Would appreciate some feedback . . .

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm here to vent today. And hopefully, after venting, things will be in a better perspective!

We live in America. We all know people who have emigrated here from other countries and can appreciate the differences. Embrace them. I live in Central Florida, and when I got to Orlando I love walking around some of the "touristy" areas and listening to the different languages. Guessing where the people are from, what they do, etc.

We all have different ways of doing things and these differences come from our families and they way we were raised, as well the culture we grew up in.
That said, I was raised by educated parents whose families had come over years ago from England, Wales and Germany. Let's just say that they were rather reserved and voices were never raised. Tongues were always "checked" before voicing opinions. Not always the most demonstrative with affection, but definitely a wonderful childhood and loving parents.

That said, I come fast forward to today, where I'm married (for 25 years) to a first generation immigrant who is still totally attached (understandably) to his former language and culture. He's very American in many ways, but there are some differences. One of them is that he and his family seem to have no "filter" when they talk. They feel that if they see something you're doing or eating that is not good for you, it is their place to tell you what you're doing wrong. emphasis on "wrong" or "bad". It seems to be expected by them.

Last night, one of my DH's cousins arrived from their native land with her husband (a cardiologist). Within 20 minutes of meeting my 18 yr-old daughter, she (my daughter) was told that they had something to help her with her acne and that it's from eating chocolate. Of course my daughter is a lovely girl, a straight-A college student, an excellent dancer and a very good person. But I could see her whole being deflate by this relative stranger, whom she had just met. Well meaning? I'm sure. But necessary? My daughter has a hormonal imbalance, we are currently working with a doctor on it and she has seen several dermatologists and been on countless meds. With a bit of makeup it is barely noticable but then she's hit with a zinger . .. . .

This morning as dh and cousins were drinking their tea I was told that coffee is very bad for me. husband told them I drink mostly decaf, but then he said that decaf is very bad for my stomach. Sheesh! I'm sitting there with my steel cut oats and I enjoy my black coffee. My stomach feels just fine, thank you very much!
OHHHHH, I forgot the best part. All of this time, they are talking in their native language, which I don't know that well and they talk about you, then ask for the words to say in English or my husband interprets for me (most of the time).

These are people who appear kind. They smile and bring gifts and act as though they care, so I shouldn't get upset, but I do!!!

I feel better just letting this go . . . .
I would appreciate appreciate some feedback . . . . .
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm with teeny Bikini; years ago I would have swallowed it along with gallons of ice cream and other carbs. They would have destroyed me. Today I would have had to remind them that guests in someone's home don't behave that way. They were RUDE. Good for you for sticking to your guns; enjoying your food choices, and supporting your daughter. Hopefully they are gone now, and they will not receive another invite. Does anyone agree with HOTEL LODGINGS if there would ever, God forbid, be a next time? That may deter them!!
    3410 days ago
    Sounds like they are not let them bring you down. I agree with Teeny, the comment about your daughter's acne was just plain rude, as is talking in front of you in a language you do not understand. You were graceful. I have family members who say horrible things under the guise of "helping" me. My beloved husband has continually told me that a)just because they are related by blood does not mean they deserve to spend time with me and b) if I would not take such rudeness from a stranger why would I take it from someone who purports to love me? Be strong, try not to stoop to their level...and maybe next time they come to visit you and your lovely daughter can be visiting somewhere else.
    3667 days ago
    You handled yourself quite well and good for you for venting it here rather than letting it fester or eating it away.

    Having said that, I might suggest that you talk to your husband about how the situations made you and your daughter feel. While you may have gotten things off your chest for now, these are the little things that can add up in a relationship if they aren't dealt with.

    It's important that he can at least hear you out even if there isn't anything that can be changed about the situation now. You never know it might just make him think next time and even say something to the next relative who takes it upon themselves to comment on you and your family.

    Coming from a different culture and being raised somewhere between US culture and my native-born culture and now raising bi-cultural children, I can tell you that it's a balancing act to say the least.

    3667 days ago
    Um... wow.

    The acne comment was rude. I am stunned just reading it. I just can't imagine someone coming into my home and saying something so rude and leaving with all of their limbs attached.

    I think there are a lot of good suggestions here. Spark friends always come through with valuable advice. I learned a lot about peaceful resolution here - but I am hothead so I will not pretend that I have anything peaceful to say ;)

    You handled this situation with grace and restraint. It is very impressive. I think I would be incarcerated before they left :) Hugs. You are fantastic!!!!!!!


    I think you did just fine.
    3667 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/19/2011 10:19:00 PM
    What a tough, tough situation. It is true that different cultures speak differently...both in what they say and how they say it. I hope that you can talk to DH to try and work through this and try to help your daughter to understand their differences. I think it's probably one of those situations where you have to develop the "water off a duck's back" attitude...but that is so much easier said than done. Wishing you the best! Thank you for all your encouragement! I hope you have a TERRIFIC weekend! Enjoy! Celebrate your blessings! Spark on! emoticon
    3670 days ago
    You be the better person and say "Thank you so much for your information" and do what you are doing. Just count he days til they go home. They are guests and unfortunately they are unaware of their brashiness and hurt feelings. Grin and bear it but please don't eat over it.
    3670 days ago
    Good for you for venting and NOT holding it in!
    I can TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RELATE TO YOU! I also have a 'RELATIVE who lives nearby , she is very foreign still though she has been here over 40 years! She chooses to be that way! I accepted that. ...I have been married over 25 years... this lady feels she should speak her language to me and my kids SO weWILL LEARN THE LANGUAGE!!!!!!Enlugh I say... IF I WANTED to learn it fluently by NOW ... I WOULD HAVE!!! anyway I no longer try to understand... i give an answer i feel in appropriate and when she gets mad i didn't understand... oh well! I feel for your daughter but just remember, they are like this to EVERYONE! Hope their visit will be short and just keep a smile and say a prayer for them THEY need it! ....and be yourself!
    3670 days ago
  • no profile photo ELIZRN
    Some of the unhealthiest people I know are doctors...& other members of the medical profession. Anyway, that said, if life we have to turn a blind eye, at least in the moment. I usethe image of a television set surrounding the "offenders" & see them as a sit-com. Sometimes just "oh, thank you for telling me."

    But, consider that they may have something to offer. When the delivery system is faulty, we often miss out on important information, so my usual comment ( even to my husband who is my biggest critic is, "I'll certainly think about that."

    It's difficult to be with people who have been brought up in different ways, but this is part of our growth. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong. I grew up alone with my mother. The house was quiet with little conversation. My brothers married early....both to highly judgmental women & visiting them is a horror show for me. I married a man who is very critical & learning to be at peace with myself & to honor who I am was truly a growth experience.

    As for your daughter, I'm sure you took her aside & made light of what was going on.

    Happy learning....

    3670 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    i say this alot... "it is as it does"....basically if someone is making stupid comments i shake my head, say that phrase and walk away....leaving the person to wonder just transpired...i happen to dislike others that find it necessary to comment on my vegetarian powerlifting doxie loving a woman who grew up with acne, i know how badly it hurts when someone makes a nasty comment, so please, give your daughter a hug from me, and remind her of the phrase above emoticon keep doing what's right for you, whether it be drinking decaf, eating steel cut oats or running around naked singing a lady gaga YOUR life as you see fit....
    3671 days ago
  • APPLES20
    I once read a very wise, cerebral author who gave me a phrase that I use a LOT now, both out loud and in my head.

    "Is that so?"

    It's a wonderful phrase that means neither, I agree, or disagree, I care or I don't care, I'm going to do what you tell me, or not do what you tell me.

    "you keep drinking that black coffee, yer gonna croak"
    "Is that so?"
    "yeah, it eats your stomach lining"
    "Is that so?"
    "You should stop today, right now"
    "Is that so?"
    "Your not listening to me"
    "Is that so?"

    It's quite empowering to say. It shifts something in your mind and heart. You can say it 50 times in a conversation. Try it, it works. :D
    3671 days ago
    Glad you "my language" they are just plain RUDE. I am very sad to hear your daughter was approached that way.

    I have a well meaning FIL (whom I do love) who has the habit of trying to tell everyone how to live, eat, etc. I let it go in one ear and out the other but tell you what I would really like to just tell him to shut up and mind his own durn business!

    I'll bet you are glad they don't live in Florida huh? LOL
    3671 days ago
    Yes, take it in stride or there could be trouble between you and your hubby and you don't want that!
    Good luck to and my big mouth...I'd be in trouble already! ha ha
    Hugs, Rhonda
    3671 days ago
  • UTMIZ_2000
    Get it out, it's better to get it out. If his cousins do not know English, then it is understandable they use their native tongue, but if they do then shame on them for leaving you out of the conversation.

    About the coffee, it is better to drink the regular. I got this from a Ph.D chemist. The decafination process leaves some nasty byproducts that are worse for you than the caffiene. But the choice of what to drink is up to you.

    Sounds like these doctor relatives need to learn to turn off the doctor mode and turn on the visiting relation mode. Sorry you've been frustrated.

    Like you said, they probably think they are being helpful and loving by saying these things, but the cultural differences aren't being taken into consideration.

    Feel better. At least they are only visiting for a short while.

    3671 days ago
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