Author Topic: The non-invitation  (Read 4892 times)

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Shopaholic

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The non-invitation
« on: November 06, 2012, 12:20:19 PM »
BG:
Aunt is married to Uncle, Mom's brother. Recently there has been some tension between my parents and Aunt and Uncle for reasons I am not privy to, and I'm pretty sure Mom doesn't understand all of it, either.
Uncle is a great guy, and has always been there for me when I needed him. We don't talk much recently because he isn't much of a talker. Aunt was also always great to me, but in the past few years I feel there has been a cooling down of the relationship. Part of this could be my fault, I have become more introverted at family gatherings.
This will be the fourth family get-together in a month, and honestly I need a break.

Aunt is throwing Uncle a milestone birthday party. The only reason I know about this is because my sister texted me that Aunt wants to do a certain activity and needs to know how many will participate - this was last week.
All I know is that there is a party at a general area, on a certain day. I don't know the time, place or anything else.
My other sister and mom got the same information from the same sister via text message.

Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) called me a few days ago to see if I will be coming to the party. I said I know there is a party, but other than that I don't know any details, so I don't know if I will attend. Cousin confirmed the date, but offered no more information. He called because he needed me to bring something from a friend of his that lives near me.

Yesterday Mom called Aunt. She got a little more information about the activity and BBQ afterwards, but still no time and no place. I can't participate in activity because I am pregnant.

I know the right thing to do would be to attend the BBQ. My uncle is a great guy who would be really hurt if I didn't come.
I would even be glad to make him a birthday cake.
Am I being a SS to actually expect an invitation? For all I care it can be via text message or facebook, but I would like to learn first-hand about the time and place. I need to make travel arrangements.

Should I just bury the annoyance, call my Aunt and ask for more information? Should I say straight up that is why I am calling, or call offering to make the cake?

Jones

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 12:36:12 PM »
Rundown:
You are expected to attend a family function, but don't know when or exactly where the function is occurring. You think your uncle will be hurt if you don't attend, and want to avoid hurt feelings, so you need that information in order to attend.

I don't see how you can attend without the details normally found in an invitation. If you want to keep the air clear, calling and asking Aunt directly is probably your best bet. Depending on what she says, you can offer to make the cake. Aunt needs to know that, without details, people will not be able to read her mind and show up to the right place at the right time.

O'Dell

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 12:44:18 PM »
Sounds like a cluster (I can't express myself without swearing) to me where no one, including the planners, knows what's going on. I think you should just call your aunt and ask what's being planned for uncle's b-day. If by some remote chance you aren't invited, she can just say it's something small with limited guests and not invite you, so I don't think you'd really be putting her on the spot the way you would if you say you know about the party and asked the time and place.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

Mikayla

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 02:11:35 PM »
You're hardly an SS!  And you don't even necessarily want an invitation.  You're just requesting the basic info that an invitation includes - where, when and what (to bring).

I'd call my aunt and just casually mention that I'd gotten all sorts of vague texts about it, but I can't commit to anything without knowing the basic details.  It doesn't sound to me like you're not invited.  It sounds like the opposite - an assumption that of course you would be there.  And you want to nip this kind of assumption in the bud.

WillyNilly

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 02:42:07 PM »
Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) called me a few days ago to see if I will be coming to the party. I said I know there is a party, but other than that I don't know any details, so I don't know if I will attend. Cousin confirmed the date, but offered no more information. He called because he needed me to bring something from a friend of his that lives near me.

Yesterday Mom called Aunt. She got a little more information about the activity and BBQ afterwards, but still no time and no place.

Ok I'm seriously confused by YOU (and your mom).  Twice now you have each had conversations about the party and neither one of you thought to ask "where is it?"  I mean clearly you were verbally and text invited.  That's has been beyond clearly established.  But it really seems like you are the one playing games by refusing to ask for the information you want and then turning and saying well I don't' have this info that I could have asked for but that I refused to ask for so I can't go!

NyaChan

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 03:02:32 PM »
Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) called me a few days ago to see if I will be coming to the party. I said I know there is a party, but other than that I don't know any details, so I don't know if I will attend. Cousin confirmed the date, but offered no more information. He called because he needed me to bring something from a friend of his that lives near me.

Yesterday Mom called Aunt. She got a little more information about the activity and BBQ afterwards, but still no time and no place.

Ok I'm seriously confused by YOU (and your mom).  Twice now you have each had conversations about the party and neither one of you thought to ask "where is it?"  I mean clearly you were verbally and text invited.  That's has been beyond clearly established.  But it really seems like you are the one playing games by refusing to ask for the information you want and then turning and saying well I don't' have this info that I could have asked for but that I refused to ask for so I can't go!

This is where I'm at as well.

amylouky

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 04:33:16 PM »
Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) called me a few days ago to see if I will be coming to the party. I said I know there is a party, but other than that I don't know any details, so I don't know if I will attend. Cousin confirmed the date, but offered no more information. He called because he needed me to bring something from a friend of his that lives near me.

Yesterday Mom called Aunt. She got a little more information about the activity and BBQ afterwards, but still no time and no place.

Ok I'm seriously confused by YOU (and your mom).  Twice now you have each had conversations about the party and neither one of you thought to ask "where is it?"  I mean clearly you were verbally and text invited.  That's has been beyond clearly established.  But it really seems like you are the one playing games by refusing to ask for the information you want and then turning and saying well I don't' have this info that I could have asked for but that I refused to ask for so I can't go!

This is where I'm at as well.

Me three.. the bolded bit above sounds a bit PA to me, I'm afraid. Why wouldn't you have just asked Cousin flat-out what time the party is?

Otterpop

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 05:05:17 PM »
Four here.

White Lotus

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 07:18:54 PM »
First time it came up, I think I would have said, "OK, it's on day/date, right?  And I am for sure invited?  It's not just immediate family or blondes only or something? Fine. Where and when and what can I bring?"  I would have persisted until I got the specifics.  At this point, I'd just call Aunt and ask her.  I think, as long as you won't take offense if you are not invited, because only dachshund owners may come because of Uncle's new puppy or whatever, it is fine to say, "Cousin Jane acts like Mom and I are coming for sure, but, really, Aunt, are we even invited?  Great.  So, what day?  Time?  Your house?  Oh, Cousin Fred's, right.  Can I bring, or should I call Fred to find out what's needed?"  Nothing rude about that among family or close friends -- as long as you are prepared to accept with grace not being invited, just in case.

P12663

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 07:25:12 PM »
See, I thought that Aunt was having a party for Uncle but Aunt has said nothing in any form to OP.  OP's sister, cousin, and mother have communicated with her about the party but didn't know all of the details.  OP wants to know if its okay to call Aunt to get the details.

Near as I can tell, OP has not been invited to the party.

Personally, if my sister had asked if I was going to participate in X Activity at the party, I would tell her apparently not, as I'd not been invited.  If my cousin had called to ask me to bring him whatever on my way to the party, I would have told him that I wouldn't be coming as I hadn't been invited.  And I wouldn't call Aunt to ask for the details, as Aunt hasn't invited me.

Of course, different families have different dynamics.

Jaelle

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 08:10:31 PM »
I may be wrong here, but I might have an idea what's going on.

Some families ... including the extended one of blood relations and friends I was born into ...  have this tendency to somehow assume that everyone will know what's going on by some sort of osmosis, for lack of a better word.   :P  I know it's common in small towns, like the one where I grew up and where almost all of my family lives. (I live in "the city.")

And that can work OK ... until someone starts branching off from that close-knit group, either by moving away or just getting busy with non-family things, etc. Then they're out of that loop, and need more specific information ... that no one thinks to provide, sometimes even if asked. Almost a vibe of "oh, you'll know when it's time!" No, I won't.

I don't know if that's the case, OP, but if it is, I think you're fine calling Aunt and just asking. It's not SS to expect an invitation instead of the whole "osmosis" thing. Eventually people need to learn to give more specific info if they want guests to show up.
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling

Shopaholic

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 11:19:58 PM »
See, I thought that Aunt was having a party for Uncle but Aunt has said nothing in any form to OP.  OP's sister, cousin, and mother have communicated with her about the party but didn't know all of the details.  OP wants to know if its okay to call Aunt to get the details.

Near as I can tell, OP has not been invited to the party.

Personally, if my sister had asked if I was going to participate in X Activity at the party, I would tell her apparently not, as I'd not been invited.  If my cousin had called to ask me to bring him whatever on my way to the party, I would have told him that I wouldn't be coming as I hadn't been invited.  And I wouldn't call Aunt to ask for the details, as Aunt hasn't invited me.

Of course, different families have different dynamics.

This is where I'm at.
Is it SS of me to think that as long as I have not been communicated to by the person organizing the party with the party details, I have not been invited?
Is it wrong to expect that if my presence is wanted, I receive direct information about the party?
We've discussed invitations by proxy quite a lot on this board.

When I told Cousin I wasn't sure about the details, I expected to get information about time and place! What I got was "I need this from place. Can you bring it for me?"

It could be the osmosis thing, and it could be a PA game of my Aunt's that is playing into all the recent family tension.
(Ex: Sister calls me to tell me Aunt is upset about something I did. I refuse to acknowledge informaiton I get this way because I think that we are both adults, and if Aunt has a problem with me she should communicate this to me.)
Anyway, I do not want to play this game.

Roses

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 11:45:01 PM »
I think you should call cousin back and tell her that you will not be in x location on x date so can't bring thing to her.  When she asks why aren't you coming to the party, you can say "I haven't been invited and I don't have any details about the party so I've made other plans for that day", just wanted you to know I wouldn't be able to bring thing.

I would also communicate to mother and sister that you will not be attending (maybe mention it in casual conversation).

Send uncle a nice gift and/or b-day card with a personal note about how much you care for him. 

Shopaholic - I think you are right to remove yourself from the game.  Good luck.

zyrs

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 12:30:41 AM »
If you want to go for your uncle, call your aunt and ask her about it.  If you do not want to go, etiquetteE has some good advice.

WillyNilly

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Re: The non-invitation
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 10:39:38 AM »
See, I thought that Aunt was having a party for Uncle but Aunt has said nothing in any form to OP.  OP's sister, cousin, and mother have communicated with her about the party but didn't know all of the details.  OP wants to know if its okay to call Aunt to get the details.

Near as I can tell, OP has not been invited to the party.

Personally, if my sister had asked if I was going to participate in X Activity at the party, I would tell her apparently not, as I'd not been invited.  If my cousin had called to ask me to bring him whatever on my way to the party, I would have told him that I wouldn't be coming as I hadn't been invited.  And I wouldn't call Aunt to ask for the details, as Aunt hasn't invited me.

Of course, different families have different dynamics.

This is where I'm at.
Is it SS of me to think that as long as I have not been communicated to by the person organizing the party with the party details, I have not been invited?
Is it wrong to expect that if my presence is wanted, I receive direct information about the party?
We've discussed invitations by proxy quite a lot on this board.

When I told Cousin I wasn't sure about the details, I expected to get information about time and place! What I got was "I need this from place. Can you bring it for me?"

It could be the osmosis thing, and it could be a PA game of my Aunt's that is playing into all the recent family tension.
(Ex: Sister calls me to tell me Aunt is upset about something I did. I refuse to acknowledge informaiton I get this way because I think that we are both adults, and if Aunt has a problem with me she should communicate this to me.)
Anyway, I do not want to play this game.

Ok but why didn't you communicate with your cousin?  You told us:
Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) called me a few days ago to see if I will be coming to the party. I said I know there is a party, but other than that I don't know any details, so I don't know if I will attend. Cousin confirmed the date, but offered no more information. He called because he needed me to bring something from a friend of his that lives near me.

Yesterday Mom called Aunt. She got a little more information about the activity and BBQ afterwards, but still no time and no place. I can't participate in activity because I am pregnant.

You very distinctly told your cousin here ^ you knew about the party.  You are saying you didn't want to ask for the details because you didn't know you were invited... well why didn't you say to your cousin "oh I actually don't have any details on the party, I never got an invite"?  What you did say gives the very distinct impression you were invited you just weren't sure if you were attending.  If my cousin said they didn't know the details I'd take that to mean they didn't have the details in front of them right then, not they didn't have them at all, I wouldn't get the hint you never got the info at all.  Right now your cousin has no reason to think you weren't invited.  And your cousin is probably good link to your aunt.

And the same for your mom, she was talking to your aunt about the events of the day.  I presume this is her sister?  And she could say something like "really sis?  You are talking to me about these events without even inviting me? That's not cool" (Obviously one adjusts the language for their family style, but the point is your aunt and your mom were talking about the party.  Why would your aunt talk to your mom about it if your mom wasn't invited?)