How Thoughtless People Are, Even in Well-Meaning Charity

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    So this morning our phone rings at 7:30, waking us up when we had hoped to get a long night's rest for once, after many nights of disrupted sleep because of pain & complications. It was a neighbor, saying she was bringing over a food dish she had made at 5 AM (what???). We'd have turned off our phones, but he has a brother who is also seriously ill, a call we cannot miss.

    So I have to get dressed and meet her in 5 minutes, and what she brings to our door is a huge casserole of sausage & green peppers. None of which my partner can eat because of his illness, and the meds he's on, totally prohibited by his doctors. So I smile and thank her, knowing it'll all be thrown away. He can't eat it, and I absolutely won't.

    And this isn't an isolated case. People have been bringing us food without stop (and for me alone when my partner was still in the hospital). But never once has anyone called first and said: "Can he eat this? Is he on a diet that will permit this?"

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? The man has been seriously ill, he almost died! Spicy sausage & green peppers aren't good for him! You think they gave him that in the hospital? What's wrong with you?

    So our refrigerator is literally packed with food, I haven't got room for a piece of celery. Dishes & casseroles are piled on top of each other, I can't get to anything.

    A great tribute to my partner's many friends, but less so to their common sense, in my view. If ever you have a sick family member or friend, don't you dare bring so much as a single grape unless you phone first and check what he or she can eat. Make sense? icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:05 AM GMT
    lol, oh for well meaning friends!

    When Mom was post surgery and on a restricted diet, those that phoned to say they'd made something and were on their way over were told two things;

    "Wonderful! Mom's diet is pretty restricted, so please understand if she doesn't have any." (THEN they ask what the restrictions are. heheh)

    "As long as you don't feel symptoms like coughing or sneezing, you're more than welcome over here. Little bugs can kill Mom."

    Friends are pretty wonderful creatures. You guys are pretty lucky!



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    Nov 13, 2009 2:11 AM GMT
    Sometimes people try being too helpful and do not think about what they are doing. Often the best thing you can do for someone is to back off, give them space, and let them get some much needed rest. It is nice for people to make themselves available, but don't be annoying about it either.
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:12 AM GMT
    ah I take food to sick friends and family, but I know what they can and can't eat anyway, I'm used to cooking for people.

    But, while you might be a little frustrated with it, just remember these people are doing it to try and ease the burden on you both, it's done purely out of love and hope that they are helping, sure, it might not be exactly what you want, but people give of them self what they feel is more useful to others, you just happen to have a lot of people who feel most useful cooking.

    Love them for it and at least sample everything icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:17 AM GMT
    Don't throw it away! Nothing makes me sadder than wasted food. Take it to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. They'll be more than happy to take home-cooked food. Just give them a call and let them know you're coming. I did it a couple of years ago with several huge trays of food left over from an AIDS fundraising banquet we had on campus and the homeless folks were thrilled by it.
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Nov 13, 2009 2:22 AM GMT
    How dare they! icon_surprised.gif
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    See, I always knew there was a reason not to bother being a nice guy to some people.
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:38 AM GMT
    I don't think Red_Vespa means to be ungrateful. He has been dealing with a ill partner. Anyone in that circumstance knows how rare it can be to get a good night sleep - much less rest. A phone call at 7:30am is a bit inappropriate. Red had to get up, get dress to pick up the food the neighbor made. Instead of finding out what Red needed and finding an appropriate time to assist him - the neighbor took it on herself to decied what they needed (sausage and peppers, something his partner couldn't even eat) and when they needed it (7:30 am when Red and his partner were trying to get a much needed night rest).
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    Nov 13, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
    I can read, phemt. No need to reiterate. Still, he could be a little less condescending. I'd still be too busy being grateful for all the folks he inconvenienced to get back and forth between his home and the hospital to dwell on their lack of 'common sense', though. That's just my opinion, of course. Because if I were the neighbor and someone told me somebody had this response? I'd be a little less likely to lend a hand next time, is all.
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    Nov 13, 2009 3:26 AM GMT
    It helps to master the art of "dropping hints". I would have said something like..

    Ohh.. sausage and peppers! Too bad he can't eat any of this. The doctor said he can only eat ____ foods. That's ok. More sausage and peppers for me then! Thank you!

    And hopefully, your neighbor gets the hint and spreads the word to everyone else. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 13, 2009 4:07 AM GMT
    zdrew saidSee, I always knew there was a reason not to bother being a nice guy to some people.


    Ditto.
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    Nov 13, 2009 4:10 AM GMT
    zdrew saidI can read, phemt. No need to reiterate. Still, he could be a little less condescending. I'd still be too busy being grateful for all the folks he inconvenienced to get back and forth between his home and the hospital to dwell on their lack of 'common sense', though. That's just my opinion, of course. Because if I were the neighbor and someone told me somebody had this response? I'd be a little less likely to lend a hand next time, is all.


    Again Ditto.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Nov 13, 2009 4:10 AM GMT
    It's hard to know what to do at a time such as this. Even in a worse scenario, people whom are trying to be supportive almost always cause more problems than comfort. They always want to know everything that is happening or what has happened and it gets draining after awhile. In your situation you just have to grin and bare it and know that any time a hardship like this happens you have to deal with the social ramifications of well meaning people. It sounds like you're the only one to be dealing with a lot of these issues, so it can be quite daunting and overwhelming.

    In taking in food from well wishing friends and family, you can serve it to visitors if your husband is up to company, and that might be the logic behind the gesture. Also, they want you to take care of yourself and not have to worry about the basics, like eating. I doubt anyone is expecting your husband to eat the food.

    I hope you two are both taking good care of each other and that good health returns soon!
  • delthespaz

    Posts: 136

    Nov 13, 2009 4:47 AM GMT
    I think the best thing you can do with these good intentions is to pass it on and make plans donate the food to a homeless shelter as soon as you deem them not fit for either of you.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Nov 13, 2009 6:49 AM GMT
    Then just invite friends over for the next few weeks so that they can chow down on the food (maybe making sure they're not the same people who brought a particular casserole).

    Classifying your neighbors as thoughtless is going too far though. What grounds do you have to expect them to understand the specifics of your partner's condition (particularly dietary specifics) and your own food choices?
  • Devon_Fury

    Posts: 69

    Nov 13, 2009 7:17 AM GMT
    Coming from an extra large and over involved family-- Chicago Irish-- and being a overly helpful person myself I have to concur with the above mentioned: Drops hints, drop hints, post hints, and when that doesn't work be direct, but grateful. Also, invest in a freezer and some freezer bags-- stuff like sausage freezes well. Just make sure you put enough time back on those dishes when you return them: everyone will want to know how he's doing- its a guarantee of information.

    Hope he's doin better, I need to call Schwan's and cancel that order of extra large sausage casserole now.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Nov 13, 2009 7:58 AM GMT
    They don't know what you can or can't eat. These people are simply trying to show they care. You're blessed with friends who want to help you in a time of need. So stop whining and show some gratitude.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Nov 13, 2009 9:50 AM GMT
    Have you thought about writing them a letter with specific instructions on how, when, and in what context they should display their kindness? Clearly a lot of these so-called friends need to be taught a thing or two.