Disclaimer: I will say that due to the excellent experience eHell has given me and my wonderful DH being willing to side with me even when he doesn't "get it," this is merely an etiquette near-miss instead of a frantic call for help. Hope y'all can either learn from it or laugh at it, though
Background incident, which you are free to skip if you don't like long posts: we live in the same city as DH's family. His grandmother is four hours away, my sister is three hours away, and the rest of my family lives halfway across the country. We tend to plan Thanksgiving and Christmas a year or two ahead of time, alternating where we're going, but we almost always have Thanksgiving with DH's grandmother because she loves to cook. Unfortunately, she's also 90-something and getting forgetful and her cooking is neither as tasty nor as safe to consume as it used to be, so this year we were planning to host Thanksgiving here and have my sister, DH's parents, his sisters, and DH's grandmother come join us for the meal.
Then about a month ago DH mentions to me, offhandedly, something about how we're going to be in NearbyCity for Thanksgiving. What?
Oh, Grandma didn't want to come down and stay at the ILs, so MIL made reservations for us and Grandma and MIL and FIL at a very fancy hotel in NearbyCity which is known for their elaborate holiday decorations. Never mind that I had already invited my sister to join us and she had already turned down other Thanksgiving invitations
I probably would have put up more of a fuss if I hadn't been having real issues with morning sickness - the concept of food, especially cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, made me queasy. So I called my sister and apologized, she made other plans, and we did end up going to NearbyCity for Thanksgiving. (And I was sick the whole time, so it was just as well I didn't plan to cook.)
So we're sitting at the hotel this weekend, and Grandma asks DH how long we'll be visiting her for over Christmas. Once again, this is news to me - we decided a year ago that we would do Christmas at home this year! Babybartfast will be 3 1/2, so it's the first year she'll actually "get it," and it will be her first year in the church pageant. We had specifically turned down Christmas with my parents, despite both my siblings being home this year (I never see my brother anymore!), because we felt it was important to be home.
As it turns out, Grandma decided a week or so ago that she didn't want to drive down to OurTown for Christmas. (Or more specifically, she didn't want FIL to come up and get her - she wouldn't even have to drive.) So instead of, yanno, ASKING, the decision was made - mostly by MIL but I suspect with DH's blessing - that we would be going up to Grandma's house for Christmas. Four problems:
- I really want to be home this year
- I'm allergic to Grandma's cats and can't take antihistamines because I'm pregnant
- Babybartfast is at the stage where she needs to be watched every minute around Grandma's very breakable knick-knacks
- Grandma is no longer a safe cook. She forgets whether things have been in the fridge, or if they have salt, etc.
Of course, nobody wants to tell Grandma no, so everyone was just nodding and going along with it until DH realized I was steaming. I managed to surreptitiously drag him into the other room and point out exactly why I was so peeved that my holiday plans had seemingly been changed without anyone ever mentioning it to me.
The good news: even though DH doesn't see what the big deal is, he was willing to go to bat for me (FIL and Grandma won't listen to a word I say if I'm disagreeing with them) and come up with a compromise. We're going to stay home for Christmas, and DH and Babybartfast are going to drive up Christmas evening and stay for a day or so while I get some peace and quiet at home. It's not my ideal solution, but he's got the time off and I understand he does want to see his grandmother (and he'll be the one on the hook for watching Babybartfast 24/7!). The ILs and Grandma weren't happy about it, but since it came from DH they are willing to accept the compromise.
So crisis (more or less) averted - I think it would have been much messier if we hadn't addressed it right away. Still . . . is there ever a good way to say "Why the hell didn't you think of ASKING me before changing the plans I thought were set in stone a year ago?"