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Friday, July 1

Friday Folly: What Would Jane Austen Advise?

A kerfuffle twixt a future mother-in-law and bride-to-be has readers taking sides. It seems that 60-year-old Carolyn Bourne found fault - well, quite a few faults - with her house guest (and future daughter-in-law). She decided to take up matters via email and share a few thoughts with her.

Bridezilla? or Cruella?

Heidi Withers, the bride-to-be in question, responded by sharing the email with her friends. Who shared the email with their friends. Who in turn shared, and shared, and shared, and shared until the email became viral.

To understand the situation more fully, keep in mind that Heidi is a diabetic. Here, then, is the email, such as I could find it in The Daily Mail. (I understand that it is not complete.) After reading it, curious minds want to know: Who was right and who was wrong? Or does an answer lie somewhere in-between?

What course of conduct would Jane Austen have advised? Let's just say that I believe in the adage: Let sleeping dogs lie, but if you must stir them, do so gently and do not leave a scent that can be followed.
Image @The Daily Mail


Jean | Delightful Repast said...

My dear Vic, my jaw is on the floor. I have not read the links (short on time this morning, must come back to them later), but this email should never have been sent. Calling someone out like this on their etiquette violations is a far *greater* breach of etiquette! A prospective mother-in-law would be better advised to teach her future daughter-in-law *by example* rather than via a tactless and tasteless email! I wish Heidi and her young man all the best and only hope that they will be living far, far away from his loving mother. I fear "family" interference is going to be the cause of years, even decades, of trouble to this couple. It is up to Sonny to set some very firm boundaries if he wishes his marriage to succeed.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

PS My own dear mother-in-law was plagued with a horrible mother-in-law for 30 years (until the woman's death) and then took another 35 years (until her own death) to get over it! I would caution any bride-to-be to remember that she is not just marrying the man, but his family a well.

Southerner said...

Yes, this has been all over the news here. Tactful, is not what I would call this prospective mother inlaw. She sounds like a bully.

I think Jean has hit it on the head. I think the poor girl needs to actually question whether to get married to her fella. They may be in love but a lot, an enormous amount of pain is on the horizon.

The only way it could work I think is for them to move away and never see his mother again, but that is asking a lot of her future husband.

This could be a great plot line for a modern Jane Austen novel!!!!!!!

Meredith said...

Yikes! Not a good way to start a marriage! Sounds like a Lady Catherine type of person! The email rant should have never been sent and those hurtful things never been said, but I'm guessing this bride-to-be isn't entirely free from blame either.

Anonymous said...

If only the young would
endeavor to discover the
essence of good manners
and apply it in the meeting
of one's future in-laws,
perhaps such "future concerns" might never materialize. Unlike former
days, one need not live
with the elders under the same roof over the long haul
so be patient, indulge in
your rare moment of noblesse
and get on with it.