Author Topic: Well, that was awkward  (Read 2008 times)

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Jaelle

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Well, that was awkward
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:59:18 PM »
I feel I handled this badly. It's too late to redo now, but I'm curious what you would have done.  :P

A friends of DH's (and mine, but DH has known him nearly all his life) recently visited us one evening. We do not see this friend nearly often enough, and have been trying to see more of him. Our kids were in bed and we eventually suggested watching something from our DVD collection.

Friend picked an episode of a show we haven't seen in a while; DH found it and we started watching. A little bit in, I had a suspicion, wandered off for a moment and Googled the episode.

Sure enough, it was one that had a major plot thread (and a particular scene) in it that I find really disturbing. Call it a trigger, even.  :(  It's been so long that none of us even (I'm pretty sure friend included ... he picked it for a different reason) remembered that particular plot thread.

I didn't return to the living room to conclude watching. It's not uncommon for me to come and go while friend is here (like I said,  he's known DH far longer than I, although I consider us pretty good friends), but I just didn't return at all for the next hour. :( I didn't know what to say. Afterward, friend made his goodbyes and left. I bid him farewell, but felt horribly awkward.

DH says to let it go, that friend probably figured it out on his own. (Like I said, they didn't remember this particular plot thread either.) I probably should have returned and explained why, but it's something I felt even more awkward bringing up in front of him.

What should I have done?
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

WillyNilly

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 12:05:50 AM »
I think you were fine.  At most, next time you chat with him make a vague apology "so sorry I didn't get to spend more time with you when you were here last, I was called away for a while and I missed out on hanging with you, lets do it again soon!" You don't need to explain why you were called away (called away by your intuition that staying would be bad for you).  For all he knows it could have been terrible cramps and you didn't want to wince in front of him, or you hear your kid wake and needed to tend to the child, or you got an important work email, or any sort of thing, none of which matter.

m2kbug

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 12:41:53 AM »
I don't think you were terribly out of line.  Yes, it probably would have been better to come back and explain, and you're going to go read a book or something so they can enjoy the show, but no biggie that you didn't.  It sounds like this is more or less an accepted norm anyway to to not always participate. 

On the other hand, I'm thinking if you did explain the reasoning, it might make your guest feel bad for picking this show, even though there's really no fault to be had.  He might decide on something else, when that's not what you wanted or expected him to do, you wanted him and DH to enjoy the show, and then you'd feel bad, so best to just quietly excuse yourself. 

I think you were okay here.

cicero

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 07:10:32 AM »
you were fine.

if this happens again - and this is a good friend - and this was a totally random pick of a show, not a "come over for a HP marathon" that he might have been looking forward to - i dont' see anything wrong with saying "guys, I just realized that this episode is about X and watching it makes me feel really bad/ or it's really gory and i'm not up to that. Do you mind if we watch something else? or I'll just go in the other room and read, if you want to continue with this episode".

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Jaelle

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 09:52:23 AM »
Thanks. After a sleeping on it (I was really tired when I posted last night!), I'm pretty sure DH was right and Friend got it. Even DH wound up being really uncomfortable when he realized the content and he's pretty sure Friend felt the same. I'm honestly very certain he wasn't even thinking about that when he chose it.

I still feel bad for vanishing, but in hindsight I seriously doubt he will blame me.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

CakeBeret

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 10:49:16 AM »
I wouldn't worry about it at all. I would bet that your friend understands completely and possibly even feels guilty for making *you* uncomfortable.
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rashea

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 11:51:37 AM »
What else should you have done? Gone back in and be triggered? I assure you, from personal experience, that that would have ruined the mood much more. At most, you should have let him know after that you remembered partway through that you couldn't handle the end of that episode, and you thought it would be better to step out for a while.

It's awkward, but you dealt with it well.
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Mikayla

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »

On the other hand, I'm thinking if you did explain the reasoning, it might make your guest feel bad for picking this show, even though there's really no fault to be had.

I agree with this and it's why I think you were fine.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 12:46:47 PM »
If this involved a few isolated scenes, I'd have timed it so then they came up, I can offer drinks/snacks and had an excuse to leave the room.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Well, that was awkward
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 12:54:39 PM »
You were fine.  I'd take your DH's comment and believe friend didn't mind.