Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Aug 24, 2007 02:20 PM

The Polite Guest v. The Food Pushers

Okay. I'm off on my yearly junket to visit my Dad and all the relatives. This vacation is really more of a boot camp on the art of Visiting. Visiting among my relatives means you must eat copious amounts of very sweet treats while catching up. The cycle goes from house to house to...well, you get the idea.

I love most of my family, warts and all, but my constitution does not allow for the sweets or the quantity. Just can't do it. My aunts and uncles are of the mindset that "well, the crops may fail and the cow might go dry, do you'd better eat lots of this now." I don't want to get into the reasons I can't or won't load up on three pieces of pie, a plate of brownies and a CoolWhip topped cake with these people, as any medical or physical aspect is discussed ad nauseum with all within a three county area. My digestive system will remain known only to me in those situations. The simple statement "I'm not hungry, but thank you for the coffee" does not really work. You. Must. Eat. And lots, so Aunt X hasn't spent the day in the kitchen in vain. *Sigh*

I like being a gracious guest, and I never want to hurt the feelings of these wonderful people, but I simply cannot go on the five-day circuit of sugar. So my question: Does anyone have some super-secret line that they have used to dodge this situation in a gracious manner? I've bitten the bullet in the past and paid the price, but I think it's time to set a boundary. Suggestions?

(And no, I am not just being a self-centered guest. I really can't tolerate the food and don't expect any special dispensation other than being allowed, quietly, to forego the coffee-visit offerings.)

Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Well, I would be cheery and stupid, and repeat hte saying " I wish I could, but until I get back the results of the blood test, I'd rather not." Thank them for the concern, smile smile smile and after you are home, can tell whoever, the test were fine. :)

    1. I like Quine's suggestion, but you need to be old enough to get away with it. You could just say that can only have a little bit because you don't sleep well when you eat too much sugar. That might work and won't worry them as much.

      1. With friends or at parties I graciously ask for a small piece/slice/sample and push the food around on my plate while enjoying the family conversation. A few small bits may meet my mouth and the rest I leave behind.

        It's hard to say no to family but if my health was at issue (in my case it's more about portion preferences) for the remainder of my visit...I would definately either fess up or push my fork around the plate :)

        1. Take some, push it around on your plate for a decent interval, and set it aside. If opportunity arises, set it farther away. If questioned, "Yes, I had quite a bit and it was delicious! You always make the best! Can I take some plates to the kitchen?"

          If pressed to take more, "I have to tell you, my stomach is a little jumpy tonight - I'm going to have to be careful - must be the travel." If pressed some more, "Do you think I could take a piece to have later when my tummy settles down?" (Of course you can discard it after you leave.)

          1. Why don't you ask to take it with? You just say you're not feeling up to anything but would love it later on.