Family Matters
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IL's and Dining Out


Re: IL's and Dining Out

  • My inlaws did this once when they invited us over for dinner on a weekday. DH and I both work outside the house, and he picks me up from our house on our way to ILs for dinner. Factor in a 25 mile drive and traffic...

    That night though, they had already eaten and sat watching the tv in the other room, when we showed up at the pre-arranged time. After we ate, they told us we don't have to stay since it was a weeknight and all four of us had to work the next day.

    That very night H and I discussed it. It bugged me a) that we had to sit by ourselves and that they couldn't wait for us to eat and that they couldn't sit with us while we ate and b) that we spent the time driving out there and driving back for us to spend approx 10-15 minutes eating by ourselves. The next morning H talked to his parents about either post-poning dinners to the weekends where we could eat at their normal 5 pm dinner time, or pushing back dinner to 5:45 or 6 on weeknights to allow for traffic. We will not stay for dinner any more though if they eat their entire meal before we get there. We do make sure to call and let them know if traffic is particularly bad.

    Anniversary Photobucket
  • If it were me i would ask my husband again why he does not see an issue with this to find out if his parents do have some sort of problem they do not want any one to see, so something else. it could be they jst want to chat with you and focus on talkng not eating. if you dont get answers i would go early and see what its all about. let them know yo thought it would be nice to actually eat with them. but if you have let this go on for years with out a comment then you should not make to much of a big deal now, remember curisoty killed the kitty

  • Some of these responses are funny to me.  Honestly, OP - just ask them.  They are your in-laws, not some random people off the street.

    The first time this happened, I would've been like "You already ate?  I'm sorry!  Were we late?" 

    If it happened again, I would probably have just said "You ate again without us!  Do you not like eating with us?  Should we be coming 30 minutes earlier?  I'm confused - I thought the point of this gathering was to eat together."

    Since it's been going on for ten years, I feel like the window of being pleasantly aloof has gone, but there is still no harm in bringing it up in conversation.  Your in-laws suggest brunch on Sunday at 12pm.  Your response: "Would you like us to come at 11:30am instead?  I notice you guys eat before us a lot so we could come a littler earlier if you'd like."

    If it is something about dentures or weirdness, surely other people must have commented on it in the past and they must realize this behavior is odd.  If not ... well, good luck with that :-)

  • Who pays the check and when? 

    Have they already paid for their breakfast when you arrive?  It could be that they're trying to avoid an awkward "who's going to pay" moment if the entire check arrives at the end of the meal. 

    Maybe they're on a very limited budget, or cheap, or afraid that you'll insist on paying.

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