real life

Dear daughter-in-law, you are uncouth and lack grace ...

Carolyn Bourne

Lordy, would I pay money to attend the wedding of Heidi Withers to her fiance Freddie Bourne.  How come?  Let’s just say all hell has broken loose since Heidi’s soon-to-be mother-in-law (Carolyn Bourne) decided to get a few things off her chest. About Heidi.  And how rude and uncouth she thinks she is. And how maybe she would be an ideal candidate for Ladette to Lady.  And then there was something about Heidi sleeping in. And having bad manners.


Mothers and mothers-in-law have always been a hot topic here on Mamamia. We’ve discussed them here, here and even here. I’ve gotta say, I think they often get a bad rap. My mother-in-law is fabulous. And she makes the world’s best lasagna. (Love you, Del!).  And when I read the letter from Carolyn, I’m kinda left wondering if maybe she had a point. Or maybe the point is that all families have their own quirks. Traditions. And what is normal to me is too casual or too formal or just plain batshit crazy to you.  And let’s be honest — it is SUPER stressful trying to win over your partner’s parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, dog …

But enough from me. Here’s part of the letter  …

from: Carolyn Bourne
to: heidi withers
subject: your lack of manners

Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:
When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something.
You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

You do not start before everyone else.
You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that

rise early – you fall in line with house norms.

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why. No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters’ marriages.)

If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.


Carolyn Bourne and Heidi Withers

Heidi forwarded the message to a group of friends.  As you do.

Those friends then forwarded it on to others and then they to others and the next thing it was an internet sensation.  Cool!  Not really.

Freddie declined to comment. His father Edward Bourne, 63, said: “We have nothing to say.”  Heidi’s father Alan has come out and said of Carolyn, “She has her head stuck so far up her own arse she doesn’t know whether to speak or fart.”

You can read more here and the full email here.

Do you have a good relationship with  your in-laws? Do you have tales of horror or joy to share?