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.