Author Topic: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87  (Read 20176 times)

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Surianne

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #120 on: April 03, 2013, 12:24:30 PM »
If I had responded to her questions about my employment in the way she responded to DH's question, it would have been something like, "I'm aspiring to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and I'm retired from raising Sea Monkeys." DH was genuinely trying to get to know her, and he felt her response was dismissive.

I'm a little confused by this -- is that what she said?  Like a joking reply?

Two Ravens

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #121 on: April 03, 2013, 12:39:30 PM »
If I had responded to her questions about my employment in the way she responded to DH's question, it would have been something like, "I'm aspiring to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and I'm retired from raising Sea Monkeys." DH was genuinely trying to get to know her, and he felt her response was dismissive.

I'm a little confused by this -- is that what she said?  Like a joking reply?

Yes, I am a bit confused too. Was it a completely flippant response or did she say something like, "I am trying to start a non-profit to stress the importance of music education and I used to breed rabbits" or something like that?

I would still respond with something like, "Oh, do you enjoy singing?" or "Sea Monkeys! What are they like?"

Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #122 on: April 03, 2013, 12:43:54 PM »
If I had responded to her questions about my employment in the way she responded to DH's question, it would have been something like, "I'm aspiring to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and I'm retired from raising Sea Monkeys." DH was genuinely trying to get to know her, and he felt her response was dismissive.

I'm a little confused by this -- is that what she said?  Like a joking reply?

Yes, I am a bit confused too. Was it a completely flippant response or did she say something like, "I am trying to start a non-profit to stress the importance of music education and I used to breed rabbits" or something like that?

I would still respond with something like, "Oh, do you enjoy singing?" or "Sea Monkeys! What are they like?"

Yes, it was flippant. Before DH could say anything else, my brother jumped in with another evasive comment about her employment and changed the subject, so DH dropped it.

LadyL

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #123 on: April 03, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »
I apologize if this speculation is crass, but am I the only one wondering if this is a "mail order bride" type situation? Or a green card/visa inspired marriage? The evasive answers and nervous looks exchanged between the couple when SIL was asked personal questions makes me wonder if they don't know each other very well and are trying to hide that fact.

zyrs

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2013, 06:39:29 PM »
The feeling I picked up was that for whatever reason your brother and SIL went to the Easter dinner with chips on their shoulders expecting there to be problems.

*inviteseller

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #125 on: April 03, 2013, 07:22:24 PM »
With your updates, I am truly sticking by my assessment that they came for the purpose of a free meal and the papers being signed.  Your brother and his new wife had absolutely no desire to play getting to know you, and it seems not like a case of social anxiety or shyness, but they don't want you to know something.  What is her son like?  If your brother has full custody of his kids, I would be googling her so quick to find out anything just for the sake of them to make sure she is not hiding something, but if not, I would wash my hands of them as they are not exactly welcoming you and your family in.

Otterpop

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #126 on: April 03, 2013, 07:43:41 PM »
Thank you for the update.  I'm with you husband on this.  I think they were totally rude, especially as this was an "introductory" visit.  Your brother seems to enjoy holding all the cards.  I urge you and DH not to play.  "Oh you're a unicorn rancher?  How nice.  Pass the peas please.  Yes, I did see the wedding pictures on FB, they're lovely.  How about those Rangers!"  If you no longer value the thing they're witholding (information, inclusion), then they can't pull your strings or create drama.  "Polite but distant" is the best attitude to assume when dealing with manipulators.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 07:46:26 PM by Otterpop »

TootsNYC

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #127 on: April 03, 2013, 07:44:42 PM »
If I were in Coley's shoes, I would be hurt not because my brother eloped per se, but because apparently there is someone in his life so important to him that he chose to marry her, and yet he felt so little closeness to me that he's never introduced me to her before this, or even mentioned her at all.


And I think this is the thing I would find a way to say to my brother. In private, and AFTER I had welcomed his wife and new stepson. And not in a whiny way, but in a "I think you ought to know about my reaction. Maybe it will influence what you do in the future."

(now I have to go find the update)

sammycat

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #128 on: April 03, 2013, 08:55:01 PM »
Thank you for the update.  I'm with you husband on this.  I think they were totally rude, especially as this was an "introductory" visit.  Your brother seems to enjoy holding all the cards.  I urge you and DH not to play.  "Oh you're a unicorn rancher?  How nice.  Pass the peas please.  Yes, I did see the wedding pictures on FB, they're lovely.  How about those Rangers!"  If you no longer value the thing they're witholding (information, inclusion), then they can't pull your strings or create drama.  "Polite but distant" is the best attitude to assume when dealing with manipulators.

I'm with the DH and Otterpop. Bro and SIL sound excruciating rude and self absorbed.

sammycat

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #129 on: April 03, 2013, 08:55:28 PM »
The feeling I picked up was that for whatever reason your brother and SIL went to the Easter dinner with chips on their shoulders expecting there to be problems.

That's the feeling I got too.

Danika

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #130 on: April 03, 2013, 09:50:25 PM »
DH has much stronger feelings than I do about our interactions that day with my brother and SIL. He believes they were downright rude the whole afternoon. I'm so confused by the whole situation that I'm not sure what to believe.

I'm with your DH on this. I think based on previous threads and comments you've made in this thread, you're accustomed to being treated poorly and dismissively by your mother and your brother.

You sound very gracious, charitable and willing to extend an olive branch. I think you've done more than enough.

postalslave

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #131 on: April 04, 2013, 09:28:06 AM »
I apologize if this speculation is crass, but am I the only one wondering if this is a "mail order bride" type situation? Or a green card/visa inspired marriage? The evasive answers and nervous looks exchanged between the couple when SIL was asked personal questions makes me wonder if they don't know each other very well and are trying to hide that fact.

Agreed, very suspect.

Eeep!

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #132 on: April 04, 2013, 12:16:52 PM »
Thank you for the update.  I'm with you husband on this.  I think they were totally rude, especially as this was an "introductory" visit.  Your brother seems to enjoy holding all the cards.  I urge you and DH not to play.  "Oh you're a unicorn rancher?  How nice.  Pass the peas please.  Yes, I did see the wedding pictures on FB, they're lovely.  How about those Rangers!"  If you no longer value the thing they're witholding (information, inclusion), then they can't pull your strings or create drama.  "Polite but distant" is the best attitude to assume when dealing with manipulators.

I'm with the DH and Otterpop. Bro and SIL sound excruciating rude and self absorbed.

The more I read, the more I'm falling fully into this camp. At the very least, it seems like brother and SIL like to feel they are holding the information cards. (Brother not saying who his extra guests were, not answering questions that they are more than willing to ask of others, etc.)
And I also think that spouses tend to be better observers of rude in-law behavior. My husband is way more sensitive to things on my behalf in regards to my family than I am, because I have just become accustomed to the way things are. Regardless of if it is a healthy way or not.  (Even though it has been a source of many fights in our marriage, I have come to appreciate his insight and am striving to establish better/healthier boundaries with the family members in question.)

And I do think the fact that they needed something signed makes it more suspect.
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Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #133 on: April 04, 2013, 01:37:41 PM »
Thank you for the update.  I'm with you husband on this.  I think they were totally rude, especially as this was an "introductory" visit.  Your brother seems to enjoy holding all the cards.  I urge you and DH not to play.  "Oh you're a unicorn rancher?  How nice.  Pass the peas please.  Yes, I did see the wedding pictures on FB, they're lovely.  How about those Rangers!"  If you no longer value the thing they're witholding (information, inclusion), then they can't pull your strings or create drama.  "Polite but distant" is the best attitude to assume when dealing with manipulators.

That is my typical M.O. when dealing with both my mother and my brother, but I become flummoxed when it comes to how to address the withholding of information and exclusive behavior. I really like your suggestion. I think it could work with both my brother and my mother, who are most excellent at manipulating and withholding information. Your suggestion gets me out of the tug of war and lets me drop the rope. Thank you.  :)

Twik

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87
« Reply #134 on: April 04, 2013, 02:29:30 PM »
My own impression of the behaviour is that New Wife's job is something they consider "naughty," and they are having a grand time thinking "OOOH, wouldn't the grownups be shocked if they knew what she REALLY does! Teehee!"

A pretty juvenile approach, and the best response, as with most juvenile humour, is to ignore it. In fact, the more juvenile they behave, the less likely it is that the job is anything particularly shocking to anyone who's actually an adult about things.
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