Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: BeagleMommy on December 14, 2012, 01:41:10 PM

Title: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: BeagleMommy on December 14, 2012, 01:41:10 PM
Background:  My favorite aunt died about 10 years ago after a long bout with cancer.  She was only 49.  We have always considered her husband, Uncle J, as much part of our family if he were a blood relation.  He's one of the best people I've ever known.  We see him once or twice a month and he is invited to our houses regularly.

About two years ago Uncle J started dating L.  He seems very happy and we are happy for him.  Last week, Uncle J brought L to meet the family so I think things are getting quite serious.  She is a lovely person and I think she is worthy of him.

My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

To my mother's credit, she just gave Snarky Aunt this look  ??? followed by this look  >:(.  Snarky Aunt and her family are the only ones who don't have regular contact with Uncle J.  They only come to events where the rest of the family are attending so it doesn't look "inappropriate"  ::).

I thought my mother's response was worthy of an ehell mention.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 14, 2012, 01:48:42 PM
No.  Some people are simply not capable of being happy.  Either they are just unhappy in general, or they are so uncomfortable expressing positive emotions that they will find a reason to express negative ones.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Calypso on December 14, 2012, 02:10:27 PM
My DH is 25 years senior to me. Wish I could be in your family just long enough to give SnarkyAunt apoplexy!  >:D
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 14, 2012, 02:36:38 PM
No.  Some people are simply not capable of being happy.  Either they are just unhappy in general, or they are so uncomfortable expressing positive emotions that they will find a reason to express negative ones.

This.  Some people were apparently personally offended when I started dating after my husband died.  My response to them: My unhappiness will not bring him back.  My unhappiness will only bring unhappiness to me and to the people in my life. I am still alive, and I intend to live. If that troubles you, please stay out of my life.

I suspect Snarky Aunt is taking out her anger over her sister's death on Uncle J.  I doubt this is about L's age or about L at all.  It is about the fact her sister is gone, and Uncle J remaining single will not bring her back.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Thipu1 on December 14, 2012, 03:36:39 PM
Snarky Anut is getting her nose out of joint because a man is dating a nice woman 8 years after the death of his first wife?  As the punch-line of an old joke goes, 'She prefers her grievance'. 

Everyone else seems pleased with the situation and the Mother of the OP's reaction to snarky Aunt was quite appropriate in the circumstances.

The best course of action is to ignore the killjoy.  Her opinions are worth nothing. 
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Auntie Mame on December 14, 2012, 04:05:53 PM
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

Kudos to your Mom force grace under bitterness.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: MrTango on December 14, 2012, 05:00:38 PM
My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

"I'm glad your math skills are still intact, Aunt Snarky."  >:D

No?
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: sweetonsno on December 14, 2012, 05:06:31 PM
My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

"I'm glad your math skills are still intact, Aunt Snarky."  >:D

No?

*Like*

Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 14, 2012, 05:22:38 PM
Ten years is a big deal when one person is 59 and the other is 49???  On what planet and why does she care?  He's been alone for eight years; is he never allowed to date again?
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: caz on December 15, 2012, 10:02:43 AM
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Auntie Mame on December 15, 2012, 10:40:19 AM
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D

Just call me Mrs. Robinson
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: mharbourgirl on December 16, 2012, 09:03:42 AM
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D

I was a 25-year-old woman who hooked up with a 20-year-old man a week before his 20th birthday. That was almost 18 years ago.  He loves to make 'married an older woman' jokes when he's out of arm's reach.  ;D

Funny thing is, people usually assume he's the older on of us due to my well-preservedness and general immaturity.  Works for me.   ;)
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Winterlight on December 16, 2012, 09:15:49 AM
I'd vote for responding, "Yes, she is," in a sweet and uncomprehending tone. As if her attitude had flown right past.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Thipu1 on December 16, 2012, 09:47:52 AM
We had something like this happen with a colleague.

She's an academic and, for many years she was married to another academic.  They lived abroad and she moved back to the US after he died.

A few years later she and her new companion paid us a visit.  You couldn't imagine anyone more different than her late husband.  The guy looked like the stereotypical outlaw biker.  At first, we wondered if she had gone insane.   

However, after having lunch with the guy, almost all of us changed our minds.  He was sweet, intelligent, polite and funny.  Appearances aside, they were perfect for each other. 

You never can tell.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: DollyPond on December 16, 2012, 10:22:53 AM
Something similar happened with a friend who recently passed away.

At her memorial service it became clear that her first husband was somewhat a "stick-in-the-mud".  After he had passed away, she re-married a younger much more adventurous man who joined the Peace Corps with her and afterwards they traveled the world.  Because of him she wound up living an exciting and fulfilling life with many, many friends (the memorial service was packed).

Many of the people who knew her when she was married to first husband commented that she would never had had that kind of life with him.

Maybe Uncle J is ready for a new lease on life and Aunt Snarky can't deal with it.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: VorFemme on December 16, 2012, 10:31:56 AM
Lil Sis's second husband is a good ten or twelve years younger than she is (I'm terrible with remembering the YEAR someone was born - which is why the name and year is written down in that square of the calendar).  Your Snarky Aunt would have her head explode!
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: Firecat on December 16, 2012, 05:57:02 PM
My DH is 13 years older than I am. I tease him about having a "trophy wife." My dad is 11 years older than Mom is.

I vote we all show up at the next event, just so Aunt Snarky won't know who to complain about first?
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: rose red on December 16, 2012, 07:28:57 PM
The aunt probably still think the OP is a child and by extention, anybody her age.  Relatives my parents age still think I'm a little girl (or at least a teenager) even though I'm technically old enough to be a grandmother.  It's especially true for the kind of relatives who don't see extended family often.  If the OP's aunt really think about the facts and not with emotions, hopefully she'll realise how silly she's being.  Hopefully.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: nuit93 on December 16, 2012, 07:46:56 PM
Oh goodness, I've been dating a man nearly ten years my senior since I was 24, and he's not even the oldest guy I've dated.  NOT that big a deal!
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: norrina on December 16, 2012, 09:02:20 PM
My ex-fiancÚ was 41 and I was just shy of 23 when we met; and 18 1/2 year age difference for anyone who doesn't care to do the math. We were together for 7 1/2 years, and eventually separated for reasons entirely unrelated to our ages.

I am 34 now and my DF is "only" 5 3/4 years older than me.

But I suppose FWIW I've never dated a widower, if that's Snarky Aunt's issue. I have heard that sometimes the bereaved do re-enter the dating world though.  :o
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: AnnaJane on December 16, 2012, 10:41:28 PM
If it hadn't been the age, there would have been something for Aunt to get upset over. Aunt likes carrots, L likes green beans: any excuse will do. She's made up her mind to be unhappy over the new relationship.
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: VorFemme on December 16, 2012, 10:55:59 PM
I have a friend who is married to a guy some thirty years older than she is - if you really want Snarky Aunt's head to explode - look up famous couples with large age differences.....and send her the photos.  Especially if they are showing off a new baby with Dad being old enough to be Granddad!
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: *new*mommyagain36 on December 18, 2012, 02:21:04 PM
To answer your question, no some people cannot be happy.  Ever.  For any reason.
10 years would only make a difference if one of them were not over 18.  IMHO.

A dear member of my own family and his spouse separated and divorced.  It was actually a mutual decision and an amicable split.  There are no children involved and all property was split right down the middle.  Now, he has a GF, many years after the divorce was finalized, and there are members of the family that are just so outraged.  How DARE he start dating.  Uhm , huh?

Also, my Grandmother was going on and on about a deceased cousin not having a headstone after being buried about 2 years and in the next breath she said, "oh and her husband is dating again and she's not even cold yet!"  I mean,  :o
Title: Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
Post by: desireesgranny on December 19, 2012, 11:59:40 AM
After being divorced for 22 years, I have finally decided to start dating. You would think the world has come to an end.

Introducing my date at a party, one of my cousins was so irate about it. He couldn't believe I was actually dating someone! Oh the horror! LOL

Told him to get over it. >:D