Author Topic: But you have a husband...  (Read 6912 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2013, 05:33:16 PM »
An invitation is not a summons.  Even if you RSVP'd no because you wanted to watch your grass go, it doesn't matter and no one is allowed to make you guilty.  I know personally, after work, the last thing I want to do is socialize with the same group of people I just spent the day with.  I want to come home, hear what my kids did that day at school, make a meal and curl up to relax.  Having an adult get together on a week night is almost guaranteed to be a low attendance event due to the fact that most adults do have personal obligations after work, be it a spouse, kids, pets, our aging parents and that is our first priority.  It is a shame the woman who had the party for her spent the evening disappointed about who didn't come instead of reveling in and cherishing who did.  As to your friend Lisa, she obviously thinks husband = toss everything on him so you can do what you want.  Honestly, my married friend (ironically named Lisa) says she envies me as a single mom because I do not have to plan everything out for the kids with the precision of a general planning an attack.  She says sitting down and figuring out who is going to be where when between their work schedules and kid schedules gives her headaches, where as  I just plan around my own schedule and what I may want/not want to do and I don't have to worry about the arguments.  Not as easy as she portrays, but I get her point as I answer to only myself.  Next time Lisa starts her whine tell her your husband and you have a schedule that works then beandip.

TootsNYC

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 05:54:14 PM »
Sort of an aside:

I wonder if one of the reasons people weren't inclined to attend is that it really was sort of an inappropriate celebration. Like, too fancy for the life change; wrong group of people invited, since they're not really THAT close to her; etc.

People vote with their feet and with their, as we said on another thread, and it may not be that they don't wish this woman well but that they don't consider an after-hours event to be appropriate either for this relationship or this life event.

Brisvegasgal

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2013, 07:30:34 PM »
TootsNYC has a good point.  As for the husband thing, one this forum has taught me is to never JADE.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2013, 12:43:35 AM »
Sort of an aside:

I wonder if one of the reasons people weren't inclined to attend is that it really was sort of an inappropriate celebration. Like, too fancy for the life change; wrong group of people invited, since they're not really THAT close to her; etc.

People vote with their feet and with their, as we said on another thread, and it may not be that they don't wish this woman well but that they don't consider an after-hours event to be appropriate either for this relationship or this life event.

Exactly. In my experience, farewells for co-workers are held during work hours, not in the evenings.

Now it could be that this was an informal, non-work-sanctioned celebration. In which case, I think it's a bit much to expect all your co-workers to turn up. Close friends, sure. But co-workers? I don't think so.

Next time Lisa says "But you have a husband!" I'd reply with "Yes, but he has his own schedule and responsibilities." Then bean dip.

GrammarNerd

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2013, 09:45:18 AM »
Look at her with a puzzled look and say, "......?"  (You can also substitute 'and' or 'so'.)

Make her explain herself a little.  Right now she gets off scot-free b/c she gets to make these comments with really no rebuttal from anyone.  Perhaps if you start making it a bit uncomfortable for her by drawing her out and making her talk, she'll learn to actually censor herself before she makes them because she won't like the outcome.  Basically, you offer no explanations (or few) and you make HER do the explaining of how it matters.

"But you have a husband."
"Yeah....??"
"Well he could have picked up your DD."
"No..."
"Why not?"
"Why not what?"
"Why can't your husband pick up your DD?"
(Blink at her a few times with a long pause.) "Are you asking me for my husbands schedule?  Really?"
....

She'll either continue to push, or she'll start to get a clue.  You can always counter with, "Wait a minute, I thought we were talking about CW's party."  Shake your head for a moment like you're getting back on track.  "I do hope she had a nice time and she likes her new position."

Then hopefully Lisa will be so frustrated that you never answered her that she'll drop it.  If not, at some point, you can just say, "I don't know what the fixation on my husband and his schedule is all about, but it really has nothing to do with my own responsibilities as a parent and what I can or can't make time for.  By the way, have you seen the latest TPS report?"

Jocelyn

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2013, 10:56:57 AM »
Lisa: but you have a husband
OP: Yes, and that means I have to take his schedule into account, too.

Lisa may be thinking about all the ways that a husband could help relieve the demands of being a single mom, without thinking that a husband is another person whose schedule has to be balanced against OP's.

Zizi-K

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2013, 12:22:14 PM »
Lisa: "But you have a husband!"
OP: "That's right, I do. Life is choices, sweetie, and luckily we don't have to justify them to one another."
(walk away)

RooRoo

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2013, 01:00:37 PM »
I've been enjoying thinking up possible responses to the "But you have a husband" line...

Yes, and he has a wife. (beandip)

Yes, and I had a prior commitment. (beandip)

Raise an eyebrow; a moment of complete silence, beandip. You could even make it an obvious beandip, like "How about those, um... Broncos?"

 >:D Oh! (slightly horrified) You mean, you don't? (tiny pause) Oh, I'm sorry, your marital status is none of my business! (beandip)

 >:D Yes, (sarcastically) and I have to be home every day in time to bring him the paper, mix him a drink, and change the TV to his favorite channel! (beandip)

...Now that I'm through being silly - the point is to come up with a "Toots Special," and just repeat it every time.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

TootsNYC

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2013, 03:37:18 PM »
Lisa: "But you have a husband!"
OP: "That's right, I do. Life is choices, sweetie, and luckily we don't have to justify them to one another."
(walk away)

Not a good phrase, I don't think. I know many people who are single NOT by choice. They've never really been in a position to choose whether to marry someone.

This is a really presumptous phrase to use to someone about this particular issue.

GSNW

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2013, 03:50:05 PM »
Sort of an aside:

I wonder if one of the reasons people weren't inclined to attend is that it really was sort of an inappropriate celebration. Like, too fancy for the life change; wrong group of people invited, since they're not really THAT close to her; etc.


Good point.  My dad worked with someone (Jerry) whose wife planned a HUGE retirement party at a very fancy venue.  People were asked to "sign up" to come, and by the deadline, the big fancy party had to be canceled because only 10 people had signed up (they needed at least 50 to book the venue).  This was very embarrassing for Mrs. Jerry, and I felt badly for her, but the truth was that Jerry was an absolute boor and pretty much everyone hated him. 

Back to the topic, if OP's prior commitment was shaving her legs, reading a book, or meeting the POTUS, it's irrelevant.  She RSVP'd in the negative which is polite, and Lisa's commentary is out of line.  If she says this that often, I'd just put her on the spot with it. 

"But you have a husband."

"I'm not sure what you mean by that remark.  I'm not free to xyz."

"But you have a husband."

"I'm not sure what you mean.  I cannot do xyz."

etc...

Jaelle

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2013, 07:12:58 PM »
I agree that you were fine. An invitation is not a summons.

As far as Lisa ... I hear you. I've gotten things like this from friends who have a more "normal" schedule, while I work days and DH works nights and we see each other maybe half an hour most days.

Annoying for us, but best for our family. Still, I've had friends get snarky when I say I have to find a sitter if I want to go to a movie one of those evenings. "Can't your husband watch them?"  ::)
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

TeamBhakta

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2013, 08:29:49 PM »
Lisa and the party girl need to put on their big girl panties and understand the difference between co-worker you're polite to / only tolerate out of necessity, a co-worker that's a work friend and a co-worker that's an after work friend. Work friends = I'll say "hey, how about those (whatever sports team) last night", ask how your ailing relative is, share my snack stash and gather with everyone else in the break room for your "Yay, Mary did xyz" party. After work friends = I'll show up for your special event after work, you're on my FB page, I'll give you birthday gifts that don't involve "here, pass this card around the office"

*ETA: Snarky me thinks you should tell Lisa you're in an alternative lifestyle. "Yes, I do have a husband. But I also have to consider my boyfriend's schedule and his wife's schedule. Someone's feelings get hurt if only three of us can go out together."  >:D
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 08:37:22 PM by TeamBhakta »

Raintree

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 12:53:23 AM »
I wonder if one of the reasons people weren't inclined to attend is that it really was sort of an inappropriate celebration. Like, too fancy for the life change; wrong group of people invited, since they're not really THAT close to her; etc.

Or, "it's going to be at a venue that costs $XX per person, and we're all going to pitch in for the honoree's meal, and a present, and afterwards go drinking and dancing at Some Place.."

Most people I know have limited entertainment budgets, and personally, while I'd like to attend more things, I pick and choose the ones I'm willing to spend money on.

As for "but you have a husband.." I've been at the receiving end of "But you don't have kids" or some such implication that this means I can drop everything and work that extra overtime shift. As the OP pointed out, it's presumptuous to assume anything about another person's obligations. I like the idea of shutting them down with, "Yes, I do have a husband. Like I said, I had other commitments that evening."

Danika

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2013, 01:37:57 AM »
My impression from your comments about Lisa is that she's jealous that you have a husband. And she feels like her life is more difficult because she doesn't have one. So, I feel like she's just trying to get in a dig and tell you how much easier you have it than she does.

It's kind of like when people find out I got my degrees from expensive private schools and they say "Oh, I had to go to a state school. I didn't have a mommy and daddy who could pay for private school" and I quickly shut them down with "Neither did I. I took out loans and had to pay myself. That's why I drive a 17-year-old economy car." It's like they're jealous and they're trying to put me down and tell me what a cushy life I have.

I had a coworker who was somewhat similar to Lisa. He would tell me how much easier my life was than his because I had a spouse and he was single. How he (coworker) would have to do all the chores himself, but I had someone who could help me with running to the grocery store or taking out the trash.

Luckily, he didn't harp on it too often. And I think I just thought about it and said "Yes, you're right. It is easier to have someone to help me." Maybe that's all he needed to hear because he didn't bring it up again after that.

With Lisa, I like the following approach best. No need to JADE or get into long discussions about why Lisa seems jealous or keeps harping on the same subject. Just don't feed her drama. Give her no reaction:

I would suggest coming up with a non-committal stock phrase to respond to Lisa's unsolicited criticism/advice, and just repeat it.  I am particularly partial to the phrases, "Really?  Huh."  and "Well, how about that."  They are non-confrontational, meaningless, and make busybodies feel like you heard them, without agreeing with them or committing to further conversation.  It is the minimum acknowledgment of "oh, a human being spoke to me."

nuit93

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Re: But you have a husband...
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2013, 02:08:42 AM »
I've gotten similar responses like "but you have a boyfriend and you guys don't have kids!". 

Yes, but we had other responsibilities outside of our day jobs.

"But what could be more important than X/Y/Z?"

We're busy.  End of discussion.