View Full Version : Culture Shock?
11-28-2008, 01:10 AM
I am ďinheritingĒ my boyfriendís extremely tight knit family.
I have never had a close family. Iím actually pretty envious and look forward to being apart of it.
But apparently, his brother saw the slight look of shock when we went to his parentsí house for brunch (first time meeting them, I had met the brother before.) my b/f greeted both of his parents with both a hug and kiss. I was introduced and I offered my hand.
I donít think Iíve hugged my mom since I was about ten years old. Itís not that Iím uncomfortable with hugs, Iím a very affectionate person. Just usually I hug friends, people I know well.
Brunch went a bit awkward. He told his parents that I was vegetarian. There was nothing I would eat. when the dishes got passed around family style, and I just passed it on, his mom asked why I didnít take any. I politely said I donít eat eggs. This apparently really upset his mom because she thought she was making a vegetarian brunch especially for me.
She asked if she could make me an egg white omelet. My mind was screeching *I just said I donít eat eggs and you offer me an omelet? Think about what you just said* Instead I just said ďno thanks, Iím fineĒ
Afterwards, my b/f told me next time I should offer his parents a hug, since theyíre going to be my family too, they want to accept me.
I asked if I offended his mom by not eating. He said his mom does take a lot of pride in always being a good host and not letting anyone leave hungry. So she probably does feel bad. But most likely will blame him for not giving her more specific instructions on my diet rules.
Did anyone else have a culture shock with anotherís family? I like them., we just need to get used to each other a bit.
Did anyone else have a bit of adjusting to do with their SOís family? How did it go?
11-28-2008, 02:20 AM
you might have to explain your eating at some point- some people think vegi means no meat. some eat fish but no meat. Some eat milk some eat cheese, then there is vegan- no anything that was or will have a face ;-) then i have a friend who is vegitarian- but not "religious" about it and every 6 months or so has a hamburger- LOL
maybe you can share some of your favorit recipes with her. Ask for some of hers that your BF likes so you can make them for him and share some of yours.
Some families are huggy. usually you can work out the 1 or 2 hug night by quick hug when leaving or coming in. Sometimes you can get a half hug by hugging at the same time as the BF so you get one arm- LOL
also- maybe the omlette she was offereing was with fake eggs (egg beaters???)
11-28-2008, 02:21 AM
also remember to send a thank you card- telling her how much you enjoyed meeting the family.....yada yada
parents like cards ;-)
11-28-2008, 09:11 AM
Oh family culture shock! For me, it was more like family culture electrocution.
Mine...over friendly, welcoming, accepting, polite, and cherished.
His...MORMON, cold, judgmental, rude, and strange.
I went to Utah for Christmas. It was a disaster from the beginning. Granted his daughter was acting like a spoiled terrorist at the time because she didn't want her father to move on after the death of her mother because it meant that she might have to and wouldn't get all the pity attention, but before we even got to unpack, she had started telling everyone how horrible things were.
I had never been around people so full of themselves and who bragged about themselves and how much money they had and where they went on their last trips. I was there for five days and when we finally left, those people didn't even know I had children or that I grew up in Michigan or even how I met their son. But I knew their bank accounts.
His father was a POW in Stalag 17. There were so many things I wanted to talk to him about. My uncle lost his life while on the way to free those POWs. I could have found out what it was like when they were finally released so I could tell my Aunt and let her know what my uncle fought for. He's an archeologist and professor at BYU and I wanted to learn so much because it's one of my passions. But no. His wife talked, more like whined about her pseudo important legal job and how much money she was making and how she couldn't possibly spend it all and she was going to hate the IRS. I was raised to make guest comfortable and talk to them to get to know them. Especially one that was new and with a family member.
His sisters...um wow. They rallied around the poor abused daughter and would not even acknowledge me. They would openly mock anything I said. When we sat around watching TV, they sat on the available seats and I sat on the floor. I was raised that the youngest ones sat on the floor and the adults got the seats.
We went for a ride to see the mountains. I wanted to go to Salt Lake and see the temple at Christmas. I was so excited. The mother asked if I had ever been to Utah and I told her I was in Park City for the Olympics and thats all I saw. So she told the father to go to Park City. To this day, I have no idea why someone would take a guest to the very same place they have already been. I was raised to show guest the utmost hospitality and to ask them if there was anything they wanted to see.
Everytime they went to the store, they would never ask if we needed anything. They do not drink soda. I was polite thinking it was a Morman thing. Well it's only Coke that they don't drink but I still went a week without soda. Or anything other than water. They only drink odd juices, soy milk and soda water. Blech. I was raised to make guests feel welcome in my home and to do so, ask if there is anything I can stock the house with to make them feel at home.
The best part of the entire trip, on Christmas we went to a movie. I was raised that Christmas was holy and for family. We were not allowed to go to a movie. I felt like I was betraying my upbringing but went anyway. As we were getting ready to leave, I was the last one to get in the car. The bitch sisters got in the very back of the Suburban and said..All in. So the father took off. Really. I had one foot in the car and about ready to get in. I lost my balance fell back and hit my head. And out of concern, they said GET IN WE ARE LATE. He tried to kill me! Had I slipped and gone under the car, he would have ran me over. We got home from the movie and the back off my hair was matted with blood from a cut in my head. My hat was ruined. Ya, well I was raised to not try to kill your guests. LOL.
Finally we left and came home. I was raised to send a thank you for hospitality. I sent a large floral arrangement thanking them for opening up their home to me. They never called to say they got them or anything.
The more I have learned over the past three years, the more I know I will never go back to Utah again.
11-28-2008, 09:32 AM
You should really send them a link to this post Appy. What a load of anus hats.
While my ex in-laws had some oddities about them, they were always very warm, welcoming and kind to me. They must have been raised the same as you Appy. :)
The hardest thing for me to adjust to was the chaos. My family, while large, could always manage to have a warm huge family gathering without it being as loud as a rock concert and chaotic as Black Friday at the local Warmart.
Not his family. There were no rules for kids and they were allowed to run wild. Any attempt to calm them down or get them to chill was met with "Oh.. they're having fun!"
Xmas present opening was a bit like unleashing the hounds. After the 2 minute frenzy of ripping paper and screaming, noone even knew what they got or who it was from. I was raised that one person opened a gift at a time while everyone watched. It was just more orderly and polite.
I generally walked in the door and immediately asked for a couple tylenol and a glass of wine for my impending headache.
On occasion, I would watch TV with my MIL who insisted on talking and asking questions through the whole thing on shows I'd never seen before. It drove me bonkers. :)
Ah.. and the food. There was constantly a plate of something or other being put in front of me. They always stocked things we had indicated a preference for and would ask if we wanted some repeatedly. I sometimes felt like they just weren't listening at all.
I don't think the differences were a bad thing, just something I wasn't used to so I always felt like a bit of an outsider.
Oh family culture shock! For me, it was more like family culture electrocution.
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