General Etiquette > Family and Children

Conversational responsibility...

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Tabby Uprising:

--- Quote from: TootsNYC on March 07, 2013, 01:41:31 PM ---I agree with you, that was an error on your part.

However, you aren't responsible for the rudeness and ill judgment the OTHER woman displayed, so don't take too much responsibility onto yourself.

And I want to encourage you to *never* feel that you  must justify why you go to small pricey grocery store. When people say "I wouldn't know, I never go there, it's too expensive," just say, "Oh!" brightly.

And stop. Bite your tongue, literally (like, with your teeth, but gently) if you have to. Don't say another word. Then after about two beats, continue on with the ORIGINAL topic, which was the thing that you bought, so say, "it's really delicious," or "we enjoyed it with lentils."

(also, you might think about why you do mention that grocery store, given that you get quizzed about it--are you trying to make a statement? You *can* just leave it out of your original statement: "I bought something at Small Pricey Grocery Store."

--- End quote ---

This is what I was thinking.  The first woman's comment about where you shop sounded judgmental to me, so if there was an instigator here it was her!  ;)  One should never feel as though they have to defend where they chose to grocery shop.  Yeesh!  I like Toot's suggestions for responses should it happen again.

As for your comment, eh, I can see where it could open up a can of worms, but I still think you had good intentions.

Drunken Housewife:
The remark about how expensive that store was comes off as putting the OP on the spot.  That was the first issue. 

But I would gently discourage the OP from making remarks about avoiding places where children may be, especially in large groups.  (Different if it's a small group, where you are confident no one is a parent).  As a parent, my hackles would go up the moment I heard that.  It's quite likely to lead to child-bashing. 

As for kids in grocery stores:  Sadly families need to eat, they need to buy groceries, and grocery stores can be very difficult in particular.  Little kids see so many tempting things around them, and even the best of parents on top of their parenting game can have a kid lose it and go into loud crying at a grocery store.  When mine were toddlers, I found grocery shopping to be practically the most difficult part of our lives, and I did my best to go at off-hours when it wasn't crowded so we could get in and out faster.  A little understanding goes a long way.  Not everyone can go shopping without their kids (who can afford to hire babysitters for running all the errands?). 

Anyhow, the OP was not the rudest person by far at that meeting, but I do think a remark about going somewhere for the reason of avoiding families with small children is highly likely to lead to rudeness and upset people.

I think a better response might have been, "Yes, it's a little higher but we like it. Bean dip?"

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to avoid places that are likely to have lots of children.. I'm a parent and even I like to go to adult places sometimes. But actually saying that you don't want to be around kids is definitely likely to cause some friction among a group of parents.


--- Quote from: spookycatlady on March 07, 2013, 12:17:44 PM ---I mentioned that I bought something at Small Pricey Grocery Store. One of my acquaintances looked at me a bit sideways and said, “I never go there… I wouldn’t know.  It’s so expensive.”

--- End quote ---

I don't like to indulge reverse snobbery anymore than real snobbery.  Maybe in the future, you could say something like, "I enjoy it because we can get our shopping done much more quickly."

Personally, I don't criticize parenting when in a group, no matter how well-deserved, as a non-parent.  It's just a huge minefield, and you're bound to hit one sooner or later. 

I agree that the "that store is too expensive" remark is what caught my attention and I thought that was going to be what this post was about. I think she was pretty rude to say that. If she doesn't want to shop there, that's her perogative. But I don't get the point she was trying to make by making that remark. Was she trying to make you feel bad?

I get Toots's advice about leaving out the store name in the conversation, but I could also see it being relevant to what you were saying. Was it?

As far as the parenting comment & following conversation, well, you can't control how other people react to those kinds of conversations. It probably wasn't the best thing to say but on the spur of the moment, it probably just slipped out. I'm a parent (my kids are grown up now) but I don't take every parenting comment people make personally. I wonder if the woman who took offense at what your acquaintance said has out of control kids and knows it. And that's why she took the comment to heart instead of just letting it go.


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