Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 02:57:53 PM

Title: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 02:57:53 PM
My friend Clarissa just got engaged.  Her fiance Charles is fairly successful and bought her a beautiful engagement ring.  Its drop dead gorgeous.  (edited to be less specific - let say its large, and easily worth 2 - 3X the SIL's ring)

Clarissa and Charles are both in their early thirties.  Charles has an older sister who is in her early forties.  Daphne has been married many years and (this is important) has a 1 carat diamond ring.  (Charles knows this because she has mentioned this many times over the years )  After they were engaged, Charles called his parents and then his sister to tell her about their engagement.  Clarissa was right there when he called.  According to her the conversation went something like this:

Charles:  I wanted to let you know we are officially engaged!

Daphne:  Congratulations!  Her ring isn't bigger than mine is it?

Charles:  Ah, ah, well its a XXX  not a diamond,, so you don't have to worry.

Clarissa doesn't really know the FSIL well.  Charles said she was just kidding.  She thought is was a very odd comment.  She asked me what I thought, and I said that if she was kidding it was still pretty rude to ask and the way she asked maybe indicated an interesting family dynamic.  What if she had chosen a diamond ring?  (Her ruby is as expensive as a diamond).  Is Charles supposed to make sure that his fiance's ring isn't bigger than his sister's ring?  I thought it was odd.

So was the FSIL rude to ask?  What could Charles have said to deflect her question?  Clarissa feels very odd now about wearing the ring around her FSIL.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: goldilocks on January 08, 2013, 03:30:26 PM
I would act as if it were a joke, because surely nobody would ask such a question seriously!!!
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: whatsanenigma on January 08, 2013, 03:34:52 PM
I think it's hard to know if this was rude or not without knowing more about the family dynamics.  In some families, such a statement would be rude beyond measure, and in others, it would just be part of the style of joking that they do.

Without information to the contrary, I would just assume it was a joke in the style of typical family interactions between Charles and his sister.  It might have struck his wife to be as odd if that is not the style of her family-that would be perfectly understandable.   But, especially given that Charles himself said that it was just a joke, I would personally just laugh it off and take it as a joke and also, try to learn from the interaction something about how that particular family relates and gets along, so I could relax around them and get to know them more quickly.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: whatsanenigma on January 08, 2013, 03:40:28 PM
Clarissa feels very odd now about wearing the ring around her FSIL.

Another thought:  It sounds to me like FSIL hasn't actually seen the ring yet.  To test the waters, to see what nature this comment was intended in, Clarissa could, the next time she sees FSIL, just say in a laughing, casual way, "Charles said you were curious about my ring" and show it to her.  Then, if it really was just a joke, Clarissa and FSIL can compare rings and discuss why each went with their respective choices and what they mean, and have a nice, bonding, conversation.  And if FSIL really is obsessed with "One caret is the best way to go and anyone else is wrong" or "Nobody should have a ring bigger than mine" or any similar thoughts, that will come out in the conversation also, and Clarissa will learn, either way, something about how to proceed with FSIL.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: rose red on January 08, 2013, 03:49:46 PM
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa not to feel weird wearing it around FSIL, because it has nothing to do with her.

edited for spelling and clearer thoughts.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 03:54:47 PM
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa to wear her ring with pride, because it was given with love, no matter who big or how much it's worth.

Clarissa's ring is also natural and untreated. 

I thought it was odd/rude/strange because if daphne had received a full answer (yes it cost more) she would have created an awkward situation.  I've also never heard of anyone asking over the phone the size of an engagement ring.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: rose red on January 08, 2013, 03:57:39 PM
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa to wear her ring with pride, because it was given with love, no matter who big or how much it's worth.

Clarissa's ring is also natural and untreated.

Oh, I wasn't saying Clarissa's ring was not natural (I have no clue).  Just telling a story about people's assumptions about rubies.

I changed some words in my previous post because I don't know why Clarissa feels odd about wearing her ring around FSIL. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: m2kbug on January 08, 2013, 04:00:41 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 08, 2013, 04:05:05 PM
WoW!   

Rude, joking or not.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: onyonryngs on January 08, 2013, 04:08:31 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: WillyNilly on January 08, 2013, 04:32:14 PM
Yeah to me this sounds like a sibling thing, not anything for Clarissa to be concerned over.

There could be some funny back story - sister is about 10 years older then Charles and has been married for over a decade, right?  So Charles was young when she got her ring.  so maybe he made some sort of snarky teenage comment about how someday he'd get his fiancee something bigger, and it turned into a running joke between them.  Maybe over the years, as Charles has become successful in his career his sister has ribbed him "now remember, its 1 carat, that's not chump change, you'll need a better promotion then that!" "oh took the whole week off huh?  I don't see how you'll beat 1 carat with those kinds of stunts!" etc.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 08, 2013, 04:45:24 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

I would go with this idea, until more information presents itself. I guess the phone call was on speaker or Clarissa was on an extension or something, right, so she directly heard Daphne say it? Did Daphne know Clarissa was on the line? I must admit it sounds a little weird to say if she knew Clarissa was there, because it could easily be misinterpreted. But, until Clarissa has more interactions with Daphne, I don't think she can really judge for herself how the comment was meant, and should go with the assumption that everything is cool and she has no need to feel embarrassed/awkward about her ring.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Surianne on January 08, 2013, 04:48:06 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.

I agree, just take it as a joke.  The "whose ring is bigger!!" is a staple of competitive bride stereotypes so she may have just been riffing on that.  WillyNilly has a good point as well that it may be sibling teasing that has some background.

Honestly, from the details about how Clarissa's ring is "easily worth 2-3X the SIL's" and "Clarissa's ring is untreated and natural" it seems like Clarissa might be more the bragging/competitive type than the SIL, so that might be why she's taking the joke too seriously and reading into it motivations that aren't there (I don't see where the SIL actually commented about the cost of Clarissa's ring).

So I wouldn't worry about it at all, unless the SIL makes future comments directly to Clarissa. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: weeblewobble on January 08, 2013, 05:03:30 PM
People get really weird about significant jewelry.  My husband gave me a promise ring before we got engaged. He happened to give it to me for Christmas, right around the time his sister's (first) divorce was finalized. When SIL* saw me wearing it, (while visiting a dying relative in the hospital) she told me to move it off of my ring finger.  It wasn't appropriate, she told me, and what would I do when I got my "real" ring?

Then, afterwards she told me that when she saw the ring, before DH gave it to me, she told him to take it back because it was a "green precious stone" and everybody knew that "green precious stones" were her thing.  DH refused, since the stone was my birthstone and she didn't get any input in the decision anyway.

The truth, was that she just didn't want anyone to be wearing anything resembling an engagement ring while she was recently divorced.  So I shrugged, told her I didn't see how my jewelry was her business and turned my attention to the sick relative.

I don't know why people make these strange, awkward statements when other people have made huge life-changing decisions.  It's probably something to do with insecurities, regrets, weather patterns, something.

*Heretofore known as Bad SiL for this and many many escalating incidents of bad behavior.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Lynnv on January 08, 2013, 05:16:52 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.

I can see my sister saying something like this to me.  And it would be completely in character for our family.  Unless Clarissa has reason to think Charles is lying to her (in which case she has an entirely different problem), I would take him at his word and try not to read too much into it. 

WoW!   

Rude, joking or not.

I disagree.  It entirely depends on the relationship between Charles and Daphne.  Among close friends and family, a joke that would be rude between strangers or acquaintances may be perfectly acceptable.

Edited to fix spelling errors-posting from the phone can be a little iffy, to say the least. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: m2kbug on January 08, 2013, 05:54:55 PM
Honestly, from the details about how Clarissa's ring is "easily worth 2-3X the SIL's" and "Clarissa's ring is untreated and natural" it seems like Clarissa might be more the bragging/competitive type than the SIL, so that might be why she's taking the joke too seriously and reading into it motivations that aren't there (I don't see where the SIL actually commented about the cost of Clarissa's ring).

Yes.  I didn't pick up on this one, but the description of the size, cost, value was bothersome to me, I didn't know why.  I think you have a good point. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 06:15:14 PM
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

I would go with this idea, until more information presents itself. I guess the phone call was on speaker or Clarissa was on an extension or something, right, so she directly heard Daphne say it? Did Daphne know Clarissa was on the line? I must admit it sounds a little weird to say if she knew Clarissa was there, because it could easily be misinterpreted. But, until Clarissa has more interactions with Daphne, I don't think she can really judge for herself how the comment was meant, and should go with the assumption that everything is cool and she has no need to feel embarrassed/awkward about her ring.

It was on speaker and she knew Clarissa was there.  Clarissa said it didn't sound like a joking voice.  Charles is also known to think the best of other people
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 06:19:35 PM
Honestly, from the details about how Clarissa's ring is "easily worth 2-3X the SIL's" and "Clarissa's ring is untreated and natural" it seems like Clarissa might be more the bragging/competitive type than the SIL, so that might be why she's taking the joke too seriously and reading into it motivations that aren't there (I don't see where the SIL actually commented about the cost of Clarissa's ring).

Yes.  I didn't pick up on this one, but the description of the size, cost, value was bothersome to me, I didn't know why.  I think you have a good point.

Clarissa never told me the price, but I know the jeweler they used and know what similar rings cost.  We have had discussions about jewelry before as I have a few colored stone pieces and she had questions about their care and treatment.

I think that asking the size of a stone is the same thing as asking the price.  But, thats just me.  I've never had anyone ask me the size of my ring and would be really taken aback if it happened to me.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 06:23:30 PM
People get really weird about significant jewelry.  My husband gave me a promise ring before we got engaged. He happened to give it to me for Christmas, right around the time his sister's (first) divorce was finalized. When SIL* saw me wearing it, (while visiting a dying relative in the hospital) she told me to move it off of my ring finger.  It wasn't appropriate, she told me, and what would I do when I got my "real" ring?

Then, afterwards she told me that when she saw the ring, before DH gave it to me, she told him to take it back because it was a "green precious stone" and everybody knew that "green precious stones" were her thing.  DH refused, since the stone was my birthstone and she didn't get any input in the decision anyway.

The truth, was that she just didn't want anyone to be wearing anything resembling an engagement ring while she was recently divorced.  So I shrugged, told her I didn't see how my jewelry was her business and turned my attention to the sick relative.

I don't know why people make these strange, awkward statements when other people have made huge life-changing decisions.  It's probably something to do with insecurities, regrets, weather patterns, something.

*Heretofore known as Bad SiL for this and many many escalating incidents of bad behavior.

Wow.  I wonder how far that would extend?  Could cousin's fiances' wear green stones?  Or second cousins?
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: CluelessBride on January 08, 2013, 06:33:16 PM
Honestly, from the details about how Clarissa's ring is "easily worth 2-3X the SIL's" and "Clarissa's ring is untreated and natural" it seems like Clarissa might be more the bragging/competitive type than the SIL, so that might be why she's taking the joke too seriously and reading into it motivations that aren't there (I don't see where the SIL actually commented about the cost of Clarissa's ring).

Yes.  I didn't pick up on this one, but the description of the size, cost, value was bothersome to me, I didn't know why.  I think you have a good point.

Clarissa never told me the price, but I know the jeweler they used and know what similar rings cost.  We have had discussions about jewelry before as I have a few colored stone pieces and she had questions about their care and treatment.

I think that asking the size of a stone is the same thing as asking the price.  But, thats just me.  I've never had anyone ask me the size of my ring and would be really taken aback if it happened to me.

The size of the stone is only a tiny piece of the price, in fact knowing only the size gives you almost no indication of the size. For example, a round 1 carat diamond from Blue Nile can be anywhere from $3k to $25k depending on the cut, clarity and color (http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-search?track=btn1).  But knowing the size can give you a sense for what the ring looks like, just like knowing the shape.  So I wouldn't consider that even in the same ball park as asking what the ring/diamond cost. 

Of course in this case, she didn't ask the size, she just made a comment/joke about it in comparison to her own.

Bottom line here is that assuming Clarissa wants a good relationship with her husbands family she should go along with his claims that this was a joke. If there are future indications of malice, worry about it then. But dwelling on it has the potential to turn into "looking for offense" and becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: weeblewobble on January 08, 2013, 06:36:37 PM
People get really weird about significant jewelry.  My husband gave me a promise ring before we got engaged. He happened to give it to me for Christmas, right around the time his sister's (first) divorce was finalized. When SIL* saw me wearing it, (while visiting a dying relative in the hospital) she told me to move it off of my ring finger.  It wasn't appropriate, she told me, and what would I do when I got my "real" ring?

Then, afterwards she told me that when she saw the ring, before DH gave it to me, she told him to take it back because it was a "green precious stone" and everybody knew that "green precious stones" were her thing.  DH refused, since the stone was my birthstone and she didn't get any input in the decision anyway.

The truth, was that she just didn't want anyone to be wearing anything resembling an engagement ring while she was recently divorced.  So I shrugged, told her I didn't see how my jewelry was her business and turned my attention to the sick relative.

I don't know why people make these strange, awkward statements when other people have made huge life-changing decisions.  It's probably something to do with insecurities, regrets, weather patterns, something.

*Heretofore known as Bad SiL for this and many many escalating incidents of bad behavior.

Wow.  I wonder how far that would extend?  Could cousin's fiances' wear green stones?  Or second cousins?

No idea.  ::)  And honestly, I'd never heard anything about green stones being "her thing."  She never even wore green stone jewelry.  SIL's lifelong habit was to make this sort of "stand" about situations that had nothing to do with her, so instead of the attention being focused on the situation itself, the attention was on SIL's hurt feelings.

This was the first time she'd pulled such a thing on me, though.  For the five years previous I'd been dating her brother, she'd basically ignored me.  Years later, I tease DH that it's his fault that the promise ring "put me on her radar."
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 08, 2013, 07:00:50 PM
This would be a joke in our family between siblings.  I'm suprised your friend felt there was more to it then a joke between siblings.  We are currently all giving our  DHs grief in a completely joking manor because our nephew gave his fiancée a beautiful custom design ring.  But of course none of us would actual trade our rings for hers. 

***my sister has the most beautiful and sweetest dog ever. Our family joke is that no one is allowed to own a cutter dog because he will always be "People's magazine's Most Sexiest Dog".
I can completely imagine her asking a family member with a new puppy "but it's not cutter than Kujo, is it".
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Roe on January 09, 2013, 08:15:16 AM
Yeah to me this sounds like a sibling thing, not anything for Clarissa to be concerned over.


Exactly!  Often, the conversations betweens siblings aren't ehell approved! ;) 

Seriously, unless the FSIL is rude to her face, I'd forget about it.  There's no need to create drama without reason.  Your friend needs to take her fiance's lead and follow it in this situation.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 09, 2013, 12:00:15 PM
Regardless of the intent, Clarissa should wear her ring proudly.  Sometimes even the tone in which something is said is no indicator of intent.  My brother and I have highly developed senses of snark and sarcasm.  A stranger listening to us would know that we loved each other.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mikayla on January 09, 2013, 02:41:02 PM

It was on speaker and she knew Clarissa was there.  Clarissa said it didn't sound like a joking voice.  Charles is also known to think the best of other people

It sounds to me more like Clarissa may be trying to think the worst of other people!  On the bolded, since she doesn't know Daphne that well, how would she even know what her joking voice sounds like?

I'm someone whose humor is both sarcastic and deadpan.  I can easily see myself saying something like this to my brother in a tone that only close family and friends would recognize as my weird humor. 

So I vote this is most likely sib humor.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 09, 2013, 03:01:44 PM
Even if it isn't a joke, it's in Clarissa's best interest to pretend it was (and to continue to pretend it is, if she's asked again). It is much more easy to laugh off an "obvious" joke.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: whatsanenigma on January 09, 2013, 03:38:39 PM

It was on speaker and she knew Clarissa was there.  Clarissa said it didn't sound like a joking voice.  Charles is also known to think the best of other people

It sounds to me more like Clarissa may be trying to think the worst of other people!  On the bolded, since she doesn't know Daphne that well, how would she even know what her joking voice sounds like?


I wonder if Clarissa has recieved unambiguosly negative comments about her ring from other people, and is therefore somewhat sensitive, and is maybe thinking "the worst" of Daphne because of that, maybe just assuming, without really thinking about why, that Daphne also means to put down the ring or even the whole relationship.

It wouldn't be fair if that is the case-not fair for others to put down anything about Clarissa's relationship or ring, and not fair for Clarissa to jump to any conclusions while hardly knowing Daphne-but it would be totally understandable if Clarissa's sensitive reaction is motivated by this, I think, and I hope that eventually the ice can get broken and she and Daphne can be comfortable together, because, like most posters, I am 99% sure this was just a joke-and even if it wasn't, I agree with the posters who have said it would be best for Clarissa to act as though it were, at least for now, unless/until other evidence turns up.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: mj on January 09, 2013, 04:25:51 PM

It was on speaker and she knew Clarissa was there.  Clarissa said it didn't sound like a joking voice.  Charles is also known to think the best of other people

It sounds to me more like Clarissa may be trying to think the worst of other people!  On the bolded, since she doesn't know Daphne that well, how would she even know what her joking voice sounds like?

I'm someone whose humor is both sarcastic and deadpan.  I can easily see myself saying something like this to my brother in a tone that only close family and friends would recognize as my weird humor. 

So I vote this is most likely sib humor.

Actually, the bolded is a question I had too.  But with a twist, if Daphne was joking, how would she know Clarissa would get something like that?  I am inclined to believe it was a joke, but it does sound like it's the type of inside joke that a newcomer wouldn't know about. 

As a newcomer, Clarissa doesn't have the benefit of knowing all this.  This is one of her first important interactions with her FSIL.  She is looking for approval, probably not jokes.  No matter how much FSIL and her fiance thinks it's funny.  This reminds me of the people who say something hurtful and then when it's addressed, they proclaim loudly "they were just joking!"  Without regard to the actual person who they made the brunt of their joke.  If Clarissa didn't think it was funny, then it wasn't to her.  The onus isn't just on Clarissa to get to know FSIL, it goes both ways.

And I do agree with the poster who stated that people do act strange around rings.  I've gotten some questionable comments myself and have no idea why.  It makes me wonder why a simple congratulations can't be uttered.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 09, 2013, 08:08:16 PM

It was on speaker and she knew Clarissa was there.  Clarissa said it didn't sound like a joking voice.  Charles is also known to think the best of other people

It sounds to me more like Clarissa may be trying to think the worst of other people!  On the bolded, since she doesn't know Daphne that well, how would she even know what her joking voice sounds like?

I'm someone whose humor is both sarcastic and deadpan.  I can easily see myself saying something like this to my brother in a tone that only close family and friends would recognize as my weird humor. 

So I vote this is most likely sib humor.

Actually, the bolded is a question I had too.  But with a twist, if Daphne was joking, how would she know Clarissa would get something like that?  I am inclined to believe it was a joke, but it does sound like it's the type of inside joke that a newcomer wouldn't know about. 

As a newcomer, Clarissa doesn't have the benefit of knowing all this.  This is one of her first important interactions with her FSIL.  She is looking for approval, probably not jokes.  No matter how much FSIL and her fiance thinks it's funny.  This reminds me of the people who say something hurtful and then when it's addressed, they proclaim loudly "they were just joking!"  Without regard to the actual person who they made the brunt of their joke.  If Clarissa didn't think it was funny, then it wasn't to her.  The onus isn't just on Clarissa to get to know FSIL, it goes both ways.

And I do agree with the poster who stated that people do act strange around rings.  I've gotten some questionable comments myself and have no idea why.  It makes me wonder why a simple congratulations can't be uttered.

I once said something I thought was pretty funny in front of my sister's in-laws.  The Stork (my mom) also thought it was pretty funny; even my brother in law laughed at it.  My sister?  She later went off the handle on me for embarrassing her because her in-laws just didn't know my sense of humor and how dare I say something like that?!  That someone may not get my sense of humor never crossed my mind before I said it because it was a knee-jerk response.  I can't fault Daphne for following her own sense of humor.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 09, 2013, 08:11:06 PM
WoW!   

Rude, joking or not.

I fully disagree.  A lot of things that are jokes between close people would be rude if those people weren't close and didn't know it was a joke.  That doesn't make those things automatically rude; there is no blanket statement for that.



OP, it seems like Clarissa is too focused on the size/cost of rings and that Daphne was joking with her brother.  Even if it wasn't a joke, until Clarissa has other evidence of similar behavior from her FSIL, she needs to let this one go and just follow her fiance's lead.  Why would he lie to her about something as simple as that?
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: NyaChan on January 09, 2013, 10:22:49 PM
The problem with the "joke" is that there ARE a lot of women who do have that attitude towards rings (I'm pretty sure I've read about some of them here on ehell actually).  As a result, I don't think it is an overreaction for Clarissa to wonder whether SIL is serious and therefore one of those people and definitely don't think that it is some indication that it is actually Clarissa who is overly concerned with comparing ring cost and size.  Still, she isn't in the best position to know whether SIL was serious, but her future husband is.  I think it is in her best interest for future relations to assume SIL was kidding and let it go.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 09, 2013, 10:44:58 PM
The problem with the "joke" is that there ARE a lot of women who do have that attitude towards rings (I'm pretty sure I've read about some of them here on ehell actually).  As a result, I don't think it is an overreaction for Clarissa to wonder whether SIL is serious and therefore one of those people and definitely don't think that it is some indication that it is actually Clarissa who is overly concerned with comparing ring cost and size.  Still, she isn't in the best position to know whether SIL was serious, but her future husband is.  I think it is in her best interest for future relations to assume SIL was kidding and let it go.

To wonder if SIL is serious is not an overreaction; continuing to wonder after her DF told her it was a joke and thought no more on it is a different matter.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Maggie on January 10, 2013, 12:22:19 AM
Honestly we have the OP's words and not what Clarissa actually thinks.  We should really stop putting words in her mouth.  I can totally see a sister saying something like that to her brother.  Big sisters are like that :)  I don't think it was rude at all.  I also think Clarissa is still in the "honeymoon" stage with her ring.  She thinks it is the most beautiful and biggest stone possible.  To her it is on a par with Kate Middleton's ring (Princess Diana's ring).  This is the way it should be.  I hope they have a very happy life together.  I think she was joking and I hope they become the closest of friends!
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 10, 2013, 01:17:46 AM
Honestly we have the OP's words and not what Clarissa actually thinks.  We should really stop putting words in her mouth.  I can totally see a sister saying something like that to her brother.  Big sisters are like that :)  I don't think it was rude at all.  I also think Clarissa is still in the "honeymoon" stage with her ring.  She thinks it is the most beautiful and biggest stone possible.  To her it is on a par with Kate Middleton's ring (Princess Diana's ring).  This is the way it should be.  I hope they have a very happy life together.  I think she was joking and I hope they become the closest of friends!

You say we don't know what Clarissa actually thinks and we should stop putting words in her mouth.  Then you go on to purport you think Clarissa thinks it is the most beautiful and biggest stone possible and to her with what it is on par.  How is that any different than what you say we shouldn't be doing?
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Maggie on January 10, 2013, 01:27:46 AM
Honestly we have the OP's words and not what Clarissa actually thinks.  We should really stop putting words in her mouth.  I can totally see a sister saying something like that to her brother.  Big sisters are like that :)  I don't think it was rude at all.  I also think Clarissa is still in the "honeymoon" stage with her ring.  She thinks it is the most beautiful and biggest stone possible.  To her it is on a par with Kate Middleton's ring (Princess Diana's ring).  This is the way it should be.  I hope they have a very happy life together.  I think she was joking and I hope they become the closest of friends!

You say we don't know what Clarissa actually thinks and we should stop putting words in her mouth.  Then you go on to purport you think Clarissa thinks it is the most beautiful and biggest stone possible and to her with what it is on par.  How is that any different than what you say we shouldn't be doing?

I will modify that to most women think theirs is the biggest and best. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 09:58:14 AM
I think those early meetings between potential new family members can be very tricky. Yes, Daphne should be herself and show her sense of humor that her family knows so well, so she and Clarissa can get to know each other. But on the other hand, I think that particular joke is of a questionable type that Daphne should probably have saved for a bit later in the "getting to know you" process.

Fundamentally, though, if Charles says it was a joke, I think Clarissa should try to accept that (and maybe she has by now). If she doesn't trust Charles's assessment of his own family members, I think they have bigger issues. But of course that does happen sometimes, with the new spouse being truly hurt by something the in-laws said or did, that is brushed off as "a joke" or "normal" by their SO, who's used to that kind of (bad) behavior. I think this single incident is not enough for Clarissa to be worrying about, though.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 10, 2013, 11:33:02 AM
I asked Clarissa today about the conversation.  She said that Charles looked pretty taken aback by Daphne's comment, but afterwards said "Oh, I think she was just kidding around".  Clarissa is going to assume that it was a joke but  make sure she is careful what she says and wears around Daphne until she knows her better. 

Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: m2kbug on January 10, 2013, 12:30:59 PM
I can see problems with one-uppance, and that certain people might create issues and drama because nobody is "allowed" to have anything better or prettier.  Like it's some personal attack that someone would dare have a prettier ring or more expensive handbag or better car or manicure, the list goes on.  I would hope this is not the case with Daphne, and it really sounded more like joking to me from what you have shared.  Maybe she might be a little jealous.  Clarissa shouldn't worry about wearing the ring in front of Daphne. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 10, 2013, 01:12:01 PM
I asked Clarissa today about the conversation.  She said that Charles looked pretty taken aback by Daphne's comment, but afterwards said "Oh, I think she was just kidding around".  Clarissa is going to assume that it was a joke but  make sure she is careful what she says and wears around Daphne until she knows her better.

Unless Clarissa is in the habit of waving her new ring in peoples faces and shouting, "Kneel before the majesty of my bling, kneel!" then I would say she should just wear what she normally wears and be herself.  FSIL made one comment that her brother assumes to be a joke.  To take that one thing and move forward with the plan of "being careful" about what one wears/says in front of her comes across (to me) as a bit dramatic.  It gives the impression Clarissa is slightly escalating the situation preemptively. 

Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: weeblewobble on January 10, 2013, 01:28:02 PM
I asked Clarissa today about the conversation.  She said that Charles looked pretty taken aback by Daphne's comment, but afterwards said "Oh, I think she was just kidding around".  Clarissa is going to assume that it was a joke but  make sure she is careful what she says and wears around Daphne until she knows her better.

Unless Clarissa is in the habit of waving her new ring in peoples faces and shouting, "Kneel before the majesty of my bling, kneel!"

For the record, OP, if Clarissa does this and you video tape it, I will give you a shiny quarter.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 10, 2013, 02:06:34 PM
I asked Clarissa today about the conversation.  She said that Charles looked pretty taken aback by Daphne's comment, but afterwards said "Oh, I think she was just kidding around".  Clarissa is going to assume that it was a joke but  make sure she is careful what she says and wears around Daphne until she knows her better.

Unless Clarissa is in the habit of waving her new ring in peoples faces and shouting, "Kneel before the majesty of my bling, kneel!" then I would say she should just wear what she normally wears and be herself.  FSIL made one comment that her brother assumes to be a joke.  To take that one thing and move forward with the plan of "being careful" about what one wears/says in front of her comes across (to me) as a bit dramatic.  It gives the impression Clarissa is slightly escalating the situation preemptively.

SHe wasn't referring to her engagement ring, it was more like she was going to be sure not to dress up when she was around her until she gets a better idea about what she is like.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Two Ravens on January 10, 2013, 02:21:17 PM
I think it doesn't matter if it was a joke/not a joke. Clarissa is spending waaaay too much time dwelling it on. She doesn't need to analyze how Daphne dresses or alter her own style of dress unless she plans on walking on eggshells around her for the rest of her life. Assuming the worst about Daphne, why let that type of person live rent free in her head?
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Poppea on January 10, 2013, 02:50:32 PM
I think it doesn't matter if it was a joke/not a joke. Clarissa is spending waaaay too much time dwelling it on. She doesn't need to analyze how Daphne dresses or alter her own style of dress unless she plans on walking on eggshells around her for the rest of her life. Assuming the worst about Daphne, why let that type of person live rent free in her head?

That is an interesting assumption.  She told me about it and I asked her a follow up question.   She's not going to alter her style of dressing, but isn't going to wear any obviously designer things when she meets her next month.  If Daphne has some sort of chip on her shoulder, well she lives in another state and it would be wiser to wait until after all the wedding festivities are over.  Charles is not very close to his sister and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.

Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 10, 2013, 02:59:03 PM
I think it doesn't matter if it was a joke/not a joke. Clarissa is spending waaaay too much time dwelling it on. She doesn't need to analyze how Daphne dresses or alter her own style of dress unless she plans on walking on eggshells around her for the rest of her life. Assuming the worst about Daphne, why let that type of person live rent free in her head?

That is an interesting assumption.  She told me about it and I asked her a follow up question.   She's not going to alter her style of dressing, but isn't going to wear any obviously designer things when she meets her next month.  If Daphne has some sort of chip on her shoulder, well she lives in another state and it would be wiser to wait until after all the wedding festivities are over.  Charles is not very close to his sister and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.

The fact that she's thought long enough on this to decide that she won't wear specific clothing is a bit of evidence that leads to the conclusion Clarissa is indeed spending too much time dwelling on a stupid comment.  She got from a stupid comment about a ring to about what clothing she is or is not going to wear; that doesn't happen in a split second.  It's not an interesting assumption, it's an easy conclusion to which to come.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 10, 2013, 02:59:33 PM
I asked Clarissa today about the conversation.  She said that Charles looked pretty taken aback by Daphne's comment, but afterwards said "Oh, I think she was just kidding around".  Clarissa is going to assume that it was a joke but  make sure she is careful what she says and wears around Daphne until she knows her better.

Unless Clarissa is in the habit of waving her new ring in peoples faces and shouting, "Kneel before the majesty of my bling, kneel!" then I would say she should just wear what she normally wears and be herself.  FSIL made one comment that her brother assumes to be a joke.  To take that one thing and move forward with the plan of "being careful" about what one wears/says in front of her comes across (to me) as a bit dramatic.  It gives the impression Clarissa is slightly escalating the situation preemptively.

SHe wasn't referring to her engagement ring, it was more like she was going to be sure not to dress up when she was around her until she gets a better idea about what she is like.

There must be more background than we are hearing because this seems unusual for your friend to be concerned about going over to her future inlaws for dinner dressed a little nicer than the FSIL.  Anyway, if she doesn't know her well, how is she even going to have an idea of how the FSIL would plan to dress until she arrived some place and saw her?
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 10, 2013, 03:15:20 PM
I think it doesn't matter if it was a joke/not a joke. Clarissa is spending waaaay too much time dwelling it on. She doesn't need to analyze how Daphne dresses or alter her own style of dress unless she plans on walking on eggshells around her for the rest of her life. Assuming the worst about Daphne, why let that type of person live rent free in her head?

That is an interesting assumption.  She told me about it and I asked her a follow up question.   She's not going to alter her style of dressing, but isn't going to wear any obviously designer things when she meets her next month.  If Daphne has some sort of chip on her shoulder, well she lives in another state and it would be wiser to wait until after all the wedding festivities are over.  Charles is not very close to his sister and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.

I get not liking the joke.  I get not sharing the same sense of humor, but to take a one-off comment and base your wardrobe decisions upon it seems odd to me. That's part of what gives the sense that she's too invested in this.  Or at least over thinking it. 

SIL made a joke about our ring sizes so now I must not wear designer clothes around her?  I can't wrap my brain around it. 
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: Surianne on January 10, 2013, 03:30:07 PM
I think it doesn't matter if it was a joke/not a joke. Clarissa is spending waaaay too much time dwelling it on. She doesn't need to analyze how Daphne dresses or alter her own style of dress unless she plans on walking on eggshells around her for the rest of her life. Assuming the worst about Daphne, why let that type of person live rent free in her head?

That is an interesting assumption.  She told me about it and I asked her a follow up question.   She's not going to alter her style of dressing, but isn't going to wear any obviously designer things when she meets her next month.  If Daphne has some sort of chip on her shoulder, well she lives in another state and it would be wiser to wait until after all the wedding festivities are over.  Charles is not very close to his sister and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.

I get not liking the joke.  I get not sharing the same sense of humor, but to take a one-off comment and base your wardrobe decisions upon it seems odd to me. That's part of what gives the sense that she's too invested in this.  Or at least over thinking it. 

SIL made a joke about our ring sizes so now I must not wear designer clothes around her?  I can't wrap my brain around it.

I agree.  That's just bizarre.  I think the preoccupation with status, bigger rings, and designer clothing is coming from Clarissa's head here, rather than Daphne's.
Title: Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 03:46:03 PM
POD to Surianne.  Clarissa needs to let it go.  Even if Daphne is awful and intentionally wanted to hurt Clarissa with her ring comment, who cares.  Move on, be yourself.