The wife and I, unfortunately, have ended up by random chance living in the same city as her brother.

We avoid spending time with him and his family as a rule because for one thing we don't enjoy each others company and they have never been close.

This of course is suboptimal as far as her parents are concerned so every no and again we realize we have nothing to do but meet up with them.

But here comes the other reason. Following this visit, as with all the rest...

A few days go by and... the wife's parents get very upset with her and attempt to give her quite the scolding because as ever, something that we did, didn't do, said, didn't say, intimated, insinuated or seemed to indicate has caused her brother offence.

This time it was that we didn't spend the required amount of time cooing over his infant son.

This, because his a parent, ergo insane, is a huge slight. And because he's a man child sent him running to his parents to complain of our rudeness.

@rpcutts Sounds a strange chap. Firstly, to be slighted that you don't admire his offspring and then to go bleating to Mummy.

@andyc fucking weird, right? (It's daddy, always daddy, but you have the gist)

@rpcutts Christ - if my son ever came bleating to me with similar complaints, I think I'd disown him and/or give him a damn good talking to.

@andyc @rpcutts I am appalled you have not spoken to me this morning. Please DM either your mother or mother-in-laws number so I can tell them what a selfish individual you are!

@dick_turpin @andyc I can't tell how much this nonsense just never goes away. It's always just around the next corner. Another inexplicable episode.

@rpcutts @dick_turpin I'm not close to my sister and we can go months/years (she emigrated to Oz for 13 years) without seeing each other but we still get on (or maybe that's why :-).

While it's horrid to be for your wife to be estranged from close family, is it really worth maintaining this relationship ?

@andyc @dick_turpin we try not to maintain it, but that brings wrath from her parents. "You are blood! You must be nicer to your brother". Old school Catholic, nothing is more important than family, do as your father tells you etc etc.

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@rpcutts @dick_turpin ...but the obvious symmetrical argument is that 'You must be nicer, more patient and sociable with your sister'.

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