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Argument with DM over messed-up arrangements - AIBU?

(18 Posts)
artemisandaphrodite Thu 17-Oct-13 12:09:05

WWYD? Big argument with DM (by text; she hates talking on the phone at the best of times (has fairly serious social anxiety) and even less so where there is any sort of dispute/stress involved).

This is a bit long and complicated, sorry. On Saturday, we'd arranged to pick up DM from her house and drive her to ours to look after the DC for a few hours, as DH and I were both going to separate things. When DH got to her house at 9am (having just dropped me off at my course) there was no reply. He had stupidly forgotten to bring his phone from home, so after 10 mins of knocking on her door he had to come back and find me at my course, and get me to phone her. No answer (a common theme), so I texted, and got a reply 6 mins later. Turns out she'd gone to what she thought was a more convenient pickup point for DH, that would save him time (which was tight, he had a class to go to at 10am) and texted him at 8.50am - 10 minutes before the prearranged meetup time - to tell him where she was. In the end, it was all too late to pick her up and DH had to miss his class. I know she was trying to be helpful, but it was just too short notice to change the location imo. What do you all think? This is the crux of the whole problem (there's more - MUCH more! but I don't want to give you too much of an essay to read). I say it's too short notice - even if DH had had his phone with him, there could have been all sorts of things preventing him hearing or reading it within 10 mins; she insists that "why on earth would more notice be needed in the era of mobile phones?" She's refusing to accept what she's calling "unjustified criticism", refusing to talk to me to discuss, and sent me a very sarcastic text a couple of days later when I texted her about something completely different. There's been no contact between us since, and I'm really not inclined to.

AIBU? I'm pretty sure I'm not - I wasn't unkind to her or anything, just said "it wasn't too helpful that you changed the pickup place at such short notice ...". I almost wasn't even going to mention it, but felt I had to in case she did it again in the future ...

Davsmum Thu 17-Oct-13 12:16:22

You didn't go mad at her - you just pointed out, quite reasonably, that it was too short notice?!
She should have phoned if she wanted to change the plans - then when she got no answer she would have realised your DH would not know!

She had no idea whether your DH got the message or not - so it was daft.

My brother tends to do this too - He has caused quite a few probems with his last minute texts

Justforlaughs Thu 17-Oct-13 12:17:09

I'm so on the fence with this one. If someone sent my DH a text to tell him anything it would be a waste of time as he never has his phone with him. If your DH normally does, then it sounds like she was trying to help and not being unreasonable about it. I obviously wasn't privy to your conversation, neither do I have idea about the history behind this, but from this one post I would say that she has taken your comments to heart and I would be trying to patch things up.

geekgal Thu 17-Oct-13 12:18:53

Can't stand last minute changes for no good reason, it's just rude - YANBU

attheendoftheday Thu 17-Oct-13 12:24:07

YANBU, she is!

ZacharyQuack Thu 17-Oct-13 12:25:39

If your DH was on his way to hers when she sent the text, he might not have read it while he was driving. YANBU.

artemisandaphrodite Thu 17-Oct-13 12:27:16

geekgal in her mind, it was a very good reason - to save DH time picking her up (though probably 5 mins max) ... she genuinely thinks it was really helpful, and would have worked if DH had his phone (which he normally does).

Justforlaughs she has taken it to heart, but unreasonably, imo ... and I am trying to patch things up but think it can really only be done over the phone/face to face. But when I texted to say "Can you please just phone me", she replied "Not now, I've struggled enough and am exhausted." Struggled thinking about, composing and sending tortuously long convoluted texts over several hours/days is what she means - she sees everything as a terribly painful struggle like this. In my mind it's just a minor disagreement ... so I guess I'm just going to have to sit and wait!

Davsmum Thu 17-Oct-13 12:31:26

WHy not send her a text just to say you are sorry she is upset about it and that you know she was trying to be helpful but you are trying to avoid a similar mix up happening again - and then leave the ball in her coury and do not keep chasing.

Aniseeda Thu 17-Oct-13 12:31:49

Yanbu. She should have waited for a reply from him before setting off to the new location. Presumably he'd have been driving when she texted him so he shouldn't have been answering it even if he had his phone with him.

She's being a bit ridiculous to keep going on about it. I'd be inclined to leave her to it.

Aniseeda Thu 17-Oct-13 12:34:25

Actually, I think Davsmum has the right idea. Spot on.

Beastofburden Thu 17-Oct-13 12:35:36

You have already said she has social anxiety issues, so expecting her to be reasonable about this kind of this isn't realistic.

I expect she has got the point that short notice doesn't work. I expect the whole thing came about as she was worrying and overthinking the pick-up and starting to reinvent the arrangements to be "better". So she probably feels humiliated that her overthinking failed.

As you know she has MH issues and this is not something she can just snap out of, I would send her some flowers with a message saying, "I know how hard these things are for you, you meant well, never mind".

But really, is she in a good place to do childcare for you? how would she cope if something went wrong?

Davsmum Thu 17-Oct-13 12:36:16

Her court!...sorry. smile

artemisandaphrodite Thu 17-Oct-13 12:40:52

So she probably feels humiliated that her overthinking failed

Wow, beastofburden, yes, I think this is exactly what she's feeling. She overthinks things all the time and kind of second-guesses us, to imagine what we might be feeling and therefore what we would like to do in a particular situation (which is often wrong). She is digging her heels in and insisting that texting is an equally valid alternative to phoning in all situations - but just because she would like it to be - because she's so fond of texting as it means she doesn't have to speak - doesn't make it so ...

Thanks for your views, all, they're really helpful thanks

tabulahrasa Thu 17-Oct-13 12:55:47

He shouldn't be looking at texts while driving even if he did have his phone with him, it's dangerous and illegal and I'm assuming he'd have already been on the way ten minutes before he was due or moving to a different location wouldn't save time with such a short drive.

ZiaMaria Thu 17-Oct-13 13:15:44

If you want to change something or get something done at the last minute, it is unreasonable to assume that a text is sufficient (unless the person you texted responds). The only way you can know the other person has your message is to speak to them.


Beastofburden Thu 17-Oct-13 13:26:25

Back to my other point- if she seriously has such issues over (a) communication and (b) taking decisions under any kind of pressure, I think you should take an honest look at whether she is safe to care for your kids by herself. How would she cope if one injured themselves?

My GM babysat us until one episode when I got a fishbone stuck in my throat. She locked herself in her room until my parents got back. I had been choking for hours in pain. I remember it very well. I couldn't speak so I couldn't phone for help. I must have been between 5 and 10, as I have a mental picture of the carpet in that house.

She never babysat again.

BlueGoddess Thu 17-Oct-13 13:33:04

There is always the chance the text may have got delayed too - I had one this morning from my DSis, who had obviously sent it last night.

artemisandaphrodite Thu 17-Oct-13 14:48:02

Beastofburden, that's an awful story, I'm so sorry!

I don't think my DM would do anything like that tbh. She nearly always looks after them in my house and is very cautious about their safety. She wouldn't freak if one of them hurt themselves (I don't think!)

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