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(25 Posts)
RamblingRosieLee Sun 23-Feb-14 19:44:26

Is this unusual?

A while ago I went out with PILS before I got married. They kindly asked us to join them to go to concert at Albert Hall. Me, DH SIl and her DH.

When we got there, FIL ordered some champagne which was lovely except I can't drink it. He never asked me if I like it or what I wanted.

Then they handed us our tickets, and they went to sit in a more expensive box and we were with Sil and her DH in the cheaper seats a long way away.

Now, I have no problem with them being in more expensive seats, it was a classical music concert, so there was no need for a good view, however, I was surprised we didn't all sit together...

Then we went for a meal, the waiter handed me the menu, which was gently taken from me by FIL whilst he ordered for us all, again not asking me what I want. They got dishes to share which I did like, and DH chose his own dish.

AIBU to find this whole experience odd.

In my family, my DF would have asked us all what we wanted to drink individually. We would have all sat together in the cheaper seats, and when my parents have taken me and friends out or me and Boyfriends or me and dh out, they always let them choose their own meal!

When other Boyfriends parents have taken me out, they have done the same as my parents would do.

Is this usual?

KoalaFace Sun 23-Feb-14 19:51:00

They sound well posh innit? grin

It's not usual for my family or my ILs but I know people like this and they are gorgeously generous and kind but just set in their funny ways and traditions.

Any other examples of similar behaviour? Or a one off?

apermanentheadache Sun 23-Feb-14 19:55:09

YANBU. Why would someone presume that because they are being generous they get to control your food choices?! It sounds horribly patriarchal. Hope your DP is a bit nore enlightened...

Supercosy Sun 23-Feb-14 19:56:48

Oh dear, he sounds very controlling indeed and yet sort of generous. Still a weird and uncomfortable situation, particularly the one at the dinner!

OrangePixie Sun 23-Feb-14 19:59:23

The champagne thing is not unusual but the rest of it is. They sound a bit 'old money'.

FarelyKnuts Sun 23-Feb-14 20:02:35

The champagne- not a massive deal
The seats- perhaps they have season passes or something
The meal- Absolutely and utterly bonkers. Who orders food for anyone over the age of about 8yo??? Even my 4yo gets a limited choice in what she might like to eat when dining out!!

Finola1step Sun 23-Feb-14 20:08:01

Have you spoken to your DP about it? The concert thing is a bit odd. Reminds me of when I've seen families on flights - parents in business class and children in economy!

The menu thing would drive me nuts. There is no harm in FIL recommending particular dishes if its a restaurant he knows well. But to chose for you is very rude and probably misogynistic.

But it was a while ago and you have now married your DH (and into the family!). Is this the only situation or have there been similar since?

Jolleigh Sun 23-Feb-14 20:11:31

Am I reading right? Your DH got to pick his own meal but yours was ordered for you?

5OBalesofHay Sun 23-Feb-14 20:15:27

Why is it odd for the host to arrange the food and drink? Tickets a bit strange, I would want to sit together, but as at Albert Hall, are they debenture owners?

apermanentheadache Sun 23-Feb-14 20:21:48

There is arranging and choosing : quite different. There was a menu, with choices. Why would you withokd choice from another adult.

They don't sound at all posh to me (like that would be an excuse!), just ill-mannered.

RamblingRosieLee Sun 23-Feb-14 20:27:34

Interesting responses.

I just felt so strange when the menu and choice for my own meal was taken from me, it was done in such a way that they were almost frightened that I would order something expensive. That's the impression I got. It was almost a panic that I was about to have free reign on them...

At this point DH had had several meals out on my family with total free choice.

The last time I had food chosen for me, outside my family was when I was under 12 being taken to Chinese every so often by friends parents...and I have no problem with that! i just wondered if others had experienced this or indeed done it?

Good point about them being members, they could be I am not sure.

All the meals out with them have been strange affairs. There has only been a few. On subsequent occasions I actually slipped my DH my card or money for my share to be paid before the actual bill came out.

The last time we were at a family celebration and FIl asked DH and I over and over what we wanted. I kept saying, " you choose" as I felt more comfortable with this, from past experience being his preferred modus operandi. After much asking, I relented and asked for a particular dish. Then when all the food had come , this dish hadn't...I said " Fil we are missing this dish" and he said very dismissively. " No I thought it best to get dishes we could share". The dish I had ordered was a dish that could be shared confused.

That same night he asked DH ( we are married by now) if he thought we should get some chips to tide the DC over, ours and some others...DH said "yes".
Fils said " how many"
Dh said " I don't know, if adults are picking as well, maybe 5 little tubs?"
Fil laughed and said " OH I don't. Lets start with two"

I thought, why on earth did you ask DH if you were going to shoot down his thoughts.
They are generous, but I feel there is control issues there. I just find it odd. My own DF is quite patriarchal, main breadwinner and so on, and he might choose the wine too...for a meal, but I am sure he has checked everyone likes it.

RamblingRosieLee Sun 23-Feb-14 20:28:12

No I wouldn't say they are posh either, they are quite well off.

Finola1step Sun 23-Feb-14 20:33:32

Sounds like FIL simply is used to controlling the money in the family. And quite likes to show it too.

FarelyKnuts Sun 23-Feb-14 20:35:26

The champagne- not a massive deal
The seats- perhaps they have season passes or something
The meal- Absolutely and utterly bonkers. Who orders food for anyone over the age of about 8yo??? Even my 4yo gets a limited choice in what she might like to eat when dining out!!

Fathertedfan Sun 23-Feb-14 20:38:32

How very odd.sounds like a controlling man, nothing old money or 'posh' about it.

Hassled Sun 23-Feb-14 20:42:40

I'm not getting posh - I'm assuming a complete lack of understanding of how social skills work. Is this a man with few friends and little experience of going out unless with his family?

BonzoDooDah Sun 23-Feb-14 20:48:24

Oh he does sound controlling. I really wouldn't like that - especially if I was paying. But then I like certain things and would enjoy my meal more if I had some choice in it. Can you not speak to your now DH and explain to him (chattily, not snottily) that you are not a child and you'd like to choose for yourself. And for him to stand up for you when you do make a choice. Sounds like he just goes along with it too though ... but if He (DH) gets to choose at a meal then I really would put my foot down and say "I choose X" and actually listen when the order is being taken and add it to the order directly to the waiter if it is missed off.

Power games like this are so last century! Lovely and generous or not they have to learn this earlier. Hope you can manager this without causing upset though. Tricky one.

BonzoDooDah Sun 23-Feb-14 20:50:32

I agree the champagne is just him ordering a bottle and sharing - you could pass on that. But if MY parents took us out we would all sit together and if we didn't for some reason they would be at pains to explain why they had better seats - be it season tickets or a treat or that there really were only two seats in the box and only 4 together in the stalls ... whatever -they'd make sure we knew they weren't treating us differently.

lljkk Sun 23-Feb-14 20:52:51

Sounds very controlling to me, but doesn't sound like they are horrible overall, it's not like you have to married to FIL.

RamblingRosieLee Sun 23-Feb-14 20:56:45

My instincts and feelings tell me its very controlling behaviour.

I did wonder though that perhaps in some circles this was the norm grin or within some families; we all have our quibbles and peculiarities.

Fil is an odd man, he is a business man though and has to have some social skills.

RamblingRosieLee Sun 23-Feb-14 21:00:05

Bonzo He wouldn't have known on the subsequent occasions I was paying for myself, I asked DH to slip to bar to pay. Once he left the his visiting guest to pay for us. Very blush. I always found meals out with them very stressful affairs and not enjoyable.
Conversation is also very hard. One time when I didn't pay was DH birthday.

falulahthecat Sun 23-Feb-14 22:27:11

I hate this sort of crap. I would rather pay for myself/not go than sit there without anything to drink or having my food chosen for me but then I love my food and only share with DP.
What makes it even more annoying is that you're not allowed to be annoyed because to be annoyed about it is to be ungrateful for all the 'lovely' things they're doing. Urgh.

RamblingRosieLee Mon 24-Feb-14 09:59:01


I don't accept anything from them now. I wasn't THAT grateful, as my own family had treated DH far far more....he had been out to many meals with us where he could choose what he wanted - freely. I have had a handful of meals with them, and each time was made to feel uncomfortable.

I find them controlling esp with money, its interesting many others thought this, I have cautioned DH on accepting anything from them..

ahlahktuhflomp Mon 24-Feb-14 10:48:18

Personally, if this happened I would get up, go to restaurant staff and ask for what I wanted to arrive at the table.

If it arrived at the table and fil tried to send it back I would at that point say do NOT take MY meal back because somebody else says so thank you, a woman is in fact an adult and I shall eat and pay for my food.

If they took it back, I'd order a fuckin' pizza then and there.

RamblingRosieLee Mon 24-Feb-14 13:00:44

I think they have issues seeing their adult children as adults to be fair.

This attitude still flows into all areas in spite of the fact we have children now!

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