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Woman Accuses Her Mother-In-Law Of Having A Disrespectful Dinner-Serving Habit — 'This Is Really Weird & The Height Of Rudeness'

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We’ve all heard our fair share of mother-in-law horror stories, but this one is just downright odd. 

According to one woman, her mother-in-law has an unusual dinner habit that has her questioning if she is simply clueless or intentionally rude. 

The woman says that her mother-in-law always eats dinner before she and her husband arrive at her home, and then serves them cold leftovers. 

Sharing her story to the UK-based parenting forum, Mumsnet, the woman admits that she doesn’t like her mother-in-law for “so many reasons,” but one of the reasons includes her mother-in-law’s bizarre habit every time the woman and her husband visit her home for family gatherings. 

Since the woman, her husband, and their kids live about seven hours away by car, they often don’t make it to her in-law’s house until later in the evening around dinnertime. 

“We are always informed beforehand that they’ll organize dinner for all of us — which is obviously welcome and appreciated,” the woman wrote. “But almost always we find that they have eaten before we have arrived and we get served heated-up leftovers.” 

woman finds it rude that her in laws eat dinner before she and her family arrive to visitPhoto: Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock 

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Even on important holidays like Christmas, the woman and her husband often discover that the rest of the family are already up to dessert by the time they walk through the door. 

“One Christmas when we left very early in the morning to make Christmas lunch, raced to get there and found they had decided to just go ahead and eat Christmas dinner 25 minutes before we arrived,” the woman shared, despite the woman keeping her in-laws updated on their arrival time. 

“Last time we arrived at 5 PM thinking surely we had got there in time, but no, they ate at 4:30 so we ate dinner on our own just after 5 PM, picked through the cold leftovers, and they wandered off to serve themselves pudding separately,” the woman recalled another instance. 

Feeling annoyed, she decided to ask her mother-in-law why she always chose to serve and eat dinner with the rest of their guests before she and her husband arrived. She was even more stunned by her mother-in-law’s response. 

“I was informed they made a point of eating particularly early and before we arrived as they thought it was best if the dinner table wasn’t so crowded,” the woman wrote. 

However, she just believes that the habit is rude and inconsiderate, given that she and her husband always wait for all of their guests to arrive before eating, despite how crowded the table may get. “Am I being unreasonable in thinking this is really weird and the height of rudeness?” the woman asked other forum users. 

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Many people agreed that the woman’s mother-in-law’s dinner-serving habit was indeed rude. 

“Seems especially rude to me considering you travel a long distance to see them,” one Mumsnet user commented. "So rude and it’s very deliberate. Don’t make the effort next time,” another user added. “I'd stop going, you're obviously not wanted much,” another encouraged. 

However, some people pointed out that the woman’s mother-in-law may not have intended to offend her and that she believed that her dinner routine was practical. 

“My family is a bit like this. They don't really place the same kind of importance on dinner/eating together. It's just not so much of a thing,” one user shared. “I really think in the case of my family it's just a difference, rather than them being deliberately rude. Maybe it's the same with your in-laws.” 

Others believed that the woman should express to her mother-in-law how she feels about the rest of them eating dinner before she and her own family arrive. “Have you ever said, ‘We would love it if we sat down to eat together, how can we make that work?’” one user asked. “It's odd, but I wouldn't jump to assuming that it's all a planned attempt to be rude/offend you/upset you. Probably just mad logic and a misguided attempt to be helpful.” 

woman finds it rude that her in laws eat dinner before she and her family arrive to visitPhoto: Nicole Michalou / Pexels

It is a general rule of thumb that while eating out at restaurants with a large party, you should wait until at least two-thirds of the table has been served their meal before digging in. 

According to Table Agent, when food arrives for any course, you must consider those who are dining with you. As a general rule, you should not begin eating until everyone at the table is served.

The same applies at house gatherings, where not everyone may arrive when dinner is served. It is often considered a sign of respect when you wait for everyone to get settled at the table so that you can all eat and chat together, despite how hungry you may be! 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.