Author Topic: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude  (Read 8483 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

GreenEyedHawk

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2092
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2012, 07:03:56 PM »
One of the toughest parts is that my Aunt Awesome, who LOVES to host Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving (and does it spectacularly, I might add) lives literally right across the street from Aunt Bitterhag.  If there's a holiday party going on. Aunt Bitterhag knows just by looking out her window and seeing all the vehicles.  She will just show up, whether she's invited or not, and Aunt and Uncle Awesome don't have the heart to tell her she isn't invited and make her leave. 

I appreciate all the suggestions from everyone and unfortunately I think the only thing I can do is either make a big scene or just bow out of gatherings from now on.  The last time my own parents hosted Christmas, Aunt Bitterhag made a comment about my weight, saying something like, "My god, Diane, you've gained a lot of weight!" (that time stung particularly because at the time I was actually riding high from having DROPPED about 15lbs) and Aunt Awesome very loudly replied, "She has NOT, Aunt Bitterhag!  If anything, she's lost some!  Why would you say that?"  Aunt Bitterhag tried to back-pedal with "Well that's not what I meant!"  Really?  What else could possibly be inferred from that comment?

I really appreciate all the support; my weight has been a major issue for me for several years now.  Nothing seems to work to get it down and keep it down and not only am I sensitive about it because it affects my looks, but I'm raw about it because of all the years of frustration I've gone through trying to fix it.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2636
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2012, 07:07:15 PM »
Everyone, GEH has been putting up with this for so long, what is wrong with a bit of retaliatory rudeness?  Why can't the OP say something like, "Yes, Aunt Bitterhag, I'm fat, and everyone knows it.  What they also know is that you're a stinking drunkard."

Actually, GEH, the minute Aunt Bitterhag starts in on you, you should just drop your plate, drink, whatever, grab your stuff, and say, "I'm not staying here to be insulted by a drunk," and leave.  Do this every time. 

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4164
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2012, 07:31:20 PM »
Everyone, GEH has been putting up with this for so long, what is wrong with a bit of retaliatory rudeness?  Why can't the OP say something like, "Yes, Aunt Bitterhag, I'm fat, and everyone knows it.  What they also know is that you're a stinking drunkard."

Actually, GEH, the minute Aunt Bitterhag starts in on you, you should just drop your plate, drink, whatever, grab your stuff, and say, "I'm not staying here to be insulted by a drunk," and leave.  Do this every time.


Oh, I'd be more than tempted to do just that. However, rude is rude, and it would make the others uncomfortable.

OTOH, the others have had no problem with allowing this mean woman make GEH uncomfortable--no, mortified and humiliated--for years.

But, still, rudeness is rudeness.


Yankeegal77

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 271
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2012, 07:46:07 PM »
Sorry, GEH, but I am not accepting that you should have to bow out of family parties or endure her comments. You're too good for that and deserve for your family to have. your. back. And her drinking and status as "family?" Nuh-uh. Not an excuse. FAMILY doesn't do this. FAMILY acts the part. She's just a nasty barely-relative-by-marriage.

I am *fuming* on your behalf. FUMING. What horrid, horrid, sorry excuse of a human being and I'm equally disgusted by your family not excluding her from gatherings or doing a better job of taking care of their own. Your Aunt Awesome needs to learn the word "no" when BitterHag invites herself over.

The good news, though--I admire that you have a spine with her. That is a tremendous first step! I think it should extend to your family, though. Can you sit down with your parents, aunt, etc and tell them about the abuse (yep this is abuse!) and ask them to help beandip? Explain that you love them, family gatherings mean everything to you, but it's unfair that you have to endure this garbage because of their inability to back you up. Because, yes, the onus is on them. Sometimes, one spine isn't enough; your family needs to grow one collectively. Turn this around on them to provide a welcoming environment for you. Why can they do it for her, and not for you?

I agree 100% with some of the the PPs. There is some kind of jealousy/projection. Maybe you're better educated, she thinks you make more money, are more well-traveled, etc. Maybe she's insecure about her "place" in the family or that one of her kids doesn't compare to you, in her mind. Either way, sounds like you have your head on straight and know that this has nothing to do with *you.*

If you choose to attend, I think you're allowed to measured retaliatory rudeness. I'm normally not in favor, but know what? If this is what it takes to change how her behavior affects you, well, so be it.

BitterHag: "Oh, Diane, looks like you've gained a few!"
GEH: "Gold Star for stating the obvious! This conversation is over." Lather, rinse, repeat.

BTW, in case it helps, I spent part of my teen years overweight, lost it in a healthy way, gained a lot of weight in college and am down 70 pounds after a few years of hard work.  As such,  I unfortunately have experience with people like this and an arsenal of snarky, clever retorts. But they shouldn't be necessary to share--recognize that your weight is something she perceives as your Achilles heel and the best way to deal with a bully is to take away their power. Step one: get your family to wash off the "Welcome" on their collective forehead and develop a plan to either back you up or to exclude her. Step two: Keep on standing up for yourself. That is the most important. Because you don't deserve this.



MorgnsGrl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 749
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2012, 07:46:53 PM »
"Yes, Aunt Bitterhag, I'm fat, and everyone knows it.  What they also know is that you're a stinking drunkard."

What about, ""Yes, Aunt Bitterhag, I'm fat, and everyone knows it. They also know you've been harping on my weight gain and appearance at every family gathering for years. I wonder what they must think of you?"

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10819
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2012, 08:17:31 PM »
Ugh, this is a frustrating situation.  My family does the same thing -- they have no qualms telling me when I'm "too fat" (and explaining that my doctor says I'm well within healthy weight limits doesn't help). 

I think at some point, if you're not willing to call her out in front of everyone or ditch the gatherings completely, you just have to decide she's not worth it.  Who cares if she thinks you're fat?  You don't respect her opinion, and most likely, no one else does.  So let it slide off.

At the same time, I wonder if calling her Aunt Bitterhag is helpful.  Isn't that somewhat the same as her calling you fat?  Why do you get to decide she's bitter, and a hag, rather than a person with some flaws?  Even if you're not calling her face-to-face, this seems like the opposite of proper etiquette to me.  I know it's probably easiest to vilify her, but I don't think it's the best choice.

GreenEyedHawk

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2092
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2012, 08:35:56 PM »
Surianne, the reason I call her that is because that's how she acts.  Her son and daughter, my cousins, went together for her Christmas gift and got her a really nice, very pricey high-end coffee maker...she IS a coffee drinker, quite an enthusiastic one, so they thought she would like it.

Right from the word go it was a stream of non-stop complaints about how she would never use it, how the whole thing was stupid, how it was lousy, how she can't believe her own CHILDREN would think she would like such a thing, on and on and on and nothing anyone said would convince her that the coffee machine was anything but a horrible, terrible, thoughtless gift.

Dinner, which was delicious and had a huge variety of things to choose from, was a complete wash to her because there was ham.  How dare we serve ham when we all know she can't eat pork, how could we all sit there enjoying ham (when she could have had turkey, beef or chicken pie, all of which were available as non-pork options for a main) when we all KNOW she can't eat ham?  What a horrible dinner! 

If she isn't actually a bitter hag, she does a pretty darn good job of playing the part.  She's just one of those people who is determined to be miserable and isn't happy until at least one or two other people are miserable with her.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 08:39:41 PM by GreenEyedHawk »
"After all this time?"
"Always."

buvezdevin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1479
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2012, 08:47:20 PM »
Then I amend my prior post to agree fully with a poster who suggested just brightly replying to her "thank you!"

If she asks why you are thanking her, "weren't you trying to be helpful?"

It sounds as though she doesn't single you out, but is consistently disagreeable, and you can have the satisfaction of not giving her the satisfaction of having "gotten to you.".
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11766
  • xi
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2012, 09:01:57 PM »
...unfortunately I think the only thing I can do is either make a big scene or just bow out of gatherings from now on.  ...

I really urge you to consider the Big Scene as a viable option.  PP's mean well when they tell you to say "Thank You" brightly, but I know I couldn't do it.  Not about this.  If it wasn't about something that was a sensitive area, then that would work.  But, for me, that would be like saying "Please hit me again". 

I would talk to Aunt Awesome now.  Tell her how wonderful her party was, but Aunt Bitterhag verbally amused you once again.  As a result, you are feeling low and miserable.  You have been taking her punches to keep the family peace, but that you won't be able to do that anymore.  If she doesn't invite you to future parties, you will understand.  If she invites you and also Aunt Bitterhag, then she should be prepared for you to defend yourself. 
I have a feeling that the fallout of you defending yourself will be nothing.  You say your family is wonderful people, and I believe you.  People follow the lead.  You haven't been making a fuss, so they don't realize how much she has injured you. 

(Evil Sophia says that when you throw food at her to make sure your aim is good so that none gets on the furnishings)

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10819
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2012, 09:05:12 PM »
Surianne, the reason I call her that is because that's how she acts.  Her son and daughter, my cousins, went together for her Christmas gift and got her a really nice, very pricey high-end coffee maker...she IS a coffee drinker, quite an enthusiastic one, so they thought she would like it.

Right from the word go it was a stream of non-stop complaints about how she would never use it, how the whole thing was stupid, how it was lousy, how she can't believe her own CHILDREN would think she would like such a thing, on and on and on and nothing anyone said would convince her that the coffee machine was anything but a horrible, terrible, thoughtless gift.

Dinner, which was delicious and had a huge variety of things to choose from, was a complete wash to her because there was ham.  How dare we serve ham when we all know she can't eat pork, how could we all sit there enjoying ham (when she could have had turkey, beef or chicken pie, all of which were available as non-pork options for a main) when we all KNOW she can't eat ham?  What a horrible dinner! 

If she isn't actually a bitter hag, she does a pretty darn good job of playing the part.  She's just one of those people who is determined to be miserable and isn't happy until at least one or two other people are miserable with her.

I guess I'm still not getting it.  If you're uncomfortable with her emphasizing your faults, why is it okay for you to call her mean names?

There are ways to be forceful and stand up for yourself without stooping to her level.

johelenc1

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1858
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2012, 09:15:53 PM »
This is simple to me.
NA: Diane, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were pregnant.

You: Aunt Nasty Hag, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were a mean, nasty hag.


I am quite sure that would shut her up.  Rude?  I'm not even sure it is. 

other variations:
"You've gained weight"
---You're a mean, nasty hag.
"Have you lost any weight yet?"
----Have you stopped being a mean nasty hag?


If you don't want to actually call her a mean, nasty hag, find the polite equivalent.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you are a terribly insecure person who takes joy is being mean to other people."

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5316
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2012, 09:19:26 PM »
Surianne, the reason I call her that is because that's how she acts.  Her son and daughter, my cousins, went together for her Christmas gift and got her a really nice, very pricey high-end coffee maker...she IS a coffee drinker, quite an enthusiastic one, so they thought she would like it.

Right from the word go it was a stream of non-stop complaints about how she would never use it, how the whole thing was stupid, how it was lousy, how she can't believe her own CHILDREN would think she would like such a thing, on and on and on and nothing anyone said would convince her that the coffee machine was anything but a horrible, terrible, thoughtless gift.

Dinner, which was delicious and had a huge variety of things to choose from, was a complete wash to her because there was ham.  How dare we serve ham when we all know she can't eat pork, how could we all sit there enjoying ham (when she could have had turkey, beef or chicken pie, all of which were available as non-pork options for a main) when we all KNOW she can't eat ham?  What a horrible dinner! 

If she isn't actually a bitter hag, she does a pretty darn good job of playing the part.  She's just one of those people who is determined to be miserable and isn't happy until at least one or two other people are miserable with her.

I guess I'm still not getting it.  If you're uncomfortable with her emphasizing your faults, why is it okay for you to call her mean names?

There are ways to be forceful and stand up for yourself without stooping to her level.

I have to agree with Surianne. While all of what you say about your aunt may be true, why is calling her mean names OK? Isn't that what she is in affect doing to you?

You can put a stop to it without stooping to her level.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8126
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2012, 09:23:44 PM »
...

I would talk to Aunt Awesome now.  Tell her how wonderful her party was, but Aunt Bitterhag verbally amused you once again.  ...

I'm going out on a short limb here and I'm assuming that's a typo and you meant to say 'abused', not amused.  Either way though, having read the update it does sound like she is a bitter, nasty person to pretty much everyone, not just you.  The only difference is that with you it's always the weight she's harping about.  With other people it's something else -- ham or 'useless' coffee makers.

I just do not for the life of me understand why Aunt Awesome, et al, continue to invite this person (or allow her in).  She is not related to you or your family.  And I think it's pretty obvious why her own family doesn't invite her anywhere.  She's an ugly hearted stranger that your poor unsuspecting Uncle at some time dragged in from .. well, who knows where? 

It seems she ruins the party for everybody, not just you.  It's time for the hosts to put their foot down and say "We're done.  No more.  We've put up with this nonsense for years now and it's time to stop.  There is no reason to let this one individual ruin everyone else's fun and good feelings."  If they can't do that, then stay home. 

I suspect you wouldn't have to miss more than one or two events before people realize they miss you more  than their ability to  tolerate Aunt Bitterhag.  (And by the way, I think it's perfectly okay to use that as her name here.  It's adequately descriptive and protects her "real" identity in the process.)

But she isn't real family, in either genetics or in how she treats others.  No need for you or others in your family to continue to tolerate this.  She's just plain mean and shouldn't be involved in your family's special get togethers.  She uses her nastiness as a way to get attention.  She needs to be taught that there are other, more acceptable ways to do that.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4164
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2012, 09:41:02 PM »
Surianne, the reason I call her that is because that's how she acts.  Her son and daughter, my cousins, went together for her Christmas gift and got her a really nice, very pricey high-end coffee maker...she IS a coffee drinker, quite an enthusiastic one, so they thought she would like it.

Right from the word go it was a stream of non-stop complaints about how she would never use it, how the whole thing was stupid, how it was lousy, how she can't believe her own CHILDREN would think she would like such a thing, on and on and on and nothing anyone said would convince her that the coffee machine was anything but a horrible, terrible, thoughtless gift.

Dinner, which was delicious and had a huge variety of things to choose from, was a complete wash to her because there was ham.  How dare we serve ham when we all know she can't eat pork, how could we all sit there enjoying ham (when she could have had turkey, beef or chicken pie, all of which were available as non-pork options for a main) when we all KNOW she can't eat ham?  What a horrible dinner! 

If she isn't actually a bitter hag, she does a pretty darn good job of playing the part.  She's just one of those people who is determined to be miserable and isn't happy until at least one or two other people are miserable with her.

I guess I'm still not getting it.  If you're uncomfortable with her emphasizing your faults, why is it okay for you to call her mean names?

There are ways to be forceful and stand up for yourself without stooping to her level.

Is she calling  this vile woman names to her face?

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15917
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2012, 09:44:14 PM »
Quote
One of the toughest parts is that my Aunt Awesome, who LOVES to host Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving (and does it spectacularly, I might add) lives literally right across the street from Aunt Bitterhag.  If there's a holiday party going on. Aunt Bitterhag knows just by looking out her window and seeing all the vehicles.  She will just show up, whether she's invited or not, and Aunt and Uncle Awesome don't have the heart to tell her she isn't invited and make her leave. 

This is the problem and my suggestion is this:

Uncle and Aunt Awesome need to do the following:
  • address this with her in advance of the next family gathering
  • tell her that these insults will not be ignored or tolerated anymore
  • tell her that she will be escorted to the door the next time she does this.
  • live up to that ultimatum.

Alcoholism is not a get-out-of-e-hell-free card.  This is one of the ways that someone's alcoholism destroys a family.  The offender has no excuse for his/her actions and ignoring the problem doesn't help anyone.