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Thursday, February 9, 2012
Ask an Asshole: This is why people may hate their mother in-law
Miss Manners has been a breeding ground of hate that continues to inspire Ask an Asshole columns With people’s false sense of sophistication and or entitlement, I do not see that changing anytime soon. There is that stigma or stereotype surrounding mother in-laws… You know it, the dreaded mother in-law. Well, this stereotype is on full display in this Miss Manners article that I had come across. Holy shit, the son of the woman who wrote in for advice might actually dread his mother the way Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a half men” despised his on air mother.
Mom finds plenty to criticize
‘Would you like to have a guest who sneers at your taste?’
By Judith Martin
January 29, 2012,
Dear Miss Manners: I have just returned home from spending a few days with my son and daughter- in-law. They live in a medium-sized city about three hours away. My DIL’s mother has been gone for 15 years, so I sometimes try to give her advice.
It seems this has not been appreciated. I disagreed with their decision to move away, but they had repeatedly invited me to come, so I did.
The entire house was oddly decorated —she likes nontraditional colors for walls and furniture. None of the linens that I was to use, though of admittedly nice quality, matched each other, and my DIL painted the guest room a pale green, a color I do not enjoy.
My DIL is a tall girl and often wears heels, and even though I said it was inappropriate, she just smiled and changed the subject.
They offered to take me to local sites of interest, but they didn’t even have a specific activity planned—my son said it was because they wanted to take me to do whatever I chose. They took me to dinner once, and they cooked dinner for me the next night.
I sat them down and said it was clear they did not really want me to visit, and my son actually said they had worked hard to make me comfortable and that they had hoped this would be a fun visit. My DIL said nothing, but had the nerve to look surprised.
Then my son said that if all I wanted to do was criticize, then maybe I should not come back.
I cannot believe that a girl I have cared for has turned my son against me, and I am at a loss at how I should deal with her in the future. She had the gall to tear up during the discussion, as if to make my son feel bad for her!
I do want to see my son, but I don’t want to be disrespected. I am their elder, after all, but none of my suggestions are heeded.
Gentle Reader: So you are the one responsible for giving mothers-in- law such a bad name!
Miss Manners always wondered why so much venom is directed against ladies who are, after all, somewhat responsible for producing a presumably beloved spouse. Now she knows.
Would you like to have a house-guest who sneers at your taste in decorating and clothing, who considers it an effrontery to be offered a choice of activities and to be taken to dinner as well as cooked for at home, and who mocks tears as being a contemptible ploy?
Your son has offered you a reasonable choice. And your daughter-in- law was not the person who turned him against you.
Dear meddling mother/mother in-law: This pains me to say this, because I rarely agree with her…But, I absolutely applaud Miss Manner’s response to you. Let me start this off by touching on the end of your letter, you say “I do want to see my son, but I don’t want to be disrespected.” Did you ever stop to think that you are disrespecting the people who have invited you into their home? You are truly ignorant aren’t you? Let me tell you something, you are as ignorant as anyone as I’ve seen and your writing of this letter displays that. Are you unable to see that after, proofreading your letter? OH, I’m sorry… It’s all about you. When it’s all about you, you are unable to see this kind of rational.
You disagreed with their decision to move away, yet they repeatedly invited you to come, so you did… and I bet they are really regretting extending you the offer to visit after your arrival. I have to ask, what was the need to specify that they moved to a “medium-sized” city? Let me guess… You’re a big city elitist that thinks smaller cities are repugnant? Can I tell you a secret? Medium-sized city people are not hicks, hillbillies or bottom feeders if that is what you are thinking.
What constitutes “Oddly decorated” to you? You state that SHE likes “nontraditional colors for walls and furniture” as well as her choice in linens. It’s interesting that you say nontraditional, could it be MODERN interior design? Let’s be honest here, it’s her fucking house, not yours. She lives there, not you, so it is her choice in how the home should be decorated! Since you like traditional colors, I’ll assume your home is decorated to look like a funeral home. And while I’m at it, I’ll bet what you call advice would be considered chastising in most circles.
Who the fuck do you think you are? What makes you think you are the authority on what footwear people should wear? Why do you feel that it is inappropriate for a tall WOMAN to wear heels? You must have a height complex that you live with. Your ignorance is blaring all throughout your letter; you referred to her as a girl for fucks sake. What is she, 12 years old? Are you too stupid to realize that she smiled and changed the subject because she was doing the mature thing by biting her tongue and not putting you in your place?
Your son and his wife seemingly went above and beyond all expectations to attempt to make a miserable guest have a good time. This is proven in your own words of “my son actually said they had worked hard to make me comfortable and that they had hoped this would be a fun visit.” They gave you an opportunity for an open ended experience where you could have chosen to do anything you wanted, and how did you respond? By trying to turn it on them by saying “they did not really want me to visit.” Maybe you picked up on that vibe because they were insulted by your behavior.
Let me reiterate your words once again, “I do want to see my son, but I don’t want to be disrespected.” To get respect, you have to earn respect. You are not entitled to respect out of elder status or that you are someone’s family. Your son’s wife did not turn him against you. You managed that feat all on your own with your antics. I hope you die alone, you ignorant bitch!