Author Topic: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?  (Read 5705 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« on: December 14, 2012, 02:41:10 PM »
Background:  My favorite aunt died about 10 years ago after a long bout with cancer.  She was only 49.  We have always considered her husband, Uncle J, as much part of our family if he were a blood relation.  He's one of the best people I've ever known.  We see him once or twice a month and he is invited to our houses regularly.

About two years ago Uncle J started dating L.  He seems very happy and we are happy for him.  Last week, Uncle J brought L to meet the family so I think things are getting quite serious.  She is a lovely person and I think she is worthy of him.

My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

To my mother's credit, she just gave Snarky Aunt this look  ??? followed by this look  >:(.  Snarky Aunt and her family are the only ones who don't have regular contact with Uncle J.  They only come to events where the rest of the family are attending so it doesn't look "inappropriate"  ::).

I thought my mother's response was worthy of an ehell mention.

weeblewobble

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 02:48:42 PM »
No.  Some people are simply not capable of being happy.  Either they are just unhappy in general, or they are so uncomfortable expressing positive emotions that they will find a reason to express negative ones.

Calypso

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 03:10:27 PM »
My DH is 25 years senior to me. Wish I could be in your family just long enough to give SnarkyAunt apoplexy!  >:D

TurtleDove

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 03:36:38 PM »
No.  Some people are simply not capable of being happy.  Either they are just unhappy in general, or they are so uncomfortable expressing positive emotions that they will find a reason to express negative ones.

This.  Some people were apparently personally offended when I started dating after my husband died.  My response to them: My unhappiness will not bring him back.  My unhappiness will only bring unhappiness to me and to the people in my life. I am still alive, and I intend to live. If that troubles you, please stay out of my life.

I suspect Snarky Aunt is taking out her anger over her sister's death on Uncle J.  I doubt this is about L's age or about L at all.  It is about the fact her sister is gone, and Uncle J remaining single will not bring her back.

Thipu1

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 04:36:39 PM »
Snarky Anut is getting her nose out of joint because a man is dating a nice woman 8 years after the death of his first wife?  As the punch-line of an old joke goes, 'She prefers her grievance'. 

Everyone else seems pleased with the situation and the Mother of the OP's reaction to snarky Aunt was quite appropriate in the circumstances.

The best course of action is to ignore the killjoy.  Her opinions are worth nothing. 

Auntie Mame

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 05:05:53 PM »
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

Kudos to your Mom force grace under bitterness.
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

MrTango

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 06:00:38 PM »
My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

"I'm glad your math skills are still intact, Aunt Snarky."  >:D

No?

sweetonsno

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 06:06:31 PM »
My mother's SIL, Snarky Aunt, asked how old L was.  Mom replied that she was 10 years younger than Uncle J, who is 59.  Snarky Aunt was shocked and said "That means she's the same age as BeagleMommy and the other nieces!".  Snarky Aunt has a "holier than thou" attitude but we know things about her past that she tends to forget.

"I'm glad your math skills are still intact, Aunt Snarky."  >:D

No?

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SoCalVal

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 06:22:38 PM »
Ten years is a big deal when one person is 59 and the other is 49???  On what planet and why does she care?  He's been alone for eight years; is he never allowed to date again?



caz

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 11:02:43 AM »
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D

Auntie Mame

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 11:40:19 AM »
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D

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Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

mharbourgirl

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 10:03:42 AM »
Oh my, a 59 year old man dating a 49 year old woman, what a scandal ::)  I'm four years older than BF, what does that make me?

A cougar   >:D

I was a 25-year-old woman who hooked up with a 20-year-old man a week before his 20th birthday. That was almost 18 years ago.  He loves to make 'married an older woman' jokes when he's out of arm's reach.  ;D

Funny thing is, people usually assume he's the older on of us due to my well-preservedness and general immaturity.  Works for me.   ;)

Winterlight

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 10:15:49 AM »
I'd vote for responding, "Yes, she is," in a sweet and uncomprehending tone. As if her attitude had flown right past.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Thipu1

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 10:47:52 AM »
We had something like this happen with a colleague.

She's an academic and, for many years she was married to another academic.  They lived abroad and she moved back to the US after he died.

A few years later she and her new companion paid us a visit.  You couldn't imagine anyone more different than her late husband.  The guy looked like the stereotypical outlaw biker.  At first, we wondered if she had gone insane.   

However, after having lunch with the guy, almost all of us changed our minds.  He was sweet, intelligent, polite and funny.  Appearances aside, they were perfect for each other. 

You never can tell.

DollyPond

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Re: Really, Can't You Just Be Happy?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 11:22:53 AM »
Something similar happened with a friend who recently passed away.

At her memorial service it became clear that her first husband was somewhat a "stick-in-the-mud".  After he had passed away, she re-married a younger much more adventurous man who joined the Peace Corps with her and afterwards they traveled the world.  Because of him she wound up living an exciting and fulfilling life with many, many friends (the memorial service was packed).

Many of the people who knew her when she was married to first husband commented that she would never had had that kind of life with him.

Maybe Uncle J is ready for a new lease on life and Aunt Snarky can't deal with it.