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Are 5+ hour meals inconsiderate?
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 9:36 am
happyone wrote:
I dont get your question of "inconsidorate". Hosts are hosts and can run their meals as they please. you as the guest and recipient of their kind gesture to be invited can decline if it doesnt meet your needs. who exactly should they be considerate of? if it works for their family, and some view it as quality once a week family time , simply stay home and host your own rushed meals.

The host has a right to his five-hour meals, but if he invites people who he knows can't stay that long, and guilt-trips them when they try to leave, then he's being inconsiderate.

Although if you ask me, a host who's not trying to give his guests an experience that they will enjoy is already a bad host. Yes, they don't have to attend, but he also doesn't have to invite them. An invite implies that the guest is wanted and that there will be a certain togetherness, not just "we'll do things our way, and you'll learn to put up with it."

When you add to that an unwillingness to let guests meet their own needs (whether that means bringing allergy-safe food, or translating for each other, or leaving after 4 hours instead of 5) - then "inconsiderate" is a mild way of putting it.
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watergirl




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 9:45 am
We've been guests in this situation. We just apologized, said we have to leave early, bentched, and left. The hosts must have been offended, no one walked us to the door and we were never invited back. I felt badly that they were offended but come on - it was going on 4 hours already. It was more than ok with us to not be invited back. I'm aware it was rude of us but we had small kids who just could not sit any longer and kept asking, loudly, when dessert and bentching was.

We have other close friends who do like to shlep out the meal. So when they invite us, we accept but make it clear that we can not stay for a long meal and we will be leaving early. These are close friends so we can do this.

OP, I would be honest with these people as to why you are declining. They may not realize. Its a chessed. It's totally ok to tell them something like "we know your family enjoys leisurely meals but you are not up for it, thank you so much for thinking of us".
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 11:39 am
thanks to most for all the interesting feedback. but this one particular post is just really troubling to me -- troubling that anyone could even think like this:

happyone wrote:
I dont get your question of "inconsidorate". Hosts are hosts and can run their meals as they please. you as the guest and recipient of their kind gesture to be invited can decline if it doesnt meet your needs. who exactly should they be considerate of? if it works for their family, and some view it as quality once a week family time , simply stay home and host your own rushed meals.


I guess there's always a "black-and-white" type on here who is going to come out with an extreme position and can't envision *anything* a host could possibly *ever* do that would be inconsiderate to their guests. in addition, the black-and-white view that anything less than a 5 hour meal is a "rushed meal" is just preposterous.

this post nicely captures my views on the above post:

ora_43 wrote:
The host has a right to his five-hour meals, but if he invites people who he knows can't stay that long, and guilt-trips them when they try to leave, then he's being inconsiderate.

Although if you ask me, a host who's not trying to give his guests an experience that they will enjoy is already a bad host. Yes, they don't have to attend, but he also doesn't have to invite them. An invite implies that the guest is wanted and that there will be a certain togetherness, not just "we'll do things our way, and you'll learn to put up with it."

When you add to that an unwillingness to let guests meet their own needs (whether that means bringing allergy-safe food, or translating for each other, or leaving after 4 hours instead of 5) - then "inconsiderate" is a mild way of putting it.
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amother




Oak


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 1:37 pm
I think what people are hoping for is an in-between word, not "considerate" (having an overly long meal despite the fact that guests might not be used to it is not being considerate) and not "inconsiderate" (which has a very negative connotation, deliberately ignoring others' feelings). Maybe "oblivious"?

OP, I still think that it is perfectly reasonable to bentch and leave in the middle, as long as you made it clear up-front that you are planning to leave at that time. They may perceive it as rude, but there is nothing rude about it.

If you do, be sure to be gracious. "Thank you so much for having us, we really enjoyed our time together. I wish we could stay longer. Enjoy the rest of your meal!"
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zaq




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 2:45 pm
amother [ Oak ] wrote:
I think what people are hoping for is an in-between word, not "considerate" (having an overly long meal despite the fact that guests might not be used to it is not being considerate) and not "inconsiderate" (which has a very negative connotation, deliberately ignoring others' feelings). Maybe "oblivious"?

OP, I still think that it is perfectly reasonable to bentch and leave in the middle, as long as you made it clear up-front that you are planning to leave at that time. They may perceive it as rude, but there is nothing rude about it.

If you do, be sure to be gracious. "Thank you so much for having us, we really enjoyed our time together. I wish we could stay longer. Enjoy the rest of your meal!"


And I hope OP lives in a ‘hood with an Eruv . She said hosts refuse to bring out benchers till they decide it’s time to bench. With an Eruv OP and family can bring their own. Of course, they may still be hungry as they may not have gotten past the appetizer...

I don’t understand why a PP hesitates to call this host “inconsiderate.” A considerate host CONSIDERS his guests’ needs and preferences. This host appears to be doing nothing of the kind. His attitude is “my way in all things.” An “oblivious” host fails to notice that his guests are growing antsy and sending longing looks in the direction of the exit. This host deliberately keeps his guests captive in his home even when they state point blank that they wish to leave. It’s beyond inconsiderate. It’s probably unlawful imprisonment.
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watergirl




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 3:13 pm
zaq wrote:
And I hope OP lives in a ‘hood with an Eruv . She said hosts refuse to bring out benchers till they decide it’s time to bench. With an Eruv OP and family can bring their own. Of course, they may still be hungry as they may not have gotten past the appetizer...

I don’t understand why a PP hesitates to call this host “inconsiderate.” A considerate host CONSIDERS his guests’ needs and preferences. This host appears to be doing nothing of the kind. His attitude is “my way in all things.” An “oblivious” host fails to notice that his guests are growing antsy and sending longing looks in the direction of the exit. This host deliberately keeps his guests captive in his home even when they state point blank that they wish to leave. It’s beyond inconsiderate. It’s probably unlawful imprisonment.


Unless the host has bars on the windows and hold the person back physically from leaving, the guest can certainly leave. Its not unlawful imprisonment (assuming you meant that lightly). They just want to do it politely. Sometimes, manners need to go out the window if you want to leave badly enough!
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meyerlemon44




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 3:14 pm
I think it's clear why OP's family are often the only guests...
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 4:42 pm
in response to the last few posts:

- we do feel that, at least in this case and having experienced it first hand, "inconsiderate" is more accurate than "oblivious"

- nobody is physically restraining us from leaving; the one poster's "unlawful imprisonment" comment is obvious hyperbole that captures the appropriate sentiment.

- yep, we could certainly get up from the table and go in their kitchen and rummage through their stuff and find the benshers (or rummage around their bookshelf to find a couple siddurim), bensch, and then walk right out the door. rightly or wrongly, our hosts would definitely have been very peeved at us if we did so. manners, respect for our hosts and a desire not to ruin the friendship, general social pressure, etc. kept us from from doing so.

- going forward, we've learned our lesson and wouldn't put knowingly put ourselves in a situation where we'd have to either be stuck at a 5 hour meal with them or cause a confrontation in order to leave.
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mirror




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 17 2019, 8:49 pm
Someone once told me, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Just rephrasing what you said Op.
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