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I 'fussed too much'.

(101 Posts)
Witzend Sun 09-Jun-19 14:10:45

Don't know whether IABU to feel miffed - dh thinks I am.

We recently had two of his Canadian relatives to stay before their major holiday in Europe. One middle aged, one elderly. TBH I barely know either of them.

I went to a fair amount of trouble, making a cake, plus soup and quiche for lunch, etc.
They both ate like birds, wouldn't touch my soup or cake, and had just slivers of quiche. (Might add that dh and a visiting BiL ate heartily of everything so I don't think it was my cooking!)
They both ate very small portions of (home made) evening meal, too. Didn't touch the pudding (lemon tart, though I didn't make that)

At no point did I urge or try to make them eat more than they wanted. I've often had guests who've been both very big and very small eaters, so well prepared for either.

However, in the 'thank you' email recently sent to dh by the younger, it said, 'Witzend, you fussed too much.'

WTF??? Dh thinks it's just unfortunate wording, and that she means I went to too much trouble - not that I think I went OTT at all, just what I'd normally do for guests.
Personally I think it was rude.
At any rate, if dh ever wants to invite them again, I shall book myself a mini break and he can do the 'fussing'!

Sara65 Sun 09-Jun-19 17:29:15

I was thinking the same Damejudy

Some of you sound like amazing hostesses, you put me and my M&S offerings to shame!

DameJudyClench Sun 09-Jun-19 17:37:37

I do like a bit of M&S smile

sodapop Sun 09-Jun-19 17:50:46

You went to a lot of trouble to make your guests welcome Witzend they could have been more appreciative. However I have to say from experience that some people do not like to be pressed into eating. My husband also goes to a lot of trouble for guests and finds it difficult when they refuse food, I have to remind him that not everyone wants to eat but he does take it personally.

Loulou798 Sun 09-Jun-19 21:14:20

Have just asked my friend who’s lived in Canada for 4 years whether this expression means something different over there. Sadly, no.

You did a fantastic job as a hostess, and they were ungrateful guests!

DillytheGardener Mon 10-Jun-19 00:32:47

Terribull, off topic what was Banff and calagary like? I’m rather dying to go. Perhaps leave DH and take up with a cowboy?

tinaf1 Mon 10-Jun-19 00:56:17

Witzend can I come to yours I would love you to make a fuss ?
On a more generous note perhaps they were trying to compliment you on your hospitality but a very poor choice of words

sharon103 Mon 10-Jun-19 01:13:01

I would take that as a compliment. My sister has lived in America for over 60 years and in the same situation I could hear her say the same but meaning that they didn't expect you to go to so much trouble in providing so much food and the time it all took to prepare it all when they would have just appreciated jam on toast.
P.S when's my invite. I love homemade

BradfordLass72 Mon 10-Jun-19 02:56:13

Having consulted my North American friend (who happened to be online at the time) I'm assured that this was not meant to insult but an idiom of sorts, in much the same way as when someone is given a gift and says, 'Oh, you shouldn't have bothered.'
In other words, it sounds rude but isn't.

What she meant was, "thank you, you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble just for us"

As for being picky with your lovely food, you never know what bowel problems people have!! grin

stevenk Mon 10-Jun-19 04:19:32

Witzend, here we go again, YOU letting words cause you suffering. I see their statement as a thankyou for doing so much to make them feel welcome.

absent Mon 10-Jun-19 05:25:42

I think fuss has a different implication in the USA, so perhaps it does in Canada.

Cherrytree59 Mon 10-Jun-19 08:26:19

StevenK How rude!
Do you know the OP in RL????

Witzend Mon 10-Jun-19 08:54:08

Thanks, all.
BTW, as per my OP, I never pressed food on them. I just offered - it was all 'please help yourselves'.

We did eat out one night of the two, and there was a bought pud, so it's not as if I was nobly non-stop going mad in the kitchen.
Maybe 'not fussing' in Canada means all ready meals or eating out.
Heigh ho.

Hebdenali Mon 10-Jun-19 10:02:21

I'm a very careful eater. As few carbs as possible all healthy food and I hate food being forced on me with an expectation that I had to eat it. I think I would have asked my guests whether they wanted cake or not and an explanation that I was watching my weight would suffice.

Callistemon Mon 10-Jun-19 10:05:54

Witzend has said she left them to help themselves.
I don't think she forced cake down them, Hebdenali!

If they had special dietary requirements, eg gluten-free, they should have said in advance

4allweknow Mon 10-Jun-19 10:09:41

Would guess the wording meant you had gone to a lot of trouble they didn't expect. They probably would have been happy for you all to eat out somewhere or as DHs friends for the 3 of them to go out to eat. Don't be offended.

Millie22 Mon 10-Jun-19 10:19:54

I'll have some lemon tart please! You sound to me like the perfect person to stay with.

henetha Mon 10-Jun-19 10:29:11

You're not being unreasonabe. They are rude,. Even if it was
just unfortunate wording, I would still be miffed.
How dare they! I hope they never darken your door again.

seadragon Mon 10-Jun-19 10:29:35

My mum often recounted how she arrived exhausted and alone except for a very tiny me at Naval Married Quarters (as it was then) to find all the furniture etc (provided by NMQ) had to be unpacked from extensive heavily secured packaging and moved into place; new paint scraped off windows, everything needed washing down after decorators had left place covered in the usual dust etc... A neighbour appeared as she struggled with all this and invited her to 'tea' at 5pm. She therefore didn't stop for a break all day or to shop for food except to feed me (breast milk!) and managed to get everything done by herself. She arrived at the neighbors' at 5pm starving and received.....a cup of tea....'not even a biscuit!', as she put it. I think your guests were rude and thoughtless if that was the only thing they said in return for your hospitality.

moonbeames Mon 10-Jun-19 10:33:06

They are rude. Can I have a piece of that lovely cake?

allule Mon 10-Jun-19 10:34:27

I would tend to think it's likely to be a nuance in choice of words...We know how common this is in American "homely".

sarahanew Mon 10-Jun-19 11:03:54

The Canadians, like Americans, speak different English to us!! If they weren't rude at all whilst with you and were generally pleasant during their visit, then I think it was just their way of saying 'you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble'. Which is our English way of appreciating the fact that our host has put a lot of effort in, but reassuring them you would have been happy just to have spent time with them without them going to so much trouble. It's not rude. Our host would probably reply 'oh, it was no trouble', meaning they were happy to go to that effort to make us feel welcome

trisher Mon 10-Jun-19 11:25:38

Apart from the difference in language I think there is also a different attitude to hospitality Canadians and N Americans tend to work on the 'offer it but don't do anything special'. So they might say "Have a beer" and then expect you to help yourself from the fridge rather than waiting to be served. We tend to be more formal and persuasive. I'm sure they really enjoyed themselves and it's just a culture thing.

Sara65 Mon 10-Jun-19 11:28:58


I agree, I think unless they were rude during their visit, it was just a case of unfortunate wording!

Don’t let it spoil their visit for you

Sara65 Mon 10-Jun-19 11:33:05

A friend of ours lives in America, and is married to an American, I find her way of helping herself to food, or turning the heating up or down, and generally making herself at home a bit odd, but I’ve gotten used to it over the years

Jaycee5 Mon 10-Jun-19 12:02:25

It was a strange thing to write however they expressed it. They might have meant it as a tongue in cheek joke that came out wrong. I spent just over 5 years in Canada and I can tell you that i) baking a cake for visitors is common although possibly not as much as in the US and ii) Canadians have a very odd sense of humour.
I would also not bother if they came again but otherwise ignore it. It isn't as if you did a 3 course meal with a roast and all the trimmings and then bought out a projector and showed them your holidays films for the past several years. It was just normal hospitality.