A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Please have some

Posted by Pepper on March 19, 2014

So I had to go the bank today. Have I told you I end up going to the bank atleast once a week? We have a lot of big business transactions happening and I need to make atleast one trip a week to oversee the process. Sometimes, I have to go only to ensure they speed up the process, otherwise a lot of our projects get held up because of administrative delays.

Today, I needed some documents from the bank quite urgently, so I went and plonked my ass on the chair in the manager’s cabin. He told me he can’t hand me the documents today. I told him how important those documents were for us and that I would not leave the bank until he did. We negotiated for some time and finally I managed to convince him. He agreed to give me the documents, but said they would take about 30 minutes to be readied. Fine, I said. I will wait outside.

Once I stepped out of the cabin, I remembered there was a Cafe Coffee Day on the ground floor. I headed there and ordered a frappe. It was awfully hot. So I thought something cold would be good. I am not sure why, my frappe didn’t arrive for about 30 minutes. I panicked. What if they don’t give me the documents just because I took longer to get there? After all, they are full of excuses. Just when I was about to cancel my order, I saw the server coming to my table with a tall glass. The frappe seemed more like iced coffee – the one that is still in semi solid form. It was really cold! But since I had no time, I hurriedly gulped down the almost frozen coffee, all along biting pieces of ice.

When I got back to the cabin, the manager told me the documents were still not ready. He offered me a cup of coffee as consolation. I declined. Without checking with me again, he asked the peon to get me some coffee. Err, why? I had clearly declined! But what do you know? A steaming cup of coffee was placed right in front of me. Since I didn’t know what else to do, I quietly sipped the coffee that ended up burning my tongue. It was scalding! This, right after I had hurriedly gulped a big glass of very cold coffee. The extreme combination of hot and cold caffeine all at once was beginning to make me feel queasy. I ran out the moment I got hold of my documents. I was worried I would throw up, but thankfully I didn’t.

This incident made me think. It is really not the first time I have been forced to consume something after I have politely declined. I believe it is a very Indian thing. I know my mom constantly forces everybody to ‘eat some more’. I think I understand where this comes from. Indians operate with one belief – you mean ‘yes’ when you say ‘no’ for food. Because after all, you are too shy to accept it without fuss. Sigh. The sad truth is that this is actually true in my case. Many times I refuse food though I am dying to have it – just because it may inconvenience others, or I may seem like a glutton to them. I actually am shy, so I say no when I am offered. Many times. Unfortunately, the remaining times I mean it when I say ‘no’. How are people supposed to distinguish? I don’t know. All I know is that Indians really do go overboard and thrust things onto your plate without your consent.

I’ve had several arguments with Mint. One time we were at his friend’s place. They offered us tea. We said no. Yet, they decided to serve us some. Before we knew it, the tray was laid in front of us. Argh. I really didn’t want the tea, but there is no way I would say it after it had been made. So I smiled as I accepted my cup. Mint on the other hand told them, “Oh, you made it? I really didn’t want it”.

I was SO mad at him! What was the need to tell them you didn’t want it after it was made? They can do nothing about it now, so why would you make them feel bad? Ofcourse, he said nothing. The other time, we were at my aunt’s place. She was serving us. Mint told her he didn’t want the food she was putting on his plate. He said it twice. Yet, she went ahead and put some anyway. That got him annoyed and he almost shouted, “I really don’t want it. Please don’t keep putting food on my plate like that. I can’t eat and I don’t like wasting food”. There was silence. I was horrified. I am sorry, I know people don’t get it, but there is no way you can be rude like that. It was not his words. It was his tone. This caused our biggest fight in the year 2013. Our arguments or fights don’t usually last for more than an hour or two, but this time, I didn’t speak to him for a good week. Infact, this has been the biggest fight we’ve ever had. I still cringe when I think of how he spoke to my aunt and I am not sure I can ever forget that.

I think Mint has very poor EQ. I tell him his emotional quotient is almost zero. He doesn’t understand the need to not be blunt and direct at all times. He doesn’t understand how complicated human feelings can be. What a pity. But his stupidity apart, I do understand Indians can be quite difficult to deal with in matters concerning food. They believe coaxing you to eat is a way of expressing their love. The scary part is that I find myself following the same path. I’ve caught myself more than once, asking folks to eat some more. *Gulp*

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79 Responses to “Please have some”

  1. So we have had many a fight on the exact same thing. In our case, the husband grew up in a household where they drank no tea or coffee.So now of course my folks know about this but our extended family does not. So it leads to embarrassing situations when elderly people forcefully hand him a cup and he refuses point blank. I now just quickly follow the person into the kitchen and say he won’t have any and then of course, they offer milk which also he won’t have and it goes on…I just make sure to accept any food or drink they offer and eat more than my fair share and compliment it.

    • Pepper said

      I don’t mind Mint refusing. It is more about how he puts it across. Otherwise people are quick to feel hurt, and why go through all of that, no?
      Strangely, I am the one who struggles to finish a cup of tea a lot more than him. So I pass on mine to him too and force him to gulp it down 😀

  2. Based only on the incident you have described (at your aunt’s place), I don’t think Mint has poor EQ. He simply doesn’t want to be treated like a doormat. That’s not unreasonable. That’s not poor EQ. You say he “almost shouted”. That’s a very subjective statement. What matters most are his words, “I can’t eat and I don’t like wasting food.” That logic can’t be faulted.

    If you curse me for my comment, please ensure Mint reads it as well. Then I’ll get his applause as compensation!

    • Pepper said

      1) Obviously I am not coming to conclusions about his EQ based only on the incidents I mentioned here
      2) I really don’t see how this is being treated like a doormat.
      3) You are sticking to words for no reason. When I said ‘almost shouted’ – I meant he raised his voice and sounded angry and annoyed. Enough to be classified as rude and disrespectful.
      4) In cases like these, I think the tone matters a lot more than the words. It was not what he said. It was the way he said it that was a problem.
      5) Thankfully Mint acknowledged his mistake and apologised, both to me and my aunt.

  3. Ashwathy said

    Ok so you are going to shoot me when you meet me next time …. I will side with Mint for this one. No not for being rude to your aunt, but for being blunt in refusing food when he doesn’t want it. I am more or less the same, although the method and tone I adopt may be different.

    A similar incident happened to me. I have an aunt who does this, ie, serve food onto your plate when you don’t want it. And once this is exactly what happened. I was just recovering from a tummy upset so I took small portions of everything purposely. I refused her offer twice, to take on more food. I said I want only this much. She was like, no no you HAVE to eat beta. And started loading rice and curry onto my plate. I just lost it. I shouted at her. I don’t remember the exact words but something to the effect of when I say no I mean no and I know how to take food if I want it. There was a moment’s silence when everyone stared at me. Aunt backed off, alarmed. My bro called out my name as a warning… indirectly asking me to watch it. I fell silent but continued eating in peace. My uncle got the point and told my aunt to chill. Nobody bothered me after that. And ever since that when we visit their place, my aunt now tells me to help myself to what I want. Lesson learnt. No bad blood either. It’s just that this is what took to get the message across. She is otherwise one of my favourite aunts – I love her to bits.

    It’s about being firm with the ‘no’. Else in India they think people are saying no as a formality. Hence they are like, no no PLEASE have this. Usually I am firm when I deal with such people. Polite but firm.

    On a different note, you have my sympathies with the cold coffee…that you had to gulp it down in this fashion. You could have asked for another. But for the hot coffee? I think you could have handled it differently. But then knowing you, you would have hesitated before saying anything. Sigh.

    • Pepper said

      As long as you accept being rude is bad, we are both good. I will not shoot you for being blunt. Far from it.

      And wow, your aunt does sound very forceful from what you said. Despite that, I would never be able to shout at anybody for reasons like these. Even if it costs me an upset stomach. But that is just me 🙂

      I agree about being firm and saying no. As long as we are not rude. And thanks for sympathizing with me. I know I could have just returned the hot coffee but I really didn’t know how to say it. 😐

  4. My dad announces on the dinner table to the guests that he eats less. It makes my mom FURIOUS because it is almost like making them aware that they are eating too much. Poor dad doesnt realize what is wrong with that.
    And I totally second the part where you have to say no even if you want to eat. I love ‘Shraddh’ or ’13th day’ ka kheer. Yet, the occasion demands that I be sombre and stuff. I feel like a monster, admitting this.

    • Pepper said

      Haha, I think I like what your dad does. I would do it too, except for the fact that I actually do not eat less. So I can’t make people underestimate my appetite.

      LOL on loving Shradhh ka kheer. I can imagine how awkward it is to ask for multiple helpings on such occasions.

  5. ferret said

    There used to be a restaurant near my house in bangalore, called ‘Have more’. And the whole staff took that mission statement so seriously, we always ended up eating more than our stomachs full because of their polite insistence that we try this or that or ‘have some more pls’ 😀

    • Pepper said

      I know a few other restaurants that do that too. They even ask you if you didn’t like the food if you refuse to eat more. Lol. Indian hospitality is funny.

  6. Arghh, the famous Indian “eat some more” !

    There’s is very close family friend aunt we visit many times during our trips to India and I love her! But..the thought of having a meal there makes me dread – oh the forcing and coaxing! She doesn’t care even if we are almost rudely refusing. Gosh, feel like a ugly python at the end, after stuffing too much unnecessarily 😦

    Fortunately I am never at the giving end. Hate to force people in the name of formality.I chide the husband when he tried to do it to guests..right in front of them. Never mind if they judge me, but I know the pains of being on the receiving end.

    Sorry, long rant 😀

    • Pepper said

      In such cases, you should just avoid eating at her place as much as you can. But I am sure then you will have to face a different kind of drama 😀
      I chide my mom when she does it too. It can get really annoying.

  7. Just read my comment and see a dozen grammatical errors. Sorry! Should read before posting next time 😀

  8. Oh, I feel you. I have faced many such situations where food was heaped on my plate and I couldn’t do anything about it but eat. I know its annoying and my own family is guilty of doing that to guests. So what can I say? But you are right, this is a way of expressing love and ‘mehmaan nawazi’ and some people actually expect to be served even if they say ‘no’. So as a host, you really don’t know whether their ‘no’ is ‘yes’ or it is actually ‘no’. So you want to save your back by serving them anyway. In the past few years, I have started strongly declining more servings. I put my hands over my plate and make a pitiable face, so that they are sure I really don’t want ‘more’. Try that, it works 😛
    And as a host, I have taken a conscious stance to not force my guests for food. I tell them a couple of times, but never heap it on their plates.

    • Pepper said

      Yes some people actually do expect you to serve them and they even expect and like the coaxing. So it is all very confusing. You don’t know what stand to take.

      I do make the pitiable face too. Anything to get away from forced food. Lol.

  9. renxkyoko said

    It’s an Asian thing. In the Philippines, they say a common greeting when one visits a home is ” Have you eaten? “

  10. Bhavani said

    I could so relate to this..my mom was/is like that. And even today I enjoy and manage to eat even if it is a tad too much when we visit and stay with my Mom for a vacation. My hubs always says “I prefer serving myself” because he can get quite blunt too at times.

    And now I have become my mom with my kids and friends :-). I convince people into having Chai/coffee or stay over for dinner, or quikly make a pakoda even if the sudden visitors object. And I always notice that the Chai/Coffee/Pakoda is relished and vanishes in no time.

    So I guess some qualities of us dont go away wherever we are…

    -Bhavani

    • Pepper said

      Totally agree with you! So many times people say no but then end up taking surprisingly big quantities of what you offer them if you coax them a wee bit 🙂

  11. Let me put it like this, I agree with ur perspective and you made a strong case.

  12. Boiling said

    I couldn’t stop smiling at Mint’s direct ways because it remind me of me. I agree that shouting was a bit extreme.

    I am usually very firm when I refuse and the trick I developed when I am eating is ” I tell them to relax and insist on serving myself because there are no need of any formalities. And I am quick to put the hands over my plate before anyone serves me. If anyone serves me after that, I will just say I cannot eat and my stomach hurts &I will puke if I overeat (which is true, I throw up very soon if I overstuff myself) and just leave the food.

    For tea, I would have left it. Atleast someone else can drink it because it is not jhoota na.

    As much as I dislike wasting food, I understand I cannot control other people’s actions na?

    • Pepper said

      That’s what it is at the end of the day for me. I totally dislike wasting food, but some people just don’t get it. What do you do with them? I say no a million times and then stuff myself till I am ready to puke if they don’t listen. But shouting at them has never been an option for me.

      Arey nobody would drink the tea they had made for us. They had already finished their cup before we came. This would have gone down the sink had Mint not had it.

      • Boiling said

        I would not shout but I definitely would not eat also if I can’t. I will leave it, so that they will not do it again. If we eat it, they will continue with their behavior.

        Try ” I will serve myself” next time 🙂

        Why should we treat ourselves/our bodies with disrespect (eating/drinking when we do not want) at the cost of being polite/respectful to others?

        • Pepper said

          Totally agree with you. It doesn’t make sense to disrespect our bodies for the sake of being polite and respectful to others. But in cases where there is no way out – I will choose to trash the food if I absolutely can’t eat it. There is little else you can do sometimes, other than shout and make the person back off. That option does not appeal to me, so much as I hate it, trash it would be 😦

  13. R's Mom said

    But Pepper Mint is right.I do the same if I am at someone’s place and they force food on me. I havent really been rude but I definitely tell people NO means NO. Honestly, I even tell that to R. Take as much as you want. Dont accept just like that. I am totally with Mint on this. I hate hate hate it when food on the plate gets wasted. if someone puts it on my plate, I finish it. Now you know where I get all my fatness from eh?

    • Pepper said

      But RM, when did I ever say I don’t agree with people saying ‘no’? And ofcourse you have to teach R to only take on her plate how much she can finish na. That goes without saying. Your comment sounds as though you believe I have a problem with refusing food when I am offered. Not sure why you thought that, because I never said anything like that in my post.

      I say no myself. When people force me, I keep saying no until they get it. I smile and laugh and explain to them my point of view. I even request/plead with them to not serve me more. I am firm when I really can’t eat because I hate wasting food too. But it is all done smilingly and politely. My problem with Mint is not that he said ‘no’. My problem was that he SHOUTED, or rather sounded very grumpy and angry. Talking like that to an elderly relative is disrespectful and absolutely unforgivable in my books. Especially when that gesture came out of love! Even if they are wrong, I will not talk to them impolitely. I can’t believe you are totally with Mint on this!

      • R's Mom said

        Errr..okay my comment didnt come out right..what I am saying is (dont kill me!) but I am actually with Mint on this one..if people didnt get it politely, you just need to be rude right? I can totally understand that your aunt’s feelings may have been hurt, but the next time she insists someone eats, she will remember what Mint said. Amma has this policy in life, that unless someone tells you that what they are doing is not really right, may be it wouldnt even strike them right?…like your aunt obviously is doing it out of love, but she wasnt really right in forcing no?

        I hope I didnt offend you in any manner in my previous comment..apologies if it didnt come out right! didnt mean to point fingers or anything!

        • Pepper said

          Arey RM, none of your comments are offensive. You are one of the sweetest people, I know. Toh no need for any disclaimers, ok? I know you can never be rude or offensive. That is why I always enjoy debating with you 🙂

          Okay, so I guess we are just different. I never said my aunt was not wrong. But the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ cannot be used to convey the different grades. In my opinion, if my aunt was wrong 20%. Mint was wrong 80%. I really cannot accept people being rude and shouting at elderly people when they are doing something out of love. I would even be more accepting of Mint’s behaviour if my aunt was forcing him everyday and he had no other way to put across his point. But this was just a ONE TIME thing. The quantity offered was also not too much. He could have dealt with it differently. Also, you are wrong in assuming that my aunt will not force others now because she will remember what Mint said. She still coaxes others to eat. She is more careful with Mint though, and I think the same result could be achieved my explaining nicely.

          I know sometimes you are not left with a choice with some people. They are too forceful. In those cases, I think you have only two options. Either you trash it, or you rudely tell them you don’t want it. I think I would choose to trash it while you would choose to rudely refuse. Like I said, we’re just different. 🙂

          • R's Mom said

            Okay got your point as well. I guess I am looking at things just in black and white which is not the case always…Thanks for letting me know you didnt feel bad…I got a feeling I overstepped myself 🙂

            and oh! learnt a lesson today as well 🙂

  14. Arch said

    So true! My Dad used to literally force guests to eat and would have things ready on the plate even before they arrived to the house. His argument was that people, if asked, will always deny, but it is our duty to treat them well. No amount counter-argument from our end could change his stand. Even after having a huge row each time, he would end up doing the same next time. 😛

  15. Smita said

    My maasi says, “we feed so much to our damaads that next day they ask for Khicchdi” 😀 As u said express love via food is our motto!!

    But as far as I am concerned I am more like Mint!! I try not to be rude but if I don’t want to eat something I won’t!!!

  16. My hubby is like Mint. He directly says if he doesn’t want to be served. Many times this happened when my mother/aunt forcibly tried to serve him more. But he had the patience to explain why he does not want more. Initially I was questioning him on this, but then I realized I do not need to.

  17. ashreyamom said

    in that case i am a real good host.. I ask once, if they decline, i dont ask them again.. My In-laws feel bad, they say what if they are shy for the first time and would accept if they were offered or asked again.. i just reply saying its my style.. if they want they should confirm it first only.. as i dont like being forced, i too dont force.. 🙂

  18. I get you !!! I really get you !!! We indians attribute the forcing of food through our throats to kindness and hospitality !!!

    Not just Mint – I recently told J he had a very low – EQ !!!

    Guys eh ????

    • Pepper said

      I think most people don’t even understand the importance of EQ in this day and age. It plays a big role, I think. Mint agrees he has low EQ and he actually asks me to deal with emotionally complicated situations cos he says he might say/do the wrong thing.. Sigh.

  19. Swetha said

    My MIL and FIL are like that. They force feed you as if you are a kid. When you refuse food, they say we have more and keep serving.

    I do not eat fish as the smell makes me uncomfortable. I have been married 3 years and still when i dine at their place, they keep insisting that i should eat fish. I politely refuse every time and they still ask me every single time. There have been times when i simply give up and they serve me fish and i move it to my husband’s plate.

    Honestly every single time i have this urge to scream at the top of my lungs. Sometimes i think i might loose it and scream at them. Sometimes my husband tells them firmly to leave me alone but they don’t.

    I hate to waste food so this over-serving (i am just making up this word) makes me go crazy. I can understand Mint’s state of mind and i sympathize with him.

    • Pepper said

      I am sorry you’ve to go through that every time, Swetha. I thnk your MIL and FIL are a little too extreme. Have you told them how uncomfortable the smell of fish makes you?

      Mint’s situation was very different though. It was not a regular affair that he had to put up with and also the serving being offered to him was small. I don’t justify the forcefulness at all, but I don’t think the shouting was necessary.

  20. MR said

    I deal with it differently, I can’t be too rude either, bt I can put my foot down. My aunt is like that and so are a few in laws. I tell them I do not want more than 4 bhaji s and try to move my plate away, they forcefully put a ton on my plate, I repeatedly tell them to take it out and when they don’t, I eat what I want and dump the rest is the trash. I hate wasting food, but just because someone forces me I’m not putting trash in my stomach. End of story, they Ll think I’m rude but who cares , I eat what I want when I want how I want and it’s nt like I haven’t repeated myself a gazillions times, if you don’t listen your problem not mine…

    • Pepper said

      I totally hate wasting food too, but I would rather trash it too than shout at the server. You know, Mint says trashing it is wasting it, but even forcefully eating it is wasting it. The food you ate forcefully could have been consumed by somebody else who wanted/needed it. So there is no point feeling too happy about not having wasted it by eating it. There isn’t too much difference anyway.

  21. ragini said

    First time here. I remember an incident. I was visiting my aunt and as usual no visit is complete unless you have a meal at the host’s place. One of the dishes was a brinjal curry, I hate brinjal. But out of courtesy, I let her serve me the dish. Now, I was not happy seeing it in my plate, so when she was not looking I managed to gulp it down with a glass of water. She came back offering a second serving, she saw I had finished the brinjal dish, and thought I liked it (because I finished it so fast). She asked “did you like the brinjal curry”. I said “yes” (of course was being polite) and before I knew it, there was more on my plate!!

    • Pepper said

      Oh that’s another frustrating thing – people assume you loved what you ate if you finish it fast. I’ve often wrapped things in a tissue and stuffed them in my handbag when nobody was looking, only to have more stuffed on my plate. So I totally know what you mean.

  22. I’ve done something like what Mint did too! My MIL ALWAYS forces food on to my plate. I dunno if its the love she has for me or what but I hate it as I’m really finicky about portions. I will eat two servings and she will be like take some more, its okay, you are young, eat, I made it for you and will fill my plate. I couldn’t fit another morsel in mouth and I told her if you force me to eat this I will fall sick, do you want me to fall sick? And, well.. she kinda stopped after that.

    I get that “love” is the motivation and all, but my stomach just can’t take any more lovin’!

    • Pepper said

      If you merely explained to her that you will fall sick if you are forced to eat, how have you done something like what Mint did?
      Anyway, I know stomach can’t take any more ‘love’. That kind of love is very suffocating 😦

  23. Shweta said

    Its an Indian thing…especially Indian Moms and aunties thingie… I know my mom and mom-in-law, both of them offer so much while eating..till the time Mr. Husband gets frustrated and tends to raise a tone while refusing.. I try and take it as maa ka pyar syndrome..nonetheless some people do go overboard and I *simply* have to stop myself from pulling my hair in disgust!!!

    • Pepper said

      I think a lot of people go overboard and they simply refuse to accept a ‘no’. Those are the ones hard to deal with. With my Mom and MIL I am comfortable enough to firmly put my food down and say ‘bus – I refuse to take more’. But with others, the situation gets sticky.

  24. Deepa said

    I think perhaps he just has a short fuse esp. when he thought he’d already made it ALL SO Ble..dy CLEAR to your aunt no:-) But having said that, using a disrespectful tone of voice to an elder is a clear no no for me. Somehow though I think I’d be more forgiving if it was with a peer. I’m like you in that I detest upsetting people when they’re just doing what they know best- being hospitable. And in most cases I end up eating copious amounts of food and hating myself later for it.

    • Pepper said

      I know, it truly was frustrating for Mint, especially after he was so clear. So I understand him. Yet, I couldn’t forgive the tone. I would have been more forgiving had it been a peer too. Also, the fact that he did it with MY aunt makes it that much more awkward for me. I wouldn’t have bothered as much if it were his friends or even his aunt. But since he did it with my family, I thought it was more messy.

  25. Seema said

    Sometimes you need to be rude to get your point across. So I am with Mint on this.
    I am like you and eat everything politely that is served on my plate when I am a guest. But I had to put my foot down when I had to deal with this overfeeding behaviour when I got married. My MIL loves to overfeed people and she made the most of the brand, new bahu. She would forcefully serve me extra portions during every meal. Initially I was apprehensive about offending my MIL and I also thought that she was trying to make me comfortable in my new house after marriage. But this behaviour continued for months. I would politely, but firmly refuse, but she would continue to pile food on my plate. It reached a point where I was dreading meals in my own house.

    To get my point across, I would also serve her extra portions when I was serving her and she would get irritated when she had to eat all the extra food on her plate. But this didn’t still stop her from over serving me. So I think sometimes people force you to be rude to them and only then they get the point.

    So then I started raising my voice and insisting that she stop serving me. She got offended initially , but my FIL and other family members supported me and slowly she backed off and let me start serving myself. It is the same case when her second son and his wife who stay in Delhi visit us. my BIL keeps refusing, but she continues to serve him till he has to rudely insist that she stops. No point being forced fed in your own house, right?

    I just don’t get this Indian behaviour. Is force feeding the only way to show that your love for the person?
    I don’t believe in force feeding my guests and I know that some relatives on my hubby’s side think I am less of a hostess for that.
    As for me, I think to each his own.
    Sorry for the long comment, but this is one thing that gets my goat.

    • Pepper said

      Being rude is not the only way to put your point across. Like I said.. the other way of putting it across is trashing food. I would choose to do that. I am sure the message would reach. It is not the ideal way.. but being rude is far from ideal too.

      I am a little amused by the idea of you serving your MIL extra just so she got the point. Too bad that didn’t work. Anyway.. I would like to point out a big difference between your MIL forcing food on you and my aunt forcing food on Mint. The difference here is that your MIL knows you don’t like the extra food on your plate.. yet she did/does it everyday. In my aunt’s case – it was a one time thing and she was genuinely unaware of Mint’s lack of appetite at that time. I would definitely not view your MIL and my aunt’s actions in the same light.

  26. Jazz said

    I’m slightly with you on this Pepper, but I understand Mint’s stand too.

    Ims is the one who eats less and me more, I rarely say no :p .. Nobody in my family takes Ims’ no seriously, so he tells me that I’m really full, so I pitch in and explain to the host.

    • Pepper said

      I definitely understand Mint too, though I just don’t support the way he handled it.
      Lol.. Good Ims has you to by his side. Else the poor guy will be forced to eat all the time..

  27. Ranjini said

    OK. I am sure your post has been evaluated enough. Here’s a question orthogonal to the ‘eat-more’ debate. Why do many of you, really nice bloggers shy to reveal your names? why blurred pictures? I respect your privacy & stuff, but when you describe very well how happy you were in words and post a blurry picture, it kind of kills the purpose, don’t you think? I mean what can possibly go wrong? One of your readers may recognize you if they bump into you and come say hello? why is that such a bad thing?

    • Pepper said

      I will not answer on behalf of other bloggers, but I will speak for myself. When I describe a happy moment, I put up a picture to support my words. Because I think sometimes pictures can depict better than words can. Sometimes I even do only picture posts because they are self explanatory and need no words. So I don’t think it kills the purpose.

      Why blurred? Because I don’t want to be recognised. My blog is deeply personal and being known will kill my freedom to write. Also, imagine past and prospective employers googling you and landing on your blog. There is no way I would want them to know that I am an irresponsible and lazy bum, that I had a fight with my husband last week, that I was on vacation last month. There is just too much information available here and it is not meant to be available to all.

      Lastly, a reader recognising you in real life is not such a bad thing. Not for me, because my blog is not very popular. But for bloggers who are very well known, the odds of them being recognised everywhere are high. That would destroy your privacy, don’t you think?

      • Ranjini said

        I take photography very seriously. All my posts have pictures. Which is exactly why I get nosy about blurry pictures. I guess that’s just me. Ignore that.

        But, here’s the thing though. Assuming your employer lands on your blog after a round of internet search, and has a problem with you being lazy or that you fought with your husband or took a vacation, it’s best if you don’t join that company after all. What you do on weekends or after work, is not anyone else’s business. No?

        • Pepper said

          Okay, I do get what you are saying, but I think you are over simplifying things here. I gave you a random example of a prospective employer looking you up, but consider other scenarios. In the past, I have had the misfortune of having a bitch for a manager. I wrote a lot of posts complaining about her and her ridiculous behaviour. I would never have been able to vent on the blog had I been blogging under my real name. What if she finds out? Don’t tell me to quit instead of secretly bitching about my boss. It is really more complex than that.

          Or what if I am using sick leave to actually go on a holiday? I might want to do that sometime, who knows? If I write under my real name, I will always be worried about people from work finding out.

          Forget work, I’ll give you another example. In the past I have written so many posts about my inlaws. Though they are amazing people, we’ve had our share of differences. I would never be able to write about my problems on the blog if I was writing under my real name. WHat if they come across it? Worse still, what if some random relative comes across it? It will create so much mess. Absolutely not worth it!

          I think anonymity gives us so much freedom, so I can’t imagine giving it up completely. I also think people who write under their names either restrict/censor/edit their thoughts, or they are very, very brave individuals. I am not.

          • Ranjini said

            Haha. No, I know anonymity gives you a sense of freedom like no other. But, the question is how much do you really want to share? Where do you draw a boundary? Think of this, if one of your posts goes viral tomorrow and you are approached by a media company to come and do an interview or ask for permission to publish it in an even bigger platform or worse still, offer you an amazing job. Because these things happen all the time. Would you refuse it to remain anonymous?

            Thankfully, I get enough vacation time so I never take sick days off to go on vacation. But I know what you mean.

            Is your husband OK with you sharing details about his parents? I am not saying you have, because I haven’t read all your posts, but most women have a tendency to over share details about their in-laws but not about their own parents.

            Not trying to simplify things or asking you to tell me who you are. I was just curious to understand why you’ve chosen to remain anonymous. Thanks for the chat, Miss 🙂

            • Pepper said

              I may or may not refuse an amazing job to remain anonymous. If I do choose to take it up though, I will either shut down the blog or start another anonymous one. The very reason I blog is because I like the freedom anonymity gives me. If that is taken away, I won’t enjoy it as much. So I don’t see much point carrying on. It is not like I never reveal my identity to other bloggers. I do, many times. Some of these people are good friends of mine. Just that I would not want my name or pictures to be displayed on the blog, because that would take away a lot of my freedom.

              You get enough vacation time, I get that. But most companies have a process in place in which you need to apply for leave a little in advance atleast. You can’t just not show up one day. Which is what happens if you decide to take an impromptu holiday the previous night. You have to call in sick the next day. Unless your managers think such impulsive holidays are justified. That is rare. Anyway, these are only examples. I hope you do understand the point I am making about having more freedom in general.

              My husband is totally okay with my sharing details about his parents on my blog. He usually stands up for me even while dealing with his parents, so how and how much I vent on my blog does not make a difference to him. If you dig into the archives, you’ll know what I meant. And no, I don’t agree with you when you say women tend to over share details about their inlaws, but not about their parents. 🙂

              • Ranjini said

                why not do a post on why you’ve chosen to remain anonymous? I mean I know your perspective now, but someone like me reading your blog may not bug you by asking all these questions 🙂

              • Pepper said

                I’ve mentioned my reasons to stay anonymous several times. But those thoughts are all scattered and spread across multiple posts. Perhaps I should do one single post detailing my reasons. Maybe sometime.. 🙂

  28. A said

    I am totally with Mint on this. I don’t like forcing anything on others, be it food or opinions, and I expect the same from them. I try to be a good host when we have people over for dinner, asking them if they need anything, but never imposing on them. Once we stayed with my husband’s friend and his mom and she force fed me (she wouldn’t listen to my pleas!) so much that I was on the verge of tears. Finally my husband had to intervene and he asked her to stop. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I don’t like forcing others or being forced either. But at the same time, I can’t forgive people who are rude to elders. Especially for reasons like these. So I can never be with Mint on this. I guess we’re just different?

      Had I been you, I would have stood up and returned the food or walked to the sink with my plate to put it away. Being pushed to tears is just too much! Nobody should be that invasive.

  29. You know what Pepper, there are some days I don’t feel like drinking coffee in the evening. I never had Tea/Coffee for first 25 years of my life. But now I can drink when in need. Now that I have my MIL here, she feels very bad if I deny coffee. Sometimes I get acidity sometime I cannot sleep in the night because of extra caffeine. They are here over 4 months now and I was drinking it for her sake, not to be disrespectful. But last week I denied and she felt bad but I think I feel good with less caffeine inside. I want to drink when I feel like not as a routine. Same with lunch and dinner, I consume more than required just because she cooks a lot and feels bad if I don’t eat. I can’t wait for me to get my freedom back on food aspects.

    • Pepper said

      Gosh LF! That must be really hard. You don’t have to subject yourself to acidity just to please your MIL. It is not worth it. I am glad you finally refused. Doesn’t matter if she feels bad. I understand if it is a one time thing. But doing it for 4 months just does not make sense.

      I hope you regain your freedom soon!

  30. locutus83 said

    Aha — The great Indian Yes-no hypocrisy! As a kid, I used to wonder why hosts kept on offering food in spite of being refused, and why did the guests keep on refusing, even when they may have secretly wanted to have some, (maybe eventually agreeing to gorge after an exchange of 5-6 Please/no-nos). To me, a yes is a YES and a no is a NO. As a host, I offer food and drinks once, maybe twice and do not serve ANY at all if I am refused both times. If you want something, say it, accept it, otherwise you ain’t getting any. This false Indian politeness and hypocrisy is pointless and nauseating.
    As a guest, I am open and straightforward. If I am hungry/thirsty and want something, I say YES, load and clear, (not sheepishly, reluctantly or meekly) at the very first request/offer. As a kid, I had been rebuked many a time by my parents, because my eagerness to accept anything offered (IF I was indeed hungry and interested) apparently made me look greedy, immature and may have had caused many hosts “inconvenience” in the process of rustling up the food/drinks offered. What a load of crap. What’s the point of hosting then?
    And if I am not interested, or not hungry, I say so clearly, and if people still serve me regardless, I either keep the food aside, or, if I am a bit generous, I cut a micro-portion off (to taste), and request the other portion be taken away, without contaminating it with my saliva. Else it goes waste (too bad). I can totally understand and empathize with Mint’s irritation here; but his words, and tone maybe were, in my opinion, indeed a bit harsh and hurtful, especially since your aunt was just being over-nice. In his place, I would have just quietly kept the plate aside and not touched the food. (As I have said earlier, I have done this in the past a few times in similar situations.)

    • Pepper said

      I totally agree with everything you. The only thing is that I am not as straightforward as you are as a guest. I wish I was, but I can’t get myself to say ‘yes’ when I am offered something very easily. It depends on the place, the mood and the people. I do say yes when I want something, but I am also guilty of saying no. Either I am shy, or I am worried I will inconvenience the host. So I refuse. I agree, it is really stupid. And it is because of people like me that the hosts are left confused – it is why they end up forcing everyone, because they don’t know who to believe.

  31. Deboshree said

    Haha. You reminded me of an aunt who always expects me to eat like a half giant. I find it difficult to keep a calm face too at times. 😛

  32. Ugh, the force feeding drives me nuts! My family is American and we were in India recently visiting my husband’s family. My poor dad was so confused at all the constant questions about eating and why they wouldn’t accept his no… Have a snack.. Just a little something. He finally learned to take a cup of coffee and then my in-laws would chill out with the food questions.

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