05 Aug
Staying Sane by Staying Out of It

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Recently my sister-in-law broke up with her son’s father. To the surprise of no one at all, it’s gotten pretty nasty pretty quickly (complete with venomous Facebook updates), and it’s probably going to get a lot nastier before it’s all said and done. I desperately don’t want to become involved, but at the same time I might get drawn in due to things beyond my control. So what do I do?

Signed,

Leave Me Out of It

_________________________________

Dear Leave Me,

At all costs, you must avoid any meaningful discussion about the break-up and its aftermath with your sister-in-law and anyone else involved.   Because unless you are close friends with your sister-in-law and feel like you can and should have a meaningful heart-to-heart (the non-Facebook version) with her about the state of her relationship, and how the adults are conducting themselves during this unpleasant time, you simply cannot win.   Anything that you say, email, text, Facebook, or tweet will be received through the “is she with me or against me” filter.   And even though you may be 100% on her side, you’re still screwed because at some point, she may reconcile with her ex, or at least,   for the sake of their son, have an amicable relationship with him, and then you will be the one who said all those horrible things about the father of her child.

To avoid this unpleasantness, you need to master the platitude.   If you are new to the platitude, let me give you a few essential tips:

* Make sympathetic noises that mean nothing, like “hmm,” “ummm,” and “ohhh,” to absolutely anything and everything that your sister-in-law or anyone tangentially related to the situation will say to you.

* Throw in a few “it’s so hard, I know”s

* Sprinkle the above with “we must think of the baby!”, and you should be good to go.

If she attempts to sit you down for a heart to heart, dodge it at all costs.   Feign a hemorrhoid attack that makes sitting painful. Consider laryngitis.   A vow of silence, perhaps?

Because hopefully, things will settle down soon, and you can go back to using Facebook for its intended purpose–discussing what a whore that not-aging-well-slut was in high school.

Best wishes,

Marinka, TMH

5 Responses to “Staying Sane by Staying Out of It”

08.05.09#1

Comment by aussiechic.

So agree – ugh – do everything Marinka says…..do not get involved in this at any cost…..but gossip about it with your closest buddies of course!!!! Use them to vent to!!!!

08.05.09#2

Comment by the mama bird diaries.

Excellent advice. We must preserve the honor of Facebook and only use it for juicy gossip about our former high school friends.

08.05.09#3

Comment by Andrea's Sweet Life.

I bow to the widsom of Marinka, once again.

And, if all else fails, wear a garlic necklace. That way you’ll be safe from your sister in law AND vampires.

08.07.09#4

Comment by rebecky.

This happened when my brother in law got divorced. Seriously, just let it be known how inappropriate it is to vent your divorce secrets on facebook. Facebook is about exposing your personal life to your buddies, yes. But unfortunately, a divorce involves the personal lives of not just you but another human being. You don’t have the right to expose their life.

my family eventually got the hint. Tell your sister in law about private blogs. She can invite whoever she wants to read it, but it doesn’t tell the world all her in-the-moment nasty thoughts.

08.07.09#5

Comment by Heather.

A hemorrhoid attack. Damn, I wish I’d thought of that one about six months ago.

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