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Feeling like a schmuck
Old 12-28-2019, 05:21 PM
  #1

I live far from my immediate family. Had Christmas with dh family at his eighty something momís house. She does not drink, is sweet but opinionated, can be exhausting. ( one year when my boys were young she left the book: Parenting Isnít for Cowards...)

She went to a shop that a friend of mine owns. And mentioned my friend and then said...she said you were playing games tomorrow and I invited myself over! We made plans with this friend before Christmas. I also think we would be giving her a ride to and from since it would be night and she lives 1/2 hour away...we are both in a rural area.

My heart sunk. Itís my vacation. I rarely have people over. Weíre having dinner and wine and can be boisterous and silly and radish in a kidding way. She does not take that kind of behavior well.

I mentioned the drinking wine to her. I felt so bad trying to figure out do I go with this or do I just cancel or what do I do.

Sadly I just wanted to cry and I think she picked up on the vibe and mentioned to my husband that sheíd do a rain check. Now I feel relieved but also my heart hurts and Iím feeling guilty since she is 80 something and wonít be around forever. She really is an amazing person but who invites themselves over like that? I donít know. Iím thinking she thought thereíd be a different reaction. Have I mentioned I over analyze/think?

So. Wednesday weíre going with her to my sil and playing games. I still feel bad. I donít have many friends and the few I have I treasure. I feel kind of selfish. So there you go.


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Old 12-28-2019, 07:39 PM
  #2

Wow, that's pretty much a no win situation. But ultimately she invited herself and that's rude. So I'd say let it go, do something with her later, and enjoy your friends.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:43 PM
  #3

She knows what sheís done (being opinionated and pushy with the book - passive aggressive) but didnít care about your feelings. Selfish. And itís rude to invite herself over like that. Maybe this will give her a chance for self reflection (probably not).

Iím so tired of nice people getting taken advantage of by selfish people. Iím putting up boundaries with my own family. Itís really hard to do but ďyou teach people how to treat youĒ. And taking care of yourself is a good thing. Have fun with your friend without any guilt.

None of us will live forever. You sound like a kind and thoughtful person. So banish the guilt, have fun, laugh, be rowdy!
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:12 PM
  #4

Make plans to do something with her on a different day and have fun with your friends!

Nancy
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:26 AM
  #5

Don't feel selfish. IMO, things worked out fine. You know she prefers not to drink and most likely would not really enjoy herself at the gathering. It was nice of you to let her know about that so she could decide if she'd like to join you or not.

Her personality, actions and needs sound like almost any other 80 year old!

Quote:
we would be giving her a ride to and from since it would be night and she lives 1/2 hour away...we are both in a rural area.
Driving at night becomes a whole different thing for the elderly, unless the roads are very well lit, you can't see at well or judge distances as well.

Quote:
is sweet but opinionated, can be exhausting. ( one year when my boys were young she left the book: Parenting Isnít for Cowards...)
Yep, having experienced "life", elderly have thousands of opinions. I can see her humor in the title of the book she gave you... parenting really is NOT for cowards!<!--giggle-- We could all use that book!

In reality, she probably invited herself over because she wanted to be around people/she's a bit lonely. She was also being wise and understanding "taking a raincheck" and backing out of the gathering. She was putting her needs to be around others aside to respect you and your friends' planned gathering once she was informed about the drinking aspect of it.

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She really is an amazing person
and you are too! You informed her of a situation where she would definitely feel uncomfortable, and you've arranged for a future gathering that she would truly enjoy.


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Old 12-29-2019, 05:51 AM
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It makes me wonder how the conversation went with the friend.

The elderly are often seen as invisible, a bother, or an afterthought. I agree she probably didn't want to be alone and that the friend may have made it seem as something that she would be happy to have your mil join.

I understand your desire to have your friend time. I just don't see the connection between the book and this incident. Could you be holding a grudge and reading your own ideas into a situation you were not present for? Your friend may have been trying to be nice and made it seem that she was welcome.

Happy it worked out for you.
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:06 AM
  #7

Feeling better about it all. It wasnít my fault. She was the one that made it awkward and I think after my reaction and my husbandís she realized that. She is lonely. And she LOVES to play games. Her husband passed away a year and a half ago. I had wanted to do more with her but school just sucks the life out of me.

Also. I am the one who usually has to encourage my husband to plan a date with her. He does stop by to visit with her but she does love to play games. Really it might have made me realize we really need to try harder to do something with her. She really wonít be around forever.

I do not drink much but I enjoy friends and I enjoy being silly and all. You knowóitís behaving a different way around someone because you are respecting their values. I threw the book thing in there because it really hurt me ... Iíve always told my kids ďitís hard to be a parent and itís hard to be a kid.Ē I think she was trying to help but I had a kid who was difficult and giving me a book wasnít helpful. It felt more like a commentary of my parenting style.

Anyway. The sun is out. I have a day in front of me and an evening to look forward to. It all worked out and I am not to blame for the situation. We will be spending time and playing games with my mil, sil and bil on New Yearís Day. All will be well.
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If it were me
Old 12-29-2019, 06:50 AM
  #8

I would invite your MIL. And i would not adjust my conduct for her.

I would say, "we are a rowdy group, will it be too noisy for you?"



Enjoy YOUR life. You are beyond sweet
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:29 AM
  #9

No guilt needed, in my opinion. What she probably thought is that it would be a different type of evening and that, of course, she would be welcome. I'm sure when she figured out that it was going to be a rowdy gathering, she appreciated getting a heads up and avoiding something she wouldn't enjoy. Yes, it was a little pushy to invite herself. I wouldn't do it, but then I've also had people be angry with me because I didn't show up at certain gatherings even though I was never specifically invited to said gatherings.

I don't know that I think that leaving a parenting book is either pushy or overly opinionated, though, unless she followed up by pestering you about whether you'd read it. And for what it's worth, anyone who tried to force me to read a parenting book by FOTF Dobson would be in for an almighty battle!

I never have known whether elderly people are perceived as opinionated because they really are or if it's because their opinions are unwanted and perceived as not being valuable. There are plenty of people in this world who correlate gray hair with a lack of brain cells and it always is surprising to me since I come from a culture that respects elders.

This isn't aimed at you, though, Schmuck. I think your actions were completely appropriate.
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:51 PM
  #10

My friends are coming soon. I think my mil just didnít think that one through. Though I do think She overstepped when she invited herself. It will be interesting to see if my friend brings it up.

Iím still smarting from the book and that was over 15 years ago... and my son was really difficult from the get go.

At any rate. It did make me realize we should step it up more and do more with her. She is lonely. Her husband died two summers ago and theyíd been married for 65 years. My husband does go to visit her but I think over the years I avoided visiting her with my young boys because I felt I was being judged. I think both she and I learned not to judge as the years went by.

So I am going to try to go visit, play games, whatever. She wonít be here forever and we all have our faults and need to forgive. She really is amazing and living alone at 86 though has seven kids who help her.

I was just feeling like I had done something terrible but it wasnít anything I did. Hopefully we can move past it. I do admire her.

Feeling schmucky no longer.


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