Three months ago, my sister (25) met a guy (30) through a blind date and apparently hit it off. I met him and didn’t like him. He wasn’t an interesting person. He seemed entirely too comfortable in my sisters’ apartment where I was temporarily staying. He put his bare feet up on the coffee table, which I found gross and disrespectful. And he really didn’t speak to me. He was so into my sister, but he didn’t ask me anything about myself, which I thought was disrespectful. A few days later they were “in love.” I later found out (through our other sister) that soon after they met, he got a biggish tattoo on his chest that was associated with her and she got a small corresponding tattoo. I find this crazy.
A month after they met, they got engaged. I cried when I found out. They had an engagement party in our hometown and I truly didn’t want to go. I had to take a plane trip to be there for one night. It seemed stupid. I told my sister I didn’t want to go, but she kept asking me to, so eventually I just went. Luckily, I had a date to it. If I hadn’t had a date, I honestly wouldn’t have gone.
My family is close and I find it incredibly repulsive and disrespectful that this guy now feels he is part of it. We have another sister and I know she doesn’t like him, either. He’s just so lame. I’ve hung around them a bunch of times and I have never heard anything unique or interesting come out of his mouth. He is very superficial. He loves shopping (which I find weird in a straight man).
It makes me sad and a bit troubled because I love my sister and I don’t want this to affect us. Lately, I’ve hardly been spending any time with her. Soon after I met her fiancé, she even asked me if I liked him and I was honest and said no. Every time I see him, I like him less. He just annoys me. I find him very presumptuous and disrespectful.
Recently, he did something that really pissed me off. We were talking about dogs and he said he wanted a french bulldog (how original; every guy wants that dog) and I said I would tell him what kind of dog I wanted, but he had to promise he wouldn’t want it. It’s not a common breed. Well, recently, I was at their house, and I overheard that he wants the dog that I want. I immediately got very angry. Apparently, my face turned red. I told him he better not get that dog. He is so pathetic! What is wrong with him?! I’m not going to be seeing him again if I can help it. What is your objective advice? — Uncommon Breed
You use the word “disrespectful” three times in your letter to describe your sister’s fiancé, which is ironic since it’s a word that could just as easily be used to describe the way you’ve treated him and his relationship with your sister. Most of his “offenses” — being comfortable in his girlfriend’s home, liking to shop, and getting a tattoo associated with someone he likes — aren’t offenses at all, but completely harmless aspects of his personality you’re uncomfortable with for your own personal reasons. Yes, failing to engage you in conversation is “lame,” but after getting a taste of your attitude toward him, I have to wonder if he wasn’t just protecting himself from further judgment or harassment.
As for him wanting a dog that you also want, regardless of how “uncommon” the breed is, all I have to say about that is: grow the hell up. Neither one of you said you were actually going to get the dog — just that maybe you’d like to one day. And so what if you both got the same kind of pet? For someone who’s accusing another person of being “very superficial,” you certainly seem to liken dogs — living, breathing beings — to accessories you hope make you stand out.
As mean and juvenile as your letter was, the part that stood out the most was when you said you wouldn’t have gone to your sister’s engagement party if you hadn’t had a date. And her fiancé is the pathetic one? Unbelievable.
Look, we’re not always going to like or connect with the people our friends and loved ones end up with. That’s just a fact of life. Does that have potential to make future get-togethers less fun? Sure. But it isn’t about us. We’re not the ones who will spend our lives with those significant others, and what matters most is not that we have a good time with them or feel comfortable in their presence, but that they make our loved ones happy — that they treat them well, respect them, and have the ability to make their lives more rewarding. Nothing in your letter indicates that that isn’t the case with your sister’s fiancé, so my suggestion is to suck it up, quit being a big baby, and deal with the fact that your sister is in love and planning to spend her life with this man. If you want to be part of that life, quit acting like a brat and celebrate the love your sister has found, even if the man she’s found it with isn’t someone whom you’d pick for her. If you’re so sure you can find someone better, focus your energy on finding him for yourself. Reading between the lines here, it seems like that’s what would truly make you feel better about your sister’s upcoming marriage.