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Author Topic: Displaying "rude" items in your own home Updates: pgs 1,2,5,12  (Read 83833 times)

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Fidgets

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I'll try to make this a general sort of thing to avoid causing any flames.  And, Mods?  This involved family, but it could involve non-family, too.  My apologies if this is in the wrong spot.

Let's say my SIL (let's call her Ruth) and all of my in-laws are deeply immersed in their belief that penguins can fly, they just choose to do it when nobody's around.  I am anti-penguin flight, but say nothing because, hey!  Penguin-flight believers can believe whatever they want.  On my fridge, waaaaaay over to one side is a small (less than 1" across) button that has a humorous (but not insulting) comment about penguin flight.  Ruth happened to follow me into the kitchen one day, paused to check the cartoons on the fridge out and saw the button.  That was when the fireworks started.  I was "insulting" her specifically and their whole family in general by having that on my fridge.  I was a hypocrite, a liar, I was rude, I needed to remove it right now! and I-don't-really-want-to-recall-what-else for having that on my fridge.  She took the button down and threw it away before she stormed out (before I could ask her to leave) and since then, I'm being bombarded with phone calls and emails from the rest of the in-laws about my woefully wanton ways (yeah, evidently not believing in penguin flight also means I'm a person of loose morals, who probably likes kick dogs and eat babies as a hobby).  Yes, luckily I'd emptied the trash earlier that day, so I was able to retrieve the evil button  ::) and put it back where it belongs. 

So, question: Is it rude to display something in your own home that might offend a guest and, if so, is the offense reduced by the object being small, obscure and not easily seen?  I'm not talking a 12' long Nazi flag displayed on my wall, nor anything condoning violence past or present at a particular group.  I'm talking a small button, not easily visible and that I called no attention to.  Rude?  Or no?  And for the record, I've never denigrated their beliefs and would never think of, say, wearing a T-shirt belittling Flying Penguin beliefs to a family gathering, just as they are vehement supporters of the grapefruit political party and I prefer the mango party--I don't call attention to that difference of opinion in any way either.  Hmmm....maybe I should just be happy I wasn't also displaying anything pro-mango on the fridge, tempting as it now may be.....   >:D
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 11:20:42 AM by Fidgets »

rashea

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 06:13:18 PM »
They were horribly rude to you. I would write a short email saying that you respect their beliefs, and you would hope they would show you the same respect.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 06:27:56 PM »
   Displaying an item is not rude but it might legitimately start a conversation. ( what happened here is obviously not conversation)

amanda_tlg

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 06:33:09 PM »
There are items in our home that we know cartain relatives don't approve of. nothing illegal or immoral, mind you, but they also believe in penguin-flight and we don't. So...we choose to remove the few blatant non-penguin-flight items from view when we know they are coming. A few minutes of work are worth it to avoid the harrangue discussion.

But then.....Dh and I b00by-trap our home for some visits and place other, even weirder, items out just to mess with peoples minds. i think I posted some examples before. We have filled our medicine cabinet with cotton balls and DH left a car battery and a polaroid camera next to the bed one time and we have done this many many times. (We amuse ourselves to no end)

So, i don't think its rude....but its also something I can avoid, and do.

jimithing

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 06:53:09 PM »
How has your husband been handling this issue with his family?

esteban

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 06:54:45 PM »
I would not allow these people in my house again, and I would seriously consider a full cut.

They were disrespectful to you and your property (throwing away your magnet?).  I would have nothing more to do with them.
The artist formerly known as deadbody

Two Ravens

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 06:57:01 PM »
Your SIL was totally out of line.

Having the item was not rude, but you may want to keep in mind, if you have things that are offensive to their beliefs and they see them, they are going to get offended. That should not be surprising.

PinkWildRose

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 07:11:33 PM »
Unless your button had statements on it that could be construed as hate speech, they had no right to be even offended.  These people owe you one giant apology.

tnpenguinbaby

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 07:16:09 PM »
I am sorry to have to tell you this but anyone who is anti-penguin is most likely guilty of all manner of heinous crimes and should be shot at sunrise.

Okay had to get that out  ;D  Seriously, I would inform them until such time as a sincere apology was received, they would not be welcome in my home or my presence again.  You are allowed to have strong feelings about things, but not to the point of screaming and destroying other's personal property.




Fidgets

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 07:19:49 PM »
DH hasn't really been hit with it.  Although being raised as a firm believer in flying penguins, his beliefs have changed over time and now he has more of a fence-sitter attitude--"Maybe they do fly, maybe they don't, but...hey!  Is that pizza?!??".  This is something else his family has not yet realized since we have been avid users of bean-dip whenever the topic comes up.  He advises me he has plans to talk with his sister since he wasn't present.  Neither of us are excited about it because a mondo-economy-sized can o'worms will be thereby opened, but ah, well.

Two Ravens, if she had been hurt by it, I would have done my best to fix it, but....I'm not exactly pleased to have the marvels of penguin flight dumped on me every time I see them and there have been more than a few times where it became excessive and offensive.  I made polite excuses and withdrew.  It would never occur to me to have a screaming hissy fit in someone else's home.  DH's mother has expressed chagrin that I have a lovely brass Arabic coffee pot in my living room because it's....foreign!  And Arabic!  And who-knows-what nonsensical reason.  The coffee pot, while it may offend her sensibilities on, oh so many levels, remains.  It will remain.  So will my button even if I have to Super-Glue the silly thing to the front of the fridge.  Possibly at eye-level, dead center.  (Now, that would be somewhat rude, so likely not.)

HatStrap, I tip my hat to both you and Eduardo.  Give him my best.  :)

ETA: PWR... not hate speech in any way, shape or form.  Think more along the lines of, "Flying penguins don't believe in me, either.  Things even out."  If I had something hating on any group in my house, somebody *should* throw a hissy fit.

tnpenguinbaby--of course you feel that way.  Look at your name!!  :D

And a minor update: DH just called.  He has thus far received two calls and an email at work (ouch!) stating that as the penguins-can-fly-true-believer they know him to be, he needs to get me in line and shaped up.  (Brief pause while both he and I attempt to catch our breath from laughing.)  One call from his Mom, one from the aforementioned "Ruth" and an email from his uncle.  (Pause for getting rid of hiccoughs from laughing until breathless.)  DH now threatening pulling boatload of family members together for the WWF of family convos.  Further updates as conditions warrant.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 07:28:09 PM by Fidgets »

Two Ravens

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 07:24:37 PM »
Two Ravens, if she had been hurt by it, I would have done my best to fix it, but....I'm not exactly pleased to have the marvels of penguin flight dumped on me every time I see them and there have been more than a few times where it became excessive and offensive.  I made polite excuses and withdrew.  It would never occur to me to have a screaming hissy fit in someone else's home.  DH's mother has expressed chagrin that I have a lovely brass Arabic coffee pot in my living room because it's....foreign!  And Arabic!  And who-knows-what nonsensical reason.  The coffee pot, while it may offend her sensibilities on, oh so many levels, remains.  It will remain.  So will my button even if I have to Super-Glue the silly thing to the front of the fridge.  Possibly at eye-level, dead center.  (Now, that would be somewhat rude, so likely not.)

That is certainly your right, and I stated that your SIL was totally out of line.  I am just saying the you know them, know what they are like, so it is hardly surprising that they got upset.  Again, she should not have acted the way she did.

Unless your button had statements on it that could be construed as hate speech, they had no right to be even offended.  These people owe you one giant apology.

 ??? People "have a right" to be offended by anything.  They must still act within the bounds of etiquette, but they can certainly be offended.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 07:35:39 PM by Two Ravens »

kherbert05

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 07:30:42 PM »
Your spouse needs to call each person that harassed you and

1. Tell them they were so far out of line they are circling Pluto
2. Inform them they are cut off of members of your household till they apologize and treat you with respect.
3. His sister should get a direct cut and be banned from your house. If people ask why the truth is perfect. She threw away my property because she didn't like it.

My BIL's X created a tempest in a tea pot that resulted members of BIL's family calling my sister a liar. This is exactly what BIL did.  Oh and the apology had to be face to face with complete owning up that they were idiots of the 1st order for believing his X who is a pathological liar.

I have Mason (From Dad's family) symbols/medals and Catholic Medals (Mom's family) displayed in the same shadow box. A neighbor is greatly offended. I told her she is welcome to never step foot in my house again. It is my history.

I have a letter from my state rep on the frig with IDIOT written across it. I wrote him about an issue. He wrote me back that he/his staff would insure the exact opposite of my opinion would be the law of the land because people with my opinion are uneducated heathens. I'm for truth but this letter was downright insulting. (I think I got the wrong form letter. ) Family members who disagree with me on the issue - agree he/his staff are grade 1 idiots.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Wavicle

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 07:35:21 PM »
You have a right to have anything you would like in your home, but if something is insulting to a group of people I do think it is reasonable to express that you find it offensive/hateful. There are polite and impolite ways to do it and I would take extra care to be cautious in someone elses home, but I think it would be fine to say "I am offended that you would display something so hateful about penguin flight." The fact that it was a joke does not make it OK.

In the case of something crass that people may not like (like the masturbating dinosaur) I would expect people to keep that to themselves more as that isn't attacking anyone. They would still have the ability to refuse future invitations or even leave right then, but there is less foundation for commenting.

camlan

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 07:36:47 PM »
Quote
On my fridge, waaaaaay over to one side is a small (less than 1" across) button that has a humorous (but not insulting) comment about penguin flight.

So the magnet wasn't insulting, just funny? I'm firmly in the camp of "If you can't laugh at yourself, who the heck can you laugh at?" I'd be surprised that someone was offended by a humorous magnet, even if they were uber-believers in penguin flight.

If you had blatant anti-penguin sayings all over your home, I could see your in-laws being offended and not wanting to visit. But one small magnet poking a little fun? Way over-reacting, in my book.

Then again, there was the time I was talking with another Catholic and we were poking a little fun at a few Catholic things, mild jokes like Mass is like an aerobics class because of all the standing and kneeling and how a professional organist had told me they call Catholic churches Mass-O-Ramas because of all the Masses on Sunday. A third friend overheard us and even though she isn't Catholic and doesn't identify with any religion, she was appalled that we were making jokes about religion.

So there are some people who just see certain subjects as beyond the bounds of humor, and making fun of such subjects is wrong. I'm guessing your in-laws fall into that group where penguin flight is concerned. But that is their issue to deal with, not yours. As guests in your home, if they are offended by something they see, they can leave. They can't destroy the offensive object. But they can choose never to return.

OP, you were not in the wrong. Ruth, on the other hand, needs a little reality check.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


EduardosGirl

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2011, 07:40:41 PM »
Amanda_tlg, you got my number. May I say, there is almost no greater sight than a very sleepy Englishman opening a parcel to find a bright red, *very* happy dinosaur?

Fidgets, Eduardo tips his hat to you as well (it's a tiny sombrero from a bottle of mescal).

On topic, I don't believe you've done anything inappropriate in all this, though I'm sure you and your DH are probably heartily sick of bean dip. Aside from quietly stating that, while you respect their beliefs, you do not share them and ask that they respect you in that. Repeat ad nauseum, excusing yourself from any histrionics they may throw.

I am trying to find a teeny tiny top hat to class him up but my search, alas, is ongoing. :)

ETA Because the iPhone is a bugger to type on.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 04:15:04 AM by HatStrap »


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