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Thread: Tell me your opinion about this family issue

  1. #1

    Default Tell me your opinion about this family issue

    First the background: Due to religious reasons, we do not drink alcohol at all. In fact, it is really frowned upon to be in the company of people who are drinking or to eat at a table where alcohol is present. DH's family doesn't practice our religion, and while they don't drink very much (and his parents hardly drink at all), sometimes there is wine or beer served at extended family functions. We get along very well with DH's family, and they are generally very respectful of our religious practices and weird ways. They know we don't drink, but we've never made an issue of being around other people who are drinking, even though, in reality, it does make us very uncomfortable, especially more so since having kids.

    So we are moving back to the US after living abroad 2 years, and DH's mother is excited about throwing a "welcome back" party at her house for us shortly after we get back. She also plans to invite members of my family, who do practice our religion and are strict about not drinking. Do you think it would be out of line for me to tell my MIL (either by email or phone) that we would really appreciate it if she could tell people that there would be no alcohol, by our request? (MIL doesn't usually serve it, but other family members often bring wine with them.) My thought is that, since it's a party being thrown in our honor (and especially since my relatives are also invited), it's reasonable for us to make this kind of request. My DH thinks that since it is not in our house, it's not our place to make such a request.

    What do you think? Please be honest.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  2. #2

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    I think that since the party is in your honor, and it would be an issue for many of the guests, it would be reasonable to make that request. It's not as though you're asking her not to serve food and beverages, after all.


  3. #3

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    I think it is a reasonable request. I would be happy to comply if my son or DIL asked me that, especially since I would be throwing THEM a welcome party.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  4. #4

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    I think it's perfectly reasonable, but we are non-drinkers as well and do not allow alcohol in our home (our choice, no religious or other reason behind it besides our friends/family + alcohol = complete and utter idiots).

  5. #5

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    I definitely see both sides. How close are you to your MIL? I wouldn't say anything I don't think because it is her home and she's throwing the party out of the goodness of her heart. You don't have to be around the alcohol and definitely won't be forced to drink it. I would ignore it if someone were to bring it along.
    Karen (28), DF (28), DD (3), DS (2 months)


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  6. #6
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    Do you think some people would not show up because of your religious practice? If it's not really important to you, I'd say go for it! After all, it is a party in your name. But if you would be bothered by, say family members who do drink and choose not to come, then I'd say no.
    Autumn (me) Darren () Naheana () Mahikoa () La'i () & Mana'o ()

  7. #7

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    I probably wouldn't make a fuss over it, but if you feel strongly enough then go ahead.

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  8. #8
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    Since it is a party in your honor, it is reasonable to request no alcohol.


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by wannabmomof3 View Post
    Do you think some people would not show up because of your religious practice? If it's not really important to you, I'd say go for it! After all, it is a party in your name. But if you would be bothered by, say family members who do drink and choose not to come, then I'd say no.
    No, there's no one I could think would not come because there's no alcohol. What happens is that sometimes, people bring wine as their contribution to the potluck (MIL's large events are usually potluck), and I think FIL may also sometimes have beer available.

    And for whoever asked, I am close to my MIL, to the point that I feel perfectly comfortable asking her myself, rather than having DH ask her. I really don't think she would care much; she may be little annoyed, but she wouldn't say anything. Possibly, I could just tell her our preference and tell her to only bring it up with someone if someone says they are going to bring alcohol (as in, "thanks for offering to bring wine, but do you mind bringing soft drinks instead).
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  10. #10

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    I think it's reasonable.

  11. #11

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    You know what's really interesting is that I posted this same exact query to a different message board, same exact wording and everything, and the vast majority of them are telling me it would be horribly rude and ungrateful for me to make such a request and would come across like I am forcing my beliefs on people. (Actually, someone just told me I sounded like an ingrate, lol.) I, of course, like your responses much better
    Last edited by mohop; 04-23-2013 at 05:42 AM.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  12. #12

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    Well, it's a party for you and that is why I think it's totally reasonable. And I am one who likes to have a drink at parties! In fact, we are a family of drinkers but when a member of our family was struggling with addiction issues and didn't want to be around alcohol, we didn't hesitate to eliminate it from our gatherings.

  13. #13
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    I agree, since it is a party in your honor, and they are inviting your family members because they want to celebrate your homecoming with people you are close to, it would not be rude to ask.

    My family does not drink for religious reasons (and are very uncomfortable around it). I don't drink for personal reasons. DH is a beer aficionado, my sister and grandparents love their wine. FIL is an alcoholic attempting to stay sober. So alcohol has always been a tricky issue in my family. There have been a lot of discussions like this.

  14. #14
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    If it's in your honor or you are the host you have a right to serve whatever you choose imo. How hard is it not to drink at a party? I mean sure, it's nice but if it's not there it's not like it's the end of the world....they can drink after!
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    I think that your request is reasonable. Generally when a party is thrown in one's honor the hostess asks what they like and do not like to eat. WHy shouldn't alcohol be included in the likes/dislikes?
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  16. #16

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    We are drinkers here (DH also brews and ferments) and I find it to be a reasonable request. Just bringing a bottle of wine doesn't mean that it should be opened immediately.
    Married 7/10/04.


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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    If it's in your honor or you are the host you have a right to serve whatever you choose imo. How hard is it not to drink at a party? I mean sure, it's nice but if it's not there it's not like it's the end of the world....they can drink after!
    I think the same, but I am always shocked at how important some people think it is. (Not referring to the OP's family. Just speaking from personal experience.)

  18. #18
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    I agree with everyone, I think it is perfectly fine for you to ask. We are drinkers, and if we went to a party with no alcohol we may ask why just because it would be odd for their not to be any, but if we found out there was a reason for it not being there we wouldn't bat an eye at it. That would be fine with us. And we are usually the ones bringing the wine with us. DH ownes a winery so we always take a bottle with us, but would not be offended if we were asked not to.
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  19. #19
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    I'd even go so far to say that your DH should be the one to make the request since it is his family. If his family is aware of your religion and the stance on alcohol, they should be respectful of that, especially at a party in your honor. To serve alcohol would be as tacky as my DH's aunt serving spiked punch at my baby shower-- I agree with KC's wifey... some people just think it's way more important than it actually is.

    Good luck!
    Rae (27), DH (26), Lucas (6/3/12), Amelia (12/13/13)

  20. #20
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    Question for those who say they bring a bottle of wine or something....you mean you bring it to drink or as a gift? Unless it's specifically a "BYOB" type event or BBQ I have never heard of bringing your own alcohol to a party?
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    Question for those who say they bring a bottle of wine or something....you mean you bring it to drink or as a gift? Unless it's specifically a "BYOB" type event or BBQ I have never heard of bringing your own alcohol to a party?
    My husband enjoys buying nice wines and we do take a bottle to our small family events. We would not be offended at a no alcohol request though, we don't always bring it, but we know my parents (and myself when I am not pregnant) enjoy it.


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  22. #22
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    I guess I am the odd one out because I find it extremely rude. And I also think that it's fine for you to not drink, but it is a bit ridiculous to decide that no one else can, especially in someone else's house. If it were me throwing a party for someone, I wouldn't allow them to dicta what the other guests can and can't drink. That's really none of you business. That being said, if you mil would be okay with it go for it. But TBH Iwouldn't go to a party that someone decided for me what I can/can't bring/drink.

  23. #23

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    We are drinkers and would have no problem with that request.

    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    Question for those who say they bring a bottle of wine or something....you mean you bring it to drink or as a gift? Unless it's specifically a "BYOB" type event or BBQ I have never heard of bringing your own alcohol to a party?
    We bring our own alcohol to parties all the time unless it's specifically stated that there is a keg or something. There is usually some alcohol provided, but we always bring our own.
    AKA Lisa724

  24. #24
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    Wow that is so interesting...I have never heard of doing that! That is why a "dry" party would not be a big deal to me because typically we show up and eat/drink what is provided...if there is alcohol then great, if not, oh well.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  25. #25
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    I don't think it's unreasonable at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMomma View Post
    I probably wouldn't make a fuss over it, but if you feel strongly enough then go ahead.
    This.

    I would never tell someone what they could or could not have in their own home, but I suppose if no one will be offended, no harm no foul.

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  27. #27
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    We also do not drink due to religion reasons and I would not be afraid to ask that at all. Of course my family is not super religious and my dad drinks (never around my kids because I dont allow it) and my moms family all drink but not normally at family parties. I'm sure people would understand.



  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    Wow that is so interesting...I have never heard of doing that! That is why a "dry" party would not be a big deal to me because typically we show up and eat/drink what is provided...if there is alcohol then great, if not, oh well.
    That's how it is with us too. If I brought a bottle of wine as a hostess gift I would not expect it to be served.

    I will say that a couple of times when dh has had people from work over they have brought wine with the intention of it being served, but they are a group of non-americans (mostly israelis and french) so I thought it was a cultural thing.

  29. #29
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    I think, from how the OP has stated things, she is debating whether or not to *request* politely, meaning she plans to ask, not dictate. If she were to demand, yes, that would be rude, but it doesn't sound like she is doing that.

    I think it may be difficult for some people who haven't experienced it to know how uncomfortable it can be for a person with strong religious conviction to be around alcohol. Its not like a person who doesn't enjoy the taste of something and can just skip over it and choose other options. My family (and I used to feel this way, but I don't now) feel extremely awkward and uncomfortable when alcohol is around. They -feel- it all around them, they are uncomfortable seeing people drunk/tipsy, they believe alcohol itself is sinful. Its difficult to describe, but its not as simple as just a preference. It is almost akin to being in a party with people smoking... not exactly the same, but similar in the feeling that even though it is other people doing it, the effect is all around.

    Personally, if I were a host throwing a party for someone, I would want to know and be respectful of my guest of honor and their family's religious/moral convictions so I could accommodate them. Any conviction that was strong enough to make them ask me, I would want to respect (so long as it didn't conflict with my own beliefs.) Jewish family with strong aversion to pork being served? Sure thing. Vegan who hates seeing dead animal on the table? No problem. Mormon family who doesn't want their kids having the option of caffeinated beverages? Ok. They are the guest of honor. Obviously many people are fine so long as they don't have to partake, but if they aren't what's the harm in accommodating? As a host I would want to know.
    Last edited by KC's wifey; 04-23-2013 at 10:38 AM.

  30. #30
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    I think it is a reasonable request also.
    Joanie (33), DH (33), Thomas (13), Angel Baby 9/9/10, Katherine (2), Angel Baby 8/28/12, Daniel (born 6/23/13 at 35 weeks)

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