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BOTD 8/6/13 "Was He Rude?" Late Chat Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
WAS HE RUDE?
*A Late Chat Production
*Jkher, Kier, Leti, John Boy, DMK

You have a twelve year old son, Wyatt.  Wyatt is basically a good kid but, if needed, spanking works well for him.  A new family has moved in next door and Wyatt quickly makes friends with their twelve year old son, Tyler.  Wyatt is invited to spend the night with Tyler and you agree.

Dinner is served.  Tyler's family are vegetarians. Wyatt does not like anything that is served but he does not say anything.  During dinner he just quietly sits and picks at the food.  He is told he should eat by Tyler's parents but Wyatt just says he isn't very hungry.


Tyler (The New Friend) and Wyatt (Your Son)  Both 12
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The next morning Wyatt is served another vegetarian meal  for breakfast and, again, he sits quietly and just picks at his plate still insisting he isn't hungry. Wyatt is sent home. Tyler's mother calls you to report that Wyatt was very rude and suggests he may not be welcome back.  She explains Wyatt's actions at both meals and says, if he does come back, she hopes he will be more respectful.

You find Wyatt sitting in your kitchen scarfing down some left over meatloaf.  You tell him about the phone call and he tells his side of the story.

Was Wyatt rude?  How do you handle this?


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AFinch

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Sherrif
From the scenario, I can't see any way in which Wyatt was "rude". He didn't complain about the vegetarian, um, food, or have a tantrum (which my demon spawn would have done, even at 12). He picked politely at it and starved.

I'm going to, as politely as I can, remind Tyler's mom that people have different food preferences, and hers are by no means universally shared. I'm going to tell her that, as a kid, when I stayed at someone else's house and really didn't eat the food served (pork roast, anyone?), their mothers fixed a PB&J or something such rather than making me go hungry. I'm going to tell her that I hope Tyler and Wyatt can remain friends, and that Tyler will always be welcome at OUR house, no matter his dietary preferences.

There is no way I'm going to even reprimand Wyatt, let alone punish him.

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
I don't think Wyatt was rude at all, and I have trouble understanding why Tyler's mother would feel he was. He made no rude comments about the food and offered a polite excuse. Tyler's mom should be more reasonable. Few kids are enthusiastic about unfamiliar food, but there are vegetarian offerings that most people will find familiar and palatable. I'm sorry that it seems as if the friendship between the boys is likely to suffer, but I will not force a child to eat what he doesn't like. I will explain my feelings to her as politely as I can, but if she takes this attitude there is not much I can do. Tyler will be welcome at our house, and I will be happy to accommodate his diet requirements.

Kat

1strappedboy

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Sherrif
Amen to the above two responses! Wyatt was in NO way rude.

While I have no issues with vegetarian dishes, I've watched Jon near upchuck at the very thought of some of them! Unlike Darren, he's ok with his mother's eggplant parmesan but give him a tossed salad and he's likely to toss!

Different strokes and all.

Tyler will be welcome here and hopefully the friendship can continue with the boys. It is unlikely that his mom and I will be friends seeing as she is rather more rigid/controlling than I care to be around.

Padraig

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Trailboss
Been there, done that.

No, he wasn't rude. I was, some thirty years ago. Shortly afterwards the family moved away and I felt guilty for weeks. Looking back, I think I was still too friendly. The mother wasn't just vegetarian, she was vegan and made her kids eat that way. In my view that's child abuse. No wonder Mario spent so much time at our house where he got all that good stuff like cacao with milk.

I don't have objections to vegetarian food (I like a lot of vegy dishes) or lifestyle, as long as they don't try to proselytize (if that's the right word).

AFinch

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Sherrif
I think proselytize means to encourage someone to share your views.

I think what Tyler's mom (and a lot of other zealots of whatever persuasion) do is to attempt to impose their beliefs on other people.

Stone Man

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Marshall
I agree with the posts so far. Wyatt is not in trouble with me and Tyler will continue to be welcome at our house. I don't hold out much hope for Ty's mom.

kalico

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Sherrif
I agree with y'all that tyler is not in trouble .... I also feel that this mom is out of line and I will politely tell her. I think that from now on if my son was to stay there that I would make sure he has some kind of snacks and make sure my sone eats at home before leaving to stay and would pick him up early so that we dont come across this issue again or at least try to limit it....



hugs kal

John Boy

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Sherrif
as long as it was just him picking at it, I don't see it as rude, I will talk both to my son and The parents of his friend, so maybe we can reach an understanding or agreement of some kind.

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ivor

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Marshall
If my son isn't an habitual liar and I can believe his version of events then I can't really criticise him let alone spank him.

You might have thought Tyler's mum could have made some sort of effort even if it was only to offer scrambled eggs for breakfast.

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
No Ty is not being rude, perhaps a bit picky as kids can be with unfamiliar food. I will explain that to Tylers Mum and also talk to Tyler about sometimes needing to make the effort and suck it up when a guest. We've all been there. I am sure he wont enjoy hearing what that Mum said about him. Of course I meant Wyatt!



Last edited by squarecutter on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

AFinch

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Sherrif
When I was 17, I spent a summer at the Paris Conservatory's summer session in Nice.

While there, I made friends with 2 English kids, and we remained friends for many years after that.

I have always despised chopped liver. Even as an infant, I am reported to have spat it out. My grandmother was convinced that it was because my mother was trying to feed me jarred junk, and made her "famous" chopped liver from scratch. Had the building where she lived not been torn down, the spot on the ceiling where 7 month old me spat her chopped liver would still be present. But I digress.

The following summer, I had occasion to visit my friend in London. His mother was dying of cancer at the time, and I knew it. I was invited for a Friday night dinner, and the appetizer was...chopped liver.

Somehow I managed to choke it down, pretending I liked it. When I'd finished, his mom, G.R.H.S., smiled at me and said: "You know, you didn't have to eat that. I didn't make it. I got it at Lindy's". Aaaargh.

LLALVA

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Trailboss
Aw. Hugs Kier. Lol.

Jack

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Admin
I call the lady back, explain to her that she's more than welcome to her dietary beliefs, and I hope she's willing to show my family the same respect. However, having spoken to Wyatt, I'm going to ask her again exactly how he was rude. When she finishes explaining, I'll make it clear I disagree with her, and suggest that the easiest action to take would be for the boys to eat meals at their own homes from now on.

I'm also going to have a talk with Wyatt about how to deal with crazy adults - I wouldn't expect him to sit still for this, any more than I'd expect him to sit quietly through an indoctrination into someone's religious believes.

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Jack

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Admin
When I was a kid, I ate a small amount of vegetables, and Mom was okay with that. When she married Ralph, there was a decision made (not right away, but I'm not sure when) that I needed to eat all veggies.

Thinking about it now, there's no question that this was all a power play. Around this same time, Ralph tried to make me quit buying comic books. There was a lot of sitting at the dinner table after everyone left, having to do dishes every night (even on the girls' nights because I didn't finish with everyone else, and that wasn't the girls' fault), and whuppings.

I don't know if Ralph got tired of it or if Mom made him quit, but I finally won.

The end result is that I didn't even eat the green beans, peas, and one or two other items that I'd eat before that. Didn't like them as a kid, didn't like them as an adult. With Steve, Corey, and Tommy it wasn't a problem. Mikell was a picky eater, but he was 15. It wasn't until Cal and Bobby moved in that I realized I had to model behavior, so I forced myself to start eating at least some vegetables, so I could encourage the boys to try things as well.

Still hate them, though.

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Iconoclast

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Trailboss
Then you are really lucky Jack, that Noah showed up to relieve you of an unpleasant duty, without even knowing that there was such a duty!

Iconoclast

Zac

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Cowboy
Suppose it had been the other way round and you had complained to to Tyler's mother about his not eating all of the shepherd's pie you served at dinner and only had the eggs from the egg and bacon at breakfast? I suspect she would be outraged at your insensitivity at trying to make him eat meat rather than agree that he was rude. On the other hand suppose he went home saying how much he enjoyed the bacon sandwiches (something which I have been told have broken many vegetarians) and could they have them sometimes there would be ructions.

Likewise if Tyler's parents came to dinner I am very much suspect they would expect to be accommodated for with vegetarian meals and be very offended if they were not. If Tyler's mother is really hardcore she might object to anyone else having a more omnivorous meals.

I hate meals being made into a battleground.

Jack

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Admin
Zac, you make some excellent points.

To be honest, Miss Manners suggests that if you have special dietary requirements, it's your job to let the host know ahead of time. On the other hand, if you, as the host, are going to serve a restrictive menu, it seems to me that it's your duty to inform your guests - not your guests duty to suck it up.

As for me, I usually prepare some egg plant or mushrooms when I'm having a big cook out, JIC - but then y'all know the size of gatherings I often have.


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