A reader sent this in yesterday. The original Facebook post was made to a wedding planning group. On Ehell we did not deliberately expose brides by name but it seems to me that social media has inadvertently created a medium by which brides expose themselves to shaming for their ridiculous expectations.
I am a woman in my mid-30s and a bit on the bigger side, especially after traveling long distances which usually leaves me a bit bloated for a few days. The weight is a thing I am working on, but it’s slow going. My partner and I had traveled across Germany for a family event and after said event, we decided to spend the evening with a good friend. Since he lives in the area, he picked an Italian restaurant for our dinner and the food was excellent.
Then the fun started:
We were sitting in the booth furthest from the door, with me by the wall, my partner across from me and our friend next to me by the aisle. The woman running the restaurant, came over to ask if we needed anything and we asked for the check. As is customary, she offered a drink on the house (usually Grappa, Ramazotti, etc.) and all three of us declined. She then singled me out and said something to the effect of, “Well, you’re not allowed anyway in your condition”. Note that I’d had the tomato soup with gin as starter and my empty wine glass was still standing right there in front of me! I couldn’t come up with a snappy/snarky/any reply at all, because I had a case of total brain freeze. She did say that when I sat down it had looked as if I was pregnant, then went to get the check and I hid under the hood of my jacket while the guys were what I can only describe as bemused.
The woman came back and said that being pregnant was a great thing to which I replied that my sisters had told me otherwise (actually, the worst they told me was about back pain, I just really did not want to have that conversation), but she still wouldn’t get the hint and leave me alone, she said she had loved being pregnant and that my mind would certainly be changed once I was pregnant myself to which I replied that I had no plans of having kids. This is something most people accept as a valid life choice and I usually put in a disclaimer that I reserve the right to change my mind, you know, when talking to people whose opinions actually matter to me. This woman proceeded to label me as a child hater which is definitely not the case, I love my niece and nephews to bits, I just don’t know that I would make a very good mother.
I tried to defend myself and I don’t even know why I felt the need to explain my life choices to a total stranger. This went unheard, because by then, she had told the friend sitting next to me that he’d just have to work on me a bit to change my mind. He told her that he had nothing to do with that, my partner was following the whole train wreck of a conversation with disbelief, but finally managed to get a word in and bring the conversation to the check that was lying on the table, asking the woman to leave us to figure out who owed how much. The total for the three of us was 69.60 EUR, we left 70 and left before anyone came back to the table to further comment on our lives. (Please note that usually we are generous tippers, but in Germany the servers do not have to rely on tips to make ends meet, tips are just a bonus for exceptional service and the way that woman brought our good times to a screeching halt – just, no.)
The woman never apologized for making assumptions and running her mouth, though she did run out the front door after us to thank us and wish us a good evening.
The evening ended with the three of us heading to a bar and the bar tender making me the “special version for bad mood” Long Island Iced Tea, getting my mood back up to silly and drowning the fat-shaming, the contact embarrassment and the “you’re inadequate as a woman, because you do not put your uterus to good use”-shaming in empty calories…
How and when could I or we have convinced the woman to shut up? Is that even possible with such a person? She was entirely tone deaf and reading moods at a table was obviously not her strong suit (which is kind of weird in a person running a restaurant) and she basically went off on a monologue in the middle of that without leaving us much if any room to get a word in. I really don’t feel that I have to defend any choice I make with regards to my own body and life to a complete stranger, but I am also the kind of person who can’t just tell a person to drop it with no room for argument. I could have just walked out once she went to get the check and left one or both of the guys to pay and sorted it all out later, but I could not imagine that someone working in service could be so obtuse and make her patrons so uncomfortable and continue a conversation that should have had her apologizing after voicing her first assumption. Also, the seating arrangements did not really lend themselves to a quick escape and for all I know, the woman would have cut me off to have the exact same conversation in the middle of the restaurant in front of the other patrons, but without the support at my table…
Next time we were up there, my partner’s parents suggested going to that same restaurant and I was very happy when we went somewhere else after I told my MIL the above story… 0110-19
I hate brain freeze. Why do the best snappy comebacks pop into your head hours later?
The restaurant owner made several major assumptions…1) that you were pregnant, and 2) that she the authority to reprimand or control your consumption of alcohol while pregnant. You don’t need some new and snappy comeback. Recognize where your boundaries are and when people cross that boundary you react accordingly. An icy stare and silence works great. Or the classic Ehell comeback, “My, what an interesting assumption”, coupled with that icy stare. People erroneously think etiquette exists to make people feel comfortable. No. It can often aid in making people appropriately uncomfortable and that’s a good thing.
So, what is the newest and “best birthday party trend” ever? It’s the Fiver Party…
“Archie is having a fiver party! He really wants a (name big ticket gift item) so instead of bringing him a gift, please pop a $5 note in a card to go towards this. He’s very excited! Thank you.”
Instead of inviting your child’s little friends and classmates to a birthday party where gifts are purchased and given to the birthday child, the invitation instructs the parent to place a $5 bill in a card to be given to the birthday child to pay for a single expensive gift. If $5 isn’t enough to cover the cost of that big ticket gift, there is such a thing as a “tenner party”. Yep, guests bring a $10 bill.
Lana Hallowes, writing for Babyology.com, details a few of the advantages she sees in this new trend:
1. It’s easy on parents. No more needing to dash to the shops to buy a present and then wondering if the birthday girl already has a rainbow My Little Pony or too much Duplo.
2. It’s budget friendly. If your child gets invited to lots of parties and you spend say $20 each time on a gift, it adds up, especially when little ones start school and the ENTIRE class is invited to the parties.
3. It removes the expectation of ‘stuff’ from birthdays. It teaches kids that parties are about friends and having fun, not piles of presents. It also teaches them the value of saving for something that they really want.
4. It’s environmentally friendly. How many toys end up in landfill after being loved for a period of time and then ignored?
5. It cuts down on toy clutter. t Fewer toys mean fewer things to have to toss, give away or donate to charity when the time comes.
6. The child gets one big and exciting present that they’ve been dreaming about. Not lots of little cheap ones that break and have bits that get lost.
The irony, if you read to the end of the article, is that Ms. Hallowes not only gives her son’s friend $5 but also a small gift which included stickers. Yet another cluttery gift that will end up in a landfill.
But let’s break down those alleged “pros” of having a fiver party…
1. It’s easy on the parents of the birthday child because they are not obligated to bear the entire financial burden of providing their child a big ticket gift. Crowd sourcing the funding to get your kid nice things is easy!
2. It’s one thing when guests take the initiative to get together and pool their money to buy one gift thus being more budget friendly. It’s entirely another issue when parents of the recipient orchestrate the collection of money to benefit a family member.
3. It adds the expectation that birthday = money and that you can corral your friends into funding big ticket items. Five or ten dollars may be a sufficient amount of money at age 5 but by teen years, that dollar amount will increase. It teaches kids that friends are to be used to fund raise and the more “friends” you invite, the more money you get. It teaches them nothing about the value of saving since the concept of saving implies sacrifice, work and frugality to achieve the necessary funds to pay for what you desire. This is not to be confused with what is actually happening at a fiver party, i.e. that it is a fund raiser.
4. Recycle toys. There is a huge industry in selling second hand toys in consignment shops. And if playing the “let’s be environmental friendly” card, be sure your adult hobbies, work are just as environmentally friendly.
5. Books make great gifts, too. There are children who request donations to their favorite charity, Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes or a food pantry for example, instead of personal gifts. How about a “canner party” where guests bring their favorite canned food item to be given to the local food bank?
6. The child may get one big and exciting present but it did not come from the parents who clearly needed the financial assistance from others. The parents did not model saving, personal sacrifice and a hard work ethic to their child but rather how best to extract cash from people to get what you want.
From the same OP who submitted Monday and Tuesday’s stories.
There are about 8 more submitted stories in my Inbox from this individual that I won’t be publishing. Most of them detail her self-imposed alienation from family, friends, neighbors, her ex-husband. Reading them collectively isn’t pretty.
I think the take away from this series of stories is that there is very often far more to the story than we have been told and if we were to hear from the others who have been demonized, we might reach different conclusions.
Ok, so my sister wasn’t a total Bridezilla but pulled a nasty thing the day before her wedding. Sister shall be named Steph , her other bridesmaids Jess (our sister-in- law)and her (ugh, shudder) slutty friend Amy. I was deemed maid of honor but because we lived too far away from each other I couldn’t throw a shower or anything, just show up for wedding. So me, my mom and my son, drive 1200 miles to be there for the wedding in upstate NY. We arrive the day before but a few hours late. Late to what I’m not sure, everyone was just hanging out eating.
My sister was absolutely furious and a total b$&@%. She booted me from my maid of honor status and appointed Jess as maid of honor. I was stunned and incredibly hurt. We just drove for two days to get there.
Fast forward to day of wedding. Jess was all too happy to accept moh and was up my sister’s booty all day, flaunting and sassy and hoity toity in every way possible. Just an annoying b&@$. Her stupid slutty friend Amy was just as bad, completely ignoring me and going out of her way to be nasty and snotty. She wore no underwear and showed her bare butt to everyone at the reception of about 100 people, dancing and laughing like it was no biggie. Yes, yes that’s a biggie flaunting your bare butt and your crotch to a bunch of people. I felt totally unwanted and ignored.
The only good thing was the photo of me, my sister and my brother (who was in the wedding as best man) was absolutely beautiful and we all looked amazing. My sister was truly beautiful bride and our dresses were beautiful too. 1210-18
This was submitted by the same OP who wrote and submitted yesterday’s post. It would appear that there are more sides to the family dynamics than meets the eye.
If you meet or engage someone coming from a perspective that the other person is evil, disgusting, beyond repulsive…people are not stupid. They can pick up on that attitude reeking from every pore of your body and it will not go well.
My father lives in a beautiful townhouse with my stepmother ,lets just call her Cruella. She’s the most materialistic selfish slut, flabbergasted that he married her. The townhouse is appointed with the finest of everything, marble floors, ornate fireplaces, ornate doors, the works. Well, heaven, forbid anyone stay at their “palace” because family wasn’t a priority, their money was. They transformed the second bedroom into their marble inlaid spa room, complete with Jacuzzi tub and marble walls. Yes, marble walls. So they had one bedroom just to make sure no one could ever ever stay there, even when I drove 1000 miles to see them with two small children.
Well, Cruella didn’t speak to or hold either child and went outside to chain smoke for hours. Mind you this was the first time they met their two year old grandson. My father then asks where I’m going to stay. Ummmm…I ended up staying with the awful step sister Jaci. Now Jaci is just like the mother, loud, slutty, no filter. Just horrible. I go to put a movie in, a gross porn movie pops out. Omg. Gross. I just go to bed while my 8 year old has to sleep on the couch. While she’s falling asleep blasting reality tv shows.
The next day we go to the zoo and my father and I pack a nasty lunch of bologna sandwiches And a bag of chips. This guy makes easily $150,000 a year, made twice that when I was a kid but business slowed a tad. I’m not expecting a steakhouse but maybe a lunch somewhere decent?? Applebee’s, Hardee’s?? He hasn’t seen us in seven years, maybe a little splurge on us?? Mind you, I went to the store to buy the kids’ groceries because he had no food. He refused to pay for any groceries for us but whatever. He’s always been cheap but Cruella made him much worse.
So we leave the next day when my step sister’s son, a$$hole of the century, begins to tear me a new one. I’m “disgusting ” for putting a diaper on my two year old on the carpet. He’s clean, the diaper is clean, just sliding it on. He then yells at me that I’m rude and unappreciative and a pig and a slob and I have no respect and everyone there hates me which is why no one visits me. No one else is home, Jaci went to work so I’m left alone with this 13 year old cretin. I told him we were leaving and I never wanted to see him again. I told my father and Jaci. My father is disappointed but doesn’t do anything. Jaci says not a word about it, no apology, no card. Nothing. Little bastard. Didn’t drive 1000 miles to be treated like garbage by her obnoxious rude little pig. I will never go back.
The best part of the trip was the ride home where we stopped off at a lovely little ornate bakery/candy store in rural PA where we bought an amazing lemon cake and candy and enjoyed a fun ride home of sweets and stopped at a wonderful hotel with an indoor pool. 1211-18