Bride-to-be could have told Grandma first — but didn't
Q: My daughter, "Emma," recently got engaged and posted it on Facebook. That same morning, her cousin got on the phone and told her grandmother about the engagement rather than waiting for the bride-to-be to tell her. (The grandmother is not on Facebook.)
Should I be offended that my nephew jumped the gun and told my mother before Emma could get a chance to call her and tell her? It's always the case that my sister and her son have to be in everyone's business, then wonder why people get offended. When my sister told me what her son had done, I simply replied, "You told Mom you saw it on Facebook?" Her response to that was, "You can use that as an excuse to be mad at your family if you want — I can't stop you."
I think my nephew could have kept his mouth shut for a couple of days until Emma had a chance to call her grandma. Am I being unreasonable?
Getting Tired of It Being My Fault When I Get Offended by Their Lack of Consideration
A: Completely unreasonable. The sole person responsible for this "lack of consideration" is Emma, who chose to scatter her news to the wind.
If you don't think that was fair to your mother, then you're entitled to your opinion — but you're not entitled to blame the wind. That your mother got the news secondhand is the direct consequence of Emma's decision to go online before she "could get a chance" to tell Grandma. She easily could have called her grandmother before she opted for the blast announcement to her online community. That community can certainly be forgiven for assuming there was no embargo on the news.
If your mother wasn't upset that she heard the news from your nephew, then no response on your part was necessary. If she was upset, then Emma was the one you needed to call, to note respectfully that Grandma was feeling left out.
As such, your signature is ironic: You are quick to pin blame on your sister and nephew for your daughter's choice. As you quote your sister, it sounds as if she's tired of being your scapegoat.
In honor of your daughter's milestone, maybe you can stage one of your own, in the form of a decision to stop seeking grounds for offense, and to start believing that people are doing their best.
When the opportunity to object has already passed, play along
Q: A relative just informed me that I'm about to get an invitation in the mail. Along with it will be a recipe for a dish I'm supposed to bring.
I'm used to calling the host and asking what I can bring, and I always bring something. Is this a trend and I'm just behind the times? How does one respond to such a thing?
A: When the invitation comes from a relative, and when the relative calls ahead to warn you, and when you pass on that opportunity to say, "I feel like I'm on the spot," one responds, I believe, by playing along.
Sure, it's uncouth, but who knows; the stage-managed menu might convert you. You can easily save your harrumph till next time, if there is a next time, but it's tough to take harrumphs back.
All together now, everyone: one-two-three unclench.