My brother-in-law’s fiancée “Taylor” is shady AF. We had a family dinner last week and she made a big deal of asking all her future nieces and nephews what they wanted for Christmas and even took notes on her phone.
A couple of minutes later everybody had left the table except me, my brother-in-law, and “Taylor”. As I was leaving the dining room I heard “Taylor” say to my brother-in-law, “I hope no one really thinks they’re getting presents from me because I’m all set to blame the supply chain.” My brother-in-law laughed nervously and then she said, “I’m not kidding. It’s really not happening.
I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t say anything to her but I did tell my two sisters-in-law so they wouldn’t depend on their kids getting any gifts from this woman and if they were planning on getting the “newest family member” something they might want to keep it low budget.
It got back to my brother-in-law that I shared what “Taylor” had said and now he’s super pissed and said she was just “messing around” and that I’m just jealous of her and don’t understand her humor.
My mother-in-law is urging me to apologize but my husband has my back and says he thinks his mother is asking the wrong person to say, “I’m sorry.” Of course I agree but Thanksgiving might be super weird this year and now I’m wondering if it’s worth it.
Signed, Not Looking Forward to This Turkey Dinner
Dear Not Looking Forward,
Can you have Thanksgiving at your home this year or go to your parents’? Because I agree that turkey dinner might come with a heaping helping of awkwardness.
I’m not kidding the best way to defuse the situation is to give it some time and distance. It won’t totally take care of it, but I would rather approach the issue after everyone has had time to cool down.
Now moving on to the blame game. I get where you’re coming from. If I heard that I would have been thinking WTH? And I understand how you wanted to tell your sisters-in-laws since you felt like their kids had just been conned.
That said, you might need to apologize. Not because you were in the “wrong” but at the moment you heard “Taylor” say she wasn’t really getting presents for the kids you should have asked for clarification.
This would have served notice that, hello, your ears work and you’re mighty upset about what she said but more importantly it would have given you an opportunity to confirm if your future sister-in-law was, indeed, just kidding and handed her a chance to quickly back track.
Please note I’m not focusing on what “Taylor” should do. You asked me what I thought your next move should be. Your apology doesn’t condone “Taylor’s behavior. It just expresses a “my bad” for not verifying if this woman is really that big of an ass.
So, in an effort to make the holidays semi-enjoyable or let’s get real here – less anxiety inducing I would consent to saying that you’re sorry you didn’t go all “Dateline” detective with”Taylor” to confirm that she wasn’t joking before you shared what she said with other family members.
As apologies go it shouldn’t be too painful to deliver and it gives the family a chance to push the reset button and the fiancée an opportunity for a do over. That can be your gift to her.
Oh, and that jealous comment by your brother-in-law – give it the huge eye roll it deserves and let it go.
😱If you have a dilemma, question or an issue that is searing your very soul reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org