To want to run away and never see them again

(378 Posts)
SilverBaubles33 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:21:23

Briefly, the Alpha mums invited me for coffee and a get to know you after drop off today - there are a few of us new mums this term. The main Alpha has been really friendly, but is constantly putting herself down and comparing herself to me - I used to have a quite high-powered job, she's a bit tubby, my DDs are on a scholarship etc, and making unfavourable comments. I don't know why she needs to do it as on the face of things she's really popular, has a gorgeous house, lovely dcs, kind husband, she's thoughtful and generous etc.

Anyway, we all turned up for coffee and one of the other mums is from Holland where I used to live, so we started chatting in Dutch. I went to find the loo and Alpha was in the kitchen crying with about four friends, saying that I had ruined her coffee morning, I was an effing bitch, she wished she's never invited me etc.

They saw me in the doorway and Alpha said sorry, not having a great week, and the friends basically asked me to leave.

I asked, is it cos I spoke Dutch, sort of laughing because I thought it must be a joke or something and they said, she can't really deal with you, she feels you're always competing with her etc etc.

I am beyond embarrassed about the whole thing. I just went red and left like they asked me to. My husband said I should laugh it off but I rally don't want to see any of them again and we've got school stuff coming up in the next few weeks, I feel really sick and I've been worrying about it all day.

Should I call her? pretend it didn't happen? Speak to one of her friends? I've never come across this sort of thing before, am I BU or is she and how should I react?

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:36:44

The alpha thing is a kind of shorthand, really.
I'm trying to think how they'd be if they were schoolkids - they'd be the popular, good-looking, sporty ones who were also academic.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Wed 28-Nov-12 16:38:23

jane its very cheerleadery.

We don't have any at dds school.

StormyWeek Wed 28-Nov-12 16:38:31

Oh Silver
I posted such a similar post about 2 months ago, when I to met an incredibly needy school gate mum. She cried too,at a drinks party for the Pre school parents, and made a scene, and rather than involving her friends in it, she just ranted at me for a while, felt better and asked for a hug.

Tons of people piled onto the post, saying I was the rude one, just as they are piling on top of you. Please keep a clear head. She started CRYING at her own coffee morning! This friendship is going nowhere!
Seriously, you've had a lucky escape. The other women asked you to leave?? Unless you carried on a seriously lengthy conversation in Dutch, you weren't rude.

I took the slagging I got here about my run in with my Alpha mum to heart, and texted her an apology. She tossed it aside and I found out afterwards, that she has had run ins with almost everyone, including shouting at the nursery staff. I thought she was crazy, and I should have gone with my own instincts. I was the new girl and thought I'd made this really significant enemy. No such thing.

At the very least,you two are a very bad match. Walk away and don't look back.

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:38:50

I'm not alpha or beta, by the way....I'm weirda! It's a good way to avoid the scrum!

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:40:10

Brady - most of ours are actually OK....some are utter horrors, though.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 28-Nov-12 16:43:11

How long was the Dutch exchange? If it was more than a sentence or two from each of you, it would have been pushing things into rude territory, imo. And I say that as someone who has lived in NL, as well as Germany, and can make small talk in both languages.

The only time more than that is polite is if there is someone there who obviously struggles in the spoken language of the room. Talking to them a bit in the language they are comfortable with can help put them at ease, and most people would recognise that for what it is. However, I doubt this was the case here, as it's rare to meet a Dutch person who is uncomfortable with English, especially one who lives in the UK.

Your OP sounds terribly judgey (she's a bit tubby hmm again, a more polite way of saying this would be that she worries about her weight, or something. And that's only to illustrate that she's obviously self-conscious. Otherwise, it just sounds bitchy.) If you want to be this person's friend, you need to apologise. With flowers or something. If she was always nice to you before this coffee morning, then something happened that morning to stuff things up.

I might be going overboard with the flowers, but if you want to be friends with this people, you need to atone for whatever happened that morning. I assume you have many years of school gates ahead of you?

If you approach one of the other mums to ask, definitely do not compare yourself to the other mum. Watch your wording. Put it all on yourself, if she does comment on what the problem was, just say you were a bit nervous about finally getting together with them all, etc.

(That all having been said... crying? Was definitely over the top. shock)

maresedotes Wed 28-Nov-12 16:43:34

Mmm, I don't think the speaking Dutch part is particularly rude. Would have been if just the 3 of you at the party. She over-reacted but are you sure you have always been polite towards her? If you genuinely want to be friends then approach her directly, wouldn't mention it to a third party as things may get exaggerated.

suburbophobe Wed 28-Nov-12 16:46:25

And it is very rude to start speaking in another language like that during a social event.

Well, I don't agree. When we live in a world full of different nationalities, you're bound to meet someone somewhere you can share a language with. Not rude at all to exchange a few words with each other.

It's when everyone speaks Dutch (for example) leaving out the one who only speaks English, is when it is rude.

As for "Alpha Mum", she sounds like she's got lots of hang-ups...

<Trek je er niks van aan, schat! ;-) >

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:47:05

I'm not sure about the OP totally blaming herself - that could backfire and send her into sackcloth and ashes territory.

Maybe a card with something like "Sorry you are having a bad week, is there anything I can do to make it better?"

In that way, the AM can either discard the message or take the opportunity to build a bridge.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Wed 28-Nov-12 16:50:11

It's weird that she was so nice and welcoming, then had a total melt down?? I cannot believe there isn't more to this, that perhaps even Op is unaware of, very strange, I would have to get to the bottom of it personally, it would do my head in what went wrong

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 28-Nov-12 16:55:31

minou you're right. I'm just unsure about what happened here, as the information given in the OP doesn't feel like the entire story. The woman went from friendly and welcoming to being in tears in the kitchen.. hmm She could be the sort of person Stormy mentioned above, in which case OP should run a mile.

Well, at the very least, speak to one of the other mums if possible to get a feel for what might have happened. I'd suggest some kind of contact with the crying mum, at least, because at the moment she and her friends perceive that you did something wrong. If you apologise and she doesn't accept, or decides to ignore you, at least you apologised and didn't ignore the situation.

pigletpower Wed 28-Nov-12 16:55:37

So speaking to someone else in a another language was rude? Wtaf. Would people be saying it was rude if two people in a group spoke an Asian language?

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:56:28

It's interesting that the AM has gone on about OP competing with her, when it seems like they haven't really spent that much time together - alone or in company.

This sounds all completely mad! Grown women crying in the kitchen because you spoke Dutch? You should expect an apology from her for calling you an effing bitch when there was a chance you would hear. This sounds like the iv or something. She's probably worried her friends will like you so was bad mouthing you. I hope you did a poo in her sink.

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 16:58:59

Piglet - it's possible that the OP having another language under her belt was just too much to bear. If the two people were Asian, bilingual, and just slipped into it, you most likely wouldn't give it a second thought.

Iv = oc.

BuntyPenfold Wed 28-Nov-12 17:02:31

No wonder the English are notoriously bad at languages. Practising them is seen as rude instead of normal and sensible.

MrsDeVere Wed 28-Nov-12 17:02:41

Bloody hell. Threads like this make me glad I am an introvert and a bit common.

Its like another world out there

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 28-Nov-12 17:08:57

er.. yes, I would say it regardless of what sort of language they were speaking. confused I spend a good amount of time socialising with academics and students from many countries. (and since it evidently matters, these people are often Asian) They rarely slip into another language, with the exception of a spouse who might be uncomfortable with English, or just needing a quick explanation of something, etc.

Keep in mind, I'm talking about social events, small parties etc where we might not all know each other very well. People tend to want to be on their best behaviour, and inclusive of everyone there. Which is what should have been happening at this coffee morning.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 28-Nov-12 17:10:08

There's got to be something more that you're not telling us. Got to be.

Either that or she's not well.

Any way I wouldn't be going back for coffee.

This type of thing seldom happens at my intimate gin mornings.

MarshaBrady Wed 28-Nov-12 17:12:16

I can't see how speaking another language is a problem at all.

It sounds like a strange coffee morning.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Wed 28-Nov-12 17:12:37

Would people be saying it was rude if two people in a group spoke an Asian language

Yes. Its not the language of choice or the working itself. Its the exclusion of other people. Which would stand regardless of the language used.

I don't get why anyone would change their opinion if the language was Asian. I am confused.

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 17:13:43

I think the difference with the Asian/Dutch thing is the element of surprise, Greeneggs. I guess the OP and the Dutch woman were pleased to find they had something in common, which you wouldn't expect just from looking at each other.
When two people are obviously from the same ethnic group (and I know there's thousands of languages and dialects) they might assume they speak the same/similar language, so would decide whether to use English or not according to time and place. I think the thing here is that the two women were surprised and pleased to meet.

minouminou Wed 28-Nov-12 17:16:20

The Asian thing, as I understand it, is about being bilingual rather than having picked up a language later in life. We expect Asian people to have two or three languages at their disposal, whereas most Brits are lucky to have an extra one.
So, if alpha mum is already desperately insecure, OP has played a double whammy by having another language and displaying it at her coffee morning.

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