being disarming

today i went to my dad’s birthday party, which is a pretty big family affair. we do it that way on purpose, so that his birthday is decidedly distinct from christmas. my stepmom had clued me in that the "main" dinner would be sandwiches with hot meats (bleah) and asked if there was something i’d like her to make, or i’d like to bring, to make sure i got a good dinner. there would be vegan stuff to scavenge (cold veggies, black bean dip, etc.), but i said that i’d bring some tofurkey deli slices so i could make a sandwich. she said cool.

so today as the buffet was being finalized, i went to get my little package of tofurkey slices (i don’t like the roast, but the slices are pretty good on sammiches) and my jar of the wonderful and marvelous vegenaise. i took a spot in an out-of-the-way corner of the kitchen, so i could just assemble my sandwich without making a fuss. as i was trying to cut into the vacuum-sealed plastic package of deli slices, my stepmom’s sister wandered up and said, "that looks weird." without skipping a beat, i said, "it doesn’t look any weirder than a pile of dead turkeys sealed in plastic." then her tone changed, became slightly warmer, and she said, "how does it taste? is it good?" and it was as simple as that.

to be honest, i was surprised that i said something so blunt, but it appeared to do the trick. maybe i’ll have to try that again sometime.

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5 comments

  1. my rule of thumb is that family and acquaintances don’t necessarily have to accommodate you (that is, they may not even know how to accommodate a vegan, and truth be told, they may not WANT to accommodate you), but they *always* have to respect you. and respect is something that you can legitimately *demand*. does that make sense?

  2. That’s awesome that it worked. Sometimes I think people will push until we push back, and then they’ll back down a bit. Unless they really are looking to pick a fight, in which case there is no good solution.
    Did she try a bit to see how it tasted?

  3. I recently had to come to grips with this whole dining out “thing.” I have decided that when dining out with friends/family either at their home or at a restaurant its mostly about sharing their company and less about the food. I will ask ahead, so my family doesn’t “starve.” I did have an unsettling experience recently though where I had some people over to my house and someone brought a chocolate cake that my family couldn’t eat. After dealing with some internal angst I decided it was really cool that I could spend time with this friend over the holidays:)

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being disarming

today i went to my dad’s birthday party, which is a pretty big family affair. we do it that way on purpose, so that his birthday is decidedly distinct from christmas. my stepmom had clued me in that the "main" dinner would be sandwiches with hot meats (bleah) and asked if there was something i’d like her to make, or i’d like to bring, to make sure i got a good dinner. there would be vegan stuff to scavenge (cold veggies, black bean dip, etc.), but i said that i’d bring some tofurkey deli slices so i could make a sandwich. she said cool.

so today as the buffet was being finalized, i went to get my little package of tofurkey slices (i don’t like the roast, but the slices are pretty good on sammiches) and my jar of the wonderful and marvelous vegenaise. i took a spot in an out-of-the-way corner of the kitchen, so i could just assemble my sandwich without making a fuss. as i was trying to cut into the vacuum-sealed plastic package of deli slices, my stepmom’s sister wandered up and said, "that looks weird." without skipping a beat, i said, "it doesn’t look any weirder than a pile of dead turkeys sealed in plastic." then her tone changed, became slightly warmer, and she said, "how does it taste? is it good?" and it was as simple as that.

to be honest, i was surprised that i said something so blunt, but it appeared to do the trick. maybe i’ll have to try that again sometime.

5 comments

  1. my rule of thumb is that family and acquaintances don’t necessarily have to accommodate you (that is, they may not even know how to accommodate a vegan, and truth be told, they may not WANT to accommodate you), but they *always* have to respect you. and respect is something that you can legitimately *demand*. does that make sense?

  2. I recently had to come to grips with this whole dining out “thing.” I have decided that when dining out with friends/family either at their home or at a restaurant its mostly about sharing their company and less about the food. I will ask ahead, so my family doesn’t “starve.” I did have an unsettling experience recently though where I had some people over to my house and someone brought a chocolate cake that my family couldn’t eat. After dealing with some internal angst I decided it was really cool that I could spend time with this friend over the holidays:)

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