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Girlfriend staying in the car 'with the dogs'

(91 Posts)
mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 12:17:59

I do feel upset. It's my son's birthday tomorrow.

He sent a text this morning to ask if he and his girlfriend could drop in for coffee on their way home to Durham. They have two small dogs, and I have a sheltie who isn't used to dogs coming into the house.

I wasn't expecting to see him, and felt pleased, and went out and bought him some cake at our local coffee shop. I was going to transfer his birthday money into his account, but got the cash out instead. I'd already posted his card, he's 26 tomorrow.

He texted again to say he'd be coming about 1 pm, so I asked if he'd like lunch. He said no, he wanted to walk his dogs and have chips at our nearest town a few miles up the road. I said I didn't feel very well today, and would rather not do that, but if he called in on the way I'd got cake and cash for him.

They've been in the car for about 45 minutes by the time they get here.

He came to the door a few minutes ago - his girlfriend was going to 'stay in the car with the dogs'. They've been going out together for about eight years now, and I've probably only seen her eight times.

I felt really angry she was going to wait in the car, it just seemed so rude. I've got a private drive so the car windows could all have been opened, I'm sure the dogs would have been OK for a ten minute visit.

Unfortunately I was as rude as her as I more or less shoved the cake and cash at him, kissed him happy birthday, and said goodbye.

Summerlove Fri 21-Jun-19 19:05:26

There are badly brought up people of every generation.

It sounds like what you’re really angry about, is that younger generations arent toe-ing the line you expect them to.

Might be time to adjust thought processes.

GF wasn’t nasty, She was taking care of her animals the way any responsible pet owner should. Unfortunately, even by her own words, it was OP who acted badly in this case. Why blame gf? why is girlfriend supposed to trot out her parents to meet her boyfriend’s mother? My in-laws met my parents in the months before my wedding, and not before, as there was no need for it.

Smileless2012 Fri 21-Jun-19 19:07:28

I'm glad you've smoothed things over mosaicwartssmilebut having just re read you OP I'm a little confused.

You say your son texted this morning and asked if he and his GF could pop in for coffee; that's why you popped out to buy a cake for his birthday. Why then did his GF stay in the car?

It doesn't make sense when he knew they would have the dogs with them when he contacted you this morning.

I agree MacCavity and get equally frustrated. It's all about basic good manners isn't it.

I believe that the responsibilities you referred too should be established in childhood and that they are decided by good manners and the long held belief that one should do unto others as they wish to be done too.

crazyH Fri 21-Jun-19 19:22:41

The way to keep your son/daughter close is through his/her partner. My son and I had a big falling out last August and if it wasn't for his wife having a 'Christmas' change of mind., my son and I would not see each other. Well, he is still a bit distant, but at least I get to see the little ones and have a cuppa with son and wife.
Funnily enough, my daughter is giving me the silent treatment because I made some long overdue nasty comments about her cheating ex-husband, yes, EX. She helps him financially, even though he is married to someone else and they have a child. He is lazy and works very little during the summer, because he is a golf addict. He has some type of hold on her and it makes me mad.

GrandmaKT Fri 21-Jun-19 19:24:17

GF wasn’t nasty, She was taking care of her animals the way any responsible pet owner should.
I really can't believe I'm reading this! Since when did staying with dogs in a car become more important than popping in to say hello to your MIL? I would consider it the height of bad manners if either of my DS' partners behaved like this. Fortunately they never would.

Gonegirl Fri 21-Jun-19 19:29:12

You should definitely have hidden the cake away and enjoyed it yourself later.

Harris27 Fri 21-Jun-19 20:02:28

Totally agree macavity we too often make too many excuses for our sons/daughters. I work with some young girls and the way they speak about their parents is unreal. Often borrowing money expecting free childcare with no thanks. And to sit in a car and ignore a person is downright rude!

GoodMama Fri 21-Jun-19 20:03:40

I agree MacCavity2, the rude behavior was unacceptable and I'm sure many people wouldn't want to reach out to build a relationship with someone who who behaves in such a way.

By her own words she "shoved the cake and cash" at her son when he stopped by to say hello to her for his birthday at the end of a journey with two dogs in the car.

But, she apologized to him, he accepted. Let the poor woman move on and learn to keep her temper under control. Perhaps if she does, then moving forward her son and GF would be more willing to spend time with her.

Sara65 Fri 21-Jun-19 22:03:56


You make a good point, isn’t it simple about good manners? She may have been concerned for her Dogs but as others suggest , there are plenty of ways around that problem .

I’d be very ashamed if one of my daughters behaved in this way

Elvive Fri 21-Jun-19 22:10:42



Very rude.

stella1949 Sat 22-Jun-19 04:46:58

Couldn't you put your dog outside / in another room for a while when they visited ? I always did that when I had an unsociable dog. That way I could have visitors and they'd feel welcome.

Sorry but it sounds as if you made them as unwelcome as possible.

polnan Sat 22-Jun-19 09:38:23

I had a sheltie, (well more than one over my lifetime)
all been a little shy! but why not get them for a short walkies together. I always wanted my sheltie to mix..

sad for you. yes, apologies, well I would, mend fences, get dogs together, I wouldn`t leave my dog(s) in a car on their own, whilst I visited, would you?

BazingaGranny Sat 22-Jun-19 09:46:11

Please, PLEASE - don’t leave dogs tied up in the front garden or left in cars. Dogs are stolen from such places and nothing good happens to dogs who are stolen.

I can’t understand anyone wanting to do this - and unless you live in a single roomed studio, there’s no reason not to take the dog/s into one of your rooms, or the safe back garden.

I wouldn’t be getting out of my car for someone who wanted me to leave my dog in it! Feels like there is more to this story, I’m afraid.

Glad you have all apologised. Am very sorry that you are widowed - are you able to join a dog walking club, do some voluntary work, go to the U3A? I’ve found quite a lot to do that doesn’t mean leaving my dog alone for long.

Very much hope it all goes well in the future. 🐕

BazingaGranny Sat 22-Jun-19 09:53:49

PS are you letting your Sheltie rule the roost? We have a similar sized dog who can be bossy (!) but on an occasion like this, I would have left him with a neighbour or in the bedroom. He would be perfectly safe in either place while your son, his girlfriend and her/their dogs came in for a birthday lunch or tea.

Sorry to focus on the dog/dogs but your son and his long term girlfriend are more important than the slightly hurt feelings (very temporary!) of a little dog, no matter how much doggie is loved.

I’m sure that it will all work out well 🐕✅

moggie57 Sat 22-Jun-19 10:23:03

maybe she thought the dogs were be a bit too boisterious especially as you were feeling unwell ,and decided to stay in the car with the you have a dog too ,maybe she was unsure how her dogs would behave. i think she was right to stay in the car. after all it was your sons birthday not hers. dont let this get to you.. they had plans for the day anyway.

mosaicwarts Sat 22-Jun-19 10:25:33

Thank you for all of your kind comments and support.

BazingaGranny, he was my husband's dog, and is bossy. If I locked him in a bedroom he'd be scratching at the door and barking. I can't lock him in the garden either, especially with the grass seeds out there at the moment - more weeding waiting for me. I have to put him in the car when I hoover as he tries to kill it. Since my husband died I have spoilt him. sad I am very glad to have him as I am nervous at night here.

I think my grief is making me overreact to everything, yesterday's incident was ridiculous really and I am glad my son accepted my apology. It's year three now and the reality of being alone really frightens me. I am also feeling very stressed with having my house on the market as I don't know where to move to. I wasn't feeling 100% yesterday either as I'd overdone it lugging huge branches around the day before.

None of this would have happened if I'd put my dog in the car, I always do when I have had to viewings, and he's perfectly happy. I can't understand why I didn't.

Lesson learnt, bright and breezy next time!

eagleswings Sat 22-Jun-19 10:28:38

I'm with MacCavity here. This is really bad manners not to even say hello or get out of the car. There seems to be a spreading acceptance that this is ok behaviour. I was a lot more dutiful with my parents and in laws. This generation of children have been taught that they can do just what they want without a thought for others. It is never too late to re-train them people. There might be a lot less older family members spending high days and holidays alone if these kids of ours were taught to be a little more compassionate and less selfish. I hope this gets forwarded to Mumsnet.

Mistymorningstar Sat 22-Jun-19 10:33:17

I understand you fully. When my son is in a relationship I'm totally forgotten about. I want nothing more than for him to settle down and marry and have his own family, so i am not envious - but girlfriend is in the car, he then says he cannot stay long as she is in the car even though i say every time - why? - and its wizz in and out - and thats it, whereas i have prepared a snack, geered myself emotionally and in seconds its over. Horrid feeling .

Grammaretto Sat 22-Jun-19 10:36:27

Please don't beat yourself up about this . I learned a de-stressing technique at yoga yesterday. PM me if you want to learn it.
Sending Hugs sunshine

BlueBelle Sat 22-Jun-19 10:46:40

Lovely last post mosaic you realise you overreacted and you know the reason why you have a lot going on in your head You ve apologised to your son s he’s accepted it and you ll think more next time
If you can make a friend of the girlfriend it would be worth it she may be shy, a bit in awe of you, she may be a cold carrot, she may not be family orientated, she just may not like your dog, she may be a bitch there’s a 101 legitimate reasons but keep trying it will be nice for your son and she could be a decent person if you get to know her
I totally disagree with eagles this generation of children have been taught they can do just what they want there are plenty of very rude older people and plenty of well mannered young ones, it’s life in all it’s varieties

Rocknroll5me Sat 22-Jun-19 10:48:21

I can empathise with you OP.
My son got a girlfriend who was rude and disrespectful from the start, from day one! All the others had been so nice! And whenever he was with me (rare) she continually messaged and phoned. I remember once when he had picked me up from hospital after breast op for cancer and cooked me a supper she rang and he told her and she said he didn’t cook her supper had a strop .. and he had to leave.
They’ve gone on to be married and she is now pregnant with third grandchild. So! We can’t always have what we want! you get given a piece of cloth and you make the best of it.
Son is happy enough, kids are happy, I smile. I’d have loved to have had another daughter, as it were, but for some reason she has always seen me as competition for my sons affections. Barmy. And very hurtful. I have no idea if she knows how unkind she is she volunteers for a homeless charity for men and seems very publicly caring.
I also agree though with someone above who advised mums of adult children to ‘back off’. My daughter tells me very bluntly when I have stepped over line. She thinks I should not try to appease DIL so much, and just ignore her... it’s is really difficult. But it’s true there seems to be nothing I can do to make her friendlier. She arrives at my house ( twice a year?) and looks furious. I try not to feel so much.

I know it seems that others have these wonderful extended families, love and respect, some do, we all get a bit of it but not to be assumed I’m afraid.
Youth can be callous remember that too. I can’t remember thinking too deeply about boyfriends mothers. Even so.
I’d definitely work on the dog thing though they have recently proved that dogs exhibit their human companions stress and not the other way round. I can’t imagine anything more relaxing than a big dog walk, all off lead with humans all relaxed. So much easier than being trapped in a room. The Queen always takes her difficult challenging visitors on dog walks in her massive grounds as it is so much easier to talk side by side. And yes do tell her how great her dogs

Pippa22 Sat 22-Jun-19 10:50:36

I think you were all wrong. Your sons girlfriend was rude staying in the car, your son who it seemed didn’t really want more than a fleeting visit and you mosaicwarts who was already upset about the arrangement. Dogs it seems are the excuse, you saying that your dog is not used to visiting dogs, but perhaps you could have shut yours in another room or theirs could have been left in their car for a short while.
Your son refusing lunch sounds a bit odd as he wanted chips nearby but not lunch with you. Perhaps this was to avoid you and his girlfriend having to spend time together.
I am really sorry that this has happened and, no wonder you are feeling sad but try to put it as right as you can straight away as you don’t want to lose your son entirely.

jaylucy Sat 22-Jun-19 12:06:13

My sisters in laws did the similar thing each Sunday even though their dog got on well with my sisters.
They used to turn up at about 10am, one used to come in (while the other sat in the car with the dog)stay long enough to drink a cup of tea and then swap. All in all, they were there for about half an hour!
I can understand the thinking of your DS but it would have been nice for the girlfriend just to have popped in for a few minutes to say hello.
Suggest you ring your son and explain that you were disappointed and you would love to have seen your GF. Is there any way you could all meet up away from your house, dogs included for a coffee or a picnic?

loopyloo Sat 22-Jun-19 12:14:08

I don't have dogs and know nothing about them but couldn't you have shut your dog in a room at one end of the house and asked son and girlfriend and dogs in for a cup of tea? Or a bowl of water?
But sounds as though it's been smoothed over now. Glad we don't have any pets.

Quickdraw Sat 22-Jun-19 12:14:31

I could see myself doing exactly as you have done. There is no point in beating yourself up or dwelling on it however I'm sure your son knows and loves you well enough to not dwell on it either. With regards to GF I would let her sit in the car for whatever reason she chooses. You can only invite her in which you have done. Sometimes situations and expectations cause us to behave in a way we regret later. You haven't damaged your relationship with your son and that's what matters flowers

Tillybelle Sat 22-Jun-19 12:29:41

I'm very sorry to say that I think this was a selfishly bad-mannered piece of behaviour. I appreciate the issues about dogs, I have dogs, but they could have taken measures to deal with them. The girl could have walked the dogs up and down the road, having said hello to you, while your son had time with you at the very least.
So many people tell me how their AC treat them dismissively and do not realise that they look forward to seeing them. I have had to grow an extra layer of skin myself. Partly because my children live a long way away, partly because they have no idea of how hard my life is or why I struggle to manage. I think I spoilt them.
I think we have to live our lives without depending on them. Sorry to say this. flowers