Is Anyone Else Sick of People Telling Us Their Diet or Food Restrictions?

 

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Since when do we all have to know what everyone else eats?  Why can’t they go to a party and politely not eat what isn’t on their diet?  Why do they feel a need to tell everyone? For instance, they’ll say, “I’m a vegan, I’m a vegetarian, I’m sugar free, I’m gluten free.”  Or the latest a Keto Diet. Who cares.  Just take or eat what you like and not put everyone else out.

My biggest pet peeve is people in restaurants having the poor waiter return a plate of food that has something on it that they don’t eat.  It’s rude!  I feel like these types of people like controlling others with their dietary needs. It’s a control issue.  If you’re a vegan, for whatever dumb reason, just order veggies and shut the hell up.  Don’t ask the chef to create a meal just for you.  I notice lots of menus now have a vegan or gluten free entree.  But that doesn’t stop these self-absorbed, self-centered people from demanding something else from the chef. They love putting people out for some odd reason.

In the old days, people had more manners.  As kids we were taught to eat everything on the plate before we could leave the table. Now parents are allowing their kids to pick at their food and eat whatever they like on their plate.  This is where this rudeness begins, in the home. So when they become adults they feel entitled to make demands on their chef or their host at a dinner party.  It’s not cool!  Stop it!  You’re being rude.

If you don’t like what’s being served just take what you do like or can eat but please, please, don’t tell the rest of the guests what your dietary needs are.  We don’t care nor do we need to know. Some things are better left unsaid.  Just saying.

I sometimes watch the Below Deck reality show and am appalled by the rudeness of the guests that return food to the chef onboard to re-cook or make them something special.  Just about every episode has one or more of these rude people onboard–It’s too cold, it’s too rare, it’s too welldone, it’s not on my approved list, it’s too spicy.  But recently a group of happy women came onboard that loved everything that was served and never sent anything back to the kitchen.  They ate diary, carbs, gluten, meat, fishy fish, eggs, even cow’s tongue without one complaint and shared an abundance of laughs throughout the episode. They had no food restrictions which made them happier people. It was refreshing.

Be happy for whatever you’re served and don’t complain.  If there were more people like this group of women, the world would definitely be a better place.  There’s an old saying that my mother taught me,”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  That pertains to eating in a restaurant, unless there’s broken glass in your meal, of course. But these people who feel the need to return food to the chef and embarrass him, I have no use for.

If you’re a vegan and are invited to someone’s house for Thanksgiving where there will undoubtedly be butter, turkey, eggs, and creamy side dishes; just grin and bear it for one evening.  It won’t kill you.  Show some manners for once in your life and be appreciative that you were invited. Bring a vegan side dish or cake or pie if you must, but don’t tell everyone at the table.  They don’t care about your mission to stop cruelty to animals by not eating meat and dairy. Good for you but keep it to yourself.

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One of my sons recently tried to pull this crap on me saying he doesn’t eat white bread any longer.  I said, “Well, I bought this bread especially for your visit, and you’ll just have to eat it or go without. I’m not making another trip to the store.” Tough love, but I still love him. He ate it. He shouldn’t have voiced his disapproval but rather just broke his eating rules for one day.  That’s the way I was taught. Why did he feel the need to say anything?  Why does anyone feel the need to say anything?  It’s not right. Just shut up and eat! 

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In Search of a Church…and Failed.

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Five years ago when my life, as I planned it, went off track and I didn’t want to burden my kids and friends with my problems, I decided to go to church to pray and sing hymns in order to find comfort.  I chose a church close to town.  It had a full attendance so I sat in the back pew.  The minister noticed me as a new attendee and asked are there any new worshipers here today?  I shrunk in my seat as the whole room turned around to “out” me.  “Please stand and introduce yourself,” the minister instructed.

Are you kidding me?  This is why I came to church to be singled out in a crowd?  I don’t think so, I thought. I obediently stood and introduced myself.  I sat through the sermon and sang a few songs and prayed then slunk out quickly afterwards.  Amazingly, I came back the following week.  This time the minister walked down the aisles and picked me out.  “Are you new here?”

“No, I was here last week,” I meekly uttered.

One of the other members confirmed, “Yes, she was here last week!”  No, I’m lying in church, I thought sarcastically.   Again the whole room turning around to glare.  Honestly, this is not why I came to church to be singled out in a crowd.  I wanted to blend in, pray, and sing. I wanted to heal. I wanted to be anonymous.  That’s it.  Afterwards, there was a breakfast where I had to sit with strangers and make small talk.  I felt worse than when I came in and decided to find a new church.

Two weeks later I attended a different church closer to home, hoping for a better experience.  Once inside an older woman walked down the aisle from one of the front pews and came up to me. “How is it I do not know you?” she asked snobbishly.

“I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s a big world,” I answered flippantly. Does everyone have to know everyone? I thought. Who are this church-going people?

I already had my back up when the minister singled me out before the sermon began. He asked me to stand and say a little something about myself.  I became defiant and shook my head in refusal. What am I, in school?  I thought. But the girl next to me said she would stand with me.  It was so humiliating.  I almost ran to my car when it ended.  And I never looked back. There were no hymns with an organ just the minister singing folk songs with his guitar.  Not what I expected.

Needless to say, that was the end of my church experience.   I went back to pray in the privacy of my home.  I healed on my own by getting engulfed in my first and second mystery novels.  Out of everything bad comes a little good. Silver lining.

I never remember church being so “in your face.”  Why can’t people just come inside a house of worship to pray?  Why do they have to be introduced?   Ministers need to understand that not all people like having the spotlight on them as they do.  I realize this is the “look at me” generation but not all of us are part of it.

Ministers should introduce themselves in private to a newcomer and don’t ask them to stand for whole congregation.  It takes a lot of courage for some of us go to a church alone and there are many different reasons why one would.  Don’t ruin the experience for them by singling them out. It may be the church’s way of welcoming new people, but it was off putting to me.

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Happy Father’s Day to All Fathers.

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We see in the news and even in sports the rich and famous getting a shout out on Father’s Day.  I dedicate this blog to my father.  He wasn’t rich or famous but was the father of four and a husband to one wife which is rare these days.  He held the same job for thirty years and always provided for his family.  He even had his mother-in-law living with us the whole time.  Also rare.  That’s a kindhearted, generous man.

My father never rose to the highest position at his company but was a dedicated employee until he retired.  He never took us on European vacations but taught us how to fish and camp and be handy around the house. He was a Cub Scout den leader for my brothers.  Although he may have had one too many highballs on the weekend and smoked one too many packs of cigarettes, that was his only vice.  He was a Navy Veteran of World War II and could fix or build anything.  He could replace a clutch in my 1964 Austin Healy Sprite.  In all his years of marriage, he never called a plumber or a carpenter and rarely needed a mechanic.  He owned three homes during his lifetime and several automobiles from a Buick to Chevy’s and finally a Cadillac.  He loved his workshop in his garage and planting vegetable gardens with my mother.

Fourth of July was his favorite holiday and would always host a block party with fireworks for the neighborhood kids to enjoy.  Expert at barbecuing and taught us all.  Big sport fan of baseball and football–always listening to the games on his portable radio.  Didn’t purchase works of art, expensive jewelry, or any frivolous items–just practical stuff.

Always told me if he didn’t like my outfit or my hairdo.  He was good at that. Was known for shouting “Yahoo” at high school graduations even though the crowd was told not to. And when I had a broken heart from a boyfriend it was he who came into my room to console me while I cried myself to sleep to say, “I understand. You’ll live.  I had my heart ripped out once too.”  And once while pregnant with my first child and crying for some other reason, he came again into my room to say, “You have someone inside you who will love you forever.  Never forget that.” He was right.

Those are the things I love about my father.  Not what movie he starred in, what political office he ran for, what sport he was great at, what charitable foundation he started, or what fortune he amassed.  Just that he was kind, sentimental, and great at fixing things; and usually gave me good advice. The simple things in life gave him contentment. Contentment is the secret to happiness which he instilled in all of us.  And he was good at being a grandpa.  I think becoming a grandpa was his proudest accomplishment. He was grandpa to five grandsons. We all miss him.

Happy Father’s Day to the best and only father I knew and all the other not-so-famous fathers who are loved.

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