Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No One’s Forcing Me

For Easter, my mother-in-law invited us for dinner. Ly’s sister, Linh, is a wine connoisseur and likes to bring high-priced alcohol to these get-togethers. She’s very excited about what she brings, puts a glass in everyone’s hand, and speaks enthusiastically about the drink she had chosen especially for the get-together. Unfortunately, I cannot share in her excitement. I don’t like flavored drinks, except orange juice at breakfast and smoothies. And I consider smoothies to be more of a dessert than a drink. Anything else, I consider a waste of calories. Well, on Easter, Linh brings a mix drink. Ly thinks that I might like it, so he offers it to me. Twice. And not in a subtle way. In a "Come on! Come on! Just try it!" way. I hate it when he does that. It brings attention to the fact that I don’t drink alcohol, which seems to be a social oddity. But I know that this is not his intention. He believes everyone should try everything and nothing should be forbidden. He’s been known to badger our vegetarian friends about their life choices and shove meat foods under their noses. And this way of thinking runs in the family. Ly’s other sister Xuan use to have a boyfriend whom was allergic to peanuts. Poor guy had to be subjected to my mother-in-law pushing dishes with peanuts in them. And even Xuan would force-feed him peanut foods. At one party, Xuan had a peanut food in her hand, positioned right in front of his lips as if to feed her boyfriend, she said, “Come on. Try just one.” I had to stop her, before she went to far. Her poor boyfriend was so meek that several times he had suffered the consequences of an allergic reaction because Xuan and my mother-in-law had insisted that he "try" a peanut-laden food. But I don’t blame Xuan’s boyfriend. Turning down offers is hard, especially when they’re so persistent as a Truong offer. Well, after Ly offered the alcoholic drink twice, Linh makes a virgin version for me. Although, I can reject Ly with a glass in my face, I can’t seem to reject an in-law whom has made a glass especially for me. I drank it with resentment towards Ly. I thought that if Ly didn’t make such a big deal that I don’t drink alcohol, Linh wouldn’t have made me a virgin drink. So yesterday, I told Ly to lay off badgering me to try alcoholic beverages, since I found his badgering annoying. He wouldn’t agree to do this. He insisted that he offers me these drinks because he believes that I might actually like one. As if he knows what's best for me! I told him I would never like one. I hate feeling thirsty after I just drank something. I hate feeling polluted with drinks that are not pure as water. He just couldn’t understand me, so he wouldn’t agree to stop. Then he said, “No one’s forcing you!” This is easy for him to say. Him and his family walk around with an air of confidence and stubbornness. No one can force them to do anything. But for Xuan’s boyfriend and myself it’s harder. I can’t seem to turn down an offer when it’s presented to me a certain way. But then I think, "It is not impossible." I'm sure Linh, whom always gives up all kinds of foods for Lent and whom has always been successful at this, has no problem turning anyone down. So I’m going to work on this. Next time Linh makes me a drink, I’m going to say, “Sorry Linh, I just don’t like flavored drinks.” Another thing I also know about the Troung family is that hardly anything hurt their feelings. But with Ly, that self-righteous bastard!, next time he offers me an alcoholic beverage; I’m going to take the drink and pour it down the sink!

9 comments:

Marshmallow said...

Oh LilyT! I read this post with complete sympathy; your family sounds exactly like mine - especially regarding the peanut thing; I can't tell you the number of times I've had eggplant waggled underneath my face, despite me having a nasty reaction to it, and everyone knowing this, they still go "Try it! Just try it!"

And I'd love for someone to have a camera on standby to take a photo of Ly's expression when you pour that drink down the sink! You go, girlfriend! :-D Mind you, is there some sort of compromise? Like, would he be okay if you 'took a sip' from his, rather than putting you into such a position of discomfort in offering you the full thing?

I have to admit that having a personal trainer, and telling them, "My personal trainer will kill me when he finds out I've eaten [this]!" makes things a hell of a lot easier - but pre-trainer days; phew, they were the nasty.

Lily T said...

Actually, Ly does offer a sip of his drink. But in the past when I use to take a sip of Ly's drink, he would make big how-de-do about the fact that I only took a sip. And is in disbelief that I don’t like it and insists that I’m wrong about my judgment and that I should I try again. This has pissed me off, so my passive aggressive reaction was to not even touch the glass and just walk away from him. But he likes to be persistent, so I don’t really know which is worst.

Megan said...

Man, I felt sympathy for you throughout this entire post. I love the idea of just pouring it down the sink. It's so hard to say no to people, especially persistant people! But this might do this trick! Good for you for sticking to what is best for you. It sounds like you learned a lot from drinking that virgin drink.

skinnyminny8 said...

some people... terrible. What an amusing post. I just ask for really small bits to try.

But thats with friends. With family , you can be rude!!

Lily T said...

I think I'm ruder with friends than my in-laws. I think I'm forever afraid of them.

TrixieBelden said...

Wow! That sucks! I don't know if this would help, but my therapist once told me if I was dreading something happening again (i.e. Ly offering you that drink again), then think of some kind of reward you can give yourself for every time it happens. That way you can secretly smile to yourself that each time he offers it to you, you get to reward yourself with another set of earrings, or another book.

Just an idea. I don't know if it will help.

Lily T said...

Trixie, I totally love that idea!

Logical guy said...

What you said was scary, especially about the peanuts and vegetarians. I suggest you get hold of the book "toxic inlaws".

Lily T said...

Toxic in-laws? Oh no! My in-laws are fine for me. I actually find there straight-forwardness refreshing compared to the passive aggressiveness that I grew up. Since I'm not vegetarian or allergic to anything, their pushy-ness is annoying but tolerable (although, taking my babies to them, as I’m trying to introduce foods to them was quite a traumatic experience). My relatives get annoying also. I think everyone has personalities quirks, and I don’t think it’s possible to not get annoyed with in-laws and family every once in awhile.

I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.