Most men never complain about a steak dinner, so I was surprised by this.
Don't get me wrong, it provided me a lunch for the next day, but I was raised that when somebody cooks you dinner, especially at your request, you eat it (unless, of course, you are allergic to it). And since my roommate does not have an allergy, I find it rude that he did not sit down to eat the meal that I prepared.
Your verbal agreement is in need of an amendment.
If this were a dinner guest or date, not eating what you prepared just because he didn’t feel like it would indeed be rude. But in one’s own home, one gets some autonomy over what one consumes, as long as expectations — in this case, the cleanup part, but also, perhaps, the grocery expenses — are still being met and evenly shared.
Miss Manners suggests that you come up with a more flexible plan to this effect. And make it one that includes room for unexpected leftovers.
Dear Miss Manners: I married the unfavored son of a woman who has made regular large gifts to her favorite. MIL prefers to have an audience when she gives a gift, so her motivation is at least partly to get attention.
My husband and I, a family of two, have a comfortable lifestyle. We travel and always look smart when we visit the in-laws. But we are still the "dumpster" children or scapegoats, while BIL and his family are positively "golden." The favoritism has been so blatant lately that it seems MIL's entire household supply of antiques and silver has been moved en masse to BIL's home, where we have to step around it.
MIL seems to want competition for her favor between the adult children, when the winner has been announced. I think she's watched too many reality TV shows.
I need your help so that I don't appear at all envious of BIL and his advance inheritance. MIL isn't going to favor my husband, ever, but we can take the sting out of it for ourselves.
Do not take the bait. Avoid putting yourselves in positions where your MIL or BIL — or any IL — can put you in jeopardy of appearing to be in competition. And if that is unavoidable, Miss Manners suggests you keep your expression blank and your disposition even.
Your reward will be an obstacle-free house, devoid of revenge inheritance — so much easier to clean on both a literal and psychological level.
2021, by Judith Martin