General Etiquette > Family and Children

Being grilled at the table.

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--- Quote from: rose red on December 03, 2012, 09:15:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: VltGrantham on December 03, 2012, 09:03:25 AM ---DH spoke up and said "that's not really something we discuss with other people."

--- End quote ---

I would just say that to each and every question.  For questions like cheating, I would say "That is completely inappropriate." and keep repeating it.

I don't care if she is older or your mother's guest.  You and your family are guests too and don't deserve to be grilled by another guest.

--- End quote ---

I agree with this completely.


--- Quote from: rose red on December 03, 2012, 09:15:14 AM --- I would say "That is completely inappropriate." and keep repeating it.

--- End quote ---

This.  Depending on your personality, try to make it a joke, as if the busybody could not possibly have seriously intended her question to be taken seriously or answered.  When this has happened to me, I don't get angry, I get amused (or at least I don't act angry, I act amused).  It has worked to shut people down because they can see their busybodiness doesn't get them answers and doesn't bother me because it is so absurd to me I think they are joking.

The same thing happened to my DH at Thanksgiving when an in-law three times removed grilled him relentlessly.  This is outrageous and there is no excuse for it.  I think that the questioners are counting on the fact that their targets want to keep the peace and don't want to embarrass anyone and so will answer the invasive, inappropriate questions. 

This is what I try to do when someone puts me on the spot this.  (I say "try" because a question ambush sometimes takes me by surprise and I forget about my stock response.)  I say, " why do you ask?"  It doesn't really matter what "the griller" says in response.  If he or she provides a reason for the question, I say nothing.  If he or she just gives me a look, I say nothing. If he or she issues a self pittying mumur, I say nothing.  If he or she persists with questions, I say nothing.  I do not believe this is rude.  Etiquette does not require that your life be an open book, especially to people you barely know. 

"What makes you think this is an appropriate topic for conversation?"

I personally take delight in watching someone squirm in uncomfortable silence while trying to come up with an answer to that question.  >:D

I think  a stock answer such as "That's personal" would work fine.  For the cheating question I would try "Why would you ask that?".  She was being inappropriate and you would not be rude to put her on the spot.

I would also be highly miffed at my mother for getting into the fertility issue.  I would have had to pull her aside and say "Mom, please don't discuss our fertility with anyone."


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