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AIBU to think this is very rude

(63 Posts)
NanKate Tue 09-Jun-15 22:06:56

My brother in law and sister in law called in on my DH's 70th Birthday weekend. They were left for a few minutes alone whilst I made them a cuppa. When I came back in the room they were reading all his birthday cards - not just looking at the front of the cards but reading the personal messages.

I had put a few personal comments inside my card to DH which I hadn't expected anyone else reading.

I'm still miffed at how rude they were.

Mishap Tue 09-Jun-15 22:11:13

My DDs always look through the cards that we display - I think the principle is not to display any that you do not want to read by anyone else.

merlotgran Tue 09-Jun-15 22:12:26

Birthday cards are not private if they are put out on display so I don't suppose they thought anyone would mind.

Ana Tue 09-Jun-15 22:12:36

A lot of people do that. If the cards are on display I expect they thought it was OK to have a look...confused

Anya Tue 09-Jun-15 22:20:18

Honestly NanKate I don't expect they thought it was rude, for the same reason as everyone above ie. they were on display.

Tegan Tue 09-Jun-15 22:26:01

Oh I do that as well blush. But probably only with family. I always look at the birthday cards at my daughters house. Then again, I wouldn't do it till they'd gone out [I usually babysit for them on her birthday].If it was my DIL's birthday I wouldn't look at her cards.

soontobe Tue 09-Jun-15 22:28:48

Some people think it is rude. Some not.
Some do it almost automatically.

Grannyknot Tue 09-Jun-15 22:32:40

I presume that they are either the brother or sister of your DH? I'd read my siblings' cards if they were displayed. I was "dying" to read the wedding anniversary cards my son and his wife had exchanged blush so I had a peek when they were out and I was babysitting.

I would almost go so far as to say it's hard to resist reading cards that are on display.

numberplease Tue 09-Jun-15 22:37:17

We all do it in our family, not that there`s ever anything outrageous in ours, not so far, anyway.

Leticia Tue 09-Jun-15 22:50:39

If you put them on display people assume they can read them.

Deedaa Tue 09-Jun-15 22:54:08

I always write very little in DH's cards precisely because I know that people will automatically be picking them up and reading them.

harrigran Tue 09-Jun-15 23:21:58

We always read family cards too, I don't think it is rude, if they are on display.

Bellanonna Tue 09-Jun-15 23:55:08

I always read them. It just seems natural. I probably wouldn't do it in friends' houses, or not without asking first.

Eloethan Wed 10-Jun-15 00:39:49

Oh dear, I hope it's not rude, because I often read cards that are on display. I wouldn't put a card on display if it had something very personal written in it.

I was, however, surprised at what my neighbour's 22 year old daughter did. She was invited to wait in our sitting room because she'd forgotten her key. I went in to the kitchen to get her a drink and when I came back she was clicking through the family photos on our camera which had been lying on the table!

thatbags Wed 10-Jun-15 06:40:55

Not rude. I expect they wanted to see who the cards were from. If a card is private, put it somewhere private.

Where was your DH at the time? You don't mention him as being present.

Leticia Wed 10-Jun-15 07:12:20

I would never write anything private to put on public display. A lot of people would assume that if displayed they are free to read.

Sheena Wed 10-Jun-15 07:31:44

I love to look at other peoples' cards...but I always say "ooo what gorgeous cards..can I have a look" ... I would imagine most people are only too happy to have their cards looked at and read... smile

J52 Wed 10-Jun-15 07:41:40

I don't think it's rude, but personally would not do it unless invite to look. That's just the way I am.

Late MIL not only read them, but rearranged them so hers was at the front, or most prominent! x

NanKate Wed 10-Jun-15 07:44:57

Well I see from all your comments that it is the norm to read Birthday cards. I had not in fact put them on display my DinL had done that for my DH.

My comments to my DH were just a bit emotional and I should have realised that they were on public display and where open to viewing.

My DS and DinL put cards up to each at their home and I would never look at the messages they send to each other.

Heyho I realise my views are in the minority and to be honest I was quite surprised.

That is the good thing about Gransnet we see a whole myriad of views and comments. smile

Anya Wed 10-Jun-15 07:49:31


NanKate Wed 10-Jun-15 07:56:36

Thatbags you asked where DH was whilst his DB and SinL were looking through his cards, well he was having a water pistol fight with our two GSs 4 and 2 in the garden. grin

My DH is a notorious hoarder and his DB mocks him for not clearing out the junk. Last time they came I found my BinL going into the side door of our garage to see what the state of it was. Another example IMO of them being bloody nosey. hmm

I expect they will be going through the drawers next. As you can see they p*** me off.

thatbags Wed 10-Jun-15 08:08:15

Yes, I saw from the OP that you were pissed off.

When your daughterinlaw went to look in the garage side door, what had led to that, if you don't mind me asking? It seems an odd thing to do just out of the blue so I'm just wondering if there was a general milling about talking about hoards of junk in the garage or something, or whether it was just dil milling about on her own, in which case it does appear nosy, but harmless for all that.

Nice to hear your DH was having a water pistol fight with his grandkids on his birthday smile.

Did he mind other family members looking inside his birthday cards?

loopylou Wed 10-Jun-15 08:13:28

I probably wouldn't look in the cards but I don't think I'd mind if someone visiting did.

I've never really thought about this before but I can imagine some of my family being blooming nosey!

NanKate Wed 10-Jun-15 08:21:02

Thatbags it was my BinL who looked in garage. He was in the back garden with my DS and I heard him say 'Can I look in the garage to see if your dad has got round to clearing it out yet?' A moment later he had opened the door. I heard this from the kitchen. My son is oblivious to this bad feeling I have and I don't know if he responded.

I now lock the garage door when they come to stop this happening.

hildajenniJ Wed 10-Jun-15 08:30:36

If it is rude, then I must stop doing it!! I am always reading everything I see. I usually ask permission first of course. grin