We opened up an email from my husband’s sister that read:
Grandmother’s 90th Birthday! Hosted by her grandchildren (7 names).
After viewing many options (casinos, clubs, & homes) this is the most inexpensive & pragmatic option I could find & hope it’s not unreasonable. No venue was available that allowed us to bring our own food or catering. Limited only by our budget.
Without having to do any cooking or cleanup, the cost is $175 each (7 siblings= $1225) Please plan to have your cash, check or transfer to my bank by no later than April 21, so I can make the final payment.
RSVP is not required since only providing hearty appetizers at that time of day at a Cafe (2pm to 4 pm). The price includes, appetizers, non-alcoholic drinks, full sheet cake, candles, balloons bouquet, card box & corsage. Mariachi band for guest at the party with no charge to us, but will take tips from our guests.
Help! We knew nothing about this and need advice for a response. 0323-14
I’m assuming your husband is one of the seven grandchildren of the guest of honor? Well, this is certainly a difficult situation your sister-in-law has imposed upon your family. If you decline to cough up your share of the money, you are in danger of being labeled troublemakers within the family and others grandchildren will be forced to take on more expense to cover what you do not give. To keep the peace, you may feel compelled to sacrifice spending money in one area of your budget to cover this unexpected cost.
My advice is that if you have the money, give it. Now is not the time to potentially mar grandmother’s birthday with family disputes. However, as soon as that party is over, a family pow wow is in order to address, in a straight forward manner, the issue of assuming upon other people’s wallets without any input. I believe in trying to be at peace as best as possible with family but there are also times when there needs to be direct communication to resolve issues and to make it known that certain kinds of behavior within the family are not acceptable. Basically, you may have gotten used this time but afterwards you will make it known that this is the last time you will be surprised with news of this kind. I have a sneaky suspicion that you are not the only ones caught off guard by this revelation.
If you do not have $175.00, your husband needs to appeal to his sister that he was not apprised of any plans to honor grandmother , that he had no input into the plans or the costs and therefore this surprise invoice for his share of the co-hosting is ill timed and not payable. I don’t see anything wrong in stating it forthrightly that you can either choose to fund your share of grandmother’s party or choose to heat the house/put food on the table/make a car payment and that in springing this surprise on you, this is the choice dear sister has given you.