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Thread: Tell me your opinion about this family issue

  1. #91
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    Mohop- Are you surprised that your question generated so much discussion?

  2. #92
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    I haven't run percentages, but it seems to me like most people have found this to be a reasonable thing to request, although don't necessarily agree about what happens post-request.

    I also agree that *some* of the dissent may be b/c of the religion issue, but only in the sense that the request may seem sanctimonious. In fact, I bet it would've stirred up a similiar (perhaps even more boisterous) reaction if the op was about a vegan who wanted no meat to be served. Underlying each request is the notion that the prohibited consumption is wrong, and that, I think, is what is liable to strike a nerve (who likes to feel judged negatively?)). I'll admit this was my initial reaction (although not the one I posted after reflection.) Having kids has turned me into a one-drink woman- but I do enjoy that one drink, and would prefer not being judged for that.

    That said, I absolutely understand everyone who has posted about not wanting their children around drunk people. I couldn't agree more and have some cringe-worthy childhood memories. In fact, my MIL offered to host a party when we come home to visit for the first time this summer (since moving away in 2011). I instructed DH to decline b/c of the alcohol issue (mostly b/c he has twin sisters who drink too much). I know MIL well enough to know that suggesting a brunch would undoubtedly produce mimosas(!) and asking for no alcohol result in a disagreement and hurt feelings. OP's MIL seems different; so I'm sticking w/ it being okay to ask, but being open to not having the event if MIL is bothered by the request.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomOfAnOnly View Post
    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.
    Wait - were we talking about DRINKING or DRUNKS? I didn't get the vibe that the OP felt that the family couldn't handle their alcohol. Though, it doesn't change the fact that *I* wouldn't do it - I would just leave (and have) if someone acts a fool.

    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.
    I dont think the request is unreasonable, just that *I* wouldn't do it. That has nothing to do with my religious stance

    Quote Originally Posted by ibisgirldc View Post
    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.
    I agree, the reason, is irrelevant in my opinion

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  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Mohop- Are you surprised that your question generated so much discussion?
    Well, I would have been, except that the thread got locked on the other board where I posted the same question! Basically, the conversation turned into people telling me I was extremely judgmental and "legalistic," that I needed to stop trying to impose my strange religion on everyone, and that I should calm down and "take a drink." Oh, and that it would be very rude of me to ask the host not to serve alcohol, but that I should just refuse to attend the party (and they didnt' seem to understand that that would do way more damage to my relationship with my MIL than making my request). So, in comparison, this discussion has been pretty mild, lol.

    It is definitely interesting to see how different people react to the issue. Honestly, it never ever would have occurred to me that people would see this as trying to impose my religion on others. The other issue that I see people have with it, aside from the religious aspect of things, is that some people just don't like the idea of others having input into what people decide to do in their homes. I guess I just saw it as part of living in a family/community; that you want things to be comfortable for as many people as possible.

    Thanks everyone for the responses and for staying nice!
    Last edited by mohop; 04-24-2013 at 01:33 PM.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohop View Post
    Well, I would have been, except that the thread got locked on the other board where I posted the same question! Basically, the conversation turned into people telling me I was extremely judgmental and "legalistic," that I needed to stop trying to impose my strange religion on everyone, and that I should calm down and "take a drink." Oh, and that it would be very rude of me to ask the host not to serve alcohol, but that I should just refuse to attend the party (and they didnt' seem to understand that that would do way more damage to my relationship with my MIL than making my request). So, in comparison, this discussion has been pretty mild, lol.
    Wow....

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  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by glwygrl View Post
    I haven't run percentages, but it seems to me like most people have found this to be a reasonable thing to request, although don't necessarily agree about what happens post-request.

    I also agree that *some* of the dissent may be b/c of the religion issue, but only in the sense that the request may seem sanctimonious. In fact, I bet it would've stirred up a similiar (perhaps even more boisterous) reaction if the op was about a vegan who wanted no meat to be served. Underlying each request is the notion that the prohibited consumption is wrong, and that, I think, is what is liable to strike a nerve (who likes to feel judged negatively?)). I'll admit this was my initial reaction (although not the one I posted after reflection.) Having kids has turned me into a one-drink woman- but I do enjoy that one drink, and would prefer not being judged for that.

    That said, I absolutely understand everyone who has posted about not wanting their children around drunk people. I couldn't agree more and have some cringe-worthy childhood memories. In fact, my MIL offered to host a party when we come home to visit for the first time this summer (since moving away in 2011). I instructed DH to decline b/c of the alcohol issue (mostly b/c he has twin sisters who drink too much). I know MIL well enough to know that suggesting a brunch would undoubtedly produce mimosas(!) and asking for no alcohol result in a disagreement and hurt feelings. OP's MIL seems different; so I'm sticking w/ it being okay to ask, but being open to not having the event if MIL is bothered by the request.
    I think I understand this point of view better now; so thank you for articulating it. I think having a close relationship with someone and being diplomatic/tactful in how one addresses an issue can mitigate the potential that the other person will feel judged.

    And your example about your MIL's almost-party also I think demonstrates how important it is to take into consideration the family dynamic. In your situation, with your family dynamics, you knew that the best way to handle it was to avoid having the party at all (which I'm sure you did in a diplomatic, inoffensive way). In my situation, I feel like making a request isn't a big deal and not something that anyone would really think twice about. But, obviously, DH didn't think it was as simple a that. Ultimately, I made my case to DH, I will pray about it, and hope he makes the best decision, because I never really planned on dictating anything that everyone else was uncomfortable with.
    Last edited by mohop; 04-24-2013 at 01:49 PM.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  7. #97
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    Wow. I'm so sorry the other thread became so hostile. It was incredibly rude of them to say such things.

  8. #98
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    Party-zilla!

    I don't see how serving something (or not) at a party is imposing your religious views on others. I get that perhaps there is an underlying morality of why alcohol is prohibited but really, it's just a few hour party. As a secular person I am tolerant of other's religions. I go to weddings in churches where there is prayer and communion served. What if the party were kosher? I don't see the difference at all. Again, it's a few hours! I don't understand the big deal.

    Perhaps to ask your random Aunt Abigail who is throwing a party for her daughter's birthday not to serve alcohol is pushing it....but for a mother or MIL? I don't see that as being out of line especially since it's your party.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohop View Post
    I think I understand this point of view better now; so thank you for articulating it. I think having a close relationship with someone and being diplomatic/tactful in how one addresses an issue can mitigate the potential that the other person will feel judged.

    And your example about your MIL's almost-party also I think demonstrates how important it is to take into consideration the family dynamic. In your situation, with your family dynamics, you knew that the best way to handle it was to avoid having the party at all (which I'm sure you did in a diplomatic, inoffensive way).
    I'm very glad you found it helpful- and think you are right about the importance of the delivery. As for how my DH told MIL... I hope he was diplomatic- sometimes his frustration w/ his sisters and their drinking gets the better of him.

  10. #100
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    I haven't read all the posts in this thread so forgive me if I repeat what someone already said .

    If I had a good relationship with the hostess and had a concern I would ask a question rather than make a statement...it's just more diplomatic that way, e.g., "Would you be hurt if I requested no alcohol be served or on premise at the party? I would understand if you're uncomfortable asking other people though and I understand that it is your home. You already know how we feel about alcohol and I'll respect whatever you choose to do. It means so much to us that you're doing this... (((hug)))...love you mom!".

    And then respect what she chooses .

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  11. #101

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    I'm in the minority here - I think it's generally poor etiquette to tell guests what they can or can't bring to a party, and even worse to put someone else in the potentially awkward position of having to do it for you.

    I mean, I don't think it's the end of the world or anything, but I do find it a little inappropriate.
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  12. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    Wait - were we talking about DRINKING or DRUNKS? I didn't get the vibe that the OP felt that the family couldn't handle their alcohol. Though, it doesn't change the fact that *I* wouldn't do it - I would just leave (and have) if someone acts a fool.

    I did state in my post that I was specifically talking about MY family and friends- there's always at least one overly loud, drunk person who is out of control. And it's not always the same person, so you can't just not invite drunk Uncle Joe. The OP could take from that what she wanted from my response. She knows if that's applicable in her particular situation or not.
    My experience with family and friends drinking is that there is no "one drink." Ever. Most of them are going to get at least very tipsy and loud, and before you know it an argument breaks out. Feelings are hurt, people stop talking to each other for months (and in some cases in decades), so yeah, I'm not of a fan of alcohol.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHKate View Post
    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.
    I agree.


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  14. #104

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    Not an unreasonable request, at all. And pretty selfish for people not to comply, IMO.

  15. #105
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    I may be late in responding but if it were and all out adult party being thrown for me at someone else's home then I would shut up n suck it up, however if this is a family party and children of all ages ate going to present then I wouldn't hesitate in making the request. I would leave the whole religion thing out if it, I mean correct me if I'm wrong but most families who have a family day or a child's birthday party don't generally serve booze. Let it be the reason for the request, I'm sure Mil would and does understand and respect your religious beliefs but it would / does put her in a position to have to explain but if you present it with the" hey since there are going children present lets have people leave the booze at home" type thing which people with or with out children can totally respect and more easy to swallow and make feel less in a position to have to explain to other guests whom may ask. Does that make sense?

  16. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Mohop- Are you surprised that your question generated so much discussion?
    I am! It seems pretty simple to me. This is her husband's mother for goodness sake! Throwing a party for her and her husband. She asked if it was acceptable to ask. Of course it is!

    My son is graduating from Highschool in June. I want to do a party, but he has said he just doesn't want a big party. Is it wrong of him to ask that we just take him and a few friends out to eat? I"m the host here, wanting to do something to celebrate my son's graduation, so according to most people here, I should throw the party that *I* want, ignoring my son's wishes? And that it is rude for him to ask that we have the type of celebration he wants, rather than what I want to do.

    My only concern with this situation came up with the suggestion that some of the family might bring their own beverages, so there might be alcohol even if the MIL doesn't serve it. I think that would be more difficult to "police". And I think it does start to get a little weird to call all invited and tell them they can't bring something. Or stop people at the door and tell them they can't drink. *That* I think is when it starts to be a judgmental, "I'm too good to be around alcohol" sort of attitude. I am not much of a drinker, most "parties" I go to are family centric and there is on occasion some red wine offered for the adults with the meal. So I don't think alcohol must be present for it to be a party. But I can imagine I might be offended or at least put off if I came to a party at some one elses house where the norm was to bring and drink wine/beer and I was told at the door "so and so is uncomfortable with alcohol and asks that you not drink today".

    But I think the answer to OP's question, is it acceptable to ask her MIL not to serve it, is definitely yes.


  17. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I am! It seems pretty simple to me. This is her husband's mother for goodness sake! Throwing a party for her and her husband. She asked if it was acceptable to ask. Of course it is!

    My son is graduating from Highschool in June. I want to do a party, but he has said he just doesn't want a big party. Is it wrong of him to ask that we just take him and a few friends out to eat? I"m the host here, wanting to do something to celebrate my son's graduation, so according to most people here, I should throw the party that *I* want, ignoring my son's wishes? And that it is rude for him to ask that we have the type of celebration he wants, rather than what I want to do.

    My only concern with this situation came up with the suggestion that some of the family might bring their own beverages, so there might be alcohol even if the MIL doesn't serve it. I think that would be more difficult to "police". And I think it does start to get a little weird to call all invited and tell them they can't bring something. Or stop people at the door and tell them they can't drink. *That* I think is when it starts to be a judgmental, "I'm too good to be around alcohol" sort of attitude. I am not much of a drinker, most "parties" I go to are family centric and there is on occasion some red wine offered for the adults with the meal. So I don't think alcohol must be present for it to be a party. But I can imagine I might be offended or at least put off if I came to a party at some one elses house where the norm was to bring and drink wine/beer and I was told at the door "so and so is uncomfortable with alcohol and asks that you not drink today".

    But I think the answer to OP's question, is it acceptable to ask her MIL not to serve it, is definitely yes.
    Exactly. If you're throwing a party for the person according to your wishes instead of theirs, you may want to check your motives. If you want to bless someone, do it their way, not yours. To do otherwise is selfish.

  18. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chayah View Post
    Exactly. If you're throwing a party for the person according to your wishes instead of theirs, you may want to check your motives. If you want to bless someone, do it their way, not yours. To do otherwise is selfish.
    Totally agree. My parents once gave me a graduation party and my dad made all the food. There was not one item on the menu that I liked and in fact, some of it I had specifically told him I did not like and his opinion was that everyone else could enjoy it and it was too bad if I didn't want it. Again, this was my college graduation party and I had offered to help with planning the party and food and was told my opinion was not required. To be honest, I spent the entire party angry at my parents for throwing a party supposedly in my honor that was actually all about them.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 04-25-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  19. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I am! It seems pretty simple to me. This is her husband's mother for goodness sake! Throwing a party for her and her husband. She asked if it was acceptable to ask. Of course it is!

    My son is graduating from Highschool in June. I want to do a party, but he has said he just doesn't want a big party. Is it wrong of him to ask that we just take him and a few friends out to eat? I"m the host here, wanting to do something to celebrate my son's graduation, so according to most people here, I should throw the party that *I* want, ignoring my son's wishes? And that it is rude for him to ask that we have the type of celebration he wants, rather than what I want to do.

    My only concern with this situation came up with the suggestion that some of the family might bring their own beverages, so there might be alcohol even if the MIL doesn't serve it. I think that would be more difficult to "police". And I think it does start to get a little weird to call all invited and tell them they can't bring something. Or stop people at the door and tell them they can't drink. *That* I think is when it starts to be a judgmental, "I'm too good to be around alcohol" sort of attitude. I am not much of a drinker, most "parties" I go to are family centric and there is on occasion some red wine offered for the adults with the meal. So I don't think alcohol must be present for it to be a party. But I can imagine I might be offended or at least put off if I came to a party at some one elses house where the norm was to bring and drink wine/beer and I was told at the door "so and so is uncomfortable with alcohol and asks that you not drink today".

    But I think the answer to OP's question, is it acceptable to ask her MIL not to serve it, is definitely yes.
    I am pretty sure the OP said that MIL does not usually serve alcohol, but that guests may bring it as a contribution for the potluck. That's where it gets tricky, IMO. I think it would be fine for her to ask MIL to not serve alcohol since she knows of their beliefs about it, but I am not sure it is ok to go out of her way to tell people to not bring it. I think if it were me, I would ask MIL that if someone asks what to bring, if she could suggest bringing a non-alcoholic drink or other food item.

  20. #110

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    Mohop: I am wondering if your MIL can send an evite or email the family and say that she is planning a "dry" welcome party to your family on this day and at this time. Because it is family and they already know your religious beliefs, that should be enough of hint to all. But if someone brings alcohol she can politely say thanks and put it aside to offer it back when they are leaving. I know my MIL would do that for me if I asked and I would do that for my children and their wives.
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  21. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    I am pretty sure the OP said that MIL does not usually serve alcohol, but that guests may bring it as a contribution for the potluck. That's where it gets tricky, IMO. I think it would be fine for her to ask MIL to not serve alcohol since she knows of their beliefs about it, but I am not sure it is ok to go out of her way to tell people to not bring it. I think if it were me, I would ask MIL that if someone asks what to bring, if she could suggest bringing a non-alcoholic drink or other food item.
    oops, you are right, that got muddled after all those pages.

    I do think it is ok to include "dry" or "no alcohol please" on the invite, the tricky part is what to do if someone doesn't get the memo and brings some anyway. And that probably depends on the person. I think Mohop should be prepared that some people may ignore it or not know about it, and decide how big an issue it is.

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