Miss Fancy Pants, in her own words

Evidently, some mother wrote to her future daughter-in-law some scathing words about manners, the future bride’s father got involved, and the next thing you know the world knows. Here’s the original letter that got the kerfuffle feathers shaking.

My suggestion is that, instead of getting together over a beer as our President did one time, you two get together at a soccer match so you can yell at one another and the rest of us won’t hear. Bring your own vuvuzelas. Kiss and make up, and be all proper about it. And no more of those civil British put downs.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Larry Barber

    Well, _somebody_ in that family needs lessons in good manners.

  • Amory Ewerdt

    Yikes! That sounds like a scary mother-in-law.

  • Robert Rogers

    Social media and blogs have made gossip and being a busybody acceptable even among Christians.

  • Pat Pope

    Well, at least she wrote it to her directly, even if it is insulting. ‘Course I doubt it engendered good feelings. I say it’s not too late to back out of this marriage. Because contrary to what some people try to believe, you do marry the family and this bride-to-be is not off to a good start. If anything, this is a sign of things to come.

    @Robert Rogers, I’ve had a fellow Christian that I served with slander me in an e-mail to another church member and cc: me on it so as not to be accused of talking behind my back. How’s that for transparency?

  • Debbie

    I can’t marry in a castle that I don’t own? Really?

  • josenmiami

    actually, altough the mother-in-law may not be very kind, she is basically right in her advice. At least the girl knows where she stands with her …

  • http://eatingasapathtoyoga.wordpress.com Eating as a Path to Yoga

    I have to admit, I agree with most of the MIL’s letter.

  • Robert Rogers

    What I am saying is that it does harm for this family to resolve its own problems when the media, blogs, and social media to get involved in a family matter, splatter it all over the web-o-sphere, and then ask readers what it thinks about the character of people they do not personally know. Now Christian media and blogs are participating in this, and we eat it up, all the while believing that we are not participating in gossip and being a busybody. Aren’t we just acting like the world? How is this families problems any of our business?

  • smcknight

    Robert, I heard you the first time. I thought of that before I posted this, but I think there’s something — beside both the comic and tragic in human relations — profoundly redemptive here. We can see in this a mirror for ourselves, a mirror of what we have said and regret, of what we wanted to say but didn’t, of what we might have said and can see in this worldwide reaction why we need to learn to keep our mouths shut, why we need to guard our e-mails, and why we need to learn how best to convey our disappointments and disagreements. So, yes, this is a sad holding up of dirty laundry, but it’s not just theirs. This is not the first family to have to deal with profound disagreements from parents and children who are getting married.

  • Robert Rogers

    Scot, the title alone is offensive regarding someone you don’t know. Airing others dirty laundry helps us see our own sin? More than likely it makes us take sides or mostly breeds condescending thoughts regarding one of the parties involved. I fail to see the logic and the biblical standard here. This reminds me of people using prayer requests (something redemptive) as an excuse to gossip.

  • http://pwolzcounseling@yahoo.com Pamela Wolz

    I once heard a definition of judgment that has never left me: “Forming conclusions with partial information.” That is often the restraining order on my mouth. Thanks for sharing this. It’s certainly pertinent.

  • alison

    Well, this is not the version of the email that I read on MSNBC, so who knows which version is right. I agreed with a few of the things until she started to (in the version I read) attack the girl because she commented on her diabetes and that most people with diabetes (and the MIL claimed she knew others) don’t talk about it. Knowing that this girl has diabetes could certainly explain the girl saying when she could or could not eat and what she could or could not eat. That part was just over the top.

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com diana trautwein

    The last commenter (@alison) added a significant piece of information to this discussion – which, to my mind, serves to underscore some of the concerns expressed by other readers about your posting this one. This is a sad letter, whether it is complete or not, because it does lay some pretty ugly prophetic stepping stones for what are likely to be difficult years ahead. We DO marry our spouse’s family, like it our not. And…putting it out into the public world does not help one thing. Sure, Scot,you’re right in saying that it reminds us to be careful with our emails and our words – but geez louize – it’s gotta be tough for all persons concerned with this very personal incident that it’s blown up like this. And in a way, much as I must blushingly admit that I like to read ‘gossip’ from time to time – this one does tend to tip over the edge in that direction a bit too much for comfort. I’ve made enough errors in both judgment and technological ineptitude to learn this little lesson all on my own – I don’t really need to read of someone else’s pain in this way. I LOVE your blog and enjoy the discussion your posts generate, but on this one, I think I agree with Robert Rogers. Sorry. :>(

  • K.

    This is all over the Internet and is therefore in the public domain now, so in my view it’s not gossip, but I’m not as holy as others. I do know I sure won’t ask for seconds before first being offered!

  • Mark

    Reminds me of a quote from the great movie “Blast From the Past”: “Manners are a way of showing other people we care about them.”


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