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.)