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... to wonder if SIL thinks I am 'low class'

(75 Posts)
LittleRedRobin Tue 31-May-11 17:10:20

DH's mother and sisters are class snobs, something DH freely admits. I am not British so the whole class thing has never really been on my radar and I had no idea how 'class snobbery' could manifest itself until I met them. In their case, and most relevant to this post, one of the ways it reveals itself is in what they consider 'the right shops to shop in': e.g. Waitrose for groceries, M&S if there is no Waitrose around, but never Sainsbury's or Tesco. As for ASDA, oh my word, cat bum faces all around.

I have always taken care to be extremely tactful in conversations - I don't mock or tease them - but nor do I volunteer information about where I shop, or have heated arguments defending my local supermarket etc. I just keep out of it and my thoughts to myself.

I had a landmark birthday recently - my 40th. My gift from SIL was Tesco vouchers. DH was stunned when I opened the envelope and actually took it out my hand because he thought I was winding him up. His conclusion is that 'Maybe she was in rush and was just being sloppy and lazy and grabbed something off the till while paying'. I asked him if he thought she'd do that if it was a gift for her sister or mother and he admitted there is no way she would. We both know his other sister and his mother would be deeply insulted if she gave them Tesco vouchers.

DH told me later that SIL had mentioned the gift she'd sent me to him in a phone conversation they later had (she raised the subject - I have warned him to not say a word at all about it even though he's dying to mention it to his mother). Apparently she said "I thought RedRobin could buy herself something nice to eat or something....". I'm not sure what to make of this comment either.

I genuinely don't care about the gift itself: in fact, most people forget my birthday and that doesn't even bother me. But I have to confess I have started to wonder if she thinks of me as being 'low class', or someone who lacks proper taste and is unable to appreciate 'quality' therefore not worth wasting effort on. It is this thought that has bothered me, and I think it's the implicit value judgement about me that has annoyed my DH too.

AIBU to wonder if she thinks this of me?

Cupawoman Tue 31-May-11 17:14:21

YANBU. They sound horrendous. Really, they have a problem, not you.

smudgethepuppydog Tue 31-May-11 17:16:23

If you shop in Tesco then I can see nothing wrong with them. It's not the most exciting gift in the world but it's a gift nonetheless. You say you mention where you shop so maybe she thought you'd prefer them to Waitrose or M&S ones.

ajandjjmum Tue 31-May-11 17:16:53

Use the vouchers to buy food next time she comes round, and say what you've done so that you can 'share the present' with them.

You sound lovely - they sound pathetic.

Greenstocking Tue 31-May-11 17:17:05

My vile SIL thinks only poor people shop at Asda and refuses to darken its door.

I shop there weekly and have a household income approximately seven times hers grin

MsChanandlerBong Tue 31-May-11 17:17:41

YANBU - on the plus side your DH seems to have taken full note of their intentions, so it only serves to make them look rude and objectionable in his eyes too, which is really damaging.

TidyDancer Tue 31-May-11 17:17:44

YANBU and your ILs sound vile.

rebelpunk Tue 31-May-11 17:17:45

who cares if she thinks you're "low-class"? (i mean that nicely) i'd rather be "low-class" than a snob smile

maybe she just genuinely didn't know what to get you- perhaps she thought you could maybe buy stuff for a nice meal for you & dh while the kids are in bed, or something?

MotherSnacker Tue 31-May-11 17:19:16

Their behaviour is low class.

People should be judged on how they conduct themselves not where they can afford to shop.

AuntieMonica Tue 31-May-11 17:19:17

i would probably feel the same way as you do, and it's a very weird birthday present.


my advice to you is to put any further thoughts of what she thinks of you, out of your head.
if she DOES think this, and you accept that she does, then could be in danger of becoming, in her mind, what she thinks you are!

does that make sense? i'm a very 'out of practice' wordsmith blush

hold your head high, thank her for the gift, and don't let her aloofness get to you.


wishingchair Tue 31-May-11 17:23:28

Use them to buy her birthday present ...

adamschic Tue 31-May-11 17:24:12

If she knows you shop there regularly then I think the vouchers are fine.

Meow75 Tue 31-May-11 17:24:45

If that is the conclusion you have reached between you and DH, OP, then it doesn't matter what we say - by the sounds of it your SIL doesn't appear to be of the opinion that you could POSSIBLY appreciate the products from the "right shops"

It's no skin of your nose; ultimately she's spent the same money, and you'll get more from Tesco than you would from M&S or Waitrose.

Or perhaps your SIL is too ashamed to admit that she really thinks the whole M&S/Waitrose argument is ridiculous because of the flak she would get from the female side of the family.

Forget about it/them - spend your vouchers and say thank you and tell her what you buy. Be really effusive and enthusiastic when you tell her - even if it's just some new jeans or DVDs.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 31-May-11 17:25:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jeckadeck Tue 31-May-11 17:28:20

The thing is if they shopped in Tesco themselves it wouldn't mean anything. But if your DH is correct and they'd rather be seen dead etc, then it does suggest a rather condescending attitude. In their defence its possible that they were trying to choose something you'd like rather than to insult you. Its certainly tactless but I think probably not an all-out snub.

forehead Tue 31-May-11 17:29:22

OP, enjoy spending the vouchers, if she thinks that you are low class, that's
her business. I often shop in LIDL , despite the fact that i can afford to shop in Waitrose.
Your inlaws are insecure.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 31-May-11 17:29:26

It's a 'snub', definitely. You sound very nice, OP, considerate of your SIL's feelings when your DH was going to say something to her. Rest assured, class has nothing whatsoever to do with where you shop, it comes from within. It has everything to do with dignity and respect and consideration for others. smile

Brightredstar Tue 31-May-11 17:32:09

YANBU they sound vile.

TarquinGyrfalcon Tue 31-May-11 17:32:27

Ignore her

My SIL once referred to me as an intellectual lightweight

I'm fairly well educated (degree/MA) but because she is nearly 20 years older than me I didn't know the ins and outs of a political situation that was being discussed and I asked a couple of questions

She used to buy DH and I chocolate - Green and Blacks for him, Dairy Milk for me cos I didn't have a discerning palate so there was no point in wasting her money

I don't speak to her now unless I have to (family funerals and weddings) and I really don't feel that I am losing out at all

WhoAteMySnickers Tue 31-May-11 17:32:55

Do you really care what your SIL thinks? At least you got a present from her.

Thank your SIL, spend the vouchers, enjoy whatever you buy and think no more about it.

Teachermumof3 Tue 31-May-11 17:33:10

Definitely a snub-what a nice lady!

When's her birthday-I'd give her Tesco vouchers for that. If she complains, she'll then have to reconcile 'Tescos was a good enough present for Little Red Robin, but I'm better than that' in her own head and it might make her think. Probably not, actually-but she hasn't got much of a comeback!

LittleRedRobin Tue 31-May-11 17:33:13

I assure you I am ignoring it all and won't retaliate in kind either, and I have asked DH not to mention it as well.

But I can't pretend there isn't a residual question in my mind that she's made some kind of value judgement about me - and this is some sort of evidence of it. And I can't pretend I really like that. And it has made me think slightly differently of her.

I should say too this snobbery is one quirk in my SILs and MIL characters but otherwise I've never thought of them as being mean. It's silliness (to me anyway) but essentially harmless. This gift though marks me as 'different' in some way and has me rather flummoxed and feels less 'harmless' because I was slightly hurt for some inexplicable reason.

SIL would have no idea where I shop - she lives on the other side of the country to us and I on principle, don't tell them anything about where I shop - I don't see why it is relevant to anything.

But its not especially nice, is it, to think someone possibly thinks less of you than they do of others ... and not really know why.

cheekeymonkey Tue 31-May-11 17:34:07

Well it appears your SIL shops in Tesco now. grin

princesspuds Tue 31-May-11 17:36:02

If she were that much of a "shop snob", why did she even darken the doors of Tesco to buy you the vouchers.

She can hardly look down her nose at people who shop there as she has effectively shopped there herself.

Point this out next time the IL's start harping on about shopsgrin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 31-May-11 17:36:11

Snobbery is not a quirk, LittleRedRobin, it's a character flaw, and a very bad one. Thankfully, it isn't contagious. Some people have to try to push other people lower down because it makes them feel better. Feel sorry for them, they deserve your pity and nothing else.

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