Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter Meal

There are two types of people in my life who invite me to their home for a meal:

#1: Those who make an effort to prepare a few vegan dishes (to be enjoyed by everyone) so I have something to eat without feeling out of place.

#2: Those who either ask me to bring my own food or simply prepare nothing suitable for my diet so I stand around feeling like an ass, then just look at me apologetically and say, "I didn't know what to make you."

Now, I always offer to bring my own dish when invited to someone's home for a meal. Generally I try to make something that can be shared by everyone, but will also serve as a main entree for myself (such as pasta salad or a mock Shepherd's Pie).

For the most part, people who fall into category #2 gratefully accept my offer to bring a dish. It certainly saves them the time and hassle of providing for me.

And though I don't mind it, there's always a little part of me that's irritated. This is because I believe in this sentiment:

A guest is a jewel that rests on the cushion of hospitality. ~Nero Wolfe

In my view of hospitality, inviting someone to your home for a meal means that you provide the food... especially if you're providing the food for all your other guests. (Potluck meals, of course, are the exception. But in that case everyone is bringing a dish, not just one person.)

So, although I bring my own dishes without complaint, I always feel a tad annoyed by category #2 people.

And, unfortunately, this is the category into which my mother falls.

Family meals, special events and holiday dinners typically occur at my parent's home. Not once in the past five years has my mother prepared a dish that's suitable for me. At most, I can expect her to have a fruit salad (and, if she remembers, she might dish out some green beans for me before she adds the ham broth).

This wouldn't bother me much--knowing that my mother is slightly flaky--except she regularly prepares special meals for everyone else. She makes chocolate desserts (without nuts!) especially for my husband. She serves up country ham because "your father likes it." And "your brother wants scalloped oysters, so I'm having those, too."

Even my husband has remarked at my mother's obvious displays of favoritism.

I need to learn to let go of this anger and just accept my mom for who she is. Because right now this casts a pallor over holidays, and I'm already dreading Easter dinner.

(Ironically, my mother-in-law is a kind, thoughtful woman who belongs in wonderful category #1.)


JOY said...

I agree whole heartedly with you.

If you invite someone into your home you should do your upmost to make them feel comfortable and welcome.

Wish I could invite you round for dinner just to prove to you that not everyone is like your mother! LOL

I guess Ireland is a bit of a way to come though!

Judi Finneran said...

Since becoming veg over 10 years ago and my mom telling me my children would starve and only eat that stuff to please me and she was sure they were malnourished to today where she says I have asparagus and strawberries can you you eat those there has been a very slow yet positive evolution. I have learned to accept it - telling my self that my mom 1. Grew up in the depression and 2. Only knows how to show love by feeding you. Have a great holiday dinner knowing you are making the choices which you know are right for you!

Keep pushing play,


Tee said...

I understand exactly where you are coming from. I would be with the #1 group, where I normally ask if there are any request to be cooked (within reason).

I tend to shy away from family gatherings because all of my family are very small and they usually cook all the goodies I can't have on holidays. I sometimes eat my food before I leave home and go for the social aspect of the gathering.

Michelle @ The 2007 Challenge said...

Hey girl, I agree with you completely - particularly if this is your own mother? I can see where other hostesses can goof up. Have you asked her why? Or do you think she just assumes that you will bring your own dish?

Before I go, here is an Easter wish for you!

This is how God showed
His love among us: He sent
His one and only son
into the world ...
I John 4:9

May He who makes
the flowers grow,
and gives the sun
its golden glow ...

who gently guides
the birds in flight,
and lights the stars
that cheer the night ...

May He whose love
shines over us all,
and gives us blessings
great and small ...

May Christ, the risen
King of Kings,
fill all your days with
lifes good things.

Bless you at Easter
and Always.


Anonymous said...

This is my first time at your blog but wowza, I cant believe your own mom wouldnt cook something especially for you!! Im not for revenge during the holiday season lol but ever think of inviting her over to dine at your house and just serving only what you like to eat?

Good luck, and I really admire that you are a vegan, I lack the discipline that it takes for such a committment!

Gripperm said...

Anytime I have someone over for dinner I call and ask them if there are any special requirements or allegery's to be known about ahead of time. It is just basic courtesy IMO

Tiffany said...

If you are inviting someone over that has food allergies you would cater to them so why should it be different if you invite someone over that is vegan. I have friends that fit into this catergory and whenever I invite them over I make sure they can eat everything I am making or if not I make a special dish for them.

Cory said...

I'm not a veg or anything, but I do understand about the food. I have just figured out that I have to save my flex points for eating with Josh's parents because his mom is NOT going to change how she cooks for me. She is still going to put a ton of butter in everything.
Being something of a picky eater I have learned to get around things. And I have learned that I can carry a dish anywhere. But it does sometimes bother me when people won't take my eating habits into consideration. At least my mother does, being that she's on weight watchers as well!