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Would you help yourself?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 10:48 am
I went with my family to someone a few weeks ago for shabbas that I didn't know. My husband was a long time childhood friend to the father and he really wanted him to come for shabbas. Its not something I have ever done so we decided to try it.

When I got there the wife didn't tell me to help myself or show me where anything is. She basically just said hi. In the morning she sat there eating breakfast with her kids but didn't offer me to join. My son was quite hungry but I felt so uncomfortable joining her or asking her for something to eat. I am curious to know...would you help yourself? Would you ask to join? What would you do.
This was just one example of awkward behavior on her part but im just wondering was I wrong? Should I have been more warm and just sat myself down? I felt like she didn't want me there but maybe that was in my head

(I ended up giving my son cereal from the box they left on the table and something I had brought along just in case they didn't have food he liked!)
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 10:56 am
That's really strange and awkward!

I probably would say something like "is it okay if I give my son some XYZ" or "would it be okay if I give my son some breakfast" or something like that.
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groovy1224




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 10:56 am
She should have offered, as the hostess, but if it were me I probably would have just asked 'do you mind if I take some cereal for him?'

For myself I probably would have sat there quietly and starved to be honest. But for my kid I'd ask.

She probably just figured it was a given that you were welcome to help yourself but it would have been nice for her to say so, and notice your discomfort.
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amother




Olive
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 10:56 am
It is not you. Sounds very awkward. If I was a betting person, her DH wanted to invite and she wasn’t on board and was resentful of your being there.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:09 am
Thanks, good to hear. In general I would usually always ask for something and push away any shyness when it comes to my kids but I just felt like I had walked into someone's kitchen uninvited and it felt so rude to ask. Im not the warm loud easy conversationalist type of person.
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tichellady




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:11 am
That is awkward. Maybe she was going through something and not thinking so clearly.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:14 am
tichellady wrote:
That is awkward. Maybe she was going through something and not thinking so clearly.


Thank you! I like this thought. I don't like talking lashan hara and I haven't even told my husband just how weird shabbas was for me. I still can't get over that shabbas and really just needed to vent a little. I like this thought. Maybe she is very sweet and had a lot on her mind!
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:19 am
I would have helped myself but that's bc I've been in this position enough (even in family's homes) that I no longer have any shame. I'll make myself comfortable so my kids are fed. Myself, whatever.
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amother




Mistyrose
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:20 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you! I like this thought. I don't like talking lashan hara and I haven't even told my husband just how weird shabbas was for me. I still can't get over that shabbas and really just needed to vent a little. I like this thought. Maybe she is very sweet and had a lot on her mind!


You sound like a very special person!
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amother




Cobalt
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:21 am
Very awkward. I would’ve helped myself. Especially if I was their guest.

I recently made a simcha and put up tons of families for Shabbos and setup breakfast in my house for kids. But few showed up - Almost every host family fed the kids Shabbos morning - and they weren’t even their guests!!!!

Once I was placed at a home for Shabbos and Shabbos morning they didn’t offer us breakfast - no one was around to ask. And the Baal simcha didn’t say she was serving breakfast (I didn’t know them - it was an auf rug hosted by the other side). I ended up just going with my kids to the shul hall and fed them granola bars there while they ran around (was weirded out by my host as it was).

I can understand what you mean by not feeling wanted. A friend of DH once invited us for a BBQ we drove 2 hrs there. The wife ignored me the entire time. She was working. On phone. It was so weird and uncomfortable. (They actually divorced later on. Maybe she really didn’t want us to come).


It’s possible she is shy and awkward and just didn’t know how to handle the situation.
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amother




Ecru
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 11:58 am
She should have offered you food or told you to help yourself. I would feel really bad and confused if I were you. I probably would have been too shy to ask, maybe I would ask for my kid if I were desperate.
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amother




Oak
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 12:30 pm
groovy1224 wrote:


For myself I probably would have sat there quietly and starved to be honest. But for my kid I'd ask.

She probably just figured it was a given that you were welcome to help yourself but it would have been nice for her to say so, and notice your discomfort.


Are you me? Ditto. You can't let your kid starve because your hostess is gauche.

PSA: Don't assume that your guests know you expect them to help themselves. TELL THEM or serve them yourself.

Personally, I would offer to serve my guests (that's why we call them guests and not household members) but if they didn't want to eat at the same time, I'd show them where things are and invite them to help themselves.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 12:56 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
In the morning she sat there eating breakfast with her kids but didn't offer me to join. )


It is beyond rude to eat in front of others and not offer them anything.
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amother




Burlywood
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 1:16 pm
I run my home very open and free. Most people that come to me know this and help themselves to whatever they want. When I have guest that we don't know so well or haven't been in my home much, I usually show them where everything is and tell them to Help themselves. But I'm human and sometimes I forget! I know the most recent time I had guest, I totally forgot to say anything. I feel terrible, realized toward the end of shabbos. I hope they felt comfortable to ask for anything they wanted.
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 1:22 pm
I went through this once, years ago. My husband had us go for shabbos to a family that he grew up with. Shabbos morning, while my husband was at shul with the men, the wife of the family sat in the kitchen reading her book, totally ignoring me, for about an hour. Food wise, I just helped myself and figured it would be fine. There was food on the countertop so I just assumed... After that, she told me she's going to read in her room and will be down for the meal. I was like... cool. I'll just hang here. By myself. Doing nothing for several hours. Not weird (at all.) It was a LONG shabbos. She did this retreat to her room thing for the rest of the day. Honestly, it felt like she didn't give a hoot about me or my presence. She did her own thing and I felt the coldness of her disinterest, acutely. Never went again even though my husband loves going there. Hard pass. In the years since then, I learned more about her and truth is, she's 1000% self absorbed. If you aren't her speed, you don't exist. It wasn't social awkwardness because she's reportedly very hospitable to others. It was a clear message to me. Noted.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 1:25 pm
zaq wrote:
It is beyond rude to eat in front of others and not offer them anything.


I'd be dl"z and think that they were either highly distracted, or being sensitive not to offend someone who didn't eat before davening.

In either case, I'd have probably also asked for my child. Most hosts would clue in enough to offer to both of you at that point.
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flowerpower




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 08 2021, 1:31 pm
Was it her first time hosting?? Some people don’t know how to treat guest. Very odd on her part. If it ever happens again just ask “is it ok if I serve my son some cereal?”
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