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Dining with someone grown, but immature...

kemi5 Nov 26, 2013 10:32 PM

We are a group of lady friends who meetup sans our SO's on a monthly basis. We almost always include sharing a meal be it brunch, lunch, or dinner. However there is a certain friend who is never satisfied with her food choice and will actually pout if you happen to make eye contact with her. She never orders her first choice, and a few of us have called her on that. We think that she just wants attention. Your comments are appreciated.

  1. e
    elimcfli Dec 3, 2013 03:06 PM

    There is one in every crowd. My friend is dealing with food allergies and makes sure everyone knows it. We have tried letting her pick the place to eat, helps a little. Maybe a get together away from food would be more enjoyable; bowling, a movie, pool or darts....

    1. Withnail42 Dec 3, 2013 01:31 PM

      If it's the same issue every time then it is for the attention.

      Unfortunately her actions could splinter your group. When the others get tired of her antics they'll move on.

      1. jrvedivici Dec 3, 2013 11:10 AM

        I have a lot of experience with dining with someone immature, as I've eaten ever meal of my life with myself.

        It's really pretty easy, if it's attention she want's and it's attention she gets by her actions, then you are all to blame for her continuing to act the way she does.

        Don't give her the attention she seeks and see how much longer her "antics" continue. Either she will find another crowd who will give her the attention she seeks, or she will give up her act.

        1. s
          salsailsa Dec 3, 2013 05:57 AM

          I think I would make a pointed joke to her like "oh, I'm surprised you came because you never seem to be happy with the food when we get together. I'd have given up on dining out by now." I'd see what she has to say from there.

          1. chowser Dec 2, 2013 06:43 PM

            Don't make eye contact with her. We just got a puppy. We were told by the trainer that puppies would rather have negative attention than be ignored. I'd treat her along the same lines--ignore the comments and change the subject, especially since it's someone you think of as a sister otherwise.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowser
              ricepad Dec 2, 2013 09:01 PM

              Or bat her in the nose with a rolled up newspaper!

            2. HillJ Dec 2, 2013 08:14 AM

              Maybe in my case and my perspective my age is showing. At this point in our friendships, we're aging at different levels. And it shows in social settings. Maybe that's why I'm patient about such things. I figure eventually it could be me the rest of the group is mumbling about...after decades of enjoying our friendship I'm just not that quick to judge.

              1. Beach Chick Dec 2, 2013 07:12 AM

                IMHO, she's a taco short of a combo platter. .

                1. Gastronomos Dec 2, 2013 05:45 AM

                  she has an eating disorder.
                  she probably liked the food she grew up with and is unable to find anything like it anywhere.
                  I say go ahead and ask her just that.
                  ask her if she would like it if she could eat food prepared as she knew growing up.
                  the answer might help you all...

                  1. c
                    cleobeach Nov 27, 2013 04:30 PM

                    Yes she does want attention but that doesn't mean you need to give it to her,

                    The easy solution is to exclude her but sometimes, life isn't that easy.

                    OP, you have described my grandmother. My dear father (an extremely difficult person himself) would completely ignore her "behavior." It takes some practice but just keep at it.

                    1. s
                      sueatmo Nov 27, 2013 01:41 PM

                      If this is her only foible, then I'd say to overlook or make light of it. If she is a pain in general, then you probably need to decide whether to keep her in your circle of friends.

                      Do your other friends remark on her behavior?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sueatmo
                        Puffin3 Nov 27, 2013 01:57 PM

                        If you have to take someone aside and ask them if they are OK it's way past too late. And you know it.
                        You'll have to sort it out yourself.
                        Unless your spouse is 100% with you on 'cutting the MIL loose' when it comes to eating out you are royally 'effed'. Damned if you do damned if you don't. Frankly if I got any BS from my partner I'd be walking. The 'problem' will never get any better and you know that too.

                        1. re: Puffin3
                          tacosandbeer Nov 28, 2013 01:59 AM

                          Well, I told Mr Tacos that last Thanksgiving (we hosted and had his whole family over) was such an unpleasant experience for me, and that because it's MY holiday (he's not American and we aren't in the States) - they are no longer invited. And he said 'sounds great to me!' (The best part - they live next door and will be well aware of the festivities.)

                      2. HillJ Nov 27, 2013 11:54 AM

                        If you are a close group of friends and not quick to blow friends off over their little things then I'd make a little joke in passing about her pout and be done with the attention paid. If you believe her behavior is ruining the close groups fun or her immaturity is reaching a scale that surpasses anyone else gathering over the meal, then I'd take her aside privately and ask her if she's okay, finding it difficult to socialize or needs understanding about something she hasn't shared.

                        I'd be absolutely sure there wasn't something else going on entirely before I'd disconnect with a friend over a meal.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ
                          kemi5 Nov 28, 2013 09:28 AM

                          I reunited with this woman 5 years ago after a 20 year absence. We are each others sister we never had. Our group has since grown to include 3 more ladies from our past. Her pouting has been noticed by all and is disconcerting.

                          1. re: kemi5
                            HillJ Nov 28, 2013 12:15 PM

                            Then you have a few choices as her sister/friend. You can ignore the pouting, ask her privately what's up or continue to wonder why your sister/friend is behaving that way.

                            What I wouldn't do is ignore it over time, gang up on her collectively or blow her off without understanding why she's behaving that way. Some people are better one on one than in a group and some groups don't know how to be patient. Since I don't know the situation personally, I defer judgement kem-but friendships mean more to me than a meal ever will :)

                            Good luck in your situation.

                        2. Barbara76137 Nov 27, 2013 11:49 AM

                          I had a friend who's girlfriend was like that. 30-something years old but acted more like a 3 year old. She always had something to complain about when we'd go out to eat, and if she couldn't find anything wrong with HER meal, then she'd find a way to complain about one of ours! It was extremely embarrassing, to say the least.

                          I finally quit eating out with them, and ultimately she destroyed my friendship with her boyfriend whom I had known for years before she ever entered the picture.

                          My boyfriend has a theory that she did the complaining to always get something free or discounted. I think he's right, that it is a scam to get out of paying what is owed when the food is perfectly acceptable. She had a loud mouth, and I think the waitstaff would often comp her just to shut her up.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: Barbara76137
                            tacosandbeer Nov 27, 2013 01:29 PM

                            That is exactly what my MIL does - she'll eat 75% of a perfectly acceptable meal, then start complaining, but when the staff ask her what they can do to fix things, "nothing - nothing will make it better" and voila - it disappears off her check. I find myself wanting to pull the mgr aside before we sit down and give him a heads-up that the lady on the end of the table is nuts and not to pay any attention to her!

                            1. re: tacosandbeer
                              Michelly Dec 2, 2013 08:27 AM

                              My MIL does this, too, but not to get a free meal, but just to...I don't know...spread her misery around? I just try to not cater to her whining, but since she's family rather than a friend, I can't NOT go out with her when we visit.
                              I understand your frustration, tacosandbeer.

                              1. re: Michelly
                                mwhitmore Dec 2, 2013 09:41 AM

                                "spread her misery around", exactly. I used to tell one such Gloomy Gus "Look on the bright side." 'What bright side?' she snarled. "Well, it doesn't bother me!"

                                1. re: mwhitmore
                                  tacosandbeer Dec 2, 2013 12:01 PM

                                  Yep, that about describes Monster In Law. Couldn't find the shiny side of a brand-new penny.

                                  1. re: tacosandbeer
                                    ricepad Dec 2, 2013 12:08 PM

                                    I think many of us married into the same family...

                                    1. re: ricepad
                                      cleobeach Dec 2, 2013 05:42 PM

                                      Agree, my MIL must be the oldest sister.

                                    2. re: tacosandbeer
                                      Michelly Dec 7, 2013 04:29 PM

                                      And then they don't understand why no one wants to visit them. ]:\

                                      1. re: Michelly
                                        ricepad Dec 7, 2013 05:08 PM

                                        My BIL will always visit his parents. He has designs on their assets, and wouldn't want to jeopardize his inheritance.

                                  2. re: Michelly
                                    bobbert Dec 3, 2013 05:54 AM

                                    Count me in. My MIL isn't happy unless she isn't happy.

                                  3. re: tacosandbeer
                                    Withnail42 Dec 3, 2013 01:39 PM

                                    Years ago I had a (turned out to be crazy) girlfriend. Her mother (crazy from the get go) would inevitably raise hell at each and every restaurant meal about some perceived infraction. It was never about money. For her it was all about throwing her weight around. She was on a constant power trip and wanted everyone to know just how 'important' she was.

                                  4. re: Barbara76137
                                    EWSflash Nov 27, 2013 01:33 PM

                                    Oh my God, I can't stand people like that- do they think they're fooling anybody?

                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                      Barbara76137 Nov 27, 2013 02:01 PM

                                      My boyfriend pointed this out to me when a person at the table next to us was doing this. He's been in law enforcement for years and can pick scam artists pretty well!

                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                        plaidbowtie Nov 29, 2013 12:49 PM

                                        Fooling anybody, no- but then in those situations chances are the restaurant is going to capitulate anyways.

                                    2. k
                                      kseiverd Nov 27, 2013 03:18 AM

                                      I have known friends, co-workers, relatives just like this. If unhappy with food (not just that they wish they had gotten what I got), I often wanna just YELL... SAY SOMETHING... and not to the rest of us at the table!

                                      A little OT, but think this type personality is what drives things like HSN & QVC!?! People buy something, it ends up even marginally disappointing, and all they do is WHINE?? They don't RETURN for refund cuz then they'd have nothing to get pity about.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kseiverd
                                        Puffin3 Nov 27, 2013 05:21 AM

                                        Life is very short. Cut her loose.
                                        If your other 'friends' don't like it cut them loose.

                                      2. m
                                        macsak Nov 27, 2013 01:31 AM

                                        she just wants attention
                                        don't give it to her
                                        or don't go
                                        or don't let it bother you

                                        1. r
                                          ricepad Nov 26, 2013 10:50 PM

                                          Is she a drama queen about other things, too?

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