Author Topic: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.  (Read 15896 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9704
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2011, 12:27:42 PM »
She doesn't need an excuse at all.
 
She can't exactly hide her birthday from her sister.
 
The question isn't what excuse to give.  The question is whether she is rude for deciding not to go.
 
The answer is that she isn't.
 
It really doesn't matter why.

I completely disagree, I think that with family the why matters very much and to pretend that it dorsn't is unrealistic.

So, then you think its OK for her to say "sorry, I have plans for my birthday that conflict?'
 
I'm fine with her saying that.

I don't think the fact that its a family event means that it automatically supercedes the OP own's priorities for what she wants to do, no matter what that is.

I don't think it's rude. But, it can have relationship repercussions. Not the same thing, but something for the OP to consider.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2011, 12:28:31 PM »
There is no such thing as using a different excuse that would go over better.  With these people, itís their way or the highway.  There is nothing I could say, unless I agreed to do whatever they demanded, exactly as they demanded, that would be seen as valid Ė regardless of how truly valid it may be.  Knowing that to be the case, as well as the fact that Iíll take heat no matter what I say, Iíve chosen to tell the truth. 

No, the wedding is not ďonĒ the day.  But itís close enough around it, that anything I might want to plan (or anything anyone else may want to plan) would be blown out of the water.  This would also not be the first time that wedding plans made by this person, ended up not happening.  Knowing this also to be the case, Iím going to go ahead with my own life.  If it works out that her day does indeed happen this time, and can be accommodated, great.  Otherwise, we can wish each other well from afar and catch up later.

Given all this I'm not sure what your question is.  You already know that you aren't required to accept an invitation, so this really isn't an etiquette question.  The relationship issue seems to be that regardless of the reason you don't attend the wedding, not attending will put another nail in the coffin of your relationship with your family.  That doesn't seem to bother you since they've hammered in plenty of nails themselves.  So what's the real issue?
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3366
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2011, 12:29:49 PM »
Yes, you only turn 50 once in your life but your sister will only marry this man once.

Not necessarily. My uncle married the same woman twice.  :P

Good point! I personally know three couples that divorced and then remarried each other, so I don't think it is all that rare.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

buvezdevin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1525
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2011, 12:30:12 PM »
There is no such thing as using a different excuse that would go over better.  With these people, itís their way or the highway.  There is nothing I could say, unless I agreed to do whatever they demanded, exactly as they demanded, that would be seen as valid Ė regardless of how truly valid it may be.  Knowing that to be the case, as well as the fact that Iíll take heat no matter what I say, Iíve chosen to tell the truth. 

That sounds like a bigger issue than "wedding v. milestone birthday" and I would say that in *any* instance where your family requests (demands) your presence, it would help *you* to keep in mind that you don't *owe* any excuse/reason.  "I"m not able to be there then, but send best wishes" is a valid reply.  So is "I'm not able to be there on that date, nor the following dates [holidays, whatever].  I'm sharing this information with you not to request a change in your date, but to let you know in advance should the date you're planning be changed for any other reason."

While they may pester you, that is on them, not on you.  When folks offer "my way or the highway" they should recognize that "the highway" is a valid choice.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

still in va

  • used to be gjcva1
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3517
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2011, 12:30:32 PM »
There is no such thing as using a different excuse that would go over better.  With these people, itís their way or the highway.  There is nothing I could say, unless I agreed to do whatever they demanded, exactly as they demanded, that would be seen as valid Ė regardless of how truly valid it may be.  Knowing that to be the case, as well as the fact that Iíll take heat no matter what I say, Iíve chosen to tell the truth. 

No, the wedding is not ďonĒ the day.  But itís close enough around it, that anything I might want to plan (or anything anyone else may want to plan) would be blown out of the water.  This would also not be the first time that wedding plans made by this person, ended up not happening.  Knowing this also to be the case, Iím going to go ahead with my own life.  If it works out that her day does indeed happen this time, and can be accommodated, great.  Otherwise, we can wish each other well from afar and catch up later.

Do what you like, then, if you're not concerned with maintaining a relationship.  I think a simple decline rather than an explanation about your birthday would be more polite and much less hurtful, but I can see there's no changing your mind on this one.

based on the family history that MD has shared with us, which you posted to, i don't think this is entirely appropriate actually.

she knows her family better than we do.  i know that we all post through the prism of our own lives here, but the prism of "sisters do what they need to do for each other" doesn't work here.  and sister doesn't seem to be too willing to do anything to ensure there is a close relationship with MD.  it's not all MD's responsibility, though it's beginning to seem as if it is.

EMuir

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1390
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2011, 12:30:58 PM »
I learned how to deal with invites from toxic relatives.  The drama of declining isn't worth the fallout in the family in some cases.

Tell her you'd love to come.  On the day your plane is supposed to leave, tell her you're incredibly sick and can't make it. 

She can't whine about you ignoring her, and you still get your birthday at home. 

drzim

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 650
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2011, 12:33:20 PM »
As has been noticed, yes there is more back story here.  I do care about family and would like to be able to have what some would deem a ďnormalĒ relationship with them.  Unfortunately (in a nut shell), unless they are getting what they want, the way they want it, with no consideration for the person being asked to make the adjustments to their marching orders, the ugliness goes from slightly passive-aggressive to downright vicious.  That is no longer going to be a part of my ďmovie.Ē 

If my sisterís wedding were at almost any other time (excluding a major holiday), I would see what I could do to get there.  Normally, I donít make as big a deal about birthdays either (not that she would know that, as she and the rest barely acknowledge the date anyway Ė but boy, donít you forget hers or the rest).  Iíve worked on that day, attended a family funeral on that dayÖwhatever.  But this time, this day, I want to celebrate it in a way that matters to me.

I totally get this.  I don't think it's wrong to want to celebrate a milestone birthday....even if you are over 11.  My own 40th birthday celebration was co-opted by DH's brother's wedding.  I, like you, never made too much fuss over birthdays but I wanted to do something special for 40.  And, it happened to fall on a Saturday!  I had just started looking into renting out space at a restaurant when I heard that BIL and fiancť were planning to have their wedding the same month. 

I posted here asking if there was any polite way to let BIL and fiancť know which day was my birthday (there were 3 other Saturdays that month) so they could avoid it.  The responses were downright mean.  Didn't I know that planning a birthday party for myself was wrong and tacky?  Didn't I know that weddings trumped birthdays for adults? Weddings only happen once in a lifetime and don't you know that you can't always choose the date you want?  What adult even cares that much about a birthday?  etc.  I didn't post here again for a long time.

No...I never said anything to BIL. They did end up picking that date and got married on my birthday.  I never got the party I had envisioned.  Can you tell I'm still resentful?  My advice--have your special party.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10904
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2011, 12:34:32 PM »
based on the family history that MD has shared with us, which you posted to, i don't think this is entirely appropriate actually.

she knows her family better than we do.  i know that we all post through the prism of our own lives here, but the prism of "sisters do what they need to do for each other" doesn't work here.  and sister doesn't seem to be too willing to do anything to ensure there is a close relationship with MD.  it's not all MD's responsibility, though it's beginning to seem as if it is.

I think you may have me mixed up with someone else?  I haven't posted anything in this thread about my own life or my feelings about sisterhood.  All I objected to was using "Your wedding is near my birthday" as a reason. 

MineralDiva

  • "Diva"
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2937
  • "I shall plant my feet and let them have it!"
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2011, 12:35:09 PM »
There is no such thing as using a different excuse that would go over better.  With these people, itís their way or the highway.  There is nothing I could say, unless I agreed to do whatever they demanded, exactly as they demanded, that would be seen as valid Ė regardless of how truly valid it may be.  Knowing that to be the case, as well as the fact that Iíll take heat no matter what I say, Iíve chosen to tell the truth. 

That sounds like a bigger issue than "wedding v. milestone birthday" and I would say that in *any* instance where your family requests (demands) your presence, it would help *you* to keep in mind that you don't *owe* any excuse/reason.  "I"m not able to be there then, but send best wishes" is a valid reply.  So is "I'm not able to be there on that date, nor the following dates [holidays, whatever].  I'm sharing this information with you not to request a change in your date, but to let you know in advance should the date you're planning be changed for any other reason."

While they may pester you, that is on them, not on you.  When folks offer "my way or the highway" they should recognize that "the highway" is a valid choice.


Thanks.  I was feeling a little guilty for speeding up the nearest exit ramp.

Oxymoroness

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4278
  • I have a PhD in Crazy Math
    • Wrightbrain Design
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2011, 12:37:05 PM »
I don't see anywhere where MD is being a SS. Her birthday is important to her, but she isn't making any demands of her sister. Only a wish that her sister allow her to decline gracefully from attending her wedding. MD hasn't demanded a date, travel expenses or anything, just, "Please accept that I cannot come for reasons that are important to me."

Add to it that her sister has made 0 effort to maintain the relationship with MD (and possibly vice-versa), I can understand why MD would not want to make a Herculean effort to attend the wedding.

There's family, and there's relatives. I'm wondering if for MD, her sister is less "family" and more "relative".

Personally, for my family, I'd move heaven and earth to help them out, attend special events, celebrate milestones, even if it conflicts with one of my own ó probably because they'd just roll the two together and call it convenient that we could get everyone together.* For relatives, on the other hand, I'd go if it were convenient and at little expense, or if it were important to other family that I be there. Otherwise, I'd send my best wishes and regrets that I couldn't make it.


*At my (good, non-toxic) grandmom's funeral my mom used that as an opportunity to announce my pregnancy (with my permission). Whereas in many circles, that would have been, at best awkward, in this particular circle everyone was glad to hear it because not only did it lighten the mood, but it was so much easier to pass the news around. Everyone was even more thrilled when they learned that my grandmom knew about it before she died, especially since it put her firmly in the lead on the great-grandchild count with the other ladies of her church.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1121
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2011, 12:39:00 PM »
I was under the impression that you wouldn't have gone to the wedding regardless, but upon hearing that the only reason you aren't going is because of your 50th birthday, then yeah I think it's going to sound petty. I'm not into the idea of milestone birthdays either. You even have a bunch of milestone birthdays in your life, but most people do only get married once or twice anyway. You are not obligated to go, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to come off making you look bad.

Ticia

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2409
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #56 on: October 13, 2011, 12:50:04 PM »
You sound completely ridiculous whining about the whole birthday thing at your mature age and about the expectations that you occasionally visit for family events where the rest of the family lives. I'm sure you were invited to the wedding because you're her sister so you're automatically on the guest list. Stay home. I can assure you she won't miss you!

This seems unnecessarily harsh and mean. Perhaps you didn't mean it to be, but the bolded parts are just completely unnecessary. You can get the same opinion across without being rude.
Utah

Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #57 on: October 13, 2011, 12:56:04 PM »
MD, it seems like you are looking for reassurance that not attending the wedding because of your birthday is OK.

From an etiquette perspective, of course you can decline.

From a family perspective, declining could be very, very problematic. If you don't mind that, then decline. But if you were always going to decline regardless, then why post?



Kaypeep

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2329
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #58 on: October 13, 2011, 01:09:42 PM »
The birthday is a red herring.  I think the real problem is the sister already calling to insist on her putting in the time off, in essence, telling MD what to do with her vacation time, when the sister herself has never made an effort to visit MD. (Though I'm willing to bet MD probably hasn't missed the sister anyway.)  I think this is a sibling power play and the family is not close.  MD, I think your mistake was trying to explain yourself and make excuses for not attending way too early.  You should have said "Congratulations. I've marked the date and will see what I can do."  Then as the date looms closer, make polite excuses (we're being audited at work, no time off!  My pipes burst and I had to pay a fortune to fix them, I have no money to travel!  I twisted my ankle!") and then don't go. But by using your birthday as a reason, it's just not a good enough reason to decline the wedding.  If anything, they might wonder why you don't come celebrate with your family, too.

I think you should apologize to your sister, or at least call or email and say "I'll see what I can do." and then do, or not do, something. 

I confess I'm similar to you and went through something similar.   My brother insisted I drive back to Hometown for a birthday dinner (not monumental age) at his girlfriend's parent's house.  I was in the process of starting a new job and moving so I told him I couldn't make it.  He kept insisting I attend, being so pushy about it to the point of demanding.  I got so upset I was in tears (which is NOT me! I am NOT a cryer) and I called my mom to complain.  She then confided that the reason he was so insistent was because he was proposing to GF at the dinner and wanted us all there.  That made me even more angry because I felt that we are not close enough as a family that my presence was needed.  On first look this seems like a lovely grand gesture, but truth was my family is very dysfunctional and not very close, so my sister, mom and I were awkwardly inanimated while her big italian family was jumping for joy.  It was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life.  I still cringe at every sporting event when someone proposes, having flashbacks to that moment.  (oh, and I only went because my mom offered to get uncle and his wife to join her and come up to help me pack my apartment so I wouldn't have to do it alone.  Gee, my younger able-bodied brother never thought to offer, but then again he never called me once the whole time I lived there except to insist I come to this dinner.)   ::)

KimberlyRose

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1949
Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #59 on: October 13, 2011, 01:14:12 PM »
Not that this matters (or maybe it does), but Iíve lived on this side of the country for 13 years.  Not ONCE has this sister (or my other two sisters) been to visit me.  I saw my brother when he was out her for business, once about four years ago.  My mother has been out twice in 13 years.  ALL of them have traveled elsewhere for vacations, etc.  Yet ďIím the one expected to drop everything and go back when they think the situation requires my presence.  I have notÖexcept for my grandmotherís funeral in 2004.  Simply canít afford it Ė among other things. Though finances play little part in my current decision not to attend my sisterís wedding.

I've seen this argument a few times from different posters, and it tends to rub me the wrong way.  Bearing in mind that I've lived in different continents from my parents and sister, and I currently live a 12-hour drive from my parents--it was my choice to move.  It bothers me when people make the choice to move a great distance away from their family and then complain that family members never come to visit.  They didn't make the choice for you to move.  If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.

OP, it sounds to me like you're offering justifications for why you don't want to go.  You do have the option not to go, but when the two big reasons are (a) people don't cross the country to the place you've chosen, and (b) the wedding is right around your birthday, I'd be pretty careful of just how you word things when you do decline.  I could see the family fallout not being pretty.