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to be (mildly) annoyed that my MIL left a message on my answerphone in a language I don't understand and dh only just does

25 replies

mrshedge · 10/06/2008 23:02

MIL normally leaves messages on our machine in English but today for some unknown reason left one in her mother tongue (dh just about understands this - having grown up in the UK- but I don't).

I feel a bit miffed as it is my answer machine too. I picked up the message but didn't understand a word of it and feel excluded.
I just think it is a little rude.

I know I'm being a bit petty but it is a bit annoying. AIBU to be a little annoyed but aware I'm being petty?

(please don't say I should make an effort to learn her language - I speak 4 foreign languages to some extent - hers is very difficult to learn and I've only managed a few phrases).

OP posts:
sleepycat · 10/06/2008 23:04

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mrshedge · 10/06/2008 23:04

and before anyone accuses me of hypocrisy given I only manage a few phrases of her language, she has lived here for 40 years and speaks good English, and I have never lived in the country she is from.

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mrshedge · 10/06/2008 23:04

lol sleepycat....indeed!

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nametaken · 10/06/2008 23:05

YABU - she can speak to anyone she likes in whatever language she likes and your husband is perfectly entitled to have conversations which you are not included in.

mrshedge · 10/06/2008 23:05

Actually it was just about some TV prog she thought we'd like ....or so dh is telling me but maybe he is covering for her lol!

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2point4kids · 10/06/2008 23:05

If she doesnt normally do it she might have done it by accident.
Perhaps she was distracted at the time and did it without thinking? or perhaps she had just been speaking to someone else in that language and carried on.

Give her the benefit of the doubt seeing as it is a one off!

SNoraWotzThat · 10/06/2008 23:05

Did you ask your DH what your MIL wanted? It is your phone too.

SNoraWotzThat · 10/06/2008 23:06

x post...
well then. I wouldn't fret about it.

Flibbertyjibbet · 10/06/2008 23:07

Perhaps she forgot.
My friends mil only spoke to her son in her native language even though he would reply to her in English. And she had been here 40 years too.

mrshedge · 10/06/2008 23:08

2point4 - I know I'm being petty and I'm definitely not about to take it up with her as it's not worth it but I just wanted to know if I was being unreasonable in feeling a bit excluded and irritated.
You are right maybe she was in auto-chat mode and just didn't think.

If I went to her house I wouldn't stand there speaking French with dh in front of her as I know it excludes her as she doesn't speak it.
I guess, to me it's a bit rude that's all.

OP posts:
getbackinyouryurtjimjams · 10/06/2008 23:10

Perhaps she's arranging a big party for you

TheHedgeWitch · 11/06/2008 00:59

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SofiaAmes · 11/06/2008 05:05

Do you really dislike your mil that much that your first assumption is that she made a deliberate action to exclude you and be rude?

You know, as people get older, they often find it much easier to speak their native language. Perhaps she just forgot. But you might also just want to keep an eye on her, it could be the first signs of some sort of mental deterioration (like alzheimers)....Sometimes the elderly completely regress to their native language. Or they just are too tired to fish the right words out of their mind.

justkeepswimming · 11/06/2008 05:55

i think if it was in front of you it would be v rude, but thinking that she just didn't think when she left the message so, no YANBU to be a little annoyed just watch out for her doing it in front of you, then get properly annoyed!

Buda · 11/06/2008 06:37

I would imagine it was just absentminded. But agree that it could be a sign of deterioration.

If you have no other reason to think she is trying to exclude you then I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

So yes YABU and petty! But you know that!

FairyMum · 11/06/2008 07:01

A mother of 3 boys I am really not looking forward to getting a daughter-in-law

littlelapin · 11/06/2008 07:13

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Kimi · 11/06/2008 07:15

She is rude very very rude.

AbbeyA · 11/06/2008 07:19

I would give her the benefit of the doubt and think that she just forgot rather than straight away assume that she was being rude.She may have had 101 other things on her mind when she phoned.

mrshedge · 11/06/2008 14:02

I'm sure she wasn't intending to be rude but you don't have to have intended to be to actually be rude iyswim.

Kimi - you're taking the p* right?

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SofiaAmes · 11/06/2008 14:47

mrs hedge, please give the poor woman the benefit of the doubt. My mother is Italian, and came to the usa as an adult. I have noticed that in the last year or two (she is in her 70's) she occasionally and fairly randomly turns and talks to someone in Italian and since it's usually my father who doesn't speak it at all, or some other random person, I'm sure it's not deliberate. She doesn't even seem to realize she's done it until I point it out. My mother has been in the usa for 50 years and speaks English better than all of us put together. And she never used to do this. I think it really is just old age.

mumof2teenboys · 11/06/2008 15:55

My oh's mum does this all the time. She will sit and chat to him in her native language for ages. She has lived here for 35+ years.
He does reply to her in english most of the time, so I have a vague idea of what she is saying, unfortunately he does reply in the same language at times.
It pisses me off no end. Its rude, ignorant and annoying
If she is in MY HOUSE, she can at least talk in a fucking language that I understand.
So no yanbu.

mistypeaks · 11/06/2008 16:02

a) She forgot
b) She is actually buying you a present
c) she was being rude

I think it was most likely a, I hope for you it is indeed b, but if it is c) go speak in french next time you see her!!

sitdownpleasegeorge · 11/06/2008 16:11

If there is a next time, phone her back as soon as you get it and say "you're so sorry but she has forgotten to use English so you can't understand it and what was it she wanted to say". If she tells you it was XXXXX, then delete the message and relay XXXXX to your dh.

If she says the message is private and for your dh then speak to dh about this as it is a bit rude. If she persists in doing this deliberately find a common language that you and dh understand and use it in front of her one day to show her what it feels like.

PollyLogos · 11/06/2008 17:03

I'm sorry that this makes you feel excluded, but I do think you are making a mountain out of a molehill! Mainly because it sounds as though this is a one off.Just let it drop. If she starts making a habit out of it say something otherwise let it go.

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