WWYD: Birthday Picnic

What would you do?

On Sunday we went to mom-in-law’s house to have a picnic and birthday cake for hubby and his sister.  Their birthdays are 10 days apart.

My family was exhausted from camping out at a tractor show all weekend.  Hubby had said we wouldn’t be back in time so I told mom-in-law earlier in the week not to expect us and I didn’t plan anything to take to the picnic.  And I didn’t have a gift for sis-in-law either.  We were hanging out, napping or watching football and it took a lot of effort to get everyone up and moving to be there at 5.

First of all, it bothered hubby that I wasn’t taking anything.  You always take food to contribute to these things.  I think this was probably the first time I haven’t.  I was just TIRED.  And we were only home for about 1 1/2 hours before the picnic.  I tool a shower, took some tylenol and laid down on the couch.  I couldn’t think of a single thing I had the ingredients for that I could whip up quickly to take.  And frankly I didn’t really care at that point.  I reasoned that mom-in-law knew we weren’t planning to come until the last minute and she would understand.  And I think it was fine actually.

So we go to the picnic, and as everyone is gathering around the tables, my niece made a plate of food for her 2 year old and got him settled in the high chair.  My sis-in-law #2 asked me to get a fork for her from a container that was behind me, in the corner of the pavilion.  My hubby boomed that I should get the whole thing cuz why would it be back there? Bring it out here so people don’t have to reach over everyone to get their silverware.  The problem was that he BOOMED.  He was loud and rude.  His voice said – I think you are all idiots – that is a dumb place to put the silverware.  So that ticks sis-in-law #2 off and she sasses back at him that there is already silverware on the food tables, she just said to get it from there because there was a baby fork in the container.  So then my other younger niece pipes in and says “Geesh!” and gives hubby a dirty look.  Her mom told her to hush.

Hypothetical Situation…   At an event with my side of the family, I am asked to get a fork from the container in the corner, someone would have probably said “Why don’t you bring it all out here so it’s easier to get?  Is there a reason you want it back there?”  Just in a regular voice.  Someone else would reply – in a regular voice – and explain.  There would be no anger or glares or any of that.

So then….

Hubby refused to eat.  Hubby loves to eat just like his whole family.  And hubby eats a lot usually so for him not to eat was a very clear signal that he was pissed and this was his way of showing it.  Whatever.  Occasionally someone would ask him why he wasn’t eating and he wouldn’t answer them.  He’s so much fun at a party! ha.  So then came cake time – and yes let’s sing happy birthday to hubby and his sister in this wonderfully tense environment.  Again, so much fun!   Sis-in-law opened her gifts, hubby didn’t.  I went away from the tables at that point because I knew he was going to do that and I didn’t want to sit there next to him – looking like I was supporting him and I didn’t want to fight with him either.

Later I told sis-in-law happy birthday and said sorry for not bringing a gift for her.  I told her I just wasn’t prepared and that is the truth!  We get along well so she knows I love her and that’s fine.  She said she wasn’t prepared either so she didn’t have a gift for hubby.

I couldn’t wait to leave that party!  Ugh!  Of course my kids ran off with cousins and hubby went to the barn to discuss tractors with a few of the guys.  That left me on the house, drying dishes and dodging questions about why he didn’t eat.  My answer was I didn’t know and he must have had an attitude about something.  They would laugh and agree and move on.  I repeated that to quite a few people.  ha

I knew the reason for his attitude was because his sister snapped back at him about the silverware.  Nevermind that what he said was louder and ruder.  (Is ruder a word?!  More rude.)  Hubby doesn’t like it when people talk to him like that – even if they feel justified because they are defending themselves.  That pissed him off.  Whether it makes sense or not, that’s why he had the attitude.    Seriously, in his mind, he didn’t yell and he wasnt rude about the silverware.  He was just loud to make his point.  That’s what he would say.

So later at home I told him they were asking me why he didn’t eat.  He said “Piss on them.”  He said his sister made him mad, it didn’t make sense that the silverware was back there.  He still thinks he’s right about the whole situation.  (See that is still his story even tho the reason was very clearly pointed out to him.)

And then he had to throw in a zinger… he figured we shouldn’t eat since we didn’t take anything.   Yea… I sat right next to him with a big plate of food.  LOL  I truly think that has nothing to do with his decision to not eat.  He was mad at his sister and his attitude was directed at her, not me.  He was actually quite nice to me, even as he glared at most everyone else.  So no, he just had to get that dig in against me now that he had a chance.

I didn’t do anything to intervene in the situation with his sister.  I didn’t see that being helpful at all.  And I figure – they are his family – they’ve known him longer than I have – they know how he is.

But when he acts like that – I just want to leave.  I want to just walk away, get in the car and go home.  Actually I can easily walk home since we are neighbors!  I don’t like being around him when he’s like that.  But…. there is always a but isn’t there?  Our kids were there.  Do I leave without saying anything to them?  Saying something to them creates a scene.  Not saying anything to them just isn’t nice and then I’ve left them there with their hostile father.  Given the choice, they would probably want to stay anyway to hang out with their cousins.

And if we’re in the middle of eating – do I just throw it all away and be on my way?  Does it matter? I don’t know.   Just trying to think it through!

Leaving would also be hurtful to my mom-in-law.  Truly.  She may have to get over that cuz I feel like I might be trying this soon!

I sat next to him as he grumped and I tried to smile and make nice conversation with his relatives.  I tried to ignore his nasty looks and pretend it wasn’t happening so I could still enjoy the picnic.  I don’t  know – that might be messed up.  Would a stronger person have told him he sucked and left?

So, what should I have done?  What would you have done in that situation?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Sep 17, 2013 @ 23:01:42

    I think in this situation I would ignore him totally and enjoy myself with the relatives. The only person he was hurting by not eating was himself! If he wants to cop an attitude and act like a 5 year old then let him! I would talk with others at the picnic, sit with others, and just pretty much ignore him. Why let him ruin a fun time that you could have? But I would not leave just because he’s pissy. I’d probably go to the other extreme and act like I was having a grand time, just to piss him off more, lol!


  2. Tricia
    Sep 17, 2013 @ 23:09:07

    Oh, btw this is Tricia. New computer and it’s not recognizing me!


  3. rainonmeinbc
    Sep 17, 2013 @ 23:21:10

    I think you did the right thing by ignoring him. He was acting like a spoiled child who takes his toys and goes home.


  4. Writing about Passive Aggression
    Sep 17, 2013 @ 23:25:26

    I agree with Tricia. Ignore him and enjoy yourself. And if HIS family asks you why he is acting this way, simply say you don’t know and, if you dare, tell them to ask him if they want to know. You are NOT responsible for his moods! Find someone to talk to away from where he is. And don’t take the silverware issue on yourself. Yes, he was rude. You could just hand the utensil to the person who asked for it and pretend you didn’t hear the rest – you were busy doing something else. If he is going to act like that, he can act like that. You don’t have to be drawn into it. I’m sure something or someone needs your attention at the other end of the table or the house. Or maybe you suddenly have to go to the bathroom or find something from your purse in the other room. As much as possible, try to distance yourself from his drama and any drama his family brings into it. Oh, and if he decides to go to something at the last minute where he wants you to bring something, there are fast food chicken places and grocery stores with delis!!! And your apology to your sis-in-law was enough for the day and you can always give a gift late! :} Hang in there!!! :} And take good care of YOURSELF!!! :}


  5. Sofia Leo
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 13:03:12

    I’m guessing his family is very familiar with his little temper tantrums by now. Enjoy yourself, ignore him, and maybe he’ll get a clue. I doubt it, but ya never know…


  6. Zoe
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 09:30:40

    Thank you all for your responses. It is so very nice to be understood!
    (And Hi Tricia!)


  7. Laura
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 11:58:46

    I agree with everyone else but I also have a question…why didn’t HE bring something to the friggin’ picnic if he was so concerned? He could get his ass in the kitchen and whip something up, go to a deli, or even call in a pizza delivery. You were obviously tired after doing something that HE wanted to do, so what gives? He sounds like a selfish baby.


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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