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How to shut down a boor?

My son's girlfriend's mom insults me in my home


Cary Tennis
August 29, 2013 4:00AM (UTC)

Dear Cary,

My son, an all-around good guy, who recently graduated from high school, has been dating a wonderful girl for the past year, who is one year his junior. His girlfriend doesn't drive yet, so about once or twice a week, the girlfriend's mother drops off her daughter to visit my son at our house. Each time the mother drops off her daughter, I usually make it a point to chat briefly with the mom at the door, but even after months of trying to kindle a friendly connection, the mother always appears stiff and uncomfortable around me. I should note that this seems to be the case ever since my son did not get accepted into a local college that he applied to, and is now attending a community college. The mother has told me on numerous occasions that she herself attended an Ivy League school, and that she wants the same education for her daughter, and has also implied that my son isn't quite up to her standards, even though he's a total sweetheart to her daughter, and got great grades in high school.

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In short, for the past several months, although I have tried to be as gracious as possible to this ill-mannered twit, out of respect for my son and his girlfriend's close relationship, this woman is continually rude and dismissive to me, competitive over insignificant and trifling things, domineering and unkind, and basically treats me as if I am a total moron in my own home! On top of all of this, she never waits outside in her car when retrieving her daughter, but insists on coming to our door each and every time, where I am expected to engage in yet another unpleasant interaction with her inflated ego, unbridled arrogance, and ridiculous sense of superiority. By the way, we both live in a small, rural, cow town, where most people around here -- mainly farmers -- couldn't care less about where you went to school! So my question is this, Cary: How can I avoid this highly educated, low-class, Ivy League boor without seeming to abandon my responsibilities as a chaperone while her daughter is visiting my son in our home?

Degraded and Depressed

Dear Degraded and Depressed,

Don't answer the door. If you continue to answer the door you will continue to see her. So don't answer the door.

Have your son answer the door. Or have your husband answer the door.

If she thinks you're abandoning your responsibilities as a chaperone, so be it. What do you care what she thinks?

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Cary Tennis

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