DEAR ABBY: When I visit my three grandchildren on Fridays, my daughter-in-law never offers me any refreshment -- not even a glass of water or a cup of tea. She will eat in front of me and not offer me anything. I was taught that this is rude. Should I bring my own refreshment? (If I did, I would feel as though I would need to feed the whole family.)
I already travel quite far to get to her house -- 45 minutes each way -- and I bring snacks for the grandchildren. I visit them because it's easier for my daughter-in-law to have me over than to haul the 1-, 3- and 6-year-olds out to my house. I would love to be invited to stay for dinner, but it never happens ahead of time. If I come at 2 p.m., then around 5 p.m. I "may" be invited, but I feel it is out of obligation, so I don't stay. What should I do? -- TOO POLITE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR TOO POLITE: You were raised in a home where you were taught good manners. Apparently, the woman your son married was not. No hostess with an ounce of class would eat in front of a guest without offering them anything. The haphazard way you are included at dinner makes me wonder if your daughter-in-law dislikes you and only tolerates your presence, because it certainly isn't calculated to make you feel welcome.
Talk this over with your son. If your visits are regarded as an imposition, perhaps you should take the grands for an outing rather than watch their mother eat.