Mother-in-law's toxic manners email goes viral

Last updated 09:19 01/07/2011

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A stern email from a woman to her future daughter-in-law criticising the young woman's manners has gone viral in Britain, spurring debate about who's right.

The email accuses bride-to-be Heidi Withers of rude behaviour during a recent family visit.

Flower breeder Carolyn Bourne uses the email to tell Withers that her table manners were unacceptable, that she shouldn't have slept late when everyone else got up early, and that she should plan a more modest wedding.

The dispute went public after Withers sent the email to a few friends who passed it on to others.

It has now been published in the British press and debated online.

The Daily Mail reported Withers' father said that his future in-law, "has her head stuck so far up her own a*** she doesn't know whether to speak or f**t".

Edward Bourne, whose son Freddie is engaged to Withers, said Thursday that no one involved wished to comment on the matter.

EMAIL EXCHANGE EXCERPT:

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.

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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.

- AP

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