Author Topic: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words  (Read 11373 times)

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*new*mommyagain36

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On Sunday evening I was home alone when someone rang the bell.  It was a female family member, who I will call X and her grand daugher, Y.  X just happened to be driving in the vicinity of my home when Y announced she needed to use the bathroom.  So, X stopped and asked if Y could use my bathroom.  Now, I'd like to add that I haven't seen X in about 2 years for many reasons but we just do not have any relationship at this point, and Y I have never met.  Y's Dad fathered several children with several girlfriends and in general my family isn't close (no get togethers on this side.)
After Y used the bathroom she walked straight into my diningroom and went to a large pumpkin dish I have on the table.  She lifted the lid and proceeded to help herself to the leftover Halloween Candy contained therein.  X immediately spoke up and said, "Get out of there!  You need to ask *new*mommy before you touch anything, etc, etc." To which Y did put the candy back in, dropped the lid and came back to where we were standing.  Y then looked at me and said, "If I have to ask for it, I don't want it." and went out the door.  X kind of rolled her eyes, thanked me for the use of the bathroom and left as well.
Monday evening I got a call from X.  She again thanked me for the bathroom use and again apologized for Y.  But, then she said, "Well, really, we're family, so she shouldn't have to ask."  I was dumbfounded.
I wanted to say many things, none of which are Ehell approved, the least of which would be, "really, we're family?  are you sure about that?  because we sure don't act like family and I've never seen Y before in my life" But, instead, I said   :-X  NOTHING.  I could not think of anything to say so I just sat there, holding the phone until eventually X hung up.
I've been mulling this around in my head since Monday and honestly I just cannot think of what I could've or should've said.
So, is "Complete Silence" ok in this situation?  What should I have said if not?
Can any one make me feel a little bit better about sitting there mute until X finally hung up on me?
Thank you!
"Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything.  14% of people know that" - Homer Simpson

RebeccainGA

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 11:33:21 AM »
Complete, dumbfounded silence was totally appropriate here! Who DOES that????

You are in the clear. This was a totally bizarre situation.

alkira6

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 11:36:38 AM »
Um, being related does not make it open season on things that are not yours. Even my mom asks when she comes over my house.

I think your stunned silence probably said almost as much as words here.

*edited because I can spell. sometimes.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 11:41:29 AM by alkira6 »

*new*mommyagain36

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 11:40:10 AM »
I mean, what if that had been my Petty Cash Pumpkin instead of a candy dish?
But, seriously, I would've let her have the darn candy if she had asked me.

Thanks, I feel a little better.   :-[
"Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything.  14% of people know that" - Homer Simpson

JenJay

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 12:49:16 PM »
Despite your silence, I think she heard you loud and clear.  ;D

Emmy

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 01:15:55 PM »
There are just some thing so bizarre there is just nothing to say.  Also, by not saying anything, it probably ended the conversation sooner.  If you had interjected said something about not being family, X would have argued your point.  If they come knocking at your door again, just pretend you aren't home.

Danika

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 04:40:23 PM »
I wouldn't have been able to think of anything to say to that either. The whole situation is so bizarre that I think the EHell advice of "don't engage the crazy" would be applicable here. Silence was best because you didn't need to waste your time or drive yourself nuts trying to have a discussion.

...If they come knocking at your door again, just pretend you aren't home.

I agree. That's another good example of when to use complete silence. Just stay on your couch and don't even open the door.

gramma dishes

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 05:21:58 PM »
I don't know how the rest of you live, but here in this house, even family has to ask permission before they take treats.  My children did and my grandchildren do now. 

This girl was no more your "family" than I am.  In fact, in all likelihood we've shared more words between us than you have with this child.  But even if you had been over the moon excited to see her (meet her?) that still doesn't give her carte blanche on your candy dish!  We would not allow our own family members to do it in their very own house where they lived.  You just don't DO that in someone else's house.

Your silence was eloquent and golden.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 05:30:44 PM »
I've known people who say that after you've been to their house enough times, if you're a friend or family, you just help yourself to whatever you want.  People have gotten quite irritated with me in the past when I've been at their house for the 20th time and still said "It's cool if I have a soda?"

I am just really uncomfortable raiding someone else's pantry or fridge.   When I'd babysit as a teen, some parents would just set out what I was alright to eat, others would just say "eat whatever" but I'd just stand there at the pantry thinking "What if they're saving that? Or that? What if that has a purpose like the kid's lunches?"  I liked when people left out the "okay" items better.

But I guess these people are of the latter sort who just believe it's a free for all if you're related and you shouldn't have to ask.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Yvaine

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2012, 05:31:06 PM »
I think the most boggling thing is that she was the one who admonished the kid to ask, and then she tried to make it sound like you were some kind of ogre who was trying to deny candy to her!  :o

Danika

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 06:21:14 PM »
I don't know how the rest of you live, but here in this house, even family has to ask permission before they take treats.  My children did and my grandchildren do now. 

My kids do too. And I'm usually the kind of parent who will say yes if my kids want a cookie or a treat, but I still would prefer I get the treats for the little ones. I don't need broken cookie jars, plates and bonbonnieres. Even the treats on paper plates are covered with saran wrap and I don't need them dropped or crumbs going everywhere, so I'd prefer my kids ask and I get them for them.

I think the most boggling thing is that she was the one who admonished the kid to ask, and then she tried to make it sound like you were some kind of ogre who was trying to deny candy to her!  :o

This is the part where it is clear that X knows Y was wrong.
And that shows that X might often be the kind of person who engages in gaslighting and blaming the victim rather than owning up to their mistakes and apologizing.

Iris

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 06:21:56 PM »
I've known people who say that after you've been to their house enough times, if you're a friend or family, you just help yourself to whatever you want.  People have gotten quite irritated with me in the past when I've been at their house for the 20th time and still said "It's cool if I have a soda?"

I am just really uncomfortable raiding someone else's pantry or fridge.   When I'd babysit as a teen, some parents would just set out what I was alright to eat, others would just say "eat whatever" but I'd just stand there at the pantry thinking "What if they're saving that? Or that? What if that has a purpose like the kid's lunches?"  I liked when people left out the "okay" items better.

But I guess these people are of the latter sort who just believe it's a free for all if you're related and you shouldn't have to ask.

This surprises me. I'm a fairly casual hostess and DH and I have a loose policy that once you know where the drinks are you are welcome to help yourself to one, or refill your wine or whatever. Many of our friends are quite comfortable going along with this, but I have never, ever had someone just take a drink without saying something, even if it's just "I'm going to grab another drink, want one while I'm up?"

On the OP I agree with other posters that total silence was probably the best response because, really, what CAN you say to that level of entitlement and ignorance?
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Yvaine

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2012, 06:47:00 PM »
I think the most boggling thing is that she was the one who admonished the kid to ask, and then she tried to make it sound like you were some kind of ogre who was trying to deny candy to her!  :o

This is the part where it is clear that X knows Y was wrong.
And that shows that X might often be the kind of person who engages in gaslighting and blaming the victim rather than owning up to their mistakes and apologizing.

That and/or the "scolding" was just a PA cue and the OP was supposed to respond with "Oh, but of course you can eat my candy!"  ;D ::)

Danika

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2012, 11:04:00 PM »
I think the most boggling thing is that she was the one who admonished the kid to ask, and then she tried to make it sound like you were some kind of ogre who was trying to deny candy to her!  :o

This is the part where it is clear that X knows Y was wrong.
And that shows that X might often be the kind of person who engages in gaslighting and blaming the victim rather than owning up to their mistakes and apologizing.

That and/or the "scolding" was just a PA cue and the OP was supposed to respond with "Oh, but of course you can eat my candy!"  ;D ::)

Oh, I hadn't thought of that! No wonder PA and manipulative people don't like me! I don't play their game.

P12663

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Re: I know I should have said something but just couldn't find the words
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 10:38:11 AM »
The part that flabbered my gast the most:  "If I have to ask for it, I don't want it." Who is raising this child?