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  1. #1

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

    This apparently has gone viral. A woman emailed her DIL to be...about her poor behavior after a stay over at her home. The DIL forwarded the email to some friends and one of the friends posted it online.
    from: Carolyn Bourne
    to: heidi withers
    subject: your lack of manners

    Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:

    When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat - unless you are positively allergic to something.

    You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

    You do not start before everyone else.

    You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

    When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early - you fall in line with house norms.

    You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

    You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why. No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

    I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages.)

    If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

    One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie
    You Have No Manners

  2. #2
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    nothing says "etiquette" like sending a scolding email about manners!

    OTOH, anyone who would post a friend's email to the internet like that is a jerk. Possibly, the MIL to be (or not to be now?) has a point
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    (((the dude in between these two ladies))) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    Reading this list, I don't think much of either the DIL to be or MIL to be.

    Whenever you have a guest in your home, there should be a little give-and-take from both parties. One party shouldn't be catered/have to cater 100% of the time. For example, while I agree it's rude to complain about what your host serves, as a host, I would make a reasonable effort to find out what my guest likes, ESPECIALLY if that guest is going to be part of the family.

    As for the sleeping late, that's not a big deal to me. If you get up early, unless the guests are sleeping on the sofa and in the way, who cares? And if they are sleeping in a room used by the whole family, then a compromise needs to be made. If the guest sleeps till 11 and the host gets up at 7, then I don't think it's unreasonable for everyone to get up around 9.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    Reading this list, I don't think much of either the DIL to be or MIL to be.

    Whenever you have a guest in your home, there should be a little give-and-take from both parties. One party shouldn't be catered/have to cater 100% of the time. For example, while I agree it's rude to complain about what your host serves, as a host, I would make a reasonable effort to find out what my guest likes, ESPECIALLY if that guest is going to be part of the family.

    As for the sleeping late, that's not a big deal to me. If you get up early, unless the guests are sleeping on the sofa and in the way, who cares? And if they are sleeping in a room used by the whole family, then a compromise needs to be made. If the guest sleeps till 11 and the host gets up at 7, then I don't think it's unreasonable for everyone to get up around 9.
    Some morning people think those who aren't morning people are barely a step above the devil. Seriously!

    Maybe, the guest didn't feel comfortable in the bed they put her in, and tossed and turned all night? So many explanations for the "laddette's behavior."

    The MIL is just using manners as an excuse to vent her general unhappiness about life and her loss of control.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    Why on earth would this go viral? It's not even that good of a take down. I'm confused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Some morning people think those who are morning people are barely a step above the devil. Seriously!
    Oh dear, I sure hope not, because then I would surely be destined for the lake of fire

    I suspect the MIL probably is overreacting. Most of the examples in the e-mail are heavy on opinion and light on specifics. For instance, she claims the DIL insulted the family in public, but we don't know what she said.

    And then at the end of the e-mail she makes sure to remind the DIL how lucky she was to have snagged such a wonderful man as her precious! son! Freddie! So she may well be the mom-in-law from hell who thinks nobody is good enough for her son.
    Last edited by Cheylana; 07-01-2011 at 03:28 AM. Reason: changed "aren't" to "are"--why am I so mistake-prone these days?
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  8. #8
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    The future DIL may have lacked manners, but what a haughty, rude response. Does future MIL really think this is going to help the situation?

    The one that annoyed me the most was the "one might presume that your parents have saved for your marriage" comment. It's been a tradition in the past, but not everyone follows it today (or is able to). Commenting on how little her parents are putting towards the wedding is much worse than the things the future MIL accused the future DIL of doing while staying at her house.

  9. #9

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    Reading this makes me so glad that my mother would never treat Oliver this way, but also glad that he would never have done some of the questionable things in this email. I do think the MIL needs to get over herself a bit, but the DIL could stand to improve her manners in some instances.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-01-2011 at 01:19 AM.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    And then at the end of the e-mail she makes sure to remind the DIL how lucky she was to have snagged such a wonderful man as her precious! son! Freddie! So she may well be the mom-in-law from hell who thinks nobody is good enough for her son.
    she's the groom's stepmother.

    And the MIL is British - sounds to me like the whole family may be in England.
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  11. #11
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    This part of the full email is pretty to me.

    It is tragic that you have diabetes. However, you aren't the only young person in the world who is a diabetic.

    I know quite a few young people who have this condition, one of whom is getting married in June. I have never heard her discuss her condition.

    She quietly gets on with it. She doesn't like being diabetic. Who would? You do not need to regale everyone with the details of your condition or use it as an excuse to draw attention to yourself. It is vulgar.

    As a diabetic of long standing you must be acutely aware of the need to prepare yourself for extraordinary eventualities, the walk to Mothecombe beach being an example.

    You are experienced enough to have prepared yourself appropriately.


    That does make me wonder about this:

    When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat - unless you are positively allergic to something.

    You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

    You do not start before everyone else.

    You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockTheTassel View Post
    The future DIL may have lacked manners, but what a haughty, rude response. Does future MIL really think this is going to help the situation?

    The one that annoyed me the most was the "one might presume that your parents have saved for your marriage" comment. It's been a tradition in the past, but not everyone follows it today (or is able to). Commenting on how little her parents are putting towards the wedding is much worse than the things the future MIL accused the future DIL of doing while staying at her house.
    Some of MIL's comments I could see justifying (provided she wasn't delusional of course) until I read the one about how the DIL's parents should have saved for the wedding. That was beyond the pale, especially since they both lost their jobs in January.

    Time to elope.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

    You do not start before everyone else.

    Those I agree with . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
    . . . but this one is news to me, and I've actually read Emily Post. Is this a british thing?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    Those I agree with . . .
    I do, too, unless the girl was having some trouble with her diabetes, in which case not having enough food or starting to eat before everyone else could very well be a medical issue. Allergies aren't the only legitimate reasons that one does or does not eat certain things.

    Say that the the walk to Mothecombe beach that Heidi was apparently unprepared for is what led her to start eating right away and saying she didn't have enough food. Maybe it is did, maybe it didn't. I don't know. But the whole "stop calling attention to yourself/stop talking about your diabetes/stop complaining about the food" combined makes me think that there might have been some sort of incident.

    But as Miss Manners says, it is always bad manners to correct someone else's bad manners, so regardless of what inspired the email, the Step-MIL is wrong.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  15. #15

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    It sound like the m-i-l needs to take a good, hard look at her own manners, before attacking someone else.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    This part of the full email is pretty to me.
    WOW. That really does put a very different spin on the comments about eating.

    I'm not diabetic but I have had times when my blood sugar has bottomed out and I honestly can't think or form proper sentences until I've eaten. If I was experiencing that and there was food in front of me? hell yes I would be shoving it down my gullet.

    MIL sounds like a right prig.

    ETA - Prancer, where are you seeing that part of the email? I've found some longer versions than the one linked here, but none that mention the diabetes.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    (((the dude in between these two ladies))) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Let's bring him over to OUR team!

    But seriously, this marriage sounds doomed already.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    But seriously, this marriage sounds doomed already.
    ITA. Eloping would avoid the evil MIL, but honestly, if this email is truly representative of her attitudes toward the poor fiancee.....there's going to be nothing but trouble for her, no matter how much she loves the guy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    Let's bring him over to OUR team!

    But seriously, this marriage sounds doomed already.


    My original post was going to be, "dude...GO GAY!!!" but that wouldn't have solved the problem with the (step-)Mom. Unless she was homophobic and would have disowned him and then he could smile and cross that mistake off his list.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  20. #20

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    What an uppity, haughty, snobbish bitch! And I'm not talking about the daughter-in-law.

    I sense that the daughter in law comes from a poorer family, and she's jumped on that. I doubt she'd send the same email if the daughter in law were royalty and behaved similarly.

    Bullying knows no age limits.

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