General Etiquette > Family and Children

being censored out of the vacation photos

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I have a friend, Sally, who is happily married to Linus, but has long-standing tension with Linusís sisters Lucy and Violet, and Linusís parents, whom Iíll refer to as FIL and MIL. All of Linusís family have in the past behaved toward Sally in ways that could be construed as snide, pushy, slighting, snarky, etc. It doesnít help that Sally and Linus have chosen different career paths than the rest, have no children, and have moved away to State, and only see family on holidays or vacations. Sister Lucy and her family live next-door to FIL and MIL in Home State, and sister Violet lives in Other State with her children. Sally can be sensitive (over-sensitive?) to her in-lawsí behavior, but probably not without some justification, since she has been burned in the past.

This summer, sister Lucy and FIL and MIL took a long road trip through State to visit Sally and Linus, and on to Other State to visit Violet and kids. Sally told me about the great effort she went to to make her houseguests comfortable, tailoring many lovely meals to their dietary preferences, organizing outings and adventures, and throwing a big party for them. She reported to me after their departure that it seemed like everything went better than expected: the food was well-received, the party was a hit, and everyone seemed to have a better time than they ever had when visiting in the past.
End BG.

This morning I got a distraught email from Sally, sharing with me an email that had been sent to her and Linus (and to a visible CC list) by FIL, entitled ďPics of our favorite vacation moments.Ē The email contained roughly 10 or 15 photos, all of the familyís time in Other State with Violet and Violetís children. Lots of gushing in the body of the email about what a good time they had in Other State with Violet and kids. Not one picture or mention of their time in State with Sally and Linus.
Sally feels purposefully slighted by this email, and is hurt. Iím offering friend support, by assuring her that she did everything she could to make her in-laws comfortable and welcome in her home, and it is their problem if they didn't enjoy their time there. Aside from being a little emotionally sensitive, she is a gracious hostess and I donít know why her family would have slighted her this way.

Would it be appropriate to call Linusís family on the tackiness of this email? For instance, Sally could gently remind them of their stay in State by asking if they would like to have copies of any of the photos taken during that part of their vacation? OR she could tell him that if they really didn't enjoy their visit to State, they will not be put in the uncomfortable position of having to accept an invitation to visit in the future?  (>:D) OR simply that she doesn't appreciate being included in an email that censors out her participation in the events? Or is it just better to say nothing and further distance herself and Linus from his family?  :-\

Thanks for your thoughts.

Sally should talk to Linus.  Between the two of them, they should decide how to handle his family in the future.  Linus should then communicate any dissatisfaction in their lack of courtesy and bad behavior to his wife as a personal insult to him.

I think that Linus's family has made a clear statement, and it's time to distance even more from them.

It could be that the FIL and MIL are grandchild focused.  While I see that this is hurtful, I don't know that it is at all helpful to take this as a slight against Sally personally.  I think if Sally and Linus want to address this, they absolutely should, but they are not likely to improve the situation unless the decision is to just further distance themselves.  If it were me, I might reply to the email with the photos asking if they have photos from their time with Linus and Sally, but not in a snarky or accusatory way.

ETA My mom and dad have a ton of photos of my sister and her DH and their 4 kids, and far fewer of me and my husband and DD.  It is "hurtful" on some level, but on the other hand it is simply a reflection of the fact that my mom provided childcare for my sister's kids for 8 years and they simply spend more time with them than my DD and I do. 


--- Quote from: BarensMom on August 06, 2014, 10:25:16 AM ---Sally should talk to Linus.  Between the two of them, they should decide how to handle his family in the future.  Linus should then communicate any dissatisfaction in their lack of courtesy and bad behavior to his wife as a personal insult to him.

--- End quote ---


This is Linus' family, and he should be the one to have any unpleasant conversations with them. At a certain point, Sally (I hope) can just give up trying to win their care and affection and just laugh about the whole thing. There's just no pleasing some people, and it sounds as if they've made her the scapegoat for Linus' taking a path they disapprove of.

In response to this particular email, however, if I were Sally+Linus, I would either just delete/ignore, or I might reply-all with some photos of their time there, with a jolly note such as "We had a wonderful time hosting (family members)! It was great to see everyone, and I'm so glad we had that time to reconnect and catch up. Can't wait until y'all visit again!" That is - kill them with kindness while gently reminding everyone of the reality of the situation.


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