ridiculous family drama over a tube of Blistex! so frustrated!

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Posted 1/20/2013 by Jenny Lilac in NSBR Board
 

Jenny Lilac
For Esme with Love and Squalor

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Posted: 1/20/2013 4:27:11 PM
I love my aunt, but she is a very critical person. She visited a couple weeks ago. We took her to lunch, played cards, etc. She was her usual self, a mix of nice and saying things that were inappropriate for her to comment on. For instance she said loudly in front of DD that homeschooling doesn't work because DD is struggling a little bit with Math. Right, no schooled kid EVER struggled with Math!

Anyway, fast forward a couple days, and a package comes addressed to DH. It contains a tube of Blistex and a note from the aunt saying, "Hope this helps." We were perplexed by this. I happened to talk to my mom and asked if she knew why the aunt sent it. Mom said the aunt had noticed DH's lips were dry so she sent it. I was like ooookkaaaayyyy but still confused as she had not commented on this during the visit. DH was annoyed and took it as a comment on his appearance (again, based on previous history with her) and refused to acknowledge it. He did joke around with my mom about it, saying something like, maybe next time if I don't shave I'll get some razors. It was not addressed to me so I decided the best thing to do was keep out of it, and a couple weeks have passed.

We all attended my niece's 4th birthday party yesterday and I greeted my aunt warmly as usual - I was actually pretty excited to see her and hadn't even thought about the Blistex again. She clearly made an effort to snub me, going as far as getting up and leaving a room when I walked in. I asked my mom if she knew why and she said no. Later when my brother and mom and I were alone he brought up the Blistex story and said he'd heard about it from my mom's best friend. The only way she could know about is from my mom, though she denied telling her. The friend is not friends with the aunt.

Given the history with my aunt, I just don't want to play games with her. If she has a problem I want her to just tell me. When my mom and I were texting later I said I am not playing these games and she gave me a long lecture about how being a Christian is a commitment and I should have mercy and model proper loving behavior for my aunt. I said I don't think Christ calls us to stay in toxic or abusive relationships and then that turned into a whole thing between us.

I just started ignoring my mom, but So when I got home I emailed my aunt and said, you seemed mad at me, please let's not have anything between us. Today I got an email back from her saying she had done such a kind and loving thing by sending DH the Blistex, and it hadn't been acknowledged, and she was very hurt. She also said she had heard from my mom that it was not well received.

I am super fed up that I am even a part of this!!! I am angry at my mom for spreading this story all over town, and causing mischief. I'm frustrated with my aunt for thinking that what she's doing is normal, and even a little frustrated with DH though he did they to smooth things over with her today to no avail.



Just Lizzy
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Posted: 1/20/2013 4:58:16 PM
Family can be very taxing at times. The biggest rift in my family, one that has kept my two brothers and I apart for many years now, was caused by my mom blabbing her mouth off about conversations that I foolishly thought were private.

I won't share anything private with her ever again.


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AngieR
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Posted: 1/20/2013 5:07:06 PM
People get their panties in a bunch over the dumbest things, don't they? Is this typically what your aunt is like? Say you send her some deodorant implying that she smelled the last time she visited you. Would that cause her feelings to be hurt? I really have no advice for you, but I do feel your frustration!




voltagain
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Posted: 1/20/2013 5:11:22 PM
You do realize you are the center component in this don't you? Instead of calling your aunt and thanking her for her gift (no matter how much it perplexed you) and talking directly with HER about why she sent it, you were the one going around behind her back to talk to your mom about your aunt. Then when auntie snubbed you did you ask auntie what you had done to hurt her feelings? No, you asked your mommy. YOU need to learn to talk to autie without going through your mommy. Deal directly with people yourself as an adult.

Then if it is still a toxic relationship simply back out. But don't be going to mommy to explain things or carry messages for you (even if that wasn't your intention)


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Sue_Pea
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Posted: 1/20/2013 5:16:01 PM
Thank your aunt for the Blistex and smooth it over with her. And watch what you tell you mom in the future.
You will laugh about this in a few years-and now you have a story!


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julieberg
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Posted: 1/20/2013 6:22:47 PM


Your Aunt sounds very manipulative and very mean to even send the Blistex to your dh. I wouldn't thank her, nor would I apologize for not thanking her. She is playing you and you are falling right into her manipulation trap.


scrap4maddie
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Posted: 1/20/2013 6:30:56 PM
OMG I think we are related. My "aunt" isn't speaking to me because she was offended by my Christmas card in 2011. I told her not to worry- I will never send her a Christmas card again.


~Erica~







Pretty In PeaNK

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Posted: 1/20/2013 6:44:59 PM
Your aunt sounds like she has a personality disorder. I agree that it sounds like passive aggressive crap. Who gets up and leaves a room simply because someone walked into it? Over lip balm!? What is she, 5?

I sympathize.


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I-95
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Posted: 1/20/2013 6:47:19 PM
I would have ignored the Blistex too. Even if your aunt thought it was a nice thing to do, she was wrong. Your DH is a grown up, he can decide if he needs something for his chapped lips, it's not your aunt's place to do that.

Personally, I'd quit discussing it with all of them. I'd answer emails and texts politely, and if either aunt, or mom, brings it up, just say 'We've moved on from that' and immediately change the subject...like in the same breath...'we've moved on from that, did you see the schedule for Sally's dance class? Are you going to be able to make it to any of those?'

Just keep moving on, and if they wanna stay stuck in pettiness, move on without them.

batya
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Posted: 1/20/2013 6:49:59 PM
C'mon. You're going to blame someone for talking to her own mother about what her aunt did? So we all have sit and shut up?

OP wasn't in the wrong. I can understand if she trashed her aunt to outsiders but this is her own mother. Now she knows she can't trust her mother to keep quiet about these things. Fine.

But Aunt is nutso. Really? You're going to call and thank her for a blistex when she has a Hx of passive aggressive nonsense?

Next time, I'd just ignore it. When she asks, say I didn't know what it meant. ENd of story. Don't mention it to anyone since your mother wants to stir the pot.

ITA, Aunt is manipulative. Especially if she does this and then pulls the Christian card. If you do the thank yous and everything she wants and expects, it will only get worse and she will expect more and keep manipulating you and your family.

Just don't buy into it, Jenny. Move on. Don't engage. They want to be crazy, let them. Distance. You see them less. Don't make an announcement about it. See them when you have to. Or want to. She makes comment? Smile, nod and get it over with.



OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




CosmosGreenTornado
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:25:41 PM
You know what, most people in the neighborhood will "see though" her character for what she really is.

I would not try to thank her, try to apologize, etc. I would just move on... you'll see her at another family function where she can ignore you again.

Big deal.

OR... you could go the other way and OVERLY thank her for everything! I mean, EVERYTHING!! The next family function, stand up in a toast and thank her for the Blistex. Go on and on about how soft it has made your husband's lips, and you are SOOOO thankful for that!

Then, go on and on about how supportive she has been with the homeschooling (even though, she clearly is not) and how her concern for your daughter's math skills have really shown how much she wants to be a part of your daughter's life (eye roll) etc.

It might not be very nice, but it could be fun!!


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Sue_Pea
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:35:13 PM

C'mon. You're going to blame someone for talking to her own mother about what her aunt did? So we all have sit and shut up?

OP wasn't in the wrong. I can understand if she trashed her aunt to outsiders but this is her own mother. Now she knows she can't trust her mother to keep quiet about these things. Fine.

But Aunt is nutso. Really? You're going to call and thank her for a blistex when she has a Hx of passive aggressive nonsense?




I would. I had several difficult aunts; but I loved them in spite of it. I did and still do a lot to keep peace in the family; but that is, of course, an individual decision.

batya
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:46:29 PM
You can keep the peace. I've done that with relatives. Smile, say yes, then do what you want. That's all well and good. But I hate watching people being treated badly and then having it turned around on them.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




cycworker
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:54:41 PM
Sorry, I agree with Volt. This problem is prety much the OP's fault. There was no reason for her to call her nother in teh first place. She should've called aunt and politely asked about the gift. For all she knew, the aunt could've sent the wrong thing, like the time an aunt of mine brought me a gift that was actually for her bff (I was 16 and it was a big carton of cigarettes. Clearly not for me! LOL). Once she found out that it was for dh, all she had to say was, "Thanks for thinking of him," and that could've been the end of it.


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Jenny Lilac
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:59:21 PM
Thank you peas for your support. In ideal world I'd like to be able to talk to my mom about anything, but clearly that is not the case.



theshyone
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Posted: 1/20/2013 8:05:31 PM
Ridiculous;


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SareBear
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Posted: 1/20/2013 8:09:31 PM
Most of my family members are not nice people - ridiculing others for every little thing (if you're too fat or too thin or don't have a comeback to an insult - that family thinks is "all in fun" fast enough) ... most times I think if I weren't related to them and HAD to like them that I really really wouldn't. Glad to see my family isn't the only ridiculous set of drama queens around. And it's usually NOT the women. Sigh.


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JenAllyson
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Posted: 1/20/2013 8:19:24 PM
I can't imagine anyone I know treating me like that - let alone my aunt. I'd just let DH deal, keep aunt at an arms length, and not share anything with my mum for awhile. Good luck.


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SueSume
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:28:56 PM

OR... you could go the other way and OVERLY thank her for everything! I mean, EVERYTHING!!.....
It might not be very nice, but it could be fun!



I wouldn't ACTUALLY do this, but man, is it amusing to contemplate!


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BEF2008
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:42:23 PM
Like Dr. Phil always says (or used to say; I don't watch him anymore), someone has to step up and be the hero in situations like this. It may as well be you.

Can you just quickly shoot her off another email and say, "I think we've just had some kind of misunderstanding or miscommunication. I hope we can iron things out. And by the way, thanks for thinking of DH and sending that Blistex. That was nice of you to go to the effort. Hope all is well with you."

Life is too short to have a family feud over a tube of Blistex! If you have to be the bigger person about it, so be it. Someone has to! And then at least you'll know you made an effort. If it doesn't work out, you don't have yourself to blame.

Jenny Lilac
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:42:53 PM

you could go the other way and OVERLY thank her for everything! I mean, EVERYTHING!! The next family function, stand up in a toast and thank her for the Blistex. Go on and on about how soft it has made your husband's lips, and you are SOOOO thankful for that!

Then, go on and on about how supportive she has been with the homeschooling (even though, she clearly is not) and how her concern for your daughter's math skills have really shown how much she wants to be a part of your daughter's life (eye roll) etc.


This made my DH LOL. I would love to do it, but I am not sure she would appreciate the irony.



makingmemorieslast
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:45:44 PM
why are people saying the op should've called the aunt to thank her...it was not her package. it was her dh's. and she didn't call her mom to start drama, she called to ask an honest question...did she know what the gift meant.


IleneTell
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:50:04 PM
This is so ridiculous. Call the aunt and say that honestly, yes, the chapstick wasn't well received. You guys weren't sure why she sent it, and when you realized why she did, it felt like a criticism. Why? (as she may well ask). Well, because a tube of chapstick costs $2, so if you guys felt you needed one, you would have very well purchased it. Also, if she was so concerned about your DH, she should have said something so you'd have known that this was an issue.

Ugh, the whole thing is just so unnecessary. I would not play that game. And then I would tell my mom I didn't appreciate her telling others something I told her in confidence.



benem
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:50:48 PM
I am terrible with passive aggressive behavior. I would lose my temper with aunt, I know it.


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IleneTell
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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:52:23 PM

I am terrible with passive aggressive behavior.


Exactly. Which further supports my response above LOL



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Posted: 1/20/2013 9:54:24 PM
Geez, that type of thing would just be more than I'm willing to take. I don't have time for crap like that and would just be done.


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CountryHam
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Posted: 1/20/2013 10:13:18 PM
Blistex aside.. you noticed your aunt seemed upset with you.
Why not just ask her what's wrong?

voltagain
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Posted: 1/20/2013 10:21:27 PM
why are people saying the op should've called the aunt to thank her...it was not her package. it was her dh's. and she didn't call her mom to start drama, she called to ask an honest question...did she know what the gift meant.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If it was her dh's gift then HE should have dealt with it. She may not have consciously meant to start drama but this is exactly how drama starts. Mom had nothing to do with the gift either. Mom did not send it and mom did not receive it. The only reason to involve mom is to stir the stink.

Circular communication is an absolute guaranteed way to create drama. Learn to talk to the person involved directly. Don't drag in people who were not involved even though they may know a lot about it. Dragging in extra people simply enhances the drama. Keep people out of your business unless you like the drama. You want to know why aunt did something? Ask the aunt. Don't ask mom.

Drama is easy to stay out of. But you have to learn to not drag in people who are not involved and communicate in a direct line with the one person involved. Then don't flap your lips over stuff you know is controversial.


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doesitmatter?
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Posted: 1/21/2013 12:45:17 AM
Weird. Got nothin'.


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leftturnonly
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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:24:42 AM
Who knew Blistex could cause so much drama?

Your aunt walked out of the room because you didn't acknowledge she sent your husband a tube of Blistex. <SMH>

I guess giving it to him in person was out of the question for her, eh? Because, you know, that would have made sense when she was there and noticed his dry lips.




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Sue_Pea
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Posted: 1/21/2013 5:55:31 AM

Life is too short to have a family feud over a tube of Blistex! If you have to be the bigger person about it, so be it. Someone has to! And then at least you'll know you made an effort. If it doesn't work out, you don't have yourself to blame.


I guess that is my bottom line. It's wimpy, I know, but I have seen dumb situations like this spiral out of control, and pretty soon, half of the family is pissed at the other half. It's crazy how situations like this can escalate!

Of course, like I said, this is a personal matter, and everyone handles this sort of thing differently. I've always been the peacemaker in my family, so I guess that's why I have this perspective.

Jenny Lilac
For Esme with Love and Squalor

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Posted: 1/21/2013 6:41:32 AM
I told DH what the peas have said and he reminded me I did not call my mom...she was actually at my house at the time.

He has emailed both of them and let them know what he thinks of the situation very directly but politely.



writermom1
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Posted: 1/21/2013 11:39:40 AM

I am super fed up that I am even a part of this!!! I am angry at my mom for spreading this story all over town, and causing mischief.


Adding "and super annoyed with mom for lecturing me on Christian behavior when what she was really doing was hoping I'd let it lie so her gossippy behavior didn't come out."

Sorry.

I'd have one firm-but-loving conversation with each of them and then move on. You teach people how to treat you.




scrapcreator
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Posted: 1/21/2013 11:46:22 AM
If auntie was upset about not being thanked, then she should be upset with your dh. The package was addressed and sent to him.

Jeanne



gavinsmom
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Posted: 1/21/2013 11:55:06 AM
Gah--I have NO room in my life for people like that! I would tell them both firmly but politely that their behavior is RIDICULOUS and avoid them at all costs--even my own mother!


Nicole
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