Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To be upset that my wealthy friend called my home a BROWNSITE at a dinnerparty?

18 replies

BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 00:48

My friend kindly hosted a dinnerparty to which I was invited. This crowd is largely SAHMS with wealthy partners, kids in private school, expensive cars, designer clothing and bags etc. I was the least wealthy at the table with a normal 3 bed end of terrace, driving a normal french car, kids in faith school, etc. I live in a nice area, run my own business with my partner, 55 employees, we make ends meet. I pride myself of a clean and tidy home, but my backgarden is a work in progress, part of it I have landscaped myself and it looks really good and well cared for, the other half is for the kids with play equipment, and lets face it, the lawn is not in a good state. The front of my house is unkept, I just dont have the time. Sorry to go on. And then when somebody, extraordinarily mentioned how I possibly managed to get scepticaemia, I mentioned maybe from cleaning out the fishpond, or changing ds2s nappy. And my friend exclaimed: "Oh god, we should be careful when entering xxx's brownsite!" Am I unreasonable in being upset by this comment? Do I take it the wrong way because they all are so much better off financially than me? I am feeling quite hurt by this.

OP posts:

quadrophenia · 03/07/2007 00:56

she probably meant the garden


quadrophenia · 03/07/2007 00:57

oh sorry i see its a work in progress so yes it was a bit rude


margoandjerry · 03/07/2007 00:57

am I being daft? I don't know what that means.

It doesn't sound very complimentary but I would assume that your friend doesn't deliberately want to hurt you - maybe she just made a silly joke and thought you would laugh along and is probably unaware that you are conscious of your relative financial statuses (stati, stata???).

Is she someone you trust generally?


quadrophenia · 03/07/2007 00:58

if someone criticised my hone I would be upset irrespective of our financial situations


BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:01

A brownsite is like a dump, undeveloped wasteland. puddles of muddy water, if you get the drift.

Well, I am just recovering from scepticaemia, from a cut in my hand, which I likely contracted just doing everyday stuff.

I dont think she set out to hurt me, it was just not thought through, but is that how she view my home? So much worse than her own?

OP posts:

UCM · 03/07/2007 01:04

Look, take it on the chin, you just shouldn't be mixing wiv the toffs! Wevver you liv in a brownshite or not aint important. Have a muffin

ucms muffins


BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:05

oh thanks Ucm, I need a muffin like that, most kind!

Identical plate to mine.

OP posts:

BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:09

And about mixing with the toffs, well, she is normally very nice, but one of them I have absolutely nothing in common with, as her days is spent at the beauty salon, with her tennis instructor, lunches, hair salon, shopping at harvey nichols and milan. And another is nice too, much more subtle. I am aware I am different, and surely they are aware of it too, but they have funnily been my lifeline for over 5 years as we met at antenatal classes! Our kids have grown up playing together. And now I am really sad.

OP posts:

margoandjerry · 03/07/2007 01:09

ok, got it.

Thing is I am not Miss Nicelady but I tend to think people don't generally set out to hurt each other unless they actively don't like each other - and she's your friend...

I would assume that she was just making a flippant joke and didn't have your actual house/garden in mind when saying that. Maybe she thought it was funny that you got septicaemia (which I know it isn't by the way - my mum had it too but lots of people haven't heard of it - maybe she thought it was unusual or interesting or something) and she was playing with that image in her head?

I know I'm sounding like I'm bending over backwards here but I always think that friends tend not to mean bad things by their words, but sometimes they say something daft or something they say touches a nerve that they don't know you've got exposed.

Obviously your financial situation compared to hers is not a reason to be rude to you but maybe it makes you see her stupid jokey comment as a serious criticism when it was meant as an off the cuff piece of exaggeration for effect.


kiskidee · 03/07/2007 01:12


oi, ucm, did you really have a sewing for dummies book to lend/give away? if so, i still want it.


IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo · 03/07/2007 01:15

It may be that she just did the inadequate comment in front of people you felt a bit "sensitive" about... but,

I had a neighbour who did also that often and I was very offended, mostly because she could freely criticise the size of my house when I just couldn't say what I thought of hers because my good manners didn't allow me to

It may not help much, but at the end of the day, if I had been at that dinner party I may have been far more likely to be discussing how rude the woman was rather than if your garden was in good or bad condition.


BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:18

Margoandjerry, you do speak a lot of sense. She is not spiteful, she has a very calm, generous and mildmannered nature. We meet up a few times a month, and even this morning she phoned me to ask if I wanted to come to the park with her and her youngest. I guess she just hit a nerve. I generally like them a lot, and I guess they must like me, otherwise they wouldnt keep meeting up with me. I mean, they holiday abroad in luxurious places several times a year, have domestic staff etc, and I just bought a 16 year old campervan for holiday purposes, lol! I must be like a freak of nature! Or maybe I just remind them of how lucky they are.

OP posts:

BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:21

Isabel that is true, if not much else, I have my manners....

OP posts:

margoandjerry · 03/07/2007 01:23

I think she likes you

And she probably admires you too - from the sounds of your life I think I do as well! I find taking my coffee cup from sofa to dishwasher draining so own business, garden landscaping, children, fishpond-cleaning...above and beyond the call of duty I'd say.


BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 01:27

OP posts:

welliemum · 03/07/2007 01:42

To me it sounds like a lighthearted off-the-cuff comment that came out wrong.

I bet she has no idea you're feeling sensitive - in fact the opposite - she might see you as being enormously competent and confident and generally un-upsettable.

That said, it's really rude to criticise someone else's home, however lightheartedly.

I really feel for you because my garden is a mess and I'm a keen gardener and aching to sort it out, but have no time. So if people make jokey comments about the garden it really touches a nerve.


BrownsiteWoman · 03/07/2007 12:56

You are probably right, it is just hitting a nerve, and they probably dont know I have issues with the wealth difference, as I am happy with what I have, I just feel conscious they have so much more, (probably some sort of inferiority complex, like I should have achieved so much more by now). Thanks for reassuring me. Good friendships are worth so much, and I would be very upset if it transpired that she was looking down on me for not being as well off.

OP posts:

trippleshot · 03/07/2007 12:59

Regardless of intent, it was tactless of her, especially if you didn't know the other guests particularly well. Can I have a muffin too?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?