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Dutchess_III's avatar

Would you have felt the same way as I did in this situation (details)?

Asked by Dutchess_III (27260 points ) August 25th, 2011

Long, long time ago I had a friend who had two girls the same ages as my two oldest daughters. The girls were 7 and 10 at the time. My friend and her kids were visiting. I had two, quite large matching Mexican pots. They were at either front corner of my brick patio. I’d plant hanging flowers in them in the spring. They were beautiful.

This particular day they pots were empty. My friend and I spied her 7 year old attempting to pick up the pot, which came about up to her stomach and it was way too heavy for her. My heart kind of stopped and my friend and I both, at the same time, told the child to put the pot down. Her mother told her not to touch it again.

A minute later the child picked it up again…dropped it…and it broke.
My friend yelled at her daughter and said, “I told you not to touch that pot! Now look what you’ve done! That’s what you get for disobeying me!!”
I thought “Wait…that’s what I get for her disobeying her mom. That was no kind of punishment for the kid!”
It was so depressing! I didn’t say much, really…there was nothing that could be done so no point in fussing. What’s done…is done.

Well, about two weeks later my friend shows up and thrusts THE UGLIEST small, green and brown pot in my hand. It was truly hideous and it was small!
She stated, “There! Does that makes up for the pot Mary* broke?”
I mumbled, “Well, sure. But it was…was…a,,,, matching set…you…. didn’t need to replace it, but thank you.”
My friend said, “Good!” and was satisfied that her “debt” was discharged although I had never, ever mentioned any kind of compensation…because there really couldn’t be. The pot couldn’t have been physically replaced…I picked it up at a garage sale somewhere. I think those people got them in Mexico. There was no monetary value that could be placed on it, and even if there had been, I wouldn’t have wanted money. What good would that have done? I would have much, much preferred that she had not even tried to replace the pot, rather than give me something that was no where near compensatory.

Honestly, I didn’t make a big deal out of it, but she could tell I was very dismayed when it happened, which is, I assume, why she got me the other pot. If I was angry about anything it was the fact that the child did it AFTER being told to leave it alone, and the child received nothing but a scolding out of it.

Can you help me pin point why I felt…more insulted than soothed by the gesture? It was like pouring salt into a wound, really!

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13 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Because it was obviously just “a gesture to replicate replacement”, but she knew (unless she’s very stupid) that her “replacement” was in no way a real replacement for what you had lost, and she probably also knew that you were too well-bred to call her on that P.O.S. “offer”.

So she gets to fool herself that she has “done her duty” as a mother and as a friend – at your expense.

You probably felt bad because your friend was exposed as a poor role model for her own daughter, a bad mother for not being able to discipline the child simply by saying “Don’t do that,” ... and a poor friend, all in one fun-filled afternoon.

Bellatrix's avatar

I can empathise with how you felt. A sincere apology would have been more valuable than an obviously insincere attempt to replace the object.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah…all of that @CWOTUS. My gosh. I tried to keep rules to a minimum when the kids were growing up, but one unbreakable rule was You will not ever deliberately disobey me! Of course, they had to test it a couple of times and found out that it was one of the few spanking offenses. Man…if that had been my kid and we were at someones house, I would have slapped that kid in time out so fast, for the duration of the visit, then sent her to her room when we got home. Then, when I was reasonably calm, I would have called her out for her spanking then sent her back to her room for the rest of the evening. Man.

Yes @Bellatrix. Yes, exactly. (I love fluther…you go from laughter to sadness at the speed of light! Sniff. Let’s go back to smoke detectors.)

Prosb's avatar

“That’s what you get for disobeying me!!”
How could she say that as though it was her daughters own treasured possession? How is stating what she did wrong a punishment or justification in the slightest?!? An apology with actual meaning and/or feeling would have been much better than some tiny pot she grabbed.

If I really felt like I needed to replace that pot (not that I could really replace it and the memories/feelings associated with it), I would have asked you if you wanted to maybe head out sometime to pick out a new pair of matching pots, not force my tastes in cheap sub-par pottery upon you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Prosb Thanks…And I agree with ”“That’s what you get for disobeying me!!”
How could she say that as though it was her daughters own treasured possession? How is stating what she did wrong a punishment or justification in the slightest?!?” I agree totally. But the thing is….I really couldn’t have replaced a matching set like that without paying an exorbitant price. I picked them up at a garage sale. Knowing me, I didn’t pay more than $5 or $10. I certainly wouldn’t expect my friend to spend $100 or whatever to “replace” them.

I guess the most pissy part is the fact that her kid picked it up a second time. The first time I was like “Noooooooo….” but escaped unscathed. But then, she did it again….that’s what really put the screw on.

If she’d broken it the first time I would have been dismayed but….well. With kids, “shit happens.” It was just the whole….everything around it.

The “gift” of a POS (talk about “sub-par” pottery! It was below “sub par” it’s not even funny! There was NOTHING redeeming about it!) pot was more like a slap in the face….

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you all for your understanding and opinons. Nobody has called me a bad name yet! Am I really on Fluther??

Bellatrix's avatar

Do we normally call you bad names? Are we letting the side down? :D

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not you. Not Lilly. Not a lot of people. But some. Some call me….Clyde. I hate it when that happens.

Bellatrix's avatar

Far out .. that’s just rude. Got any pizza though?

smilingheart1's avatar

I am with you sister in empathy for this most unforgettable vignette of poor parenting you saw payout at your expense right before your eyes. What you saw acted out was a physical expression of a flawed person. Because the parent is who she is the results of her attitudes are lived out in the behavior of herself and her child. This woman is out of touch with her own sensitivities and has passed her crassness on to the family. The kid defies before her eyes, and probably at that age kept testing the mother to see if there were any rules,boundaries, consequences. I wonder what that family is doing today…..bet they have reaped what they sowed.

Leanne1986's avatar

Your friend sounds rude. I would have been pissed off too but more at the mother because, the way I see it, the kid is probably disobediant because she has been allowed to get away with it for so long.

Cupcake's avatar

She seemed to be more interested in crossing you off of her “people I owe things to” list than to really care about you and your experience, which reeks of selfishness… although to outward appearance she seemed to want to make ammends. It makes her behavior feel phoney and superficial.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. I’ve often wondered if I was the one being… ungrateful. I didn’t think so, but it is nice to have confirmation. That pot was SO ugly but…we don’t have the same taste. Maybe she thought it was really nice and went to some length to get it for me. I don’t know.

Thanks you guys.

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