Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

Keeping up with the Jones'?

Just wondering if any of your families have a Keeping Up With the Jones' thing going on within the ILs? And what I mean by that is, is there one couple/family who feels the need to show off their recent purchases and acquisitions to the rest of the family, and then proceeds to "talk down" the other members' possessions/equivalents to everyone else?

My SIL is very status minded, in my book. She judges her worth by the things she owns, and recently she and her husband bought both a new bed and a Roomba. She took great pains to describe to us, in detail, what both items can do and how "cool" they are, and then my H made the mistake of saying that I'd been thinking of getting a Roomba for a while now. I hadn't 'cause it doesn't work well on pet hair and we have two cats, and I said this, but the damage was done - she had something I once/did want, and that was it. For the rest of the night, it was all about the Roomba, how wonderful it is, how excited she is to have it, etc. For some reason, she thinks that she has to compete with me and what H and I own.

Another example: my wedding ring and engagement ring are a set. The e-ring is just like the band (small diamonds along the band, only the e-ring has a larger single stone) and they're meant to be worn together. Before we got engaged, I'd never seen her e-ring, just her band, which aren't a set. After we got engaged and married, all of a sudden she started wearing her e-ring along with her band. It was weird to me and I noticed it.

I own, from before my marriage, an investment property. I am fortunate enough to have a very generous family and I now rent out that property for income (no mortgage, no debts). They don't know this and the only reason they don't know it is 'cause I know how they'd react. Instead of saying how wonderful and how lucky we are (H and I) to have this asset, they'd try to find ways to one up us, and to be honest, I'm tired of it. It's so High School and childish and I'm just sick and tired of it all. I don't care that they don't know about my investment property, but I do care about the reason behind their not knowing.

And there are other comments like that all the time. Silly, stupid things and I never really know how to react to them. They don't bother me, per se, in a very real way, but they exhaust me and bring me to the point wherein I really don't want to see her/spend time with her 'cause you never know what's going to come out of her mouth. We don't see them often at all, which is nice, even though they live very closeby and we occasionally do things together at the ILs, but it's just ... well, it's something that if it were up to me, I'd choose to never see her. 

H is totally supportive and just shrugs it off, saying that's how she is and not to worry about it. And I don't - worry about it, that is, but it does bother and annoy me and so any help in creating a new thought process would be helpful and appreciated.

Re: Keeping up with the Jones'?

  • Of course you know this is all based on insecurity.

    Very well could be that's how she is but what bothers me: your H needs to be more supportive of you -- I wonder how much of this is her trying to ride you, goad you or bust your chops. If it bothers you, it should certainly bother him as well.

    Do speak to your H about this and how he needs to have your back more on this. GL.

  • Kill her with kindness.  "You got a Roomba?  Wow, that is so cool!  I am so amazed at how they work.  DH and I had pondered the idea of getting one but in the end it didn't fit our needs.  But I'm sure it does a great job in your house.  Maybe I can come over some time and witness it work it's magic!"

    The point is I'm sure SIL is trying to get a rise out of you, mainly jealousy.  If she sees even a hint of jealousy it puffs her up and makes her feel like she's top dog.  But if you were to genuinely feel happy for their purchases (no matter how materialistic and childish it is) her plans will backfire.  It's sad that she feels that the only way SHE can feel happy is by surrounding herself with items and making others feel bad in the process.  Don't give her that power.  Whenever she shows off something go along with it.  Praise the purchase, get excited about it, don't let her think for one second you were pining for a Roomba too (even though you're not!)

    I also don't think you should have to hid your investment property or really even bring it up it it's not necessary.  But if say, they're talking about buying property and you start offering very detailed advice and they ask you how you know so much then just say it.  "Oh, I own a house that I rent."  Don't make it a big deal and end the conversation as quickly as you can.  If SIL tries to one-up you again then praise her for that purchase.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • You have to opt out of the competition.  You have to nod at things, say that whatever they mention is wonderful and then proceed to steer the conversation away from it.  They are obviously very insecure people and are trying to justify them to themselves.  They are seeking your approval or hoping that you are jealous because that would make them feel better. 

    My IL's are the SAME way.  I only hate it when I am the one getting copied.

    Jill * Married to Steven 11/9/03 * DS Samuel 4/4/05* DS #2 Jeffrey 6/13/2009
  • I have a SIL just like this. Last year she kept texting us about how she was making a gourmet thanksgiving dinner all by herself for her family. She even put the menu on FB with pictures. At Christmas, she made sure to interrupt every single conversation with comments about how she made it all on her own. Even when I opened up my in-laws present of painting supplies she said "Oh wow, I never knew you were talented in painting. I guess the boys just know how to pick us creative types. But I would rather be a talented cook than a talented artist." Luckily my spouse didn't skip a beat and told her that I was the best of both world being talented in the studio and the kitchen. Which was nice, because usually we ignore it, but last year she was starting to get obnoxious.

    The only thing I can suggest is that you and your H continue to try to stay on the same page. If you wanna ignore it, you can be each other's subject changer. If you want to put her in her place, you can be each other's horn tooter. A partner in crime or peacemaking makes a world of difference.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic You may be gone but you will always be in my heart Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers 3~10~11 Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    Check us out
  • We have friends like this.  Well, the husband is like this.  They built a house the same time we did.  I think he was offended from the beginning because our house cost more than theirs, strictly due to location ("we could never afford to live in x-city!").

    When they moved in, they had a nice housewarming barbecue and he gave us the grand tour.  The money they spent in their house was absurd - brand new televisions in every room of the house, including the kids' rooms (who are 2 and 3 years old, BTW).  He went on and on about the stainless steel appliances and how they were worth the extra cost over the black appliances (we have black, mainly because it looks better in our kitchen).  Then he showed us his office and how it was all decked out, which is odd because he never does work from home, but his wife does and she does all the household bills, etc.  Again, pointing out how much he had.

    It was getting annoying up until he showed us the huge (and expensive) grill they had.  Problem was, he didn't even know how to grill, or even turn it on!  My husband grilled their dinner, which put him in his place, pleasing all the other guests who were annoyed by his behavior.

    Anyway, we have limited contact with them, especially as a couple.  She is my friend, so I visit with her occasionally, but it's rarer that the four of us get together.  However, we deal with the one-upping by nodding and smiling and saying things like, "Wow, that's great!"  We never talk about our house or what we've done to it, unless we are asked.  Then, we change the subject to something not even remotely related to the houses.  I agree, though, it is draining.  I guess I don't have much advice other than to say change the subject - particularly to something other than "stuff." 

  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Of course you know this is all based on insecurity.

    This 100%. They are threatened and need to make themselves feel better. I  know so many people like this and its drives in crazy. A good friend of mine is like this and in a moment of weakness he once confided in me that he only says those type of things because he is so insecure. THen teh next day he went right back to doing it.  

     

    image
  • Ugh, my family is more like this than my ILs, and like a PP said, my H and I chose early on to "Opt Out" of the competition. It's everything from the cost of engagement/wedding rings (one of theirs is about $10K, one about $15K), to cars (both have new cars), size and cost of houses, to what their children do when (walking, eating solids, sippy cup usage). It goes on and on and on.

    My H and I live in an apartment, we drive the car I bought in college (it's a 2000) and we have just the one, and my wedding and engagement rings are moissanite not diamond. When these things come up, we just don't partake; just observe and be thankful we have no vested interest.

    Whatever you do (and I get a sense of it in your OP), don't start trying to justify (even to yourself!) why you could compete if you wanted to. You're not involved in this game. You're just observing. You likely could compete, but you'd never win because you're not as invested as your SIL. Sit back and watch - you'll be happier for it.

  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Of course you know this is all based on insecurity.

    Very well could be that's how she is but what bothers me: your H needs to be more supportive of you -- I wonder how much of this is her trying to ride you, goad you or bust your chops. If it bothers you, it should certainly bother him as well.

    Do speak to your H about this and how he needs to have your back more on this. GL.

    Yes, I'm certain that it's based on insecurity. And that makes me sad. She's a smart lady in a good career with a very good husband that everyone loves, and really has no reason to feel insecure, but she still tries to one-up me/us at every chance. I don't get it.

    Then again, I'm the one who was divorced when both my youngers siblings married, and instead of feeling sorry for myself that I was alone, I was honestly happy for them. And when my brother's wife found out she was pregnant a week or two before my (second) wedding (current marriage) and didn't tell anyone 'cause she didn't want to "steal my thunder", I laughed and said that we're talking about a new life, a new person in the family - how on earth is that "stealing my thunder"?

    I know that some women have a propensity to become jealous of each other and to fall into this game of competition, and I hate it. I never thought I'd be involved in a game like this as I never have been before, but now I'm embroiled in one with my SIL - a relationship I don't want to end over this kind of thing - and it's just not my thing. It makes me very uncomfortable.

    H is very supportive. I'm sorry if I didn't state that clearly enough in my OP, but he is. He just is of the belief that it's not worth our energy to say anything, that it'll cause more problems than it's worth, and there's no point - she won't change. And she won't, I know that.

    I guess the only change I'd like to really make is to my response mechanism - figure out a way to reply to her statements that will stop her in her tracks and maybe think again before starting down this path next time.

  • image dragon_chica:

    Kill her with kindness.  "You got a Roomba?  Wow, that is so cool!  I am so amazed at how they work.  DH and I had pondered the idea of getting one but in the end it didn't fit our needs.  But I'm sure it does a great job in your house.  Maybe I can come over some time and witness it work it's magic!" That's a bit too enthusiastic for me, and could and probably would come off as insincere, but I get where you're going with this. React  in the total opposite way of what I think she's expecting or wanting... and yeah, I could do that, but it's so not my nature, mostly 'cause when I see her now, I'm certain she's going to try to one-up us/me in some way, so the annoyance factor is already high. But it's definitely something worth considering. :) Thanks.

    The point is I'm sure SIL is trying to get a rise out of you, mainly jealousy.  If she sees even a hint of jealousy it puffs her up and makes her feel like she's top dog.  But if you were to genuinely feel happy for their purchases (no matter how materialistic and childish it is) her plans will backfire. Yeah, see, that's the challenge for me, to make it genuine. It wouldn't be because I'd know, somewhere in my consciousness, that when purchasing the item, she at least thought about the effect it would/could have on us. It's sad that she feels that the only way SHE can feel happy is by surrounding herself with items and making others feel bad in the process.  Don't give her that power.  Whenever she shows off something go along with it.  Praise the purchase, get excited about it, don't let her think for one second you were pining for a Roomba too (even though you're not!) Right, and as I said in my OP, the mistake was that H had mentioned it without thinking - I don't even know if he understands how this affects me (although we have talked about it before, a number of times), but I'll try again later. Maybe I'll show him this thread...

    I also don't think you should have to hid your investment property or really even bring it up it it's not necessary.  But if say, they're talking about buying property and you start offering very detailed advice and they ask you how you know so much then just say it.  "Oh, I own a house that I rent."  Don't make it a big deal and end the conversation as quickly as you can.  If SIL tries to one-up you again then praise her for that purchase. It's definitely worth thinking about, but I'm not sure this reaction (praise, enthusiasm, etc) is within my personality. But it's good advice, so thank you, and I'll see if I can make it work.

  • image JillShari:

    You have to opt out of the competition.  You have to nod at things, say that whatever they mention is wonderful and then proceed to steer the conversation away from it.  They are obviously very insecure people and are trying to justify them to themselves.  They are seeking your approval or hoping that you are jealous because that would make them feel better.  Steering the conversation away to something else would probably work well. I do want to state, though, that it's not her husband that's doing this; it's her. I doubt he's even conscious of what the effects of her behavior are.

    My IL's are the SAME way.  I only hate it when I am the one getting copied.

    Yep, me too. It makes me want to totally steer clear of her so she can't see what we have and then won't be able to copy it.
  • I wouldn't worry about it either..that's a good way to make yourself crazy, especially because you can't really know what's going on in you IL's head.

    I actually have the opposite problem. I grew up in Europe, and my husband more or less grew up in a trailer. I have an extremely different perception of the world than my husband's family, and it shows even when I don't mean for it to.

    Example: last year everyone went over to his aunt's house for christmas...I would rather saw off my hands than show up at someone's house for dinner etc. without some little hostess gift, so I thought it would be nice to bring a hand-made bouche-de-noel (it's a rolled cake that's decorated to look like a log, and they're a pretty big PITA to make, so I expended a lot of effort over this thing). I knew they wouldn't know what it was, but in my thinking I could explain it and share some christmas traditions or even funny stories from my own home and childhood.You know, get some good conversation and memories going. A family friend lived in France and she bought us a bouche and a bottle of fine cognac every year, so it was definitely part of everything for me. 

    In any case we make it out there (the drive was a nightmare, but we were there exactly when we said we'd be there), and the food is already cold, everyone has already eaten, gifts have already exchanged and we're forced to heat us up some sad-looking remnants on paper plates. I try to start explaining this cake I brought for his aunt, and I essentially get cut off because everyone is jumping all over themselves to shove a bag of Avon junk in my face while I'm still attempting to forage for food...and argh it was just a disaster from a to z. Bottom line: my cake was totally ignored, I tried to share something special to me with them, and I will to this day occasionally mutter over the whole thing. 

    Afterwards it comes out how elitist I am for bringing an over-decorated French cake that no one can pronounce the name of. I certainly wasn't trying to play "Keeping up with the Joneses" but that's the way it was perceived.  

     At this point, I do not give a hot dam*n. DH does not want to do things trailer-chic, and neither do I, so we don't. I can't change their perceptions of me because no matter what I do, about 90% of my life experience is completely alien to them. They may think I'm being elitist or whatever...but frankly I'm just being myself and we are doing things the way WE think they ought to be done.


     

  • image mrs.starbucks:

    Afterwards it comes out how elitist I am for bringing an over-decorated French cake that no one can pronounce the name of. I certainly wasn't trying to play "Keeping up with the Joneses" but that's the way it was perceived.  

     At this point, I do not give a hot dam*n. DH does not want to do things trailer-chic, and neither do I, so we don't. I can't change their perceptions of me because no matter what I do, about 90% of my life experience is completely alien to them. They may think I'm being elitist or whatever...but frankly I'm just being myself and we are doing things the way WE think they ought to be done.

    First off, thanks for sharing this story with me. I appreciate it and can understand your frustration and anger. For me, though, it's not a similar situation.

    My H and I (and our families) grew up in very financially similar situations and although I lived abroad (for high school and after), he has had some wonderful opportunities provided by his parents as well. We've both been very fortunate, and I know that if I were to bring something special and unique to me to a dinner, they'd not only be interested in it, they'd try to learn all they could about it, and I appreciate that.

    I don't think anyone is either being elitist or thinking that I am, but I do have the feeling, at times, that SIL is involved in a competition of sorts with me, and it's difficult for me. I would really rather not get involved in these situations and I'm trying to find out ways to prevent or avoid them. You have chosen to not give a hot damn about your ILs' thoughts and feelings, and have decided to do things your way, and if that's fine for you, that's great. :) It's not fine for me. I have a good relationship with all my ILs otherwise, and would rather keep it that way.

  • See if you can steer the conversation away from "stuff."  She mentions something new that she got?  Say "Sounds cool; I bet you're enjoying that new vacuum/new coffeemaker/whatever.  Hey, did you see the football game yesterday?  Wasn't that an incredible pass in the third quarter?  (Or whatever other interest you mutually have that doesn't revolve around the "new stuff" competition.)"

    I would also avoid EVER mentioning your possessions in conversations with her.  If she says, "Nice sweater," just say "Thanks;" don't tell her where you got it or anything else unless she pushes.  And even then, I'd just say "I don't remember where I picked it up."

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • image JoEsther:

    First off, thanks for sharing this story with me. I appreciate it and can understand your frustration and anger. For me, though, it's not a similar situation.

    My H and I (and our families) grew up in very financially similar situations and although I lived abroad (for high school and after), he has had some wonderful opportunities provided by his parents as well. We've both been very fortunate, and I know that if I were to bring something special and unique to me to a dinner, they'd not only be interested in it, they'd try to learn all they could about it, and I appreciate that.

    I don't think anyone is either being elitist or thinking that I am, but I do have the feeling, at times, that SIL is involved in a competition of sorts with me, and it's difficult for me. I would really rather not get involved in these situations and I'm trying to find out ways to prevent or avoid them. You have chosen to not give a hot damn about your ILs' thoughts and feelings, and have decided to do things your way, and if that's fine for you, that's great. :) It's not fine for me. I have a good relationship with all my ILs otherwise, and would rather keep it that way.

     

    My point was more that SHE may not view it as a competition. Like I said, I wasn't trying to one-up or compete with my IL's or rub XYZ in their face. For instance: with the engagement ring thing...perhaps the way you wear yours made her think that perhaps her own is meant to be worn rather than shoved in a jewelry box and forgotten. 

    Obviously, I don't know her, but because I come from "the other side of the fence" I would tend to give someone the benefit of the doubt when it appears that they're being snobby. 

    [shug] I get along with my IL's on the whole and I like them. If I didn't, I wouldn't have married into the family. But I'm not going to pretend to be something else for their sake, especially since DH married me for who I am. In your case, I don't really think that being true to your own personality and just NOT indulging her competitiveness (if that is indeed the case) would ruin your relationship with her. So why let it keep you up at night?

  • I don't see the connection between your braggart SIL and your personal property. Can you please explain the relevance?
  • image scherza:

    See if you can steer the conversation away from "stuff."  She mentions something new that she got?  Say "Sounds cool; I bet you're enjoying that new vacuum/new coffeemaker/whatever.  Hey, did you see the football game yesterday?  Wasn't that an incredible pass in the third quarter?  (Or whatever other interest you mutually have that doesn't revolve around the "new stuff" competition.)"

    I would also avoid EVER mentioning your possessions in conversations with her.  If she says, "Nice sweater," just say "Thanks;" don't tell her where you got it or anything else unless she pushes.  And even then, I'd just say "I don't remember where I picked it up."

     

    This. 

    image
    Happy, the best dog ever. ~February 1998 - July 22, 2012
    I am "deaf-initely" one of a kind.

    Follow me on Pinterest
  • Just think of all the credit card debt they are racking up due to having to buy "stuff" all the time. This always helps me sleep better at night!

    We have ILs and a couple of friends like this. They eat out ALL THE TIME- and are fat. They have new cars-AND $400/month car payments. They have a HUGE HOUSE-they have to clean. My SIL has clothes/shoes/"stuff" and her husband is an ARSEHOLE.

    I try not to hang aorund people to are obsessed with stuff-I have a couple good friends (couples and girlfriends) who don't judge eachother by what they have/how much $ DH makes, etc. We can hang out and laugh/talk/bond without comparing/judging/eyeballing eachother's shiz. I would rather hang out, have a beer, and wear my football T-shirt than spend time with people who valued me for my net worth.

  • In some of this, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.  If you spend time LOOKING for problems, you will find them!  Seriously - she never wore her e-ring and wedding ring, and shouldn't "because they are not a set" like yours?!?  Get over yourself!  My e-ring and wedding band are not a "set" either.  I still wear them together!  And I usually DO NOT wear my e-ring all the time (b/c I don't want cleaning chemicals, etc. to get on my ring), but I wear it when I go "out," such as going to my ILS or parents home, or out to dinner. 

    As for the Roomba - they are not that unusual.  They're not even that expensive!  Maybe she was encouraging you to get one, b/c she liked hers so much, not as a competition.  (After all, Christmas is coming up...) If she really wanted to brag, she could have bragged about the bed, which would be wierd if your purchased the same thing and is a lot more expensive.

    I have always been the person who nobody competed with. Maybe b/c it's that I really don't compete.  You got a shiny new car?  Great!  That's so exciting!  I don't brag about my car ("my mini-van is worth more than your lexus"),, or rain on your parade ("oh, I would never waste money on a BMW.  They are so over-rated.").  You got a new i-phone?  I've heard there are SOOOOOO many things you can do with an I-phone.  So many apps!  And how cool to upload pictures directly onto facebook! 

    I actually don't think it's bad to have the newest toy around.  Some people are like that, and it's not my style, but not so bad, either,  Just be happy that you have $$ on the bank (or in your property) and act happy that your SIL has a new vaccum cleaner.  I mean, if THAT is what it takes to make her happy, good for her!   

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • image mrs.starbucks:

    I wouldn't worry about it either..that's a good way to make yourself crazy, especially because you can't really know what's going on in you IL's head.

    I actually have the opposite problem. I grew up in Europe, and my husband more or less grew up in a trailer. I have an extremely different perception of the world than my husband's family, and it shows even when I don't mean for it to.

    Example: last year everyone went over to his aunt's house for christmas...I would rather saw off my hands than show up at someone's house for dinner etc. without some little hostess gift, so I thought it would be nice to bring a hand-made bouche-de-noel (it's a rolled cake that's decorated to look like a log, and they're a pretty big PITA to make, so I expended a lot of effort over this thing). I knew they wouldn't know what it was, but in my thinking I could explain it and share some christmas traditions or even funny stories from my own home and childhood.You know, get some good conversation and memories going. A family friend lived in France and she bought us a bouche and a bottle of fine cognac every year, so it was definitely part of everything for me. 

    In any case we make it out there (the drive was a nightmare, but we were there exactly when we said we'd be there), and the food is already cold, everyone has already eaten, gifts have already exchanged and we're forced to heat us up some sad-looking remnants on paper plates. I try to start explaining this cake I brought for his aunt, and I essentially get cut off because everyone is jumping all over themselves to shove a bag of Avon junk in my face while I'm still attempting to forage for food...and argh it was just a disaster from a to z. Bottom line: my cake was totally ignored, I tried to share something special to me with them, and I will to this day occasionally mutter over the whole thing. 

    Afterwards it comes out how elitist I am for bringing an over-decorated French cake that no one can pronounce the name of. I certainly wasn't trying to play "Keeping up with the Joneses" but that's the way it was perceived.  

     At this point, I do not give a hot dam*n. DH does not want to do things trailer-chic, and neither do I, so we don't. I can't change their perceptions of me because no matter what I do, about 90% of my life experience is completely alien to them. They may think I'm being elitist or whatever...but frankly I'm just being myself and we are doing things the way WE think they ought to be done.

    I have similar issues. i grew up in a very wealthy family in a very wealthy town and DH didn't. my perception is completely different from his family's too. for example: when i got my land rover none of them could figure out why, and i quote 'you would spend that much on an suv when there are others for a lot less'. yeah starbucks-i totally get where you're coming frm here :).

    hahah and talking about a roomba (not new, not very expensive)-i'd turn around and talk about my dyson animal and how it actually meets my needs-pet hair! the engagement ring thing-who cares?! part of me thinks that she may not be one upping but might be really excited about things and is lacking the ability to talk about things rather than brag about things-there's a difference.

    if you dont' play into her games you won't allow her to upset you :)

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • I have a SIL and her husband who are "toppers".  They have to top everything you have.  We were fortunate and blessed enough to have our first home built from the ground up.  When we told them we purchased a house, they didn't congratulate us, they told us how to handle our business.  "I've bought 5 homes before so I know how this goes."  BIL was insistent on knowing how big our lot was because he was for certain that his was bigger than ours.  We never indulge them.  For years SIL told my DH that my rings are too small and he must not really love me.  I just laugh at her.  She has a very large ring that comes with a husband who spits in her face.

    She drives a very high end car.  I drive a small Honda.  She makes cracks at my teeny tiny car.  I commute and this car is perfect for my commute.  She has admitted to not being able to afford to put a full tank of gas in her car. I've never once nickel and dimed gas for my car.  In the summer she doesn't run the A/C so she can save on gas.  But dammit she is driving in luxury.

    She was a SAHM for about 13 years.  Her DH made her go back to work because he had a hard time keeping up with their bills.   And with the tough economy she was able to get a job in the food court section of a big box membership store.  She is close to 50 and she complains about the "kids" that she works with.

    My theory is: the grass may be greener on the other side, but it also comes with a higher water bill.  It's all about insecurity.

  • haha, thanks ali. we weren't extremely wealthy...maybe upper-middle class, but there was just a lot more...how should I say? ceremony in my life. It was more about quality than quantity and an absolute ban on paper plates, rofl.

    btw, have fun on your vacation :)

  • image Wahoo:

    In some of this, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.  If you spend time LOOKING for problems, you will find them!  Seriously - she never wore her e-ring and wedding ring, and shouldn't "because they are not a set" like yours?!?  Get over yourself!  My e-ring and wedding band are not a "set" either.  I still wear them together!  And I usually DO NOT wear my e-ring all the time (b/c I don't want cleaning chemicals, etc. to get on my ring), but I wear it when I go "out," such as going to my ILS or parents home, or out to dinner. 

    As for the Roomba - they are not that unusual.  They're not even that expensive!  Maybe she was encouraging you to get one, b/c she liked hers so much, not as a competition.  (After all, Christmas is coming up...) If she really wanted to brag, she could have bragged about the bed, which would be wierd if your purchased the same thing and is a lot more expensive.

    I have always been the person who nobody competed with. Maybe b/c it's that I really don't compete.  You got a shiny new car?  Great!  That's so exciting!  I don't brag about my car ("my mini-van is worth more than your lexus"),, or rain on your parade ("oh, I would never waste money on a BMW.  They are so over-rated.").  You got a new i-phone?  I've heard there are SOOOOOO many things you can do with an I-phone.  So many apps!  And how cool to upload pictures directly onto facebook! 

    I actually don't think it's bad to have the newest toy around.  Some people are like that, and it's not my style, but not so bad, either,  Just be happy that you have $$ on the bank (or in your property) and act happy that your SIL has a new vaccum cleaner.  I mean, if THAT is what it takes to make her happy, good for her!   

    This is exactly what I was thinking.   maybe the roomba is the only thing she could think of to talk to you about since you seem hyper-critical of everything else she does.

    image
  • image mrs.starbucks:

    haha, thanks ali. we weren't extremely wealthy...maybe upper-middle class, but there was just a lot more...how should I say? ceremony in my life. It was more about quality than quantity and an absolute ban on paper plates, rofl.

    btw, have fun on your vacation :)

    thank you :)

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • image MKESweetie:

    Ugh, my family is more like this than my ILs, and like a PP said, my H and I chose early on to "Opt Out" of the competition. It's everything from the cost of engagement/wedding rings (one of theirs is about $10K, one about $15K), to cars (both have new cars), size and cost of houses, to what their children do when (walking, eating solids, sippy cup usage). It goes on and on and on.

    My H and I live in an apartment, we drive the car I bought in college (it's a 2000) and we have just the one, and my wedding and engagement rings are moissanite not diamond. When these things come up, we just don't partake; just observe and be thankful we have no vested interest.

    Whatever you do (and I get a sense of it in your OP), don't start trying to justify (even to yourself!) why you could compete if you wanted to. You're not involved in this game. You're just observing. You likely could compete, but you'd never win because you're not as invested as your SIL. Sit back and watch - you'll be happier for it.

    This exactly.

    You sound like you're tempted to compete by the way you're saying your stuff is just as good. Don't let her suck you into the competition! Your life sounds great, so just sit back, smile and nod.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Just wanted to post a little "thank you" for all the comments and advice/input. A lot of it was very helpful (some wasn't and some was sooo off, it was almost funny - but that's the name of the game) and I appreciate your taking the time to read my post and to comment on it.

    Happy Holidays.

  • image JoEsther:

    Just wanted to post a little "thank you" for all the comments and advice/input. A lot of it was very helpful (some wasn't and some was sooo off, it was almost funny - but that's the name of the game) and I appreciate your taking the time to read my post and to comment on it.

    Happy Holidays.

    This says a lot about you. The PP who mentioned making a mountain out of a molehill had it right.

  • I'm late on this, but I just wanted to say that I have friends just like this...who I just saw over Thanksgiving!  The H is a blatant one-upper, but the W (my friend) is a sneaky one-upper.  It's so annoying. 

    For example, my H is a teacher and she'll say stuff like "It's good that your H loves his job, but I'm just glad my H could find a job that he likes that also pays really well."  My H and I rent an apartment because we would rather save up a really large down payment before buying a house and she loves to talk about how it's such an achievement to buy a house while they're so young. 

    I just listen to what she says and say that I'm really happy for them...because I really am!  I'm also really happy for myself, because I have so much to be thankful for...God knows there are lots of people with a lot worse! I would just say something like "Wow, that's great, you must be really excited" and move on.  If you reply with another one-upper, then it will just become a war.  Besides, it's probably killing her that she doesn't know all your business!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • My advice would be to first realize how much it bothers you/why it does.  You're not petty for getting upset about it.  She sounds terribly annoying.  The key is to see that it's her problem and others in the family probably notice it as well, even if they don't say/won't admit it.  She obviously has low self-esteem and that's the beginning and end of it.  Either help her or laugh her off. 

    image JoEsther:
    After we got engaged and married, all of a sudden she started wearing her e-ring along with her band. It was weird to me and I noticed it.

    This is a stretch.  Why does it seem weird for her to choose to wear her e-ring once in a while?  Maybe she changed her mind or missed wearing it.  It happens with a lot of married women.  Is there a reason why you think it's because of you/your set?  If not, it probably has nothing to do with you.

     

    They don't know this and the only reason they don't know it is 'cause I know how they'd react. Instead of saying how wonderful and how lucky we are (H and I) to have this asset, they'd try to find ways to one up us, and to be honest, I'm tired of it. It's so High School and childish and I'm just sick and tired of it all. I don't care that they don't know about my investment property, but I do care about the reason behind their not knowing.

    Keeping it from her for fear she'll try to one-up you is childish and shows you fear she just might.     

     

    They don't bother me, per se, in a very real way, but they exhaust me and bring me to the point wherein I really don't want to see her/spend time with her 'cause you never know what's going to come out of her mouth.

    They exhaust you because they DO bother you.  Posting about it here is proof of that.

  • image EffDat:
    image JoEsther:

    Just wanted to post a little "thank you" for all the comments and advice/input. A lot of it was very helpful (some wasn't and some was sooo off, it was almost funny - but that's the name of the game) and I appreciate your taking the time to read my post and to comment on it.

    Happy Holidays.

    This says a lot about you. The PP who mentioned making a mountain out of a molehill had it right.

    Yes, I might indeed be making a mountain out of a molehill (never said I wasn't), but I really just posted 'cause I wanted alternate ways of dealing with this situation. And also, I suppose, to feel that I wasn't "alone" in that there are others who go through similar things as well.

    The problem with posting things like this online is that no one can ever, ever know the full extent of another's situation and unless the person is really very articulate and self-aware, they're likely never going to be able to express/explain themselves perfectly or to everyone's satisfaction, either. You'll see or read what you do in a given post; I might see or read something completely different. We all see things through our own personal "filters" and interpret them accordingly. And we might both think we're "right", but "right" is, I've learned, very subjective.

    I am curious, though, in re your statement about the mountain/molehill thing, though. Not sure how you "saw" that. Can you clarify, please?

  • You are so right about this doll.  And, I do not agree with these negative poster stating that you were making a mountain out of a moehill.  There is always so much more to the story/encounters than any reader will ever know.

     I have never had this issue with my SIL, and am so glad!  I do, however, have a cousin who is like this, and whenever I see him at events, I am sad to report - my hubby and I stand clear of him!  I know that sounds horrible, but, we're just so tired of it.  Really, we don't care that you purchased "this" or "that", and we certainly don't care how much you've paid for them!  Good luck to you and your situation, I sure hope it gets better.  I have found that not responding or showing lack of interest usually works ;)  Happy Holidays to you as well dear.

     Best, Cin

     

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards