General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Is this where I bite my tongue?

Asked by YARNLADY (41606points) October 12th, 2011

My son’s GrandMother-In Law has painted a beautiful painting. She is handicapped and lives with them. There is a perfect place in their house to hang the painting, but the wife says the picture is too dark and gloomy (very similar to this one).
I think she should hang it anyway out of respect.

Is this none of my business?

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48 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

Sad to say, imho, it really isn’t your business. It is your son’s house right? This would probably turn into a point of contention between the wife and your son if he were to fold and put it up anyway. I believe this falls under the honesty is the best policy category.

Even if my wife did a sculpture and I thought it was hideous I would be honest.

Blackberry's avatar

Yep, that’s where you bite it. I thought it was going to be something serious.

jellyfish3232's avatar

Of course she should hang it.
Let it be known, I’m speaking as a man, and I therefore have absolutely no taste when it comes to these things. I still think that it would be a major blow to her to just have her artwork rot in an attic. Of course, you don’t need to interfere, but it might be nice if you were to say something to her.

tinyfaery's avatar

Not your house. Not your business.

AmWiser's avatar

I do agree with you, she should hang it out of respect. To bad in these days respect is lost on a lot of this generation (IMHO). But really it is none of your business. Ask them if you can hang the picture at your house. And between me and you…I like the picture.

SuperMouse's avatar

Although you are right that it should be hung out of respect, I don’t see as you have any choice but to bite your tongue.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Find a gallery to hang it in and put a $5–600 price tag on it.

filmfann's avatar

Stay out of it.

YARNLADY's avatar

@WestRiverrat I would love that, Nonna could really use the money.
@AmWiser I like that idea. I don’t really have a perfect place, like they do, but I could find a nice place to put it.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… it is also none of our business.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Can’t they hang it in the grandmother’s room?

And, yeah, this is none of your business, and there is nothing to be gained by taking sides.

smilingheart1's avatar

Yes this is potential feuding grounds…..I know you are a great lady and have the grace to handle this very well. You will find a way to make great lemonade from this sour lemon.

Berserker's avatar

Maybe it isn’t any of your business, but I certainly believe that you have the right to voice your opinion about thinking that it should be displayed out of respect. I mean it’s not like you’re giving an order, right? Just your thought you’d be throwing out there.
Although I can see how it can get awkward, because of the whole respect thing. If you think this might cause a bit of a spat, then I’d stay out of it, especially if you happened to not particularly care for the painting. (but you called it beautiful, so I’m guessing you like it)

janbb's avatar

Bite hard.

marinelife's avatar

I think that grandma will not be around that long, and the painting should hang in the house while she is living.

It is little enough to do to please her.

You should only speak to your son about it though. He should try to influence his wife, but it is up to her.

Judi's avatar

Yes. Bite your tounge. Art is so darned personal. My MIL bought us a huge piece of art that we hate. We put it up if we know her or someone who would rat us out will be visiting.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Would they hang it long enough to have small dinner party with an unveiling for her friends? Then they could take it down and put up something they like better.

Afos22's avatar

Wow that is such a beautiful painting. I can’t see why she wont hang it up. If not, i’m sure it would sell for a lot of money.

creative1's avatar

I would bite my tongue on saying to hang it out in the rest of the house but I would speak up and say something like letting your grandson hang his grandmothers work in his room.

If he isn’t allowed to hang it in his room tell them you would love to hang it in your home because you love it so much and feel like your grandson would one day want this piece of work when he has a home of his own and you want to safe keep it for him.

CWOTUS's avatar

Maybe you could finesse them into giving it to you as a gift, and you could hang it prominently and respectfully? I like night-time sailing, and I have some great memories of sailboats by moonlight, but I’ve got to say, that’s pretty dark even for me.

koanhead's avatar

In general, I would say if one is in doubt as to whether to speak, then the answer is to remain silent.

Nimis's avatar

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this situation.

If I were the granddaughter, I would totally hang it up out of respect. But if I were the grandmother, I really wouldn’t want anyone hanging up my work merely out of respect. Ideally, they’d hang it up because it’s freakin’* amazing. And if they’re not really into the style in which I paint, I’d settle for I’ve-got-rad-artistic-skills-in-my-genes kind of pride.

Either way you cut it though, I’d bite my tongue. Even if they do hang it up, what are you really winning? Hanging up art where people don’t appreciate it is a sad thing. Might depress the grandmother each time the granddaughter walks by the art and bad vibes it.

I’m all for AmWiser’s idea. But, out of respect, I’d ask the grandmother first, before asking the DIL. Seems right.

@YARNLADY I PG’d that just for you. :D

bkcunningham's avatar

@YARNLADY, how do you know about the situation? What I am getting at is, if your son told you and wants you to defend hanging the painting, then I’d imagine his wife would get angry at him asking you to intervene on his behalf. She may see that as disrepectful.

I’m just curious how you came to know that your daughter-in-law doesn’t want the painting displayed in the perfect location.

YoBob's avatar

The question about whether or not it is the right thing to do is quite different from whether or not it is any of your business. Regardless of your opinion on whether or not she should hang the picture, at the end of the day it’s her home, not yours. So… get yourself a big tongue band-aid.

cheebdragon's avatar

Well, who doesn’t love being told what to do in their own house?....

Jeruba's avatar

This sounds like it is about a whole lot more than the tone and character of a painting and where it might be optimally displayed. In your place I would stay the hell out of it and discourage any attempts to draw me in.

Pandora's avatar

I would ask if I could have it and hang it at my house. But I would never tell anyone what they should have in their own home. People simply have different taste. I’m sure she isn’t trying to be disrespectful. Its just not her thing.

YARNLADY's avatar

@bkcunningham They brought some things over to my house to be stored, and I overheard wife and her mother talking about the painting when they put it in my garage. I didn’t say anything at the time – but I wanted to.

wife, mother and grandmother all live in the house we bought Sonny

Ela's avatar

@YARNLADY My god… your son must be a saint to put up with 3 generations of women under the same roof.

Yea, Id definitely stay out of that one : (
I would ask for the painting, take it and run!

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, @YARNLADY, hindsight is 20/20. I know you would proudly display the painting as a sign of respect and love, not just for a fellow artist, but for an aging member of a family and society. I wish more people thought like you and cared like you. This world would be a better place.

Maybe, just maybe, you could think of a nice anecdotes to tell the other mother-in-law and daughter that might make one of those ah-ha moments happen for one of them and they’ll retrieve the painting in realize the value of the canvas. And then again, maybe not. We can dream though.

everephebe's avatar

Tell her you think she should hang it up, and leave it up to her. So what if she thinks it’s gloomy and dark? It’s a nice gesture, and it should be displayed so somebody can enjoy it. But if she won’t do it then you can’t force her. Not a big deal, just tell her your mind. Business be damned, no need to walk on eggshells.

Jeruba's avatar

If I were an old, handicapped, dependent person and I painted a dark and gloomy painting and gave it to my relatives, I can tell you for sure that it would be about more than decoration.

abbynormal's avatar

It looks like the younger generation hasn’t figured out the meaning of respect.

Don’t bite your tongue.

Jellie's avatar

In my culture the elderly are highly respected and it would be normal for you as close family to suggest that they put it up out of kindness. I see no harm in just talking to your own son about it atleast. Maybe he can make his wife see some sense. Hang it up anywhere, she can accent it with bright cushions, lighting, curtains. It doesn’t look that gloomy…

Buttonstc's avatar

A lot depends upon HOW something is said.

You sound pretty annoyed at her apparently being oblivious to the feelings of the elderly woman who painted it.

If you say something in a critical tone it will definitely cause problems.

Perhaps in the form of a question you could give a little nudge by asking something like ” I’m sure its not your intent, but dont you think that storing the picture rather than displaying it in any part of the house would hurt Granny’s feelings ?”

And then bite your tongue until you’re asked your opinion. She may just not be at all aware.

And if she does ask for further feedback from you, you really don’t want to launch into a type of commentary along withthe tone of “young people nowadays…”. Even tho you never use those words, per se, you do realize what I’m getting at here.

Because in reality it’s actually more of a situation of MYOB than not. And it’s really not worth straining your relationship with your DIL, is it now?

That’s pretty much the crux of the issue.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba This painting was made years and years ago, when the great grandmother was married to a sailor
@EnchantingEla I continually remind him he is the one in charge of his home. I was raised in a home where FATHER was the boss.

Nimis's avatar

@YARNLADY Your sentiments that your son is in charge because he’s the father or the man of the house might explain a lot of the tension you have with your DIL.

Unless you change the way you think, biting your tongue in general might be a good idea.
At least when it comes to your DIL.

Response moderated (Spam)
CaptainHarley's avatar

MYOB, hon. Nuff said.

CWOTUS's avatar


“The man in charge of his house” ... um… “that ship has sailed”, so to speak.

blueiiznh's avatar

A tongue is often best bitten when it is not your own.
~my own proverb

I vote bite. nibble if you must, but it is their choice. You stated your opinion and leave it at that. Might be a feng shui thing, maybe not.
nuff said…....

janbb's avatar

Reading it all over again, I think it is really the grandmother’s issue to raise if she feels slighted. If you want to take any part in it, you could offer to hang it in your house but that might be just stirring the pot more.

Jeruba's avatar

@YARNLADY, if it is an old painting, that makes a difference, but she is still asking for something, as I think you perceived in the first place when you felt the urge to advocate for her. I’m guessing that the old lady doesn’t own much of anything else that she might think others would see value in, so she’s trying to play one of her last cards.

However, your son is related to her only by marriage. The issue is really with her granddaughter. It should be worked out between them.

(Is this the good DIL or the bad DIL? Either way, I hope she remembers this 40 or 50 years from now.)

The dynamic of this whole thing—Grandma, granddaughter, daughter’s husband/your son, and you, with the middle-generation mother being a silent player somewhere in there—still has much more going on in it than the matter of what to do with a decorative object. So I stand by my first answer.

Here’s what you can do: you can tell them they can’t store it (or anything else, for that matter) in your garage. Tell them that your husband, the head of your household, who is in charge, says let them put it in the house he bought them.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba ha, ha. Good answer (this is the bad DIL)

bkcunningham's avatar

Perfect, Judge @Jeruba.

lonelydragon's avatar

Yes, you should. This falls under the category of “their house, their business.”

flurtherfurther's avatar

Yes and think of happy thoughts. I know that when my brother-in-law acts in such manners that bother me, I have to go to a happy thought land.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

It’s none of your business. It sounds like you know this.

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