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Thread: Tell me your opinion about this family issue

  1. #61
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    I think it is reasonable in that this is a party in your honor. My good friend keeps kosher and when she invited me to a potluck in her home, I brought something that fit in with her kosher guidelines (I don't actually keep a kosher kitchen, but I did the best I could). Her home, her party, her dietary preferences go. Even though I don't follow those guidelines, it certainly doesn't hurt me to eat a kosher meal when I am in her home. If I were to host a party in her honor, I would request that all the food be kosher because I would want to have food that the guest of honor could eat and enjoy. To me this is exactly the same issue. I wouldn't just randomly have a party and insist that everything be kosher because she was invited, but I would if the party was specifically for her.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  2. #62
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    I think it is entirely reasonable, especially since this is a family function with children present (religious reasons or not, I have always felt it odd for people to serve alcohol during family gatherings with kids). I bet your MIL can communicate your wishes to the rest of the family and - should anyone bring alcohol - she can save it for another occasion. It may be a good opportunity for your DH's family to learn about your wishes (odds are you would have already had this conversation if you were not gone for 2 years) and that way they can have more alcohol-free gatherings in the future. We drink on occasion, but if you came to visit us and asked us ahead of time not to serve alcohol, I would think it is totally cool.

  3. #63

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    mohop! You are coming back to the states?! Has it really already been two years??

    I didn't read each PP, but I would kindly ask MIL to not serve on her part, and in addition, if anyone brings wine/beer or offers to bring it have her decline the alcohol (she can save it for later if it's brought to the party - isn't it normally like a contribution/hostess gift?), or even give them a suggestion for something else they can bring to contribute.

    The host and hostess are in charge of what is served. I like that you want to honor your family's traditions and values with a simple request.



  4. #64

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    I think it's a reasonable request. Although, honestly, I would find it hard to believe that your husband's family wouldn't already know and respect your beliefs and if you say they hardly drink at all, I doubt they would bring their own alcohol to a party. So I doubt it would have to go beyond your MIL. She serves no alcohol (if someone brings wine or beer as a hostess gift, it goes away), done deal.
    Me 38, DH 38, DS 5/28/08, DS 7/6/10

  5. #65
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    I think the difference is that it's not the op's house. If they were throwing the party and didn't want alcohol thats one thing. My house my rules. The fact that it's a rule being imposed on a hostess is why I think it's rude. I think it is reasonable to ask mil not to serve alcohol, but it becomes unreasonable to confiscate any alcohol because the op has a religous preference against herself. Again, though, that's my opinion and it's not my family. If you feel comfortable requesting that and mil doesn't have a problem, go for it. I just wouldn't make a big deal about it if it's refused. And this is also me assuming that it's just casual drinking, not a bunch of drunken idiots doing keg stands and dancing topless. :-)

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazy8 View Post
    I think the difference is that it's not the op's house. If they were throwing the party and didn't want alcohol thats one thing. My house my rules. The fact that it's a rule being imposed on a hostess is why I think it's rude. I think it is reasonable to ask mil not to serve alcohol, but it becomes unreasonable to confiscate any alcohol because the op has a religous preference against herself. Again, though, that's my opinion and it's not my family. If you feel comfortable requesting that and mil doesn't have a problem, go for it. I just wouldn't make a big deal about it if it's refused. And this is also me assuming that it's just casual drinking, not a bunch of drunken idiots doing keg stands and dancing topless. :-)
    I agree with this. Fine to request but rude to insist at someone else's home.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  7. #67

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    On a side note about bringing your own alcohol to a party...I don't drink alcohol at all, which is definitely not the norm where I live (Midwest). Let's say I just really really like chocolate milk or mango smoothies. Shouldn't it be acceptable to bring my own chocolate milk or smoothies to the party and sit there drinking it as long as I offer it to others? Yet this would be considered weird and offensive to the hostess and some how it's not with alcohol.
    Sometimes I've brought a can of Coke with me (which probably embarasses my husband) or often don't drink anything since I don't really care for alcohol or diet drinks which is what is usually served.

    Now giving the hostess a bottle of wine is different since it isn't supposed to be immediately opened by the hostess and served to guests.

    So, I go back to my original post, that if your husband's family members are gathering in your honor, I would expect that it should not come as a surprise to them that you would like no alcohol. If some alcohol manages to slip through, I guess I would expect that although it is against your religious convictions, that your religion also advocates for tolerance, including tolerance of people that are foolish enough to bring alcohol to a party that is in your honor.
    Last edited by suze001; 04-24-2013 at 07:58 AM.
    Me 38, DH 38, DS 5/28/08, DS 7/6/10

  8. #68
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    Just responding to the post asking why we bring wine to events. We always bring it mostly as a gift for the host. They can do what they want with it-serve it at the party or keep it for themselves. I don't like showing up empty handed when I'm invited to someone's home, but at the same don't always feel right bringing a dish of some sort.

    We are still in our 20's and a lot of our friends are either still single or newlyweds and and so the crowd is very mixed at the parties. It's pretty common for everyone to bring a bottle of something to share. We used to do an annual Halloween party and we would provide spiked punch and a keg, and whatever alcohol was in the house, but everyone was welcome to bring something for themself or to share. Most people brought a bottle to share, we only have one friend that regularly brings one small bottle of Jack Daniels that he keeps just for himself. Most people thought that was rude since everyone else just put their bottles on the bar for sharing. I don't care either way, whatever makes a good time for everyone!
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  9. #69

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    IMO, it's not polite to tell a host how to host their party. Especially where someone is taking on the time and expense to organize a party for you, the gracious thing to do is to allow that person to throw the party that they'd like to throw. If necessary, you can quietly warn those relatives who will be appalled that there might be alcohol; they can choose to not come if it's that offensive to see other people drink. And if MIL asks if alcohol is okay or asks for your input on party planning, then you can state a preference but you cannot make demands. (E.g., when I threw a baby shower, I conferred with the family so they could invite who they wanted, have food that they wanted, etc. But they expressed preferences and didn't tell me that i could not do x or y.)

  10. #70

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    I also think it's a reasonable request.
    Mommy to Lilliana (10/2006) & Summer (10/2011)!




  11. #71

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    I would wonder if it's worth it? If its only going to be a few people who do? Could you have it in the a.m. so it would be less likely people would bring it? We don't serve alcohol and no one is 'allowed' to bring it by request- I have ZERO problem with it. MY SIL's mother is a recovering alcoholic-has been for over five years-so my SIL asks that no alcohol be present.

    *I*have a hang-up re: this-b/c I am just hyper-sensitive to being asked to participate in anyone's religion. I know its weird-but basically my parents used their religion almost as punishment-which has made it really hard for me to even step into a church. So, you should ignore some random lady on the internet who needs counseling to work thru her issues and ask that a host honor a reasonable request. : )

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawchickasaw View Post
    I would wonder if it's worth it? If its only going to be a few people who do? Could you have it in the a.m. so it would be less likely people would bring it? We don't serve alcohol and no one is 'allowed' to bring it by request- I have ZERO problem with it. MY SIL's mother is a recovering alcoholic-has been for over five years-so my SIL asks that no alcohol be present.

    *I*have a hang-up re: this-b/c I am just hyper-sensitive to being asked to participate in anyone's religion. I know its weird-but basically my parents used their religion almost as punishment-which has made it really hard for me to even step into a church. So, you should ignore some random lady on the internet who needs counseling to work thru her issues and ask that a host honor a reasonable request. : )
    I get that. I kind of had the same reaction. I would be fine if I knew someone was coming to a party I was throwing and asked for no alochol because of an addiction issue or health issue. But because of religion....it kind of makes me feel like I'm being asked to participate or having someone's beliefs forced on me.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  13. #73
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    Curious... would you feel the same way if it was not a religious issue, but also not a health issue? If for example, the request was no meat, or no paper waste? Would you feel those beliefs were being forced on you and feel the same resistance to it?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Curious... would you feel the same way if it was not a religious issue, but also not a health issue? If for example, the request was no meat, or no paper waste? Would you feel those beliefs were being forced on you and feel the same resistance to it?
    I was going to ask the same. I really do not feel that asking others not to drink in their presence is imposing someone's religion on the other person. I personally would feel a no-alcohol request was appropriate even if it was "because we do not want alcohol around our kids" reason - even if our religion does not have an opinion on it. How about smoking? Would it be OK to ask that there be no smoking? I think so. What if some people in the family were nudists? Would it be OK to ask that there be no nudity? I really think it is appropriate to ask for consideration on things that are high on our priority list of family and close friends. And like someone else said earlier, I would be surprised if the host already did not know that this was a biggie. I would want the guests of honor to be comfortable. If I were throwing party for someone, I would want them to be comfortable in the environment, even if it was not something we normally do at home. It is to honor the person the party is for.

  15. #75
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    Sigh....

    I would not ask anyone to do anything in their home that they wouldn't otherwise do. Regardless of my lifestyle choices. Period.

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Curious... would you feel the same way if it was not a religious issue, but also not a health issue? If for example, the request was no meat, or no paper waste? Would you feel those beliefs were being forced on you and feel the same resistance to it?

    Or to take that even further--- what if the no alcohol request comes without a religious, health, or addiction issue? We just don't like alcohol or how people act when they've been drinking alcohol, and we refuse to have our daughter around that. So we're not asking anyone to follow our religious beliefs, but the request still remains the same.....

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Curious... would you feel the same way if it was not a religious issue, but also not a health issue? If for example, the request was no meat, or no paper waste? Would you feel those beliefs were being forced on you and feel the same resistance to it?

    I'm going to a party someone else is hosting...their house, their rules. If I'm hosting a party, my house and my rules. I generally try to take my guests into consideration and if it was no meat, I would have a meatless dish. But would probably still have a meat dish. And I don't think that I would feel right asking other guests to do or not do something based off another guest (even if it's guest of honor)....based off personal beliefs....only really for a health issue or something that truly affects others like smoking.

    I did have a dry wedding. My parents don't drink and weren't going to pay for alcholol. But I didn't care if other guests went to the other bar at the restaurant and bought their own. Didn't affect me. Had they tried smoking in the room we were in though....that I would have put a stop to.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  18. #78

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    See, and I just think it's all part of respecting each other and doing what we can do to create harmony. Some things are really simple to do and this feels like one of those things.

  19. #79

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    I do feel like being around alcohol and the behaviors that come along with it (amongst our family and friends anyway), absolutely DOES affect others. Especially my child who has never been around a drunk person-- she's a very sensitive kid and I can only imagine how upsetting that would be for her to witness.

  20. #80

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    Interesting discussion. I truly think people are reacting because the request stems from religious beliefs. However, depending on particular religion, people who deeply believe and practice the tenets of it, also believe that their moral health is just as important as their physical health. Let's say for some Muslims and some Christians serving alcohol and having people around them drinking is equally offensive and dangerous as we perceive smoking, serving foods to which we are allergic etc. It is a point of view and beliefs. An agnostic person will have difficult time accepting that but will justify other actions for health reasons. A religious person will say that there is little or no difference between not serving nuts (due a guest's allergy) and not serving alcohol due to guest's religion. It is all about culture, beliefs and point of view. That's why people who go to live in a different country experience a phenomenon called "culture shock" for months.

    I still think the request is reasonable because it is FAMILY. Family and close friends are different IMO - I would do things for my family and close friends that I won't even think of doing for others, go out of my way and bend over backwards to accommodate them, accept who they are for what they are and love them the way they are. So if my son and DIL asked me that there be no alcohol, I would be happy to comply and will find it perfectly acceptable. They are the guests of honor and it their party that I CHOSE and OFFERED to do.
    Last edited by tanyachap; 04-24-2013 at 12:02 PM.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    See, and I just think it's all part of respecting each other and doing what we can do to create harmony. Some things are really simple to do and this feels like one of those things.

  22. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    See, and I just think it's all part of respecting each other and doing what we can do to create harmony. Some things are really simple to do and this feels like one of those things.
    I agree with that too
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Curious... would you feel the same way if it was not a religious issue, but also not a health issue? If for example, the request was no meat, or no paper waste? Would you feel those beliefs were being forced on you and feel the same resistance to it?
    I would absolutely feel the same way regardless of religious issues. My opinion might be biased because I was embarrassed by drinkers that got loud and obnoxious. Not everyone is obnoxious but, just bad experiences. I also live in a very religious part of the country where such request would be granted without judgement of being rude more cases than not. I may not personally request no alcohol at a party unless there were kids involved and I feel strongly the same way about smoking unless its outside. Its not about me being rude guest which I know you were not implying that its for the safety of the children. If it were an all adult party it might change the dynamics a bit where if someone were hosting it for me I would probably swollen down my feelings and enjoy the graciousness.



  24. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    Interesting discussion. I truly think people are reacting because the request stems from religious beliefs. However, depending on particular religion, people who deeply believe and practice the tenets of it, also believe that their moral health is just as important as their physical health. Let's say for some Muslims and some Christians serving alcohol and having people around them drinking is equally offensive and dangerous as we perceive smoking, serving foods to which we are allergic etc. It is a point of view and beliefs. An agnostic person will have difficult time accepting that but will justify other actions for health reasons. A religious person will say that there is little or no difference between not serving nuts (due a guest's allergy) and not serving alcohol due to guest's religion. It is all about culture, beliefs and point of view. That's why people who go to live in a different country experience a phenomenon called "culture shock" for months.

    I still think the request is reasonable because it is FAMILY. Family and close friends are different IMO - I would do things for my family and close friends that I won't even think of doing for others, go out of my way and bend over backwards to accommodate them, accept who they are for what they are and love them the way they are. So if my son and DIL asked me that there be no alcohol, I would be happy to comply and will find it perfectly acceptable. They are the guests of honor and it their party that I CHOSE and OFFERED to do.
    I agree with this but also want to point out that I see quite a few of my agnostic/secular friends in here saying that it is a perfectly reasonable request so I do believe it's not quite divided that way. I am atheist myself but I am respectful of others' religions and as long as it doesn't condemn me or harm me or my family, I'm cool with whatever.

  25. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I agree with this but also want to point out that I see quite a few of my agnostic/secular friends in here saying that it is a perfectly reasonable request so I do believe it's not quite divided that way. I am atheist myself but I am respectful of others' religions and as long as it doesn't condemn me or harm me or my family, I'm cool with whatever.
    Just to clarify that I agree that many agnostic/atheist people said it was reasonable but I also feel that many of those who have a strong reaction feel that way because it is a religious request. They feel in a sense that they are forced to comply or practice that religion whereas a person who practices that religion often feels that their "moral health" is just as important as their physical wellness and hence abstaining from drugs, smoking, alcohol or whatever they believe is truly important
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  26. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    Sigh....

    I would not ask anyone to do anything in their home that they wouldn't otherwise do. Regardless of my lifestyle choices. Period.
    I agree. It is my choice to come or not, even if it is thrown in my honor...I don't HAVE to attend and I am not paying for a service where I would then get it my way, so I would voice my opinion if asked but otherwise I would go with the flow seeing as it is a nice thing someone is doing for me. No need to be "partyzilla"...

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (5 1/2) and Jericho (3)
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  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    See, and I just think it's all part of respecting each other and doing what we can do to create harmony. Some things are really simple to do and this feels like one of those things.

    I would agree with that. Which is why I think it's ok to make the request of MIL BUT I would also warn the family that there might be alcohol and just ignore it if some comes in anyway.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  28. #88

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    My answer remains the same. The reason for the request is irrelevant. The party is hosted by the host; it is not hosted by the guest. Doesn't matter whether it's food or drink or paper products (which would be a completely bizarre imo if a guest asked that). But given the obviously stringent and overt practices of the guest(s), it would be appropriate for the host to consider the practices of the guests of honor in making her choices. She wants to make ppl feel welcomed and comfortable; she may reasonably decide, though, that it's asking too much or that a few can suck it up for the benefit of the many. But a host is putting their money, time, and perhaps home out there; they can't be expected to screen every attendee for allergies or religious affiliation or enviro-activism.

    All that said, it's family and you get more leeway to be impolite/direct with family. If it's a significant issue - as it is to the op - then make the request. Impolite or not, it's what you want. Just be willing to handle the response if it's not the outcome you'd hoped.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    Just to clarify that I agree that many agnostic/atheist people said it was reasonable but I also feel that many of those who have a strong reaction feel that way because it is a religious request. They feel in a sense that they are forced to comply or practice that religion whereas a person who practices that religion often feels that their "moral health" is just as important as their physical wellness and hence abstaining from drugs, smoking, alcohol or whatever they believe is truly important
    I get that....But that this THEIR moral health. I don't care so much for someone dictating MY moral health.

    It is kind of a fine line between making a request and demanding how others behave.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  30. #90

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    I was surprised so many thought it was an outrageous request, so I had to google it to see what the "official word" was on a no-alcohol request. Miss Manners doesn't state anywhere that it is rude to make such a request, only that it is rude to bring your own refreshments (which we've already established many people do anyway):

    Dear Miss Manners: When my son graduated from high school, his father and I (we're divorced) hosted a graduation party for family and friends on both sides, and my son insisted on a "dry" celebration -- no alcohol served. He said this was very important to him.


    What I considered to be a simple matter to be decided by the hosts (as the hosts would choose to serve chicken vs. beef) became an awkward moment when my two brothers arrived separately with coolers of their favorite alcoholic beverages. I quietly informed them that my son had requested a dry celebration, and their coolers were returned to their cars.


    With my son now graduating from college, we are once again planning a celebration. I need to know the correct way to handle this.


    After the last party, I was told that the guests should have been informed that no alcohol would be served. I disagreed. The guests who arrived with liquor should have suggested ahead of time that they could bring some to help out, and I could have politely declined and let them know of the agreement with my son.


    This was not the same as a guest presenting the hosts with a bottle of wine or liquor upon arrival as a token of congratulations or thank you. The coolers were brought to ensure that the two would have a supply of their own brand, not necessarily for sharing with the other 60 guests.


    Gentle reader: Do you mean to say that in four years, your son's uncles have not succeeded in teaching him about alcohol?


    Count your blessings, and don't let them try to teach him etiquette, either. Bringing their own brand of refreshment for themselves to consume at a party would have been rude even if what they brought was a bag of pretzels.


    But didn't they learn from the experience? If you feel you have to warn them not to do it again, go ahead. They're your brothers, and they are known offenders.


    Otherwise, the hosts' obligation to describe the refreshments is limited to letting them know, in the invitation itself, whether there will be a meal served or whether they would be wise to take something out of the freezer for dinner.

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