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Old 09-02-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,632 posts, read 4,754,707 times
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I don't know why people find it so hard to be real with their family. If I was with a family member and he blew his nose loudly at the table, I would definitely make a yuck face and say in a lowered voice "Geez Dad, that's really gross!" If he says "what the he** do you want me to do?" just say "uuuummm, in the restroom maybe?" I would've done this about 10 years ago. It probably never occurred to him that what he does in his own home, back on the farm, might not be acceptable in a restaurant. As for mom treating staff members poorly, I would model the behavior that is appropriate and hope that eventually she will see that you get better results with honey than vinegar. I would maybe go so far as to point out the great service. Just because they are your parents doesn't mean you have to stay in the child role. After I moved out at 18, I always acted in a role of an equal adult and good friend to any older family members. I wouldn't hesitate to tell my mom "That was pretty mean of you" if she treated someone poorly. Of course, as a former waitress, she never would have done that. You don't have to just sit there and be mortified.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:37 AM
 
317 posts, read 527,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafepithecus View Post
Is this normal or a sign of immaturity on my part? I left home at 18 and moved halfway across the country, so I only see them maybe once a year at most, or once every couple of years - but when I'm around them, they embarrass the hell out of me. And I don't mean in the intentional way that parents do. I mean I'm embarrassed of them as people.

They are from a very small town in the Midwest, and it shows. I'm not exactly super high class pretentious city girl, but that was always something that embarrassed me about them. My dad, for instance, has the table manners of someone who was born in a barn. He carries a handkerchief and will repeatedly blow his nose at the table... and by blow his nose, I mean blow his nose and dig around in there for a good minute or so each time. IN THE MIDDLE OF A RESTAURANT. People stare, I lose my appetite... it's just disgusting. He also belches constantly due to legit stomach issues but makes absolutely no effort to minimize the sound. It's LOUD, and frequent. I mean we were in a tour group yesterday all crammed in a small room and he was still doing it. Mortifying.

My mother for some reason thinks she is better than everyone and is completely rude and dismissive of customer service people and waiters/waitresses. She will talk down to them, or ignore them, and god forbid a thank you come out of that woman's mouth. I actually have to thank people FOR HER.

I could go on and on but those are the two main things that came up this time.

I figured I would outgrow this at some point but nope, I'm in my 30's and still embarrassed to introduce them to people. The last guy I dated didn't meet them until about five years in (when things were already going downhill), and the guy I'm dating now was luckily out of town during this year's visit. I really try to be mature and not let that stuff bother me, but it just does. I told my boyfriend, you can meet them... at our wedding. We aren't anywhere near even being engaged.
Oh I would definitely tell my Dad before we go out in public that there are certain things he just can't do. I have the same issue and I'd much rather not be seen in public places with him.

I tell him like it is, but he is just so stubborn and sometimes refuses to admit that whatever he's doing IS actually embarrassing. Even my mom doesn't usually want to go out with him because she knows how rude and loud he can be!

OP-I would definitely tell them. I don't know what kind of relationship you have with them, but my dad knows that if he does something embarrassing when we are in public, I'd let him know right away-- in a nice way of course-- but I certainly won't let it be.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:06 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 60,469,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleecrat View Post
my mom use to say " Dont judge an Indian till you have walked a mile in his moccasins". I guess they are from a rural area or they just dont get how their mannerisms effect you. maybe you could suggest the polite the proper way to behave in public or make it a point to thank the waiter in front of them. Are you 100 % sure you are not being over sensitive about them? Meaning are you sure this is really what is bugging you or is it something else? Just wondering..
I think that's an unfair stereotype of "rural people". Plenty of rural people have good manners and don't treat people like wait staff poorly.

I think you can be embarassed of family. What if your dad acted like Archie Bunker or often used the n word or was a member of the KKK or Nazi party?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:18 AM
 
12,567 posts, read 13,980,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafepithecus View Post
Is this normal or a sign of immaturity on my part? I left home at 18 and moved halfway across the country, so I only see them maybe once a year at most, or once every couple of years - but when I'm around them, they embarrass the hell out of me. And I don't mean in the intentional way that parents do. I mean I'm embarrassed of them as people....
You are evidently 1,000 miles away and you only see them once a year "at most." I think you have the problem licked.

Yes, it must be embarrassing for that once a year visit, but then it's over. If you are hanging onto it all the rest of the year, you have a problem then. Or it goes deeper than their crude social behaviour.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
29,691 posts, read 16,462,697 times
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I find the OP's post to be sad and yes, slightly immature. THOUGH, I must admit, I didn't stop being embarrassed by my parents until I had a child of my own at age 35.

Looking back, though, it probably was my own immaturity and lack of appropriate detachment that kept me perpetually embarrassed.

I wish I would have grown up a little sooner. However, I saw them much more than once a year.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,255 posts, read 7,857,449 times
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Some day they'll be old an feeble and hopefully not so obnoxious. Until then just eat in and visit them once a year.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:46 PM
 
82 posts, read 253,300 times
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Thanks for the responses. I guess there are a few different layers to all this.. I didn't have the best childhood and I lost respect for my parents at a pretty early age. I mean, it's sad when you are under the age of ten and fundamentally disagree with the way your parents handle things in life... and I'm not talking about the whiny "life isn't fair" crap that all kids feel. I'm talking about just completely losing respect for them for actual valid reasons. Yes, they put a roof over my head which I appreciate, but there wasn't unconditional love there... not by a long shot.

I bolted out of there at the first opportunity (age 18) and did all I could to distance myself physically and emotionally from that life. I'm around them so rarely the past 10-12 years that I guess all their flaws are just magnified when I do see them.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:01 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,821,091 times
Reputation: 23216
You are STILL ashamed of your parents? Why were you ever ashamed of your parents; Moderator cut: snip

There are no perfect parents in the world. Absolutely none! So get over it and learn some unconditional love yourself.

Sounds like the leaf did not fall far from the tree.

Did you know that "Honor your father and mother" is the only commandment with a promise?

I find many things about this generation an embarrassment; but our generation has to just ignore it. I don't see any of you perfect people changing to make us happy.

Last edited by 7G9C4J2; 09-02-2013 at 08:07 PM.. Reason: Removed rude and unnecessary phrase
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:14 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,168,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
You are STILL ashamed of your parents? Why were you ever ashamed of your parents; Moderator cut: snip
To bad that only green dots and not red are allowed, some deserve them.



It may be that you posted at the same time as the OP, read the message above your own.

I figured there were other issues. Sometimes the smallest ones (the gross gestures) are the only ones a person can face, and so become magnified but sound like petulant whining.

To the OP - counseling would be best. It sounds like there are deeply buried anger issues going on.

Last edited by 7G9C4J2; 09-02-2013 at 08:07 PM.. Reason: Edited quoted post
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:10 PM
 
11,024 posts, read 8,443,479 times
Reputation: 27749
The problem isn't your parents. The problem is you.

Your ideas and expectations of your parents have nothing to do with who they are and who they want to be.

You're an adult. You need to live your own life. Your parents are not subject to you.
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