Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: metallicafan on August 20, 2013, 03:55:38 PM

Title: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 20, 2013, 03:55:38 PM
The twist is that the parent in question is my MIL!

MIL and I will go shopping or do lunch.  Then, the next time we are all together with SIL and BIL,  if MIL mentions that her and I went out,  SIL ( and even BIL for that matter) will say in a snotty tone, "Oh, it Must be Nice to be able to go to lunch."  So, now MIL won't even mention it anymore since that is the general reaction. 
So, if the subject ever happens to come up, what is a good reply?
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: MrTango on August 20, 2013, 04:01:37 PM
Personally, I'd ignore it entirely.

I would assume that they're looking for a response to their behavior, and I would refuse to give their behavior the reward they are seeking.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: SlitherHiss on August 20, 2013, 04:06:08 PM
Personally, I'd ignore it entirely.

I would assume that they're looking for a response to their behavior, and I would refuse to give their behavior the reward they are seeking.

This. Don't let them make it an issue. If she wants to look petulant, let her. Just carry on with the conversation as if she hadn't made some a pouty, juvenile remark.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 20, 2013, 04:10:03 PM
You can always reply with "Yes, it is" in the sunniest tone possible.  Bonus points for a cake eating grin :)  Level up points if you can manage to go on and on about how lovely MIL is and how you two have so much to chat about, etc, etc, etc
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: JoyinVirginia on August 20, 2013, 04:16:23 PM
Pod to pastry goddess. Happy happy best lunch ever!
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: bonyk on August 20, 2013, 04:33:00 PM
I feel like there's some missing back story here.  Why can't they come to lunch? 

Regardless,  I think "Yes, we had a nice time," is a fine answer.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: hobish on August 20, 2013, 04:34:25 PM
You can always reply with "Yes, it is" in the sunniest tone possible.  Bonus points for a cake eating grin :)  Level up points if you can manage to go on and on about how lovely MIL is and how you two have so much to chat about, etc, etc, etc

Yep. I would add an invitation to join you, maybe, just to not be smarmy about it.
"cake eating grin" I love it.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: *inviteseller on August 20, 2013, 04:56:49 PM
I can't stand when people get mad and make snotty comments about others having time together.  Is she making the comment because she has to work and you don't OP?  And if she wants to spend time with her mother, then she needs to ask her out instead of being nasty about OP having some time with her.   The "must be nice" line is one sure way to get my back up.  Jealousy is not becoming.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: Thipu1 on August 20, 2013, 04:57:14 PM
The 'Must be nice' type of comment always sets off the red, flashing lights in my head. 

Yes, it is nice to have a pleasant day's outing with MIL but it isn't like taking a month-long cruise of the Greek islands on a private yacht.  If SIL or BIL have a problem with something as innocent a a day of shopping and lunch, there's more going on below the surface than we know. 

I'd just ignore the comments.       
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: ti_ax on August 20, 2013, 05:21:20 PM
Perhaps SIL and BIL are worried MIL will bequeath metallicafan a little something extra in her will?
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 20, 2013, 05:53:32 PM
SIL is a stay at home mom, like me.  Although her kids are younger than mine.

As far as things below the surface, yeah there is a lot.  For the sake of my two kids, and my nephew and two nieces, ( because the kids love each other), I try to deal with SIL and BIL as pleasantly as possible when I have to see them.

The comment about the will made me LOL!  ;D
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 20, 2013, 06:14:12 PM
Just wanted to clarify one more thing, although it probably doesn't make a difference.  My mother in law is not sister in law's mother.  She is her mother in law also.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 20, 2013, 06:18:53 PM
Just wanted to clarify one more thing, although it probably doesn't make a difference.  My mother in law is not sister in law's mother.  She is her mother in law also.

Actually it kind of does make a difference.  Does MIL ever take her other DIL to lunch, or is it always just you?
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: o_gal on August 21, 2013, 08:53:30 AM
Just wanted to clarify one more thing, although it probably doesn't make a difference.  My mother in law is not sister in law's mother.  She is her mother in law also.

Actually it kind of does make a difference.  Does MIL ever take her other DIL to lunch, or is it always just you?

I think Gramma Dishes is on to something here. Isn't a basic rule of etiquette that you do not talk to others about events they are not invited to? So MIL is maybe not inviting SIL out to things like lunches, but she does with you, then she talks about these lunches that SIL is not invited to, right in front of SIL. From SIL's POV, yeah, that'd make me a bit stabby too after it had gone on multiple times.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: Winterlight on August 21, 2013, 09:39:29 AM
Just wanted to clarify one more thing, although it probably doesn't make a difference.  My mother in law is not sister in law's mother.  She is her mother in law also.

Actually it kind of does make a difference.  Does MIL ever take her other DIL to lunch, or is it always just you?

I think Gramma Dishes is on to something here. Isn't a basic rule of etiquette that you do not talk to others about events they are not invited to? So MIL is maybe not inviting SIL out to things like lunches, but she does with you, then she talks about these lunches that SIL is not invited to, right in front of SIL. From SIL's POV, yeah, that'd make me a bit stabby too after it had gone on multiple times.

That's a good point. She might be feeling snubbed.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 21, 2013, 10:08:33 AM
I can honestly say that I have never gotten the impression that my SIL is at all interested in spending any one on one time with our MIL.  If she does feel snubbed, then I think she should reach out to our MIL to spend time together.  It would not bother me one bit. Or, perhaps my MIL could reach out to her first.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: NyaChan on August 21, 2013, 10:17:43 AM
Just wanted to clarify one more thing, although it probably doesn't make a difference.  My mother in law is not sister in law's mother.  She is her mother in law also.

Actually it kind of does make a difference.  Does MIL ever take her other DIL to lunch, or is it always just you?

I think Gramma Dishes is on to something here. Isn't a basic rule of etiquette that you do not talk to others about events they are not invited to? So MIL is maybe not inviting SIL out to things like lunches, but she does with you, then she talks about these lunches that SIL is not invited to, right in front of SIL. From SIL's POV, yeah, that'd make me a bit stabby too after it had gone on multiple times.

That's a good point. She might be feeling snubbed.

This was my thought as well.  I think this rule relaxes around people who spend a lot of time together, like family members, but if MIL doesn't invite her out and talks about inviting you in front of her, I think MIL is being rude.  SIL is still not handling it well though IMO.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: Stormtreader on August 21, 2013, 10:42:23 AM
It would be generous-spirited of either you or your MIL to invite her to join you for one of these, if she already feels like shes being snubbed she may not feel comfortable in trying to invite herself along.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 21, 2013, 10:50:44 AM
I also think that my MIL has the impression that SIL is not interested in spending time with her either.  That could very well be why MIL hasn't reached out first. Since MIL may have that  impression,  I guess she felt that SIL really wouldn't care if she and I spent time together.  I really don't think my MIL is purposely being mean, she isn't that way.  In any case, MIL will not mention anything again, and I keep my mouth zipped.   :-X

MIL could ask her next time, and see what happens.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: amylouky on August 21, 2013, 10:58:30 AM
I think she is jealous, and probably feeling left out, but choosing to express it in a prickly, snarky way. I think if she just said, "Oh, that sounds like fun.. I'd love to join you guys sometime!" it would be much more productive.

Why am I picturing her as Sara, the petulant dinosaur from Land Before Time?

Anyway, I think maybe next time she said something like that, I'd just cut the BS and address it directly. Not aggressively but kindly.. "SIL, you seem to say that a lot. You are more than welcome to join us any time.. we were planning to go to lunch on X date, would you be able to come?"

Basically, model the behavior that you'd like to see in your interactions with her, and maybe she'll respond in kind.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: MindsEye on August 21, 2013, 11:15:42 AM
SIL sounds to me like the kind of person who doesn't want to see anyone else enjoying an activity, even if it is an activity that she herself has no interest in. 

I know a few people like that.  I either ignore their PA "must be nice" comments or I respond that it is, in fact, nice, and they should try it themselves sometime.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: metallicafan on August 21, 2013, 11:22:09 AM
Mindseye, you've hit the nail right square on the head.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: MindsEye on August 21, 2013, 04:14:02 PM
Mindseye, you've hit the nail right square on the head.

That's ... sad. 

The people I know who are like that are all very unhappy people.  But instead of trying to figure out why they are unhappy, they prefer to be angry at other people for daring to be happy.

Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: MrTango on August 22, 2013, 02:00:59 PM
SIL sounds to me like the kind of person who doesn't want to see anyone else enjoying an activity, even if it is an activity that she herself has no interest in. 

I know a few people like that.  I either ignore their PA "must be nice" comments or I respond that it is, in fact, nice, and they should try it themselves sometime.

I bet you're right.

Besides, even if she does feel snubbed for whatever reason, I don't think her PA remarks should be rewarded by suddenly inviting her along.
Title: Re: Jealousy of time and attention from a parent, With a twist!
Post by: saki on August 23, 2013, 10:37:46 AM
I really wish that the 'not talking to people about events that they weren't invited to' rule hadn't gone so out of style.  I realise you don't mean it that way but it is hurtful to hear about things that you weren't invited to, particularly when it's a pattern like this one - basically, everytime you or your MIL talk about this, she is reminded of the fact that your MIL prefers you to her and makes more of an effort to see you than her.  I don't think she's handling it in the best possible way but I also think you and your MIL aren't being very tactful.

Your MIL especially seems to me to be at fault for - from the sounds of it - setting up, from the very start, a difference in the way that she treats you both.  It's not like she made an effort to see both of you one-on-one and then it just became the case that you and she got on better, it sounds like she has never made the effort with your SIL.  I'd be quite hurt by this, if I were your SIL.