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To think this is more thoughtless than thoughtful.

(4 Posts)
Thistledew Tue 15-Nov-16 16:51:30

A pays a very rare (annual, if that) visit to a now elderly and frail relative. A has recently had some tense words with relative's spouse and carer (B) because despite the explicit request of B that A give at least a couple of days notice of an intended visit, this was ignored by A who announced her intent to visit only the evening before. One of the reasons that B requested notice is that B and relative live rurally, and due to relative's infirmity, it is hard for B to get to the shops to cater for unexpected visitors.

Visit is rescheduled with appropriate notice. A arrives with a range of food, the majority of which is not suitable for relative to eat.

AIBU to think the bringing of food was in this instance thoughtless rather than thoughtful? B had had enough notice to cater for guests. A did not make enquiries as to what was suitable to bring so brought food that was then wasted. AIBU to think this was more about A being able to say that she had tried to help but it was rejected, rather than being genuinely helpful?

(Yes, there is more background to this, but explaining it all would be an essay. It got the visit off to a bad start, but B now thinks she was BU to be annoyed rather than pleased.)

Ahickiefromkinickie Tue 15-Nov-16 17:09:26

Unfortunately, the bringing of food does seem to be the tip of the iceberg.

It's difficult to see who was BU without some more background.

On one hand, A has respected B's wishes to give notice before a visit. Bringing food could be seen as a thoughtful gesture, especially if they only visit once a year.

On the other hand, B is actually living with the frail relative, and I assume, is the main carer. It must be hard to see A visit once a year and then go back to their life. In that framework, the bringing of food can be seen as an attempt to show of.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 15-Nov-16 17:10:47

This is one of those that could be either, and there's clearly backstory. Maybe A was genuinely trying to help and had little experience of the restrictions and is upset that it was wasted. Or maybe A jumped at the chance to "make an effort" knowing it would be rejected. Totally depends on the personalities and backstory

Thistledew Tue 15-Nov-16 17:25:12

From B's perspective- she initially was annoyed as A brought chocolates, despite having previously been told that they give the frail relative migraines. Also, she felt patronised because she had asked for notice so that she had time to cater for guests, not that she couldn't manage.

B worries that she was unreasonable to feel that way.

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