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s/o inlaws and dining out

My in-laws never fail to show up 15-20 minutes early wherever we go, or worse, to our house, when we as hectic parents are trying to use every last second to clean up and then we're left awkwardly still getting ready while they're waiting in the living room.

Then they'll tell us to come to their house at a certain time, say "around" 6PM, and they'll call at 5:59 asking where we are.  I admit, we're 5-minute-late kind of people... and I do take my liberties with the word "around" but you'd think sheld at least wait until 6:05PM.

Of course this is just a nuisance, not an actual problem that's worth getting into a discussion over, but it irritates me to no end... so I kind of see where the OP is coming from getting so annoyed over it.  But in my opinion it's worse when you show up to a restaurant they've been at for 20 minutes and they haven't even ordered drinks because they've been "waiting" for you.

WDYT 

Re: s/o inlaws and dining out

  • I deal w/ the opposite - always late IL's.  But the same approach can work:

    As for them showing up at your house, tell them a time that is 30 mins LATER than you really want them there.  Then you'll be ready for them and have a few minutes to spare.

    if they get to a restaurant early and give you any kind of grief, I think your DH just needs to gently look at his watch and say "We did say 6, right?" just to point out that you are on time.

    5 mins to me isn't a big deal (we can't all be exactly on time every single time.  There does have to be a little buffer time!), but at the same time, as annoyed as I get at my IL's for being late (we're talking at least 30 mins if not longer) - we can't be hypocritical about this either.   If you want them to respect the agreed upon time, then YOU need to respect it too.  As annoyed as you are that they get their early, they may be equally as annoyed that you are always 5 mins late.

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • If you want them to come at 6pm, tell them it's 6:30, or always be ready 30 minutes early, since you know that they'll inevitably be early, always tell them a later time .. problem solved.    Big Smile

  • We have no problem ordering drinks and maybe an app if we're still waiting for some of our party. But if it gets to be 20-30 minutes after they said they'd meet us, then we're ordering our food and they can order when they decide to show up. We have IL's who are chronically late, so this is our general response it saves some strain b/c the rest of the IL's and my family tend toward being a bit early or as close to on-time as possible (meaning we get there right at the time we said we'd meet them).

    5 or 10 minutes one way or the other isn't a huge deal to me, but when it goes into the 20-30 minute range I get a bit annoyed. 

  • I get the irritation- I generally think "Let's meet at six" has a reasonable window of 5:55 to 6:05 (or thereabouts) because of things like traffic and finding a parking space and so forth- we can't all be exactly on time every time.  But- that's what *I* generally think, and there are other people that generally think that on time is late and early is on time, and other people that think that times are a general suggestion.  

    So while both parties might be a little taken aback when they meet somewhere for the first time and realize their concept of "on time" is different- on the other hand, you are going to know if the people you meet with regularly are people who run early or run late.  It's annoying to have a difference of opinion, but this is a pattern, and a pattern means you can predict it and decide how to handle it.  I.e., you can make your goal to be there at 5:55 when they say 6:00, or you can continue to come at 6:00 and not feel guilty for not being early, or you can tell them 6:30 when you'll be ready for them to swing by at 6:00.   


  • My MOM is this way.  She blows up my cell phone w/ calls and/or texts if I am not at the meeting spot a few minutes before the "designated time".  It got to the point where I would ignore the call or [ick up and say 'I'm in the parking lot" and hang up on her.  She doesn't do it anymore.  This was not a good thing in high school either - If I wasn't in the driveway 5 min BEFORE curfew, she was blowing up my phone. 

    Sorry, I have no idea about what to do w/ the in-laws.  Suck it up?  I hate confrontation w/ anyone, especially my ILs (whom I love dearly).

    The Life of a Floppy Whoppy
    "Your good friend Miranda has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You will probably need this information when you check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic"
  • I think there are no right or wrong parties here.  What I would do to keep the peace is be ready 30 min early and start arriving to their house 10 min early. 

    I would find it easier to adjust to them than to make waves over this particular issue.

     HTH

  • I'm just going to have to get there totally on time if at all possible (hard w/ a baby!) if we're going to her house, but always tell her 10 min later actually be there when she's meeting us.  I don't think there's anything we can do about the restaurant except tell her we'll be a few minutes late so she knows to prepare.  Yeah, my in-laws are good people - it's just annoying, I have no intention of bringing this up to them. 

  • My MIL is so horrible about this because to her, different occasions call for different times. If we're shopping, 5 minutes late is preferable, if it's dinner then 10 minutes early is best, etc. Or she'd say, "Dinner will be ready at 5." But if she wanted to chat first then she'd get upset that we didn't realize she was expecting us at 3:30.

     

    I couldn't keep it all straight so I started just saying, "What time do you want me standing in your living room / mall / etc?"

    In high school, I had an eating disorder. While I eat regularly now, I still cannot eat if there are people who aren't eating. They ate before us once and I just told them I wasn't hungry -- and I wasn't trying to be snotty and get my point across, I really was too freaked out to be hungry. DH later explained this to her and MIL felt so bad that I hadn't eaten that she has never eaten before me again.

     

    IMO, it's all about being clear with people.

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