Author Topic: Remember this lady?  (Read 6608 times)

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LB

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Remember this lady?
« on: December 05, 2012, 05:45:52 PM »
This is the first story about her:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=61668.0

I didn't mention it at the time, but this is the same lady:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=115159.0

So, in case that's confusing - Pearl from the first story and Pamela from the second story are the same person. I didn't realize I had given her two different names. I will stick with Pearl.

DH and I have not been going regularly to the monthly dinner meetings. We catch one here and there, but Pearl and her husband have been to every meeting we have made it to. And they have been annoying at every meeting we have been to. Pearl keeps asking DH and I when we're going to have our next child. Then she starts digging into other private topics. It's hard to remember all the things that she's asked me, but she is nosy and I have started making efforts to make sure we are seated as far from them as possible. So, while we found them annoying, we still felt we could deal with it for the sake of continuing to participate in the club.

That has changed.

The other night, DH and I attended the meeting. We took DS (who is now 18 months) with us as it was scheduled in a family restaurant. We were placed in a private banquet room. Members started arriving and DH was chatting with a few as I got DS settled into his high chair. In walks Pearl. She seemed to focus on me as soon as she entered the room. She walked straight over to me and DS. I was talking to DS and handing him a goldfish cracker. Pearl said hello, and I said hello back. She leaned down to talk to DS, but he was focused on me. She told him "Hello" and he looked at her briefly, then looked back to me. He saw that I had another goldfish cracker in my hand and let out an impatient "Mine!" and reached toward my hand. Pearl immediately pointed a finger at his face and said "Bad! So naughty!"  >:(

It took ALL of the reinforcement from the years I have been on EHell to say nothing more than a VERY icy "I've got this." I did put a hand up between her finger and my son's face. She said nothing and just walked away. DH did not see any of this. When he came over to sit for dinner he could see I was upset, but I told him I would explain later. During dinner, I was sitting next to another member, Diane. DH and I were both feeding DS bits from our plates. At one point, DS again pointed and said "Mine!" I asked him to say "Please." He did, and then I gave him what he was asking for. From the side I hear Diane say "Oh, mom gave in." and looked up to see her smirking and shaking her head at me. I absolutely froze for a few seconds, staring at her. I was so upset from the interaction with Pearl and now I'm being criticized for what I see as a normal way to correct a toddler? She finally looked away and started talking to someone else. I looked at DH and said "I'm ready to go now." He replied "Yep." and we left, after saying goodbye to a few people. Neither Pearl nor Diane said anything to us as we left.

In the car, I told him about what had happened with Pearl. He was extremely upset. He also told me that Diane also made a comment about DS chattering as she was sitting down, which I didn't hear. DH is ready to send in a letter of resignation from the club. He has become annoyed by what it has become anyway, but was staying in for the sake of a few friends we have there. We've decided that we can manage to keep in touch with them without the help of the club. There are too many other people in the club we have decided we don't want to associate with.

I'm sad that we're leaving because we have been members for nearly ten years. But this is not the same club it was, and I don't like the way any of us are being treated lately.

I don't know if I have any etiquette questions beyond wondering if I'm being blind to my part in any of this.

A few notes:
I would have corrected DS myself, if I had had a chance before Pearl spoke.
While it was louder than necessary, his one "Mine!" did not carry beyond our private room. His second "Mine!" was in normal tones.
"Mine!" is not acceptable. I know this. I am teaching him to say "Please" instead.
When I say DS was chattering, I'm talking about that baby babble. He wasn't being loud. I would actually say he was being quieter than normal conversational tones.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 05:53:28 PM »
I would have been hard-pressed not to smack her hand away from my child's face.

weeblewobble

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 06:06:32 PM »
Actually, I think you handled yourself very well.  I don't blame you for wanting to resign.  You might speak to your close friends first, telling them you would like to keep in touch outside of the club.

WillyNilly

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 07:29:42 PM »
While I understand it was a family restaurant, is this a family group? Sounds like most other members are 20 or so years your senior and you were at a private event in a private room - I think Diane not being amused by a toddler present is pretty justified.

None of that excuses Pearl though. She still sounds pretty awful and I think you handled yourself well.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 07:39:42 PM »
While I understand it was a family restaurant, is this a family group? Sounds like most other members are 20 or so years your senior and you were at a private event in a private room - I think Diane not being amused by a toddler present is pretty justified.

None of that excuses Pearl though. She still sounds pretty awful and I think you handled yourself well.

Are you talking about Diane's comment about the child chattering or about this: From the side I hear Diane say "Oh, mom gave in." and looked up to see her smirking and shaking her head at me.

Kaypeep

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 08:06:40 PM »
While I understand it was a family restaurant, is this a family group? Sounds like most other members are 20 or so years your senior and you were at a private event in a private room - I think Diane not being amused by a toddler present is pretty justified.

None of that excuses Pearl though. She still sounds pretty awful and I think you handled yourself well.

POD on both counts.  Sounds like you should definitely take a break from this group and just keep in touch with the people you've become closer friends with, outside of group activities.

LB

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 08:10:24 PM »
Actually, it is a very family oriented group. Other members have brought grandkids before, and some of them ask us to bring DS.

He has been held by nearly every member, including Diane, because they have asked to.

Emmy

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 08:13:59 PM »
I think both Pearl and Diane should mind their own business.  Diane's comment about 'giving in' was ridiculous.  Are you supposed to not feed your toddler the rest of his meal because he didn't ask politely the first time?  You corrected him (and even if you did 'give in', it would be rude to make a comment about it).  As long as your child isn't being disruptive to them, it is rude of them to make comments on your parenting or try to correct your child.

It doesn't sound worth it to keep going to the group if you don't get much enjoyment out of it.  Keep in touch with your friends from the group.

doodlemor

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 10:21:31 PM »
I think both Pearl and Diane should mind their own business.  Diane's comment about 'giving in' was ridiculous.  Are you supposed to not feed your toddler the rest of his meal because he didn't ask politely the first time?  You corrected him (and even if you did 'give in', it would be rude to make a comment about it).  As long as your child isn't being disruptive to them, it is rude of them to make comments on your parenting or try to correct your child.

It doesn't sound worth it to keep going to the group if you don't get much enjoyment out of it.  Keep in touch with your friends from the group.

POD absolutely.  The other great descriptive word here is ridiculous.  These women are being incredibly petty.  Good riddance.

Deetee

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 10:30:11 PM »
Ugh.

Unless a child is a danger to self or others you don't reprimand (absent a prior agreement with parents. My sister and I have an agreement that we and our partners can reprimand each others child but that it is an exception to the ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD who cannot do so)

I'm sorry you have to leave the club that you have enjoyed for a long time. I hope you can keep up your friendships with the other members, but I see no reason to hang out with people that act like they do.

O'Dell

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2012, 10:03:23 AM »
Since these events are kid friendly, you are justified in quitting the club. Heck, any reason you want is reason enough to quit, IMO.

I also think you'd be justified in explaining that you felt unwelcome when you brought your child to events. This is something that the leadership should know (if there are leaders). Just make it a vague excuse and let them deal with it if they choose to.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

Thipu1

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 10:58:12 AM »
As LP said, the group seems to have changed.

Like all things, groups have a finite life span.  Memberships change and the focus shifts. 

Moving away may be hard but, in this case, you'd probably be right to do so.  You can still keep in touch with members whose company you enjoy.

We understand very much how you feel.  Mr. Thipu and I were in a very nice group for about 20 years.  Then, the people we enjoyed retired and moved away.  New members were cordial but it became clear that we were no longer really welcome. 

We were sad to drop out but it we had to do so. 

Pamela and Diane are the sort of people who want to make the group 'theirs' and, unfortunately, these people often get their way. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 02:55:57 PM »
Your 18-month old son wasn't being "naughty" as Pearl put it.  He was being 18 months old.  "Mine" is how he says he wants something.  You were being a good parent by showing him how he needs to behave to get what he wants.  That's not "giving in"; that's teaching manners.

Pearl and Diane both need a healthy does of MYOB.  I think you and your DH are perfectly justified in leaving the club.

Lynn2000

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2012, 04:03:55 PM »
I don't have kids, so take this for what it's worth... I think Pearl was really out of line. I have strong feelings about calling children "bad" and while I certainly don't think this one incident will do him any lasting harm, it was very presumptuous of her to jump in and chide your child right in front of you, when he wasn't doing anything to affect her. (Like, if he'd been grabbing at her hair or something, it might be slightly more understandable.)

I'm a little torn about Diane. I think a lot depends on tone and the rest of your interactions with her, in general and that evening. The way I first read it, it sounded like she could have been making a little joke, not the most clever joke perhaps, but nothing that was meant in a judgmental or mean way. Just someone wanting to comment on something, and it coming out wrong. You may have read more into it because you were (justifiably) frazzled by Pearl. Or, Diane may indeed have meant it badly, of course.

Either way, I think you're fine to leave the organization if it's no longer fun for you--it seems like maybe it's more stressful for you, wondering what rude thing someone is going to say or do next, and that's not something you should be subjected to in a hobby. So I think you could either leave entirely, or (if allowed) take a nice long break from it (several months), and see how you feel--if you miss it, or if you find ways to get together with the people you like away from the ones you don't.

One question: You said it was a family-friendly restaurant. Were there any other children there that night? I believe you said that other members have brought children in the past, but I wasn't clear if DS was the only child/very young child at that particular gathering. Him being the only child, when you felt it clear that children were welcome, would not excuse anyone being rude to him, of course, but it might explain it.
~Lynn2000

Yankeegal77

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Re: Remember this lady?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2012, 10:13:33 PM »
I don't have kids, so take this for what it's worth... I think Pearl was really out of line. I have strong feelings about calling children "bad" and while I certainly don't think this one incident will do him any lasting harm, it was very presumptuous of her to jump in and chide your child right in front of you, when he wasn't doing anything to affect her. (Like, if he'd been grabbing at her hair or something, it might be slightly more understandable.)

I'm a little torn about Diane. I think a lot depends on tone and the rest of your interactions with her, in general and that evening. The way I first read it, it sounded like she could have been making a little joke, not the most clever joke perhaps, but nothing that was meant in a judgmental or mean way. Just someone wanting to comment on something, and it coming out wrong. You may have read more into it because you were (justifiably) frazzled by Pearl. Or, Diane may indeed have meant it badly, of course.

Either way, I think you're fine to leave the organization if it's no longer fun for you--it seems like maybe it's more stressful for you, wondering what rude thing someone is going to say or do next, and that's not something you should be subjected to in a hobby. So I think you could either leave entirely, or (if allowed) take a nice long break from it (several months), and see how you feel--if you miss it, or if you find ways to get together with the people you like away from the ones you don't.


Parking my POD here. I was wondering if Diane was kidding in a not-so-funny way. I've personally had moments when I'm already upset at someone or a situation and it does "color my vision" for a bit. But if she wasn't, then she was extremely rude.

As for Pearl...so far over the line it's a blur in the distance. I do not have children, but jeez, even *I* know that "mine" is a rudimentary expression of ownership. You responded beautifully to Pearl and I commend you for being extremely classy.  I love that you're in the midst of teaching your little boy manners and perhaps this can be the "official" reason for departure--that you're training your son to be a polite member of society and these women are setting a bad example. ;)

In all seriousness, you are justified in leaving, IMO, but don't "flounce." I definitely recommend very quietly and matter-of-factly letting the leadership know *why* you're leaving without a lot of details or finger pointing and explaining to your friends why. I'm sure they will understand, as it sound like Pearl is a real pill. And who knows--perhaps your friends may want to start their own group free of folks they would rather not associate with.

Either way, I would do the same thing and I'd love to see an update as to how things went. Hope this works out for you!