Metro-East Living

Etiquette: Size 6 should have eaten more

By Dianne Isbell

Every party guest should try a piece of homemade pie.
Every party guest should try a piece of homemade pie. Chicago Tribune

Q: My husband says I am getting upset over nothing, but I think this is rude: We invited three couples to our house for dinner and cards for New Year’s Eve. I spent most of the day cooking some really delicious items for dinner and two pies (homemade crusts). One of the wives ate practically nothing! She basically sampled everything, with just a teaspoon full of each item. She didn’t try any of my hors d’oeuvres at all and she absolutely would not take a piece of either pie. Her comment was that she had eaten so much already over the holidays that she “just had to cut back”. (She’s probably a size 6).

She raved about how delicious the food was that she ate and that she could eat it all if she weren’t so determined. I was offended and I think she was rude by not eating more and by not eating dessert. I think she also made the other two wives feel a little self-conscious about the amount of each item they ate, since she was so vocal about not wanting to gain any weight. She is off my social guest list for any future dinners in my home. Your opinion please.

A: Yes, I totally agree. Whether she was on a self-imposed diet or not, she should have eaten normal portions, including dessert, and she should not have mentioned anything about dieting.

Q: My husband still calls his deceased wife’s parents his “in-laws.” I say that title died once she passed away (12-plus years ago), and especially now that he is remarried. He doesn’t agree. Which one of us is correct? The “ex-in-laws” live states away. I will abide by your decision.

A: Your husband is correct. Even though his first wife is deceased, her parents are still referred to as his “in-laws.” Should the day come when these parents are deceased, your husband can and should still refer to them as his “in-laws.”

By the way, shame on you for being so disrespectful to your husband, to his first wife and to his first wife’s family. You owe him an apology.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to