Etiquette School is in session! > Complete Silence

"Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"

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I've used silence and then walking away as my response to this comment my SIL has used on me several times.

Brother and SIL live in a nearby state.  SIL is a snarky type who can often come up with rude remarks.  I try to limit my contact with them as I dislike the "walking on eggshells" feeling I have when I am around her.  I see them several times a year when my father comes to visit from another state.  My father, husband and brother do not create problems; the SIL does.

Any advice on the meaning of these exchanges?  Silence was the only thing I could come up with, and it seemed best but maybe you have ideas on possible responses or insights as to why she does this?  I find it rude and it cuts short a normal conversation...

Background:  My nephew Bob recently moved to Boston where my father lives.

SIL:  I'm so happy that Bob (her son) plays softball with Grandpa.  They are really bonding - Grandson to Grandpa.

Me:  That is so great to hear!  I'm glad they are spending time together and bonding.

SIL:  It's great. They see each other a few times a week.

Me:  How does Bob like living in Boston?

SIL:  Why don't you ask him yourself?

She said it with a rude, annoyed tone like she did the preceding year:

SIL:  My brother Dave is allergic to peaches.

Me:  What are his symptoms when he eats them?

SIL:  Why don't you ask him yourself?

"I will ask next time I see him/her, but since you brought it up I had only assumed you wanted to talk about it. Bean dip?"

"Well, I am asking you because you mentioned it."

I assume he isn't there? If he is there, I suspect she's trying to pawn you off on him. If he isn't, then it's a very weird "conversational style."

Honestly, I would try very hard to never have to speak to her again.  I'd speak to her the *least* amount I had to, if completely avoiding her weren't possible.

Thanks for your replies.

rashea, yes, he wasn't there.  He arrived several hours later & I asked him later.

Shoo, your comment is very 'right on.'  That is what I decided to do a while back.

Especially since the last time I saw her when she said in front of the whole family including Bob, the third of four children she and her husband constantly adore and nurture, so you will be shocked when you read this. 

It was something I knew about decades ago but I was told it should not be spoken of for obvious reasons...and here she was "spilling the beans" to the wrong person, her son. At the dinner table...

SIL:  Your father only wanted 2 children.  It was because of me talking him into it that you and Susie were born.

Bob:  (turning red)  Gee thanks, Mom, I'm glad I was born. (He handled it well with grace, I think.  He is 22)

It freaked me out how rude this was!!  My guess is that it was a dig at her husband.  It really solidified making me want to avoid conversing with her.  Telling her son that is rude, abusive and ten other adjectives I won't bother to say.


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