Your relationship with your spouse’s mother is a tricky one, at best. There are all these invisible lines you can’t cross, certain things you’re better off never saying and if you happen to have hitched yourself to the wagon of a bona fide mama’s boy – well, you’re screwed.
Now, I’ve heard a lot of mother-in-law horror stories in my time, but I happen to have lucked out in the mom-in-law department. My children are her only grandchildren which means free childcare! We just moved across the country for that particular reason. God love her, she’ll hold my 4-month-old son Henry all night long, cooing and cawing into his little face while I busy myself drinking wine and the like.
But one future mother-in-law seriously takes the cake. As Yahoo! reports, last month, 60-year-old British florist and total mom-zilla, Carolyn Bourne attacked.
Her stepson’s girlfriend, 29-year-old Heidi Withers, was a guest in her fancy-pants home on the outskirts of Dawlish, Devon and apparently Bourne felt like the girl’s manners weren’t up to snuff and told her so. In an email. That she sent three times to make sure Withers received it. The subject line: “Your lack of manners.”
Instead of paraphrasing the email I’m going to post it in its entirety so you’re sure to get the full effect.
from: Carolyn Bourne
to: heidi withers
subject: your lack of manners
It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you.
Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you and Freddie being Freddie, I gather it is not easy to reason with him or yet encourage him to consider how he might be able to help you. It may just be possible to get through to you though. I do hope so.
If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste. There are plenty of finishing schools around.
Please, for your own good, for Freddie’s sake and for your future involvement with the Bourne family, do something as soon as possible.
Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:
When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something.
You do not remark that you do not have enough food.
You do not start before everyone else.
You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.
You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.
You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why. No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.
I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters’ marriages.)
If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.
One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.
DAAAAMN, GIRLFRIEND! Brutal, right?
Withers did what anyone would do after getting the email; she forwarded it to a few friends. It was one of those friends who kept forwarding the email – now everyone, everywhere, including you have read the email.
The ultimate unintentional revenge? Maybe. Or maybe Heidi Withers unwittingly set herself up for a lifetime of drama. But judging from Bourne’s character, she would’ve had to deal with that anyway.
Now, parents on both sides of the couple are feuding and nobody is minding their manners. The London Telegraph interviewed Bourne who said she still plans to go to the wedding but will maintain a “dignified silence”.
How is the hypocrisy of such a rude email admonishing someone else to mind their manners lost on Mrs. Bourne? Yikes. If I were Heidi Withers I would head for ze hills and elope. What do you think? Should Heidi forgive and forget? Is a relationship between the women even possible. And more importantly, why didn’t Bourne just gossip with the rest of her family about Withers lack of manners? I mean, who doesn’t love a good gossip session?
For more top news and scandals, check out the most talked-about parenting news from June!