Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: drzim on December 26, 2012, 01:37:30 PM

Title: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: drzim on December 26, 2012, 01:37:30 PM
Okay, now that's Christmas is over I've had a chance to think about the situation and I feel myself getting a bit upset/angry.  I thought I'd get outside perspectives from you folks.....

Background: My mother died several years ago and was the "glue" of the family and the great organizer of holidays.  Since then, I have tried to step in but things are always a bit chaotic although I think everyone is happy in the end.  My only sibling, Pablo and his wife Kristina do try to help but they both work full time at low wage jobs, live paycheck to paycheck and are a bit flaky when it comes to plans/organization. 

My dad has been dating a lovely woman, Lita, for over a year. She is also widowed. Lita has 3 adult sons, 2 of whom live 500 miles away and 1 who is married with a small toddler; they live on the other side of the country.  Last year Lita visited her children for Christmas so there were no issues (also she and my Dad had not been dating very long at that point).  I should note that although Lita has a fairly large house, she spends most of her time staying with my dad at his house.

This year, all of Lita's children and families came out to visit her, as well as her DIL's parents.  So the drama begins.....


We now have to plan something to include our family of 4, my bro's family of 3, my bro's ILs, my dad and my elderly grandmother who can't drive, as well as Lita's 2 single sons, her married son, DIL and child, and DIL's parents.   Unfortunately, "no one" is willing to step up and host the entire crew
(I say that in quotes because actually I did offer....but our house is the farthest distance, and on the small side-- we would have to do card tables around the living room to accommodate everyone....so not good enough apparently).

So my dad decided that he would celebrate Christmas eve with Lita and her family at her house, and then we would get together with him and Lita to celebrate Christmas day at my grandmother's.  My grandmother is 95 and this would be easier for her.  Lita suggested we get Chinese food already prepared and bring it so my grandmother does not have to do anything.  Apparently, this is what Jewish people do on Christmas (none of us are Jewish, but Lita's deceased husband was).  My dad thinks this is a wonderful idea.  I am not a fan of Chinese takeout on Christmas I admit, but I kept my mouth shut because I agreed it will be nice for my grandmother.

So...can anyone guess the ending?  Yes, the day before Christmas Eve, after Lita's family arrives, her children decide that they can't live without her on Christmas Day.  Nevermind that they are staying for a whole week.  They must see her on Christmas Day!  So Lita cancels on my family, and we get stuck with Chinese takeout.  When all is said and done, we arrived around 1:30pm and left around 5pm.  Surely Lita could have spent 4 hours away from her family?  My dad did seem a bit subdued--normally he is quite talkative and upbeat.

Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  Or do out of town visiting children trump previous plans? 

Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 26, 2012, 01:40:03 PM
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 26, 2012, 01:56:07 PM
Are you upset she didn't come or because she suggested Chinese, which you don't like, and then didn't have to suffer through it like you did?

I think it was silly of her to make plans with your family in light of her kids coming to town - she probably rarely sees them, and probably even more rarely all together, not to mention they were house guests.  So to me her 'fail' was ever thinking she'd come to your family's gathering and especially for saying it.  I think to an extent your family was a bit naive to think she should come to your family as well.  I think though once she said she was coming and then bailed, yes you are justified in being a bit hurt... but I think you should let it go and forgive her.

As for Chinese take-out, yes lots of people Jewish and otherwise, have it on Christmas.  If you don't like it, why didn't you suggest some other sort of take-out (you can get a deli or grocery or even Boston Market to do a more 'traditional' type meal to go), or suggest a potluck of sorts, with each household bringing one component of dinner?  I'm betting everyone went with Chinese because it was the best suggestion made - if you'd made a better suggestion they might have went with that.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Shoo on December 26, 2012, 01:59:01 PM
I am actually surprised that Lita agreed to leave the family that traveled so far to see her on Christmas Day.  I think maybe she shouldn't have done that, and I don't blame her kids/family for wanting her to spend Christmas Day with them.  Your family, on the other hand, was all together, and Lita isn't even a family member, so I just don't understand why she should have spent Christmas Day with you.  Is there something about this situation that we are missing?
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: JenJay on December 26, 2012, 02:00:38 PM
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.

I agree. I can't see leaving a house full of out of town guests, including my children and grandchild, to go spend Christmas Day elsewhere. I think it would have been nice if she had offered to have your Dad's side of the family over, too, and made it a big celebration, but not everyone is up for that much work. Given her choices I can see why she sent your Dad along and stayed behind.

That said, it sounds like you wanted to have everyone over to your house and she shot that down, do I have that right? She definitely should have planned on staying home from the beginning and let the rest of you plan accordingly. To practically insist on going to Gran's with Chinese takeout and then pull a no-show was rude. I imagine you all would have enjoyed the day more in your home with a more Christmassy meal.  :-\
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: lowspark on December 26, 2012, 02:05:36 PM
So when exactly did she cancel? The day before Christmas Eve? That at least gave you a couple of days to reorganize and do something different. Not convenient or easy but doable.

I've been in situations before where I "go along to get along" and then wish I'd spoken up because it turns out, everyone was doing the same thing and agreeing to something they didn't necessarily want so as not to rock the boat. I've since learned to speak up. Not to necessarily insist on my way but at least voice my opinion, something like, "well, Chinese take out isn't my first choice." That usually sparks someone else to agree and gets the discussion going.

And I also agree that if I were her and my kids were in town for a week, I'd not leave them cooling their heels at home while I went off to someone else's house for the holiday. It would be different if they'd been invited. She was wrong to cancel at the last minute but I can't blame her for not coming.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 26, 2012, 02:09:33 PM
I think Lita was rude to make plans and cancel at the last minute especially when you wanted a different type of celebration to begin with but deferred to her preferences.  I can understand why she wanted to be with her family, but she should have made that known from the beginning instead of making plans with your family. It sounds like she feels torn in both directions and didn't know how to handle it gracefully.  I would let it go and then make your plans next year without her input.

I also want to say that I don't think it was unreasonable for Lita's family to not want to spend Christmas with you and your family. My mom remarried in 2011 after my father passed, and I have never even met her husband's children.  They are strangers, and it would be awkward trying to spend a holiday with them.  My idea of a Christmas nightmare is having dinner in a small space with a bunch of peoople I don't know. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: doodlemor on December 26, 2012, 02:17:29 PM
I think that Lita tried to be nice and please everyone, and in doing so made both sets of relatives a bit unhappy.  Her family may have been quite shocked that she wasn't going to spend all of Christmas with them, while your father and your family were unhappy at the late cancellation.

Unless this behavior becomes a pattern with Lita, I think that you should just let it go.  She goofed, but her family probably gave her a hard time about the initial plans.

If your dad and Lita are still together next year, plan early - very early.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Kaypeep on December 26, 2012, 02:22:20 PM
I think that Lita tried to be nice and please everyone, and in doing so made both sets of relatives a bit unhappy.  Her family may have been quite shocked that she wasn't going to spend all of Christmas with them, while your father and your family were unhappy at the late cancellation.

Unless this behavior becomes a pattern with Lita, I think that you should just let it go.  She goofed, but her family probably gave her a hard time about the initial plans.

If your dad and Lita are still together next year, plan early - very early.

Parking my POD right here.

Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: penelope2017 on December 26, 2012, 02:49:31 PM
Considering no one offered to host the entire family, Lita was really left between a rock and a hard place. Why didn't your dad and Lita offer to host everyone given the size of his house? or maybe you agree to help host at your dad's?

I agree she was wrong to cancel but like everyone else I would have been very upset if I traveled cross country to stay with my mom for Christmas and she took off for Christmas. Perhaps she was getting a lot of (understandable) pressure. Like everyone else said, unless it is a pattern, I'd let it go.

And I also would have offered to cook if I didn't like her suggestion of Chinese food.

Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 26, 2012, 02:57:09 PM
OP did offer - she was turned down.  I am not sure who turned her down but apparently the size of her house and the use of her card tables made her hosting "not good enough".

OP, I would be upset too.  She kind of directed the plans to a large extent and then ducked out on what she had arranged.  I think that when Christmas plans come up again next year I would have the rest of the family decide what they want.  If she feels inclined to attend with or without any of her kids - so be it.  If not, wish her the best in the New Year.  Make no apologies to dad, just calmly tell him that it didn't work out when you tried to plan around her last year.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 26, 2012, 03:06:30 PM
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.

I agree with this.  What I don't understand is once it was decided that the two families would be separate in Christmas day you didn't re -offer to host at your home, or was it because your grandmother is not up to the trip to your home?

If you didn't like the idea of Chinese take out, you should have come up with a different plan.  While it was poor form of her to cancel at the last minute I do understand her desire to spend part of the day with your dad, but I also understand her families resentment that she'd choose to leave them on Christmas Day.  Her kids live a distance and probably aren't quite as ready to share the full holiday with their mom's beaux and his kids they don't know well.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: snowdragon on December 26, 2012, 03:08:56 PM
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 26, 2012, 03:15:32 PM
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.

I think there is a big difference between force and suggest.  She suggested an option which the posters father liked.  The OP had the options of suggesting an alternative.  I'm sorry the OP ended up with a Christmas meal she didn't enjoy.  But it would have been the same meal whether the girl friend was there or not.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 26, 2012, 03:26:13 PM
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.

So Lita's kids and her DIL's parents should come in from out-of-state and stay at home without the mother they came to see?  I think the OP's dad sent up the plan to go to grandma's & didn't take the enormity of that into account.  I would be livid if I brought my kids, my husband, and his parents to visit my mom and then she ditched us on Christmas day.  OP lives near her father, grandmother & Lita and can see them any time.  And many people do Chinese for Christmas - if you don't want Chinese, cook something else and let the people who want Chinese, order Chinese. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 26, 2012, 04:08:04 PM
To answer the question in the title, yes, it was unreasonable to expect Lita to attend.  I can see that the OP was upset, and it would have been better had Lita not tried to please everyone, but it also seems like the OP was passive when she probably should have voiced her desires.  I doubt Lita was trying to be hurtful to anyone and likely does not realize that, for example, her suggestion of Chinese takeout would be upsetting tot he OP.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 26, 2012, 04:56:22 PM
I am wondering how OP's father has felt about the past few Christmas' as OP mentioned that her mother had been the organizer of Christmas for their family, a role which OP has been filling though also adding that the past few years have been a bit chaotic.  If OP's dad felt some responsibility as patriarch to try to take on hosting his family, he may have seen it as taking the burden off OP, and wanted his girlfriend to help.  That may be part of her reasoning for making suggestions.

Either way, OP, my feelings would likely be hurt by the late change in her agreeing to attend, though - as others have noted, I would not fault her or her children for her staying with them at her home.

I would probably talk to your father soon after the holidays to get a touch point on what he did/didn't like best from recent years Christmas celebrations for your family, without making it just about this year, and solicit feedback from all family members for planning for next year generally.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Yankeegal77 on December 26, 2012, 05:49:44 PM
Some thoughts:

I do send a little fault Lita's way. It sounds like she cancelled at the last minute. That cancellation, I'll fault her for. BUT...

OP, I don't fault her family for wanting to see her on Christmas. If they came across the country to see her for the holiday, they are perfectly within their rights to include Christmas. I live across the country from my parents and brother and if I weren't invited to, say, my brother's girlfriend's house for Christmas and they went, I'd be hurt. Even for four hours. Because really, it sounds like quite the project to get all of the siblings and their families together. You don't know what went into making this trip. Heck, it's hard enough for just me to arrange to visit.

As for dinner, it sounds like this is the real point of contention. Not only did Lita (perhaps understandably) cancel, but you sound more peeved about getting stuck with Chinese food. Did you consider checking on places that are open on Christmas, where you could get a more traditional take-out? Even a Denny's could have boxed up some meals.  Also, many grocery stores (not mine, unfortunately) are open for awhile on Christmas, so picking up some potatoes, a bag of frozen veggies, packaged stuffing and maybe a turkey breast or some Cornish hens would have been possible.

If I were you, I would have made the best of it, dumplings, Szechuan shrimp and all, and made sure your grandmother had a grand time visiting with you. As for your Dad, it sounds like he was disappointed with Lita and he should be the one to address it with her.

In short, I can definitely see where you were annoyed, and this could have been handled better, but don't make it a hill to die on. If Lita is still in picture next year, you're forewarned.

Oh--one more thing. Chinese on Christmas is quite common and not just a "Jewish thing." Think A Christmas Story. ;) In fact, as someone who spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone this year (save for my faithful little bunny) I would have been quite happy to have company, even if we had Chinese. Which I actually did. Both nights. And it was deee-lish.


Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 26, 2012, 05:56:24 PM
Whether other people do Chinese takeout for Christmas or not is not really the point.  Lita put it forward because it is (kinda) her cultural/traditional thing.  SHe didn't defer to what the majority of OP's family wanted.  She basically said she was part of the family and a pivotal part of the family at that.  Her wishes/traditions determined the menu.  I don't know that she ws trying to make everybody else happy there.  And i don't know that it is reasonable that she play both sides of this.  She is family enough to determine the Christmas Day menu but at the same tiem she can ditch for her real family?
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Beyond The Veil on December 26, 2012, 06:00:47 PM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: bonyk on December 26, 2012, 06:07:02 PM
Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck?

I'm not the OP, but I think she mentioned this to (indirectly) explain that they would not be able to afford host Christmas.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: peaches on December 26, 2012, 06:15:17 PM
In my view, it's rude to cancel on a social invitation once you've accepted. What's more, Lita participated in the planning of the event she later decided not to attend.

It would have been reasonable and understandable for Lita to spend the holidays with her visiting family. But she (and presumably they) agreed that she would spend part of Christmas day with OP's family.

I've taught my children, and my grandchildren by example, that polite people don't bail on commitments.
I would have gone through with the original plan.

Having said that, it is a bumpy road in my experience when families are changing and reforming. Hopefully, your Dad and Lita will work out these issues over time.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: NyaChan on December 26, 2012, 06:27:06 PM
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: camlan on December 26, 2012, 06:53:51 PM
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Yup. This.

I agree that it is understandable that Lita and her family wanted to spend all of Christmas together. But Lita had made other plans.

Plans that she cancelled less than two days before the gathering, not really leaving anyone any time to make major changes, or to plan, shop for and cook a more traditional Christmas meal.

Don't forget that the OP is not the host of the Christmas Day gathering--she might have wanted to change the menu, but someone else (her dad? her grandmother?) was the host for Christmas Day.

So Lite arranged the OP's family Christmas celebration to suit her, including the food, and then cancelled shortly before the event. I think this is what is bothering the OP--if Lita had said earlier that she wasn't going to be there Christmas Day, the plans would have been much different. Her last minute cancellation left the family with Lita's plans, but no Lita.

Understandable? Maybe. Rude? Yes.

Also note that the OP's father left his family on Christmas Eve to spend it with Lita's family. When it came down to it, Lita did not give him the same consideration.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Surianne on December 26, 2012, 07:11:38 PM
Lita was minorly rude in cancelling when the others expected her for the dinner, but I'm happy to cut her some slack.  Pleasing everyone is tricky.  I do think it's unreasonable to expect her to ditch her own family, who had travelled to be there, for her boyfriend's family on Christmas day.

As for the food issue, Lita had no way of knowing the OP hates Chinese food, if the OP didn't bring it up at the time.  It sounds like she suggested the take-out as a convenient option, to help, and everyone else agreed for want of better options. 

So really, a single person cancelling out of the family gathering should not have made a significant difference to the plans that ruined anyone's Christmas. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: mj on December 26, 2012, 07:22:39 PM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 26, 2012, 08:18:31 PM
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Yup. This.

I agree that it is understandable that Lita and her family wanted to spend all of Christmas together. But Lita had made other plans.

Plans that she cancelled less than two days before the gathering, not really leaving anyone any time to make major changes, or to plan, shop for and cook a more traditional Christmas meal.

Don't forget that the OP is not the host of the Christmas Day gathering--she might have wanted to change the menu, but someone else (her dad? her grandmother?) was the host for Christmas Day.

So Lite arranged the OP's family Christmas celebration to suit her, including the food, and then cancelled shortly before the event. I think this is what is bothering the OP--if Lita had said earlier that she wasn't going to be there Christmas Day, the plans would have been much different. Her last minute cancellation left the family with Lita's plans, but no Lita.

Understandable? Maybe. Rude? Yes.

Also note that the OP's father left his family on Christmas Eve to spend it with Lita's family. When it came down to it, Lita did not give him the same consideration.

The way i read it, Rita did not assume hosting responsibilities for Christmas Day.  She suggested an option for food.  Everyone seems to be forgetting that Rita hosted both families for Christmas Eve.  That was her hosting obligation.  Once it was decided the two families were splitting up on Christmas Day, the OPs father probably commented that since his family would be having lunch at his mother's they would need to come up with an option that they could take to her house.  I can so understand Rita not offering to cook since she was hosting the Christmas Eve gathering.  Her suggestion was Chinese,  no one had to agree to that suggestion. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: johelenc1 on December 26, 2012, 08:36:25 PM
I don't really get a lot of this.  My most prevailing thought is I'd be pretty thrilled if my dad's wife decided to stay with her kids Christmas Day and leave my dad just to us.  And, they've been married for years and I've known her forever.  But, sometimes, you just wish it could be just the immediate family.  Being upset that Dad's girlfriend stayed home wouldn't even register with me.

Other than that...I can absolutely understand Lita's family having a fit when they found out the plan was for their mother to leave them to go off with her BOYFRIEND on Christmas Day.  It would have been the same fit I would have thrown if my dad had pulled that.  Especially if I'd traveled all the way across the country.

I also don't understand why when Lita suggested Chinese no one said, "well, I'm not crazy about Chinese...what about..."  I especially don't understand why when two days before Christmas when she pulled out, no one said, "hey since Lita isn't coming and Chinese was her idea...let's get something else.  How about....?"

I really don't entirely understand why the OP is upset.  It honestly sounds more about the Chinese food than Lita not coming.  Unless the OP was genuinely disappointed she didn't get to spend time with Lita on Christmas Day, I think you should just let it go.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 26, 2012, 08:44:01 PM
I don't really get a lot of this.  My most prevailing thought is I'd be pretty thrilled if my dad's wife decided to stay with her kids Christmas Day and leave my dad just to us.  And, they've been married for years and I've known her forever.  But, sometimes, you just wish it could be just the immediate family.  Being upset that Dad's girlfriend stayed home wouldn't even register with me.

Other than that...I can absolutely understand Lita's family having a fit when they found out the plan was for their mother to leave them to go off with her BOYFRIEND on Christmas Day.  It would have been the same fit I would have thrown if my dad had pulled that.  Especially if I'd traveled all the way across the country.

I also don't understand why when Lita suggested Chinese no one said, "well, I'm not crazy about Chinese...what about..."  I especially don't understand why when two days before Christmas when she pulled out, no one said, "hey since Lita isn't coming and Chinese was her idea...let's get something else.  How about....?"

I really don't entirely understand why the OP is upset.  It honestly sounds more about the Chinese food than Lita not coming.  Unless the OP was genuinely disappointed she didn't get to spend time with Lita on Christmas Day, I think you should just let it go.

Thank you.  I have poorly tried to get across what you stated so directly.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Luci on December 26, 2012, 09:46:50 PM

I think it was silly of her to make plans with your family in light of her kids coming to town - she probably rarely sees them, and probably even more rarely all together, not to mention they were house guests.  So to me her 'fail' was ever thinking she'd come to your family's gathering and especially for saying it.  I think to an extent your family was a bit naive to think she should come to your family as well. I think though once she said she was coming and then bailed, yes you are justified in being a bit hurt... but I think you should let it go and forgive her.

As for Chinese take-out, yes lots of people Jewish and otherwise, have it on Christmas.  If you don't like it, why didn't you suggest some other sort of take-out (you can get a deli or grocery or even Boston Market to do a more 'traditional' type meal to go), or suggest a potluck of sorts, with each household bringing one component of dinner?  I'm betting everyone went with Chinese because it was the best suggestion made - if you'd made a better suggestion they might have went with that.

This is the post that says what I want to say, with the bolds, well, my most strong thoughts.

If your dad seems to love her and this is the worst she does, you and your family are fortunate.

We all make misjudgments and need a break sometime.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Kiara on December 26, 2012, 09:53:00 PM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.

The OP stated she *did* offer to host and was told it wasn't "good enough."  Based on that, Lita was rude.  If you make the plans, you follow through on them.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: snowdragon on December 26, 2012, 09:58:04 PM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.


The OP stated she *did* offer to host and was told it wasn't "good enough."  Based on that, Lita was rude.  If you make the plans, you follow through on them
.



This. I think Lita was rude several times over in all this.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Shoo on December 26, 2012, 10:03:50 PM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.


The OP stated she *did* offer to host and was told it wasn't "good enough."  Based on that, Lita was rude.  If you make the plans, you follow through on them
.



This. I think Lita was rude several times over in all this.

It sounds to me like the OP's father is the one who decided that Lita would attend his family's Christmas Day thing.  Her father decided the Christmas Eve plans AND the Christmas Day plans, and it seems to me that Lita just went along to avoid rocking the boat.  She's being unfairly judged here, I think. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Iris on December 27, 2012, 03:08:08 AM


Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  Or do out of town visiting children trump previous plans?

To answer your questions - No, it was not unreasonable to expect her to attend, and only in certain circumstances.

If Lita's children had turned up unexpectedly I would have thought it would be gracious to give her a pass for cancelling. However given that Lita knew they'd be coming I don't see why she should be absolved of rudeness for cancelling plans. It is entirely reasonable to prefer to spend time with her own children but she should have said that earlier and simply not accepted the invitation. The fact that posters on here would prefer to spend time with their children as well (as would I) does not mean the rules for rsvping to an event are magically changed.

For all practical purposes though, OP, I would let it slide but next time be more proactive about expressing your own desires. If you don't want Chinese food for Christmas, speak up.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: cicero on December 27, 2012, 05:52:55 AM
I think that a lot of hurt feelings could have been avoided if people had spoken up.

Lita should have said "I'm sorry, I rarely have a chance to spend christmas with my kids so if you don't mind i'm going to opt out of the grandmother visit".

You (and others) should have said "chinese? for christmas? we'd really rather have XXX".

but nobody spoke up. which means you were all stuck with the original plans.

in *this* situation, Lita should have gone with you guys to grandma. I just think she should have opted out in the beginning.

(as for the chinese food thing - just wanted to clarify that this isn't a "rule" or a "commandment" as in "thou shalt eat Chinese food on December 25th, every year thou shalt follow this". it's just that at the beginning/middle of previous century, american Jews for the most part didn't celebrate christmas and neither did people from china, so chinese restaurants were open and non-celebrating people just migrated to them.)

and if you were *really* able to host comfortably, you should hav
Okay, now that's Christmas is over I've had a chance to think about the situation and I feel myself getting a bit upset/angry.  I thought I'd get outside perspectives from you folks.....

Background: My mother died several years ago and was the "glue" of the family and the great organizer of holidays.  Since then, I have tried to step in but things are always a bit chaotic although I think everyone is happy in the end.  My only sibling, Pablo and his wife Kristina do try to help but they both work full time at low wage jobs, live paycheck to paycheck and are a bit flaky when it comes to plans/organization. 

My dad has been dating a lovely woman, Lita, for over a year. She is also widowed. Lita has 3 adult sons, 2 of whom live 500 miles away and 1 who is married with a small toddler; they live on the other side of the country.  Last year Lita visited her children for Christmas so there were no issues (also she and my Dad had not been dating very long at that point).  I should note that although Lita has a fairly large house, she spends most of her time staying with my dad at his house.

This year, all of Lita's children and families came out to visit her, as well as her DIL's parents.  So the drama begins.....


We now have to plan something to include our family of 4, my bro's family of 3, my bro's ILs, my dad and my elderly grandmother who can't drive, as well as Lita's 2 single sons, her married son, DIL and child, and DIL's parents.   Unfortunately, "no one" is willing to step up and host the entire crew
(I say that in quotes because actually I did offer....but our house is the farthest distance, and on the small side-- we would have to do card tables around the living room to accommodate everyone....so not good enough apparently).

So my dad decided that he would celebrate Christmas eve with Lita and her family at her house, and then we would get together with him and Lita to celebrate Christmas day at my grandmother's.  My grandmother is 95 and this would be easier for her.  Lita suggested we get Chinese food already prepared and bring it so my grandmother does not have to do anything.  Apparently, this is what Jewish people do on Christmas (none of us are Jewish, but Lita's deceased husband was).  My dad thinks this is a wonderful idea.  I am not a fan of Chinese takeout on Christmas I admit, but I kept my mouth shut because I agreed it will be nice for my grandmother.

So...can anyone guess the ending?  Yes, the day before Christmas Eve, after Lita's family arrives, her children decide that they can't live without her on Christmas Day.  Nevermind that they are staying for a whole week.  They must see her on Christmas Day!  So Lita cancels on my family, and we get stuck with Chinese takeout.  When all is said and done, we arrived around 1:30pm and left around 5pm.  Surely Lita could have spent 4 hours away from her family?  My dad did seem a bit subdued--normally he is quite talkative and upbeat.

Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  Or do out of town visiting children trump previous plans?
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 27, 2012, 08:08:08 AM
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.

The OP stated she *did* offer to host and was told it wasn't "good enough."  Based on that, Lita was rude.  If you make the plans, you follow through on them.

No where does it say that Lita was the one who thought the Ops home was too small or too far.  She clearly states that her dad was the one who decided he would spend Christmas Eve at his girlfriends with her family then have his family gathering on Christmas Day at the Grandmothers.  I feel that the girlfriend felt pressured to go along with his plans. 

The OP even mentions the couple spends most of their time at her Dads.  From my experience one person in a relationship usually insists that they are more comfortable at their home and that is where they end up most times.  I've never actually encountered anyone saying "let's spend all of our time at your house even though mine us bigger".
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 27, 2012, 08:15:10 AM
I agree that we don't know who said know to OP hosting.  However, I disagree that there is evidence that Lita was pressured to go along with anything.  She felt comfortable enough to make menu suggestions - that doesn't strike me as somebody giving into the will of others.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 27, 2012, 08:22:18 AM
I agree that we don't know who said know to OP hosting.  However, I disagree that there is evidence that Lita was pressured to go along with anything.  She felt comfortable enough to make menu suggestions - that doesn't strike me as somebody giving into the will of others.

It could if OP's dad had suggested to Lita that she cook the meal. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 27, 2012, 08:24:03 AM
I agree that we don't know who said know to OP hosting.  However, I disagree that there is evidence that Lita was pressured to go along with anything.  She felt comfortable enough to make menu suggestions - that doesn't strike me as somebody giving into the will of others.

I know I'm putting my own spin on this based on my experiences, but I think the dad could have been expecting Lita to cook for Christmas Day after hosting her family Christmas Eve.  I think thats the only reason that she came up with the idea.  Because no where did I hear the Dad suggesting how the family would be fed.

Dad:  so what will we have for Christmas Day?
Lita: well, we used to get Chinese take out.
Dad: sounds good, then no one will need to cook.



Dad:  OP offered to have everyone there but it's too small and to hard
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 27, 2012, 08:36:54 AM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids". 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 27, 2012, 08:41:00 AM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids".

Exactly what Dad should have done.  Lita has never celebrated Christmas with the OPs family so has really little knowledge of their holiday customs.  This to me is all on the Dad and the kids not speaking up.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 27, 2012, 08:48:24 AM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids".

Exactly what Dad should have done.  Lita has never celebrated Christmas with the OPs family so has really little knowledge of their holiday customs.  This to me is all on the Dad and the kids not speaking up.

But Lita knows that she doesn't know the ropes, that is exactly why, if she sees herself as "just a guest" she shouldn't put herslef in the role of planner.  If Dad asks her all she needs to say is "I don't know what you usually do - discuss it with your family".  She is not only an adult, she has adult kids of her own.  She should be able to figure out whether her role is guest or co-host.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 27, 2012, 09:04:14 AM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids".

Exactly what Dad should have done.  Lita has never celebrated Christmas with the OPs family so has really little knowledge of their holiday customs.  This to me is all on the Dad and the kids not speaking up.

But Lita knows that she doesn't know the ropes, that is exactly why, if she sees herself as "just a guest" she shouldn't put herslef in the role of planner.  If Dad asks her all she needs to say is "I don't know what you usually do - discuss it with your family".  She is not only an adult, she has adult kids of her own.  She should be able to figure out whether her role is guest or co-host.

She's his partner - if you can't even have a conversation about what to eat for Christmas dinner, that doesn't bode well for the relationship.  There's nothing wrong with discussing what you've normally had for Christmas dinner as a suggestion. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Winterlight on December 27, 2012, 09:13:02 AM
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Agreed. She was rude. If she didn't want to attend Christmas Day at your grandmother's, she had time to say so in advance, rather than bailing two days out.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 27, 2012, 09:14:30 AM
Not every dating relationship equates to partnership.  However, if they really are partners then there might be an expectation that he is present for part of her family's Christmas and she is present for part of his.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 27, 2012, 09:19:28 AM
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Agreed. She was rude. If she didn't want to attend Christmas Day at your grandmother's, she had time to say so in advance, rather than bailing two days out.

Seems to me that the plans were made with the OP's father and we don't have the info on that conversation.  Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and people are human.  And if the worst outcome is that the OP has to eat Chinese food because Lita needed to spend time with her out-of-town guests, then that's not so horrible.  Dad should've invited them all to begin with and made plans around that - he didn't.  Dad is equally responsible in this.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in the etiquette of the situation we fail to look at the situation as people.  I can't fault her for spending Christmas with her own kids.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 27, 2012, 03:08:54 PM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids".

Exactly what Dad should have done.  Lita has never celebrated Christmas with the OPs family so has really little knowledge of their holiday customs.  This to me is all on the Dad and the kids not speaking up.

But Lita knows that she doesn't know the ropes, that is exactly why, if she sees herself as "just a guest" she shouldn't put herslef in the role of planner.  If Dad asks her all she needs to say is "I don't know what you usually do - discuss it with your family".  She is not only an adult, she has adult kids of her own.  She should be able to figure out whether her role is guest or co-host.

I hope the simple act of making a suggestion does not equate to taking over hosting or becomming the planner. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Eeep! on December 27, 2012, 10:37:58 PM
And I still think it would have been more polite to say "Let's ask the kids".

Exactly what Dad should have done.  Lita has never celebrated Christmas with the OPs family so has really little knowledge of their holiday customs.  This to me is all on the Dad and the kids not speaking up.


But Lita knows that she doesn't know the ropes, that is exactly why, if she sees herself as "just a guest" she shouldn't put herslef in the role of planner.  If Dad asks her all she needs to say is "I don't know what you usually do - discuss it with your family".  She is not only an adult, she has adult kids of her own.  She should be able to figure out whether her role is guest or co-host.

I hope the simple act of making a suggestion does not equate to taking over hosting or becomming the planner.

I agree - I don't see that the OP said she insisted on having Chinese, just that she suggested it. I don't see anything wrong with making a suggestion.
I do think that it was wrong of Lita to back out but, in light of the fact that the OP even calls her "lovely" it seems like it might make more sense to chalk it up to holiday stress, rather than some sort of desire to run the show. It really does read to me more that the father was making half-baked plans.

Plus, I agree that it seems like a couple days notice would have been plenty of time to come up with an alternative to Chinese.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: kareng57 on December 27, 2012, 10:43:12 PM
I have to agree with some PPs.  Re your last paragraph - of course, they had a right to expect her to have Christmas Day with her own kids!  Maybe she could have handled it better, but I think she was kind of blindsided.

OP, you've said yourself that she is a lovely woman, so I don't think that she had any kind of hidden agenda here - IMO it sounds like possible miscommunication.  I don't see that anything would be gained by any additional investigating/interrogating here, and I have to agree that having her offer the suggestion "what about Chinese food?" doesn't mean that she was trying to assert herself as party-planner.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: cheyne on December 28, 2012, 10:17:43 AM
Re-reading the OP, it was Dad who decided that he would spend Xmas eve with Lita and her family and Xmas day with you all, Lita and Grandma at Grandma's house.  Did Dad expect his mother to prepare a huge Xmas feast for everyone at her home?

I think Lita was actually being gracious in not expecting a 95 year old woman to make food for the party and host it herself.  I assume that's why she made the suggestion of Chinese food.

I don't think it's fair to expect Lita to be there for your family's celebration when her own out-of-town family was home.  Your Dad chose to spend Xmas eve with her family-in fact he suggested it.  Perhaps Lita felt a bit "steamrolled" by your Dad's decisions too.

You all had 2 days to buy groceries and make food if you didn't want Chinese.  Grocery stores are open on 23 & 24 December and you had ample time to plan a different menu IMO.

I would let this one go and chalk it up to no one but Dad having a say in what the plans were. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: drzim on December 28, 2012, 04:13:04 PM
OP here with comments and updates....tried to log on last night but the server was down?!?

First, the update:  My dad called me yesterday and he was definitely a bit down.  Apparently, Lita's kids decided that they are leaving town early (tonight instead of Sunday) so Lita has to be there at her house the entire time until they leave and my dad is home alone.   Not sure if this is a bad sign for the relationship or not :(

Thanks for all the comments.  I tried not to post a lot of details because obviously I'm extremely biased and I feel strongly that Lita should have showed up at our Christmas day meal.  DH is on the other side and agrees with a lot of you who said that it was unreasonable to expect her to leave her family on Christmas.

My dad and Lita present themselves as a social unit IMO even though they are not married.  Lita basically lives ay my dad's house.  She is present at all our family celebrations, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. with my dad.  Thanksgiving was at my dad's this year, Lita and I cooked everything.
2 of her sons were there at my dad's as well. 

With all her family traveling to her this year, it became obvious that it would be hard to host everyone in both families.  In Lita's family, they have a tradition of a big meal/presents on Christmas eve, with a more low key Christmas day.  So it was decided that my dad and Lita would celebrate with the big traditional dinner at her house with her family on Christmas Eve, and then my dad and Lita would celebrate Christmas with our family Christmas day.  I will admit that I don't know if this was my dad's idea or Lita's, but clearly both were in agreement.

My dad opted for the easiest plan--hosting at my grandmother's.  Since my grandmother cannot drive, someone would have to pick her up/drive her home.  She also is quite forgetful and really couldn't cook an elaborate meal. Hosting at her home meant that all we had to do was bring the food and clean up.   I suggested ordering a pre-cooked meal (turkey or ham) from a local restaurant but Lita wanted Chinese takeout for some reason.  My dad also liked this idea.  I have nothing against Chinese food normally, but I am a definite SS here--I really enjoy the traditional dishes and Chinese food doesn't seem like Christmas to me.  I will also admit there was a bit of jealousy--my dad and Lita got to enjoy a big traditional dinner on Christmas Eve so of course they didn't care that they didn't have it for Christmas day.

Unfortunately, when Lita informed my dad that she wasn't coming, the Chinese food order had already been placed.  I suppose I could have called around and figured out something else, but we were all so busy with last minute preparations that is was easier to just go ahead with the plans.

Lastly, I wanted to comment about seeing family over the holidays.  I love my family dearly and I live close enough( 1 hour by car)  that I can see them often.  But even when I lived farther away, when I came home for the holidays, I never expected that I would have my parent's undivided attention for a week straight.  They would often be invited to holiday parties, etc, that I was not invited to.  I was fine with that. 

Lita herself even made the point that Christmas Eve was the big day for her family, which she had.  I just can't help feeling like our family was good enough for Lita when her family wasn't around, but the minute her family came we were no longer needed and any plans could be discarded.

I told DH next year, we're going to Hawaii by ourselves. :P







Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 28, 2012, 04:18:59 PM
You should've been able to cancel a Chinese food order 2 days before it was needed. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: miranova on December 28, 2012, 05:20:52 PM
You should've been able to cancel a Chinese food order 2 days before it was needed.

Yep, I agree, and this is what I'm most confused over.  If no one wanted Chinese at that point, there was time to change it.  I often don't even get a chance to go to the grocery store until the day before I host an event, even when I know I'm hosting long in advance.  It is certainly doable, if you really wanted to do it.

OP, if certain Christmas traditions are important to you, you need to speak up.  You need to be willing to actually rock the boat just a tiny bit, and actually say "well, Christmas Day will be my only chance to have a big traditional Christmas meal, so I'd really like to do that.  I'll do the shopping and cooking, it's that important to me".  Otherwise you can't expect it to happen.  There is nothing wrong with you wanting a certain holiday meal, but in the same vein, there is nothing wrong with Lita wanting a certain holiday meal either.  So, if you want it, say so.  It doesn't really sound like you made your feelings really clear on this one.

From an outsider's perspective, it sounds like your dad is the one who was calling the shots yet unwilling to do any of the work.  He didn't want you to host, yet he didn't want to host either.  He wanted Chinese food just as much as Lita did it seems.  Yet you are not upset at him.  This is normal since he is your flesh and blood, but you may want to step back and look at how unfair it seems to a third party to put all the blame for this on Lita while leaving your dad blameless.  He was the one who didn't want you to host in the first place, right?  And if you had stood your ground and hosted, Lita would never have needed to make a suggestion for take out at all. 

All around, I agree with the others that Lita's error was in making the plans and then cancelling.  That's not cool.  I do hold her responsible for that, but I think she never should have offered to leave her visiting children on Christmas Day.  Another day of the week, sure, but not Christmas Day.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Iris on December 28, 2012, 05:32:22 PM
You should've been able to cancel a Chinese food order 2 days before it was needed.

I can see drzim's point on this one. Having to contact everyone to get their agreement and organise an alternative? I'd have put it in the too hard basket. The two days before Christmas were insanely busy for me and one more job - even a simple one - would have been just too much. To me, two days notice before Christmas really isn't enough time to plan a new meal.

However, even with the update I stick to my previous advice - let it slide this time and polish your spine for next time. "Great! You two can have Chinese, sure, but it just doesn't seem like Christmas to me without the roast Carrot and mashed Beef. I'll order that for my family, but you don't need to have the same thing."
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: penelope2017 on December 28, 2012, 05:39:06 PM
You should've been able to cancel a Chinese food order 2 days before it was needed.

I can see drzim's point on this one. Having to contact everyone to get their agreement and organise an alternative? I'd have put it in the too hard basket. The two days before Christmas were insanely busy for me and one more job - even a simple one - would have been just too much. To me, two days notice before Christmas really isn't enough time to plan a new meal.

However, even with the update I stick to my previous advice - let it slide this time and polish your spine for next time. "Great! You two can have Chinese, sure, but it just doesn't seem like Christmas to me without the roast Carrot and mashed Beef. I'll order that for my family, but you don't need to have the same thing."

Once Lita wasn't coming I don't see why anyone needed to come to an agreement. I agree she was rude but I don't think it is Lita's fault the OP didn't change the meal once she wasn't coming. Two days before a holiday is simple to call a local store and order something else. Bailing yes, but the Chinese food xmas dinner was not Lita's fault at that point.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 28, 2012, 05:42:40 PM
Well, while it may be possible to cancel a dinner order two days prior to Christmas, I can understand why OP did not - first, it seems there was some group confab which led to the decision to order a Chinese meal, and it would likely have been inconsiderate, or even rude to unilaterally change that and probably difficult to consult others on the alternatives (beyond OP, her husband, her father, there are OP's brother, his wife and his in laws); second, because - if OP is even a little like me and my family - we are all really busy in the last two or three days before Christmas, finishing shopping, wrapping, exchanging gifts with friends, etc. 

I, too, have shopped for a large meal the day before a holiday, but that was fine since it was "in the plan" for some time prior, not a late adjustment which adds stress.

I still think it would be worth a discussion with OP's dad and amongst OP's other family members to see what the collective preference(s) may be regarding how Christmas, and other holidays are celebrated - including addressing any traditions of importance, new or old.  Then plan for those, knowing better what matters to others, and either incorporate the elements important to OP or have those separately for OP and her husband.  The challenges of finding the "best" means to suit OP's family, and OP, regarding family celebrations will be there whether or not Lita is.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Roe on December 28, 2012, 09:38:41 PM
Regardless of who said what, who planned or ordered what...I think Lita was very rude.  She and her kids had your dad for their Christmas but she couldn't leave her adult kids for 2hrs?  Give me a break.  Your family got the short end of the stick while her family had the whole family togetherness plus the traditional meal. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: snowdragon on December 28, 2012, 09:43:06 PM
Regardless of who said what, who planned or ordered what...I think Lita was very rude.  She and her kids had your dad for their Christmas but she couldn't leave her adult kids for 2hrs?  Give me a break.  Your family got the short end of the stick while her family had the whole family togetherness plus the traditional meal.

ITA....I would also call Lita selfish.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 28, 2012, 09:53:04 PM
Even that wouldn't seem so bad had she consulted her kids from the very beginning and told everyone she wouldn't be available. 
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: AustenFan on December 28, 2012, 10:03:03 PM
OP, what prevents your dad from going to Lita's house while her kids are in town? Why is him being home alone another notch against her? I apologize if that's incorrect, but the tone of your posts comes across strongly defensive of your father and wanting to blame Lita for the entire situation. Did she commit a faux paus? Yes. But since it doesn't seem like she set out to I really wonder about the amount of animosity and blame solely aimed in her direction.

Also, she may be trying to be respectful of your role in the family if she suspects your feelings. You are obviously defensive about your father, and since you describe yourself as having stepped into your mothers shoes as far as hosting is concerned she may not have realized what a big deal her attending Christmas would be to you. If your attitude conveys the negativity towards her your posts do I can't help but wonder if she believes you would have preferred a family Christmas without her presence.

Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: Sharnita on December 28, 2012, 10:04:59 PM
OP, what prevents your dad from going to Lita's house while her kids are in town? Why is him being home alone another notch against her? I apologize if that's incorrect, but the tone of your posts comes across strongly defensive of your father and wanting to blame Lita for the entire situation. Did she commit a faux paus? Yes. But since it doesn't seem like she set out to I really wonder about the amount of animosity and blame solely aimed in her direction.

Also, she may be trying to be respectful of your role in the family if she suspects your feelings. You are obviously defensive about your father, and since you describe yourself as having stepped into your mothers shoes as far as hosting is concerned she may not have realized what a big deal her attending Christmas would be to you. If your attitude conveys the negativity towards her your posts do I can't help but wonder if she believes you would have preferred a family Christmas without her presence.

In the update OP made it clear he did go to her house ofr Christmas eve which is her family's big celebration.
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: AustenFan on December 28, 2012, 10:13:16 PM
Sharnita, I was asking about the update where OP states that since Lita and her children are at her home OP's father is home alone. What prevents him from joining them?
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: snowdragon on December 28, 2012, 11:10:06 PM
Sharnita, I was asking about the update where OP states that since Lita and her children are at her home OP's father is home alone. What prevents him from joining them?

Perhaps he was not invited to
Title: Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
Post by: ChiGirl on December 29, 2012, 12:28:29 AM
I'm not impressed with Lita here, for two additional reasons:

1) The Chinese food was her suggestion.  Look, I often eat Chinese food on Christmas, but I would never suggest it as a Christmas dinner for someone who was actually celebrating Christmas.  Particularly if that family had a tradition of eating traditional "Christmas food" (turkey, goose, whatever).  Saying, "oh, let's just order Chinese" is denigrating the importance of the event.

2) Lita and the OP's dad are enough of a social unit that he spent Christmas eve with her family, instead of his own children...but the next day, Lita can't possibly leave her children to spend time with the OP's family.  Seems like she's prioritizing "her" people over "his" people.  I wonder how the OP's dad feels about that.