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Mil and manners

(36 Posts)
Idontmeanto Sun 24-Feb-19 18:53:28

My mil’s understanding of being a good hostess is that females are served first, from youngest to oldest. Then the males of the household. In the current family set-up this means my ds, youngest grandchild and male, is always last after several girl-child cousins and his much older sisters who he views as adults. This feels unfair and dated, although he’s very good about it. What does Mumsnet think?

GregoryPeckingDuck Sun 24-Feb-19 18:54:50

Why can’t everyonr be served at the same time?

Idontmeanto Sun 24-Feb-19 18:57:20

Gregory, indeed! Our family gatherings can be 20+ people. Generally fail is carving/dishing up and passing round plates for people to add own veg. It can take a while, especially if you’re five!

Singlenotsingle Sun 24-Feb-19 18:57:27

We serve children first (both sexes), then whichever plate comes next. No set order.

Idontmeanto Sun 24-Feb-19 18:57:56

Fail=fil sorry for the autocorrect!

RedSkyLastNight Sun 24-Feb-19 18:58:03

I think it's old fashioned (and shouldn't it be oldest female first?) but how frequently does your MiL have so many guests that he has to wait more a than a minute or so?
Of course manners also dictate that you wait for everyone to be served to start, so actually your food might be warmer if you're served later?

Disfordarkchocolate Sun 24-Feb-19 19:01:30

With that many people I like to get children out of the way first, that way parents are going to be able to enjoy their meal.

Motherofcreek Sun 24-Feb-19 19:02:05

Before I went NC mil serves all the kids first. Then all the men then us lowly dils last.

I’d happily help her but she like to play the martyr.

hmm

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sun 24-Feb-19 19:11:08

Children first, their parents can settle them down, then the parents can eat in peace.

Is this another take on the 'ladies first' thread and we're all supposed to pile in and call MIL a throw back to 1882 and a misogynist as well ?

Idontmeanto Sun 24-Feb-19 19:18:31

Not seen a “ladies first” thread. Mil is something of a throwback to 1882 who needs to be “managed” in the modern world, and that can be infuriating, but she’s not at all malicious.

OffToBedhampton Sun 24-Feb-19 19:21:35

It's her house, she serves in order she wants. In yours, you can do order you want. (In mine, youngest DC gets food first)

CherryPavlova Sun 24-Feb-19 19:25:42

Most supper parties or more formal dinners I’ve been to have always served adult women first but age is irrelevant unless someone very elderly was eating. Most of the men would feel very uncomfortable serving themself before the women had been served. Most of the men assume responsibility for ensuring the women on either side are served, have all they want/need and have full glasses. Few simple and well understood rules sometimes make life smoother.
If young children are present then they would be served first but teenagers follow the women first routine.
I can’t get excited about it.

nomorekale Sun 24-Feb-19 19:28:49

Isn’t this just another version of the “MIL - Ladies first” thread the other day, except there it was a girl getting the sweets before the DS? confused

Either way OP, it doesn’t really matter surely. Her house, her rules. I’m sure your DS won’t be too traumatised.

Hunter037 Sun 24-Feb-19 19:41:10

Most men would be very uncomfortable serving themselves before a woman had been served. What?! Why?!
At a restaurant the food just comes out in whatever order and whoevers food it isz takes it. At home we just serve whoever is next along the table.

Surely everyone starts eating at the same time (when the last person has been served) so it doesn't really matter who got their plate first.

GunpowderGelatine Sun 24-Feb-19 19:43:51

We grew up with the exact opposite in my house, stepdad being "king of the house" or some such shit got served first followed by my mothers and the mere mortal females got the rest. So the greedy, selfish blokes took nearly all the food and we were left with the scraps angry maybe that's what she's trying to avoid, like your ILs have the food equivalent of manspreading grin

Pishogue Sun 24-Feb-19 19:47:15

Most of the men would feel very uncomfortable serving themself before the women had been served. Most of the men assume responsibility for ensuring the women on either side are served, have all they want/need and have full glasses. Few simple and well understood rules sometimes make life smoother.

Do the women at this dinner party have significant disabilities that they need so much help in putting food on their plates? grin

Topseyt Sun 24-Feb-19 20:29:45

We don't operate any of these systems in our house. It is just dive in and serve yourself. Law of the jungle.

CherryPavlova Sun 24-Feb-19 20:36:46

I have to you, most of the restaurants we go to the women get served first too.
Of course the women are perfectly capable but most aren’t so angry or rude they’d make any fuss about it. It’s not really an issue and means there isn’t everybody scrabbling about at the same time. Half the number of hands reduces the risk of glasses or candles being knocked over.
I can’t imagine any reasonable person having a huge strip, grabbing the wine and proclaiming loudly they could manage for themselves. Ultimate shabby manners. It’s much nicer to simply say, “Thank you”.

fargo123 Mon 25-Feb-19 08:46:38

Most of the men would feel very uncomfortable serving themself before the women had been served. Most of the men assume responsibility for ensuring the women on either side are served, have all they want/need and have full glasses.

How patronising and rude. Every woman I know is quite capable of feeding/serving herself and doesn't need some man treating her like a toddler.

Jamiefraserskilt Mon 25-Feb-19 09:10:24

In ours, guests go first then everyone else in no particular order.

Pishogue Mon 25-Feb-19 09:20:49

most of the restaurants we go to the women get served first too.

Would these be the kind of restaurants where the men get the menus with the price on them, and the women the ones without, as they are being paid for and mustn't worry their pretty little heads about the price of the fruits de mer? hmm

The only time I've had to have that conversation is with waiters in a certain type of deeply trad Michelin-starred restaurant in rural France.

poglets Mon 25-Feb-19 09:20:55

It's her house, she serves in order she wants. In yours, you can do order you want. (In mine, youngest DC gets food first)

THIS!

CherryPavlova Mon 25-Feb-19 09:41:20

fargo123 And indeed all the women I know are perfectly capable of serving themselves. Nobody would dispute that but it’s much easier to serve yourself French beans in hazelnut butter if someone (the man next to you) holds the serving dish so you can.
I know very few men who actually feed the women at supper parties or otherwise. They simply pass plates to the women first and ask whether you’d like the redcurrant jelly. Hardly a crime! Civility is nice. Being so insecure you feel threatened by someone offering to refill your glass must be wearing.

CherryPavlova Mon 25-Feb-19 09:43:27

Seriously what do ‘wimmin’ do when a waiter arrives to take orders and asks the women first? Scream at them and insist the man places his order first? That must be a joy filled event.

lablablab Mon 25-Feb-19 10:07:39

I've never heard of this?!

Every meal I've ever had with anyone ever is you serve the youngest first, regardless of sex.

Not sure it's worth fighting it if she's ALWAYS done it this way.

That said, there's no way I'd eat a thing while my small ds sat there with nothing. I'd probably give him my plate or share with him while he waited.

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