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Thread: Etiquette vs Common Decency

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    Default Etiquette vs Common Decency

    So this mother in law to be went on a tirade via an email because she didn't like how she acted. And does it in a very rude and bullying way even going so as far to pretty much say she's not good enough for her step-son. And the reasons given are quite petty in my opinion. She should let her head drop from the sky and back to earth. I personally can't stand people like this. She was a guess and should be treated as such which would dictate that you're playing hostess and as such should at least let the little things slide such as sleeping in.

    Article: http://gawker.com/5817134/meddling-m...-about-manners

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    How are you supposed to know the rules of the house? When ever I go to other peoples houses I get basically yelled at for NOT helping myself to seconds etc. Because it makes them feel like they are not feeding me properly.

    Also how is one supposed to know that everyone wakes up early.. Would it be the same story if everyone woke up late and she was the early riser? When guest come into my house everyone in the household lets them sleep until they wake up. Even if they are asleep in the living room till afternoon we at least attempt to be quiet. The lady was being very rude and indecent to her in-law.

    And I read in the comments that some people are hating on the girl for sharing that with the world. But she just sent it to a few close family/friends who then shared it with more. I'm sure it wasn't her intention but still. I would've shared that email with some friends if I received something like that. This family reminds me of a "wanna be rich and royal" family.


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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Nothing that the future daughter-in-law did sounds too out of the line to me...
    Okay, maybe she was a bit rude, but it wasn't enough to warrant such a I-despise-you email from the mother-in-law.

    On the other hand, the mother-in-law is not exactly being rude, but she was definitely ruthless and petty.
    Then again, she's British...=x

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Whoever forwarded that email must be really getting a kick out of things.

    Totally overblown, as usual.
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Every building has different rules, customs, and manners when you go into one. It's impossible to know those things right away of every building that you go into unless that is in your job description. Most of the time when a person is rude at someplace, they aren't trying to be rude, especially if they have never been to the place until recently or now. It's typically just a miscommunication. That's what that whole letter sounds like, a bunch of miscommunications from cultural differences.
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    I consider both of them to be rude, but if the daugher-in-law started it first, then that doesn't mean that the mother-in-law should finish it. She sould had have explained the girls bad manners in a proper way face to face not by e-mail. That makes it irresponsible.
    And by the way it looks to me that by writing every little detail about the-daugher-in-law in the e-mail, it makes me think that she had her eye on the girl from the very begging. Maybe she tought she wasn't suited for her son in the first place and wanted to expose her bad side to her son. I mean who knows, maybe she wanted her son Freddie to have an arranged marrige. o.o
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    On a basic level, I think that both parties are in the wrong, but the mother-in-law is even more wrong.

    Granted, I know what she is TRYING (but failing) to get at. I am a person who values etiquette and common decency and there's barely anything in this world that pisses me off more than to have someone to ignore all of these and take advantage of another person's hospitality. If you don't know the rules of a residence, ask; don't assume (since this wasn't the daughter-in-law's first visit to a residence of her new family, she should have known or have asked the first time). I have never gone to another person's house and asked them something specific to eat, so I am just as shocked as the mother-in-law when her daughter-in-law asked (considering that dinner plans must have been made in advance, unless she was allergic to something, her request was rather rude). And I don't know the specifics of the diabetes thing, but yeah, nobody needs to hear various stories about one's medical condition, especially when it has no real impact on anything.

    Now, while I (kinda) agree with the mother-in-law on that front, I think that her e-mail was just as rude (if not more so) than any of the actions of her daughter-in-law. Passive-aggressive confrontations are, in my opinion, cowardly ("if ya got somethin' to say, say it to my face"). Plus, people tend to become way more offended with such messages versus face to face interaction. I'm pretty sure the daughter-in-law might have taken the time to listen and understand the issues of her mother-in-law if they had sat down and discussed this face-to-face (and at the START of the problem, not after two visits and several faux pas).
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    I don't like any elitist garbage, and that includes most etiquette. Legitimate etiquette is about not doing things that are obviously taboo, disgusting, or mean. If you have an elite establishment, then the onus is on you to convey the rules before the fact or to expect them to be broken.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    @wolfgirl90 I'm gonna have to differ from you there. I think it's up to the host to lay down any rules. The woman should have corrected her after the first visit with what she finds acceptable at her house and what she does not. I don't think the woman who received the email should be considered at fault since she probably didn't think she was being rude and no one had corrected her prior to the email. If it doesn't fall to the mother in law the it would certainly fall the the fiance before the women. Though the overall impression I got is that the mother in law never liked the women to begin with as is evident with the comment about wondering what her step-son saw in her and may even be trying to sabotage their relationship.

    @Avi-chan How can the woman start something if no one corrected her in the first place? If you aren't corrected then you tend to go by what you're used to. She's probably from a family like mine where we could give a rat's behind if a guest, especially one that's family or soon to be, takes what they want and leaves the rest. As such it falls to the other family to tell her what she should and shouldn't do.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Quote Originally Posted by GameGeeks View Post
    @wolfgirl90 I'm gonna have to differ from you there. I think it's up to the host to lay down any rules. The woman should have corrected her after the first visit with what she finds acceptable at her house and what she does not. I don't think the woman who received the email should be considered at fault since she probably didn't think she was being rude and no one had corrected her prior to the email. If it doesn't fall to the mother in law the it would certainly fall the the fiance before the women. Though the overall impression I got is that the mother in law never liked the women to begin with as is evident with the comment about wondering what her step-son saw in her and may even be trying to sabotage their relationship.
    While I do think that the host should lay down a few rules, I honestly don't hold the host responsible for telling the guest how to behave, especially in a situation that's obviously semi-formal. Unless its a cook-out or something, the daughter-in-law was having dinner with her new family; I would show SOME formality in a situation like this (it would have been nice if her fiance told her a few things, but he is not responsible for his future wife's behavior).

    Okay, the daughter-in-law didn't know that it is a bit of a faux pas to not send a thank you note to the dinner host; someone should have told her immediately after the dinner to so to avoid the mistake. However, proclaiming that you are not going to eat certain foods and eating before everyone else is just rude. Again, making an assumption is never wise (it's much better to be on the safe side than to use one's casual behavior) and I am honestly not about to stand in front of my guests and explain to them every nuance of dinner etiquette (next thing you know, I am telling full grown adults not to blow their nose, talk with their mouth full, or put their elbows on the table); I will correct them after the fact (in person) to ensure that it doesn't happen again, but I am not going to go over this before dinner (no host should have to).

    But again, I still both parties at fault; BOTH of these people need to learn how to behave. The daughter-in-law honestly should have known how to act formally (or should asked about certain etiquette), the mother-in-law shouldn't have sent the e-mail (she should have confronted her in person) and the daughter-in-law shouldn't have forwarded the e-mail to other people, an action that is just as cowardly as the e-mail itself.
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    @wolfgirl90 That's just it, for me when I met my cousins (as in two) fiances we still just picked what we wanted. It's normal for us. We're just laid back as a family and her family could have been the same way. My step-fathers family who is a bit more formal at gatherings still has that attitude about food. Take what you want and leave the rest. Chances are her family has that attitude about food too. And as such she shouldn't be considered rude for doing what she did. If anyone should be blamed besides the mother in law it should be the fiance who didn't correct her or tell her ahead of time. And you don't have to explain everything at once, just correct her as she makes mistakes. All it takes is two seconds in private. And I wont argue about passing the e-mail since I can agree with that.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Quote Originally Posted by GameGeeks View Post
    @wolfgirl90 That's just it, for me when I met my cousins (as in two) fiances we still just picked what we wanted. It's normal for us. We're just laid back as a family and her family could have been the same way. My step-fathers family who is a bit more formal at gatherings still has that attitude about food. Take what you want and leave the rest. Chances are her family has that attitude about food too. And as such she shouldn't be considered rude for doing what she did. If anyone should be blamed besides the mother in law it should be the fiance who didn't correct her or tell her ahead of time. And you don't have to explain everything at once, just correct her as she makes mistakes. All it takes is two seconds in private. And I wont argue about passing the e-mail since I can agree with that.
    I understand what you mean. My family eats that way too: put whatever you want on your plate. However, there is usually an established time when we start eating (e.g a specific time, after the dinner has been completely cooked, after a certain person arrives, after the food has been blessed); until then, nobody eats. Eating before then is considered rude and most people in my family will be quick to correct anyone who makes the mistake (although the fact that no one is eating from the large feast in front of them should be a clue).

    I understand that the daughter-in-law might have been used to eating dinner a certain way (most people are), however, I don't think that one should transfer their casual behavior to another person's house without first knowing whether or not it is okay with the host. Not everyone treats dinner the same way and as adults, we all know that by now. Some people have dinner with communal plates (just take what you what) and others serve courses. I think that as adults, we (including the daughter-in-law) can honestly evaluate our own behavior (whether its casual, formal or a combination of the two) and act according to our surroundings. As I said before, it isn't wise to make assumptions.

    Her ignorance doesn't make the actions of the daughter-in-law any less rude, but it makes them much more forgivable (it was basically a dinner faux pas), which is why it would have been much better for the mother-in-law to confront her in person than to leave a scathing, passive-aggressive e-mail. I honestly think that her fiance (Freddie, was it?) shouldn't be responsible for cluing her in, but I am pretty sure that he doesn't have much of a problem with her dining etiquette in the first place.

    As far as explaining things to guests, I would correct as the mistakes as they occur but only if the mistake was rather severe, like eating before everyone else. I don't like it when people put their elbows on the table, but I usually let it slide until it happens again (I don't want to treat my guest like children).
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    @wolfgirl90
    What do you mean by passive-aggressive? She sent the email to the girl and the girl sent the email to her friends. I don't get it.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    I understand what you mean. My family eats that way too: put whatever you want on your plate. However, there is usually an established time when we start eating (e.g a specific time, after the dinner has been completely cooked, after a certain person arrives, after the food has been blessed); until then, nobody eats. Eating before then is considered rude and most people in my family will be quick to correct anyone who makes the mistake (although the fact that no one is eating from the large feast in front of them should be a clue).
    Well I don't know anything about that. There really are no real rules to eating. You eat and the normality differs from place to place. In one fine dining situation it may not be okay to start to eat at a certain time but it may be okay to eat what you want/don't want. The only thing you can do is learn from trial/error. And heck I eat all the time before the blessing at our family's fine dining. I'm hungry so I eat. The blessing isn't my cup of tea but no one says anything about it. Of course I don't eat during it but I sure don't wait. No one cares. Just because she didn't follow the rules that she didn't know existed doesn't make her rude nor ignorant. She just simply didn't know. It's like saying the new kid in school is rude because he/she doesn't know where all of her classes are. Such a disgrace. Everyone should know where their classes are. I mean we've all attended a school at some point no?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    Her ignorance doesn't make the actions of the daughter-in-law any less rude, but it makes them much more forgivable (it was basically a dinner faux pas), which is why it would have been much better for the mother-in-law to confront her in person than to leave a scathing, passive-aggressive e-mail. I honestly think that her fiance (Freddie, was it?) shouldn't be responsible for cluing her in, but I am pretty sure that he doesn't have much of a problem with her dining etiquette in the first place.
    I get where GameG is coming from with the Fiancé though. Only he knows how his mother is like. The poor girl had no idea obviously. It's inconsiderate to let his future wife to go in blindly. It surely wouldn't have hurt to say "This dinner is different than the rest. Here's some basic stuff to know just in case.. Blah blah blah" If my mother was that particular about things as his was I'd be sure to run it past my boyfriend when he came to dine with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    the mother-in-law shouldn't have sent the e-mail (she should have confronted her in person) and the daughter-in-law shouldn't have forwarded the e-mail to other people, an action that is just as cowardly as the e-mail itself.
    All she did was send it to her friends/family. I would've done the exact same. Think about it. How would you feel if the mother of the person you loved and is about to marry sent you something like that. It'd tear you apart. You feel no emotion in it because you are not in her shoes. But for her it was something so unbelievable to receive. I forward arguments to my friends all the time. and they forward me theirs.lol.Good way to vent.
    Last edited by Rainbow Crash; 07-05-2011 at 07:52 AM.


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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    @wolfgirl90 I wouldn't call the letter passive in any sense. If anything it was cowardly and showed the mother in law might not be able to handle confrontations and as such hides behind email/mail. And yes it falls to the fiance since like Blue said, he should have prepared her ahead of time on how to act at his step mother's house. And yes what you said makes sense about observing but that doesn't work in every situation like the thank you cards. So things like that should have either fallen to the fiance or been corrected by the mother in law. If it's not normal for her to do something like that, and it seems like it is, then she never would have thought of doing it.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    @wolfgirl90
    What do you mean by passive-aggressive? She sent the email to the girl and the girl sent the email to her friends. I don't get it.
    Colloquially speaking, passive-aggressive behavior is when someone confronts another person in a comparatively passive fashion, such as leaving a note or sending an email instead of confronting the person face to face. This is typically done to correct an action. The notes and emails generally involve the person sending them acting as if they have been victimized, as if everyone causing the behavior is at fault for the situation rather than the high expectations of the person leaving the note in the first place (actions typically involve rather tame behavior). The notes also usually involve the person leaving them trying to "help" the other party, with the message typically being lost with a veiled or direct insult.

    In the case of the mother-in-law, she was being passive-aggressive when she sent the email to her daughter-in-law describing her behavior rather than confront her about it. The email has the air of "I am sending this for your own good but I am the REAL victim here for dealing with your behavior."

    Quote Originally Posted by blueangel06661 View Post
    Just because she didn't follow the rules that she didn't know existed doesn't make her rude nor ignorant. She just simply didn't know. It's like saying the new kid in school is rude because he/she doesn't know where all of her classes are. Such a disgrace. Everyone should know where their classes are. I mean we've all attended a school at some point no?
    Not knowing where your classes are is not a faux pas. Blowing your nose at the table is a faux pas. Chewing with your mouth open is a faux pas. By definition, a faux pas is a cultural misstep, a violation of cultural norms. A person commits a faux pas by being ignorant of certain norms. If the daughter-in-law's actions were caused by the fact that "she just simply didn't know", then she was ignorant of family norms and committed a faux pas. And again, committing a faux pas is still "rude" (chewing with your mouth open is still rude, whether you knew it was okay or not) but it's forgivable.

    While we all don't follow the same rules for eating, I think most of us are well aware of formal table manners, whether we practice them or not. And like I said before, we should all be able to determine the formality of our behavior and know how to adjust it. I'm not saying that one needs to do exactly what the host is doing but rather that it's better to err on the side of caution if you don't know what the rules are (e.g being polite, using table manners, asking before doing something) instead of transferring one's usual behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by blueangel06661 View Post
    If my mother was that particular about things as his was I'd be sure to run it past my boyfriend when he came to dine with us.
    If you cared about the opinion that your mother would have. I don't think that the fiance honestly cared, what with him about to marry a woman that already doesn't meet his mother's standards. She seemed to have disliked her stepson's fiance long before the dinner.

    Quote Originally Posted by blueangel06661 View Post
    All she did was send it to her friends/family. I would've done the exact same. Think about it. How would you feel if the mother of the person you loved and is about to marry sent you something like that. It'd tear you apart. You feel no emotion in it because you are not in her shoes.
    I feel no emotion because, again, I believe the actions of both parties were immature and childish. Like I have said before, indirect confrontation is cowardly. If I have something to say to somebody, I say it to their face; if they have something to say to me, they better say it to MY face. The fact that they don't say it to my face means that they are not worthy of confronting.

    I would feel a bit hurt that my future mother-in-law sent such a scathing email, no doubt about that, but I would confront HER about it, since the issue is between me and her. The daughter-in-law sending the email to her friends and family accomplished absolutely nothing and most likely only further strained the relationship than make it any better (this wasn't the beginning and it's not the end). What the hell would sending the email to other people prove? What was the point? She certainly didn't prove her mother-in-law wrong about her supposed lack of grace because their was no class behind forwarding that email at all.

    Teenagers do that over Twitter. Adults doing that is honestly childish, pathetic and sad.

     
    And to be perfectly honest, I don't think that the daughter-in-law's actions were completely accidental and that it might have been a jab at her mother-in-law (there is an animosity between these two that existed before the dinner), with the mother-in-law recognizing the jab (and sending a scathing email in response) and the daughter-in-law retaliating by sending the email to other people. I don't think that she was at all surprised by her mother-in-law's response (hell, she might have gotten a good laugh out of it first).


    Quote Originally Posted by GameGeeks View Post
    @wolfgirl90 And yes what you said makes sense about observing but that doesn't work in every situation like the thank you cards. So things like that should have either fallen to the fiance or been corrected by the mother in law. If it's not normal for her to do something like that, and it seems like it is, then she never would have thought of doing it.
    It may have been normal for her and she may not have known the rules of the house, but she should know that what's normal for her is not normal for everybody, so transferring that behavior is not the best thing to do (again, she should have at least asked); otherwise, you put yourself in the perfect position to commit a faux pas. It's better to be generally polite and use good manners than to simply rely on "what's normal".

    As for thank you cards, its good British manners to send one to your host; not sending one can be seen as an insult depending on the person (it's not always necessary, but it's never wrong to send one). Again, while the daughter-in-law may not be used to it, it's not as if she didn't know polite manners. Of course, as I've said before, a faux pas should be forgivable and the mother-in-law's reaction was over the top.
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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    "Over in the U.K. they like to stand by their traditions and do things a certain way."

    Read this line and realised the article would be complete and utter bull-excrement spouted from the mouth of a stereotyping goit who makes the article an entirely one-sided 'LOL SHE HATIN''.

    Read it though, some parts of the e-mail gave me a bit of a laugh to be honest.
    Last edited by Masakisu; 07-06-2011 at 05:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    @wolfgirl90

    Considering how the mom is somewhat of an elitist, it's possible that an email was the only "proper" method of addressing someone about a problem.

    Either way, I don't think it's much of a problem. There's probably a sender's address so daughter in law could email her back.
    Would you prefer that she slap her with a glove and duel her or something?

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    Default Re: Etiquette vs Common Decency

    I just have one question: How is this news? @_@

    Anyway, everyone is raised differently and everyone has their own take about whats appropriate and whats not. Rather than lady about someone who has bad manners, its better to show them what they you found to be rude or inappropriate. That doesn't guarantee that the rules will be obeyed but its better than ranting about someones behavior.

    I still don't see how this is news worthy, hence my short response.
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