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Opting out of a tradition I enjoy

DHs family is big into deer hunting and as long as we have been together, I have always joined them during shotgun season. It's tradition for us all to gets together opening day (FIL, BIL, DH and I) and hunt on DHs great uncles property. A few years ago, BIL began bringing his young girlfriend with us, and last year she was very bitchy and ungrateful. It made the experience less enjoyable because we had to deal with her pouting that she didn't shoot anything.

We just found out that this year, we will also have her father joining us. That makes six people hunting a roughly ten acre area. Not only is that ridiculously unsafe, but I feel like its a bit uncool to randomly bring in "outsiders" to a family tradition. We are also worried because this guy hasn't gone hunting in about 15+ years, which can also be unsafe. I feel like BIL and his teenage gf are taking advantage of this tradition, and I am not okay with it. I asked DH if we could say something to BIL or FIL and he said its too late. The guy has already been invited, and the season is a week away. I contemplated skipping it this year since I'm not only annoyed at BIL for it, but also out of concern for safety.

Would you say something? Should I skip out on the tradition because of this?

Re: Opting out of a tradition I enjoy

  • I think you're being unreasonable. I'll give you safety concerns but this sounds more like an issue of people encroaching on your tradition and you don't like it. She's a teenager... why are you letting her get under your skin?

    You're joining your husbands family, brothers and their dad. You've been welcomed into this tradition. Extend that courtesy to your BILs girlfriend and Dad. Referring to them as "outsiders" is kind of bitchy. Like "I'm on the inside and you're not and we don't want you."

    It's not your place to say something. Loosen up a bit and try to make the best of your time. You have 10 acres to escape to if the girl pisses you off.
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  • I don't think you should say anything, and family traditions get changed all the time, as the family changes. I mean, your DH and his brother and father probably went hunting without you before you came along, so does that mean you shouldn't be invited? I think it's only fair that since your DH brings you, his brother can bring his girlfriend. And if your BIl marries her, her father is his FIL, so it makes sense to me that he would join. Sorry, but I think you're looking for trouble if you say something or stop going. You don't have the right to "uninvite" someone from a tradition, or decide how it should continue. Things change. Go and try to have fun.
  • Yeah- pretty much ditto the previous posters.  You sound really catty and bitchy.  You were once not a part of this tradition.  But heaven forbid someone else join? 

    Yeah, get over yourself. 

    And you're giving this girl a LOT of power.  She pouted?  So what. Let her.  Focus on yourself, your DH, and anyone else who ISN'T pouting. 

    Plus, you say this was a "few years ago".  Do you think that perhaps there's a chance she's changed a little?  Perhaps grown up a bit?  Give her a chance.

  • All of what PP's said. You have absolutely no right to make someone feel uncomfortable or unwelcome to a tradition that you were once welcomed into. You're not even on your own property.

    As far as her pouting, ummmm, exactly what are you doing here?

    Lighten up. Young people do stupid things and act childish at times. Give her a break and be respectful and welcoming to everyone. 

    If you really feel unsafe or can't bring yourself to be nice, by all means stay home. 
  • OP, I agree with you that it stinks when someone makes a once-fun activity less so with a bad attitude. However, if your BIL asked your uncle if BIL could invite guests to uncle's property and uncle said yes, then there's nothing you can do about that.

    The best you can do is go in expecting to have a good time and get away from this girl if/when she's being unpleasant.
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  • Spin313 said:
    OP, I agree with you that it stinks when someone makes a once-fun activity less so with a bad attitude. However, if your BIL asked your uncle if BIL could invite guests to uncle's property and uncle said yes, then there's nothing you can do about that. The best you can do is go in expecting to have a good time and get away from this girl if/when she's being unpleasant.

    This is another issue I didn't touch on. My ILs are notorious for doing whatever they want without regard for others. No one ever asks the great-uncle permission for these things. The poor man wakes up some days in the summer to find my ILs camping on his property. But that's a bit of a different topic.

    I guess you're right, it's not right of me to decide who can or cannot join us. As you said, I was an outsider once too. But I spent the first three years just sitting with DH, no gun on hand, just watching. We now have so many people in the woods with us, with guns, than there is nowhere to put people to create safe shooting lanes. DH and BIL had a discussion yesterday about where on the property we were all going to sit, and they couldn't even come up with a solution. As for the PP who said maybe the GF has changed, I can say she has.... She has gotten more bratty. I used to like her a lot but recently she has began acting more entitled. She threw a fit that no one on DHs side of the family threw her a birthday party last month, and said that "apparently you have to be married into this family to matter." I guess it's all these things that are the reasons I am angry her father is joining us. But as you said, I will keep my mouth shut and just deal.
  •  No one ever asks the great-uncle permission for these things. The poor man wakes up some days in the summer to find my ILs camping on his property.
    Not your problem, though. 
  • VOR said:
     No one ever asks the great-uncle permission for these things. The poor man wakes up some days in the summer to find my ILs camping on his property.
    Not your problem, though. 
    Yep. Happens to my FIL and then he complains about it to us, but he never says anything about it to the offender. It's not our role to get involved.
  • Well, we ended up all going, and the gfs dad came with us. He was awful. He had a rude comment about everything. By the afternoon, we were all fed up with him. BILs gf felt bad because everyone was angry, but she felt obligated to let him stay with us all day. We all agreed that this tradition better stick to either just family, or people we have at least met before.
  • This is just all kinds of horrible in so many ways. The "hobby" itself, the "only family" comment that applies selectively, the you taking charge of a family tradition that didn't originate nor does it centre around you... and then being all bent out of shape when someone else wants to bring their SO.

    Sorry you had a crappy day. Probably not as crappy as the critters you were shooting at but still.
    image

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  • This is just all kinds of horrible in so many ways. The "hobby" itself, the "only family" comment that applies selectively, the you taking charge of a family tradition that didn't originate nor does it centre around you... and then being all bent out of shape when someone else wants to bring their SO.

    Sorry you had a crappy day. Probably not as crappy as the critters you were shooting at but still.
    Judgy much? I'll bet the factory farmed critters had a much crappier day than those that were humanely killed after living a full and free life.
  • Pretty sure the last 4 deer I hit with my car would have preferred a hunter take them out.
    catmiss9
  • This is just all kinds of horrible in so many ways. The "hobby" itself, the "only family" comment that applies selectively, the you taking charge of a family tradition that didn't originate nor does it centre around you... and then being all bent out of shape when someone else wants to bring their SO.

    Sorry you had a crappy day. Probably not as crappy as the critters you were shooting at but still.

    I was not the one to point out her fathers behavior. DH, BIL and FIL all did as well. They took it harder than me because they felt they were being taken advantage of by this guy. Everyone also felt he was treating us like we were stupid,constantly corrective everything we did and throwing in a very sarcastic and demeaning "duhhhh" constantly. He even openly mocked my MIL in front of FIL which I think is pretty damn rude.

    I guess part of the problem here is that some of you may not be familiar with hunting. Opening day is, without a doubt, about family. One of my friends even complained that her FI had no one to go out with opening day because all of his friends were with family. It's also stuff like this that gets land rights pulled. The landowner of one other area my ILs hunt on made a comment that he may close the land to hunting because too many people bring extra people and before you now it there is an unsafe number on the land.

    Oh, and the factory farm comment is extra ridiculous..... I work in the animal ag industry. Don't get me started on that.
  • Go. Have a good time. Just smile and nod at the teenager. If you really think it's unsafe, beg off with a cold or flu.
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