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To think it is rude to not serve food until a late guest arrives?

(120 Posts)
ethelb Tue 08-Nov-16 15:03:59

Just to give you some context, last Christmas we went to PILs.

BIL said he would turn up on Christmas eve at 5-6pm. He has said this before and turned up at 11-12 midnight, and failed to update us on his predicted arrival time. He is generally about 4 hours late all the time.

MIL gets incredibly wound up about this, and likes to make 'points'. Last Xmas eve she refused to serve dinner until BIL arrived. I eventually, after 'suggesting' we just saved some for BIL, convinced her to serve dinner at 9 or 10.

She then fussed, and fussed and fussed the entire time we were eating and yelping 'save some for him' (about half the food was 'saved') and snapping at us that he was obviously five mins away.

He turned up at midnight.

I am fretting about this happening again this Xmas, is this rude of MIL?

LivingOnTheDancefloor Tue 08-Nov-16 15:07:50

It was rude of BIL

For a Christmas meal I would wait for everybody, as long as they arrive at an acceptable time.

TheWernethWife Tue 08-Nov-16 15:08:06

Don't go then, save yourself the hassle. If MIL wants to eat at midnight let her. What was wrong with plating up something for him and leaving it in the oven covered with foil. Too many bloody martyrs around the Christmas meal.

Bringmewineandcake Tue 08-Nov-16 15:08:30

Very! Sounds awful. Do you have to go?

user1471463681 Tue 08-Nov-16 15:11:39

I have had similar situations all the time with my in-laws. Yes the scenario you describe is nuts but you will never change MIL and can't control when she serves food in her home. I have gotten into the habit of going upstairs and eating something I have brought with me at 5pm (knowing the "6pm" family meal won't happen til 9pm!)

JustHavinABreak Tue 08-Nov-16 15:11:39

It's shockingly rude of your BIL though I do think your MIL is being unreasonable. I wonder why she seems to think that he will suddenly change? It's time to either speak to BIL about how his behaviour is affecting others or speak to MIL (ideally your DH not you) and remind her that he will do this again so the rest of you need to get on with Christmas.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Tue 08-Nov-16 15:13:52

I don't know who is more at fault there to be honest. It's rude to turn up four hours late without mentioning it to your hosts, and it is equally rude to leave your guests hungry. The whole thing sounds bloody miserable!

JosephineMaynard Tue 08-Nov-16 15:15:05

That is bizarre.

Surely most people would wait a bit - not even an hour - and then serve the food out to the people present, saving a bit for the latecomer. Aside from anything else, if the guest supposed to be arriving at 5-6pm still wasn't there by 9-10pm, I'd assume they'd stopped and eaten something en-route.

BIL is definitely being rude, especially if he knows MIL has form for this sort of reaction.

MIL is being unreasonable to deprive everyone else of their dinner in an attempt to make a point to BIL. And I bet having everyone polish off all the food would make a "look how late you are BIL!" point more clearly than having everyone sit waiting to eat till BIL deigns to appear.

mintthins Tue 08-Nov-16 15:15:58

That's really sad. I'm not sure that MIL was being rude, but BIL most definitely was, and really horrible to his DM to boot. It sounds like your MIL just wanted to pretend there wasn't a problem.

Nottalotta Tue 08-Nov-16 15:17:53

Rude of both of them. What's wrong with putting a meal.on a plate for him to have when he eventually arrives?

GeorgeTheThird Tue 08-Nov-16 15:27:25

Your MIL is being unseasonable

Greengoddess12 Tue 08-Nov-16 15:29:49

Was the meal unseasoned then as well?

dustarr73 Tue 08-Nov-16 15:29:53

I just wouldnt go.Simple.Why put yourself through all that again.Cause you know it will happen.

EssentialHummus Tue 08-Nov-16 15:30:03

BIL is aware that MIL agrees with him that the universe revolves around him, and the rest of you can go hang.

He's being rude and she's enabling him.

We have a "friend" like this. If we're meeting at 1.30, I tell him 12.15. I'm fully prepared to take a lecture from him when he shows up early to find that no-one else is there, except that it hasn't happened in the five years I've known him.

The80sweregreat Tue 08-Nov-16 15:35:41

you must have been starving? can t you have dinner at home when you want it then go round there later on for tea or something? I would have dished up, texted him and told him dinner was ready and left it with a plate over it for him to warm up later on. Both your MIL and BIL are being unreasonable.How old is he? He obviously didnt want to eat with you all and sounds as though he has his mum wrapped round his finger too.
My mum would have put mine in the recycling bin!

TheAntiBoop Tue 08-Nov-16 15:36:03

Mil can be like this with bil. Not over food but everything else is about how to make sure he is there etc

We don't spend Xmas with them anymore even though our kids are the only grandkids. And it really upsets dh.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 08-Nov-16 15:39:37

Rude of BIL but MIL sounds like a muppet too.

PoohBearsHole Tue 08-Nov-16 15:42:28

SIL and BIL always super late to everything, 4 hours ruined a piece of beautiful and expensive beef that MIL had cooked. They only live 10 mins away as well and we live over an hour away!

We have sometimes been "late" but within the 15 mins of politeness grin
although sometimes we have had traffic to contend with that we weren't aware was happening. We still have let them know the minute we've hit it and give an eta.

It is so rude and thoughtless of those who are perpetually late to things and it drives me bonkers!

I'd not go but it doesn't sound like that's an option!

OlennasWimple Tue 08-Nov-16 15:43:19

Sounds like MiL enables / is embarrassed by / doesn't want to believe BiL's behaviour

leaveittothediva Tue 08-Nov-16 15:45:43

Yes, it was rude of them both, I wouldn't freaking sit there all night twiddling my thumbs for him to turn up late, yet again. It's a meal your supposed to be having ffs. If it was a one off, fair enough, but if it's just simply because he's an inconsiderate twat, then what I would say to Mil is that I'm not prepared to come for a meal where I have to wait all night to have it. Then ask her to plate his up, put some cling film on it, same with his pudding, and he can help himself when he decides to show up. Personally I think being consistently late, is just saying fuck you to whoever is waiting. She's enabling him. Hasn't she got a microwave.

BoffinMum Tue 08-Nov-16 15:46:41

Invite him for lunch and see if he makes it by 6. If not then he can bloody well wait to be fed!

BoffinMum Tue 08-Nov-16 15:47:34

6 hours late is not accidental, it's absolutely deliberate. He's messing with you all.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Nov-16 15:47:37

I wouldn't go. I really wouldn't. They are both incredibly rude.

MaxPepsi Tue 08-Nov-16 15:49:35

My mum allows for everyone to be half an hour late in case we get stuck in the pub traffic.
After that it's dished up and tough tits if there is none left. If someone genuinely is stuck in traffic she will try her best to delay the meal or save some.
MIL serves on the dot and would go ahead and serve regardless if we got held up, however if SIL was late she'd not serve for hours!

DinosaursRoar Tue 08-Nov-16 15:50:37

Hosting is the best way to control this though - be prepared for BIL and MIL to be shocked /horrified that you serve without him.

Hosting also means you can legitimately talk to BIL directly on the day and be ask clear questions like "where exactly are you right now? OK so you aren't going to be here for at least 2 hours, so we'll eat without you, do you want to grab something on the way or a plate saving?" - too often people who are crap timings tell you hopefully timings or what they think you want to hear eg "I'm 10 minutes away" when if you query exactly their location you find they are more like a couple of hours, or they are at the train station, which would be 30 minutes if they were physically about to get on a train, but there's not actually another train due for 20minutes...

However, if it's too late to take over hosting, can you get DH to speak to his brother and appeal to his better nature to be honest about his timings, not just telling his mum what she wants to hear and so ruining everyone else's day (get DH to be this blunt, many 'late' people are used to everyone being polite about it and don't realise how much they've put everyone else out by being late).

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