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View Full Version : You Lack Manners: A mother-in-law's rant



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rfisher
07-01-2011, 07:17 PM
I think Americans have to be slow to judge since the culture is different. What seems odd to us, may be quite normal. And Miss Manners reflects American culture, not British, nor class differences within British culture. And, most of all this was an email intended to be private, although anybody who thinks an email is private is a fool. I suspect this is a class conflict. I wouldn't defend the poor young woman (she sounds like a boor) or the beleaguered older woman (she's very rigid). I suspect there is a truth in all the allegations, but they became exaggerated in the sender's mind due to a cumulative effect. I'd gather any hope for the relationship between the man and his fiancee is gone since this was made public. He should never trust her to keep family secrets, his family will never accept her and she should have no illusions that they will. Time to move on.

floskate
07-01-2011, 07:18 PM
But was it a dinner party or a family dinner? I agree about waiting to be offered in the context of a dinner party, but not for family dinners! Same thing goes for waiting for everyone to be served before starting.

I have been at a family dinner where my partners step-mother offered seconds to her own children and her husband (my partners Father) but not to my partner or myself. As a retort I insisted on washing up as a thank you for such a wonderful meal and also thanked her kindly for her foresight in presuming I was on a diet and to not offer me seconds. She actually turned purple from embarrassment! :EVILLE:

RockTheTassel
07-01-2011, 07:19 PM
I think it depends. If the food is served in the kitchen and brought into the dining room, a guest should probably ask before going back to the kitchen for more. But at a lot of family dinners I've been to, all of the food is put on the center of the table. If it's already on the table, I'd assume that's the host's way of making it available to anyone who wants a second helping.

VIETgrlTerifa
07-01-2011, 07:19 PM
I think Americans have to be slow to judge since the culture is different. What seems odd to us, may be quite normal. And Miss Manners reflects American culture, not British, nor class differences within British culture. And, most of all this was an email intended to be private, although anybody who thinks an email is private is a fool. I suspect this is a class conflict. I wouldn't defend the poor young woman (she sounds like a boor) or the beleaguered older woman (she's very rigid). I suspect there is a truth in all the allegations, but they became exaggerated in the sender's mind due to a cumulative effect. I'd gather any hope for the relationship between the man and his fiancee is gone since this was made public. He should never trust her to keep family secrets, his family will never accept her and she should have no illusions that they will. Time to move on.

That's really depressing. If the above scenario happens in reality, then the MIL "won". Congrats to her.

victoriajh
07-01-2011, 07:29 PM
i think it is all about persective- one sees it one way and not the same as the other sees it-
my MIL finds fault in everything i do and say- if i send a thank you note to someone in her family for a gift or such she will complain about the fact it arrived before hers did ( keeping in mind they live in two different countries!!!!- how am I supposed to control the mail????)

i have given up - i do what i want to do and leave her to her own devices.... waht else can one do ? ( i was hoping as we have been married 14 years and together 17 that she might have actually given in to the fact i am not going anywhere but alas.....)

Bev Johnston
07-01-2011, 07:30 PM
And the MIL would have been better off saying all this in person.

Yes. Putting it in writing says something about her.

Personally, if I'd had these thoughts about someone, I would never write a letter or tell the person. I'd just vent about the person to third parties who don't know them. :EVILLE: and :2faced:

Seriously, though, I think MILs who behave this way are paving a path to never seeing their grandchildren.

Gazpacho
07-01-2011, 07:32 PM
Reading the mother in law's words makes me realize how much I'd hate being a royal. Royal life is full of stifling rules. When the Queen stops eating, you have to stop eating. The Queen is a morning person, so you have to be up and ready to join her doing what she feels like doing that morning, be it hunting or walking.

Heaven forbid you put a friendly arm around the Queen like Michelle Obama or the Australian prime minister.

The queen won't send you a nasty email, but you'll hear it from her courtiers and/or the many people who spend their days dissecting royal behavior.


The DIL to-be needs to run like the wind to get away from this toxic mess.Poor Freddie :( With a mother in law like that, I doubt he'll ever have a happy marriage because his mother will make sure to sabotage it :(

millipied
07-01-2011, 07:32 PM
I can't help myself but agree with a lot of points made by MIL, given that they are indeed what occured. I guess I would not put it the way she did and maybe would not use email to do so. But if I were Freddie, I would have major problem with the way my girlfriend handled the situation:( Of course, I do not know the full picture of the relationship.

rfisher
07-01-2011, 07:37 PM
That's really depressing. If the above scenario happens in reality, then the MIL "won". Congrats to her.

Really? I don't see it as winning. What do you think her friends and acquaintances are whispering about? I'm certain she is mortified this was made public. The future DIL should have kept the email between herself, her fiance and future MIL rather than giving it to someone who thought it would be entertaining to spread dirty family laundry on the Internet. Nobody wins here. If the younger woman really wanted a relationship with this family, she'd have contacted the MIL, and made an effort to sort out the issues rather than make it public knowledge. I wouldn't trust her any farther than I could throw her or her *friends* either. She certainly doesn't need enemies with the type of friends she has. :yikes:

VIETgrlTerifa
07-01-2011, 07:42 PM
Well, bottomline. The woman wanted the DIL out of the picture, and given your scenario, she got it. The woman probably doesn't care and thinks her opinions and attitudes are valid enough to survive public scrutiny since it was the DIL's behavior that was put to task in the email, not the MIL's. If the MIL is embarrassed by anything in the email, then maybe that means she'd reconsider a lot of her points against the DIL, but considering the content of the email, I'm sure the MIL thinks she was in the right the whole time.

rfisher
07-01-2011, 07:45 PM
Well, bottomline. The woman wanted the DIL out of the picture, and given your scenario. She got it. The woman probably doesn't care and thinks her opinions and attitudes are valid enough to be aired publicly as it was the DIL's behavior that was put to task in the email, not the MIL. If the MIL is embarrassed by anything in the email, then maybe that means she'd reconsider a lot of her points against the DIL, but considering the content of the email, I'm sure the MIL thinks she was in the right the whole time.

:rofl: I hardly think anyone would write about their own failings in an email they wrote. You have no idea if the DIL responded in kind since the MIL didn't share things on the internet. You've no idea if the DIL stood up and cursed everybody out after getting drunk in the pub or if she was a lazy slob who didn't get up till noon and wanted breakfast. Or called and screamed obsenities over the phone. No one knows, because the family didn't make it public. I sincerely doubt this woman intended her comments to become public knowledge.

Ziggy
07-01-2011, 07:46 PM
Actually there is one very interesting thing about this.

It shows exactly the reasons why you shouldn't get married. :)

VIETgrlTerifa
07-01-2011, 07:52 PM
:rofl: I hardly think anyone would write about their own failings in an email they wrote. You have no idea if the DIL responded in kind since the MIL didn't share things on the internet. You've no idea if the DIL stood up and cursed everybody out after getting drunk in the pub or if she was a lazy slob who didn't get up till noon and wanted breakfast. Or called and screamed obsenities over the phone. No one knows, because the family didn't make it public. I sincerely doubt this woman intended her comments to become public knowledge.

And we don't know if the DIL punched out the MIL in a pub brawl...we don't know anything about the DIL's reaction. I think my point is that it's quite obvious from the email that the MIL didn't approve of the future DIL, and it seems like from the way things may go, she'll achieve her wish of having Freddie freed from the "heartless guttersnipe" (sorry but the name Freddie made me think of My Fair Lady).

I think everyone agrees that the DIL's friend making it viral violates some trust between the family, nor was it a classy thing to do. However, that does not disregard the content of the email, which I personally find horrendous but understand if others do not. Anyway, whether or not she intended to make it public does not mean her behavior is somehow excused, and if she's embarrassed by any of the content she herself has written, then maybe she should reconsider her attitude.

Gazpacho
07-01-2011, 07:53 PM
Well, bottomline. The woman wanted the DIL out of the picture, and given your scenario, she got it.Interesting. I suspect you're right. Certainly an odd strategy to give the daughter in law the boot.

Of course there are families like that and as I said in a previous post, within the family it's normally not an issue. What is very obvious, and I think you've hit the nail on the head, is that the MIL clearly does NOT regard the prospective DIL as family at all and merely a guest to be tolerated at best.Seriously! The daughter in law shouldn't have to tiptoe and walk on eggshells around her family members. Meeting the parents shouldn't be treated like a job interview.


I think Americans have to be slow to judge since the culture is different. What seems odd to us, may be quite normal. And Miss Manners reflects American culture, not British, nor class differences within British culture.Does the British version of Miss Manners condone snide remarks about your parents' lack of savings?

Prancer
07-01-2011, 08:11 PM
PML! Now the groom's mother is weighing in: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2010314/Carolyn-Bourne-email-Freddies-natural-mother-Penelope-Godfrey-calls-Heidi-Withers-charming.html

The Daily Mail is clearly on the bride's side.

Although Mrs Bourne appears fastidious about social mores, it emerged yesterday that she may have become pregnant some months before her first marriage in 1974, according to public records. She is now on her third marriage

*sniff*

:lol::lol::lol:


You've no idea if the DIL stood up and cursed everybody out after getting drunk in the pub or if she was a lazy slob who didn't get up till noon and wanted breakfast. Or called and screamed obsenities over the phone. No one knows, because the family didn't make it public.

Not only do we not know these things, we have no reason to think them, either.

Had the bride been drunk at the pub, I am sure THAT would have been the complaint rather than she said something insulting and passed it off as a joke. If she were a lazy slob who slept until noon (because laziness and slobbery are determined by when one gets up), then the StepMIL would likely not have described her rising time as "late morning," but rather "afternoon."

I do agree that the StepMIL had no intention of making anything public; she seems rather dim about email, considering she sent that one three times.