Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "Have you tried the bean dip?" => Topic started by: CakeBeret on January 25, 2009, 10:17:16 PM

Title: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: CakeBeret on January 25, 2009, 10:17:16 PM
Fiance and I had dinner with Toxic Dad and Stepmom the other night. Stepmom, who is not toxic but quite clueless, decided to ask some *very* invasive questions about my and Fiance's marriage counseling session. I tried to beandip her, but Dad called me on it and things got awkward.

SM: So Shatzie, is your premarital counseling teaching you how to be a good submissive wife?
ME: [faintly boggled expression] Hey, I wonder if the waiter is going to bring some more water out soon. I'm thirsty!
SM: Are you learning about X, Y, and Z issues? [X Y and Z were all of an *extremely* personal nature]
ME: [nearly exclaiming something rude, but holding back and smiling sweetly instead] How's that burrito, Stepmom?
DAD: Are you trying to change the subject, Shatzie? Your stepmother asked you a question.
ME: A very invasive question. Fiance, how was work today?

Dad and Stepmom would.not.let.it.rest. I tried bean dipping more, but conversation became very stilted. Was there a better way to handle this?
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on January 25, 2009, 10:25:48 PM
I think you handled it well. If you wanted to be a bit flip, you might say, "Well, all we've talked about so far is keeping private marital issues between the two of us. They've harped on and on about it, so I guess it must be important. So, FH, how was work today?"
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: WolfWay on January 26, 2009, 12:54:58 AM
Could you tell them point blank that you refuse to discuss it with them and if they persist in wanting to discuss it, you will get up and leave. And then do so.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Brain Fluff on January 26, 2009, 10:58:03 AM
My FFIL does the same thing (asking invasive questions and not letting it drop). When he hits subjects that I don 't want to talk about I tell him that the topic is not open for discussion then follow up with a question that he loves to talk about.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: gorplady on January 26, 2009, 11:09:35 AM
I think you handled it well. If you wanted to be a bit flip, you might say, "Well, all we've talked about so far is keeping private marital issues between the two of us. They've harped on and on about it, so I guess it must be important. So, FH, how was work today?"

I like this answer...  :D
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Raintree on January 26, 2009, 11:58:32 PM
I think in this case, the bean-dipping is too blatantly changing the subject. I think the bean dip strategy works better in uncomfortable situations where *everybody* would welcome a change of subject. In the case of people who won't let it rest, it's probably better to state outright, "what goes on during counselling sessions is a private matter between me and Fiance." 

THEN bean dip!
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: nyarlathotep on January 27, 2009, 07:42:48 AM
SM: So Shatzie, is your premarital counseling teaching you how to be a good submissive wife?

[edit] Just realised my comment was inappropriate for this forum. My apologies. I reserve the right to do this though:  :o
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on January 27, 2009, 07:46:33 AM
I think in this case, the bean-dipping is too blatantly changing the subject. I think the bean dip strategy works better in uncomfortable situations where *everybody* would welcome a change of subject. In the case of people who won't let it rest, it's probably better to state outright, "what goes on during counselling sessions is a private matter between me and Fiance." 

THEN bean dip!

POD.

Also, why were you out to dinner with them in the first place?
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: mharbourgirl on January 27, 2009, 11:24:01 AM
SM: So Shatzie, is your premarital counseling teaching you how to be a good submissive wife?

 :o

Cheeeeez, your SM and my DM should get together.  Sounds like they might be related, though I'm not going to depress everyone with stories of my dear mater.  I will say that if anyone had ever asked ME that question, steam would have come out me ears, I tells ya.  'Good submissive wives' don't get things done, and any man with a spine doesn't want one.

If she ever asks that again, just smile sweetly and reply "FH wasn't looking for a doormat or a wet dishrag, and I would be marrying him if he was.  Have you tried the guacamole? It's really good."
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: sparkysparky on January 28, 2009, 08:11:27 PM
Quote
I think in this case, the bean-dipping is too blatantly changing the subject. I think the bean dip strategy works better in uncomfortable situations where *everybody* would welcome a change of subject. In the case of people who won't let it rest, it's probably better to state outright, "what goes on during counselling sessions is a private matter between me and Fiance." 

THEN bean dip!



Perfect.

I was actually going to post about this subject tonight, people that ask invasive questions and WON'T LET UP no matter how polite you are trying to deflect talking about it.

Someone I know has been asking in depth about my sisters reproductive choices and any arrangements that may have been made before her marriage.  This particular person "appears" to care on the outside, but is just looking for an opening to criticize or state her own opinions, ones that I don't care to hear in the least.

I think I will now tell this person that the topic is a private one between my sister and her hubby, that I have no knowledge of any arrangements, don't have any opinions or say on the matter even if I did, and THEN change the subject.

Thanks!  Didn't mean to turn this into a post about my issues, but you all have really helped here.

Some people just don't know when to shut their mouths.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Suze on January 28, 2009, 08:23:32 PM
Of course IF you wanted to be evil, mean and nasty you could tell them all sorts of fictional "things" that you learned in couseling....

like which is the best whiped cream for "scrabble"

I can NOT even dream that My MOM would have asked questions like that.

Behind closed doors and all that rot.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: sparkysparky on January 28, 2009, 08:59:51 PM
With that kind of questioning/ingterrogation it'd be no holds barred if I'd had enough already.  If she's that interested, I'd probably try to completely flabbergast her and make her speechless with the things that came out of my mouth.

She's the one who asked. Bet she never asks again....hahaaa

Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Lyssiej on January 29, 2009, 07:12:58 PM
I am really amazed by this.  In your position, after the first attempt, I think I would have gotten up from the table and left. 
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: magician5 on January 29, 2009, 11:54:46 PM
IMO bean-dip is too polite to be effective - maybe it's worth one single try, but after that the only answer I can think of is "That is a very private matter."
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: scap64 on February 20, 2009, 08:56:19 AM
Here is an advice I recently received for such situations:

"...Seriously, you can ask her her own questions right back at her.

She hasn't seen you before? "I haven't seen YOU before."

Why are you here? "Why are YOU here?"

When I ask a question I expect an answer. "When I ask a question *I* expect an answer."

You could do something like this until you get a good spiel down that you can easily deliver under duress. :)..."
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: sparkysparky on February 20, 2009, 08:14:02 PM
Ooh, that's good Scap.

I'm going to have to remember that.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: K12144 on February 21, 2009, 01:26:20 PM
I tend to answer questions like that very honestly--"when are you having kids?"  "I'd rather die than have kids."  "Are you submissive to your father/significant other?"  "I think if God had wanted me to be treated like a child he'd have given me the intellect of a child, but I don't believe I'm automatically inferior to another person because of the genitalia I happen to have been born with."  "Don't you think everyone was too harsh on Michael Vick?"  "I think torture would've been too good for him."   And then after they're well aware of my views and feel like harassing me for it, THEN I can change the subject or refuse to discuss it.  It's probably not the right way to do things, but usually when these questions are asked, it's about something I do NOT want to be mistaken for being in agreement with...I'm afraid I'm not very good at evading some conversations without argument!
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: valkyre on April 14, 2009, 02:02:34 PM
Quote
I think in this case, the bean-dipping is too blatantly changing the subject. I think the bean dip strategy works better in uncomfortable situations where *everybody* would welcome a change of subject. In the case of people who won't let it rest, it's probably better to state outright, "what goes on during counselling sessions is a private matter between me and Fiance." 

THEN bean dip!



Perfect.

I was actually going to post about this subject tonight, people that ask invasive questions and WON'T LET UP no matter how polite you are trying to deflect talking about it.

Someone I know has been asking in depth about my sisters reproductive choices and any arrangements that may have been made before her marriage.  This particular person "appears" to care on the outside, but is just looking for an opening to criticize or state her own opinions, ones that I don't care to hear in the least.

I think I will now tell this person that the topic is a private one between my sister and her hubby, that I have no knowledge of any arrangements, don't have any opinions or say on the matter even if I did, and THEN change the subject.

Thanks!  Didn't mean to turn this into a post about my issues, but you all have really helped here.

Some people just don't know when to shut their mouths.

Juuuust before you do, (or if you get people like this butting in about birth control) did they work in the medical field? If so, they may be trying to give you information that most Doctors don't offer.  Most women go on the pill. The important part of this is *it may sometimes take 3-4 cycles before you will know if it's a medication you can tolerate, or one that will cause problems or not cover you sufficiently.*  I worked for a Doctor, who told me if I ever went on the pill, to start is no LATER than 3 months before the wedding or sex.  My 4th month on the pill I had some issues and had to change to a different prescription.  Made me wish I had started 6 months before.  SO...there sometimes *is* a method to people's madness, when they ask super personal questions.

Although...I'm betting that's not what that person had in mind.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: Elfqueen13 on April 14, 2009, 02:09:09 PM
SM: So Shatzie, is your premarital counseling teaching you how to be a good submissive wife?

 :o

Cheeeeez, your SM and my DM should get together.  Sounds like they might be related, though I'm not going to depress everyone with stories of my dear mater.  I will say that if anyone had ever asked ME that question, steam would have come out me ears, I tells ya.  'Good submissive wives' don't get things done, and any man with a spine doesn't want one.

If she ever asks that again, just smile sweetly and reply "FH wasn't looking for a doormat or a wet dishrag, and I would be marrying him if he was.  Have you tried the guacamole? It's really good."

I am a "good, submissive wife" and I assure you my husband is not lacking in spine, nor am I lacking in brains or willpower.  I also get a great deal done on a daily basis.

Everyone structures their marriage differently and while it was rude to press when the OP was clearly trying to change the subject, it is not rude to hold or express opinions on how to form a good marriage, particularly when talking to a daughter/step-daughter.
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: pootbear on May 27, 2009, 03:36:05 PM
(cut a bit just to save space)
Fiance and I had dinner with Toxic Dad and Stepmom the other night. Stepmom, clueless, decided to ask some *very* invasive

cut to:
DAD: Are you trying to change the subject, Shatzie? Your stepmother asked you a question.
ME: A very invasive question. Fiance, how was work today?
Dad and Stepmom would.not.let.it.rest. I tried bean dipping more, but conversation became very stilted. Was there a better way to handle this?

I think you did fine but am wondering if or how your fiance' answered your question and if he backed you up. 

I think the reason you felt the conversation became stilted is because there was more than just insensitivity and/or rudeness going on here. ToxDad and CluelessStepmom appear to actively working together to set a course for your marriage based on theirs marriage and/or their beliefs.

You can sidestep questions w/ beandip or other ploys in social settings as the social setting is a temporary situation and you can then step away from stilted conversation.

Finance's parents are going to be a part of your life as longs as y'all are married or longer if there are kids involved.

So (again just my opinion) at some point you and your finance may (well IMHO WILL) need to sit down with this couple, maybe over dinner and set some boundaries.  Finance needs to be the primary speaker too as this is 'his' side that needs to be set straight.

I personally like to begin such a conversation by crediting the guilty parties with noble motives "I am sure you mean well and... we both respect the choices you've made for your relationship which do appear to be working for you two... and we know you both want to extend the same respect to us...." then lay it out.

    - We've both decided our marriage is to be an equal partnership (or whatever you've decided) and
    - We both feel conversations within a counseling session should remain private.

At this point, you're going to find out if this couple will 'agree to disagree' with you both over this pretty fundamental* difference of opinion on how roles are to be established in a marriage.

Depending on how toxic dad is, this may end up being the opening for him to cut son off emotionally or financially so you both may wish to relate this story to your pre-marriage counselor and be prepared for the fall out.  You and your finance know these people and y'all may wish  to take that into consideration when you select a time and a place. (Like maybe- get thru the wedding with everybody being superficially friendly.)

Or maybe bringing it up now to see how finance will or won't back you up SHOULD be done before the wedding.

BTW * when I said "fundamental", I meant "basic or foundational' not 'fundamental' as in religious- although if they're basing how your marriage should be structured on their religion, maybe before the wedding is also a good time to spell out which church (if any) finance' will be attending... or not as that could really cause an explosion.

BTW- Best Wishes 
Title: Re: Very Invasive Questioning
Post by: VorFemme on May 27, 2009, 11:15:39 PM
There are times when Evil and Snarky want to grab some strawberries, whipped cream, a horsewhip, and ask DH where he put the red leather corset..............but so far they have managed to keep changing the subject instead of saying "okay, let's get the equipment together and go to work on that RIGHT NOW".  Menopause has ended the need to be asked about more kids - so now we have had one or two questions about grandkids.

We tell them that we aren't asking because we don't want to think about it until we are old enough to have grandkids - say, seventy or so!