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to feel offended by this comment from my lovely mum...

58 replies

Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 13:31

...neices 18th brithday party last Saturday, drove my mum down with DS for the evening. Lot of friedns and family and a nice time was had by all.

This morning my mum says to me happily "your sister told me she thought you looked stunning on Saturday but that you have looked abysmal every other time she's seen you for the past 6 months".

She was thought that was a lovely compliment.

So I am being unreasonable to think

a) to describe me as "stunning" was patronising when actually I looked "nice"
b) the "compliment" would have sounded so much nicer if she hadn't added the qualifier.

I feel quite unreasonably upset about it.

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LydiaTheTattooedLapin · 26/11/2007 13:33

Urgh, parents can be rubbish sometimes.

Do you think your sister was trying to say you've been looking rather tired recently, but you looked much better and rather gorgeous on Saturday? and your mum just worded it horrendously?

(You always look good on here )


BoysAreLikeReindeer · 26/11/2007 13:34

Families, eh, Kewcumber.

She probably thought she was being very complimentary.

Of course you are upset, not unreasonable at all


HuwEdwards · 26/11/2007 13:34

I think if someone says you look stunning, you should accept it and not automatically think they're patronising you.

the abysmal comment from your Sister was out of order however you should be annoyed at your sis, not so much your mum.


themildmanneredjanitor · 26/11/2007 13:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RosaLuxMundi · 26/11/2007 13:35

I'm sure your mum meant no harm, but I would have felt like crying if someone had said that to me (and my sister has a habit of making that sort of remark too - she once told everyone in earshot at a family wedding that I had got the brains but she had got the looks )
I would have said straight out that I found that comment hurtful.


EffiePerine · 26/11/2007 13:35

Nod and smile. My mother is also incapable of a non-backhanded compliment. I let it wash over me.

(I'm sure you looked great btw)


bran · 26/11/2007 13:36

Oh dear, how odd. I always got the impression that your mum was a sweetie. Perhaps it was a poor attempt at a joke.


beeper · 26/11/2007 13:36


Blu · 26/11/2007 13:37

It was a bit unperceptive of your Mum to think that passing on the whole comment would be a nie thing to hear - but it was your sister who said it...unless your Mum exaggerated both halves, and your sister actually said something like 'it was nice to see KC looking on top form, I'd been worrying that she was getting a bit tired out these last few months'...


I'm fatter than I was before i was a parent, and my Mum would never say anything, oh no, not her place, blah blah, but always manages to say 'Aunt this and that commented on how much weight you had put and so even wondered if you were pg...don't know why they don't mind their own business' etc etc.....yes Mum, message received, loud and clear.

So maybe you are right to be irritated with your Mother.


Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 13:37

my mum has spent most of my life trying to et me to live up to my sister in looked/grooming - she used to sigh and say "you'll never be well groomed like your sister". Yup, get used to it.

My hair has needed cutting for months and it did look scruffy but I am a working mum with a 2yr old and no money - my sister is a SAHM with teenagers and a very wealthy husband!

I just know that she couldn;t resist adding the "extra" bit because she think its will motivate me to pay more attention to my looks. It just depresses me and pisses me off and makes me want to roll in mud before I visit!

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blueshoes · 26/11/2007 13:38

kew, I can understand why you feel upset.

I have learnt not to go overboard in complimenting a person's looks on a specific occasion because the unsaid implication is that they don't look as great on other days ...

But your mum converts the subtext into your looking 'abysmal' for 6 months??

And to quote your sister? What above what your mum thinks?

Yes, 'stunning' is too exaggerated and yes, patronising.

Is your mum prone to backhanded praise? Or being tactless?


EffiePerine · 26/11/2007 13:40

Ah. I get the 'your sister hasn't had it wasy, being the pretty one' . Ignore, ignore.


EffiePerine · 26/11/2007 13:40

easy not wasy, of course


Miaou · 26/11/2007 13:40

Oh god this reminds me of when I was a teenager and had terrible acne. After many years of angst I finally managed to get some treatment that worked. LOADS of people came up to me and said, "ooh, doesn't your skin look better now, so much nicer than before". No-one seemed to understand that this was incredibly upsetting for me to hear!!!

A compliment should stand on its own, not in reference to what has gone before. Hence why I never say "ooh have you lost weight" as the unsaid comment is "you used to be fat"


Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 13:40

Bran she is a sweetie in so many ways. Its just that she has always made it clear that she is disappointed that I don't make as much of an effort as my sister (ie don't wear makeup unless for an 2occasion"). Disppointment form a parent is very hard to take isn;t it - sort of passive-aggressive. She was very startled when I said I didn;t think it was a very nice thing to say. (I normally keep my mouth shut)

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ComeOVeneer · 26/11/2007 13:44

OH Kew, mum's seem to think they have licence to express what ever they think, it would have been more tactful to leave out the second part, but as you say perhaps she thought it would spur you into something (not quite sure what other than a rage ). My mother is the queen of egded compliments and has even said that as my mother it is her "right" to say these things, (or "well if I don't tell you who will?")

AND as a half french very chic and slim 50 something year old her expectations are high (she was back in her size 8 mini skirt and knee high pvc boots within days of having me and couldn't see why I was in elasticated waist trousers 3 days after a 72 hour assisted delivery and no make up).


sfxmum · 26/11/2007 13:48

I don't think you are unreasonable being upset but families who'd actually pick theirs. my aunt is a specialist at such 'qualified' flattery. she probably did not mean to upset you

have you told her how it made you feel?


LongMeg · 26/11/2007 13:56

I thought you looked pretty damned good when I met you, KC.

Your mum probably wasn't thinking when she repeated your sister's comment, otherwise she wouldn't have repeated it in full. She always sounds really lovely when you post about her, and I'm sure she wouldn't have repeated the comment if she'd realised how much it hurt. Can you talk to her - tell her how much it has upset you?

As for your sister ... a poke in the eye, I think!


Paddlechick666 · 26/11/2007 14:09

hey Kew, it's tough eh. especially when you're so indebted to them for all that they do for us.

my mum has an un-erring capability to make me feel inadequate but she doesn't actually really mean it. well, not much!

rise above it if you can but you're more than entitled to feel pissed off.

btw, i like your hair longer.

ps: remember your ds thinks you look stunning every minute of every day (and night!)


NotDoingTheHousework · 26/11/2007 14:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 14:18

Paddle - I like my hair longer too! But had virtually a pitched battle with my mum when I got it cut (had the fringe cut and a minor trim) as she wanted me to have it cut really short. This form the woman who once said to me "you'll never get a boyfriend if you don;t grow your hair"!

It will blow over and I know they are well intentioned. Its just that my mum knows that I'm a bit down at the moment, it wasn't exactly what I needed!

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Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 14:19

sorry notdoingtehhousework but sending your photo to 10 years younger... pmsl.

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milfAKAmonkeymonkeymoomoo · 26/11/2007 14:20

Ah this reminds me of a (male) work colleague who said to me at the beginning of the academic year 'nice to see you looking more sophisticated now, you went all mumsy for a while' - err thanks would the fact that I had a baby 18mths early mean that I had to shift my baby weight??

My mother is renowned for these sorts of comments, I'm sure she things she is 'helping'


milfAKAmonkeymonkeymoomoo · 26/11/2007 14:23

BTW Notdoing - you look fabulous and young so also PMSL at the idea they would even think you needed to go on 10years younger!


Kewcumber · 26/11/2007 14:26

just for reference - I have added two photos form the party. Neither that clear but good enough to see that I scrub up quite well but could not be descibed as "stunning"

I don;t have a huge problem with teh stunning comment - I just don;t think its true. I can just visualise my sister and my mum talking and thinking that if they exaggerate how good I looked and how bad I look normally then I will rush off and put some mascara on! Sadly am too stubborn for that reaction.

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