Oh how awful. Pot calling the kettle...?

  smokingbeagle 17:01 29 Jun 2011
  interzone55 17:13 29 Jun 2011

Like a post card, never put anything in an email you don't want others to read, it's far too easy for people to forward emails on...

  wiz-king 17:55 29 Jun 2011

It was the hight of bad manners to tell her by email anyway, even if her house training was sadly lacking.

  OTT_B 18:29 29 Jun 2011

The comments on the Telegraph article are interesting - and on the whole I agree with them. Personally I think that the mother-in-law was right to point out the girl's etiquette weaknesses, but could have been a great deal more tactful.

Telegraph Article

  Forum Editor 18:50 29 Jun 2011

If I was this woman's step-son I would tell her quite firmly to keep her interfering, self-righteous nose out of my life, and to respect the fact that I have chosen to marry someone because I love her, and not because she doesn't wait to be asked before helping herself to food.

The fact that someone would even think of writing to a step-son's future wife in this appalling way speaks volumes about the woman's total lack of depth of character. She should feel thoroughly ashamed of herself, but such people are usually too narrow-minded to care about hurting someone so viciously.

My advice to Heidi is that she finds a new man, one who has some backbone; the sort of man who would deal with an incident like this in ten minutes flat.

  morddwyd 21:05 29 Jun 2011

Oh Dear. Given the examples shown I find the Mother in Law's remarks quite acceptable and reasonable.

Perhaps that's why my son and his fiancée cleared off to Italy to get married without a word to anyone!

(For the record, even though they have now broken up she still writes to us far more often than he does!)

  Flak999 22:07 29 Jun 2011


Oh Dear. Given the examples shown I find the Mother in Law's remarks quite acceptable and reasonable.

I have to agree with you, good manners cost nothing. One would have thought that the girl might have tried to impress her new in-laws rather than behave in this uncouth manner.

  interzone55 22:25 29 Jun 2011

What are considered good manners is not consistent.

For instance in some countries it's considered polite to burp loudly after a meal, whereas in many restaurants in this country such an action would be frowned upon.

If this girl has not been brought up in a stuck-up middle class, middle england household it may not have been impressed on her that she should wait to be served, rather than helping herself.

I consider myself to be well mannered, but we were always told to help ourselves from the serving dishes once the plates with meat on had been handed out.

Mind you, neither of my parents would have hesitated from telling us to our faces if we showed ourselves up in public, rather than putting it in an email, rather like writing a letter to the editor of the Times to complain about service in a shop rather than speaking directly to the store manager.

I once worked for a manager who would write a long and detailed letter and leave it on your desk if he considered you did something wrong, and he would often leave it for a week before he wrote it. This was intensely annoying, so I used to leave it another week before I left my reply on his desk, and I once posted my reply whilst I was on holiday with my letter of resignation - I never went back

  natdoor 09:14 30 Jun 2011

To some degree all involved in this story are at fault. The girl's behaviour during her stay was self-centred, something rather common these days, and lacking conformance with generally accepted behavioural standards. The lady's method of making her views known, via e-mail and without any attempt to put them in a less authoritarian tone, was lacking the decorum she solicited. The reason for the girl distributing the e-mail is unclear. Perhaps it was to show the lady in a bad light, which speaks volumes of the mores of her associates, or possibly to admit to lack of etiquette. And what can one say about friends who pass on personal e-mails to third parties.

  Covergirl 12:23 30 Jun 2011

Nothing wrong with an email imho. Or perhaps she should have written her a letter?

Well, an email is just the modern equivalent of a letter. OK, so it has the potential to be more easily "sent on", but that's the receivers perogative.

As for Heidi - she is obviously so lacking in etiquette she forwards on the email to her mates. More fool her.

I think we need to watch more Jeremy Kyle type programmes just to see the diversity of people that exist in this (or any) country.

  Joseph Kerr 13:25 30 Jun 2011

Your good manners cannot be abvious by their absence, precisely because they are absent. They can be conspicuous in their absence.

Worryingly, though, I pretty much agree with her.*

Though in my household I wouldn't wait to be offered anything if I were you, I'm a terrible host.

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