Author Topic: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.  (Read 15644 times)

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Roe

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2011, 03:51:50 PM »
MD, after your update, it doesn't sound like your birthday is the issue at all.  Not sure why you decided to make it the reason for declining the invitation or the point of this post.

I think if you had put more about the backstory, regardless of your milestone birthday, more people would've agreed with you.  But when you made it about your birthday vs a siblings wedding, than it's understandable how you sounded SS or petty. 

Given the proper backstory, I say decline and move on.  However, I certainly wouldn't expect a close relationship with my siblings at this point.  They (and you) have made it quite clear that there's not much of a relationship to save.

VorFemme

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2011, 03:54:57 PM »
It sounds like a good time to pull out the "it's too far in advance for me to arrange to be off work yet" card.  Closer to the event, it might be time to look doubtful and tell the Demanding Diva that you can't quite remember what is going on that week/end and you'll have to get back to them after you've checked your calendar at work (if you're home) or at home (if they call while you're at work).

Once the date is firm and the invitations are actually sent (who knows, the site may be booked solid for a month before & after that date) a decision can be made if going is worth the time, money, and effort (or not).  Then "oh, something came up at work"; "I'm sick"; or "I don't have the funds after having to fix the (car, plumbing, buy a new washing machine, etc. - whatever they  might recognize as a major expense that HAS to be paid - maybe your daughter is graduating college that day and you had to pay for that party - or something).

We were in the military - moving was what happened.  The parents came to visit us and we went home to visit them.  Siblings - between traveling for work, child visitation for divorces, a spouse who ONLY wanted to travel to see her family after the children were born, and various & sundry other reasons - one sibling did visit several times, the others quit at a certain point, and we would see them only at the respective family gatherings.  If they went - sometimes they had to go to the other grandparents' for various reasons or they were home only due to chicken pox or measles in the family...............so they were "home" but not up to visiting or being visited.

There are a couple of family members that I haven't seen in years............because they don't travel at all or because their travel is not in sync with our travel plans.  I don't call it "toxic" - I do say that we aren't that close at the moment.................
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KimberlyRose

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2011, 04:07:19 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.

It's just nice to have family members care enough about your life to want to see what it is like where you are.  And sometimes both sets of kids have moved "away" but the folks only visit one, for whatever reason.

You can care and still not want to burn up your time off and saved money to go someplace you have absolutely no interest in visiting.  If everyone's moved, then that's one thing, but that doesn't sound like the case here.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2011, 04:10:38 PM »
MD, after your update, it doesn't sound like your birthday is the issue at all.  Not sure why you decided to make it the reason for declining the invitation or the point of this post.

I think if you had put more about the backstory, regardless of your milestone birthday, more people would've agreed with you.  But when you made it about your birthday vs a siblings wedding, than it's understandable how you sounded SS or petty. 

Given the proper backstory, I say decline and move on.  However, I certainly wouldn't expect a close relationship with my siblings at this point.  They (and you) have made it quite clear that there's not much of a relationship to save.

I think its obvious that it was the main reason.  And since it was part of the conversation with her sister, why wouldn't she put it in the post?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2011, 04:15:13 PM »
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.

I disagree with this. If people who live far away from each other want to keep up contact with each other, its on both of them to find ways to do so. If it matters to both of them, they will both look out for cheap fares, learn how to video chat, use up their vacation time to get together. If one or both of them isn't interested in keeping up contact or maintaining the relationship, then it's no one's fault, it's just not a priority, and one person can't be expected to do it all by themselves. Regardless of who moved and who stayed.

I POD this too.  As dysfunctional as my relationship is with my parents, I got along with them better (for the most part anyway) when I lived across the country from them.   When I married DH who was in the USMC at the time, we were stationed in California and my family as well as DH's lived in Maryland.  While we saw them less frequently we still saw them because they'd come out to see us or we'd go to see them. 

Then we moved closer to home when DH's contract ended and the ironic thing is that we saw less of IL's when we lived 10 minutes away from them than we do now when we live an hour away. 

Just cause someone moves away doesn't mean it's all on them to visit when they want to see family. 

Though I can't imagine why MD wouldn't want to visit her sister.  She sounds like such a joy.  ::) Especially if it's going to cost a lot of money. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

bah12

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2011, 04:15:46 PM »
I too sense that there's underlying tension with the family beyond that of scheduling a wedding close to a milestone birthday.

For me, I think that it's a matter of priority and what matters to you the most.  For me, a family wedding would trump a birthday, even a milestone.  But, I also don't have a negative or tense relationship with my family members.

I think that you have every right to respectfully decline going to your sister's wedding, for whatever reason you choose.  My brother was unable to fly across the country to be at mine, and it wasn't the end of the world to me.  Circumstances are what they are.  I also don't think that your sister (regardless of how she might truly feel) should give you a hard time about choosing to celebrate your birthday on your birthday instead of attending her wedding.

The only other thing I would say is that I hope you don't insinuate that you feel that her marriage won't last.  While it may be true that there are an increasing amount of second and third marriages, I don't think it's fair to say "I turn 50 once, but chances are you'll probably end up getting married to someone else someday."  I think the kindest thing is to assume (as I hope she is) that this is her one and only time down the aisle and say "I'm sorry that I'm not able to attend at that time.  I know this is a special and momentous occasion.  Good luck and congratulations!  I'll be thinking of you and am looking forward to meeting my BIL in someday." 

Roe

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2011, 04:25:39 PM »
MD, after your update, it doesn't sound like your birthday is the issue at all.  Not sure why you decided to make it the reason for declining the invitation or the point of this post.

I think if you had put more about the backstory, regardless of your milestone birthday, more people would've agreed with you.  But when you made it about your birthday vs a siblings wedding, than it's understandable how you sounded SS or petty. 

Given the proper backstory, I say decline and move on.  However, I certainly wouldn't expect a close relationship with my siblings at this point.  They (and you) have made it quite clear that there's not much of a relationship to save.

I think its obvious that it was the main reason.  And since it was part of the conversation with her sister, why wouldn't she put it in the post?

But my point was that she made it the main part of her post and really, it has little to do with her birthday.  She even put it in the title.  It gives a different impression but based on the backstory, it has little (if anything) to do with her milestone birthday.  I think that's why some posters were having trouble relating. I know I was til she posted the real reasons.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 04:30:15 PM by Roe »

JoieGirl7

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2011, 04:42:15 PM »
MD, after your update, it doesn't sound like your birthday is the issue at all.  Not sure why you decided to make it the reason for declining the invitation or the point of this post.

I think if you had put more about the backstory, regardless of your milestone birthday, more people would've agreed with you.  But when you made it about your birthday vs a siblings wedding, than it's understandable how you sounded SS or petty. 

Given the proper backstory, I say decline and move on.  However, I certainly wouldn't expect a close relationship with my siblings at this point.  They (and you) have made it quite clear that there's not much of a relationship to save.

I think its obvious that it was the main reason.  And since it was part of the conversation with her sister, why wouldn't she put it in the post?

But my point was that she made it the main part of her post and really, it has little to do with her birthday.  She even put it in the title.  It gives a different impression but based on the backstory, it has little (if anything) to do with her milestone birthday.  I think that's why some posters were having trouble relating. I know I was til she posted the real reasons.

The "real reasons?"  Or just what you would consider "better" reasons.

This is what the OP has said about her reasons for declining the invitation (emphasis mine):

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). 

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.

If I can reasonably accommodate, fine.  If not, they can add it to their ever-growing list of real and imagined ďwrongs.Ē

She's not going because she wants to do something for her birthday and her relationship with the bride to be is not such that she prioritizes the wedding above celebrating her 50th.

Roe

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2011, 04:43:48 PM »
Okay Audrey, you're right. I'm not going to argue with you.  I was just pointing out to MD that it's not at all about her birthday.  There are deeper issues there.  That's all. 

JoieGirl7

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #84 on: October 13, 2011, 04:55:55 PM »
I think the kindest thing is to assume (as I hope she is) that this is her one and only time down the aisle and say "I'm sorry that I'm not able to attend at that time.  I know this is a special and momentous occasion.  Good luck and congratulations!  I'll be thinking of you and am looking forward to meeting my BIL in someday."

This is the sister's second trip down the aisle.  I think that's where the idea of the 50th birthday being a one time only event came into the comparison.

Presumably, unless her sister eloped the first time, the OP has already been there for her sister at her first wedding.

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #85 on: October 13, 2011, 05:06:42 PM »
I get the impression that there are many small reasons why md doesn't want to go, but her birthday is the large/main reason. It seems just as good as any reason, considering that she's not close with her family. I don't understand at all why it's under so much scrutiny. MD cares that much about her birthday, which is a perfectly valid choice . She's not trying to convince anybody else to skip the wedding to celebrate it, so as long as she declines politely, she is in the clear etiquettely.

By the way, why is it okay for her sister to plan  a wedding over md's birthday, but it's petty for md to celebrate her birthday instead of the wedding? If I were desperate to have my sister at my wedding, I wouldn't plan it so close to her 50th birthday. I would assume that she would have plans and would rather not have her birthday buried under wedding fuss. If I couldn't have my wedding on another day, I'd make a huge fuss over her bday so my sister didn't feel like I thought my occasions were more important than hers. But I love birthdays, and I would hate it if some one had to give theirs up to celebrate me.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #86 on: October 13, 2011, 05:08:57 PM »
I get the impression that there are many small reasons why md doesn't want to go, but her birthday is the large/main reason. It seems just as good as any reason, considering that she's not close with her family. I don't understand at all why it's under so much scrutiny. MD cares that much about her birthday, which is a perfectly valid choice . She's not trying to convince anybody else to skip the wedding to celebrate it, so as long as she declines politely, she is in the clear etiquettely.

By the way, why is it okay for her sister to plan  a wedding over md's birthday, but it's petty for md to celebrate her birthday instead of the wedding? If I were desperate to have my sister at my wedding, I wouldn't plan it so close to her 50th birthday. I would assume that she would have plans and would rather not have her birthday buried under wedding fuss. If I couldn't have my wedding on another day, I'd make a huge fuss over her bday so my sister didn't feel like I thought my occasions were more important than hers. But I love birthdays, and I would hate it if some one had to give theirs up to celebrate me.

If they want a honeymoon, it might involve when they can take time off work, and it might also involve when places are available to have the wedding - places soemtiems book up way ahead of time.

turnip

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #87 on: October 13, 2011, 05:47:32 PM »
In my view, it is fine to decline invitations for any reason whatsoever.  If you would rather get your teeth cleaned, that is entirely up to you and I would never say that is rude.

Where you breach into rudeness, OTOH, is when you start telling people why you are declining their invitations.  Whether its because of the aforementioned teeth-cleaning, or its a once-in-a-lifetime private dinner with the president of the United States, you are letting them know where they fall in your estimation and that runs the risk of being rude.

In this case, I don't think the OP should have to go, and I don't think she should feel bad about declining, but I think it would have been wiser not to say anything to the hosts about her birthday. 

Corvid

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #88 on: October 13, 2011, 05:55:06 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

My Mom married one of her husbands twice.


Quote
You can care and still not want to burn up your time off and saved money to go someplace you have absolutely no interest in visiting.

Which, of course, goes both ways.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 06:20:12 PM by Corvid »

bah12

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #89 on: October 13, 2011, 06:21:34 PM »
I think the kindest thing is to assume (as I hope she is) that this is her one and only time down the aisle and say "I'm sorry that I'm not able to attend at that time.  I know this is a special and momentous occasion.  Good luck and congratulations!  I'll be thinking of you and am looking forward to meeting my BIL in someday."

This is the sister's second trip down the aisle.  I think that's where the idea of the 50th birthday being a one time only event came into the comparison.

Presumably, unless her sister eloped the first time, the OP has already been there for her sister at her first wedding.

I still don't think it's fair to use that against the sister.  So she's been married once before, but you don't let someone know, even if you think it's true, that their wedding isn't that big of deal because it probably won't last, or even that it's not the first. 

I mean, I get if she's on her 10th husband how one might not take her weddings so seriously, but it's still rude, IMO, to say so.  Most people get married with the assumption that this will be the only (or last) time they'd ever walk down the aisle and that the partner will be there 'til death. 

Again, the OP can decline to go for whatever reason.  I wouldn't fault her for that, even if I'd make a different personal choice. But, I would fault her if she told her sister "My birthday is once, but this marriage is not unique...you did it before, you'll probably do it again" ...or something that even gives off the impression of those thoughts.