Author Topic: Odd Comment From A FSIL  (Read 6527 times)

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Poppea

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Odd Comment From A FSIL
« on: January 08, 2013, 03:57:53 PM »
My friend Clarissa just got engaged.  Her fiance Charles is fairly successful and bought her a beautiful engagement ring.  Its drop dead gorgeous.  (edited to be less specific - let say its large, and easily worth 2 - 3X the SIL's ring)

Clarissa and Charles are both in their early thirties.  Charles has an older sister who is in her early forties.  Daphne has been married many years and (this is important) has a 1 carat diamond ring.  (Charles knows this because she has mentioned this many times over the years )  After they were engaged, Charles called his parents and then his sister to tell her about their engagement.  Clarissa was right there when he called.  According to her the conversation went something like this:

Charles:  I wanted to let you know we are officially engaged!

Daphne:  Congratulations!  Her ring isn't bigger than mine is it?

Charles:  Ah, ah, well its a XXX  not a diamond,, so you don't have to worry.

Clarissa doesn't really know the FSIL well.  Charles said she was just kidding.  She thought is was a very odd comment.  She asked me what I thought, and I said that if she was kidding it was still pretty rude to ask and the way she asked maybe indicated an interesting family dynamic.  What if she had chosen a diamond ring?  (Her ruby is as expensive as a diamond).  Is Charles supposed to make sure that his fiance's ring isn't bigger than his sister's ring?  I thought it was odd.

So was the FSIL rude to ask?  What could Charles have said to deflect her question?  Clarissa feels very odd now about wearing the ring around her FSIL.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:21:03 PM by Anthera »

goldilocks

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 04:30:26 PM »
I would act as if it were a joke, because surely nobody would ask such a question seriously!!!

whatsanenigma

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 04:34:52 PM »
I think it's hard to know if this was rude or not without knowing more about the family dynamics.  In some families, such a statement would be rude beyond measure, and in others, it would just be part of the style of joking that they do.

Without information to the contrary, I would just assume it was a joke in the style of typical family interactions between Charles and his sister.  It might have struck his wife to be as odd if that is not the style of her family-that would be perfectly understandable.   But, especially given that Charles himself said that it was just a joke, I would personally just laugh it off and take it as a joke and also, try to learn from the interaction something about how that particular family relates and gets along, so I could relax around them and get to know them more quickly.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 04:40:28 PM »
Clarissa feels very odd now about wearing the ring around her FSIL.

Another thought:  It sounds to me like FSIL hasn't actually seen the ring yet.  To test the waters, to see what nature this comment was intended in, Clarissa could, the next time she sees FSIL, just say in a laughing, casual way, "Charles said you were curious about my ring" and show it to her.  Then, if it really was just a joke, Clarissa and FSIL can compare rings and discuss why each went with their respective choices and what they mean, and have a nice, bonding, conversation.  And if FSIL really is obsessed with "One caret is the best way to go and anyone else is wrong" or "Nobody should have a ring bigger than mine" or any similar thoughts, that will come out in the conversation also, and Clarissa will learn, either way, something about how to proceed with FSIL.

rose red

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 04:49:46 PM »
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa not to feel weird wearing it around FSIL, because it has nothing to do with her.

edited for spelling and clearer thoughts.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:54:25 PM by rose red »

Poppea

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 04:54:47 PM »
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa to wear her ring with pride, because it was given with love, no matter who big or how much it's worth.

Clarissa's ring is also natural and untreated. 

I thought it was odd/rude/strange because if daphne had received a full answer (yes it cost more) she would have created an awkward situation.  I've also never heard of anyone asking over the phone the size of an engagement ring.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:58:21 PM by Anthera »

rose red

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 04:57:39 PM »
I would treat it as a joke since acting any other way is no use, but I feel there's something more to it since it sounds like FSIL mentions her ring often over the years.  And it could turn out to be just a joke.

Off-Topic, but I heard somewhere that rubies are rarer than diamond.  That rich guy who invented Facebook gave his wife a ruby engagement ring.  People (strangers online  ::)) were dissing him for being cheap until it was reported how much it was worth.  Sure, FB guy's ruby is natural and untreated, but still.

Tell Clarissa to wear her ring with pride, because it was given with love, no matter who big or how much it's worth.

Clarissa's ring is also natural and untreated.

Oh, I wasn't saying Clarissa's ring was not natural (I have no clue).  Just telling a story about people's assumptions about rubies.

I changed some words in my previous post because I don't know why Clarissa feels odd about wearing her ring around FSIL. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:59:34 PM by rose red »

m2kbug

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 05:00:41 PM »
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry. 

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 05:05:05 PM »
WoW!   

Rude, joking or not.

onyonryngs

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 05:08:31 PM »
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.

WillyNilly

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 05:32:14 PM »
Yeah to me this sounds like a sibling thing, not anything for Clarissa to be concerned over.

There could be some funny back story - sister is about 10 years older then Charles and has been married for over a decade, right?  So Charles was young when she got her ring.  so maybe he made some sort of snarky teenage comment about how someday he'd get his fiancee something bigger, and it turned into a running joke between them.  Maybe over the years, as Charles has become successful in his career his sister has ribbed him "now remember, its 1 carat, that's not chump change, you'll need a better promotion then that!" "oh took the whole week off huh?  I don't see how you'll beat 1 carat with those kinds of stunts!" etc.

Lynn2000

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 05:45:24 PM »
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

I would go with this idea, until more information presents itself. I guess the phone call was on speaker or Clarissa was on an extension or something, right, so she directly heard Daphne say it? Did Daphne know Clarissa was on the line? I must admit it sounds a little weird to say if she knew Clarissa was there, because it could easily be misinterpreted. But, until Clarissa has more interactions with Daphne, I don't think she can really judge for herself how the comment was meant, and should go with the assumption that everything is cool and she has no need to feel embarrassed/awkward about her ring.
~Lynn2000

Surianne

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 05:48:06 PM »
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.

I agree, just take it as a joke.  The "whose ring is bigger!!" is a staple of competitive bride stereotypes so she may have just been riffing on that.  WillyNilly has a good point as well that it may be sibling teasing that has some background.

Honestly, from the details about how Clarissa's ring is "easily worth 2-3X the SIL's" and "Clarissa's ring is untreated and natural" it seems like Clarissa might be more the bragging/competitive type than the SIL, so that might be why she's taking the joke too seriously and reading into it motivations that aren't there (I don't see where the SIL actually commented about the cost of Clarissa's ring).

So I wouldn't worry about it at all, unless the SIL makes future comments directly to Clarissa. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 06:03:30 PM »
People get really weird about significant jewelry.  My husband gave me a promise ring before we got engaged. He happened to give it to me for Christmas, right around the time his sister's (first) divorce was finalized. When SIL* saw me wearing it, (while visiting a dying relative in the hospital) she told me to move it off of my ring finger.  It wasn't appropriate, she told me, and what would I do when I got my "real" ring?

Then, afterwards she told me that when she saw the ring, before DH gave it to me, she told him to take it back because it was a "green precious stone" and everybody knew that "green precious stones" were her thing.  DH refused, since the stone was my birthstone and she didn't get any input in the decision anyway.

The truth, was that she just didn't want anyone to be wearing anything resembling an engagement ring while she was recently divorced.  So I shrugged, told her I didn't see how my jewelry was her business and turned my attention to the sick relative.

I don't know why people make these strange, awkward statements when other people have made huge life-changing decisions.  It's probably something to do with insecurities, regrets, weather patterns, something.

*Heretofore known as Bad SiL for this and many many escalating incidents of bad behavior.

Lynnv

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Re: Odd Comment From A FSIL
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 06:16:52 PM »
Charles said it was a joke, and I would take it as such.  It wouldn't surprise me for a couple friends/family I know to make such a comment amongst each other.  Normally bringing up the value or cost of any item would be in poor taste and certainly Charles was under no obligation to be sure he didn't out-do someone else's jewelry.

This.  She was joking - it's his sister.  He should know if she intended anything by it.  Clarissa doesn't need to worry about being in a competition with his sister.

I can see my sister saying something like this to me.  And it would be completely in character for our family.  Unless Clarissa has reason to think Charles is lying to her (in which case she has an entirely different problem), I would take him at his word and try not to read too much into it. 

WoW!   

Rude, joking or not.

I disagree.  It entirely depends on the relationship between Charles and Daphne.  Among close friends and family, a joke that would be rude between strangers or acquaintances may be perfectly acceptable.

Edited to fix spelling errors-posting from the phone can be a little iffy, to say the least. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 11:00:55 AM by Lynnv »
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