This is about a friend's family and what would often happen during dinners (mom in her 50's, dad in his 60's).
- One time, the mom had cooked 1 packet of ravioli for 5 people, and she urged me to get the right amount (we all had to count how many pieces we got).
- Some other time, she had made some kind of soup and asked me to leave some for later in the original container after serving myself (last). There were exactly two tablespoons left but she insisted on having leftovers!
Comment while serving myself or right as I was about to put a bite of food in my mouth
You don't have to finish it all/eat it all up if you don't want to
(and other variations)
The family was even "tighter" about offering seconds of dessert (usually pies) or sending with me and my friend some for later though they would send leftover turkey.
At restaurants, while deciding what to order (they were paying)
We can share a meal...
Would you like to split [name of dish] with me?
I'm not overweight (I was actually quite thin back then), so I don't think they were trying to hint I needed to lose weight. Except for my friend who was overweight at the time, the rest of the family was normal weight. The mom did worry a little about gaining weight but she didn't need to.
Money wasn't an issue (upper-middle class family). There was plenty of food in the fridges and freezers just they were reluctant to use it or use it all up (?).
During my stay, I never felt comfortable enough to use their kitchen to make food other than sandwiches but I would always help with the dishes and cleaning.
When I told my friend about this, the response was,
That's how my parents are
My mom is just weird
and so on.
Long story short, the majority of times I would be invited for dinner (and during my stay), I'd be feeling hungry, unsatisfied and I'd end up ordering takeout a bit later.
It felt really awkward to say that I was not full, I needed to eat more etc., so instead I mentally prepared myself that I was just not going to enjoy eating during dinner. So when my patience was exhausted, I decided to eat at home prior to visiting so I didn't feel as hungry while waiting to eat.
More often than not, having dinner with my friend's parents felt like a chore and was draining when it should have been fun.
I'm actually used to having the opposite problem (politely rejecting more food) with certain relatives at dinners or holidays (Mediterranean background).
How could I have politely told the mom that I'd like to have been able to eat as much as I wanted to OR that I was still hungry because I didn't have enough food OR that I couldn't enjoy food if I had to worry so much about portions, without coming off as unappreciative?