Author Topic: Guest with intent to embarrass?  (Read 14336 times)

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snappylt

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2012, 03:02:45 PM »
On the flip side, I've never heard of an "open mic" reception. The concept is just foreign to me.

Yes, I was going to say that we didn't have a microphone or a sound system at our reception.  We hired some college students, a quartet, to play music softly in the corner, but we didn't have any amplification.

That would be one way to keep "auntie" from telling stories to the whole audience at once.


BeagleMommy

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2012, 03:17:12 PM »
I think a "come to Deity" meeting with Anna (and maybe other family members) is in order.

"Anna, I know you think these stories are funny, but I've told you many times that I find them humiliating.  When you tell me to "lighten up" it discounts my feelings.  Why would you want me to feel humiliated on what's supposed to be the happiest day of my life?"

Oh Joy

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2012, 03:44:49 PM »
Only you can decide whether to invite her.  If you do, you can control who addresses the entire reception through the microphone, but not who she regales with stories in small groups.

If I were in your shoes. I would consider having a talk with her.  The wording depends on your style and dynamics, but my message would be to share that I was sad that to her, embarassing me was more important than celebrating the day with nothing but joy and good wishes.


SleepyKitty

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2012, 04:37:12 PM »
I haven't used this phrase in this exact context, but it's been effective in other situations:

"Anna, if you do this, you will hurt me. Whether or not you believe I am being unreasonable, whether or not you think I should lighten up, you will hurt me if you do this."

This would probably not work for those who tell embarrassing stories because they're bullies or insensitive, but the way you describe your relationship with Anna makes me think that this is otherwise a genuine and loving friendship. Anna may look at the situation and think the consequences of telling the story are embarrassment and shame. If she is not a sensitive person, embarrassment and shame may not seem like a big deal to her and she might not understand just how negative it would be for you. After all, a person's embarrassment can be part of a funny story or comical situation - in her mind, she's not connecting embarrassment with pain and unhappiness.

So be clear that Anna will not just embarrass you, but she will actually hurt you terribly on your wedding day if she does this. Hurting someone you care for is never part of a comical situation and it's never funny. She will understand if she is truly a friend.

25wishes

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2012, 06:32:49 PM »
Does she know your DF?  Is he on your side in this? Why not have a meeting with Anna and HIM (more on your side, she will be outnumbered) with BOTH of you saying how, while you want to share your happy day with her, you do NOT want to remember how you wound up in tears because of her mean-ness. And with him saying how upset HE will be if anyone ruins, or tries to ruin, his bride's special day.
 Maybe if she hears if from both of you it might make a difference.

I feel for you, I HATE when people do this. I had an uncle who would find out your weakness, tease you unmercifully about it, and when you got upset, say "I was just kidding...." in an aggrieved tone. My least favorite uncle....

Marbles

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2012, 02:53:10 AM »
The "lighten up" response really bugs me. A story is only funny if both people are laughing. And that's what I'd tell her.

SciFiLeslie

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2012, 09:12:12 AM »
Keeping Anna away from the mic will not guarantee she will not share her stories.  If she likes to mingle, she will have many opportunities to tell her tales.  If the possible telling of the stories will cause you strife, then you would be best off not inviting her.   

GrammarNerd

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2012, 10:25:17 AM »
I vote for one more time of laying it on the line, very bluntly and maybe even emotionally (emotion might translate to you being very serious about this, not just being a drama queen).

"Anna, I'm really worried about something, and I need to talk to you.  You like to embarrass me.  You tell stories about me to other people--repeatedly--that I'd rather forget.  You think it's fun.  I don't.  I get hurt, I get humiliated, I get anxious, and it ruins my day.  I've tried to talk to you about it before, but you just tell me to lighten up.

Well, you know what?  I don't have to lighten up.  It's how I am.  And I don't like being repeatedly humiliated by someone who is supposed to be close to me.  You may not agree with it or even understand my feelings, but you don't have to.  I'm telling you that the stories are not funny to me.  You know, you don't like (name of food she doesn't like).  How would you feel if someone constantly served you (food), knowing you don't like it, and then belittled you when you wouldn't eat it or got annoyed at him?

I've been thinking a lot about this habit of yours, combined with my wedding, and the thought of you telling stories that you know embarrass me and humiliate me on MY wedding day, to MY wedding guests, on the most important day of my life, is causing me a lot of stress.  I have some friends who are telling me to just not invite you if I can't trust you not to try to embarrass me or intentionally try to sabotage my special day.  I really don't want to have to do that, but I'll do whatever I have to do to make sure that the only think I'll have to worry about on the most special day of my life will be the weather. 

And please don't tell me to 'lighten up'.  That's getting old.  And really, that old line is just a way of blaming the victim.  And this request isn't just for my wedding day, it's from this point forward.  So please tell me your thoughts."

Yes, there's a certain amount of snark in there, but I think you need that to make your point.

My story: When I was in college and right after I graduated, I spun out on icy roads at about 55-60 mph, twice within a two-month timespan.  For years after that, skidding on snow or ice made me tense at the very least.  This went on for years, because, I think, the conditions weren't something that I was exposed to very often.  Well, I met my dh, and he would sometimes try to skid a little bit 'for fun', like going around a corner on a city street, or in a parking lot where there were no other cars around.  It still very much scared me, because being a passenger, I had no control over the situation and I would sort of have that flashback feeling."  I would ask him not to do that, and then he would try to play it like it was an accident.  Sorry, I know it wasn't.  Finally, I blew up at him and said "Listen, when you do that, it may be fun for you, but it SCARES me.  I don't care if you get it or not, but it SCARES me.  Why do you keep doing something that you KNOW SCARES me?  Why is that FUN for you?  If you need to do that, then let me out of the car."  I was in tears and everything.  I think he finally got it enough to cut it out.


Sophia

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2012, 11:30:10 AM »
I love GrammarNerd's script. 

But, since this is a family trait, and you have seen even a closed mic go bad, why have a mic at all?  Do toasts at the rehearsal dinner.  Anyone who would be doing a toast would be there anyway.  I personally find the toasts early in the reception to be a little painful to hear.  People weep, they talk too long, I sit there thinking "I really want to get up to get a new drink or go to the bathroom, but that would be rude." 

For my wedding, we planned on doing the toasts at the rehearsal dinner, but between the Tuesday when I extra-verified the reservations and two days later for the rehearsal dinner, the restaurant closed.  So, we ended up going as regular guests to another restaurant, and didn't get our own area.  We ended up doing the toasts as the reception was winding down and only our nearest and dearest were still there. 

JenJay

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2012, 11:41:37 AM »
I haven't used this phrase in this exact context, but it's been effective in other situations:

"Anna, if you do this, you will hurt me. Whether or not you believe I am being unreasonable, whether or not you think I should lighten up, you will hurt me if you do this."

This would probably not work for those who tell embarrassing stories because they're bullies or insensitive, but the way you describe your relationship with Anna makes me think that this is otherwise a genuine and loving friendship. Anna may look at the situation and think the consequences of telling the story are embarrassment and shame. If she is not a sensitive person, embarrassment and shame may not seem like a big deal to her and she might not understand just how negative it would be for you. After all, a person's embarrassment can be part of a funny story or comical situation - in her mind, she's not connecting embarrassment with pain and unhappiness.

So be clear that Anna will not just embarrass you, but she will actually hurt you terribly on your wedding day if she does this. Hurting someone you care for is never part of a comical situation and it's never funny. She will understand if she is truly a friend.

I'm throwing my POD down here. Awesome advice! It's probably a good idea to keep strict tabs on the mic, too, just in case.

baglady

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2012, 11:42:19 AM »
Don't invite her. When she asks why, explain; I like GrammarNerd's wording:

Quote
Well, you know what?  I don't have to lighten up.  It's how I am.  And I don't like being repeatedly humiliated by someone who is supposed to be close to me.  You may not agree with it or even understand my feelings, but you don't have to.  I'm telling you that the stories are not funny to me.  You know, you don't like (name of food she doesn't like).  How would you feel if someone constantly served you (food), knowing you don't like it, and then belittled you when you wouldn't eat it or got annoyed at him?

I've been thinking a lot about this habit of yours, combined with my wedding, and the thought of you telling stories that you know embarrass me and humiliate me on MY wedding day, to MY wedding guests, on the most important day of my life, is causing me a lot of stress.  I have some friends who are telling me to just not invite you if I can't trust you not to try to embarrass me or intentionally try to sabotage my special day.  I really don't want to have to do that, but I'll do whatever I have to do to make sure that the only think I'll have to worry about on the most special day of my life will be the weather. 

She may beg and plead and promise to be good, but stand your ground. I know you don't want to do this, but I have a feeling it's the only way you're going to get the embarrassing-story-free day you deserve.
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Salvage3

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2012, 05:14:54 PM »
I totally agree with setting down the guidelines --for lack of a better term --with all parties (including your parents).  This is your special day.  You should be able to completely enjoy it without constantly worrying about stories that they might be sharing.


snappylt

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #57 on: November 11, 2012, 01:46:00 PM »
Teal Dragon, I'm writing to ask if you have an update for us on how the situation with Anna has gone since your last post.

bopper

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2012, 09:57:02 AM »
Also...you don't have to have ANYONE do ANY toasts if you don't want to!
Just because it is in the default script for a wedding in your circles, doesn't mean you have to do that.

EmmaJ.

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2012, 11:21:51 AM »
Yes, I'd love an update also.