Author Topic: Not a response to an ugly word, but a response to something obviously untrue  (Read 7254 times)

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Waterlight

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My question:  Was complete silence an appropriate response in this situation?

I broke off a "friendship" with someone, let's call her SS Ellen.  (Background on the "final straw" incident:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=125363.0 )

About a year later, I was invited to an open house/gallery event given by SS Ellen's DD.  I had bought several pieces of the DD's artwork over the years and the invitation was to all current and former customers of hers.  In retrospect, I probably should have declined the DD's invitation without comment--or not responded to it at all.

The DD and I had a brief conversation at the event.  "Mom never talks about you anymore.  She hasn't seen you in a long time."

"Um... I guess you weren't aware of this, but we had a falling-out about a year ago."

"Oh, she never meant to hurt you.  She still cares about you."

THAT was DD either:  a)being knee-deep in a river in Egypt about her mother's SS behavior and totally oblivious to the hurt her selfishness had caused me; or b)being a flat-out liar.  I couldn't decide which was worse, and the response I was really thinking of (something along the lines of "Bovine Excrement") would definitely NOT have been E-Hell approved.  I also hadn't even heard of, much less employed, the technique of beandipping.  So how else could I have responded other than:

<crickets>

I left the event as soon as I could after that uncomfortable conversation, and haven't been back to any of the DD's events since.
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Melle

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THAT was DD either:  a)being knee-deep in a river in Egypt about her mother's SS behavior

OK, that one took a while, but I love it *g*

As to what you could have said, bean-dipping would probably have been your best bet. I think it's very nice of you that you visited her event and didn't take your annoyance with her mother's antics out on her. But I know a little thing about being blind to a loved one's faults so I can kind of understand why she would feel the need to try and mend fences for you and her mother. Did you get the feeling that she got the point from your silence?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 08:57:01 AM by Melle »

lady_disdain

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Are you sure the daughter knows the details of her mother's friendships? I know my mother's friend by name, I may know a few that help her out but I don't know how much or when or why. In the daughter's place, all I might know is that my mother hadn't mentioned a friend in a long time and that, when she did, she was sorry she hadn't seen the person.

In other words, are you being fair to her by saying that she is lying or in denial?

amylouky

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My question:  Was complete silence an appropriate response in this situation?

I broke off a "friendship" with someone, let's call her SS Ellen.  (Background on the "final straw" incident:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=125363.0 )

About a year later, I was invited to an open house/gallery event given by SS Ellen's DD.  I had bought several pieces of the DD's artwork over the years and the invitation was to all current and former customers of hers.  In retrospect, I probably should have declined the DD's invitation without comment--or not responded to it at all.

The DD and I had a brief conversation at the event.  "Mom never talks about you anymore.  She hasn't seen you in a long time."

"Yes, it's been a while. Gosh, I just LOVE this beandip painting on display!"

I don't think I'd brand DD as either in denial or a liar. Chances are DD doesn't even know the details of why you are no longer friends, and might just write off her Mom's SSness as "Oh, that's just how Mom is.. she doesn't mean any harm."

gorplady

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I don't think I would have answered quite the way you did, I would have just said "Yes, that's true. Bean dip?" And then tried to leave as quickly as possible.

menley

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I have to agree with lady_disdain - while I know many of my mother's friends, I don't know most of the details about her relationships with them. Especially as the mother seems to be rather self-centered (based on the background story), even if she told her daughter what happened, I doubt she would present herself in a negative light. I wouldn't assume the daughter was in denial or lying, I'd just assume she was unaware.

BeagleMommy

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Another thing that may have happened is that Ellen may not have told her DD the pertinent details of your falling out.  It's very easy to leave out any details that paint you in a bad light or she may have told her DD that you "overreacted" to something.

However, I think you are best rid of this person.  Complete silence worked well for you in this case.  In the future, you could always try "Yes, it's been a long time.  Oh look, kitty's gotten into the India ink and created an abstract.".

EllenS

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If I really liked the DD and didn't want to break contact, I would have said something like:

DD: "She didn't mean to hurt you, she really cares about you."
ME: "You're so sweet. Now tell me about your new pictures."

I think, since her reaction ticked you off so much, your silence was perfectly appropriate.  You certainly did not do anything wrong or impolite.

And I think, because you did not say or do anything untoward, you could always pick back up with DD at anther event *if you wish to*.

But you've made me paranoid about my screen name - I swear, I am NOT the special snowlake you are talking about! My DD is still a little kid, not having gallery openings.

Waterlight

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Another thing that may have happened is that Ellen may not have told her DD the pertinent details of your falling out.  It's very easy to leave out any details that paint you in a bad light or she may have told her DD that you "overreacted" to something.

Now that you mention it, this seems to be the most likely explanation, given that SS Ellen (and EllenS is most definitely NOT this SS, FTR) has either shaded things or flat-out lied in the past to make herself look good.  But that's another story or two for E-Hell  ;)  Let's just say now that I was too forgiving of some serious problems with her in the past.  The Thanksgiving incident was just the final straw in an ongoing pattern of bad behavior.  (And BTW, that really was Dad's last Thanksgiving--he died less than six months later.  I would not have been able to live with myself if I'd missed it to accommodate SS.)

Several PP's have made the point that DD may not have been in denial or lying--and I'll concede that point, since I was assuming the worst.  That's a valid criticism, I think.  DD was probably just wanting to believe what her mom told her.
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jedikaiti

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Another thing that may have happened is that Ellen may not have told her DD the pertinent details of your falling out.  It's very easy to leave out any details that paint you in a bad light or she may have told her DD that you "overreacted" to something.

Now that you mention it, this seems to be the most likely explanation, given that SS Ellen (and EllenS is most definitely NOT this SS, FTR) has either shaded things or flat-out lied in the past to make herself look good.  But that's another story or two for E-Hell  ;)  Let's just say now that I was too forgiving of some serious problems with her in the past.  The Thanksgiving incident was just the final straw in an ongoing pattern of bad behavior.  (And BTW, that really was Dad's last Thanksgiving--he died less than six months later.  I would not have been able to live with myself if I'd missed it to accommodate SS.)

Several PP's have made the point that DD may not have been in denial or lying--and I'll concede that point, since I was assuming the worst.  That's a valid criticism, I think.  DD was probably just wanting to believe what her mom told her.

Assuming her mother told her anything at all.
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Waterlight

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Since she said "She never meant to hurt you," I do think SS Ellen told her something.  Now whether what SS told her was true or not, I don't know.  I wouldn't trust anything she said at this point.
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson

cicero

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Since she said "She never meant to hurt you," I do think SS Ellen told her something.  Now whether what SS told her was true or not, I don't know.  I wouldn't trust anything she said at this point.
maybe, maybe not. I actually saw the DD's response as a neutral/instinctive response (" whatever it was, I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt you'') not necessarily a response from someone in the know

I'm sorry that you had to go thru this. I think leaving or bean dipping is your best response

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