Author Topic: Friend's wife is a bit strange  (Read 9083 times)

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SamiHami

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Friend's wife is a bit strange
« on: April 19, 2014, 11:04:59 AM »
"Donny" has been part of our circle of friends for several years. While we've never been close, we've always been friendly.

Donny got a new girlfriend about 2 years ago, and married her a year ago. Their relationship has been fraught with drama, including her packing up and leaving him three times since their wedding. The last few months have been calmer, however, and we are all hoping (for Donny's sake) that they are settling into their marriage and that things will work out for them.

The other night a group of us had dinner together. My DB and DSIL were part of the group. DB was sitting next to Donny's wife(Mrs. Donny) and had never met her before, so as a way to get a little conversation going I mentioned that Mrs. Donny was born and raised in a place some consider a little exotic, one that DB and I had lived in for a few years as children. DB perked up and started to talk about that locale when Mrs. Donny said "No, I'm not from there."

Huh? She most certainly is. She is native to that place, has the physical features of people from that area, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her and she has even brought me souvenirs from her trips! Yes, she is definitely from there!

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.

We ran into Donny and Mrs. Donny last night and she acted as though I were her long lost best friend, hugs and everything.

I don't get it.

So what does one do in such a sitation?

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lady_disdain

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 11:20:10 AM »

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.


Of course she is pretending she isn't hearing - your brother is calling  you out publicly and you are arguing with him because of her.

Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"? Because it could be a lot of different situations: she could be adopted from that country and was visiting (or trying to get to know) her birth parents, she could be the child of immigrants visiting family, etc. She may not want to go into all the details with your brother.

When she next saw you, she could have been trying to put a very awkward moment behind the two of you and moving on.

In your brother's place, when she stated she wasn't from where you had told him, he could either have dropped the subject (reacting to her clues that she didn't want to go on with the topic) or said something like "Oh, sorry. So, where are you from?" and let her speak for herself, which would have kept the conversation going instead of squabbling with his sister.


Mikayla

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 11:29:12 AM »
I don't think your DB helped matters much by asking you in front of others if you "lied to him".   This forced you to say what you did in self defense, so it wasn't *you* who looked strange.

The rest is just weird.  If Donny was a super close friend, it might be one thing, but since he isn't, I'd just ignore it.  But if you're in a position again where it's her word vs your own, I think you have the right to say whatever it takes to defend yourself. 

(This assumes you know for a fact that she's originally from that area).

TootsNYC

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 11:35:11 AM »
Quote
So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.

Your brother was off here. And I think you were too. You both went straight to the idea of someone lying. How interesting!

Neither of you went to the "Oh, did someone misunderstand?" place. I can't figure out why not.
In the first place, accusing someone of lying is a HUGE insult. In terms of etiquette (which is what this blog is).
   People used to slap one another in the face with gloves and face off with pistols at dawn over such an accusation!
   We don't do that anymore, but it's still a huge thing to accuse someone of lying.

So he accused you, and you accused her. Instead of saying, "Oh, I must have misunderstood you, Donny's Wife!" You didn't even address her--you said, "I don't know why she said that" as if she weren't just sitting right there in front of you.

Neither one of you could have said, "Oh, someone must have misunderstood. Where -did- you grow up?"
    Or even better, so as not to put her on the spot in terms of revealing stuff about herself (which you had already done with bad results), maybe "Oh, I must have misunderstood. That's too bad--we lived there once, and it was such a wonderful place to be a kid." And take the conversation away.

As to why she might say "I'm not from there"--maybe she has relatives there but didn't spent that much time as a kid. Maybe she was not being fully honest earlier (for whatever reason--it made her sound exotic, or you were assuming and she didn't want to correct you, and now she doesn't want to keep it all going now that it's spreading beyond just you).


I'm sort of curious--how did you come to believe that she was "born and raised" in the exotic locale? Because "having ethnic roots in a place" might mean you call it "home" in a few casual instances, and it might explain a visit. But that might not mean "born and raised" or "from there."

shhh its me

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 11:43:36 AM »
I don't think your DB helped matters much by asking you in front of others if you "lied to him".   This forced you to say what you did in self defense, so it wasn't *you* who looked strange.

The rest is just weird.  If Donny was a super close friend, it might be one thing, but since he isn't, I'd just ignore it.  But if you're in a position again where it's her word vs your own, I think you have the right to say whatever it takes to defend yourself. 

(This assumes you know for a fact that she's originally from that area).

"From" is a little subjective* and especially considering the political tensions in some places about immigration its not something I'd start a debate over at a dinner party.

*it can mean where your ancestors were born , where you were born but not raised , where you were raised but not born, where you spent years 2-14 and were neither born nor spent the first 2 years.  That's not even considering things like military bases or embassies.  OR the context it was said in.

Yvaine

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 11:50:55 AM »
Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"?

This. I've heard many stories of (for example) someone of Chinese descent being asked where she's from, replying "California," and getting back "No, where are you really from?"--when she was born in California and has lived there her whole life.

TootsNYC

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 11:51:40 AM »


We ran into Donny and Mrs. Donny last night and she acted as though I were her long lost best friend, hugs and everything.

I don't get it.


I'm kind of curious--what do you think she should have done?

Should she have been cold toward you because you called her a liar in front of everyone at that dinner party? Or should she have been shamefaced and hidden from you because you caught her in a lie (you think)?

She was willing to let the whole incident slide away as if it had never happened.


PastryGoddess

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2014, 11:56:36 AM »
OP said


She is native to that place, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her...



For me the words native and home are key.  How would the OP know that Mrs. Donny is a native and that place is home if Mrs. Donny didn't tell her or make it clear in some way. OP are you certain that Mrs. Donny is from that place?


I agree with others that you handled your brother's question poorly.  Your brother was rude to call you out, but you could have said that it was a miscommunication or misunderstanding and allowed Mrs. Donny off the hook. 

NyaChan

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 11:56:50 AM »
Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"?

This. I've heard many stories of (for example) someone of Chinese descent being asked where she's from, replying "California," and getting back "No, where are you really from?"--when she was born in California and has lived there her whole life.

I HATE that! It drives me nuts.  I was born in the US, raised in the US, and I've only been to India 3 times in my entire life where everybody could tell I was a tourist (even my dad automatically got charged tourist prices which I think actually made him feel bad lol).  And yet, strangers - including other "Indian" people - insist on more detail after I auto respond Illinois  ::)

Yvaine

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 12:05:56 PM »
OP said


She is native to that place, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her...



For me the words native and home are key.  How would the OP know that Mrs. Donny is a native and that place is home if Mrs. Donny didn't tell her or make it clear in some way. OP are you certain that Mrs. Donny is from that place?

Yeah, I think what makes me think the OP might not have heard it straight from Mrs. Donny is that the reasons she gives are based on things like Mrs. Donny's appearance and the fact that she has visited the place, rather than "she told me she was from there, why is she now saying she's not?". Maybe OP can clarify.

(I'd fit right in visually if I were plopped down in the place my ancestors lived, but I've never even visited.)

NyaChan

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 12:07:13 PM »
Huh? She most certainly is. She is native to that place, has the physical features of people from that area, has visited "home" a couple of times since I met her and she has even brought me souvenirs from her trips! Yes, she is definitely from there!

I'm going to assume that SamiHami is not lying and that the reason she said that Mrs Donny is from this place is because it's actually true.

Mrs Donny and your brother were both rude. Both of them called you a liar and in public no less. If Mrs Donny doesn't want to discuss her country of origin, for whatever reason, it is her responsibility to employ her own social graces and beandip the conversation. It is not SamiHami's job to "know" that that particular topic of conversation, which definitely falls within the parameters of appropriate small talk, is something that Mrs Donny doesn't want to talk about.

Going forward, I would be cool toward Mrs Donny. Not only is she a liar, she's also perfectly willing to let an innocent person be embarrassed in public to avoid having to admit that she's a liar. She doesn't sound like a nice person at all.

I don't see where the wife called her a liar. She just "corrected" (don't know whether it was right or not) what OP said.  Brother was definitely rude.  I too don't understand why neither he nor OP went for misunderstanding and asking for clarification rather than jumping to lying

ETA - if the title of the topic had been non-specific, I would have assumed the story was about the brother's rudeness and how the OP could have responded better to being called a liar.  I don't think I would have had any negative critique for the wife, especially if the extra information regarding the marital difficulties were removed.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 12:09:45 PM by NyaChan »

SamiHami

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 12:13:59 PM »

So DB looked at me and said, "Did you lie to me?" "Of course not," I said. "I don't know why she said that-she is from there!" She just stared down at her plate and pretended to not hear that and Donny looked like he wanted to disappear. This is not the first time she has exhibited odd behavior.


Of course she is pretending she isn't hearing - your brother is calling  you out publicly and you are arguing with him because of her.

Yes, her statement is odd but most of your reasons for saying she is from a certain country are also not quite right. Having physical features and visiting a place doesn't mean she was born or brought up there. Did she ever tell you "I am from country X"? Because it could be a lot of different situations: she could be adopted from that country and was visiting (or trying to get to know) her birth parents, she could be the child of immigrants visiting family, etc. She may not want to go into all the details with your brother.

When she next saw you, she could have been trying to put a very awkward moment behind the two of you and moving on.

In your brother's place, when she stated she wasn't from where you had told him, he could either have dropped the subject (reacting to her clues that she didn't want to go on with the topic) or said something like "Oh, sorry. So, where are you from?" and let her speak for herself, which would have kept the conversation going instead of squabbling with his sister.

Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 12:21:41 PM by SamiHami »

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Yvaine

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2014, 12:24:20 PM »
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.

TootsNYC

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 12:30:41 PM »
Yes, she has told me that. And she has talked about growing up there numerous times.  When she goes "home" to visit, she is going there to visit her parents, who raised her there. The fact of her being born and raised there is not in question. She has never been shy about talking about where she is from before, so her denying that she is from there was truly baffling.

OK, then I got nuthin'.

Yeah, I can't explain Mrs. Donny.

But I still think your brother was really rude. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't direct your comments to her, as in "Did I misunderstand you? I thought your parents live there."

I still think your brother was out of line to go straight to the "did you lie to me?" and that it was weird for you to talk about her as if she wasn't there.

There's always the possibility that she completely misheard you when you said, "Mrs. Donny was born and raised in XYZ," and thought you said SYZ, or something. I thin it would be more graceful conversation to let her clarify herself, instead of suddenly making this whole exchange be between you and your brother.

NyaChan

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Re: Friend's wife is a bit strange
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 12:40:40 PM »
As I consider this further, I don't think whether or not any of you were lying is the deciding factor in the interaction here.  Who disrupted the ease of the conversation?  The brother.  OP added some to it, though in the moment, I think many of us would be flustered to be called a liar for saying something we were certain about.  All the wife did was say "No, I'm not from there."  I don't see any mention that she was confrontational or angry in her tone.  There were plenty of polite ways to respond to that statement which would gloss over the moment, but no one took them. 

Would it bug me that someone was lying about something like this for reasons I can't fathom (I mean seriously, what's up with that?) - absolutely.  But if I called them out publicly about it - like the brother did - it would be me who was making everyone uncomfortable, not the liar.  Its like when someone disagrees about a fact in conversation.  I may know I'm right, I may know I can google it on my phone and prove I'm right, but I don't because it is more polite to just change the subject or move on.