posted at 3/25/2009 6:02 AM EDT
I have a "problem" I wanted to air on this board for some time - and I am asking for your advice, how to proceed further.
Mr. Pingo's sister and her husband are very nice people. However, we (especially I) do not have much in common, so it is so difficult to entertain them. But I still invite them over every so often. Mostly to please Mr. Pingo.
My BIL will come, sit down in the same corner of our couch, pick up some magazine or book (as everyone else we have sofa table books and mags near by) and start to read. Then after a while he will doze off. It really burns me off.
I have tried to invite them over on different timings - but no change.
The last time I had them come over - we removed everything readable in sight. What happened? My BIL looked around and dozed off. I do feel insulted.
These people are vegetarians in the stricktest possible way - so everytime I invite them, I really go through the hoops to make sure there are no eggs, no meat products, no root products. All that is fine - but what I am really upset about is - that my BIL - can't even socialize for just a couple of hours.
Even when we have a larger family gathering - I make a special eggless cake - just for him. What is one to do?
Easter is coming up, and I would really like to have the family over. Nieces, nephews and their children. But this BIL is really hindering me in doing so.
posted at 3/25/2009 6:19 AM EDT
I'm bumping because I just posted a reply and it disappeared ----
Good Lord, it was a long one. Don't know if I have it in me to post it again -
posted at 3/25/2009 6:45 AM EDT
I'll try a shortened version again before I go out.
A lot of people who "doze off" have sleep apnea and don't even know it. Some who have been tested and diagnosed with it simply cannot get used to the oxygen mask they are prescribed, and it falls by the wayside.
As for inviting them for larger family gatherings, such as Easter, the old saying, "Blood is thicker than water" is true. He is a relative (by marriage) to Mr. P, and rather than cause any hard feelings in the family, I would continue to invite as you have been doing. You want Mr. P's sister to continue to feel welcome in your home, and I'm sure she wouldn't if she sensed her husband was a bother. The price to pay is small to have no regrets when the time comes that something happens to either of them. You don't want to look back and see it as a smaller inconvenience that you wish you had endured. You are a creative cook, come up with a filling vegetarian dish that you can put out with your regular menu that you plan. If that is not filling enough for him, I'm sure you'll see him try some of the other dishes (which I'm sure they do when out other places anyway).
As for your other guests, I'm sure if he "dozes off" while at the larger gatherings, they go home and have a good chuckle about it, all the time praising "Saint Mrs. Pingo" for putting up with it!
For what it's worth -
posted at 3/25/2009 7:45 AM EDT
Oh bother, I wrote a response and was trying to insert something earlier in the post and hit a wrong key on my keyboard and erased the whole thing. This one I can't blame on the BDC.
Point being: I agree with TT.
Continue on inviting him over. It is something you will not regret in the long run and someday you may be able to laugh about it. Especially when you are having a larger group over, you may find his slumbering less distracting.
Mr. Circle's mother's boyfriend falls asleep on our comfy chair over here almost every time he comes over and serenades us with snoring. We take it as a point of amusement and continue on with our festivities without him.
In regards to your cooking, I think it is fantastic that you make something so specialized for them. Even if he isn't eating it at all, (sounds like he sleeps through even this part of the evening?) you are still making it for your SIL, who I am sure appreciates it. I hadn't heard of not eating root products as part of veganism or vegetarianism.
This being said, I would be interested in any of these successful recipes you have divined. I have discovered there are quite a few vegetarians at church and they, along with all the gluten-intolerant and nut-free, are making soup suppers, pot lucks and our after church coffee hours more and more challenging because I don't like to bring the same thing every time.
posted at 3/25/2009 2:20 PM EDT
Thanks tt and Circles for putting things in perspective for me. You are both right - he goes to sleep, why should I care. The only problem is that I really go through the hoops for him - and it seems to me that he doesn't care. My SIL is a lot more adoptable. He is the one who is a strict vegetrian. Not other members of his family.
Yes, tt I know - some people suffers for sleep apnoe (I am one of them), but if you really want, you can keep your eyes open for just a bit. This BIL of mine doesn't even want to try. Unless there is an Indy movie on - then he is fine. He will stay awake until it is over. Now you tell me.
Like you both said - keep inviting him and his family. One never know, when it will be too late. Unfortunately - that is the truth. Just look at what happened to our dear friend putt.
Thanks again to both of you. I guess I just needed a pat on my back.
posted at 3/25/2009 2:57 PM EDT
posted at 3/26/2009 3:07 AM EDT
Funny, it seems like everyone has a situation like this in their family. Mine is with my SIL. Not ever having a sister, I was so hoping that we could be close, but we she is really turned out to be a very selfish person.
She came over at Thanksgiving and sat and corrected papers (she's a teacher) rather than spending time with the family or joining the conversation. I have tried many times to break the ice, but seem to get shot down every time. I don't even try anymore. It really is too bad.
The funny thing is she is in to an organic diet, which no one else in the family is. When she cooks at for the family (which is rarely) she makes everyone eat what she likes. I would never do that, as I try to please my guests and would rather go hungry than have them be disapointed.
posted at 3/26/2009 3:36 AM EDT
My father-in-law falls asleep if he is not actively engaged in conversation. And this happens at homes other than ours. My Husband tells me it happened when they were kids, too. So, we just put up with it and either talk quietly, or, when it's time to eat, make a loud noise to wake him up.
If you are not having a good time when they come over alone, I'd say don't invite them, but keep inviting them to the big gatherings. As for the food faddism, I would stop putting myself to too much trouble - yes, one dish for them to eat, but making sure all desserts are eggless seems to be beyond the call of duty.
posted at 3/26/2009 3:57 AM EDT
Good morning, Princess
I am a lot older than you, and have learned that when someone has a problem such as rudeness (your SIL) it is THEIR problem, not yours. Of course still invite her to family gatherings, but don't have any
EXPECTATIONS. That's the biggest piece of advice I can give you. You know ahead of time how she is, so just accept it and don't be hoping it will be any different this time. As for not being able to get as close to her as you had hoped, don't knock yourself out trying to figure that one out - reasons, if there are any, are only in her mind, unless she chooses to share them with you. Life is very short. Not everyone will like us or want to be our friend, or even be polite to us. When that happens to me, I visually put them in a pink balloon and send them off into the air with my good wishes, then concentrate on those around me who are sending warm vibes my way.
Just some early morning advice from a much older lady.
posted at 3/26/2009 4:04 AM EDT
And it's very good advice TT, thanks. Another reason why I do love this board. I hope you have a wonderful day!
posted at 3/26/2009 5:14 AM EDT
Well, first, let me say I'm sorry you have to deal with this hurtful and frustrating situation.
Secondly, I have no advice except to accept it. He sounds like he has emotional problems that make him anti-social. Yes, some people have sleep disorders that aren't emotional problems, but this is not the case here. He doesn't flop down asleep in his tomato soup, just as people are about to engage each other in conversation. And, he can control it - he reads if there's something to read. When that's read, he decides to sleep.
You cannot change whatever is driving his illness by removing reading material or putting tacks on his seat...although I'm sure the idea makes you chuckle. :) Instead of taking his behavior personally, I think you would be correct and well within your human right to externalize the cause of his behavior. I have seen other people actually pretend to doze off simply to not have to participate. It's very sad for them - they are in an emotional prison that doesn't let the sun of your company in.
Have them over for DH, but expect the BIL to behave the only way he can. In some sad way, he's not being rude; he's clearly got devestating emotional issues that get in the way of his ever enjoying a single day in his life.
Best to you, my friend,
posted at 3/26/2009 5:38 AM EDT
I think TT has the best advice. You have to be nice. If he falls asleep, it is HIS loss, in missing out on socializing with you and your Hubby. He's family, so being nice is a given.
When we visit my son, my wife always brings the book she is reading, because when the conversation dulls and people go about what they are doing, she starts to feel left out so she just picks up her book and reads, and sometimes the eyes close too, but they would never think of not inviting her.
posted at 3/26/2009 6:54 AM EDT
Thanks to all of you for your input.
Funny, it seems like everyone has a situation like this in their family.
It made me feel better to hear your "stories". And I would much rather have someone snooring away in a chair, than someone correcting papers. (Wow, talking about being anti social here).
I will take notes Easter Sunday - and let you know how it goes.
posted at 3/26/2009 6:57 AM EDT
Hey there Pingo -- I agree with tt - Does BIL have a medical problem that he is predisposed to dozing off? It seems as though he has to keep himself stimulated by reading to avoid dozing off. Have you asked him about it?
I know for a fact you jump through hoops, and good for you! Its so difficult to please people who don't eat everything or have strict dietary issues, and maybe he doesn't realize the effort you put into what you're doing, which is why he's less appreciative than he should be?
Could you organize a game night - if there's an activity, maybe he'll participate more. I doubt the company is boring!!!!
Hope you're well!!!!
posted at 3/26/2009 7:18 AM EDT
pingo, I hope you'll forgive the OT post, but Leasyll, were you looking for something in the mac and cheese thread? I answered someone's desperate sounding question, and i think it was you, but I answered awhile after you posted the question....ETA: Yes, it was you who was trying to figure out your mom's spinach version. I gave you percentages of those cheeses that I think will give you good flavor and texture.
pingo, I hope you can be at least be glad he isn't participating if he really isn't able. Dozing is probably best for everyone!
posted at 3/26/2009 8:40 AM EDT
Pingo, has he ever been evaluate for narcolepsy? My FIL has it and will nod off to sleep every now and again for a few minutes. It's a little weird, but what can you do about it? We just don't let him drive us anymore when we are visiting down there. He still drives and works, but I guess that people around him are used to it. He's had it ever since DH can remember.
My own dad is antisocial, and has no qualms about going into another room or reading the newspaper while other people are talking. It drives my mom nuts, but I guess she's sort of used to it after 40 years of marriage. He only tends to do this at home though, not when he goes out to someone else's house.
posted at 3/26/2009 8:50 AM EDT
Doesn't he have have way too much control of the dozing to have narcolepsy? I thougtht with narcolepsy the dozing was uncontrollable, and he wouldn't be able to decide to say, read a magazine first if it happnes to be lying around. He would be randomly falling asleep, not at just the moments in which he'd otherwise be expected to engage in conversation without food being a distraction. I think he may even be pretending to be asleep just to get out of chatting. I've known for sure of others doing it, and in that case gosh, best to him as he sits there in silence; it has to be better than what he'd be saying otherwise.
posted at 3/26/2009 9:19 AM EDT
[Quote]Doesn't he have have way too much control of the dozing to have narcolepsy? I thougtht with narcolepsy the dozing was uncontrollable, and he wouldn't be able to decide to say, read a magazine first if it happnes to be lying around. He would be randomly falling asleep, not at just the moments in which he'd otherwise be expected to engage in conversation without food being a distraction. I think he may even be pretending to be asleep just to get out of chatting. I've known for sure of others doing it, and in that case gosh, best to him as he sits there in silence; it has to be better than what he'd be saying otherwise.[/Quote]
If he can control falling asleep, then he doesn't have narcolepsy. My FIL def. has it. He knows when to avoid driving [after a meal he's more likely to fall asleep], and tries to drive as little as possible, but he still needs to get to work.
posted at 3/26/2009 12:16 PM EDT
Hi pingo -
I'm a little late to jump on the band wagon here,and everybody has made excellent points. I suspect that Mr. Pingo's sister is acutely aware of her husband falling asleep. Even though she may not admit it, it's probably a great source of embarassment (and irritation) to her. I bet it's a relief for her to come to your house and know you and your hubby will not make a big deal out of it. Cooking a special dish and dessert is certainly a hassle. That would be more irritating to me!