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SD20 wants lobster, not turkey, for Thanksgiving

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

This is my fourth Thanksgiving with my husband's family. The previous three Thanksgivings, we have served a traditional roasted turkey and trimmings (stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.) with no complaints, although his daughters are very "dainty" eaters and hardly eat anything on a regular day. We have always invited his two stepdaughters, his parents, and his aunt to our home for dinner (the stepdaughters live there intermittently, when they are not at college).

A few days ago, my husband informed me that his younger SD20 has decided she does not want turkey this year and we will be having lobster in addition to turkey. I am just... floored. This seems incredibly rude. All things considered, the money is not an issue. What really hurts me, though, is that this decision was made behind my back, without any discussion between my husband and myself. We had a fight about it last night, naturally.

The way I see it, I have two options:

1.) Continue to protest on principle that it is completely inappropriate for a 20-year-old to dictate what is being served in our home, likely leading to more fighting between now and Thanksgiving.

2.) Disengage and tell my husband that if he wants to cook a couple of lobsters, he can do it himself and stay out of my way in the kitchen on the day of (although the thought of trying to share stove/oven/counter space with a giant pot of steaming lobsters, lobster shells, lobster juice, etc. seems daunting).

Does anyone have any advice? We have had some rough patches lately, and I am really just trying to keep the peace.

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

She doesn't cook, and she also doesn't work, so any of her gastronomical whims are going to be at our expense.

What I'm really tempted to do is say to my husband, "Fine. If you guys have something different planned, go hog wild and cook the whole dinner. I'll take a break this year and catch up on my knitting."

Then, I can sit back, relax, and laugh hysterically as the whole thing blows to bits. And next year, it will be back to *my* menu and *my* cooking routine, after a hearty helping of "I told you so."

TinyDancer's picture

That is the perfect response, no joke. Tell them to do just that. Make it a seafood buffet!
Steamers, oysters, whatever little critters that the Pilgrims and their hosts might have actually eaten...And the kitchen, table setting, serving and clean up is all on them. (oh, and desert too)!

Evil stepmonster's picture

That's the perfect plan right there. Relax and enjoy your thanksgiving. Let him worry about feeding everyone since it's his daughter making demands and changing things up. And hey..if it all works out then that settles it, DH cooks every thanksgiving while you knit and have a glass of wine.

jam's picture

This sounds good to me. If your dh wants to allow sd to totally change tradition and dictate in your house what the meal will be then let them do it all. You may want to consider going on a "fast" that day;)

Newimprvmodel's picture you guys know how easy it is to cook a lobster versus a damn turkey?? All it takes is 10 minutes in boiling water! I would be ecstatic and tell dh, let's just scrap the turkey!!
But yes, the situation is ridiculous.

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

I *like* turkey! I like the taste, I like the cooking process, and I like days of leftover "Thanksgiving sandwiches." I don't mind cooking it, and I cook lobster frequently enough that I don't feel like I'd be missing out by turning it down this time.

It does seem awfully rude to serve lobster to one person, though, while the rest of the family eats turkey. I also hate to do two main courses, because I think it sets a terrible precedent and paves the way for a lot of extra work next year, and the year after that, and the year after that...

peacemaker's picture

I would have her bring the lobster as a dish to pass if that is what she wants to have......"no problem"....I would inform dh to stay out of kitchen as you will be focused on all the things you have to do to prepare the meal...If she expects you to pay for it or cook it...that is an entirely different issue..."entitlement"..and I would let her know that that doesn't work for you and she can bring it already prepared if she would like to....Or you could just tell her that really doesn't go with the theme of the meal..and perhaps another day....It really depends on what you want to do...If she really wants lobster that bad perhaps you could all go out to dinner and get some a few days before Thanksgiving...maybe she would like to treat you all...That way the craving would be gone...and it would be redundant to have it again....Or you could totally boycott your efforts and let dh and stepdaughter prepare the meal could take the day off and just show up when it is ready...then they can learn how hard it is to pull it could go to the spa or do something to take your mind off from it all together....If you are not cannot save them...It just depends on what you want to do...Maybe you could watch the episode from "Everyone loves Raymond" where his mother sculpts an entire turkey out of tofu..because she did not want the traditional meal...It is hilarious....Just depends on how big of a deal it is to you....lot's of options.....

When our children were smaller (around 10 or so) they used to get the "gimmes" and when we could go to the store all I heard was gimme this and gimme that...Until one day. we decided to allow them to earn money from chores and good grades...which they were able to use toward anything that they wanted that wasn't a basic need....It was amazing at how the wining stopped and they realized they really didn't want all that stuff as badly as they claimed once they could buy it themselves....(It did help that they thought the gimmes was a real disease)

Same thing here perhaps...perhaps not...but if it is...then requiring her to bring it herself and buy it herself will reveal whether she really wanted it that badly or was just wanting you to appease her....the only difference is she is 20...not 10....

Reference material "The Berenstein Bears get the gimmes"....might make a good christmas present for a lot of step kids on this

by the way "Happy Thanksgiving?"....she should be thankful you invited her....

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

I don't give them Christmas presents anymore (I stopped after I realized my kind thoughts weren't being reciprocated), but the Berenstain Bears book idea is really funny. Smile

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

Hmmmm... she is always saying how much she loves Boston... and there is plenty of seafood there...

peacemaker's picture


NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

What are you saying? Buy an extra lobster or two, cook them in the morning, serve some for breakfast, and serve the leftovers at dinner?

zerostepdrama's picture

I'm with you!

I host a early Xmas party with my family. My adult niece and even the kids (both age 9) have asked for stuff. So what. You either honor it or you don't.

People sometimes ask for stuff. Food, desserts, etc. Doesnt mean they are a spoiled, selfish, entitled asshole.

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

Honestly, I don't know. It was a text message conversation to which I was not privy. Even so, it was presented to me as, "We're having lobster at Thanksgiving because SD20 wants it and doesn't like turkey," and not, "Hey, honey, could we discuss maybe having lobster for dinner at Thanksgiving? SD20 suggested it." The fact that it was a decision made without me, about a meal in my home, is probably a large part of why I'm biased against it. Maybe if it had been presented in a different way, I would be more amenable.

zerostepdrama's picture

So the issue should be with DH who told you that there is going to be a menu change. Not with SD. Would the outcome have been any different if DH told you that he wanted lobster for dinner? Would that have made you feel better?

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

You're probably right, however, my husband would have been fine with the turkey in the first place. He has a "you're cooking it, I'll certainly eat it" kind of attitude.

I agree that this is a significant communication issue between myself and my husband in this case, although SD20 is quite aware that she can manipulate her father into giving her what she wants (and frequently does). She also knows better than to ask me directly to cook something not on the menu.

zerostepdrama's picture

When the skids were coming for visits, sometimes DH would text me and say "YSD wants pizza for dinner" and that would so annoy me. My automatic thought was Oh YSD wants something, she gets it, and DH expects me to make it happen.

But then I got to thinking, okay what if DH had texted "I want pizza for dinner", I wouldnt have thought anything about it. I would have ordered it.

Or even if my own BS had said "Mom can we have pizza for dinner?" I would have thought about it and decided yes or no. But I wouldnt have gotten all bent out of shape over it like I would if the request came from YSD.

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

If all three of those things were said verbatim to me (YSD vs. DH vs. BS), I'd still feel less jaded toward the BS request.

There is a difference between making a request ("Can we") and making a demand ("I want"). One is polite, and the other is rude.

Ask me nicely, and I'll probably be happy to comply. Demand something from me, and you're going to have a bad time.

Shannonrae00's picture

One must consider hierarchy here. Husband wife at the top, kids next level, grandkids third level. If hubs demands, that's one thing. If kids demand that's another thing, one that is unacceptable to me. One must agree to family structure way e fire getting married.

jam's picture

I would be biased against anyone attempting to control me in my home. I am the one cooking the meal and having all the family over to , cook, feed, entertain, and clean up the mess. Don't dare tell me what to cook. If you (SD) don't like turkey then don't eat it. This really pushed my buttons. If SD had the family going to her home and you told her YOU didn't like "whatever" and that YOU wanted HER to cook "whatever" you would most likely be told by dh that you were rude. This hit too close to home. Had a situation with my oldest sd last thanksgiving. My osd and her family came over to our home and spent the night the day before thanksgiving. I got up early to get ready for day of cooking and feeding my osd, her dh, and their two kids, my bs, dil, and their two kids, my bd. My dh asked me what I was cooking for breakfast and I said oatmeal and toast. osd comes in and starts cooking eggs & such and tells me she needed something more substantial than oatmeal. When I later talked to dh he tells me he was glad she was comfortable enough to just step in and cook a nice breakfast but when I reversed the situation and presented the what if I was at osd home and did that, he said that it would be rude for me to do that. In my kitchen I am the boss.

NoOneKnowsMyName's picture

Yup, yup, yup. All of this.

Furthermore, when I said I was against the idea, he accused me of making a mountain out of a molehill and looking for a fight.

Hence why I'm just trying to keep the peace here. Beee

AllySkoo's picture

Yeah, the problem here is DH - NOT SD. (As usual.) That sort of makes thing simpler, since you don't actually have to address SD.

You need to address DH and HIS attitude, however. What are you, the paid help? The cook with benefits? Or his WIFE and the HOSTESS of the event? Because if you're actually his servant, then how he treated you is fine. But you do not treat your fucking wife that way.

Forget SD. She's a red herring and irrelevant to the conversation you need to have with DH. Here's what DH needs a little clarity on:

"This is my home. How DARE you walk in here and tell me what I will or will not cook for Thanksgiving. You want to TALK about it? Discuss it? Offer opinions? FINE. But you WILL NOT attempt to order me around like that again, or you will be doing ALL the cooking from here on out. Capiche?

Now, I'm cooking what *I* want to cook for TG dinner. If you have a request and you ask me nicely I will consider it. If you want to cook something yourself, let me know as we do not have a big enough kitchen for both of us to cook at the same time, so we'll need to figure out timing. If you'd rather take over cooking the whole thing, let me know and I'll chill a nice bottle of wine for myself so I can relax while you cook."

Sports Fan's picture

Since when does a guest decide what the meal is going to be. This is just so rude. Your DH is the problem. He should of told her no. My exH brother tried this one year. They insisted that Turkey not be served and we have some form of Tofu Turkey since they were vegetarians. They didn't want their children exposed to real Turkey. Seriously. They decided not to come since they didn't get their way. No one missed them.

AllySkoo's picture

My New Englander is showing. I read that and seriously went, "In the FREEZER?!? Who puts lobster in th.... oh. Right. People who don't live here." Lol I think New Englanders are lobster snobs. Try to serve a previously frozen lobster in my state and you'll get a worse reaction than the time my cousin tried to serve Beggin' Strips (you know, the dog treat?) at a party as an appetizer.

AllySkoo's picture

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Why not go wild? Melted "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" instead of margarine! :sick:

BethAnne's picture

If you want to try to keep the peace and accommodate your SD without putting yourself out too much I would look at getting another protein option for SD, maybe some smoked salmon would be good idea, as it doesn't require any cooking and you can just put it on a plate. You could even serve it as a starter for everyone else, just she gets a slightly larger portion.

Yes you will have to buy it but you said money isn't the issue.

Yes you are accommodating your SD's demands, but think of it like the vegetarians you would offer them an alternative to turkey so why not your SD.

Yes your husband's demands were out of line and neither he nor SD should be dictating what you and all the other guests eat if you are the one who is cooking. But have you ever been to a relatives house for years and years only to be served the same dish each time because once you were polite and told them that you really liked it when in fact you hate boiled ham/salmon/fish pie etc, but now that relative thinks that it is one of your favorite dishes so cooks it for you every time you visit and every time you have to lie and say that you love it? Letting that person know that really you'd prefer something else is hard to do without upsetting them. Maybe this is one of those situations and your husband is trying to help his SD in his clumsy way?

Also, I would explain to your husband your attachment to and enjoyment of the traditions of thanksgiving. Often I find men don't associate as much with these kinds of traditions as women. So he is just thinking, hey lobster sounds great, I'm sure everyone will enjoy it, what a great idea. And he doesn't see the loss of the tradition by replacing the turkey.

IslandGal's picture

Yeppers!! Agree with catelettuce 100%

Screw the both of them - what are you? Their personal chef? Bugger that shit.

My response to him would've been: "REALLY? She wants lobster? Well! I'D love to have champagne and caviar..but since we're not doing that - you can enjoy your lobster thanksgiving with her - I'm off to a lovely restaurant to relax and enjoy myself!" then go ahead and do it!

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

It's Thanksgiving and it is great the family is getting together, but YOU are not a restaurant. Doing a turkey with trimmings is a lot of work.

I would just tell DH that you are going to be traditional with the turkey, perhaps another time the SD comes around you can do lobsters.

Explain that it is a lot of work cooking the feast and while you love to do it and you love to put out a spread for his people, the extra lobster is just too much. There is just so much room in a kitchen on holidays.

I think the SD is just expressing what she would like but it doesn't mean it is something she should get.

Ruby55's picture

Unreal. These adult step brats make me sick but what's worse are the husbands who don't stand up to them and allow them to disprespect us. Tell them to enjoy dinner. I'd go to a hotel for the night and enjoy an evening of room service and peace and quiet

sandye21's picture

Give SD and DH their wish. Using the recipe for a 'turduken' as a guide, prepare a 'turlobimp'. Think of the satisfaction you will get when DH carves the turkey at the table and SURPRISE!!!! ---- he finds a lobster inside, stuffed with shrimp.

I'd bee pretty miffed at DH if he tried that crap with me. Especially if he expected me to cook the dinner. If he wants lobster let him cook the meal and SD can help him. Then let him know that the next time he decides to leave you out of the loop when he makes decisions for the both of you that you will not be so nice.

Rags's picture

Classic. I read this at work and had to close my office door. ROFLMAO!!!!

Better yet, open a can of Bumble Bee lobster chunks and place it on a plate just for the pretentious rude SD. I made the mistake of trying a tin eachof the BumbleBee Shrimp, Crab, and Lobster for making diffent salads. Nasty crap let me tell you. }:)

Rags's picture

Lobsters on your piano, or crabs on your organ?

Any guest for an event that you are hosting in your home who asks for a top dollar item has major lessions regarding polite behavior that they need to be taught. “I don’t like turkey!” Who says this to the host of the TG feast? No one with any manners that is for sure. There is usually far more than enough choices on the TG spread that anyone not liking something will have plenty of alternatives without offending the host.
Time for the Lobsters on the Piano joke.

What is worse, lobsters on your piano or crabs on your organ? Adapt this to SD by adding if she wants lobsters or a piano then she needs to pony up, do the work, and pay for it. Crabs on your organ are much less expensive to obtain and in many cases far more enjoyable .
I had friends when I was in my preteens, early teens, late teens, and even early 20s who made the mistake of informing my mother that they did not like “that” when they were invited to our home for a meal. I would cringe because I knew what wrath of mom they were about to catch for being rude as a guest at my mom’s table. Even today this is an issue with my parents at their table during the holidays. The G-Kids all know that if you don't like somethign you just don't take any and if you are asked to try something that you don't like the answer is "No thankyou I have plenty on my plate."

The GKs regularly ask “Deema, can we have that XYZLMNOP you made for TG last year? That was awesome and I really liked it.” But heaven forbid one of the GKs says “I want lobster because I don’t like turnkey.” The outcome of that question would be brutal.

SD needs this lesson apparently.

shamds's picture

does your local supermarket do a lobster salad or pate maybe?? You know like the tiniest portion and tell hubby you got precious princess’s lobster covered.

then dinner/lunch time bring out the big turkey, then go to the kitchen and bring this tiny bowl of lobster whatever and say sd20 demanded lobster so here you go!!.....

oh the look on her face. Then when hubby asks you why its so small just say well everyone knew we were having turkey, its standard tradition so i’m not wasting money on lobster when there’s heeps of turkey to go around.

”beggars can’t be choosers.”

or boil lobster and put on a plate with a slice of lemon. The plainest boring way of serving it. No fancy sauce

Jcksjj's picture

Who the heck asks the host to change the menu for them at all, let alone the main course? Barring a severe allergy, super rude. If she wants lobster she can go home and cook it for herself any time she wants. 

Super entitled- shes just seeing it as a free meal and that's what she wants her free meal to be.