Author Topic: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)  (Read 37733 times)

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Felica

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I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« on: June 23, 2008, 10:52:22 AM »
I was too angry to post about this yesterday so I wanted to wait and cool off so I'd have some perspective and not blow it out of proportion. But I'm still pretty irritated about it and it still seems just as rude as it did then.

Yesterday Dh, boys, and I had to have lunch with another family, who for the purposes of this story we'll call John (grown adult), Lisa (grown adult) and Tammy (teenager). Note the words "had to" because trust me when I tell you that I wouldn't have done so otherwise. There were other people present but we were all trapped at a table together so getting away wasn't an option.

For whatever reason, John seems to feel that he must criticize and put me down while making his wife, Lisa, the better of the two of us. It's really done in a rude way, but couched in a feeling that all he's doing is trying to compliment his wife so it makes it weird to actually say anything about it. And it almost always happens when Dh is out of the room, or involved in another conversation. Yesterday, I attempted to use "What an interesting assumption" to defuse the situation and honestly, it didn't work very well.


The conversation went to weight. Lisa, John, and Tammy are all overweight. Dh is as well, but this has little to do with them at all. It's more about me, and indirectly, my children, who are not. (Dh was talking to someone else at the time)

John to me (as I was stuffing my face with chicken, btw)-You must be anorexic.
Me (after chewing and swallowing)-That's an interesting assumption
John-I prefer a woman with a little meat on her bones
Me- That's nice. (going back to my chicken)
John-What do you do, throw it all up?
Me ( :o) NO!
John-Well, you can't possibly be that small without doing something.
Me-Like I said, that's an interesting assumption
John-I don't find women as small as you attractive at all.

For the record, I am NOT 'that small' I am 5'6" and weight about 110 at the moment (It fluctuates about ten pounds). I am a very small boned person as well so 110 pounds is about right for me, size wise. (what I'm trying to say is that I know 110 sounds really small but I'm a really small person framewise so it's just about right)

I let the last comment go on by me and turned to someone else to talk for a while. Our conversation turned to hair at that point. I have naturally blonde hair, but it's not white blonde, it's a gold blonde and is natural. My oldest son has white blonde which will likely darken as he grows older. I also have a natural wave to my hair. Just enough to make it a pain in the neck to try to style. So, the other person and I were talking about this and her hair as well when John pipes up again-

John-Lisa's hair is naturally curly.
Other person-I know. I told her I wished my hair was curly as hers.
John (looking at me)-she doesn't color it either. (Lisa's hair is brown)
Me-That's nice.
John-why do you color your hair?
Me-That's an interesting assumption.
John-You don't?
Me-Nope
John-People with naturally blonde hair have the same color eyebrows. Yours aren't that color.
Me-That's also an interesting assumption.
Other person-John, women use eyebrow pencils.
John-No one has hair that color unless it came from a bottle.
Me-Like I said, that's an interesting assumption.
John-Well, I prefer *real* hair. Lisa doesn't use a bunch of stuff on her hair like color or gels or flat irons (I often use one of these). I much prefer her curly brown hair to blonde straight hair.
Me-Good for you.

I went back to ignoring him at that point and started talking to other person again. Dh joined in for a while so John left me alone. Then Dh got up to go to the restroom. We were talking about jobs at the time and I told other person that I had enrolled to finish my degree and had just about made up my mind to teach.

John-Lisa already has her degree.
Me-Yes, I know.
John-Lisa would make a great teacher. (Lisa's degree is in something that has nothing at all to do with education)
Me-She probably would.
John-She'd probably make a much better teacher than someone who worked in the school system before getting their degree. (Which is what I do now)
Other person-Why would you say that?
John-She hasn't picked up any bad habits (I guess learning what works and doesn't from experience and seasoned teachers are bad habits?) She could change things! The people that are there now are stuck in a rut.
Me-That's an interesting assumption
John-Are you sure you want to be a teacher, Felica? But I guess it'd be ok, it's not like you'd be the boss. There would be a principal there to oversee you.
Me ( :o)-.......

Went back to talking to ther person and her husband. Dh came back too. So John, of course, shut up at me. We began to talk about hobbies. One of mine is beaded christmas ornaments. I do the fancy ones and actually sold some at our festival this year. Dh and other person's husband began talking RC Airplanes while Other person and I diverted to beads.

Me-So I actually sold all but two sets that I made for the festival!
John-Why would people buy stuff they can make themselves?
Me-Because it's timeconsuming and some of those ornaments are complicated.
John-I doubt that!
Other person-You ever made those things John?
John-No but I'm sure Lisa could do it if that were our taste. She's very artistic and that stuff is so simple. A five year old could do it.
Me-Interesting assumption.
John-We don't care for those things anyway. Too tacky looking.
Other person-Well, I think their lovely. I have several sets myself that Felica made me. And you've obviously never seen her tree. That's almost all she uses and it's lovely.
John-I've seen her tree. I prefer Lisa's decorating. It's got more flair.
At this point, other person was getting offended for me so I just nudged her under the table and shook my head at her about saying anthing else.

At this point, lunch was breaking up and we all went out to the parking lot. I have a new Dodge Charger. I LOVE this car. John took one look at it and made a face. Dh was there for this one.

Dh-What's the matter John, don't like Felica's car?
John-It's a nice enough car I guess. I don't care for those wanna-be sports cars myself.
Dh-Oh, ok. (also laughing to himself)
John-Besides, Lisa's next car will be red or bright blue (my car is white) I think white cars are just too plain.
Dh-Oh, I see.
John-She too pretty to be stuck in a plain car. She needs something flashy to show herself off in.
At which point Dh choked and said bye.

When I told Dh what had happened when he wasn't paying attention, he got pretty miffed and said I should have said something to him. But the thing is, I really think that this is what John wanted. He wanted to upset me and if I had told Dh then he'd have known he succeeded. So I kept still. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing his insults worked.

This is the first time John's actually been this bold with Dh around. Always before, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth when Dh was there and it it was when I was without Dh that he'd take jabs at me like that. And he couches it all in compliments to his wife. Who, btw, does not participate in these conversations, but smiles broadly whenever he says something like this.

He's done this to me almost every single time I'm around him. Even when it's just passing in the grocery store. And it's always me he singles out for some reason. I can't think of a thing I've done to him or Lisa. I mean not even a small thing. Lisa and I were pretty good casual friends before she met John. He seemed to dislike me from the start because this started the first time I met him. I have wondered if Lisa has told him something horrible about me (although I don't know what it could be) and if he thinks I'm an awful person or something. I certainly don't like him, but it's because of this sort of thing, not because I actually know anything about him otherwise.

This happens about once a month, because as I said before, I can not avoid the occasional gathering with him at this time. Maybe someday I'll be able to avoid him but right now, that's not an option. I just need to find a way to shut him down. And since this didn't work, I really can't think of another way to do it except cutting on Lisa, since he hides his insults to me by complimenting his wife.

caranfin

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 11:10:49 AM »
What a turd! You might try a glaringly obvious bean dip that completely fails to address his comment.

"Lisa could make that if she wanted to."
"Oh, that reminds me - other person, what ever happened with that project you were working on the last time we talked? Did you get it finished?"

Just let him prattle on and on, and never, ever acknowledge or engage him. Eventually his conversation will become so ridiculous that even Lisa will be embarassed.

Alternatively, since he doesn't seem to want DH to hear these comments, make sure to save them for him. "Oh, DH, John said the funniest thing while you were gone! He said I'm too skinny to be attractive and that I'm lying when I tell him I don't dye my hair! Isn't that hiliarous? John, tell DH what you said about my teaching. It was so funny."
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

PinkShoes

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 11:12:49 AM »
John sounds like a bully with self esteem issues.  I think you handled it very well myself.  Keep up with the interesting assumptions and bean dipping.

I also like what Caranfin said about drawing attention to his comments with DH.  Calling him out may make him stop.

CrayonOutlines

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 11:16:29 AM »
What a Class A JERK!!!!

Felica, you did GREAT -- I would have lost it with him. 

I dunno, seems like polite deflection doesn't work with him and it seems very unreasonable for you to have to sit there and take his B.S.  Me, being me, would just look him straight in the eye and ask him what the problem is.  I'd do it right then and there in front of anyone else who's around:

"John, what's your beef with me?  You constantly insult me, although I've noticed that you don't do it when DH is around.  Last time you said that I have an eating disorder, I'm unattractive, stupid, talentless, and I drive an ugly car.  What gives?  What have I ever done to deserve this from you?"

I'm so sorry you have to put with with this pootypants (I'd really like to call him something MUCH worse, but am resisting). 

Squeaks

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 11:21:06 AM »
Since TAIA did not work, I think the next step is try try mostly ignoring him.  Granted with a direct questions it would be rude, but if it is just a comment,  I think you should just look at him slightly confused and go back to your conversation with whatever nice person is around you.   Most of his comments don't really deserve a response.

caranfin

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 11:22:16 AM »
Since TAIA did not work, I think the next step is try try mostly ignoring him.  Granted with a direct questions it would be rude, but if it is just a comment,  I think you should just look at him slightly confused and go back to your conversation with whatever nice person is around you.   Most of his comments don't really deserve a response.

I'd love to see you ignore a direct question, actually.

blink. "Oh, I'm sorry? Were you speaking to me? I wasn't listening."
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Felica

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 11:25:02 AM »
I actually did confront him once when he made some insulting comment on how I disipline my children. I asked him if I had offended him in some way and he said "No, why, have I done something to offend you?" but he said it with this HUGE grin on his face and my immediate resonse was ok, Felica, don't give this *word for the offspring of a donkey and a horse* what he obviously wants so I said, no not at all.

What I should have done was tell him how rude his comments seemed but as I said, I get this feeling he WANTS that reaction, so my immediate defense is to refuse to give it to him. I just really wish I could shut him down because one day he's gonna go too far, ya know? Then I'll be on my way to ehell because I told EvilFelica to 'sic'em".

Squeaks

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2008, 11:27:27 AM »
Since TAIA did not work, I think the next step is try try mostly ignoring him.  Granted with a direct questions it would be rude, but if it is just a comment,  I think you should just look at him slightly confused and go back to your conversation with whatever nice person is around you.   Most of his comments don't really deserve a response.

I'd love to see you ignore a direct question, actually.

blink. "Oh, I'm sorry? Were you speaking to me? I wasn't listening."

But that really is not ignoring the question. . . Though i very very much like that idea, I think it does not fall into rude for totally ignoring, rather yours is an excellent compromise.   

caranfin

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008, 11:27:56 AM »
Well, the good news is that he's obviously embarassing himself, though he's too clueless to notice.
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caranfin

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008, 11:28:51 AM »
Since TAIA did not work, I think the next step is try try mostly ignoring him.  Granted with a direct questions it would be rude, but if it is just a comment,  I think you should just look at him slightly confused and go back to your conversation with whatever nice person is around you.   Most of his comments don't really deserve a response.

I'd love to see you ignore a direct question, actually.

blink. "Oh, I'm sorry? Were you speaking to me? I wasn't listening."

But that really is not ignoring the question. . . Though i very very much like that idea, I think it does not fall into rude for totally ignoring, rather yours is an excellent compromise.   

It's ignoring if you simply pretend not to hear him and force him to ask two or three times before you finally respond.
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Just Lori

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2008, 11:29:16 AM »
Sometimes I think you just have to be direct.  "Fortunately, your opinion of me is irrelevant.  But thanks for sharing."

Or, cut him off.  When he was going on about hair, say, "Let me guess.  You prefer brown-haired women with straight hair."  "Let me guess:  Lisa will be a better teacher than I am."  "Wait, let me try to predict what you're going to say.  Lisa's car color is better than mine.  We get it.  You like Lisa better than me.  If you can't speak to me unless you're comparing me unfavorably to Lisa, then please direct your conversation to someone else.  I don't want to hear it."

CrayonOutlines

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2008, 11:32:10 AM »
I actually did confront him once when he made some insulting comment on how I disipline my children. I asked him if I had offended him in some way and he said "No, why, have I done something to offend you?" but he said it with this HUGE grin on his face and my immediate resonse was ok, Felica, don't give this *word for the offspring of a donkey and a horse* what he obviously wants so I said, no not at all.

Ugh.

What about when he says something to you, don't say anything, but get that look like you're thinking of a very amusing secret.  The look you'd have, if, say, you'd discussed his behavior with everyone you know and everyone agrees that he's an A-One Doofus, but everyone's too kind to tell him.  THAT might drive him nuts -- wondering what is so amusing about him when he's trying to get your goat.

Alternately, do what I've done in horrible situations when I can't control another person's behavior: every time he insults you, you get a star/checkmark/whatever.  When you get to 10 marks, you get something you want.  When I did this for myself, I chose nail polish.  At the end of the day, I got to get THREE bottles of nail polish!  Hooray!  It got to where I WANTED this person to do the annoying thing.  If you wanted to be really PA, keep your tally sheet in front of you and mark it when he says something.  When he asks what it is, with the aforementioned bemused look, say, "Oh, nothing..." and keep smiling.

magiccat26

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2008, 11:35:56 AM »
See, I'm with some others and I think that I would have to say something.  I would not say,"Have I done something to offend you?"  I would say:

"So, were you born an "donkey" or is this something you just strive for?  Obviously you have no problem insulting me under the disguise of paying false compliments to your wife.  What, is putting someone else down the only way you can get it up?" 

Also, I think he may be jealous/attracted to you.  After all the man does protest too much.
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Just Lori

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2008, 11:40:32 AM »
I'm going to amend my advice.  If someone kept pushing you or tapping you on the shoulder, what would you do?  You'd probably say, "Stop.  That's annoying."  He's doing the verbal equivalent of that.  He's not verbally punching you in the face, but he is tapping you and  pushing you and nudging you.  It's time to simply say, "Stop it.  If you cannot compliment your wife without insulting me, then just stop talking to me."

Felica

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Re: I used it...and used it....and used it! (very long)
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 11:41:31 AM »
magiccat, that last comment? Ewww....just ewwww.