Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "So kind of you to take an interest." => Topic started by: weaselfrance on August 07, 2017, 07:13:56 AM

Title: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: weaselfrance on August 07, 2017, 07:13:56 AM
I've posted on a previous thread about Jack and Emily

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=138823.0

[background] My SIL is married to a v nice Aussie guy and has two children. The whole family is coming back to the UK on December 27th this year. We're excited because we've yet to meet one of our nephews and they have yet to meet our daughter. But, because there's so many of us, there's no room for us all to stay with my husband's parents, unless someone sleeps on the floor.  Since SIL and co are travelling at great expense to come over here, we have volunteered to stay in an hotel. As a special treat, we're staying in a very nice boutique hotel about 30 minutes from the in laws.

My husband and I are 42. Both professional people, who have been out of our respective parent's homes and living as grown ups for a long time now.

We are not related to or dependent upon Emily in any way shape or form. [end background].

Still with me? Thanks if you are!

This weekend, my MIL met with Emily for the first time in a couple of weeks. Our plans to stay at nice boutique hotel came up in the conversation. Emily clearly has too much time on her hands, because she went home and looked online for room rates for the dates we'll be staying and was horrified. So much so that she rang my MIL to tell her prices and try to get her to persuade us to cancel our stay and go somewhere cheaper.

There is a pub about 10 minutes from the in laws that rents out rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. Emily had taken it upon herself to go and visit these rooms, to check out their quality, and was trying to insist that my MIL report back to DH and I that the rooms there are fine and that we absolutely have to to cancel our pre-existing booking and stay there instead.

My in laws bean dipped like champions, but passed the story on because they knew it would entertain us. I've yet to hear from Emily myself yet, but guess what my response will be if and when I do?😀
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Mustard on August 07, 2017, 07:51:48 AM
Egads.... Something along the lines of 'mind your own business'?
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: SamiHami on August 07, 2017, 08:07:32 AM
"How kind of you to take an interest, however, we have made our plans and have no interest in changing them."
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Easter Hat on August 07, 2017, 09:26:20 AM
Wow!  Think of the time this woman has invested in YOUR plans.  Mind your own Beez-wax!

This reminds me of the time my husbands brother and wife threw a birthday party for their child.  They were the first parents of all my husbands siblings. Since they lived in a small apartment, (and we have a large extended family) they opted to have the party at a community center. 

Well, DH's oldest brother felt that the parents were spending money they didn't have and took it upon himself to research community parks and other "free" places to host.  Turns out the venue the parents were opting to use only charged a very minimal fee of $20 for the space.  This space worked perfectly for the party.  As opposed to a park where they'd have to be dependent on the weather, bring tables and cooking gear, etc.

With youth and family dynamics it turned into a drama filled "thing".  A good lesson to not stick your nose where it doesn't below.

Still, as a bystander it was rather entertaining.  I'm interested in seeing how far your SIL pushes this situation.

Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Redneck Gravy on August 07, 2017, 09:46:06 AM
Egads.... Something along the lines of 'mind your own business'?

POD!

I can't top this without a colorful (yet unapproved) adjective.   

Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 07, 2017, 10:16:15 AM
I'd watch Emily like a hawk.  She sounds like the kind of person who just might take it upon herself to do you a wonderful favor and cancel your reservations at the boutique hotel and make new ones at the bed and breakfast for you -- to "help" you, you know.   :-\
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Margo on August 07, 2017, 10:24:16 AM
I'd watch Emily like a hawk.  She sounds like the kind of person who just might take it upon herself to do you a wonderful favor and cancel your reservations at the boutique hotel and make new ones at the bed and breakfast for you -- to "help" you, you know.   :-\

If you think that's a real possibility then let the hotel know, but i'd be surprised if they would discuss a booking, or accept a cancellation from anyone other than the original booker.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Luci on August 07, 2017, 10:52:51 AM
I'd watch Emily like a hawk.  She sounds like the kind of person who just might take it upon herself to do you a wonderful favor and cancel your reservations at the boutique hotel and make new ones at the bed and breakfast for you -- to "help" you, you know.   :-\

If you think that's a real possibility then let the hotel know, but i'd be surprised if they would discuss a booking, or accept a cancellation from anyone other than the original booker.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Emily could lie about the state of the OP being incapacitated so the original booker couldn't contact them.  I would be preemptive, too, about contacting the hotel to not accept a cancelation without the reservation number if much more is said.

We don't spend foolishly, I think, but we have certainly heard a lot over the years about how we should have skipped an activity or downgraded to save.

I do hope it ends up that it is merely entertaining to the family, as it was for Easter Hat was in her family!  I do want to hear the reat of the story!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: rose red on August 07, 2017, 12:32:19 PM
I'd watch Emily like a hawk.  She sounds like the kind of person who just might take it upon herself to do you a wonderful favor and cancel your reservations at the boutique hotel and make new ones at the bed and breakfast for you -- to "help" you, you know.   :-\

If you think that's a real possibility then let the hotel know, but i'd be surprised if they would discuss a booking, or accept a cancellation from anyone other than the original booker.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Emily could lie about the state of the OP being incapacitated so the original booker couldn't contact them.  I would be preemptive, too, about contacting the hotel to not accept a cancelation without the reservation number if much more is said.

Some places also won't cancel or give out information without a password. I would totally set one up with the hotel if they can do this.

I can understand if she contacted you to ask if you know about other options or even contacted MIL to pass along the information, but running to Mommy because she's sure Mommy still has authority regarding choices like that? ::)
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: DavidH on August 07, 2017, 12:39:37 PM
I would say thank you for your interest, but we prefer to stay where we've booked and can afford it.  If it persists, I'd ask her why she thinks her opinion on this matters since she is neither staying in the rooms nor paying for them.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Momiitz on August 07, 2017, 01:21:08 PM
I too would be worried that Emily will try to cancel the boutique hotel reservation. I'd call the hotel and set up a password or something.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: wolfie on August 07, 2017, 01:37:07 PM
There is a big difference between trying to talk someone out of doing what you feel is too much and actually cancelling plans on someone else. Unless there is a history of her crossing that (major) boundary I think assuming she will cancel someone else's hotel reservation is over the top.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: LadyL on August 07, 2017, 01:57:20 PM
OP, I sympathize. We are the only relatives in LordL's family who prefer a hotel or b&b to staying with family. Most of his relatives would rather camp in someone's yard than pay for a camp site or motel. Saving money and being close to family are their priorities, and for many of them the $150-250 we spend per night to stay elsewhere, is their whole budget for a weekend trip and a preposterous amount to spend on lodging (they live in a low cost of living area; we do not). We therefore don't advertise the places we stay in advance, or that we opted for the jacuzzi room upgrade or whatever. We keep them on an "information diet" until we arrive basically and it's too late for them to try to change our minds.


Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 07, 2017, 02:10:20 PM
There is a big difference between trying to talk someone out of doing what you feel is too much and actually cancelling plans on someone else. Unless there is a history of her crossing that (major) boundary I think assuming she will cancel someone else's hotel reservation is over the top.

I agree.  There is no reason to think she would do that, and I don't think we should leap to such an unkind assumption about the OP's relative.

I think Emily was trying to be helpful.  It was too much, sure, but it wasn't malicious; she was trying to be nice.  If I understand correctly, she is a close relative (to the OP's husband if not to the OP herself) and she lives in the area where everyone is convening, so she might feel some responsibility to try to be helpful.  If instead of letting her brother [?] know about less expensive accommodations, she had said something like, "I wanted to let you know that XYZ Inn was in the local paper last week for a terrible bedbug problem" or "I noticed you made reservations at XYZ Inn; I wanted to let you know that a similar place, ABC Inn, has recently opened and we got a gift of a coupon we'd be happy to let you use," would our response be "Mind your own business!"?  Mine sure wouldn't, especially from my own brother.  Whatever her motivations were, she really didn't do anything to the OP or anyone else -- she just wasted her own time.

So I wouldn't respond in a cold or nasty manner, I'd just thank her for going to so much trouble and time, but you chose your accommodations as a special treat and you're looking forward to it.  That's all you need to do.  There is no reason to punish her or assume the worst, and in my opinion, doing so isn't going to add much to this family visit.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 07, 2017, 02:21:03 PM
There is a big difference between trying to talk someone out of doing what you feel is too much and actually cancelling plans on someone else. Unless there is a history of her crossing that (major) boundary I think assuming she will cancel someone else's hotel reservation is over the top.
...   I don't think we should leap to such an unkind assumption about the OP's relative.  ...



She is not a relative of either OP or OP's husband.   She's a friend of OP's mother in law.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 07, 2017, 03:01:55 PM
There is a big difference between trying to talk someone out of doing what you feel is too much and actually cancelling plans on someone else. Unless there is a history of her crossing that (major) boundary I think assuming she will cancel someone else's hotel reservation is over the top.
...   I don't think we should leap to such an unkind assumption about the OP's relative.  ...



She is not a relative of either OP or OP's husband.   She's a friend of OP's mother in law.

Thanks for clarifying that for me.  It does make her involvement more surprising and feel more intrusive.  But I still think she was just trying to be helpful, although I do agree that she went too far -- her motives were not malicious. 

A lot would depend on who it was -- a godparent or close, practically-an-aunt family friend is different from the neighborhood busybody who just happened to hear you're having company.  I could see one of our good friends trying to help out our visiting adult children sort of like this, if not quite to the point of going to look at other places!  Someone who has been involved with adult kids in major ways in the past such as giving bridal showers, loaning a car, housing wedding guests for several days, and such might more legitimately feel like they aren't overstepping by giving unsolicited advice.

And there's still no need to assume that she would do something like canceling the reservations at XYZ Inn.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: cass2591 on August 07, 2017, 03:22:50 PM
There is a big difference between trying to talk someone out of doing what you feel is too much and actually cancelling plans on someone else. Unless there is a history of her crossing that (major) boundary I think assuming she will cancel someone else's hotel reservation is over the top.

I completely agree. I do not understand the tendency to "awfulize" on this forum. Or maybe those that do it here do so IRL, so there is that.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 07, 2017, 03:49:43 PM

I completely agree. I do not understand the tendency to "awfulize" on this forum. Or maybe those that do it here do so IRL, so there is that.

This time, I'm the one guilty of "awfulizing" the potential situation.  I did so because many decades ago when we were newlyweds someone tried doing exactly this to us.  She meant no harm, in fact she was trying to be helpful.

Well intended though it may have been, her action was not helpful.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: VorFemme on August 07, 2017, 04:08:29 PM
There's always the comment about "non-refundable deposits" to explain why someone is not changing their current reservations for "cheaper ones".  Because with a non-refundable deposit, there is no recovery of that part of the up front costs.

I do know a couple of families that will push you to change plans to "save" money - but will quit if told about a non-refundable deposit or exchange fee.  We own a time share that we can use to cover most if not all of the cost of going to a different location in the same company - but there is a "booking fee" or "administrative fee" that can only be refunded under limited circumstances and within certain dates...the closer to the event, the less money can be recovered. 

This family seems to like making last minute plans when they can get a "special low price" and wants everyone else to join them...for some reason, we don't end up joining them...

Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: LadyL on August 07, 2017, 05:17:59 PM

I think Emily was trying to be helpful.  It was too much, sure, but it wasn't malicious; she was trying to be nice.  If I understand correctly, she is a close relative (to the OP's husband if not to the OP herself) and she lives in the area where everyone is convening, so she might feel some responsibility to try to be helpful.

There is a version of pushy that is somewhere in between totally clueless about social norms and maliciously disregarding those norms, and that's where this falls for me. The OP is happy with their accommodations and Emily only suggested alternate arrangements because she made an uninformed judgement of OP's financial choices. Not only that, but she is triangulating between OP's MIL and OP. She's approaching it quite differently than casually mentioning a coupon like in one of your examples.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 07, 2017, 06:06:39 PM

I think Emily was trying to be helpful.  It was too much, sure, but it wasn't malicious; she was trying to be nice.  If I understand correctly, she is a close relative (to the OP's husband if not to the OP herself) and she lives in the area where everyone is convening, so she might feel some responsibility to try to be helpful.

There is a version of pushy that is somewhere in between totally clueless about social norms and maliciously disregarding those norms, and that's where this falls for me. The OP is happy with their accommodations and Emily only suggested alternate arrangements because she made an uninformed judgement of OP's financial choices. Not only that, but she is triangulating between OP's MIL and OP. She's approaching it quite differently than casually mentioning a coupon like in one of your examples.

Yeah, that's sort of my point -- there's a continuum here.  Just because she went farther than she should have done doesn't mean that she would go all the way to the extreme of cancelling their reservations.  Good motives don't excuse all, but they aren't meaningless, either.  She overstepped, but her intentions were kind, and no harm was done.  I don't see her as triangulating, necessarily; it sounds like she talked to MIL because that's who is her friend, not because she was trying to go behind the OP's back.  Certainly she can be ignored or asked nicely to stop, but she doesn't need to be demonized over it.

Love the term "awfulize," cass2591!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: rose red on August 07, 2017, 07:50:49 PM
Nobody is advising the OP to accuse Emily to her face that she fears Emily will cancel the hotel reservation. But if the OP wants to take that extra step as a "just in case" thing to set up a password, it a simple phone call. There's no harm in asking the hotel if they will do it, even if there's less than a 1% Emily will cancel for them (in a well-meaning way). Emily does not ever have to know about it.

eta: It's better to do something that you end up not needing than the other way around. There are many threads that advise the OP to "Cut them off/ignore them/confront them!" and I almost always think we shouldn't make up facts and the OP should calmly talk it out first before jumping to the nuclear action. But in *this* case, setting up a password is something nobody else need to know about.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Redneck Gravy on August 08, 2017, 09:13:41 AM

I completely agree. I do not understand the tendency to "awfulize" on this forum. Or maybe those that do it here do so IRL, so there is that.

This time, I'm the one guilty of "awfulizing" the potential situation.  I did so because many decades ago when we were newlyweds someone tried doing exactly this to us.  She meant no harm, in fact she was trying to be helpful.

Well intended though it may have been, her action was not helpful.

I see posters "awfulizing" scenarios here frequently.  My thinking is that they have seen that scenario in real life.  While some may think it is over the top thinking, my thought is probably because they have actually lived it. 

While I would never leap to that idea about Emily, I can see where someone would, because as gramma dishes posted - they have had it done to them. 
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Luci on August 08, 2017, 09:46:13 AM

I completely agree. I do not understand the tendency to "awfulize" on this forum. Or maybe those that do it here do so IRL, so there is that.

This time, I'm the one guilty of "awfulizing" the potential situation.  I did so because many decades ago when we were newlyweds someone tried doing exactly this to us.  She meant no harm, in fact she was trying to be helpful.

Well intended though it may have been, her action was not helpful.

I see posters "awfulizing" scenarios here frequently.  My thinking is that they have seen that scenario in real life.  While some may think it is over the top thinking, my thought is probably because they have actually lived it. 

While I would never leap to that idea about Emily, I can see where someone would, because as gramma dishes posted - they have had it done to them.

Twice we've had someone invite people to stay in our home. Not possible in a 900 sq ft home , one bathroom, with 2 busy kids and a dog and two working parents. Not only that, they were senior women who were not the types to throw a cushion on the floor just anywhere. They were told to cancel their reservations. Another time, I was recovering from a major illness, couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself, she told someomone i would be delighted to have guests stay on their way to another destination, not to help DH. She invited a group to use a neighbor's pool even though she hadn't been invited herself. It's only one more step to her actually doing something official.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: LadyL on August 08, 2017, 12:52:10 PM


I completely agree. I do not understand the tendency to "awfulize" on this forum. Or maybe those that do it here do so IRL, so there is that.

This time, I'm the one guilty of "awfulizing" the potential situation.  I did so because many decades ago when we were newlyweds someone tried doing exactly this to us.  She meant no harm, in fact she was trying to be helpful.

Well intended though it may have been, her action was not helpful.

I see posters "awfulizing" scenarios here frequently.  My thinking is that they have seen that scenario in real life.  While some may think it is over the top thinking, my thought is probably because they have actually lived it. 

While I would never leap to that idea about Emily, I can see where someone would, because as gramma dishes posted - they have had it done to them.


I've written about how my MIL is notorious for this kind of thing, so I know it happens - but to be fair, out of the dozens of people I'm related to, she is the only one who oversteps boundaries to such an extent. I interpret "awfulizing" as thinking that every person who oversteps a boundary is a "give an inch, they'll take a mile" type. In my experience that's just not true. It takes a pattern of pushy behavior for me to put up strict boundaries and set information diets and all that - it's a last resort, not a first step in resolving a conflict.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: cass2591 on August 08, 2017, 03:44:44 PM
When I use the word "awfulizing" here, it's because I find a bunch of strangers leaping to the worst possible conclusion, without any previous knowledge of the parties involved, to be a bit odd. It happens frequently, but the one that stands out to me was the thread about the woman whose family (or maybe it was her late husband's family) insisted she move closer to them. That more than one or two posters actually warned the OP that the family would hold her hostage in the basement absolutely confounded me.

Does bad stuff happen, absolutely. But the fear mongering is ridiculous. Now, if people want to start a separate thread in an appropriate folder, feel free, but this thread has been derailed enough.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: weaselfrance on August 09, 2017, 03:19:16 AM
Thank you for your comments folks. I have a nine week old baby, so that hopefully excuses any delay in my replies/updates.

My in laws have known Jack and Emily since they've moved to their current home, so IIRC, about ten years. We see them approximately four times a year, when we visit the in laws. We have no contact with them outside of these interactions. So not lifelong family friends that are considered part of the family.

Emily has yet to contact me about this and I doubt she will. She'll just go on about it to my MIL. I don't believe Emily is going to cancel our booking. She's a bit of a nuisance sometimes, but not as awful as that.

She's now trying to persuade my MIL to go and look at the rooms in the pub to get her to agree that Emily's right. MIL is flatly refusing to do this and increasingly annoyed with her.

I feel sorry to the staff at the pub who are wasting their time dealing with Emily's pointless requests.

We actually got a really good deal on the hotel room, because we booked it so early and paid for the booking in advance. Expensive enough to be a treat, but nowhere near enough to break our bank. This stay is also our Christmas present to each other, it's been a busy year with our first baby being born and we wanted a bit of a luxury. But, I really don't see why this is any of Emily's business since we are adults, if you know what I mean?
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Redneck Gravy on August 09, 2017, 08:57:29 AM
Thank you for your comments folks. I have a nine week old baby, so that hopefully excuses any delay in my replies/updates.

My in laws have known Jack and Emily since they've moved to their current home, so IIRC, about ten years. We see them approximately four times a year, when we visit the in laws. We have no contact with them outside of these interactions. So not lifelong family friends that are considered part of the family.

Emily has yet to contact me about this and I doubt she will. She'll just go on about it to my MIL. I don't believe Emily is going to cancel our booking. She's a bit of a nuisance sometimes, but not as awful as that.

She's now trying to persuade my MIL to go and look at the rooms in the pub to get her to agree that Emily's right. MIL is flatly refusing to do this and increasingly annoyed with her.

I feel sorry to the staff at the pub who are wasting their time dealing with Emily's pointless requests.

We actually got a really good deal on the hotel room, because we booked it so early and paid for the booking in advance. Expensive enough to be a treat, but nowhere near enough to break our bank. This stay is also our Christmas present to each other, it's been a busy year with our first baby being born and we wanted a bit of a luxury. But, I really don't see why this is any of Emily's business since we are adults, if you know what I mean?
[/b]

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. 
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Easter Hat on August 09, 2017, 09:18:08 AM
Quote
We actually got a really good deal on the hotel room, because we booked it so early and paid for the booking in advance. Expensive enough to be a treat, but nowhere near enough to break our bank. This stay is also our Christmas present to each other, it's been a busy year with our first baby being born and we wanted a bit of a luxury. But, I really don't see why this is any of Emily's business since we are adults, if you know what I mean?

These are perfect examples of why people need to mind their own business in situations that have nothing to do with them. 

I'm now reminded of a client who wanted to pay a great deal of money on something I offer in my business.  She was being quite extravagant.  Since she was earlier mentioning money woes and and other difficulties, I showed her some other options that "I" felt would be better suited to her budget.  She insisted on the costlier items and of course I reluctantly provided what she wanted.  I assumed she'd be charging her purchase and I privately thought she was being silly.  I even recall telling my husband that she was making a poor choice by being so extravagant when she could have purchased something much cheaper (yet still lovely).

When my client came to pick up her items she had her aunt with her, and she was very excited to show her the purchase. Her aunt happily paid the very large invoice.  They gushed and thanked me and left.  Their next stop was to pick up another order at another store and then they were doing lunch at a fancy restaurant.  Turns the aunt was very generous and they already had an agreement for the aunt to treat her to these nice things.

I learned a valuable lesson that while it's nice to suggest items of a more reasonable budget - it's NONE of my business how they manage THEIR money.  I wasted too much time judging this customer instead of offering my best service to her.  Lesson learned!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: pattycake on August 09, 2017, 09:50:32 AM
But, I really don't see why this is any of Emily's business since we are adults, if you know what I mean?

Perhaps you can help your m-i-l express this to Emily, since it is she who Emily is really bothering about it all. Maybe something like "I appreciate your desire to be helpful but really this isn't - they are adults and have made their decision, and that is final. Have I showed you my new beandip recipe?"
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Minmom3 on August 10, 2017, 06:41:19 PM
I think 'awfulized' needs to enter my lexicon of faux but functional words!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Mouse Isa on August 10, 2017, 06:41:34 PM
I get the sentiment she was trying to help you save a few bucks, but it's very presumptuous to assume you need the help at all.  Not to mention it comes across as overbearing and a little controlling.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: weaselfrance on August 10, 2017, 09:20:58 PM
What I think I find particularly irritating about this is the fact that she and Jack are two of the most financially irresponsible people I've ever met. Whenever they've got any money, they spend it. Emily has told me herself they have no savings and a big mortgage. They are in their early 60's, a bit younger than my in laws. I've heard them say that they think they've 'failed' if they haven't spent all their income by payday.  We, on the other hand, have very little debt, are very carful to save, only have one car, eat out very rarely and will happily get stuff for us in charity shops (thrift shops).

I have a friend who is renowned for her thriftiness. This kind of behaviour from her would stil be totally unacceptable, but I don't think would annoy me as much.

In laws are coming to stay soon, I'll update if there's any more boundary stepping!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 11, 2017, 03:46:23 PM
If you spoke to Emily directly at all, I might advise a gushy, "Oh, thank you for the information!"  No promise to follow through, and then later, "Well, we decided to stay to Hotel after all, but thanks for trying to help."

Perhaps your MIL could say, "I passed the info on to them."  It's not like MIL can force you to do anything or stay in a specific place.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: TurtleDove on August 11, 2017, 03:52:40 PM
What I think I find particularly irritating about this is the fact that she and Jack are two of the most financially irresponsible people I've ever met. Whenever they've got any money, they spend it. Emily has told me herself they have no savings and a big mortgage. They are in their early 60's, a bit younger than my in laws. I've heard them say that they think they've 'failed' if they haven't spent all their income by payday. 

This additional information makes it seem almost like they resent that you can afford this indulgence! It is so much none of their business, but I have definitely known of people who begrudge others who either make more money than they do or handle their money better than they do. This type of person thinks it is unfair somehow that another person has either worked harder than they have, or made certain sacrifices that they have not, and begrudge the payoff for the hard work and sacrifice. I have known people who spent $30+ per day on food when they made minimum wage, and then bemoaned that they couldn't afford a car payment or a nice apartment.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 11, 2017, 07:32:01 PM
If you spoke to Emily directly at all, I might advise a gushy, "Oh, thank you for the information!"  No promise to follow through, and then later, "Well, we decided to stay to Hotel after all, but thanks for trying to help."

Perhaps your MIL could say, "I passed the info on to them."  It's not like MIL can force you to do anything or stay in a specific place.

That's perfect. 

I can see why this felt annoying, but I really don't understand why this is so very awful.  How was the OP harmed?  Emily wasted her own time doing research and made a suggestion that the OP didn't need or want -- she didn't cancel reservations; she didn't make new reservations; and IIRC she didn't even talk to, let alone nag, the OP about it.  I don't see a reason to assume they resent anyone else's money.

Suppose you were in the OP's position (but with cancelable reservations, which presumably Emily assumed they had) and actually preferred what Emily found?  Should you refuse to stay there anyway on principle?

Yes, I can understand how this felt intrusive.  And yes, it was not Emily's business.  Then again, most favors aren't. 
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Bales on August 11, 2017, 08:36:06 PM
This isn't a favor.  This is a person being nosy and presumptive.  Emily took it upon herself to look up the room rate and assumes that the rate she saw is what the OP is paying.  She further assumes that the OP can't afford it.  If OP's mother had advised that OP was upset about the cost to visit, but didn't know of any other options and Emily took it upon herself to do research and provide advice, then that is a favor.  This is just her butting in and being annoying about it to boot.

Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 11, 2017, 10:57:55 PM
This isn't a favor.  This is a person being nosy and presumptive.  Emily took it upon herself to look up the room rate and assumes that the rate she saw is what the OP is paying.  She further assumes that the OP can't afford it.  If OP's mother had advised that OP was upset about the cost to visit, but didn't know of any other options and Emily took it upon herself to do research and provide advice, then that is a favor.  This is just her butting in and being annoying about it to boot.

Re: the bolded -- I looked at all the OP's posts, and nowhere does she say that.  Maybe that's what Emily does think, but there's no reason to assume the worst.  The OP seemed more offended that she felt that Emily wasn't treating her like an adult (although I don't see anything to suggest that Emily wouldn't try to do exactly the same thing with people of any age!).

You're right, it didn't turn out to be a favor.  But that's what Emily evidently was trying to do.  That's why I gave the hypothetical in my last post, in response to the "mind your own business!" posts: what if  the OP actually would have preferred the room Emily found?  Would she have done them a favor then, albeit in a pushy way?  The point was that favors that turn out to be real favors and "favors" that don't are both usually none of the other person's business.  Sometimes we are glad when someone else "minds our business" by looking out for us.

I'm not saying that Emily's behavior was okay.  I'm sure was quite annoying to the OP's MIL, the repeated urging if not the initial suggestion.  I just don't see it as harming the OP in any way or otherwise horrible.  It sounds to me like Emily was sincerely trying to be helpful, but that she is persistent to the point of being obnoxious.  I assume she has other, more positive traits, as MIL is still friends with her; no one is perfect.  And I agree with pierrotlunaire0 that this is easily and pleasantly handled by MIL's simply saying something along the lines of "Thanks for trying to help, but they are all set with their plans."
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Semperviren on August 12, 2017, 09:49:00 AM
Emily may "mean well", but to me this is going far beyond "trying to help" and is edging into "trying to control you".

I think Emily needs a hobby.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: GardenGal on August 12, 2017, 12:22:55 PM
Emily may "mean well", but to me this is going far beyond "trying to help" and is edging into "trying to control you".

I think Emily needs a hobby.

Yep, you nailed it!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: rose red on August 12, 2017, 02:00:57 PM
Yeah. It's one thing to suggest "Hey, have you checked out ABC Bed and Breakfast? It's inexpensive but really nice." But to actually research and visit the place is just being a busybody (for a lack of better word) and downright strange.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Semperviren on August 12, 2017, 02:15:39 PM
Honestly, even the Nancy Drew-ing about what I'd be paying for lodging would irk me. I realize the info is readily available online for anyone to look at, but she really had no reason to do so.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark! Small update
Post by: weaselfrance on August 28, 2017, 02:35:24 AM
My in-laws came to stay last week. MIL mentioned Emily's comments about the cost of the room and that MIL's response was:

'It's their money, their choice where they stay, it's none of your business.'

Emily's new argument is that the rooms in nice boutique hotel 'Aren't suitable to bring a baby to stay in' (Baby Weasel will be seven months old while we're staying there). We'd contacted the hotel to make sure our room was big enough for the shedloads of stuff our tiny little person needs before we'd booked anything, this is not a problem. She's not going to be moving under her own steam at that age, so baby proofing the room isn't really going to be an issue.

Genuinely baffled as to why this woman is so concerned about our hotel stay.  And why she feels we're unable to 'adult' sufficiently well to think of things like the safety of our baby (our number one concern) and budget for ourselves. I had no idea Emily had such a low opinion of my intelligence. Or whether she's simply being stubborn about not having her opinions listened to and acted on.

Jack and Emily have put their house on the market. In laws are counting down until they move and avoiding them as much as possible in the meantime.

Edit because I can spell, but haven't had any coffee this morning
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Maude on August 28, 2017, 03:50:23 AM
Please don't fret about Emily. Your MIL told you of her antics because she thought it would be entertaining.(It's certainly entertaining for us!) I think MIL needs a hug for putting up with her.

Have a joyous Xmas with your family!
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark! Small update
Post by: gramma dishes on August 28, 2017, 10:04:53 AM
...   Emily's new argument is that the rooms in nice boutique hotel 'Aren't suitable to bring a baby to stay in' (Baby Weasel will be seven months old while we're staying there). ...    She's not going to be moving under her own steam at that age, so baby proofing the room isn't really going to be an issue.  ...

You may be surprised at how mobile a seven month old baby can be!   :)
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark! Small update
Post by: Harriet Jones on August 29, 2017, 10:59:30 AM
...   Emily's new argument is that the rooms in nice boutique hotel 'Aren't suitable to bring a baby to stay in' (Baby Weasel will be seven months old while we're staying there). ...    She's not going to be moving under her own steam at that age, so baby proofing the room isn't really going to be an issue.  ...

You may be surprised at how mobile a seven month old baby can be!   :)

That's what I was thinking!  All of mine were crawling by that age.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on August 29, 2017, 11:35:20 AM
If she started in on you MIL again, or even on you, if something along these lines were said to her...

"Why do you think that the finances of DIL/me are any of your concern? I don't want to hear any more of it, and no, you are not trying to be helpful, you are being intrusive."
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on August 29, 2017, 11:45:18 AM
If she started in on you MIL again, or even on you, if something along these lines were said to her...

"Why do you think that the finances of DIL/me are any of your concern? I don't want to hear any more of it, and no, you are not trying to be helpful, you are being intrusive."

If something along those lines were said to her, I think it would make unnecessary drama and accomplish nothing.  I get it that it's really annoying, but she isn't going to change, and she isn't making them do anything they don't want to do.  She's just a busybody, and MIL is only even telling the OP because she thinks it's laughable.  They are simply ignoring her, and that's the wisest course, I think, rather than chastising her -- she won't change and she won't even get it; she will just think or say, "But I was just trying to help!"

OP, you keep returning to the theme of feeling like she doesn't respect you as an adult.  I think that's what is bothering you the most.  But I doubt that's any of it at all - - I bet she would do this with anyone of any age.  Anyway, who cares what she thinks?  You know you are a capable adult.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: GardenGal on August 29, 2017, 03:49:13 PM
Quote
Anyway, who cares what she thinks?  You know you are a capable adult.
This ^^^ is so true! 

I have a saying (I'm probably not the one who made it up, though): Consider the source.  In your case, you can just consider that this person is an annoying busybody and ignore everything she says,since you know what the truth is.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Redneck Gravy on August 29, 2017, 04:26:56 PM
If she started in on you MIL again, or even on you, if something along these lines were said to her...

"Why do you think that the finances of DIL/me are any of your concern? I don't want to hear any more of it, and no, you are not trying to be helpful, you are being intrusive."

I think this is sufficient.  Emphasis on the key words and and dripping with cold sarcasm.   She may play the "I was just trying to help" card again, but lather, rinse, repeat the above, she should get it.

Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark! Small update
Post by: Semperviren on August 31, 2017, 01:50:21 PM
Quote from: weaselfrance

Genuinely baffled as to why this woman is so concerned about our hotel stay.  And why she feels we're unable to 'adult' sufficiently well to think of things like the safety of our baby (our number one concern) and budget for ourselves. I had no idea Emily had such a low opinion of my intelligence. Or whether she's simply being stubborn about not having her opinions listened to and acted on.


Honestly I doubt she's infantilizing you on purpose and would probably be shocked to learn that you "took it that way". IME, meddlers, while truly annoying, are mostly not malicious or horrible, just not really very self-aware.

I do think this is about meeting some need of her own- is she bored? Lacks control in her own life? Gets validation from being "right" and persuading others to follow her advice? Not that it makes the meddling okay, but sometimes it helps dull the irritation if you look at it this way.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: Twik on September 11, 2017, 09:54:02 AM
Some people believe it's their right and responsibility to direct everyone to do things the way said people think is best. They can be upset when other people don't share that opinion and act as if they have enough brains to get through life without help, thank you.

I think Emily is just shocked and amazed that you don't gratefully accept her benevolence.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: MurPl1 on September 23, 2017, 10:01:42 AM
Your MIL is part of the problem.  The only reason Emily knows any of this is because your MIL told her.  You need to address it with her not Emily.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: chigger on September 23, 2017, 01:45:30 PM
I don't think the MIL is part of the problem! It's something that came up in casual conversation between two friends. It's not like it is some type of personal, private information.
Title: Re: Talk about overstepping the mark!
Post by: gellchom on September 23, 2017, 04:04:01 PM
I don't see where there's even a problem at all. 

Emily is annoying, but she didn't force anyone to do anything.  It sounds like the MIL was just telling the OP this as an "Emily's at it again" story -- I didn't see anything where she said the OP had to or should take Emily's suggestions.  The OP seems most irritated by her perception that Emily doesn't respect her as an adult.  I'm guessing that has nothing to do with it, but even if it does, it still doesn't create a problem that the OP has to solve somehow.

And if there really is a concern about having an immature image, an aggressive "Mind your own business; why do you think I can't take care of my own affairs?" reaction, especially where no response at all is required, would not do much to counteract it.