My brother-in-law and the food police

Earlier this year I posted the following in a thread about one person trying to control another person’s eating:

So this is another Ulrich and Bettina (Mrs. Mercotan’s brother and his wife) story!

We recently were at a gathering of Mrs. Mercotan’s family, which included her parents, her two sibs, their spouses, and assorted kids. It was held at a lovely restaurant where much fine food was enjoyed. It was also served family-style, with multiple multiple dishes being passed around, for each person to sample and enjoy if they chose.

Ulrich sat across from me, next to his wife Bettina. During the course of the conversation, Bettina reported quite loudly and triumphantly that thanks to her interventions and nutritional counselling, Ulrich was healthier than ever.

I saw Bettina’s nutritional counselling come into active play during the meal, as the dishes were passed. She made sure that she kept an eye on which dishes got to Ulrich, how much he took and whether or not she felt his choices of food and serving size were appropriate (these last educational comments were always delivered in a loud enough voice for everyone at the table to benefit from her knowledge.) She also intercepted a number of dishes before they got to Ulrich, on the basis that they were NOT suitable for him.

Meanwhile, Ulrich did a lot of eye-rolling, sighing, and surreptitious obtaining of food while Bettina was distracted. I admit I played some small role here by placing the table floral arrangement in such a way as to hinder some of Bettina’s surveillance. And intercepting some passing plates, and offering them to Ulrich, saying “You might want to try this, it’s wonderful!” while Bettina was distracted.

As such, it was a fine little domestic scenario, played out between them hundreds, if not thousands of times in the past two and a half decades of their lives together. Amusing, pitiable, but not particularly worthy of its own thread.

Until dessert.

The dessert menu at this fine establishment was complex and varied. My mother and father-in-law encouraged us all to partake, if we so chose. Which was when Bettina declared that while the desserts looked wonderful, she would be skipping them, save to sample a little of someone else’s. “Oh, by the way, Ulrich. You’re not to have any.”

A flame suddenly flared in Ulrich’s eyes. Sitting across from him, I believe I was the only one who noted it. Yet he sat quietly, as multiple desserts were served around him. While Bettina sampled multiple other diners’ dessert selection, I surreptitiously offered Ulrich a bite of my lemon, ginger, and coconut confection. Which he took, under cover of the floral arrangement.

Partway thru the dessert course, Giovanni (married to Mrs. Mercotan’s sister) averred that his poached, brandied, and seared pear and iced cream combo was magnificent, and that Ulrich must try a taste.

The initial refusal by Bettina to consider such a proposition was met with intense negotiation pressures from Ulrich’s sibs and BIL, until finally a concession was extracted that Ulrich could have a taste of the pear as long as Bettina selected the serving size. Said operation was speedily performed, the partial pear piece presented to Ulrich, who consumed it with gusto, and pronounced it magnificent indeed.

As the dessert course wound down, Bettina became more and more distracted by side-conversations, and paid less and less attention to which food might present a threat to Ulrich. It was at this point that Giovanni, stating that he had had a surfeit of fine dessert, and was replete with satisfaction, passed the remainder of his pear and iced cream to Ulrich.

This initial comment, and even the move of the plate to Ulrich, passed unnoticed by Bettina. But unfortunately, before the aforementioned tidbits could be consumed, Bettina saw what was in front of her husband. Her spine visibly stiffened. She stared at his face. She spoke, in a steely voice that was part elementary school nun on a mission to drive Satan from her charges, and part SS officer savagely trying to retain command and control at the Battle of Stalingrad:

“Ulrich! You are not going to eat that! You’ve had too much already!”

But the fire of desire has already been kindled in Ulrich. He replied in a quiet, yet firm voice: “I’m eating it, Bettina.” A piece of pear began to move towards his mouth.

Seeing his defiance, Bettina’s eyes widened in disbelief. “Ulrich! No! I will not allow it!” And having said this, Bettina reached onto his plate, and with here bare hand grabbed the remaining half-cup of softened, melting iced cream. Holding it up a moment in triumph, she quickly deposited the drippy, liquifying dessert into a napkin. Then she fixed her steely glare back on her husband.

Ulrich didn’t even blink. He quickly, yet with great dignity, consumed the pear that he had been left behind by the clutching hand of his spouse. Having done so, he sat back, sighed, and looked at the crowd made up by his family, who were all watching in various states of consternation, awe, and horror.

Then he spoke.

“I only really wanted the pear, anyway.”

(I can’t make this stuff up, people)

He’s going to end up killing her, isn’t he?

Oedipus would be proud: I see varying shades of an overbearing mother and a 6 year old boy. And they’ve been married for how long?

Contrast this with the gathering I was a part of recently. First, we split an Awesom Blossom (or whatever title our chain restaurant of the evening called it) enabling all of us to eat a significant chunk of salt and fat. Then we had our main courses. Then, in honor of the first month birthday of the infant at the end of the table, we decided we all needed to have cake for dessert. So we paired off to split the molten chocolate volcano cake --or whatever exactly it was called.

None of that is the funny part. The funny part was the discussion between the infants parents. Dad decided that he had eaten, didn’t really want more than a bite or two of dessert. Mom was dissappointed. She had been offered a third share of someone elses, when suddenly Dad saved the day, and earned a whole bunch of “good husband” points for himself.

"You should get the dessert. You are nursing, so you need extra calories, and with the scoop of ice cream, you get more calcium (dairy) which you also need. "

She got the dessert, we were all happy.

If nothing else, you made me feel slightly better about being single.

And then eating her. With ice cream.

Um. Yeah.

Family is…so…you know…family sometimes.
if he needs to shoot/hang/burn/decapitate/impale his wife, I’ll help. this is for the common good.

Over 25 years. This is not new behavior.

However, they seem happy otherwise, so I suspect he finds the relationship has more positives than negatives.

I have a weight problem which I have struggled with for years. My husband is exactly opposite - he is and always has been thin. About 10 years ago, I made the decision that I was unhappy weighing over 250 pounds and was going to lose weight. I started monitoring the fat content of everything I ate and kept it down to under 20 grams of fat a day.

I also had to break long-entrenched eating habits. If you’re full, don’t clean your plate was one of the most difficult.

My husband was vocally supportive but kept sabatoging my efforts by doing things like bringing my favorite flavor of ice cream home. One evening while I was at the computer, he came in and said he was going to make a grilled cheese sandwich and would I like one? I said “No, thank you, I’m not hungry.” I have to mention here that my husband makes the absolutely best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had in my live.

About a half hour later, he walks in and puts a glass of ice-cold milk and a plate containing two perfect grilled cheese sandwiches on my desk.

I just stared for a moment, while the resentment at his efforts to sabatoge my efforts bubbled to the top and were counted and catalogued. Then I threw the plate with the sandwiches at his head.

We had a rather long and sometime loud discussion after that. He quit sabatoging my efforts and I lost about 100 lbs over the course of a year.

If he had ever removed food from my plate in public, I would not be divorced, I would be a widow. No one is going to humiliate me like that.

Has anyone tried pointing out to Bettina that her strategy is leading to sneak eating, which usually ends up being less healthy than eating at the table would be?

I would only hope that he was eating said confection with a fork, at which point the tines would be fully implanted in Bettina’s hand.

IMO, public humiliation of one’s spouse is rarely a good idea.
Bettina had better be incredible in the sack…

We’ve started the packing process, and we haven’t even had the new joint inspected yet. Hopefully, this won’t become a :smack:

I’m already about to strangle VunderWife. First is this half hour dissertation and discussion on the best type of and deal on packing tape. I don’t give a shit myself; if we need tape, I just go buy some, not get online and comparion shop.

Then she hits me with this box labeling scheme of hers. Three labels per box: one on top with contents, and two smaller ones on the sides identifying the room the box is intended for. She didn’t like it when I said I could do the same thing in half the time and 1/3 of the effort with a Sharpie.

“No one can read your handwriting.”

“What the hell makes you think my handwriting will be any better with those PITA labels of yours?”

All this from the same woman who packed up enough cloth and craft stuff last time to open her own Joann Fabrics, labeled every one of those boxes as “Misc”, and then bitched because she couldn’t find anything when unpacking. :rolleyes:

While the previous post is sort of relevant to the food Nazi OP, it was really meant for the MMP. Would someone please report it to a mod and ask to have it moved?

Quad, does Bettina resemble Margaret Hamilton in any way?
That’s the picture of her I get!
Don’t forget the sprinkler can. :stuck_out_tongue: