but all of these women work full time and baby-sitting isn't something that would pop into their minds as something helpful. However, they have started hosting dinners for me once a month and everyone who comes is supposed to bring a meal for me to take home. Talk about feeling strange! It has transformed from a few friends getting together and having a great time and me taking home a few pot pies, to big, formal get-togethers with people I don't know well at all. The last time we did this I went home with gift cards to 5 different restaurants, a giftcard for groceries, and enough cereal to feed my kids for a month. Voicing concerns that maybe the help would be better directed to people actually in NEED has led to hurt feelings, so I cheerfully take what I can use and pass on the things that I can to people who really need someone to help with groceries. I figure this is a service to them as much as from them.

 

I do understand how you feel - just enjoy the dinner.

 

That's what we have done in the past. We've been in situations where people have given us food when we didn't *really* need it (cereals, canned goods, stuff like that). A week or so later I learned of an acquaintance who could really use some help. It was great to be able to pack up two boxes full of food and give it to them.

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but today when I was buying food for dinner, I honestly thought, "I wonder what that lady brought Colleen. I wonder if the boys liked it. I hope it wasn't a really bad cream of chicken soup based casserole. I hope they got dessert."

 

must ... get... a....life.....

 

 

Okay, well, this'll make you feel better. While you were buying food, thinking of me, I was pulling out two Very Wiry White Hairs and thinking of you. "Good grief, but those are noticeable!" I thought. "I mean, hey, even Dana's $300+ color job couldn't tone done the "stand up straight like a couple of antennas poking out of my head" nature of these babies!"

 

:D

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Honestly, just take the food and be thankful kind people exist. It seems like we just really over-think things these days.

 

Whenever I hear things like this I cannot help but think of how Ma would have handled it in Little House on the Prairie. Have we really become so particular in our modern, American lives?

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Friday was not a pretty day. I was a ball of tension and the boys were just Getting On My Last Nerve. It was medically necessary (okay, slight exaggeration) that I get out and run. So I did just that in the late afternoon. Hans had told the Dinner Gifter that we eat fairly late, usually 7pm at the earliest, and she said she'd bring the meal by then. I planned to be back before then ~ and I was, coming home at 6-ish. My boys were all sitting around and told me right away that she'd brought the food already.

 

Uh-oh.

 

I hadn't expected this. That is to say, I hadn't coached them. Not to lie per se. C'mon. I don't ask my children to lie. Just...to be subtle. "Our mom is outside right now," for example, would've been fine. Or, "She's busy right now." (Well, I was busy. I was running!:D)

 

But no. My second son proudly assured me, "I told her you were out running." At which point, she apparently said something to the effect of, "And your dad must be out working on the dike." Well, Hans was out working, but it wasn't flood-related. And son #2 made that quite clear, apparently. "I told her there's really nothing to do now so Dad was just helping in the barn."

 

Ahhh...okay. Apparently son #1 then went to great pains to tell her how traumatic it is when it floods, yada yada yada.

 

They said she looked somewhat confused that I wasn't around. Oh, well. She wanted to do something tangible and she did just that and maybe we didn't really need the help but...there ya go.

 

As for the fixin's, she brought chicken enchiladas, and my boys enjoyed them much more than they do my own version, thankyouverymuch. Probably because my version involves whole wheat tortillas, etc. while hers was more...traditional. They really were good. She also brought sloppy joes, to eat today. Apparently she was under the mistaken-impression that we're trapped at home...? Again, makes me feel kinda silly, given that I did a major market trip today. There was a huge bag of Very White Dough Rolls to go along with the sloppy joes, as well as a bag of apples. No dessert.:glare: (Kidding!) Today I dropped by the mission with the rolls and apples. (I would've taken all the food, but they don't want bits-and-pieces of cooked meals, understandably.)

 

So now I need to return her dishes with thanks and I'll pay it forward when the opportunity arises.:)

Edited by Colleen
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Honestly, just take the food and be thankful kind people exist. It seems like we just really over-think things these days.

 

Whenever I hear things like this I cannot help but think of how Ma would have handled it in Little House on the Prairie. Have we really become so particular in our modern, American lives?

 

I did take the food. I am thankful kind people exist. It's not a matter of being particular. I feel bad because there are so many, many people who fared far worse than us and I wish she/I could have reached those people directly.

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I did take the food. I am thankful kind people exist. It's not a matter of being particular. I feel bad because there are so many, many people who fared far worse than us and I wish she/I could have reached those people directly.

 

Were you able to casually mention how many others had lost homes due to mudslides, etc?

Perhaps she will marshall her resources to aid those in more need than you.

The reaction of your kids made me laugh! :D

Now that it's over and done with, did they enjoy the meal?

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I did take the food. I am thankful kind people exist. It's not a matter of being particular. I feel bad because there are so many, many people who fared far worse than us and I wish she/I could have reached those people directly.

 

Perhaps she didn't know anyone needier at the time to help, and she just wanted to be nice. No need to feel bad about it. Kindness can be bestowed upon people without them deserving it.

 

But, really, posts like this are what make me NOT want to do nice things for people. I never know when someone is going to criticize the food I make because it doesn't live up to the standard of the recipient. Not everyone is as enlightened and dedicated about nutritious eating. I think it has a lot to do with being particular. Honestly, I'd rather our family pig out on white bread and not-so-great pizza for two days and model to my children how to accept a gift graciously.

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But, really, posts like this are what make me NOT want to do nice things for people. I never know when someone is going to criticize the food I make because it doesn't live up to the standard of the recipient. Not everyone is as enlightened and dedicated about nutritious eating. I think it has a lot to do with being particular. Honestly, I'd rather our family pig out on white bread and not-so-great pizza for two days and model to my children how to accept a gift graciously.

 

I think that is the real difference, helping those who really need it and want it. At times it can be a hard thing to see, but in Colleen's case I'm guessing it was not. This gal seemed almost pushy to me. Why keep insisting on making food for others even when they have said no-thanks more than once. If she was really worried they were stuck, then offer Colleen a ride to the store or ask if she can pick-up items (of Colleen's choosing) for her? Making a meal is a nice thing to do, but often it's the easiest and least needed.

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This gal seemed almost pushy to me. Why keep insisting on making food for others even when they have said no-thanks more than once.

 

:iagree: I don't see why adults just can't take no for an answer. I do that. I don't try to persuade people to change their minds. In my experience, though, people aren't used to that approach.

 

OTOH, when I say no, I frequently have to use the broken-record technique (repeating my response over and over) before the person finally gives up trying to persuade me to do or to take something. I chalk it up to these people having gone to the Telemarketer School of Manners.

 

I think it is rude for a person to insist that another person take something or do something that they don't want to take or do. It's gussied up in goodness when the offer is something like a homecooked meal, but it is still rude. If the giver follows through with their offer, then it's too bad if they don't like it when they discover the offer wasn't necessary after all. The problem is that they did not listen in the first place, which means (IMO) that their gift is all about themselves and not about the recipient.

 

RC

Edited by RoughCollie
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Since my post seems to bother you, I suggest you do one of two things:

 

1) Move on.

 

2) Go back and objectively reread my original post objectively and stop criticizing me because of your own apparent defensiveness.

 

Perhaps she didn't know anyone needier at the time to help, and she just wanted to be nice. No need to feel bad about it. Kindness can be bestowed upon people without them deserving it.

 

Yes, you're right. Neither of us seem to directly know anyone in greater need, and we don't have to be "deserving" to be own the receiving end of a blessing. As I said in my o.p., I do totally appreciate her kindness. I used those very words, but since you seem to have glossed over them, I'll repeat: I do totally appreciate that. It simply made me feel awkward, thus my original post. Everyone here basically said, "Graciously accept the food" (rather than assuring her again that we're fine and not in need), and we did just that.

 

But, really, posts like this are what make me NOT want to do nice things for people. I never know when someone is going to criticize the food I make because it doesn't live up to the standard of the recipient. Not everyone is as enlightened and dedicated about nutritious eating. I think it has a lot to do with being particular. Honestly, I'd rather our family pig out on white bread and not-so-great pizza for two days and model to my children how to accept a gift graciously.

 

I didn't post because I was worried I wouldn't like her food. It had nothing whatsoever to do with being particular, but if you want to assign that motive to me, so be it. The story about the pizza was a funny little aside I shared in response to another post. My children weren't even here when that pizza was brought to us. I'm sure if they had been, it would have been devoured in no time; we wouldn't have even considered getting something else. Anyway, the gist of the story wasn't really the pizza itself. It was the fact that we felt awkward having someone bring us food from a restaurant, because we had the resources to do that ourselves. Again, it was a kindness on their part, but that doesn't alter the fact that we felt somewhat awkward about it.

 

Back to the original post, I feel comfortable that my family has received this gift with grace, although it did make me ~ stil makes me ~ feel uncomfortable. As a couple of people noted, there are times when people are rather insistent on helping or giving such that they aren't truly listening to the potential recipient. They're bound and determined to "help" in their own way, and ya know, that's okay. Like Patty said, sometimes we give by receiving. I appreciate the many replies I've received here, but I must admit your snarky comments didn't help in the least.

Edited by Colleen
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Okay, well, this'll make you feel better. While you were buying food, thinking of me, I was pulling out two Very Wiry White Hairs and thinking of you. "Good grief, but those are noticeable!" I thought. "I mean, hey, even Dana's $300+ color job couldn't tone done the "stand up straight like a couple of antennas poking out of my head" nature of these babies!"

 

:D

 

Well, for an additional price (which I didn't ask about and didn't want to know) she tried to sell me a "serum" that supposedly will tame those hairs. I figured I would live with less than immaculate hair.

 

Everytime I see $300 in print, my heart just sinks, but I am honored that you thought of me:)

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Perhaps she didn't know anyone needier at the time to help, and she just wanted to be nice. No need to feel bad about it. Kindness can be bestowed upon people without them deserving it.

 

But, really, posts like this are what make me NOT want to do nice things for people. I never know when someone is going to criticize the food I make because it doesn't live up to the standard of the recipient. Not everyone is as enlightened and dedicated about nutritious eating. I think it has a lot to do with being particular. Honestly, I'd rather our family pig out on white bread and not-so-great pizza for two days and model to my children how to accept a gift graciously.

 

Now. Where IS that daggone rep?! :grouphug:

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I thought Colleen was more expressing embarrassment that someone was doing something for her because they felt she was a "flood victim" and she doesn't feel like a flood victim and doesn't know the woman well and just felt like she was taking advantage of someone else's kindness, even when she wasn't.

 

Sometimes women just talk and laugh about these things - bounce if off each other and find out if anyone else sometimes feels those moments of awkwardness. I don't think anyone was overthinking it - just sharing the moment and the situation and opening it up for discussion in a way that seemed light hearted to me. If you don't want to join in that particular discussion in a way that is pleasant, there are others going. No need to look for chances to take people to task.

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I thought Colleen was more expressing embarrassment that someone was doing something for her because they felt she was a "flood victim" and she doesn't feel like a flood victim and doesn't know the woman well and just felt like she was taking advantage of someone else's kindness, even when she wasn't.

 

 

That is the impression I got from her first post. That's why I just suggested she take the food and be thankful for kindness. Then I seriously imagined living in a Little House episode where a neighbor brought a meal to a family who experienced some difficult time. Sure, there were probably others with far worse scenarios, but I just couldn't imagine Ma asking all of the local ladies whether she should accept or not.

 

I do ponder how society has changed, particularly toward our neighbors. Quite honestly, most of the time I'm worried that the neighborhood kid will fall off our play fort, and we'll end up with a lawsuit on her hands.

 

Then when I read her other post, I noticed she made it a point to show how much the neighbor's food differed from what they would normally eat (why mention the white rolls???) -- even mentioning how she took it to the mission.

 

This is where the particular comes in. I think it is something that has really begun to plague many Americans.

 

Here are some other thoughts I had but didn't share:

 

On the board, I've learned that fill-in-the-blank thank you's for young kids are deplorable, that thank you notes not written in cursive are a faux paz, that making Christmas cookies for the neighbor is tacky, that Sunday school teachers and neighborhood moms are borderline child abusers for offerring food to children, and that if you make a meal for someone, you risk having your meal poked fun of on the World Wide Web.

 

Two instances come to mind "in real life."

 

We are not big pork eaters, but we won't refuse it when offerred. We house church, and end the meeting with a potluck meal. One family there was adamant about not eating pork. The mom (very loudly) walked around each dish asking the preparer if it contained pork. That day, two ladies brought pork dishes -- the mom then, just as loudly, directed her children not to eat from those dishes. It reminded me of the guy praying out so loudly -- the example Jesus gave of how not to pray.

 

Another is a family we know. They are quite wealthy, three-story house, lots of expensive cars, travel all the time, etc. None of these things is bad. But, somehow their parents' attitude toward this lifestyle has really affected the children. When one of the daughters came to our home (she was 13 -- our house is 1,100 sq ft), she announced, "This house is just like a little apartment." Another time I met them at a homeschool book fair. I am a bibliophile -- seriously, I have too many books, and I always look for bargains. There were some to be had there, but I didn't want to spend that much that day AND I already owned so many of them :lol: (most bought from thrift stores and yard sales). I bought about $20 worth. They bought boxes of books that had to be wheeled out. The same daughter commented, "Aren't you content with your little stack of books?"

 

I have realized that I have started becoming a snob based on my convictions and preferences. I am trying to learn how to have them yet continue to be kind and gracious to others who don't share them.

 

Since my post seems to bother you, I suggest you do one of two things:

 

1) Move on.

 

2) Go back and objectively reread my original post objectively and stop criticizing me because of your own apparent defensiveness.

 

 

And Colleen, it was not your orginal post that struck me as ungrateful -- as I have again explained in this post. I have no apparent defensiveness to you or anything you say.

 

I really have gotten to the point where I question almost everything I do for someone anymore -- wondering how the recipient will receive it, and a lot of that comes from reading these posts. It seems like people are darned if they do and darned if they don't anymore.

 

I would like to say, though, that my thoughts on this were connected to thoughts on previous threads, so I really shouldn't have made it seem like I was singling you out. I know you and I disagree on many things, but I honestly have no ill feelings or anything toward you.

Edited by nestof3
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There are days when I definitely could join you on the "demise of manners in modern America" soap box. I probably just would have brought it up as a seperate thread so that it wouldn't seem like I was lecturing a particular poster, which itself seems sort of ungracious.

 

I do think it would be an interesting thread to talk about whether stating food restrictions and preferences is impolite in various situations. Should vegetarians eat meat to be nice? Should Muslims eat pork to be nice? Should people with gluten intolerance eat it to be nice, assuming they won't die and just won't feel their best after? And most importantly, if you are as guest, at what point should you let the hostess know you have a volunatry eating restrictions - like you choose not to eat meat or find that gluten makes you feel bad the next day and therefore choose to avoid them?

Edited by Danestress
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There are days when I definitely could join you on the "demise of manners in modern America" soap box. I probably just would have brought it up as a seperate thread so that it wouldn't seem like I was lecturing a particular poster, which itself seems sort of ungracious.

 

I do think it would be an interesting thread to talk about whether stating food restrictions and preferences is impolite in various situations. Should vegetarians eat meat to be nice? Should Muslims eat pork to be nice? Should people with gluten intolerance eat it to be nice, assuming they won't die and just won't feel their best after? And most importantly, if you are as guest, at what point should you let the hostess know you have a eating volunatry eating restrictions - like you choose not to eat meat or find that gluten makes you feel bad the next day and therefore choose to avoid them?

Well, I don't eat dairy and if dairy is served, I just don't eat it. I don't make a big deal. I do mention it if, for instance, ice cream is the dessert, then I just say "no thank you, I don't eat dairy." If pizza is the main course, I pick off the cheese and if anyone asks, Ijust say, "I love pizza, but I can't eat dairy." It is not a choice, if I eat dairy I will become very, very sick and have difficulty breathing. I don't make a big deal out of it, and nobody has ever taken offense (that I know of, maybe they're on some message board somewhere snarking about me).

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That is the impression I got from her first post. That's why I just suggested she take the food and be thankful for kindness. Then I seriously imagined living in a Little House episode where a neighbor brought a meal to a family who experienced some difficult time. Sure, there were probably others with far worse scenarios, but I just couldn't imagine Ma asking all of the local ladies whether she should accept or not.

 

I do ponder how society has changed, particularly toward our neighbors. Quite honestly, most of the time I'm worried that the neighborhood kid will fall off our play fort, and we'll end up with a lawsuit on her hands.

 

Then when I read her other post, I noticed she made it a point to show how much the neighbor's food differed from what they would normally eat (why mention the white rolls???) -- even mentioning how she took it to the mission.

 

This is where the particular comes in. I think it is something that has really begun to plague many Americans.

 

Here are some other thoughts I had but didn't share:

 

On the board, I've learned that fill-in-the-blank thank you's for young kids are deplorable, that thank you notes not written in cursive are a faux paz, that making Christmas cookies for the neighbor is tacky, that Sunday school teachers and neighborhood moms are borderline child abusers for offerring food to children, and that if you make a meal for someone, you risk having your meal poked fun of on the World Wide Web.

 

Two instances come to mind "in real life."

 

We are not big pork eaters, but we won't refuse it when offerred. We house church, and end the meeting with a potluck meal. One family there was adamant about not eating pork. The mom (very loudly) walked around each dish asking the preparer if it contained pork. That day, two ladies brought pork dishes -- the mom then, just as loudly, directed her children not to eat from those dishes. It reminded me of the guy praying out so loudly -- the example Jesus gave of how not to pray.

 

Another is a family we know. They are quite wealthy, three-story house, lots of expensive cars, travel all the time, etc. None of these things is bad. But, somehow their parents' attitude toward this lifestyle has really affected the children. When one of the daughters came to our home (she was 13 -- our house is 1,100 sq ft), she announced, "This house is just like a little apartment." Another time I met them at a homeschool book fair. I am a bibliophile -- seriously, I have too many books, and I always look for bargains. There were some to be had there, but I didn't want to spend that much that day AND I already owned so many of them :lol: (most bought from thrift stores and yard sales). I bought about $20 worth. They bought boxes of books that had to be wheeled out. The same daughter commented, "Aren't you content with your little stack of books?"

 

I have realized that I have started becoming a snob based on my convictions and preferences. I am trying to learn how to have them yet continue to be kind and gracious to others who don't share them.

 

 

 

And Colleen, it was not your orginal post that struck me as ungrateful -- as I have again explained in this post. I have no apparent defensiveness to you or anything you say.

 

I really have gotten to the point where I question almost everything I do for someone anymore -- wondering how the recipient will receive it, and a lot of that comes from reading these posts. It seems like people are darned if they do and darned if they don't anymore.

 

I would like to say, though, that my thoughts on this were connected to thoughts on previous threads, so I really shouldn't have made it seem like I was singling you out. I know you and I disagree on many things, but I honestly have no ill feelings or anything toward you.

 

 

:iagree:

 

I know someone like your pork lady. :D

 

You and I can bring each other meals, Dawn. I used to say that the best part of having my babies was the two weeks of meals that followed. I was always so happy, no matter what was sent, to know that my family would have a hot meal and my husband could just eat, and not have to prepare or go out for food, after a hard days work. Never in my wildest dreams would I begrudge someone the gift of serving another person by feeding them. Bringing meals to people is my most favorite way to show love and kindness, and I am not the greatest cook. I have never killed anyone but I did oonce make a casserole that is now referred to in some circles as "Laney's Roto-Rooter Tuna.":lol:

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