When you marry into a family, you typically have to put up with that family's antics, good or bad. Even if it's occasionally a hassle, it's usually worth it to stick around and try to make things work. Usually.
One woman on Reddit posted the story of why she and her husband ended up going "no contact" with one of his relatives after a retail experience gone horribly, horribly wrong. The woman, who we'll name Brittany, thought she was helping her husband's relative out with a few errands, but she wound up paying a steep price for her kindness and was totally humiliated in the process.
Brittany and her husband, Mark, were visiting an out of town relative of his, Jen.
Jen was getting married, so both Mark and Brittany were helping out with the preparations. Brittany was working on an arts and crafts type project for the big day when Jen asked if she'd go to the corner store with her to pick up some odds and ends. Brittany was under the impression that they'd only be at the store for a short time, so she felt safe leaving her purse and phone behind. What Jen didn't tell Brittany was that they were headed to a large shopping center.
When they pulled up, Brittany was understandably a bit surprised, but she just shrugged it off and followed Jen inside. While there, Jen informed her that she had a return she needed to take to the pharmacy, which Brittany was, of course, fine with. Once they entered the pharmacy, however, it was like Jen turned into a completely different person.
Jen didn't need to just return her item, she wanted to exchange it. She and Brittany grabbed the item they needed to replace it with and headed up to the cashier. Jen spoke to the worker, her tone vastly different from when she was speaking to Brittany.
"Okay, I'm going to need you to listen really carefully so that you can understand what I want."
Brittany thought to herself, "That's a strange opening," but she remained silent.
"I want to exchange this one because it is faulty," Jen continued.
"Okay, what's wrong with it?" the cashier asked. Jen listed off the problems she had with the product and it was clear to everyone there that the item really was faulty through no fault of Jen's, so she was entitled to an exchange. "Okay," the cashier said, "as it's faulty, we will need you to fill out this form so we can send it to the manufacturer."
This, for Jen, was a step too far, as her next actions showed.
Although the form the cashier asked Jen to fill out was only a few lines long and only asked simple things, like Jen's name and address, Jen was instantly outraged by the fact that she was asked to do even that. It also seemed like she was intentionally misunderstanding what the cashier was saying. After the cashier slid the form over to Jen, she just looked at it for a moment before angrily asking the cashier, "So you're refusing to exchange it?!"
"No, no," the cashier hurried to correct her. "We'll do the exchange, but we have to send the item back to the manufacturer and they may want to contact you."
Still playing obtuse, Jen replied, "That's against the law. I have my receipt, you have to exchange it."
At this point, Brittany figured she should step in and be a voice of reason. After all, Jen knew her, so if she'd listen to anyone, she'd listen to Brittany, right? "Yeah, they're going to [exchange it] but they just need you to fill out the form, it's just your name and stuff."
Brittany might as well have held her breath. The very next words out of Jen's mouth were, "Get me the manager. You're useless."
The manager soon arrived and all she could do was just repeat what the cashier had said before. After she finished her spiel, Jen did something that literally made Brittany's mouth drop open.
Jen pulled an audio recording device out of her purse, held it up to her face, and began to spiel a bunch of legalese nonsense that made zero sense to anyone but Jen. "So you are refusing an exchange that I'm entitled to under section blah blah blah."
"Jen," Brittany exclaimed, shocked at Jen's behavior, "That's enough!"
Jen continued on for a bit, but finally, it seemed like she understood. She began to fill out the form, but Brittany noticed something off while looking over Jen's shoulder. She was signing everything as "Jane Smith of Smith Street" for everything.
"Do you want the exchange or not? Do it properly," Brittany snapped. Jen still refused to fill it out properly, so Brittany offered to put her own personal information on the form instead, hoping that the small peace offering would be enough to unlodge the stick up Jen's butt, but alas, it was not to be. Brittany knew her attempts were futile when Jen brought the recording device out for the second time, but far more aggressively this time.
This time when Jen started up the recorder, she was demanding the names of both the cashier and the manager. The whole time, she was yelling out curses and just using the foulest language. A security guard, likely drawn by the ruckus, came up behind Jen and tapped her on the shoulder. Jen instantly freaked out. She spun around and began accusing the guard of assaulting her and demanded to know his name as well. Brittany, embarrassed beyond belief at her in-law's antics, leaned in close to Jen and said, "Let's just go!"
Jen would not just go. In fact, even after the management asked her to leave, she absolutely refused. So the security staff had to throw her out of the store. She was literally kicking and screaming, so, despite Brittany's efforts to catch her, Jen fell to the ground once the staff tossed her out. Brittany helped her up and Jen asked her to go back inside to get the things she left behind. Brittany quickly agreed, eager to have the whole ordeal done with.
"I went back into the store and hovered nervously near the counter, trying to hide my tears and to hide from the full line of customers that saw the whole thing. To their credit, the sales assistant and the manager were very kind to me. They gave me some tissues and the item back."
Yet it was only when Brittany exited the store that her real ordeal began.
When Brittany went back outside, Jen was nowhere to be seen. She looked everywhere for her, starting with the most logical location, the bathroom. Failing to find her there, Brittany went out into the parking lot, looking for Jen's car. The problem was, Brittany wasn't too sure what Jen's car looked like. She saw a lot of cars that looked similar to the car she arrived at the shopping center in, but none of them had Jen inside. Then Brittany remembered a policy she and her husband had. Whenever one of them was lost, they always went back to the place where they last saw each other. So she went back to the pharmacy and waited outside for a few minutes. After a while, it occurred to Brittany that Jen might have gone back inside for "round two," so she popped back in the store to look around for her. No luck. Brittany was stuck. She had no money to pay for a taxi, no phone to call anyone to come pick her up, and no idea how to get back to Jen's house.
Luckily for her, the manager who'd helped her earlier saw her hanging around and approached her to see what was the matter. Brittany told her that she was stranded and she asked to borrow the woman's phone to call her husband. The manager kindly agreed and handed over her cell phone. Finally, Brittany was able to call Mark and ask him to pick her up. Brittany's little ordeal wasn't quite over yet, however.
As Brittany waited for her husband to show up, the security guard from earlier came to check on her. Brittany was touched by his concern, especially considering the fact that he "had massive scratch marks down his arm that were dripping blood" from his earlier encounter with Jen. Not long after that, Mark arrived. Coincidentally, so did Jen and her fiancé. She'd evidently gone to get him so he could "talk to the security people and get their information, as she was going to the police." It should be mentioned that Jen's fiancé is an off-duty cop.
After they'd returned home from the visit, Brittany and Mark called Jen's fiancé and warned him against pursuing any kind of legal charges against the security staff. Brittany confided in him everything she'd seen and let him know it wouldn't look good for anyone, let alone Jen. Brittany worried that Jen would be the one who ended up in trouble with the police.
Yet years later, Jen would continue to claim that she never "abandoned" Brittany at the store. She claimed instead that Brittany "ran off." There were several other incidents that helped convince Brittany and Mark that Jen wasn't all that stable, but this incident was definitely one of the final straws. It seemed as if she "lost touch with reality." It wasn't until after the birth of their first child that Mark admitted that he didn't want Jen in their life at all because he didn't believe their kid "would ever be safe around her."
Brittany is sad about the fact that she and Mark felt like they had to cut her out of their life, but considering what she's done, it might be for the best. Just because someone is your blood, that doesn't mean you have to put up with their bad behavior.
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