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to refuse to follow my MIL's ridiculous standards of etiquette?

(174 Posts)
daisythedog Wed 08-Aug-07 13:03:03

I'm not talking please and thank you here. She expects us (meaning husband, me and 2 young children) to follow conventions that would be appropriate for a Jane Austen novel. Do I stand on ceremony purely to stay on her good side, or do I act as I usually do and risk her thinking that i'm an uncivilized yob? By the way, by all reasonable standards I'm a very polite person, and am extremely respectful of other people's feelings.

dal21 Wed 08-Aug-07 13:03:53

Hi daisy - any examples? hard to say without knowing!

BraceYourselfMavis Wed 08-Aug-07 13:04:17

Hmmm.... what specific conventions do she expect you to conform to?

Lawrene8 Wed 08-Aug-07 13:04:31

What sort of stuff does she expect you to do?

RGPargy Wed 08-Aug-07 13:05:20

Yeah, come on Daisy, spill the beanz!!

daisythedog Wed 08-Aug-07 13:05:33

write a thank you letter after visit with the kids.

FrannyandZooey Wed 08-Aug-07 13:06:29

Is that it?

j20baby Wed 08-Aug-07 13:07:04

maybe she should write you a thank you letter after seeing the kids.

startouchedtrinity Wed 08-Aug-07 13:07:24

No, you shouldn't write a thank you letter. You are family.

BraceYourselfMavis Wed 08-Aug-07 13:07:24

Depends really.
If you see her often, and just pop in for a cup of tea, then that is unreasonable.

If you see her rarely, and she has gone to a lot of trouble, and made a 12-course dinner, then a little thank you note would be appropriate.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Aug-07 13:07:38

How long did you stay and how often is it?
I would think a phone call would be ok, but if you stayed for ages and it involved lots of work etc, maybe a thank you letter wouldn't go amiss.
Having said that, I wouldn't think a thank you letter written because you had told the individual they should would be very meaningful.

SeamonstEr Wed 08-Aug-07 13:07:50

for how long? For a week, well maybe it might be nice, but for an afternoon? Nah.

Cammelia Wed 08-Aug-07 13:08:05

Nothing wrong with that. I would do that automatically or a nice phone call or a nice email, depending on their level of high techness obv.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Aug-07 13:08:28

I was thinking it was going to be wearing gloves and 'taking a turn about the room' or similar!

Kewcumber Wed 08-Aug-07 13:08:32

I would ring family and thank them but wouldn't write. (Except to my grandmother who is deaf as a post)

daisythedog Wed 08-Aug-07 13:09:15

there's more. don't want to go into too many details as i believe other IL family members might be on here. i guess the issue is how far to you go to please your unreasonable MIL.

FrannyandZooey Wed 08-Aug-07 13:09:18

Actually I did used to write thank you letters after visiting my MIL. I think it is important to keep on the good side of your dp's family. However that was before I realised MIL has absolutely no manners and is probably too drunk to read the letters.

(I am presuming it is a free for all to slag off one's MIL on this thread? )

BraceYourselfMavis Wed 08-Aug-07 13:09:47

Or insisting the ladies leave the dinner table so the gentlemen can get on with the port and cigars.

Cammelia Wed 08-Aug-07 13:10:18

Or not speaking unless spoken to

daisythedog Wed 08-Aug-07 13:10:37

FBB -- honestly, not that far off.

FrannyandZooey Wed 08-Aug-07 13:11:05

As well as pleasing your MIL, it is teaching your children good manners. Writing a note after you have been to stay with someone is a lovely thing to do and it would be great if your children picked up this habit. Maybe try to think of the advantages for your own family, as well as keeping her happy?

WigWamBam Wed 08-Aug-07 13:12:15

If that's all she asks you to do then it's not exactly going to hurt you to do it, is it?

Twenty seconds to write a little card, few pence for a stamp, she's happy and you're still in the will

SeamonstEr Wed 08-Aug-07 13:12:28

lol, not having an opinion and doing embroidery, as naturally we cannot read or write.

BraceYourselfMavis Wed 08-Aug-07 13:12:32

Or insisting they use the tradesman's entrance.

Daisy, I think I would send a note to keep the peace, tbh.

But set the tone in your own home, and build up some family traditions that suit your own style.

And expect MIL to fit in with your conventions at your house, just as you fit in with hers at her house.

Keeping the peace is often much more valuable than being right!

Cammelia Wed 08-Aug-07 13:13:50

Don't fight it Daisy

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