ILs crass about my country. Vent/Commisserate? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ILs just came back from a 3 day trip to Puerto Rico. My dh warned me that they did not enjoy their visit as much as they were expecting to. I thought that if they didn't have anything good to say about my island, they would keep it to themselves. Ha ha!

Here are some snippets of their version of PR:

"The rudest, most arrogant people I have ever met . . . "

"My friend told me it was the most beautiful place she had ever visited but a lot must have changed since then . . . "

"Everything was muddy, even the beach! It was all just so muddy and dirty . . . "

"It rained every day . . . " (This one actually cracked me up - I stopped mil right then and said, "Well it IS the tropics, and you were in a RAIN forest, duh!")

"Never seen so many degenerates in my life . . . "

"People there don't even know what their sales tax goes to . . . "

I mean, c'mon. That last one is especially lame b/c I'm pretty sure the cashier at the 7-11 can't give you a breakdown of how our sales tax goes!

But I was disturbed b/c they acted like they wanted to tell me all about their trip like they had fun. And then they stomped all over my island and my people. Are they FN serious?

This is how we passed our Father's Day visit with FIL. Fun fun fun!
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#2 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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Ugh, that sucks. I'm sorry. I'm also very surprised! I have not been to Puerto Rico myself but members of my family have been several times and have always had lovely things to say about their visits.

Did they consult you about their trip at all before they left?

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#3 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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im sorry. that sucks....

im with dawning mama, ive never kjnown ANYONE to not have an amazing time in PR!

v. weird.

some people could ruin ANY vacation though.

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#4 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Ugh, that is really annoying and rude, I'm sorry they felt the need to unleash all of their narrow-minded observations on you.

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#5 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all, your remarks really help me feel better. I haven't been back to PR in years, and really don't see being able to go for some time to come. I miss it so much, I must be getting really sensitive about it.

Their trip was made for them, as it was a business/family trip. The company paid for particular agents to go and make arrangements for their families' entertainment, like tours and such. So they really couldn't consult me on much.

And you're probably right, inchijen, dh just thinks that mil (his dsm) had culture shock. "Oooh, so many brown people and even the sand is brown! Oh no!" She was probably the damper on the whole trip. Dh says they made her Stepford community gated just to keep her IN.
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#6 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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Ugh that's rude.
Seriously, i've been to PR and it's just wonderful and beautiful i went there with my babies in 2005 just after going to Cuba to visit my DH's aunt some of his relatives(he's part Cuban) and it's just wonderful.

The samething happen to me and exstepmom, she was talking about how horrible Israel is (infront of my DH) who was raised in Israel and he's mum is Israeli and he considers himself Israeli, it angered DH, just ignore it.
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#7 of 14 Old 06-16-2008, 11:48 PM
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You could always respond the way my Puerto Rican MIL does when people make her mad. She just raises her eyebrows and asks, "You don't want me to go all Puerto Rican on you, do you?"

For the record, I love PR. I could do without San Juan just as I could do without most big cities, but I LOVE Ponce where my DH is from.
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#8 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 12:14 AM
 
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My family has had a summer house for decades in what has become a very trendy tourist destination. Our cottage is part of a smaller, historic community that is quite seperate from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy spots.

DH has a friend who's married and we had offered to take them there for the weekend sometime and show them around- since they'd always said they'd like to see it. They never took us up on our offer, but went for a day on their own.

They only had horrible things to say about a very special place to me. They said they couldn't imagine how anyone would want to spend any length of time there and that they were glad they only went for one night instead of the weekend with us.

I was hurt, and all I could think to reply was "I'm so sorry you got that impression. I wish that we could have been there with you to show you the places that are special to us."

OP- I know how you feel and hopefully one day you can show them why your home is so special to you.

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#9 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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wow, how insanely rude.

My SIL tends to run down the US a lot, to our faces, even when staying at our house. She lived her for a few years and had a very bad time, plus she has that general hatred for the US that most Brits have (I lived in London for three years, I am very familiar with the attitude). It is annoying and rude...

btw, Puerto Rico is one of my and DH's favorite places, next to New Orleans, Savannah, and Upstate California.

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#10 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
wow, how insanely rude.

My SIL tends to run down the US a lot, to our faces, even when staying at our house. She lived her for a few years and had a very bad time, plus she has that general hatred for the US that most Brits have (I lived in London for three years, I am very familiar with the attitude). It is annoying and rude...
yep . .. i've lived in holland for eight years and find the pervasive anti-americanism really bad. i feel very defensive and can almost literally feel my hackles rising. and, the thing is, i actually agree with a lot of the critique of political issues! But it's kind of like this reflexive, "it's ok to bash the US" in a way that they would never do to more "ethnic" countries and cultures because, after all, "it's part of their culture, which we have to understand." furthermore, there are familiar tropes repeated again and again and i find it super-tiresome. people are expecting to see something and they do.

sigh .. . vent over .. .
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#11 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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The Dutch can be very "direct" when they talk about other countries too, not only the US.. I met a person here who enthusiastically told me that she had visited my country (Finland) once and then proceeded to tell me that it was cold (duh), had too much forest, not enough people, the people were ugly, the cities were boring, the countryside was backwards and horrible etc etc etc.

I was so surprised that I just mumbled something like "well I still miss it" and walked away.
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#12 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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It is rude to be negative about an area the person you're talking to loves. I grew up in Savannah, GA and when people find that out, I sometimes hear how they went there once and it was so hot and miserable that they'd never go back again. Ummm, you went in August. What did you expect? Do your research before you visit someplace!

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#13 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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I totally agree that it's totally rude to talk down about a place when you're talking to someone who loves it or even more so when they are from there.

Sometimes I can't help but get offended when someone criticizes a place I love or am from. But I remind myself that many of them are usually close-minded and have a very narrow mindset about anything that's unfamiliar to them. These are the people I feel who would be happier if they just traveled within their comfort zone to familiar places.

DH and I visited Seattle (which we adore the NW Pacific) last year and we ended up sitting next to 3 older couples who were from the middle of Wisconsin at the hotel bar. We asked them how they were enjoying Seattle as we're from the Midwest as well. This was their first visit to Seattle and the NW Pacific and it was their first evening out.

They grudgingly said it was beautiful, but kept focusing on how "different and foreign" it was and how "strange" the people were. They were ready to leave and it was pretty clear their minds were made up that they hated Seattle and they still had 3 days left!

I really felt sorry for them because they just refused to open their minds and I felt they were really missing out. There are negatives AND positives to every place on earth, it's really what you decide to make of it. I've had vacations in places where I wasn't crazy about it or things went bad, but I also realize that I'm only experiencing a very small side of it and there are definitely a lot more positives and I just have to find them.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-17-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I can completely sympathize. I've recently been remembering one of our vacations to the east coast. We were sitting at the breakfast table at the B&B. People tend to chat, so we started talking with the lady across from us who was from the same city. The rest of the table was several people from another country, who proceeded to tell us exactly what was wrong with our country and why it should be more like ours. They then wondered why they hadn't received as warm as welcome as they thought they would in Newfoundland (which has a great reputation for friendly people). All three of us just kind of exchanged a look that said "I wonder why?" and smiled.

It's one thing to not enjoy your vacation. I have friends in Montreal and I hate going there. I've explained politely why and turns out, they very much agree with my reasons. It's another thing to slag your vacation spot for stupid reasons and say some really horrible things about it such as the people are degenerates!

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