Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw a family drama unfold that saddened me. It really saddened me. I don't know these people well (they are merely acquaintances), but what happened online was awful to watch.
Reflecting on it today, I believe there are some lessons we can draw from this situation about manners and even gender. For that reason, I've decided to offer the situation for your consideration. I invite you to present your perspective on this. Although anyone on Facebook can view this drama directly, I'm going to use only first names and not disclose the family's last name.
The drama began innocently. A middle-aged mother of three teenage daughters posted a picture of one of her kids. The daughters are named Brittany, Samm and Minnie; their mother's name is Evelyn. (That's Minnie on the left, in the picture her mother posted.)
The trouble started when the girls' uncle, Pablo, left a comment on the photo. Rather than describe what happened, I'm going to quote the exact messages that followed (omitting a few irrelevant ones).
Pablo (uncle) - I'm sorry Britt and Samm, but she's the prettiest.
Samm (sister) - thanks, pablo..?
Pablo (uncle) - Welcome. I never said you weren't pretty, I just said Minnie is the prettiest... And I stand by it.
Samm (sister) - k.
Evelyn (mother) - :(
Brittany (sister) - ouch?
Evelyn (mother) - I agree Britt!!!!!!
Pablo (uncle) - What do you want me to say? That Minnie is ugly? I'm sorry but I don't tell no lies.
Samm (sister) - no but saying that shes prettier then us. that's kind of rude. I mean yes she's very pretty but me and britt are also very pretty in different ways, one of us is not prettier then the other, we're all different. and that comment wasnt necessary, you could have very well just said that minnie was very pretty, which she is, there was no need to say that shes prettier then us.
Brittany (sister) - agreed
Lisa (relative) - Well said ladies. Some people feel the need to put others down to make themselves feel better. It's not about honestly, it's that he is just RUDE. You are all beautiful girls. Unfortunately, not everyone in this world is and which is obvious by his UGLY comment!
Pablo (uncle) - Fine, I take it back. You're all equally pretty and life is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. Apparently I just said that because somehow that made me feel better about myself. And for the record, yes, I do think you're all beautiful girls; I never said you weren't.
Brittany (sister) - No need to take it back. Your sarcasm tells us exactly how you feel.
Angela (relative) - Please.... This is clearly unnecessary.... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... Don't think the comment is rude in any way... You guys know your uncle very well.... And for those who don't know him please .... Words can be really hurtful if you take them out of context... There is no need for this....
Do you share my sadness at this? What's your take on what happened?