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Luncheon with bitchy cousin

Cousin & his (beard, possibly?) wife are dismissive of me, but nonetheless he has condescended to invite me for his sister and our grandmother’s joint birthday (probably only because I help take care of grandma). He also wants to announce his wife’s 2nd pregnancy at the same time, which is kind of a h!jack of the event, but🐣

Problem is, I’m shy by nature and don’t usually manage to stand up to bullies & bitches well. I want to sack up and become better at it, though, as I’m sick of being ignored and spoken down to when I talk, as if I’m still the weird little girl sat at the kids’ table (I’m now a grown educated woman well into my 20s). What’s more, they tend to make snide veiled remarks about my single status and my lack of a high-flying career, and while I try not to care or react, honestly it makes me angry that they do brazenly look down on me and my family for such classist and heterosexist reasons. To me, they’re judgemental and shallow social-climbers with whom I don’t want to socialise (I’m only going to this lunch at all for my grandmother and mother’s sake).

So I don’t want to stoop to their level of snobbery and pass-agg behaviour, but I do want to make it clear that I’n unimpressed and undaunted by their attempts to belittle. How shall I handle it? Please coach this quiet geeky babydyke, my Elder uncles & aunts.

by Anonymousreply 55January 22, 2022 1:30 PM

[quote] Please coach this quiet geeky babydyke, my Elder uncles & aunts.

Girl Bye!

by Anonymousreply 1January 17, 2022 8:33 PM

R1 fair enough, I respect that. Blessings be. Doesn’t hurt to ask, and that’s all I did.

Anyone else have thoughts on how to handle the situation? It’s kind of a social minefield.

by Anonymousreply 2January 17, 2022 8:54 PM

OP, since you're not quite ready to give as good as you get, insult them with kindness: Smile. Smile, smile, smile. They're looking to wound. You're looking to give the impression that, at most, you find them somewhat amusing.

If they ask an impertinent question, say, "Why do you want to know?" Act surprised and a little amused that anyone would ask such a thing.

When they make a snide remark, raise your eyebrows and give your head that little tilt to convey your astonishment that anyone would say such a thing. Then roll your eyes and smile.

If they make a caustic comment about your life, or what they perceive as your lack of one, smile gently and say, "I'm happy. And obviously, that's more than some people in our family can say."

As you get older and gain still more life experience, you'll find that you become much less self-conscious. Which is great, because you thus care a lot less about what other people think, say, and do. And you'll feel considerably less discomfort when you're in a situation where other people are trying to make you uncomfortable. You'll even find it easier then to snark back at them, or sincerely not GAF about their comments, or (easiest) just refuse to associate with them. Whatever you do, it won't bother you nearly as much as it does now.

But for now, smile. The fact that they won't be able to get you to react will drive them nuts.

by Anonymousreply 3January 17, 2022 9:06 PM

Flip the table amd storm out!

by Anonymousreply 4January 17, 2022 9:19 PM

If I want to make someone back off I stare at their feet with just the hint of a smile. Works every time.

People are uncomfortable with their feet for some reason.

by Anonymousreply 5January 17, 2022 9:23 PM

How does luncheon differ from lunch?

by Anonymousreply 6January 17, 2022 9:28 PM

Fuck the smiling. You want these people to stop fucking with you, right?

You already know the questions, just have some canned answers.

[quote] Have you met anyone, yet / why are you still single.

You can say: "Yes, I meet a lot of people. I'll let you know when I have something to report to you."

[quote] How's the job? Are you still working as a _____ at _____?

"My job is fine." Period.

by Anonymousreply 7January 17, 2022 9:35 PM

Op I'm going to give you a gift that you can use forever.

Whenever you have someone who tries to pull this, always point out someone who is more successful than they are.

It will drive them up the wall. Keep doing it.

by Anonymousreply 8January 17, 2022 9:44 PM

That's a good idea, R8. It's got to be someone in the same field in a somewhat comparable situation. E.g., "I heard ___ is doing really well at _____."

by Anonymousreply 9January 17, 2022 9:48 PM

Lunch with Bitchy Cousin

I'm having a joint birthday party for my Grandma and Sis. Grandma is insisting I invite my cousin, the one the whole family calls Pain in the Ass behind her back. Problem is, she always arrives with a big chip on her shoulder and looks to take offence at anything we say, no matter how carefully we phrase it.

So how do I keep Grandma happy by inviting her, while letting her know she's not really welcome?

by Anonymousreply 10January 17, 2022 9:50 PM

Yup r9. You got it.

by Anonymousreply 11January 17, 2022 9:52 PM

I saw ____ on Facebook the other day. They really seem to be living the life.

Did you hear ___ got a promotion and bought a house in ____.

Drives the superficial snobs crazy. They are besieged with jealousy.

by Anonymousreply 12January 17, 2022 9:54 PM

Also point out every single one of their shortcomings. Everyone has them. Tell the hag wife she looks “tired” and ask is she sleeping well. Recommend a spa or a get away. Tell the husbear he looks “different”, can’t place it but hint around to the fact that he gained 25 Covid pounds.

by Anonymousreply 13January 17, 2022 9:57 PM

And hijack get pregnancy announcement, but in the nicest way. “Oh you’re glowing already, motherhood always agrees with you.” Or “do you have any food allergies or cravings since you’ve been pregnant?”

by Anonymousreply 14January 17, 2022 9:58 PM

OP just look distracted and politely uninterested. That will irritate them. Pretend you are listening to something boring for work and paying attention only the bare minimum.

Re: being single - saying you just can’t settle because you really like meeting new people and dating. Change the narrative. That always annoys married people. If you really want to be bold - when they announce the pregnancy say congrats - you’ve never wanted kids but good for them (with a tone that suggests having kids sounds like a nightmare).

Bottom line - you are young and these people are probably miserable. Having young kids sucks and puts a ton of stress on marriages. They probably hate each other. You need to really flip the way you are looking at this - you still have a life wide open with possibility being in your 20s and single. They are trapped.

Seriously… REFRAME. And then you will realize who the fuck cares what they say at lunch. They aren’t even people you would want to be friends with. None of it matters (this realization gets easier the older you get - but I promise you - it’s true).

Good luck xo

by Anonymousreply 15January 17, 2022 10:01 PM

R3 gives the best response, but the cousin and wife are already living rent free in your head. Time to evict them. Go to the event and have a good time. Talk with people you know and make a point of meeting people who look interesting. If you are educated, you should be able to carry on an interesting conversation. Spend a little bit of time just socializing with grandma. She won't be around forever.

Finally, so what if they want to use it to announce a pregnancy?. Grandma may be happy with the announcement and it does not take away from her birthday. Honestly, just go and make it a point to enjoy yourself. And, for god's sake, don't sit near them. If there are place cards, change yours if close. If people find their own places, move quickly to get a spot out of speaking range of them.

by Anonymousreply 16January 17, 2022 10:11 PM

passive aggressiveness is how most people survive family gatherings.

that and pot, pills or drinking too much.

I suppose you could eat away your feelings while cruising a hookup site, too, but bordering on addiction is a tried and true away, and I'm a traditionalist.

With fam, people tend to regress to their teenage years. . . and get locked into the roles of their family dynamics while they were growing up. Even if you manage to step out of them, others might keep you locked in.

Yet still, learning the art of the backhanded compliment might take the edge off.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 17January 17, 2022 10:28 PM

It would be best to avoid saying "pass-agg" out loud.

by Anonymousreply 18January 17, 2022 10:32 PM

OP, you cunt.

Quit hovering, quit trolling, quit hassling the site with your bullshit, quit using such horrible cliches ("sack up," "pass-agg," "judgEmental," "classist and heterosexist") and repetitive eleganistms.

IF you were real ("Beard, possibly?" makes one wonder just how far you have passed into elaborately silly twattery.) one would simply tell you to stop bothering adults with your feebleness in managing your family affairs, and if you hear anything you don't like, tell the person quietly that you do not care for sniping unkindness and never have. With any luck you won't have the issue again, you won't be "invited" again, and we won't have to hear about it again.

And the term is NOT "blessings be," for fuck's sake.

Take a(nother) dyke with you for backup if you've been unable to make an ally in your universally miserable clan.

by Anonymousreply 19January 17, 2022 10:46 PM

OP, if they ask question you don't want to answer, say "Can you keep a secret?" When they eagerly say "Yes," reply with "So can I."

by Anonymousreply 20January 17, 2022 10:50 PM

I'll go with you and we can tell them all to fuck off.

by Anonymousreply 21January 17, 2022 10:54 PM

R20. Love that response. LOL

by Anonymousreply 22January 17, 2022 11:04 PM

R19 is mad boring and angry. Blocked.

by Anonymousreply 23January 17, 2022 11:49 PM

Thanks for the response so far, everyone. Most have been genuinely helpful and encouraging to me. Despite my lack of social confidence, I really do feel much better and less anxious about going.

It’s in a week, and I still don’t know what to wear, though. What’s the protocol for dressing like you don’t really care about or respect the people you’re dining with, but you aren’t crass enough to say so outright and embarrass them?

by Anonymousreply 24January 19, 2022 8:13 PM

Can you consider moving the luncheon to the top of a staircase?

by Anonymousreply 25January 19, 2022 8:15 PM

[quote]What’s the protocol for dressing like you don’t really care about or respect the people you’re dining with, but you aren’t crass enough to say so outright and embarrass them?

A wife beater, a miniskirt and crotchless panties.

by Anonymousreply 26January 19, 2022 8:20 PM

Think "Edward Scissorhands."

by Anonymousreply 27January 19, 2022 8:22 PM

OP, do you really have to go to this, or to anything involving these villains?

Couldn't you just not go? If they ask why, say, "Because I can't stand you and your petty bullshit."

Push back, girl! Make them unhappy when they get up on you! You surely don't like them anyway, so what difference does it make?

by Anonymousreply 28January 19, 2022 8:33 PM

Why da FUCK do you go to these things if you know how they are going to treat you? If you are not the type to "attack back", why go! Last function I went to, 2 bitchy Kweens were celebrating 15 wonderful years of wedded gay bliss. They were divorced by the 16th anniversary. They tried to "take me on...I don't think so". I told Eric, "You're trying to attack me" I told my buddy"HOLD MY BEER BITCH, I GOTS A FEW THINGS TO SAY HERE"

by Anonymousreply 29January 19, 2022 8:37 PM

Carefully study this video tutorial before you go. Then get slappy.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 30January 19, 2022 8:40 PM

Just sit quietly in the corner and whittle with a large knife. No one will bother you.

by Anonymousreply 31January 19, 2022 8:42 PM

Wear what you like, OP, be comfortable and chat to people you might actually like or not find offensive. Then leave as early as possible. You made your appearance,;that is all that is required.

If not for your grandmother's birthday, I would suggest not going at all but this is a decent compromise.

by Anonymousreply 32January 19, 2022 8:45 PM

When you use the bathroom, say loudly “Corn? When did I eat corn?”

by Anonymousreply 33January 19, 2022 8:49 PM

Why not get a good job and be too busy?

by Anonymousreply 34January 19, 2022 8:51 PM

To R28, I agree with go...Why go to a family party if you feel uncomfortable or they are going to attack you? Or you just don't like them. The last family function I attended back in Philly, my older half bro got really snarky with me about his Father (not my dad). How he wasn't that bad!! I reminded Jack that he burned me with cigars& Marboros, while showing the crowd the scars, and reminded my half bro about the 3 times he tried to Fuck me (with his dad's permission). My half bro is 21 yrs older than me. I was about 11 yrs old (it was the 1970's) It just got worse from there.

by Anonymousreply 35January 19, 2022 8:52 PM

I wouldn't go to this. You don't like them, and they don't treat you well, and you don't want to go, so why go? It's not like they're in your nuclear family (and even there if your nuclear family members treated you badly you would have no obligation to attend their social events).

by Anonymousreply 36January 19, 2022 8:56 PM

[quote] it makes me angry that they do brazenly look down on me and my family for such classist and heterosexist reasons.

Just out of college, we see.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 37January 19, 2022 8:58 PM

Be ready to disengage. A simple smile followed by a “will you excuse me for a moment” is an effective way to exit a rude or uncomfortable conversation.

I read a take on R3 decades ago from an Anne Landers column of all places. The perfect response to an impertinent question is “now, why would you ask something like that?” It’s a rhetorical fucking judo move.

by Anonymousreply 38January 19, 2022 9:03 PM

Miss Manners says to respond to rude personal questions by saying, "Oh, I should never dream of burdening you with such personal information--will you excuse me please?" and then move away quickly.

by Anonymousreply 39January 19, 2022 9:06 PM

OP, if you really don’t want to be passive-aggressive, you’ll have to just be aggressive. When cousin or wife start talking down to you, or belittling you, fix them with a beady stare, tighten your lips into a mean scowl, and say ‘Do stop being a cunt’. Emphasis on the final word. Then walk away and talk to someone else.

by Anonymousreply 40January 19, 2022 9:29 PM

As someone already suggested, hijack the announcement. Bring a baby gift wrapped in very obvious baby wrapping paper. Make sure everyone sees it. Gush I am so happy for you as you hand it to them in front of everyone.

They'll look petty if they criticize you.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 41January 19, 2022 9:30 PM

I think OP wants to go b/c it's her grandmother's birthday party as well. However, I think it would be OK not to go. Spend some time with Grandma outside of the crowd.

What to wear? If you want to be treated like a grown-up and with respect, dress like a grown-up.

Good luck, OP.

by Anonymousreply 42January 19, 2022 9:55 PM

Wear all Black

by Anonymousreply 43January 19, 2022 11:03 PM

R29 so you had a straight up fight at someone’s wedding? Damn how did that go?

by Anonymousreply 44January 22, 2022 12:27 PM

When they go low, you go high.

by Anonymousreply 45January 22, 2022 12:29 PM

OP you type like a doormat. If you can't navigate the event, don't go.

by Anonymousreply 46January 22, 2022 12:37 PM

Don't go, OP. You're asking for advice, yes? Mine is avoid it. I reckon you'll work yourself into a state of panic. It's not worth it for these cunts to see you like that. Any excuse, or just don't show up. They hate you already, they talk shit about you in case you didn't know. Fuck 'em. (Been where you are, done that, and learnt a valuable lesson)

by Anonymousreply 47January 22, 2022 12:41 PM

Tell the assholes you're in a polyamorous thruple.

by Anonymousreply 48January 22, 2022 12:45 PM

Excuse yourself for a moment and go take dump on their bed.

by Anonymousreply 49January 22, 2022 1:04 PM

*a dump

by Anonymousreply 50January 22, 2022 1:04 PM

OP, tame your envious heart, learn some marketable skills, and make something of yourself.

by Anonymousreply 51January 22, 2022 1:09 PM

People are idiots, do NOT take their bait. They are showing themselves to be the scum that they are. The only thing you should say AT ALL is when they say a snide remark is " excuse me ??" Say it everytime ! And if they repeat it in response say , i heard u the first time. Do not let them take u down to their level and do not create a scene st grandmothers luncheon.

by Anonymousreply 52January 22, 2022 1:19 PM

Hike your skirt, drop your parties, aim your ass at the table, and deliver a fresh turd.

That is a great way to register your disapproval at your company while also reframing the conversation.

by Anonymousreply 53January 22, 2022 1:26 PM

This situation reminds me of a recent encounter of a relative I had not seen in decades, literally since they were little and I was in my early 20s...

So after all these decades where now the relative is grown, we were hanging out and out of the blue, this relative asked me "So, (insert name here), um, you're gay right? I mean are you gay or straight or what?"...

WTF? why would anyone even ask anyone this? what's the point? Nothing else to talk about after all these years? I just laughed them off and that was that. Later, this person wondered why I was given them the silent treatment when we had been getting on so well earlier...

It seems that people AUTOMATICALLY? wonder why if you are of a certain mature age, why you aren't with someone or married and that is reason enough to have them ask you point blank? Funny, because I would never ever even think to ask such a personal question and I would also never ever think to think "oh, so and so is 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and they aren't with someone or married, so there MUST be a story to that!"...

who cares if someone no matter their age is with or without someone? I later told others and they replied "oh, that person was just being curious and friendly"... really?....I thought it was insulting and more....

by Anonymousreply 54January 22, 2022 1:27 PM

I think the poster upthread nailed it when they said the terrible twosome is probably acting out of jealousy. You’re young, you’re free, and you have options. They, on the other hand, have a second kid on the way, which means another 18 years (probably longer) of stress, worry, and lots and lots of expenses. They sound like miserable people to begin with—imagine how bad their two kids are going to have it, growing us with selfish, critical parents.

Don’t miss your grandmother’s party. Skipping the party will just give those idiots more ammo to trash you to other family members behind your back. Focus on celebrating GRANDMA. And I guarantee you, you won’t be the only one in the room who thinks it’s tacky when they hijack the birthday party with a new spawn announcement. And wouldn’t it be great if someone gasped and said “Really? Was it a mistake?” (Someone actually said that after one of my colleagues announced at a staff meeting that he and his wife were having a baby. That awkward moment gave us a great excuse to move on to the actual topic of the meeting). When you leave, give grandma a big hug and kiss, and then toss a casual “bye bye” to the two jerks as you sail off into the sunset to enjoy your fun, unshackled 20something life!

by Anonymousreply 55January 22, 2022 1:30 PM
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