Dear Prudence

Help! I’m Disgusted by What My Fiancé’s Brother Did the First Time We Met.

This is a full-grown, married man.

Woman pinching her nose while a man holds his stomach as he passes gas.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Yuri_Arcurs/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Khosrork/iStock/Getty Images Plus, and Panuwach/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

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Q. Rude Welcome Into the Family: Am I wrong to think his actions were rude and disrespectful toward me at their family BBQ? I recently met my fiancé’s family for the first time at the family BBQ which his mom and dad organized at their cabin at the lake. Everything went well overall until the end. They seemed like friendly people. The sister initially I thought was a bit stand-offish but by the end, we had a chance to chat and my perspective of her changed. Mind you I am a very intuitive person and I can usually pick up people’s energy. I am also an introvert, so it takes me time to warm up to people. As we were winding down to say goodbye to everyone, I was standing next to my fiancé and directly behind his brother with just a small space between myself and the brother.

The brother decided to let one out loudly. A huge loud fart. This is a full-grown, married man acting in this way. My fiancé’s reaction was to pull me closer to him. His family’s reaction was to scoff it off. I can tell his wife was not pleased but also smiled about it. I felt embarrassed and disrespected but I played it cool until a few days later when I attempted to talk to my fiancé about it, to tell him how I felt. And how I was concerned for this type of behavior to happen at our wedding. His brother had texted him the next day and stated he “felt bad for farting on me.” My fiancé became defensive and angrily stated, “I won’t invite them then if you are worried about your family being disrespected.”

He said I was getting too worked up about it. Am I wrong to think his brother was rude and disrespectful for releasing gas loudly on me? Whether he did it intentionally or not, that’s not something you do in the presence of a stranger you have never met before. I need some advice on how to move forward because I feel like the next family encounter will be awkward, especially if he is going to be my fiancé’s best man at our wedding. Please give me some advice.

A: Wow. You are not wrong to be alarmed and disgusted. I do actually think whether he did it intentionally or not matters, because if it wasn’t intentional, well, he didn’t get a say about who was around when it happened. Let’s hope it was a mistake!

Your fiancé should pull up that text in which his brother apologizes and say, “I appreciate you saying that. My fiancé was honestly a bit taken aback. What can you say to reassure her that this won’t happen at our wedding?” Whether his plan is to stop being intentionally gross, avoid certain food, or take medication, hopefully, his answer will give you some peace of mind.

Then keep an eye on him between now and the wedding. I don’t think farting is a “fire the best man” level offense. But if it happens again, warn your friends and family to keep their distance.

Classic Prudie

My partner and I moved into a new house three months ago. We have an older couple as neighbors, and one of them, a man of 70, tends to give us instructions. He has told my partner not to grow bamboo along our shared fence because it may block his light. He addressed my partner as “boy” and told him to put bricks along the underside of the gate so our (too big for small gaps and not adventurous) dog would not escape. We have acquiesced. He sometimes looks between the posts of the fence when we are in the backyard and sometimes, usually when we are out, he leans over the fence in the front yard to sort of inspect the house.