Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Thy Quirks Shall Not Offend Others
i watch the real housewives of new york city on the bravo channel. i enjoy it because its funny watching these ladies scramble to outdo one another scene after scene. if you watch it, then you may agree that the NY cast seems a bit more fake than the orange county cast. they just seem like they are trying hard to impress people.
anyhoo, there's one couple, alex and simon. (alex is the blond on the right. she NEVER looks that polished-lol) they are trying to move upward into more social circles and network with more affluent people. what irks me about this couple is a laundry list of things. they try really hard to appear ultra-riche, very cultured, and fashionable snobbish. but what doesn't add up is the wife NEVER seems to comb/brush her hair. and she also wears a lot of dressy shirts with blue jeans that have no business being paired together, like a yellow, black & white sleeveless shirt with super-blue jeans. it just looks odd.
but what is the weirdest of all is her husband, simon. he is obsessed with clothes, including women's clothes...so much so that he ALWAYS goes shopping with alex. when they are heading out somewhere, he picks out her outfit. alex and simon try very hard to force their closeness down everyone's throats. they go everywhere together...EVERYWHERE...because as they say, they're each other's best friend, are in love and have a good marriage.
what i find bothersome about that is one does not equal the other...meaning, you can have a good marriage and be in love, but that doesn't mean you have to become siamese twins. this particularly annoyed me because one thing that peeves me more than anything else is when someone else's quirks/preferences/lifestyle/ignorance choices are pushed into my space. in one episode the ladies met up at a fashion show and alex had simon lagging behind her. the other ladies were so shocked because no one else's husband had accompanied them...and then he sat behind them and started giving alex a massage while she was chatting with the other ladies.
but what took the cake was the latest ep! one of the ladies organized a ladies night dinner. when alex was called and invited, she specifically asked if she could bring her husband. the ladies joked with her saying that if he wore a cocktail dress, he could come. i understood the joke because when you are asked so mething so dumb, it catches you off guard...but you don't want to be rude and just blurt out "NO you friggin bloke! its a bloody LADIES NIGHT!" so you try to take the light-hearted way out. well, alex gets off of the phone and proceeds to tell simon that they were invited to a girls night and the ladies didn't vehemently insist that he shouldn't come. she actually showed up with him to a dinner that was supposed to be for 5 women. one of the ladies freaked out and left, of course after making some choice comments.
i brought this up to say that while they were offended by her reaction, their action was the first offense. i despise when people almost force you to appear snobby/mean/pushy when they insist on shoving their lifestyle or preferences into everyone else's space. just because alex wants to be joined at the hip with her husband, not everyone else does. and it was so rude of her to even ASK if she could "bring" him after hearing it was a ladies night. the explanantion that you go everywhere together is not enough. and if you can't bare to be without him for a few hours, then don't come.
i've been put in some situations similar to this...where my answer either offended others or i ended up pissed off because i didn't give my true answer out of not wanting to hurt the other person.
EXAMPLE: i was invited to a wedding. it was at a home. the young lady and i were not close but we were cool. i showed up dressed to the nines, i believe i was wearing a black suit. anyhoo, as soon as i walked in, i was ushered into the kitchen and asked to prepare the wedding cake. WTF!?!?!?! the WEDDING CAKE!?!?!?! they said, "well, you're an artist so you could probably do it." HUH??? artist and baker are two totally different things. i was furious! i was not dressed for this, not to mention, this girl and i were not THAT cool. but i took my jacket off and started to stack and ice this cake because i felt sorry that this girl's relatives were ruining what was supposed to be a special day. i was pissed, but i let my woman feelings take over and i did it anyway, but i shouldn't have. no one even thanked me.
on the flip side, when i got married, we had an all-white wedding. we asked everyone who was invited to wear white. my wedding was in the dead of summer so it was not going to be hard to find something white if you didn't already have something. being that it was outdoors, i was not expecting people to show up in complete tuxedos and evening gowns...just something tasteful and white. i made it plain that if you did not wear white you would have to sit in another section until the reception. well, someone showed up in head-to-toe peach. i immediately dismissed her via an usher. she respected my request and left to navigate the town and bought something white, then returned. she claimed not to know about the attire. but what was odd was her date was the best man....how could you not know? but she didn't get ugly, she just threw on her white and sat behind some bushes.
now, on the flip/flip side....when i had my baby shower, only women were invited. all invites were addressed to the WOMAN, not the family, not the couple, but the woman. (this is the first rule of etiquette...pay attention to how invitations are addressed to avoid awkward conversations) on the day of, one invited guest calls my mum and TELLS her "they're" running late, but we'd see all of them soon. the "them" she spoke of was herself, her husband and her FOUR CHILDREN. um, are you kidding? the nerve of her!!!! just because you like to make family outings out of everything, everyone else does not want to be subjected to your 1,2, AND 3 year old toddlers ripping, running and screaming everywhere. they also have an 11 year old. so i had my hubby call and shut it down. (it was his cousin) she got an attitude and said no one was coming then. then she said she'd mail my baby's gift. um, my daughter's 16 months old now...still haven't gotten that gift.
***so i'm not even going to ask my pretty circle family if you would be so rude as to insist on disrupting the vibe of an event for you personal comfort. i know you guys would never!...but i will ask, when have you been put out by someone's quirk or request? WHO ASKED YOU SOMETHING THAT WAS CONSIDERED OFFENSIVE BECAUSE IT AS ALL ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL COMFORT INSTEAD OF THE GROUP DYNAMIC? HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT? ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO TRY AND FIND A WAY TO ACCOMMODATE THEIR REQUEST OR STICK TO THE AGENDA, REGARDLESS OF THEIR REACTION? SPILL IT...........***