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  • November 23, 2017, 07:35:10 AM

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Author Topic: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral  (Read 7318 times)

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Oh Joy

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2017, 12:48:40 PM »
I'm sorry that hurt your feelings.  Truly.

But I agree that it's an overreaction.  You felt it was relevant for us to know that this man was a "wannabe" (which is derogatory in my circles), struggles to hold a job, and does drugs.  In the same vein, he felt it was relevant to tell his wife that you talk a lot, and not necessary to whisper it.   I say this not as tit-for-tat, but as illustration of how we can intend descriptors.

It's your choice to not associate with him further.  But by my view, his action does not merit him never existing in your life again.

Best wishes.

FauxFoodist

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 01:19:24 PM »
I'm sorry that hurt your feelings.  Truly.

But I agree that it's an overreaction.  You felt it was relevant for us to know that this man was a "wannabe" (which is derogatory in my circles), struggles to hold a job, and does drugs.  In the same vein, he felt it was relevant to tell his wife that you talk a lot, and not necessary to whisper it.   I say this not as tit-for-tat, but as illustration of how we can intend descriptors.

It's your choice to not associate with him further.  But by my view, his action does not merit him never existing in your life again.

Best wishes.

I've also never known "wannabe" to be anything but derogatory as well.

Also, OP, you make a point of mentioning that no other "descriptive qualifiers" are used to describe the other family members yet, ironically again, he is the only cousin mentioned in this story yet rather than be referred to as "Cousin" is repeatedly referred to as "Hells Angel Cousin" plus no other IL is referred to with "descriptive qualifiers."  Why is that?  Why is this acceptable for you to do in a story about him where you find it so abhorrent for him to do it regarding you?

pattycake

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 02:10:16 PM »
snipped to trim the quote tree

wouldn't be surprised if your low opinion of him was quite clear to him whenever he interacted with you.  You say he seemed "friendly enough" to you when you interacted so you were "good with that" yet your description of him has an incredibly negative slant (why would how he's dressed make a difference other than your prejudicial view as you stated he was "friendly enough").  As PPs pointed out, you fault him for calling you a motormouth, yet you don't see the irony of calling him a former Hell's Angel wannabe who had a drug problem and other unsavory bits.  There's no purpose to this description of him in your story, other than to paint as negative a picture of him as you can, to make him out to be a villain.  All you had to say was your DH has a cousin you don't know very well but the few times you interacted with him at family events for a few years, you were always polite to him and never had any conflict.  Also, I am wondering if you stated this opinion of him to anyone in your life because, if you did, it's possible it got back to him just as him calling you a motormouth got back to you.  If someone who barely knew me ran off at the mouth about my appearance and gossiped about my problems and how I led my life, I wouldn't have a very good opinion of that person, either, which is also why I'm taken aback by how negatively you admit you look at him yet also admit he was "friendly enough."

I agree, it's rather outrageous to call out Cousin for one private remark that shouldn't have been repeated to you. It sounds as if Cousin has pretty good manners if he treats you decently in front of others in spite of his opinion. I am sorry to hear that you are unable to do the same.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2017, 02:52:25 PM »
snip
I chose to take no action at the wake, but a few weeks later when my Husband was feeling less raw, I relayed the story and informed him in no uncertain terms that Hells Angel Cousin is not, nor will ever be, welcome at any of our events.

I don't know if I'm 'giving him the cut direct' or simply Ghosting him out of our lives, but I've chosen not to respond to his rudeness and am treating it with silent contempt.

I told MIL about it and she told her sister (Hells Angels' mother) who apparently agreed with me that her son was out of order.

So now we pretend he doesn't exist.

OP, I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. But I have to agree with others that your actions seem to be over the top. Banning your husband's cousin from his family events and then "tattling" to your MIL about one remark seems so nuclear. Your description of him implies that you never liked being around him and that this has now given you an excuse to end any social interactions with him.

And of course your MIL and her sister believe he was out of order. But I can't imagine that they don't think you are blowing this all out of proportion. But since there s little opportunities for interaction they probably are going to ignore the situation for fear of it becoming a bigger issue.

EllenS

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2017, 03:27:08 PM »
Wait, so Cousin made a private comment to his own wife (in an insufficiently modulated tone), and:

1) Your family eavesdropped on their conversation;

2) They carried gossip to you, just to make sure you knew someone you don't like and rarely see used a less-than-complimentary description of you;

3) You then complained about this non-event to both your grieving DH and your FIL's grieving widow, because apparently you thought this remark was the most emotionally significant thing that happened that day; and

4) Your MIL passed the gossip and aggravation back to her sister, as if she's responsible for every offhand comment her grown son makes to his own wife.

And somehow you think Cousin was the rude one, to the point of a Cut Direct?

Complete silence indeed. There are no words.

Winterlight

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2017, 04:00:34 PM »
I'm sorry this upset you.

However, I think you need to pick a better hill to die on. One mildly snippy comment is not worth the cut direct.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Tea Drinker

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2017, 04:05:25 PM »
The person I'd be careful of is the one who told you that your husband's cousin had called you a "motormouth." Best case, they are more concerned with making sure you have all the facts, pleasant or otherwise, than with being kind to you.

Worst case, the cousin said nothing of the kind, and the reporter either wanted to hurt you with some kind of deniability--oh, I don't think you're a motormouth, I just think it's important that you know this other person called you one--or wants to hurt your husband's cousin, by falsely claiming that he's insulting people.

Somewhere in between is the possibility that what was passed to you was distorted: maybe Cousin called you that, and described other people with something like "that's Aunt So-and-so, she's $Something_Rude" and "that's BIL's wife, she's $Other_judgmental_adjective." Or maybe he actually said "There's Ven, Husband's partner. She's very chatty" and the person who passed the news on is making it sound worse, deliberately or otherwise.

Fortunately, from the etiquette point of view, if you look into this further and conclude that Cousin didn't actually do anything wrong, or that you over-reacted, it's salvageable: You could call your mother-in-law and say "I didn't like what Cousin said about me at the funeral, but it's only one thing, I'm not ready to cut him out yet" and talk to him the next time you're at the same event. An actual cut direct would be hard to recover from, because it's public and blatant; limiting your interactions to beyond "Oh, hello. Excuse me, I need to talk to Cousin Petunia" might not be.

That's if you decide that the consensus here is correct, that he may have been rude but not unforgiveably so. If it looks like Cousin did nothing objectionable, and the person who said he'd called you a motormouth was lying, that's more complicated: it would involve talking to your mother-in-law and telling her what you'd found out, and either contacting her sister or asking her to pass along what you now knew.
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HannahGrace

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2017, 09:37:47 PM »
This is just unreal.

diesel_darlin

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2017, 03:08:14 AM »
OP, you admitted yourself that you get chatty when you're nervous. In the Southern US, people often call chatty people motormouth. It's been said to and about me more than once. Perhaps it's more the fact that he scares you and giving him the CD gives you an excuse not to be around him.

bloo

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2017, 07:26:46 AM »
I agree that you over reacted.

You should be more concerned about those who carried tales to you than your wannabe in-law.

I can appreciate that you were trying to describe him and explain why you were chatty,  but you managed to describe him quite negatively.  Were I you, humility would induce me to remember that I didn't have a very good impression of him as well. And that in the future I would feel comfortable to just be cooly polite. And I'd work on being more comfortable with silence when I'm around him. I'd let him do all the effort at all the talking for as long as I had to be around him. And if he didn't want to talk Id just excuse myself to go do something else. This is all better than the nuclear option that you chose. You created drama and drew others into it over a minor gaffe.

I actually get tired of being around people who expect me to carry the conversation. So occasionally I lapse into silence and sometimes they refuse to carry on the conversation so I just excuse myself. Other times they actually stir themselves to make an effort to be a part of a conversation or dialogue and I appreciate that. But you have to make yourself comfortable with silence which can be hard.

Semperviren

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2017, 09:46:24 AM »
Venix, in your place, I too would feel hurt and indignant and not want much to do with this person going forward.

But the the thing with the Cut Direct is- it's an extreme solution. And it affects other people (such as your husband and in-laws). As such, I think it should be a last resort and only in response to an extreme offense. If he had shouted an insult to your face, in your home- that's Cut Direct time. What actually happened- it wasn't a kind thing to say and he wasn't discreet about it, but I don't think he meant for it to get back to you. Most of us, I think, would really rather not know the uncharitable things others think about us (or have others know the uncharitable things we think about them). Sometimes that veil gets breached-that's what happened to you.

I'd be civil, but reserved, and avoid him at the next gathering.

Margo

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2017, 11:47:34 AM »
I'm also in the UK and, while the term 'motormouth' isn't exactly polite, I don't think it worthy of your reaction.  If you look up dictionary definitions, it mostly says something along the lines of 'someone who talks incessantly' - and you did say you have a tendency to gabble when nervous.  Why did the people who over-heard his remark to his wife (eavesdropping?) relate the story to you anyway?

Yes, I'm in (and from) the UK, and 'motormouth' can be rude, but not always (I've heard it non-critically of people such as radio presenters  / commentators with no pejorative meaning. I'd see it as descriptive, and somewhat tactless, but not an insult. I'm surprised that your family felt it was appropriate to pass on the comment, particularly as it sounds as though the cousin may well not have realised that the people sitting in front of him were related to you. Are they in the habit of stirring and/or gossiping?

I'd consider  'wannabe'  much more of an insult.

Obviously it is up to you and your partner whether you chose to be friendly with cousin in future but unless this is part of a much wider pattern of behaviour n his part, it seems a bit extreme to cut him for a single, tactless choice of words, especially given that it happened in a stressful situation (And I think a great many people find funerals difficult and stressful,even if they didn't have a particularly close relationship with the person who died. Which may also be part of why you reacted so strongly.)

rose red

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2017, 04:04:51 PM »
You didn't hear directly so you don't know the tone.

You admit he's always been friendly enough even though he makes you nervous (which is your own feelings and nothing he did to you). I have to agree with the PP's who said it sounds like you're looking for an excuse to find offence so you can avoid him. And like PP's, I also find your description of him very insulting to read, especially for someone who was friendly to you.

I hope you give him the benefit of the doubt and get to know him better before deciding on his character over an overheard sentence which may not be intended as an insult at all.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2017, 11:54:42 AM »
If he had actually introduced you to his wife at the funeral, by saying, "Wife, meet Venix.  Venix is a motormouth," that would have been highly inappropriate and worthy of condemnation. 

oogyda

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Re: How NOT to introduce people at a Funeral
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2017, 04:12:23 PM »
I also think it may be is an overreaction. 

It was clear from the background in your OP that this "Hell's Angel Cousin", "biker wannabe" intimidates you.....probably more than is necessary.  Perhaps you've latched onto one slightly "off" thing he said to justify not being around him since he intimidates (read: scares) you?
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