How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Because it really isn't a big deal, but it did bother me.

    I just got back from lunch with FMIL and FI and FMIL said something like 4 times that really got to me.

    I grew up in Overland, KS and moved to Boston for college, and then after my brother stayed in Boston after he graduated as well, my parents decided to move their life here. Anyway, regardless of that, we have A LOT of famiy coming to our wedding from Kansas, and FMIL thinks it is hilarious to keep saying how they will probably roll up to our wedding in tractors. Ok, ha ha...we get it, Kansas is very different than MA, but seriously? My family are not hicks. Maybe the one uncle who owns a farm, but is extremely successful and makes a ton of money off of it, so the jokes on her.

    I swear, I think FMIL is secretly afraid that my family from Kansas are farmer hicks that wear overalls and drive tractors, have no manners and will embarass her at OUR wedding. Which is not true at all. They are normal, civil human beings.

    How can I address this without causing a major scene and upsetting her or FI. He knows she is being crazy, but hates confrontation.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    When I moved to Florida from Maine (ETA:  Portland, by the way), people asked us if we had been constantly afraid of bears.  They were serious.

    What your FMIL knows about Kansas is farming.  Laugh it off, and when the wedding comes she'll see her idea about Kansans is a bit laughable.

    ~kar
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Hmmm... that's not really funny and I'd be offended too.  So the problem is, I don't think you can get her to stop without actually saying to her something like "FMIL, I know you think your tractor joke is funny, but it actually really hurts my feelings when you make jokes like that."  Say it very seriously and unless she's heartless, she'll get the point.  However, that is sort of making a big deal out of it, so I guess you have to decide if you can just let it go or if you want to bring it up.

    My feeling:  I'd probably say something because it is obviously hurtful.  She will feel *really* bad that she hurt your feelings, but she sort of deserves to if she doesn't know that kind of stereotyping is inappropriate.

    Good luck!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Indeed, you can certainly tell her that her country bumpkin jokes are starting to wear on you.  By "laugh it off," I didn't mean to imply I thought it was funny.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Honestly, I'd try to freak her out by telling her you are considering arriving in a wagon pulled by a John Deere or cammo vests for the men.  I'd really just yank her chain and then she will feel like a fool when your perfectly normal family show up for the wedding.  I think you might be overreacting a tad and would just either let it go or yank her chain by pretending they are total hicks.  I don't think she is trying to be mean.  Chances are she is making a joke and you are taking it the wrong way. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Alf, I get what you're saying, and if it were any other woman, I would totally play a long with it, but her mentioning it a lot justifies her being worried. This isn't the first time she has said ridiculous comments about where I grew up. Normally I would let it roll off my back, but in this case, I am a little worried of her having one too many and saying something offensive to one of my family members. She is known for her tactless personality.  

    Trex, you are right in that if it is really, truly bothering me, I should speak up in a kind and respectful manor. I will try to talk to FI tonight, and see what he thinks. Thanks for the advice.  
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Peonie,
    I am sorry to hear you have to deal with such a disrespectful woman - never mind she is your FMIL. Words can be very hurtful. Your FMIL may not have a clue, or she may want to deliberately hurt you, because she can see it gets to you.
    My DH got his BS degree from Kansas State Univ. in Manhattan, Kansas. And I can assure everyone, that people in Kansas are just as smart, well educated and hardworking as most people here in Massachusetts. 
    For my first several years in this country, people - when they found out I was from Scandinavia - came with remarks like,"Oh! That is where all the women are easy to get". Or, "That's where you can buy porn and s*x on every street corner." Far from the truth. Of course there are districts like that there, as there are in every other city including US.
    It was hurtful, until I decided not to let it get to me. Instead of defending myself - I simply shrug my shoulders and told them, "Too bad you are so ill informed", and changed the subject.
    I think you can use the same sentence the next time your FMIL comes with her tractor joke.
    Even though you talk to her directly, I would still be worried, she may offend your family members if having one too many. I don't think you can control her actions, but you can hint to your family not to take anything she says personally.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I'm sure her family will recognize that an ignorant inebriated woman shouldn't be taken seriously under any circumstances. :)

    Pingo's wise response is best.  You can't make anyone less ignorant who isn't asking for a better understanding of a subject.  Yes, people can learn that their preconceived notions are incorrect, but not if they don't really want to.  So, if you can't change her opinions, at least change your emotional response to it.  Might as well; it doesn't do you any good or change her mind for you to get agitated over every ignorant comment. 

    In Florida, when people asked me if I were constantly afraid of bear attack (in the metropolitan city where I lived), I asked them if they were constantly afraid of alligator attack.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Sorry, but I still think you are overreacting. 

    If you really really think she is going to offend someone [I think you'd have to be pretty sensitive to let some stupid remark about hayseeds on the day of the wedding make you do more than roll your eyes and give you something to laugh about later w/ people after the fact], then have your FI talk to her and tell her she needs to cool it. 

    I think Kar's response re alligator attacks is the way to go. If your FI has any Irish blood in him, start making remarks about drunks [I have Irish blood, so please don't anyone get offended by this remark].  Or if he's Polish, make Polish jokes [I also am of Polish descent].  Or blonde jokes if anyone is blonde [you get the picture]. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Wow, I don't think stooping to her level (ie. making stereotypical jokes back at her) is good advice.  Why should Peonie have to copy her behavior to deal with it?  That's just perpetuating bad behavior.

    I agree that her family will be smart enough to just let it roll off their backs, but if it is offensive to Peonie, I still think try talking to her (or talk to your FI and ask him to talk to her) is the best idea.  Either she is just clueless and doesn't realize what she's doing is offensive (hopefully this case, once someone points it out she will feel bad and stop) or she is doing it on purpose to get to you (in which case, just be the bigger person and let it go).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    The tiny bit of sarcasm is nothing to get so worked up about.  It's not stooping very far, if at all, and sometimes a little sarcasm is enough to put an end to the problem without a big conflab.

    ETA:  Retort.  That's the word I was searching for.  A quick little retort is justfied.  A big sit down discussion about how people in Kansas actually can be educated and do other things besides farm and chew tobacco, blah, blah, blah that won't change her mind or the relationship isn't justified because it won't work and just makes the OP look overly sensitive.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    "They were going to bring their tractors and circle the wagons, but they're too worried about Boston drivers running red lights and being stuck on 495 for hours on end." Say it with a smile and a giggle, then change the topic. 

    I think saying any more will cause undue drama. She'll meet them, see that they're perfectly normal people, and move on. And if she doesn't, unfortunately there's nothing you can do about it. Regardless of factual evidence, my mom will always think that Obama was born in Kenya and is a Russian spy. Did you see that article in the globe about facts solidifying people's mistaken opinions? It's kind of like that. You can change her mind with a well-placed quip and introductions to your family, or she'll just hang onto her opinions anyway. 

    Pingo's curt response is perfect for strangers, but I wouldn't use it on your FMIL. You have to use kid gloves here because you need to maintain a relationship with this woman, and she probably doesn't even know she's being offensive. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Perfect quip, another great word I was searching for.  Quips and retorts are not BAD, if they are aimed at ending the conversation/problem with a giggle and a point.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I like Pingos advice about telling my family not to take her remarks seriously, which I don't think they would, anyway.

    When I moved here for college, people asked me a thousand times how many tornadoes I have seen, and were shocked when I told them only 2 in my whole 18 years of living there. People were shocked my father was a banker and not a farmer, people were shocked that I went to one of the best public schools in KS and didn't go to some one room school house in the middle of a field (come on people!), and it goes on and on.

    Alf, I am not really over reacting, as she has said many times things that have offended me. When we first met, she assumed my family was poor, that I had horendous education growing up, and actually asked me what scholarship and loans I had to get into the school I went to in Boston (none, thank you). Then when we got engaged, she asked me if I had ever seen the show "My Big Fat Redneck Wedding." Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?

    Anyway, my point is, regardless of how funny she thinks she is , there is a point that it gets to be offensive, and I just wanted advice on how to address it.

    Anyway, FI said he would quietly talk to her, because it is starting to offend him, as well.


    P.S. Kar, one of my bridesmaids grew up in Maine, but no where near Portland, in the mountains you would say, and told me she has only ever seen a bear 3 times in her whole life. Shocking, right?
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Can't you just say, "Hey, enough with the farmer jokes already."  You'll just turn it into a much bigger issue if you go much further with it than that, one that you'll both stew about for goodness knows how long, and then you'll be back here asking how to handle all the bitterness between you over the Kansas thing.

    I've NEVER seen a bear or moose in the wild.  Not one!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from JEnvie. Show JEnvie's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    kind of off topic, but kar - i went to a wedding up on moosehead lake, and we had to go to the dump to see bears
    peonie - did you go to overland high?  i ask because i know that is an excellent school system, and it was featured in a documentary i watched once tracking 5 girls through 9 - 12 grade
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I guess I'm just confused why, when you say that 'if it were any other woman I would totally play along', that it's such a big deal. Why are you holding your MIL to a standard of behavior that you are not holding other women to?

    Like I said, have FI talk to her privately if it really bothers you.  I think if you make a big deal out it, it's not going to end well.  Which is why I suggested that you joke along w/ her.  Sarcasm, used appropriately and w/ a smile, is usually the best way to get people to stop acting like idiots in this kind of situation.  If people can't understand that, but instead view it as 'stooping to their level', I just don't understand their thought process.  How do you deal w/ workplace/office conflict w/o causing major confrontations?  Sometimes a little sarcastic humor can nip something in the bud w/o making everyone else in the room uncomfortable, the way a direct confrontation would. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    Sarcasm can suggest that you're laughing with the other person, while subtly shutting down their comments. It's not all vitriol. 

    I once saw a moose on the side of the highway (up on a hill) in NH when I was visiting my ILs. It was an amazing sight, really cool. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    MILs aren't perfect.  Try to approach your FMIL with the same grace as all DILs want to have extended to them by their MILs.  Give her a chance to get to know you and your family better; these comments and this situation will work itself out.  Either she'll wise up and shut up or she won't.  But, either way,  I assume you won't be dealing with her every day for the next 50 years.  How entertaining do you think it will be for her to make these same tired comments a year from now?  Probably not entertaining at all, and this will have long been forgotten.  Time, all by itself, will make this issue go away unless you make sure it doesn't by making a bigger deal of it than it is.

    I think what ALF meant when she said this isn't a big deal is captured in these lyrics, This Ain't Nothing by Craig Morgan.  It's a matter of perspective.

    He was standing in the rubble of an old farmhouse outside Birmingham
    When some on the scene reporter stuck a camera in the face of that old man
    He said "tell the folks please mister, what are you gonna do
    Now that this twister has taken all that's dear to you"
    The old man just smiled and said "boy let me tell you something, this ain't nothing"

    He said I lost my daddy, when I was eight years old,
    That cave-in at the Kincaid mine left a big old hole,
    And I lost my baby brother, my best friend and my left hand
    In a no win situation in a place called Vietnam
    And last year I watched my loving wife, of fifty years waste away and die
    And I held her hand til her heart of gold stopped pumping,
    So this ain't nothin'

    He said I learned at an early age,
    There's things that matter and there's things that don't
    So if you're waiting here for me to cry,
    I hate to disappoint you boy, but I won't
    Then he reached down in the rubble and picked up a photograph
    Wiped the dirt off of it with the hand that he still had
    He put it to his lips and said man she was something
    But this ain't nothin'

    He said I lost my daddy, when I was eight years old,
    That cave-in at the Kincaid mine left a big old hole,
    And I lost my baby brother, my best friend and my left hand
    In a no win situation in a place called Vietnam
    And last year I watched my loving wife, of fifty years waste away and die
    We were holding hands when her heart of gold stopped pumping
    So this ain't nothin'

    This ain't nothin' time won't erase
    And this ain't nothin' money can't replace
    He said you sit and watch your loving wife fifty years fighting for her life
    Then you hold her hand til her heart of gold stops pumping
    Yeah boy that's something,
    So this ain't nothin'
    No this ain't nothin'


     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    JEnvie, yes I did. I had no idea there was a documentary on that. Wait...was their a girl who had brain cancer? I think I might have seen it.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from JEnvie. Show JEnvie's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    In Response to Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?:
    JEnvie, yes I did. I had no idea there was a documentary on that. Wait...was their a girl who had brain cancer? I think I might have seen it.
    Posted by Peonie

    It is called High School Confidential, my husband, daughter (who was 16 at the time i believe) and i all watched it, i think it was on pbs over a period of maybe 6 weeks, i cant remember the details
    it was interesting
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I'd talk about it with your FI and see what he has to say. He'll know for sure whether a well-placed quip, a blank stare, or a serious response will get her to stop.
    No one should have to tolerate a joke at their expense, even if they do have to tread lightly around the joker. It's classic bullying behavior.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunshinemrs. Show sunshinemrs's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I agree with PinkKittie, Pingo and Kar.

    You can certainly address this with her in a kind, non-confrontational way - she is hurting your feelings and probably just needs a gentle (cattle :-) ) prod to know that the joke has been beaten to death (like that horse that your family probably knows so much about).

    A simple - "It hurts my feelings when you joke like that about my family" - will most likely put an end to her comments.

    Good luck!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I would let this one go.  When your wedding comes around, FMIL will see that her assumptions were wrong.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?

    I wouldn't let it go completely. With this woman's nature, there will probably be other "jokes" coming in the future. Peonie's feelings are hurt, and she should put her foot down, before it escalates. She has to live with her FMIL for years to come, and if she doesn't stop her MIL's hurting remarks, it could break their relationship all together.

    This is totally off topic.
    Nice to see your post princess-cal. How are you doing? Did you get back to work? You have been missed - Pingo

    In Response to Re: How can I address this to FMIL w.out making a huge deal about it?:
    I would let this one go.  When your wedding comes around, FMIL will see that her assumptions were wrong.
    Posted by princess-cal
     
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