Author Topic: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."  (Read 10575 times)

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Mergatroyd

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2013, 01:26:22 PM »
I'm a SAHM, and I feel no desire to attend any Christmas or otherwise functions. I'm too busy to be sitting alone twiddling my thumbs. One should not assume that SAHM's are desperate to go out.

In my reading of the thread, I came to the conclusion (not necessarily correct) that BIL doesn't want her to attend his party because she'll get friendly with the men. He doesn't want to tell her that, so he came up with this other idea.

Question: Did either the OP or the BIL actually ASK the wife if she WANTS to attend?

I'm going to guess no. She'd probably have fun at his party. She might get mistaken for a waitress, but at least she'll be in the kind of place where it's not frowned upon to flash some flesh. Sure, she'll hit on his coworkers, get trashed, and probably end the night in a screaming match, but it sounds like that is her normal.
OP's party? She's got to know that she'd be miserable.

Personally, I would tell BIL, "Sure, she can come, but we're only going for an hour, she has to wear a dress of my chosing from X store and YOU are paying for it. Oh by the way, we'll be getting our hair and makeup done at Y salon prior to the event, and you'll also be expected to pay for that. Furthermore, If she has more than two drinks in that hour we are there, we will be leaving immediately."
Seeing as he'll also have to pay a babysitter, it would be a high price for a boys night. How desperate is he?

OP, you don't have to make things easy for your Bro. I also agree with PP that bro should stew in his own pot and you don't have to do anything. Her name was not on your invite.

EMuir

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2013, 01:52:10 PM »
Of course your brother was miffed, he had found the perfect solution for himself and you rained all over his selfish parade!  I wouldn't ever bring the subject up again and next time you see him just act like all is normal, and you've forgiven him for his boorish request.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2013, 02:15:50 PM »
I think politeness doesn't need to be quite so formal between siblings.

If my brother had suggested something similar to me, I think I'd have had a hard time not coming out with, 'Are you on crack?  Why on earth would I want to bring your wife to my formal Christmas party?  Take her to your own dingdangity party.'

And as someone else said, he'll either get over it or die mad.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2013, 02:19:11 PM »
I can't help feeling a bit sorry for your SIL - stay at home mom, so not much adult interaction during the day. Her husband doesn't want to go out with her, her sister-in-law doesn't want anything to do with her. She needs somebody to pay attention to her and just as kids sometimes do - negative attention is better than none at all.  I agree that your brother shouldn't have foisted her off on you without asking, but still have to wonder what kind of pain she's going through...

Well, she's been given some pretty direct feedback which was unwelcome.

Depends on how it was presented - if it was done as criticism "you look awful, here put this on and you'll at least be covered!", then yes it was probably unwelcome. If it's done with love "this color looks fabulous on you. Please come out to dinner with me and we'll show you off", then it may be accepted better. I just don't get any feeling of love between OP and her SIL. Nor between OP's brother and his wife. I just think that's sad.

From circlekiller's first post: Over the years, I've tried as tactfully as possible (as has my mom) to subtly show her different styles.  Several times we've gone to MAC and had our makeup professionally, or when we are shopping, tried to encourage her to try different (more age-appropriate) clothes on, etc.

I don't know what else circlekiller can do.

EllenS

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2013, 02:27:06 PM »
OP, is it really the culture at your job that you can bring anyone to a black-tie company party?

This would be seen as mooching, and a huge no-no at any of the professional firms I have worked at.

"I'm afraid that won't be possible. It would be professionally inappropriate for me to bring SIL to a work event."

You need not specify WHY it is inappropriate.

Amara

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2013, 02:43:33 PM »
I would advise NOT taking her regardless of any parameters that the OP might set because anything what is at risk is not the OP's possible embarrassment but her professional reputation with her colleagues.

Yvaine

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2013, 02:56:23 PM »
OP, is it really the culture at your job that you can bring anyone to a black-tie company party?

This would be seen as mooching, and a huge no-no at any of the professional firms I have worked at.

"I'm afraid that won't be possible. It would be professionally inappropriate for me to bring SIL to a work event."

You need not specify WHY it is inappropriate.

And, OP, this could be your white lie to get you out of this. You've already objected on other grounds...can you say you changed your mind and asked, and were shot down? (note: don't really ask!)

gramma dishes

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2013, 03:00:16 PM »
Since your plans were right from the very beginning to stay only a short while at your company's event and then move on to the person who would have been your +1's charity event, what would your brother have expected you to do?  Take his wife to both your own thing and then also drag her with you to your SO's event?

I think this would be the perfect place for, "Oh, no.  Sorry.  I've already made other plans" (totally true) with no additional information necessary.

I wouldn't even acknowledge that you realize your brother is being cool toward you.  If you act like you notice, it might reaffirm his feeling that he's made you feel guilty.  You have no reason to feel guilty about not going along with his unfortunate 'escape plan'.

Goosey

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2013, 03:04:51 PM »
I would say don't do anything else at this point. You've apologized and it's within his rights to back off from the relationship in support of his spouse.

I would just caution you to keep in mind that your brother fell in love with her for a reason - her confidence and personality (as reflected in the way she dresses and does her makeup) is probably one of those reasons. So, critisizing those is not a good way to keep on good terms with your brother if that's something you're concerned about.

In the future, just have a few short phrases on hand to keep her from joining your events

SoCalVal

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2013, 03:12:37 PM »
I can't help feeling a bit sorry for your SIL - stay at home mom

I'm a SAHM, and I feel no desire to attend any Christmas or otherwise functions. I'm too busy to be sitting alone twiddling my thumbs. One should not assume that SAHM's are desperate to go out.

I must be blind, but I just reviewed circlekiller's posts.  Where does she state SIL is a SAHM?  All I read is that she's home all day because she doesn't work.



SoCalVal

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2013, 03:24:39 PM »
Frankly, I'd be mad that he had the nerve to extend an invite without asking me in the first place (I've had this happen to me before -- friends in my teen years inviting people to my house for a party...before asking me if I'd have a party!).

He's redirecting away from him that what he did was totally rude in the first place and should be addressed (I would) -- "Why did you invite someone to my work party in the first place without asking me first?"  DH (unintentionally) distracts with tangents ALL.THE.TIME! (this is the way he talks)  He did this the other day, but I called him on it too late in the exchange.  A few minutes later, he did it again, and, this time, I called him on it immediately as he was trying to argue a point that wasn't part of the argument in the first place.

Anyway, your brother is already mad, and, frankly, he doesn't have a right to blame you for his screw-up.  I'd let him stew and leave it as he was the one to put you in the awkward position of having to answer him without being prepared for a more diplomatic response (I would be fuming that he put me in this position).  Seriously, he caused this problem; he needs to fix it.  The alternative sounds like it definitely would've compromised your standing with your company (bringing along your SIL).  By focusing on why you won't bring your SIL, your brother detracts from the fact that he shouldn't have extended that invitation to her in the first place without your expressed permission.  Don't stumble over yourself trying to apologize.  You weren't wrong in saying no or being forced to give the reason for the no that he didn't want to hear.



Clockwork Banana

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2013, 03:51:53 PM »
Well, it is too late to suggest what you should have said or not, given that you were put on the spot and went with the honest route - her lack of decorum, both in dress, behavior and alcohol consumption. It is pretty easy for all of us to be Monday morning quarterbacks and come up with a myriad of reasons or excuses you should have stated for not bringing her along.  I know that I personally would probably be less than tactful if put in the same position.

IMO, your brother is being cool, because whether or not he agrees with his wife's behavior, she IS his wife, so he feels the need to defend her.  You dissed her, so he is going to take it personally.

I would just let it go.  Do not try to 'fix' things.  Your brother will hopefully let it drop himself and things will naturally evolve until your relationship is back on an even keel.  However, if he does bring it up again, or presses the issue, than maybe it is time to have that honest conversation.  You just have to tread that fine line between being concerned about an extended family member and coming across as the witchy SIL who is dumping on her bro's wife.  Hard to do.


CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2013, 03:54:27 PM »
I would advise NOT taking her regardless of any parameters that the OP might set because anything what is at risk is not the OP's possible embarrassment but her professional reputation with her colleagues.

A male coworker married an exotic dancer and brought her to a company dinner.  She was dressed very revealingly and flirted with other men.  The next day management had a talk with him.  The incident provoked a lot of gossip and resulted in the man losing respect from his coworkers.  That was 15 years ago, and it still gets brought up every holiday season.

Stick to your guns.  Your brother is in the wrong, and as has already been said, he can get over it or die mad.
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Deetee

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2013, 03:55:07 PM »
"Sorry Bro, I'm not going to babysit your alcoholic wife for you."

Maybe he'll get mad enough that he'll cool off even more.

Sometimes when someone is mad, it's because you did exactly the right thing.

bloo

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Re: How to say, "You can't come because of how you look."
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2013, 04:34:52 PM »
Two choices.

1) Say no and your SIL has some hurt feelings and your BIL is cranky.

2) Say yes and you will bring an unmitigated disaster to your work party.

I vote for 1)

Based on the OP and updated info, I'd just like to expand on DeeTee's perfect post to add this:

Please try not to feel too bad. #1 is the much better option than if you went with #2. They'll either get over it or they die hurt or mad. I'm sure they'll get over it. If you still feel the need to feel badly about it, you certainly have my permission, just understand that everyone feeling a little bad is better than option #2.