The Thin Line…..

….Between ‘caring’ and ‘formality’ is often a topic of dispute between RD and me…what I think is caring for the other person, is being formal as per RD and we often end up having arguments about this..
For eg, if we are going to a relative’s house, I dont agree very easily to eating food there, I worry we would be an extra burden on the person preparing food, while RD thinks its just formality and the relative may not take the refusal very positively more like ‘why are you too big to eat in our house now’ types

or like I never demand MIL makes anything special for me because I think its tough for her, RD doesnt think twice before telling her that he wants to eat something special..of course, she is more than happy to make it, and even if she doesnt make it, RD doesnt throw a tantrum or something…he just expresses a wish..infact even with my mom, I dont think I have ever told her that ma I want to eat this and I want to eat that, while RD always tells my ma, that ma make this for me and make that for me..ma again, makes it if possible and RD is happy even if she doesnt make it, he is not unhappy (am I making sense here?)

or lets say we go to Ahm and RD wouldnt think twice before asking my bro for his car and of course wouldnt think twice before offering his car to bro, but I wouldnt do that…wouldnt ask bro or mama or anyone as a matter of fact for their car…



Is what I do formality?



I know there is no one simple answer to this but at times we often have heated arguments because I think he is not ‘caring enough’ and he thinks I am being ‘overformal’

I have this thought process that others shouldnt be in trouble because of me and trouble meaning even cooking additional stuff, or making extra space or even going out with me…I get very worried about what the other person will think..I dont want my actions to sound as if I am taking the other person for granted…


While RD thinks if we are family or close friends, there is nothing wrong in asking, requesting or seeking anything extra..he says why should you be formal with your own family members…and let me tell you, he does equally and more for them…he goes out of his way to help people, do that extra bit for them


yet, I always feel we tread very close to ‘taking-that-person-for-granted’ space. and I have my issues with that…I would rather just not trouble the other person..while RD says what if the other person feels bad about you not wanting to trouble..
for eg, RD has an uncle who lives in the nearby suburb…we are pretty close to him and he often asks us to stay back for dinner. I always refuse and RD often gets bugged saying dont keep saying no to him…well may be RD is right but that would mean my aunty would have to prepare dinner for 2 and if you count R then 3 extra people, which is not always easy

or lets say we go to a relatives house and the lady says would you want dosas..RD would say yes and simultaneously I would say no..and we would end up laughing..RD often tells me that my constant refusing may not go well with relatives, while I often feel that why make the person go through that extra bit of trouble…



so do all couples have such weird arguments or RD and I are one of those special species?

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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25 Responses to The Thin Line…..

  1. Jay says:

    We are like you guys as well. Nowadays, I have toned down a bit (only on the invitation to eat part) as I guess my husband, like your's has a point too. :-)Apparently, when we say no (& often), it means that we do not quiet like the guests. Thus, implying that we are finding the excuse to get out of there as fast as possible instead of spending more time-talking more while food is being cooked, more talking while eating, etc etc. *shrugs*

  2. I and my hubby share this thinking ten times before asking habit, with me sometimes even indulging in it's ok to ask but my hubby always resisting to ask for anything but always ready to give even on a slight hint.You guys are absolutely normal that way, for we all stand on either side of the thin line you mentioned ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Anonymous says:

    Its true that continous refusal to relatives looks rude.They might get a feeling that we think too much much of ourselves hence do not feel to have food their place.Had I been there in place of your relatives then continous denial from your side would make me feel bad.But I do agree with your point of not troubling them.In such situation you can offer to help them in making dinner etc so thats its quickly done without burdening the host too much.God has given us friends/relatives to help us in need and its very much our duty to help them as and when they need it.So stop worrying enjoy good times with relatives and friends but at the same time do not hesitate to ask for help when needed and we there when they need you.Cheers,Garima

  4. RS says:

    Hmmm, I know what you are thinking. But I do take liberties with my parents – not with anyone else. Like you said, I dont want them to think that Im taking them for granted… Luckily for me hubby thinks the same and expects only from his parents ๐Ÿ™‚ So no fights there atleast!

  5. Mirror image here.SD and myself have these arguments, while i want to do our things ourself, he doesnt bother asking our parents to do it.

  6. R's Mom says:

    @Jay: I can so totally understand the eating part ๐Ÿ™‚ Okie chalo at least RD and I are not abnormal hehe :)@CB: oh both of you agree..awesome! @Garima: hope you are doing well rey :)yaa thats why RD gets worked up when I keep saying no..but your logic makes sense to me as well…@RS: chalo at least like in case of CB, both you guys agree to the same thing…RD and I are surely opposites in a lot of ways ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. R's Mom says:

    @Varsha: heheh ๐Ÿ™‚ RD does feel sometimes frustrated at my constant 'nos'

  8. Gayu says:

    Hi R's Mom,The first thing…how do you get time to blog everyday…I mean you handle so much…SUPERWOMAN!!!!!!!Can i get ur email id:)I liked your blog a lot:) M also from Mumbai, I stay in the central side Kalyan.I have a daughter who is 4 yrs old.Have a nice day!!!Gayu

  9. weourlife says:

    We had these arguments when Chucky was young, I started working when she was 2months, as per R she could be with parents even at night,so that I could sleep well.. I made him understand why we should look after her at least night and give rest to parents, but luckily for us she started sleeping well quite early. But these days he is very sensible, he makes sure he doesn't express any desire coz I feel guilty and end up making what he wants and make myself tired..

  10. The Bride says:

    I don't have arguments of this sort though V and I do fall into a similar pattern. I think it's easier for men to ask because they don't see the background work that goes into this stuff and they do have a slight sense of entitlement. Like V kind of expects that parents cook up a storm when he or his sistersare visiting; though he cooks, I don't think he realises that our parents (especially his mum) are now old and it's not easy as it used to be to provide a feast. Or when he's in Bombay on work, he thinks it's ok to just drop in unannounced on my parents but he actually likes to eat home food of these occassions. I don't think he really gets that some families just cook enough for the day, and for dinner there might not be enough left for guests and also that my mum gets into a flurry because she feels she has to provide certain amount of dishes, typical Indian style. I also think it's easier for men to extend impromptu invitations to stay for dinner, not realising that food doesn't magically multiply like the loaves and fishes in the Bible. I think one needn't be formal with family but we also need to realise that often with the older generation, if you ask, they will do whatever they can to oblige even if it means going out of their way. I realised this with my own parents and so limit my requests. With the uncle asking and you forever refusing though, I think they might take offense. So maybe you should accept some times, and refuse other times. And you could sound out his wife whether it's a hassle for her… though the older generation never says.

  11. momofrs says:

    LOL!!I guess all of us sail in the same boat :DThere is only one way to solve this problem.First step – let the Husband decide when you are at his relative's place.Second step – Offer to help the hosts. Accompany them to the kitchen and do your bit by chopping vegetables, etc.If at your relative's place, YOU decide whether to stay or not. If you decide on Yes, then once again, offer to help your relatives :)ALso, one very easy method to wipe out the guilt of staying back, is to get some gift for the people you visit. Maybe a box of sweets, or chocolates for their children or just samosas/kachoris. It helps when you aren't just the 'receiving' party but also the 'giving' party :)I'm sure you and your husband will have fewer arguments if you follow this plan ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Comfy says:

    Oh you two are nothing special. We have these non-issue arguments all the time and I can bet all couples do.My solution to things like these is to find the middle ground. Like for eating food at someones place I say no sometimes and yes sometimes. And everytime I say yes I make sure I help out in the kitchen as much as I can or if I know in advance that we are going for dinner then I cook at take something along. Little things that balances things out at least in my head ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. R's Mom says:

    @Gayu: welcome here and thanks for the compliments *Blushes and all* Please I am not a super woman and all rey…Just a normal working mother who finds pleasure and destressing to blog thats all…send me your email id by way of comment…I wont publish it and will write back to you :)@LF: oh lets not even get started on where the child will sleep argument…that was NEVER ending! I so so so agree to you on that one..and am glad you stuck to your stand on that one….unpleasant thoughts on this one..will not discuss here!@The Bride: yaa thats the problem na..the older generation never says no.Despite aunt being sick and stuff, she will go ahead and make a feast and God knows what..and I can so understand about your mom cooking up a feast when V goes there!and cooking just enough..I so hear that..it often happens in my house and then if there are unexpected guests..God save them ;)I dont think I will agree to your saying that its easier for men to ask..honestly I know of a lot of women who also ask and that too without considering if the person in front of them can do it or not Grrrr@Momofrs: I think I do agree to that logic of yours that if its RD's relatives let him decide and vice versa..its just that RD is equally close to my folks as well so there…and oh that idea of taking something along is awesome..thanks :)@Comfy: True..finding the middle ground..thats where we both fail..he is north, I am south..blah blah blah!

  14. RS says:

    Left a comment on your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually thought you will say something on the songs thingy!

  15. Bikramjit says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ thats like me .. yesterday my car broke down , took it to garage and Walked to the station ๐Ÿ™‚ I dont like borrowing .. and i have been in trouble a lot many times giving my car, even been on a police case cause the person who borrowed crashed my car… I also feel we are all family so there should be no formality to ask .. but i never ask ๐Ÿ™‚ and guests well I live in birmingham and suddenly anyone and everyone who is coming from india is finding tickets to Birmingham, I get call at 4 in moring Mr. so and so coming can i go and pick them up… and my house is more of a hotel people come and go … which makes me mad … but I dont know how to say I am busy .. you mentioned opposites well thats why you are together apposites attrct ๐Ÿ™‚ and the uncle I dont mind that I have a few here who would say that to me , i rarely say NO I am greedy very greedy on FOOD ๐Ÿ™‚ h he he he .. Bikram's

  16. We both are the same. With some people we are formal, very formal. With some we are just like RD. I think with closeness, you do slightly, enter in people's spaces. If both the parties are fine with it, there should not be a problem I think. I ask AB's mum to make me simple things and tell her I crave it a lot. Like poha, or some chutney or something. She is more than happy to make(less efforts too) and I am more than happy to praise it(v imp :P) and eat! I think RD is right in some ways. When you are close to somebody, refusing can sound rude. I like Comfy's idea here.I would hate it if my close friends or family did that just so that they don't bother me. Simply because it is not a botheration at all.

  17. R's Mom says:

    @RS: hopping over to your blog..nahi rey..none of those links opened here :(@Bikram: arent you the most generous soul ever! Hope your car is fine now ๐Ÿ™‚ and yaa free khane ke liye hum kahin bhi jaa sakte hain ๐Ÿ™‚ I was like that earlier, but now I realise its extra work on the people hosting, so a bit of formality creeps in I guess@CR: yep..you are right..people may not like it after a while because its not a botheration at all..you sound so much like RD:) I agree to Comfy's idea as well..but sometimes the older generation dont like you taking something along with you (if you know what I mean)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, even we have such arguments.I second the opinion of Gayu :-)You manage your time well (the other way of saying you are a super woman :-)).I open your blog when I get bugged up with work, and always get some thing interesting to read on.ThanksSwarna

  19. Swaram says:

    I think there is not one solution to this :PAm sort of like u too, why trouble them kinds ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even on that asking Ma to prepare something for me part ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I do! Bcoz I know she likes it this way – that I ask and keep asking her to do something for me!On eating at others', I take a practical stand depending on the situation – if there is already something they hv made which can accommodate two more by just making some rice/ rotis or one single sabji, I say Yes ๐Ÿ™‚ That is in cases when I know it makes them happy :)Well, there are ppl I know who ask for the sake of asking, err I better nt talk abt them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. chandrima says:

    Your observations are so detailed! Yes we also have such arguments, only I am the informal one and my husband is the formal one. He considers my informality is overt and I think he is extremely introvert and formal. He needs time to be open for something, food or people or place. I am a total experimentalist. But we both actually like to invite people at our house and take care of them as much we can. So we argue a lot too, in such situations, we have never lived near to relatives, so I don't have much observations on that front, but we do have discussions about friends and acquaintances. So you are no special couple !

  21. We have similar arguments too….. though slightly different. In that, BP is very conscious when we visit anyone … politely refuses the offer to eat, if unplanned. But if planned, we make something and carry along. But when someone visits us, or we meet them at the mall / library etc, he does NOT hesitate to invite them to our house. (and thats our reason for argument). I am a person who usually plans everything in advance. So we are going to the library in the evening, I will have my rice / dal ready before leaving … so when we come back I don't have to rush to the kitchen. So such unplanned invites bother me, because, I'll have to re-do what I'd have already done. Of course, if the person is close, then I don't mind doing it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. R's Mom says:

    @Swarna: arey you and Gayu are just very nice people ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the rich compliment *Still Blushing*@Swaram: thats funny…one more subji n some rotis toh say yes..actually Swaram..with the older generation thats the problem..they dont agree to just one additional stuff..then there is sambhar, rasam, kootu, etc etc@Chandrima: hahaha on your last line..we are not spcial couples and that makes me feel so much better…its so nice of you to entertain people and all rey…I wouldnt do that on weekdays at least :)@CA: heheheh ๐Ÿ™‚ I can so understand that not rushing to the kitchen part…BP is like my dad…he would come up with guests suddenly and then tell ma..chalo we will make some sevai and ma will be like WHAT! (that time there was not instant sevai and all that..so ma had to soak rice, make maav and then put it thru that machine and all..the only great part was that pa used to help ma through the process)

  23. R's Mom says:

    @Gayu: tera email id chal nahi raha ๐Ÿ˜ฆ getting mail delivery failure ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  24. Mama - Mia says:

    i think it depends on one's comfort level with the other person! i am a bit like RD i guess. if someone keep saying no to me, i would think its because the other person doesnt want to take the effort for me either! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. R's Mom says:

    @Mama-Mia: Yes I did realise from the other people who commented here that often 'nos' can lead to bad relations as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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