Author Topic: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation? update p#18, 32  (Read 6752 times)

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Shopaholic

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1st birthday party - what's my obligation? update p#18, 32
« on: November 27, 2012, 12:42:22 AM »
DH has a group of friends I am not extremely fond of. They're perfectly nice people, but I just don't mesh well with them.
Their conversations tend to revolve around "you won't believe what happened last time I flew first class." and "our latest Club Med vacation." : a constant stream of one-uppmanship revolving around money and lifestyle.
Not exactly my type of crowd, nor my DH's so I sometimes wonder why he really likes these people, and makes significant attempts to impress them.

Friend and Wife had Baby a year ago. Since then I've seen them three times.
Now we are invited to Baby's 1st birthday party It is being held at Wife's parents' house - about a 20-30 minute drive from where we live.

My questions are:
1. Do I need to bring a gift?
2. How long do I need to stay?

Now, the considerations:
The three times I have seen them in the last year:

1. A small "meet the baby" dinner, just friends - we brought baby an outfit from a well-known, pricey shop and a bottle of wine. This group is in the habit of pooling (a lot of) money for major gifts when one has a birthday (i.e.  a wine refrigerator.) However, when I invited them to DH's birthday party they didn't even bring a bottle of wine.

2. A large "welcome baby" party - aka "shell out a large sum in order to have brunch with your friends in a room with our relatives". I hate these things, but DH really wanted to go. We gave a substantial cash gift.

3. Our Independence Day BBQ - althought the original plan was for us to organize everything, and eventually split the cost, for some reason DH decided to tell this group of friends that we were hosting completely. While other members of this group brought dessert/wine to share, Friend and Wife brought nothing at all.

Considering all this, I am really not in the mood for buying Baby another gift. It's not so much about the money, but clearly these people have different gift-giving mentalities. On the other hand, it's not really Baby's fault so I was considering buying something small, like a book.

For the second question -
My best friend just gave birth. She lives an hour away and I rarely have the car, so my only option of seeing her and her new baby is the weekend. DH is willing to come with me, after the birthday party.
He told me to "consider that it will be late afternoon, because we have the party first."
Ummm... the invitation is for 10 AM, how long exactly to you expect to be at a 1st birthday party??

So, I'm asking you - how long do we need to stay? I think that most people probably won't be there before 10:30, but staying until 12:30-13:00 seems long enough to me.
Opinions?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 01:28:51 AM by Shopaholic »

snowdragon

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 01:01:28 AM »
I would be out by 10:30 - "Hi, really can't stay, but we wanted to wish your precious angel a happy birthday"  coo over the birthday kid and make small talk and leave.

Deetee

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 01:14:34 AM »
If you go, I think you need to bring a gift, but it can be small. Actually it should be small. FTR all the one year parties that I attend that are for friends are non gift-giving events so I don't like saying you should bring a gift, but it seems socially expected in this case.

The length of the party can be extremely variable. Because the party is for the attendees and not for the child, the parties can be a lot more party-like than later ones. A one year old is not really aware of the party, where a 3 year year old is. So I have found that parties for one year olds can be very sedate 4 person events up to a 60 person hours long party.

I would be inclined to decline overall, but I also think attending for 2 hours is totally fine (as no end time was given) and may be expected.

cicero

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 03:00:34 AM »
It's a  birthday party, you should bring a gift. Definitely something small/inexpensive - a book, CD, doll that clips onto the stroller etc.

If the party will start around 10.30, i think you could leave around 11.30-12. i would give the hosts a head's up - in case they are planning to serve lunch "wow, can't believe Baby is a year old already. anyway, just wanted to let you know we will be at the party but we have to leave at X"

you know, you say they are "perfectly nice people, but I just don't mesh well with them." I think that they *aren't* so nice - if they know how to demand money from you for group gifts but don't know how to give your husband a gift when it's his turn and when they show up for a BBQ empty handed ( I could maybe give them a partial pass for that one but it seems to be a theme with them), then they aren't very nice.

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katycoo

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 04:49:06 AM »
If you go at all, you must take a gift.  You do not need to spend a lot. And if I couldn't stay at least an hour, I wouldn't go at all.  I'd probably plan to arrive at 10 and leave at 12

lady_disdain

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 05:22:35 AM »
The main problem, in my view, is that your DH is placing his friends and his activities over your friends and your activities. It doesn't make sense to spend all day celebrating with his friends and ignore yours, who has just gone through an important life change. After all, you gave his friends attention when their child was born.

Since the party is this weekend, I imagine that you have already RSVPed. In any case, I would sit DH down and negotiate how you are going to split the day between the two of you. His friends are not more important than yours and you get a say in how your time is spent. In the worst case scenario, I would take the car and go to my friend and let him get a ride to the party.

I would not make this about how you dislike these people, how they didn't treat your DH well or about gift giving. I would just focus on getting the message that my friends are important too across.

bonyk

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 05:33:57 AM »
I've never heard of a 10am party before.  If I were in your shoes (and I have been with DH's friends that make no effort to reciprocate his friendship in any manner), I would put DH in charge of the present. 

MindsEye

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 06:13:34 AM »
Why can't you both just split up for the day? 

DH can go to his friends' kid's birthday party.
You can go see your best friend and her baby.

You can drop DH off if there is a car issue, and then pick him up later.

Shopaholic

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 06:21:08 AM »
I think I'm married to the most annoying man alive...

He called me earlier, in the middle of work. Clearly in a bad mood (pertaining to me asking me why he hadn't taken out the trash this morning).
He brought up the subject of Saturday, said he won't have me there "waiting with a stopwatch."

This is from the man who sets a time for leaving every time we meet up with my friends/family and checks with me 4 times during the event if I remember when we decided to leave.
So...sorry, honey, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

I suggested I leave him there and take the car, he refused.
He will either have to commit to a time for leaving, or hitch a ride - there are plenty of people going in that direction.

Present is his responsibility. I will not spend my time and energy searching for a gift. He will probably ask me Saturday morning if I bought anything... nope, sorry.
I manage relationships with my friends and family, he manages relationships with his. This is not new to him.

NyaChan

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 10:06:44 AM »
I think you've got a good plan going.  Since your husband is the one who wants to maintain the relationship and impress people who, quite frankly, don't sound very nice at all, he should be the one making the effort.

amylouky

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 10:26:32 AM »
Priceline has some great rental car deals. I'd rent one, tell DH to have fun at the party, and go see my friends.
Also, I generally go by the rule that if someone plans a party for a non-meal time, that means it will be over before the meal time (unless it's specified otherwise). So, I'd expect things to be winding down by noon.

Jones

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 10:30:39 AM »
At least in the future, when he's harping on C time and Y minutes, you can remind him of the time he said you shouldn't go to an event with a stopwatch?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 10:37:07 AM »
I think I'm married to the most annoying man alive...

He called me earlier, in the middle of work. Clearly in a bad mood (pertaining to me asking me why he hadn't taken out the trash this morning).
He brought up the subject of Saturday, said he won't have me there "waiting with a stopwatch."

This is from the man who sets a time for leaving every time we meet up with my friends/family and checks with me 4 times during the event if I remember when we decided to leave.
So...sorry, honey, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

I suggested I leave him there and take the car, he refused.
He will either have to commit to a time for leaving, or hitch a ride - there are plenty of people going in that direction.

Present is his responsibility. I will not spend my time and energy searching for a gift. He will probably ask me Saturday morning if I bought anything... nope, sorry.
I manage relationships with my friends and family, he manages relationships with his. This is not new to him.

Wonder if he talked to these "friends" and of course wanting him to be there a big ticket item for baby's birthday, told him he should tell you that. 

I'm with the others on either leaving him there after a certain amount of time or renting a car for the day.  This guy reminds me of my DH a bit in that it takes him a while to see that his "friends" aren't really that great, and put him in the mindset of trying to compete/impress them.  (there was one couple he was friends with in college, so about 15 years ago.  Wasn't till 2 years ago he finally saw them for who they really are and finally ditched them)

And really? I have a one year old and he got rather small birthday presents and guess what he played with? Yeah, the boxes and wrapping paper. The birthday's about them, not their parents and a child that age isn't going to be able to tell the vintage or cost by the flavor of the box or board book they're chewing on.  So I'd give the baby a nice little book and if the parents kvetch, let 'em.

At least in the future, when he's harping on C time and Y minutes, you can remind him of the time he said you shouldn't go to an event with a stopwatch?

And this too.  :) What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
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

shivering

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 10:54:02 AM »
Your husband is being bratty here. I like the idea of splitting up for the day. Either go separately or drop him off. If you drop him off, I'd go in for 15 min to be polite and say hello, but that's it. You've put your time in with these friends and their baby and you have a very valid reason to skip out.

A 1st birthday party is more of an excuse for the adults to get together than a party for the baby. If you drop him off, he can either hitch a ride back or you can pick him up. This way he can spend time with his friends without feeling like he's on a schedule. The party will provide some cute and nostalgic pics for the family photo album, but that's about it as far as the baby goes since a 1 yr old won't be cognizant of what's going on or evne remember the day.

And yes, there should be a present. But a small gift, like a book, is completely appropriate.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: 1st birthday party - what's my obligation?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 10:56:13 AM »
That's true too, a one year old doesn't really get that it's a special day for her other than getting a sweet treat and new toys. 
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