Author Topic: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .  (Read 3793 times)

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jpcher

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I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« on: June 28, 2013, 09:43:05 PM »
Which is probably true on one point, I should have at least called her back to say "No. That isn't possible."

But I'm wondering if I am the person who is really at fault?



Confusing BG: The person I'm talking about is BFbob's mother (Linda) . . . BFbob is my DD#2's BF (they've been dating for over a year.) I've mentioned Linda in older, previous posts calling her BF#1mom back when my DD#1 was dating her other son, BF#1. (DD#1 and BF#1 broke up over 6 months ago, but they are still very close friends.) So I've known Linda and her family for 7+ years. I've been to Linda's place for (extended)family gatherings and she's been to mine for the same type of occasions.

Linda is a very gregarious type of person. Her personality is overpowering in many ways. I can only take Linda in small doses (party gathering where I can mingle with other guests.) We have gone out together, just us girls, and I've had wonderful fun times with her . . . bar hopping . . . yes, I still enjoy doing that but once a month or every other month satisfies my enjoyment of that type of evening. I just can't do that every weekend./endBG.



Back to my question . . . Back in May, the DDs had their annual Birthday dinners of their choice (two nights out, their Bdays are one day apart.) They are allowed to bring 2 guests for each of their Bday dinners.

It just so happened that for DD#2's bday, she invited BFbob and exBF#1 (so, both of Linda's sons.)

As we were getting ready to walk out the door, the phone rang. I didn't pick up, but listened to the message (land-line answering machine) from Linda. Everybody heard the message. I went to pick up the phone and was met with "Nooooo! Don't answer!" Both of her sons said "She's fishing for an invitation." DD#2 said "I really don't want her to come to dinner with us."

 :o :o :o

The next day, DD#1's Bday dinner, 2 of her college friends were invited. As we were getting ready, Linda called again . . . "Hey! I have gifts for the DDs, wondering what's going on. I really want to get together with you all to celebrate.

DD#1 said "Please don't call her back. If she comes to dinner with us it's going to be all about her. You know how she is."

So, I never called her back about the bday parties. I figured, at this point, it would be up to the DDs to contact Linda since it was their parties that Linda was calling about.

I know that both of my DDs have been at her house several times since their Bdays.


A couple of weeks later I called Linda to see if she wanted to get together. No mention of the Bdays was made by either of us. We made plans for the next Friday night. She called me about an hour before we were suppose to go out and said "I completely forgot I had made plans with someone else for tonight." I said "No problem." She said "I'll call you next week. Is next Friday good for you?" I said "Yes, call me during the week so we can make firm plans."

Linda never called me back. No biggie, in my book.

So it's been over a month since I've talked to her.


Last Sunday DD#2 told me that I should call Linda. "She really misses you and wants to get together with you. She thinks that you're avoiding her because you didn't call her back about the Bday dinners."


So, now I'm really feeling like I'm the bad guy.


Did I really screw up, etiquette-wise, by not calling Linda back about the Bday dinners?

Am I the bad guy? Or does the onus fall on my DDs?

WillyNilly

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 09:49:44 PM »
Honestly it sounds like you both pretty much have a friendship that doesn't always involve calling one another back, so I think you are fine. I do pretty much think the message on DD1's b-day about the gifts was for you though, not for your DD's, even if it was about them.

Lindee

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 10:59:24 PM »
But if you have spoken since the girls party nights and invited her out, she bailed on you at the last minute (rude) then arranged a replacement meeting for the next week but didn't follow through with the promised phone call to finalise the details (also rude), why on earth would she think you are avoiding her?  You are not the bad guy here.

JenJay

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 11:51:43 PM »
"Am I the bad guy? Or does the onus fall on my DDs?"

Neither. Someone you didn't care to socialize with (at that time) called right as you were heading out the door and you had sufficient reason to think she was fishing for an invite. Of course you didn't answer. As for calling her back, it would have been nice to call the next day and say "Sorry we missed your call last night." but that's the extent of what you needed to say. If it's normal for you both to not return a call but wait a few days until you have a reason to speak again then you were fine.

It sounds to me like she was trying to subtly let your DD know that she was disappointed not to be included in the birthday dinners. Either way, I wouldn't like someone using my child to pass along a message/guilt trip that I needed to reach out to them. That'd be a good way to ensure you didn't hear from me. To my DD I would say "Huh? I had plans with her last weekend and she canceled. Don't worry about it, if she wants to reschedule she'll call me."

TootsNYC

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 11:52:41 PM »
I think that almost all phone calls should be returned.

You didn't goof by not calling her BEFORE the dinners, and you certainly did not goof by not picking up even if you were actually there. (that's what answering machines are for--to serve almost as a butler who says "madam is not at home." And as someone my mom always quoted said, when people were shocked that he didn't answer his phone every time it rang, "I put that phone in for my convenience."

However, I think you should have called her the next day, or when you got back from the dinner. "Hi, Linda--sorry I missed your call. How are you?"

So, just give her a call, or send her some friendly message via text/Facebook/whatever.

peaches

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2013, 12:04:01 AM »
However, I think you should have called her the next day, or when you got back from the dinner. "Hi, Linda--sorry I missed your call. How are you?"

So, just give her a call, or send her some friendly message via text/Facebook/whatever.

I agree.

I always return the phone call of a friend or relative, even if the topic of the call has "expired" so to speak.


JoyinVirginia

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2013, 12:11:15 AM »
It would have been nice for you to call Linda back - safely after both of the birthday dinners - to say hi and gosh we have just been so busy running around and how are you and hey gotta go.
Was the call to you our to your dds? 
If call was to dds, no obligation to call back.

MummySweet

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 12:21:22 AM »
The OP's post makes it sound like the calls were directed at her.  If that is the case, she should have returned the calls at her convenience (within a reasonable amount of time).   However, once the OP and Linda spoke (even if the original calls were not referenced), the obligation became moot.

Linda's behavior, particularly speaking to the DD about the OP's "avoidance"  indicates that the DDs' observation about Linda making "it all about her" is right on the money.

TootsNYC

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 12:28:55 AM »
Yeah, it's really not kosher to send messages like that through someone's children--no matter what the age of the children.

*inviteseller

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 01:47:17 PM »
She sounds like a drama queen.  If you were avoiding her, why did you call and make plans that she bailed out on at the last minute, and not follow through with make up plans?  Sending messages through your DD's is childish.  If she wants to talk to you, she needs to pick up the phone and call you herself.  You are not the bad guy for following your DD's birthday wishes, especially since she was being rude and looking for an invite.

gramma dishes

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 02:01:46 PM »

...   Am I the bad guy? Or does the onus fall on my DDs?

Unless your daughters said something to her that you don't know about, no, you aren't the bad guy and neither are your daughters.

You called after the birthday events and made arrangements with her, which SHE then canceled and said she'd call you back.  She hasn't. 

So if there is an onus at all, it's on her.

jpcher

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 04:47:36 PM »
The OP's post makes it sound like the calls were directed at her.  If that is the case, she should have returned the calls at her convenience (within a reasonable amount of time).   However, once the OP and Linda spoke (even if the original calls were not referenced), the obligation became moot.

Linda's behavior, particularly speaking to the DD about the OP's "avoidance"  indicates that the DDs' observation about Linda making "it all about her" is right on the money.

Yes. The calls were directed to me. Linda has the DDs cell numbers and texts them directly when she wants to talk to them.


I see everybody's etiquette point that I should have called her back a day or two later, but I was iffy on what I should say to her. Certainly not the truth "DDs didn't want me to invite you to dinner so I didn't pick up the phone when you called" . . . I admittedly do have a spine problem and sometimes cannot come up with the right wording to handle certain situations like this.

I was trying to pre-think what to say/how to apologize for not picking up the phone when she called. I'm a truth-teller and a horrible liar. Plus all the kids were there and if I called her back and said "Sorry I missed your call" the kids would know that I was lying.

Excuses, excuses ::) . . . I think you all are right. I should have called back a day or two later.


Yeah, it's really not kosher to send messages like that through someone's children--no matter what the age of the children.

Agreed. This is something that really bugs me and it's not the first time Linda has sent messages to me through the DDs. "Does your mother hate me or something? She never calls me. Tell your mother if I don't hear from her soon I'll just barge in on a Friday night." etc.

Trust me, the DDs and I have had a few conversations concerning Linda.

I do feel the need to stay on a friendly basis with Linda simply because of my DDs involvement with her family.



Thanks, everybody for your gentle lashings. I see now that if I had called her back concerning the bday dinners, cleared the air at the time, I wouldn't be in this current situation.


Lindee

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 05:06:32 PM »
But you did call her, so that exchange is over and done with. She let you down with a dodgy excuse at the last minute and then didn't ring you back as she agreed to so why she is trying to be the victim now is all on her. Stop beating yourself up.

gramma dishes

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 05:08:39 PM »
But you did call her, so that exchange is over and done with. She let you down with a dodgy excuse at the last minute and then didn't ring you back as she agreed to so why she is trying to be the victim now is all on her. Stop beating yourself up.

Exactly!

kckgirl

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Re: I found out that I'm the "Bad Guy" . . .
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 05:25:00 PM »
"Sorry I missed your call" wouldn't have been a lie anyway. You did miss it because you didn't pick it up since you were busy. A phone call is not a summons, and you don't have to answer just because it rings.

As you told us in your OP, you actually did call her back and made plans. I think what happened is that she forgot that she was supposed to call you to rearrange your outing and she's wondering why you didn't call.
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