The Carolyn Bourne Identity: being rude about manners
A step-mum-in-law-to-be has raised the hackles of her step-daughter-in-law-to-be’s family, and become the world-wide butt of every mother-in-law story you can think of, by sending an ill-mannered and decidedly rude e-mail to her daughter-in-law-to-be, attacking her for her lack of manners.
So much for mum’s the word.
Carolyn Bourne is married to the father of Freddie Bourne, who is engaged to one Heidi Withers.
Heidi spent an apparently slacker weekend with Freddie’s ‘rents this spring, and a few less than U behaviors on Heidi’s part sent Carolyn into a complete and utter tiz. (Source: Daily Mail (UK).)
Rather than take Heidi – or Freddie – aside and whisper a few words to the wise. Or pen Heidi a delicate little “Oh, my dear girl, you may not be aware….” missive, written with real, fountain pen ink on monogrammed ecru stationery, Carolyn chose the modern form of the e-mail. Or, in this case, the thrice-sent e-mail. (The thrice-sent suggesting that Carolyn doesn’t really understand anything about technology. When thrice sent is added to the overall tone and content of the e-mail, it suggests to me that she has some rage issues pulsing just below the surface, or that she may have been into the cooking sherry before she set virtual pen to virtual paper and let ‘er rip.)
Here is the alleged e-mail which, not surprisingly, Heidi immediately forwarded off to a few of her mates. Who, not so surprisingly, spread the word further, until it went viral enough that my sister Trish saw it written about. This prompted Trish to publically vow to think twice before she e-mails, texts, FB’s or comes into any type of subject-t0-interpretation-and/or-ridicule electronic contact with any future son-in-law she may have some day. (Her daughter’s only 14. God knows how we’ll be communicating by the time Miss M is thinking of tying the knot. Telepathically? Sure hope not. Talk about death to relationships.)
Anyway, here’s Carolyn Bourne to Heidi Withers,interspersed with Pink Slip commentary.
It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you.
First off, the tone of this opening to the salvo doesn’t seem particularly “good manners” to me. It’s actually pretty rude.
Wouldn’t something like “I wanted to write to you about a few things that have been bothering me since your recent weekend here with us. I certainly don’t want anything to come between us, let alone between you and Freddie…” Et-blah-di-cetera-blah.
But, no, there’s that high horse “high time” opener. Which pales, of course, when compared to the next line.
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.
“Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you…”
What a miserable, nasty, pretty unforgivable thing to say – especially if you’re holding yourself up and out as some paragon of manners. Frankly, Carolyn Bourne sounds more Emily Postal than Emily Post to me.
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.
I’ll grant Carolyn that someone bitching about what’s on offer is rude. Had not Heidi heard about taking a small portion and/or disguising what’s not eaten by moving the remains around the plate? Or saying “No, thank you,” when, say, the tripe soaked in sauerkraut juice is passed her way.
And, given the questionable judgment Carolyn has thus far exhibited in her note, might we not begin to question her interpretation of what Heidi has said and done with respect to not having enough to eat, or grabbing another helping. (This last one I just don’t get. At least the way things work with my family and friends, once a dish has made the rounds once and everyone’s been served, it’s considered fine and dandy to say “Please pass the potato salad.” In fact, it can even be interpreted as a compliment to the 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.
Well, Carolyn, had you or Freddie actually informed Heidi that she was expected to fall out of bed at dawn, and/or played reveille to help ensure that she was awake. But just because you get up at 6 a.m…. Perhaps you should have said, “We breakfast at 7 a.m., and I’m afraid if you’re not up then, you’ll have to fend for yourself.” Or explained what the plans for the day were, and when the starting time was. Then, if Heidi chose to be a slug-a-bed, you’ve got her on the rude.
- 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.
Damn, with everything else flying around about this contretemps, surely by now we’d know what Heidi said that so shocked the local.
- You should have hand-written a card to me. You have never written to thank me when you have stayed.
Points for Carolyn on this one, but the emphasis on “hand-written” leads me to believe that thoroughly-modern Heidi may have sent an e-mail. So, perhaps, Carolyn could have put a bug in Freddie’s ear about how she would appreciate a “real” note.
- You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why.
Carolyn as shrink. Pink Slip as shrink: Carolyn likes the attention on Carolyn.
- No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.
Since the castle where Heidi and Freddie plan to marry is hired out for functions like weddings, it’s apparently not true that in Old Blimey, “no one gets married in a castle unless they own it.”
But it’s the next part of the exchange that is really the height of Carolyn Bourne’s ill-mannered rudeness:
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.)
So, I guess it should come as no surprise that Heidi’s father jumped into the fray.
…branding Mrs Bourne a ‘snotty Miss Fancy Pants’.
And offering that she:
‘has her head stuck so far up her own a*** she doesn’t know whether to speak or f**t.’
Okay, this is a rather boorish statement, and certainly does nothing to reduce the overall tension of the situation, but, in terms of making me laugh, I must say well-played, Alan Withers.
Freddie and Heidi are being well mannered and clamming up about the row.
Meanwhile, Freddie Bourne’s actual (not step) mother has issued a defense of her future daughter-in-law:
‘Heidi is a charming girl who I have never found rude – not once. She is also Freddie’s choice and will always be welcome in my home.' (Source: Metro UK)
And someone’s grabbed Carolyn Bourn’s identity, and set up a URL.
Wouldn’t you love to be a coat of arms on that castle wall come the wedding of Heidi and Freddie?