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To Brunch...or Not To Brunch?

caninelover's picture

That is the question...

Quick background:  Narc SD24 Bratty McBratFace will be in town this weekend with Nutter GF for a wedding (Nutter GF's family).  They are staying at a hotel where the wedding is, so will not be staying with us.

I dislike Bratty (and have chronicled our history on this site) and have been disengaged for a year and half now.  During that time, Bratty has still tried to freeload off of me (Disneyland tickets) and asked SO about that again for this visit.  She also asked him if we would tour Nutter GF's parents around on Sunday.  SO said a clear no to both requests.

SO and Bratty did arrange for brunch on Sunday at a vegan cafe (LOL) for SO to meet Nutter GF.  I am invited to go.

SO and I had a bit of an argument yesterday that was started by him making a dismissive comment about my niece's horse-riding skills (she posted a picture of her performing a jump on her horse and SO said 'what a little jump' or something snarky like that).  That, along with the upcoming brunch date, triggered me to unload on him.  I asked him how he would react if I made a comment like that about Bratty.  He was silent but then he said we should not be expected to hold things back from each other.  OH REALLY??  Do you really think I see Bratty with the same rose-colored glasses you do?  I do hold back because if I say what I really think all the time it will result in an argument.  He also asked why a comment about my niece was causing all this to come up.  I told him I was definitely anxious about the upcoming brunch.  I dislike Bratty, and I definitely dislike how he ignores her poor behavior around me.  He started to understand that his past inaction with Bratty was still upsetting me - I told him I could forgive but not forget.  And I don't want to put myself in future situations where Bratty has more opportunities to disrespect me.  

He said he was sorry for not stepping up in the past.  I brought up Thanksgiving 2018 again - where Bratty turned temporarily vegan as I pulling dishes out of the over.  Then asked to eat at Boston Market the next day.  That day he snapped at me but said nothing to Bratty.  I told him how much that still stings, to this day.  And I wasn't keen on sitting across a table from Bratty again, having her throw more shade at me, with SO just avoiding it because he was just grateful for whatever scraps of attention he gets from her.

He said he understood and was sorry it still hurts to this day.  He said it was completely up to me to go to brunch or not.  And if I went, and if Bratty so much as looks cross-eyed at me, he would get up and leave the restaurant with me.

I feel stuck again.  Do I want to see Bratty?  Nope, nope, nope.  Do I want to support SO?  Yes - but not if he's not going to support ME by not allowing his child to disrespect me.  He says he won't let that happen again. I'm not sure I'm in a great headspace with any of this right now.

Do I brunch, or do I not brunch?  What say you?


JRI's picture

I know how anxious I get about seeing SD60 so I understand how you feel.  But in this case, I'd go.  This is like a "meet the fiance" event.  Bratty will probably be on her best behavior.  Who knows, Nutter GF might even be a positive influence on Bratty.  It's also a support to the family, putting the family's best foot forward with a new inlaw.

It's only a meal.  It will give you a chance to assess Nutter and also see how DH responds to any slights.  Like me, you will have to accept that as his daughter, Bratty will be in your life as long as DH lives.  That's been hard for me to swallow but "mental health is an ongoing dedication to reality at all costs". 

Gimlet's picture

If your DH needs support to see his daughter, that is a separate issue from whether you want to attend a brunch with someone you don't like, who doesn't like you, and having to keep your guard up the whole time. 

If this were OSS, with whom I have had less confrontation than you have had with Bratty, I would choose not to go.  I don't need the stress and DH doesn't need me to be there.

Let him spend time with her and meet her girlfriend.  I know people want to have harmonious relationships with all the people they love but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way.

caninelover's picture

Where it seems like I'm holding a petty grudge though?  At the end of the day, its not like Bratty assaulted me or some of other horrific things I've read on here.  

Is it time to let the past lay in the past and (tentatively start over?  I wouldn't invite her to my Thanksgiving table - but what is the worst that can happen at a brunch?

Gimlet's picture

It sounds like you've laid some ground rules for your SO for brunch.  Are you confident he will respect them?  Or even notice if she's being disrespectful, like Advice said?

Do you want to attend brunch?  If you do attend and your SO doesn't hold up the end of the bargain, what would happen?

Simple decisions often are not so simple when there are complicated emotions, history, and complex relationships. 

It sucks that you have to think this hard about going but that's the reality for many of us. 

caninelover's picture

In upside-down StepLand, what should be a no-brainer turns into this.

I'm not sure he will pick up on Bratty's slights.  I do believe he would respect my feelings and support me if I said something like 'Bratty I don't appreciate that tone of voice' or 'Bratty, this is now the 4th time you've asked me for Disneyland tickets.  The answer is no, and if you ask again it will result in an argument about your ability to respect my boundaries'.  And I do think he would leave with me if I got up and walked away.

Of course - if he didn't - that is a good question. What happens then?  Do I tell him that was the try and no future contact with Bratty?  Of course maybe none of this happens and Bratty and Nutter GF are both pleasant.  So much swirling in my head right now.

CLove's picture

DH made some pretty strong statements about leaving if Bratty does something Bratty-ish. Thi would put that to the test so for the future it would give you more ground to refuse to see her. So yes to brunch.

But then again Bratty is Bratty and even on best behavior she will hound you for stuff and help, and you are on the spot. Therefore no to brunch.

So - thats my 2.5 cents.

caninelover's picture

I do think Bratty would definitely annoy me - but she would need to be outright rude for me to take the drastic measure of getting up and leaving.  And I think JRI is right - she will likely be on her best behavior for Nutter GF.  And yes her best behavior would annoy me because I would then know she is capable of behaving well - when it suits her needs.

tog redux's picture

Yup, that's what I was going to say.  Go, and see if he follows through on what he promised to do. This would be good information to have before you marry him.

$10 says Bratty complains about the lack of meat/dairy on the menu, lol. 

caninelover's picture

I should go, but stop on the way and bring some Boston Market take-out with me to eat in front of her.  HAHAHA.

advice.only2's picture

Personally I would not attend as this is an opportunity for him to meet Bratty's Nutter GF and for him to catch up with her outside of weekly Zoom calls.  I would let him know that should she come your way again next time you can plan for a coffee date somewhere of your choosing to say hello should you be inclined.  Also I highly doubt your SO would get up and leave should Bratty make you upset...he would have to actually be paying attention and know what is upsetting you.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Admittedly, I'm torn.

With the Nutter GF, I agree that Bratty might likely be on her best behavior so I'd be tempted to go solely to see if she does. But I would drive my own car in case I needed to get up and walk out. And leave SO to find his own way home. *diablo*

Frankly, the situation is simply too iffy for me and - due to both Bratty's and your SO's past behavior (and his saying zilch), I would say NO. Make plans with a friend to have brunch, have a spa day, or stay home, relax, and pamper yourself. 

caninelover's picture

The safe path is to do what you and others are saying.  Let SO meet them and I can do whatever else I want away from the circus.

The riskier choice is to go.  Bratty may choose to start sh*t again or maybe doesn't.  SO maybe supports me or maybe doesn't.  Lots of maybes there for sure.

Tried out's picture

happens if you go and he fails to support you? 

caninelover's picture

I don't know.  Bratty doesn't live with us or near us, so its not like we have regular contact with her anyway.  If he doesn't support me I suppose I can just tell him next time he's on his own, because he broke his promise to me the last time.

But what if he does do what he says?  I would finally feel more confident that he would care for me above all else.  With that confidence I would be less anxious about Bratty in general.

I feel like the potential reward may outweigh the risk...

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Is it possible for you to drive and let your SO know that if he doesn't support you, he needs to get a ride home? 

I know you've been through a ton of crap, but this is one way I try to look at things... It's an hour or two or five out of all the hours of my life. I can do it!

But if you do, make sure you have the option to walk away. With or without SO. *give_rose*

caninelover's picture

He'd let me drive if that made me feel better but I'm honestly not super worried about that.  It would be an pricey Uber home but that's always an option if things go sideways.  But - I don't think he would remain there if I walked out.  That much, I'm pretty sure of.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Darlin', if you do go...

  • Give yourself time to get ready and be sure to wear something that makes you feel good.
  • Treat SD like you would an arsehole coworker: polite, but distant.
  • Smile and think of the reward you're going home to: bubble bath, glass of wine, good book.

SD can suck rocks. *biggrin*

caninelover's picture

All great advice Aniki!  And yes I would definitely plan for that effortlessly stunning look LOL

Stepdrama2020's picture

If it was me then I would not go. You are already anxious, Brattys history with you is poor. Why take the chance to put yourself in the line of fire and then worse DH lets you down because "he didnt notice". The usual excuse cause its safer for them than address poor behavior. Guranteed after you will end up in an argument if the likely scenario occurs. Is it worth it? 

OR go but change the restraunt . You need to eat at The Meat Eater Cafe (made that up lol).

Hun Bratty is not worth any mental gymnastics for you. You have come too far to go back. Has Bratty changed for the better? Wasnt it just a few weeks ago she wanted you to be a Tour Company for the nutters c'mon Bratty!!

Best of luck and blessings

caninelover's picture

Yes that's the other thing.  Once in awhile I see a glimmer of maturing from her.  And other times it seems like just another day in crazytown.

But - what if SO doesn't let me down?  I won't ever know if I don't go.  Maybe he does support me and I feel better.  I can begin to really heal from the past.

And what if he does let me down?  Am I not in the same place I am now - feeling unsupported when he's with his kid?  Would my situation really worsen?  

Stepdrama2020's picture

Canine you have your answer. You answered it yourself.

GO. It will be a road test to the future. Let this be DH's time to shine as a supportive husband, as he promised. Fingers crossed he doesnt let you down.

Also Brattymcbrat will probably be on her best behavior, although that may not be much LOL, so you will be safe. She may be ok to impress the Nutter GF. Wishing you the best!! 

caninelover's picture

Yes, I think I answered my own question for now.  But no guarantees I won't flip to the other side by Sunday LOL.

Stepdrama2020's picture

We will be here to support. Flip flop away, you do you.

I am actually now rooting for you to go. The next blog may be entertainment at its finest lady  Wink

caninelover's picture

Part of me IS curious about Nutter yeah I may come back with some juicy details LOL

SeeYouNever's picture

Bratty has probably told Nutter all these horrible things about you, I would go and be super sweet and charming and prover her wrong.

Also if she invited you then it's her treat right?? Are Mimosas vegan?

caninelover's picture

That freeloader would never spring for a meal LOL.  She would probably try and slip a roach on her plate to get the restaurant to give her the meal for free.

I peeked at the menu - this place has no alcohol.  Dammit.

Yeah I'm sure she's told Nutter that I'm the wicked stepmother that made poor Cinderella I mean Bratty scrub the floors while we went to the ball.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Are Mimosas vegan? YES, they can be!!!  Yahoo

It all depends on the prosecco/champagne/cava used to make the drink. Some vegan champagnes:

  • Perrier-Jouet (my fave)
  • Taittinger (my second fave)
  • Veuve Clicquot
  • Pol Roger
  • Moet & Chandon
  • Krug
  • Dom Perignon

notarelative's picture

After the Thanksgiving fiasco I'd never cook for Bratty again. But, this is in a restaurant and it's a meet girlfriend in-person event. So I'd go.

I'd go, put on a sickly sweet smile, find something I could eat on the menu, and stay mostly silent. I'd give nutter girlfriend such a good impression of me that she'd wonder about Bratty when she complained about me.

caninelover's picture

I don't plan to drive the conversation at all.  If no one speaks then I guess we'll all eat our vegan brunch in silence!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

That's how I typically am around gatherings with BioHo in attendance. I speak only when spoken to and my answer is as short as possible with no trimmings. "Aniki, how do you like your steak?" "Rare, please."  If a friend asked me, I'd say, "Whack its horns off, wipe its arse, and run it by the fire twice. If it lows, run it by a second time." *diablo*

caninelover's picture

Polite and courteous but cautious.  Just feel things out.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

I don't really "feel things out". That is my behavior every time. BioHo is a toxic tidal wave of loud and obnoxious. Even if she, for once, was NOT, I will not change my behavior. 

JRI's picture

My GD married her wife last year.  I'm 76 so this was something new for me but hey, life changes and she's happy. But, altho I had met the wife,  M, before, I was surprised by their arrangement.  My GD who I always secretly considered a very major flake, handles all their finances!   She makes the major decisions!  They've bought a house!

My point is that this relationship might represent a change for Bratty.  You might be surprised.

caninelover's picture

That would be the scenario that I hope for.  That she grows up, gets a life of her own, and develops a sense of independence and responsibility.

It is certainly possible this relationship will drive some growth in Bratty.  Fingers crossed.

hereiam's picture

I didn't read the responses, so sorry if this has been addressed, but does he need support to have brunch with his daughter?

I really don't see a need for you to go. He's having brunch with his daughter, not going in for surgery.

caninelover's picture

He doesn't need it.  He is fine to go alone.  Apparently Bratty invited both of us and suggested the place.

hereiam's picture

Of course she invited both of you, she wants those Disney tickets!! And, I'm assuming she expects her dad to pay for brunch.

If you really don't want to go, don't go. If you want to go to see what will transpire (or see the nutty GF for yourself), go. If things go bad, eat fast and tell SO you are ready to go!

I might be mildy curious about the GF.

caninelover's picture

Yeah I can't believe she won't get the hint on those passes.  She is a persistent freeloader that's for sure.

Yes I am a bit curious to size up Nutter in person.

Survivingstephell's picture

I'd come down with a hellish case of explosive diarrhea the morning of.  

 I Get wanting to test DH and see how he does but has he had any opportunity to pass the test since this all blew up?   Has he made any positive baby steps that would give you enough hope to attend?    More importantly, what if this whole thing blows up? Think of the worst outcome of this folly and ask yourself if you can survive it.  About those Disney passes, just shut that that down permanently. Tell her the truth (which might have her testing waters for years) or just tell her your source changed the rules for usage.  Anything to make her stop.  Yes a lie, but damn,  sometimes these crazy people need their demands shut down any way possible.  

I'd stay home if it was me and all this baggage was still hanging around.  Maybe your absence will send a loud message to SD and her father.   

caninelover's picture

Hold the boundary we established in therapy for visits when Bratty needed a place to stay a few months ago.  The rules were reasonable notice, specific dates, and stick to the schedule.  Bratty decided she didn't like those rules and stayed somewhere else.  SO and Bratty did meet for dinner (separately, without me).  Before he would've have said sure Bratty whatever you want.

He also said no to Bratty wanting us to play tour guide to nutters parents.

So yes he's improving.

Explosive diarrhea, lol.  If I didn't want to go I would say I feel too anxious and can't go.  He is fine with that.  No need to fake an injury.

Merry's picture

DH has made good noises about not putting up with Bratty's disrepect. But, might he pull one from the secret DH playbook: I didn't hear her say that. I don't think she meant it that way. It wasn't a big deal.

Or, he might (reasonably or not) judge Bratty's infraction isn't worth all the drama of getting up and leaving a meal.

You and DH might develop a code word or signals or something to let him know that Bratty crossed a line with you. That would leave NOTHING to DH's imagination and no excuses. So, Bratty asks for Disney tickets again. DH acts like he doesn't hear her. You say (your code phrase) "DH did you get the laundry out of the dryer?" DH HAS to deal with Bratty at that point.

caninelover's picture

I think I would just respond no to Bratty, or tell her to her face to ask her father.  Then watch them go at it.  No way I would back down from saying no directly to that twit.

CajunMom's picture

It's just too many "if's" for me. I equate your Bratty with DH's oldest daughter. Manipulative and underhanded. Not sure about your DH but I'd be very wary of mine holding to his word of confronting disrespect. My DH is very "unaware" of his kids' bad behaviors, even when pointed out. He also has a very difficult time of confronting any of his kids. And just a year and a half of being disengagement, in my opinion, is not enough time. 

You mentioned something about thinking this might be you holding on to a petty grudge. I strongly disagree. And having just finished a great study on forgiveness which a focus on not having to restore said relationships to forgive....I'd say you are holding on to wisdom and are using those facts to keep yourself safe. If DH's daughter invited me to a brunch for anything, I'd question the motive and remember her past actions towards me. If she's changed, she'd call/text/email/write me and say something to the effect, Hey, I know we've had a tough past. Can we start over." Anything to get the message across she's changing.

I'd just send my greetings through DH and enjoy my down time. Bratty needs to see you mean business and aren't even interested in meeting her GF.

caninelover's picture

I have considered whether this may give Bratty the impression that everything has 'blown over'. 

Which it hasn't - but I know SO will continue to enforce our rules around visits to our home which is where Bratty really yanks my chain.  

CajunMom's picture

it's all blown over.

Let me give you a recent example. DHs oldest got married in March. He did not attend due to Covid but sent gifts. I had to help him with the Amazon registry and somehow, he ended up just doing the order from my account. So....package arrived to the Villiage Idiot with my name on it. Mind you, the note inside was strictly from DH. No mention of Cajun Mom. But somehow that goof ball thought the door was open for him to get back in my life. I had to slap him back to reality with a short text which basicly said, LEAVE ME ALONE. And I told DH to clarify WHY the box had my name on it. SMH Damn step world.

shellpell's picture

@cajunmom, could you message me with info on the forgiveness without relationship restoration course if it's online? It sounds like something I would benefit from.

Kaylee's picture

Ugh. No I wouldn't go.


It will be awkward and completely unenjoyable.


SteppedOut's picture

My vote is no. You are already feeling some type of way about all of this - you are going to be all  queued up and ready to jump out of your skin if she does act Bratty. 

Also, just because her girlfriend is going to be there, does not mean she will "be on her best behavior". Honestly, she might be WORSE. AND with "support". After all...they are a couple. I am sure Bratty's version of you and the relationship is MUCH different than reality. She likely has painted you as the wicked step-mother.