General Etiquette > general

You should have a yard sale! (was I rude?)

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BG: We have an aquarium in our front room with no fish, right now. It is all set up, water and everything. We had a fish that was pretty aggressive, so we decided to wait until he died to get more fish (he was an only fish for about six months). Well, he died a month or so ago, and we are trying to decide if we want to bother getting more fish, or just get rid of the tank, so.. there it sits.

More BG: Our boys have a relative that we maintain contact with. While she is a good person and I know that she loves the boys, she is about as opposite from me as a person can be. She's textbook type A, and a neat freak, and I'm neither of those things. She has made several comments on different occasions about how much STUFF we have. Really, we don't.. typical house of preschoolers, I'd say. Yes, it's cluttered at times but we're very far from hoarders. Still, she'll say things like, "Oh, I don't know what to get the boys for Christmas.. you already have so much STUFF in your house."   ::)  I usually just ignore it.

So, this relative came for a visit recently. While there, she asked about the fish tank, if we were planning on getting more fish. I told her that we weren't sure, that we were considering just getting rid of it. She answered, "Oh, yeah, that's great! You guys could have a really big yard sale and get rid of a lot of stuff that you don't use any more!"

I should probably have just smiled and bean dipped, but this slipped out.. "Oh, I don't know, we're pretty happy with our house. I was just talking about the fish tank." I tried to use a light tone but I guess it sounded kind of short, because she just said "Oh. Okay." and changed the subject.

I feel a bit bad, and am wondering how I could have responded more politely?

I don't think you could have answered this any more politely!

she feels free to comment about your home and possessions. she thinks you have too much stuff. not her business. she thinks you should have a yard sale - you set her straight. and you were polite to boot.

you did fine!

I don't see anything rude in what you said.   To me, that WAS a bean dip.

I wonder if, in addition to being a neat freak, she wants some of your stuff and wants you to give it to her or sell it to her for cheap.  ::)

Your answer was great!


I see nothing wrong with what she said, and I see nothing wrong with what you said.  Nothing at all.

Why is this bothering you, and where is the rudeness?  I'm not seeing it.


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