Author Topic: What did I just see and hear?  (Read 6177 times)

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Syfygeek

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What did I just see and hear?
« on: August 03, 2010, 11:16:59 AM »
I have reconnected with relatives and have seen them a few times since June (background info-http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=78675.0)

But a couple of things have left me speechless- and I need help from Ehell to remain polite, or at least not embarrassing them.

Thing 1- Bathroom door etiquette- In my family we close the door, what happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom.  But relatives family has an "open door policy". I walked past the bathroom to see Oldest Child on the toilet, reading a magazine (and Oldest Child is a 20 y/o male).  I continued to the bedroom I was using, shut the door and didn't come out until I heard flushing!

Additional thing 2- Cousin was in shower, forgot something, yelled for his daughter to bring him something- that's when I realized he was in the shower with the bathroom door open- I remained in the living room, not walking anywhere near the bathroom.

Final Thing- Prejudice- Cousin's dad was prejudiced, as was mine.  When discussing things our dads would say, I do not use those words, cousin does.  And cousin uses those words in parking lots, and at dinner, and anytime.  Even worse, I heard my mom's sister using those words.  I know I should have said something, but I was speechless.  It is really like when I was a kid and didn't know that what my dad said was wrong, before I knew enough to look beyond skin color.

Cousin is a preacher, and I'm having a hard time reconciling the religious man with the hateful words I hear.  Any suggestions on how to ignore or beandip? 

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Mahdoumi

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 11:36:09 AM »
Ask the preacher about the biblical history of the Samaritans?   ;D

Roe

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 12:02:10 PM »
Any suggestions on how to ignore or beandip? 

As wonderful as they sound, I would just stay away.  ::)

Rosey

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 02:28:34 PM »
I don't think you can do much about an open door policy when you are in someone else's house, but I would suggest not staying *with* them anymore when you visit. Hotels are a wonderful thing  ;)

Honestly, I can't imagine having an open door policy with my brothers or my dad.  :-X

As to the innappropriate language, I think you can and should ask them not to speak that way around you. Your cousin is in a position where he should know better.

Bibliophile

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 02:31:34 PM »
I don't think you can do much about an open door policy when you are in someone else's house, but I would suggest not staying *with* them anymore when you visit. Hotels are a wonderful thing  ;)

Honestly, I can't imagine having an open door policy with my brothers or my dad.  :-X

As to the innappropriate language, I think you can and should ask them not to speak that way around you. Your cousin is in a position where he should know better.

POD to this.  I would ignore the open door policy, but prejudice is NOT an etiquette issue and hurting someone's feelings by telling them you don't think that language/attitude is appropriate does not matter, IMO.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 04:16:55 PM by Bibliophile »

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faithlessone

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 04:15:01 PM »
A former housemate of mine grew up with that "open door" policy. In our house, the bathroom door was directly opposite a full-length clear glass window. I despair to think of how many people saw her, but she wasn't bothered.

As the PPs have said, there's nothing much you can do, etiquette-wise. If they don't see it as a problem, it is unlikely they will take your opinion graciously. All you can do is just try not to stay at their house, and avoid the bathrooms when you're visiting.

bellawitch

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 10:17:19 PM »
I lived with some people that were the same way with the bathroom door, in fact, there was a problem with the door that even with the best of intentions it didn't shut that well. It is best to walk by the room, quickly and with eyes to the floor.

As for the other, you will not change their opinion so don't hit your head with that brick wall. The best you can do is bean dip, change the subject, hope that something will fall from the sky and get their attention.

Are you worried about children picking up on their attitudes? If so, just give the kids advanced warning, explain bean dipping, and have a conversation afterwards why you disagree with the opinions stated. Right,wrong or crazy people have the right to their opinion. I think it is a valuable lesson to teach children while everyone has the right to their opinion, it is important to be able not to be influenced by this. Discernment is a difficult lesson to teach.

But not to worry, everyone has relatives like this, somewhere.

secretrebel

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 04:28:17 AM »
Final Thing- Prejudice- Cousin's dad was prejudiced, as was mine.  When discussing things our dads would say, I do not use those words, cousin does.  And cousin uses those words in parking lots, and at dinner, and anytime.  Even worse, I heard my mom's sister using those words.  I know I should have said something, but I was speechless.  It is really like when I was a kid and didn't know that what my dad said was wrong, before I knew enough to look beyond skin color.

Cousin is a preacher, and I'm having a hard time reconciling the religious man with the hateful words I hear.  Any suggestions on how to ignore or beandip? 

Beandip isn't the best tactic for prejudiced/racist comments. Those should be challenged, otherwise the person feels validated in using them. It's very important not to become complicit in behaviour like this.

I suggest saying "please don't use that word, cousin, I don't want to hear it" or ""please don't use that word, cousin, it's offensive".

Before we can look beyond skin colour we have to look at racism and confront it.

momto3daughters

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 07:05:50 AM »
We have an open door policy when we are on the potty, naked in the bath is not. Our bathroom is attached to our bedroom but I don't make hte door stay open and if ANYONE is over at the house no matter WHO is over at the house the door is closed..

My kids often close the door but hubby and I dont unless the kids are in our bedroom.

Nora

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2010, 10:37:55 AM »

But not to worry, everyone has relatives like this, somewhere.

Ain't that the truth! We found that emigrating worked well for us.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Twik

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2010, 12:18:14 PM »
We have an open door policy when we are on the potty, naked in the bath is not. Our bathroom is attached to our bedroom but I don't make hte door stay open and if ANYONE is over at the house no matter WHO is over at the house the door is closed..

My kids often close the door but hubby and I dont unless the kids are in our bedroom.

Why would you make that distinction? I'd be far more revolted to catch someone on the toilet than in the tub or shower.

I understand that you have small children and that closing the door is often awkward when they're small, but anyone old enough to go to school should, in my opinion, learn to close the door when using the toilet.
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Balletmom

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 08:52:46 PM »
I am firmly of the opinion that no one ever wants to know your bathroom business. No one, ever, not really. They do not want to know how badly you have to go, or details of how the experience went, or issues there  in.

Seriously. I would be so squicked out I'd have to check into the nearest Motel 6, no matter how far away that was.

Frankly, the fact that there is a door and they choose to leave it open would concern me. You can talk to people with the door closed. Leaving the door open is...just weird.

As for the negative ugly words, I'd follow up immediately with, "I'd really appreciate if you didn't use those words" (something I said once to my mother, who used a word to this day I'm not sure she entirely understood) or "Dude! We don't use such words."

Take whatever approach you choose, but please, OP, stand up for yourself and your values.

And really, find that Motel 6. It has a door on the bathroom, too.

D-Banana

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 09:26:15 PM »
I think it really doesn't matter what people do in the privacy of their own family (I had four sisters and one bathroom growing up. We pretty much required an open door policy), but the assumption that others should be okay with seeing that sort of thing is just...no. It's not on.

I agree with Balletmom on how to approach the racism. For me the line in the sand about not rocking the boat is well before people start flinging racial slurs around. Stand up to them, it's not acceptable anywhere in society much less in someone who is guiding others spiritually.
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Ceallach

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 07:06:17 AM »
I don't shut the bathroom door when it's just DH and I, but neither do I leave it wide open going "Hey, look at me!"

There's a definite line between being relaxed and open, and having absolutely no consideration for those around you.  When having guests there are changes we make to our lifestyle to accommodate them. Do we let our guests dictate how we live? Absolutely not.  But we do modify our behaviour to make them feel welcome.  Right now that includes re-arranging the backroom so that guests can use the spare bed, moving the clean laundry so that my bra isn't hanging in front of them, closing the door when I bathe or use the toilet, and not walking through the house naked.  That's just common sense and consideration.  None of those things I do are "wrong" or "rude" but they are not appropriate or suitable for my guests.

OP, don't stay with those relatives again, they're not considerate of you as a guest!

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Ambrosia Hino

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Re: What did I just see and hear?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 10:02:34 AM »
When its just me and DH at home, I don't always shut the door, nor does he. If anyone else is in the house, it gets shut. Once the baby is born, I'll probably imitate what my mom did when my brother was little (infant/toddler) and leave the door open so that it was easier to see/hear the baby...but still, only when no one else is in the house. Once he outgrows that stage (my theory is about a year before pre-K), start making sure the door is always closed when occupied.

POD Ceallach

For the racist comments, ask him if he would use those same words in church or during sermon. If they're not appropriate then, then they're not appropriate in polite company.