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Author Topic: Am I being petty? Updated #38  (Read 28636 times)

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Am I being petty? Updated #38
« on: November 27, 2012, 08:38:21 PM »
For this Thanksgiving, my sister came up with a plan that she, a male cousin, a female cousin, and the female cousin's husband would come visit me for a cousins' Thanksgiving vacation.  She set this up through an email thread.  The cousins asked if they could sleep at my apartment and I told them they were welcome to stay with me.  My sister bought her tickets, and emailed out the information for when she would arrive and leave to everyone and I thought we were all set. 

Then the week of Thanksgiving, I was speaking to my mom and she asked if I had heard about my female cousin.  I said no, and mom then told me that my sister had related to her in secret that the female cousin told her she was pregnant but that she shouldn't tell anyone.  She told my sister that she didn't know if she would come to my place after all since she didn't think it was safe to drive that far (5 hours) at 3 months.  No one told me.  I figured I wasn't supposed to know about the pregnancy and so I waited to hear from the cousin about her regrets.  She has yet to contact me.  My male cousin, her little brother, made no contact with me either.  If my mom hadn't said something, I would have still gone into Thanksgiving thinking that I was having 3 more house guests.  Instead, they drove 3 hours to her parents' house to announce the pregnancy to the family that lives in that town and had a little party.  My parents received an email with photos of the party (they live quite a ways away from there so couldn't have attended) and the cousin called my mom yesterday to tell her about the pregnancy.  I still haven't heard anything from any of the people who I was expecting as guests for Thanksgiving about our plans or even the pregnancy.

I am hurt and quite honestly offended.  I feel as if I was the hostess and should have been told that they were no longer coming even if they didn't give me the real reason why.  I am angry at my sister as well for being okay with breaking the confidence to tell my mom, but not bothering to even tell cousin that she might want to let me know that she was thinking of no longer coming.  I am also angry with my male cousin for not telling me that he wasn't coming.  My mom is now telling me to call and congratulate my cousin, but I am sitting here not wanting to because I am upset that on top of the whole Thanksgiving thing, they didn't even bother to call and tell me about the baby even after they announced it to everyone else.  A lot of this anger stems from years of my parents always pressuring me about relationships with family and their friends while ignoring the fact that no one else ever reciprocated or made an effort towards me.  Basically, they act like I should let others treat me any way they want and still fall over myself to please them and keep in touch.

Who messed up here?  Should I have called cousin ahead of time to ask her about the pregnancy even though I wasn't supposed to know?  Do I just suck it up, call, and pretend like nothing happened?  What about with my male cousin?  I think I could use some perspective here, as I fear that my hurt feelings about Thanksgiving are spilling over into pettiness  :(
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 05:19:37 PM by NyaChan »


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 08:56:08 PM »
First of all, I am sorry about your Thanksgiving. No, I don't think you are petty. They were horribly rude and inconsiderate. While it may be due to thoughtlessness in all the excitement,  they still owe you a big apology. Feel free to wait for them to call you.
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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 09:36:53 PM »
It would be a cold day in ehell before I called up those cousins.  No, you're not being petty.  They treated you horribly.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 10:17:46 PM »
I'm sorry this happened.  Yeah, if you aren't feeling it, don't call them.  If and when they call you, express surprise that they were a no show for Thanksgiving.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 10:49:00 PM »
As far as I can tell, they never told you anything so you don't have any reason to congratulate anybody.

I also think this is a clear sign of the level of effort that you need to put into those relationships with your cousins, and I'm sorry about that, it must hurt. You may just need to put the effort you've put into those relationships in the past into relationships with friends and family who actually reciprocate and respect your time and effort.
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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 10:56:51 PM »
You are not being petty, they were rude and inconsiderate.  I would wait to congratulate your cousin until she calls you to apologize and to tell you about the baby. 


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 11:18:09 PM »
The only reason you have to call either to your cousins is to say "what gives?  You never showed up for Thanksgiving!  We had plans, you never emailed or called to say you weren't coming, I'd like an explanation" (and since you do know what happened, you are right to want an apology.)  Your cousin's pregnancy isn't going anywhere (well, presumably) so you have plenty of time to offer congratulations at any point in the future, if the situation warrants kind words.  but right now her pregnancy is not really relevant - they stood you up!  For you hosting them!  That's a big deal and much bigger then pregnancy - pregnancy happens to billions of people daily, getting so royally screwed over is a much rarer occurrence, decent people just don't do that - and its ok to focus on the big issue and not her pregnancy.

But its perfectly reasonable to not want to call at all.  Your cousin owes you a HUGE apology, but if you don't think one will be forthcoming, there's not real reason to subject yourself to more insult.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 02:29:20 AM »
I am hurt and quite honestly offended.  I feel as if I was the hostess and should have been told that they were no longer coming even if they didn't give me the real reason why. 
Of course you should have been told - your family was beyond rude.

If they didn't want to say why - they could have said "we are really sorry but circumstances beyond our control made it impossible for us to come". you would've found out a few days later anyway and been happy for your cousin. Now they have caused a rift that could have been avoided - all they had to do was be polite.

And I don't understand why your sister and male cousin didn't come to you anyway - I can understand if pregnant cousin felt that driving 5 hours was too much (while driving 3 hours was ok...), but your sister and male cousin had plans with you!

huge hugs. this stinks.

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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 05:05:29 AM »
Your cousins owe you a  phone call, not the other way around.  Tell your mom you'll congratulate cousin when she calls you to explain her no-show. 


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 07:45:39 AM »
You are not being petty.  They were rude.

You made preparations for their arrival and their stay.  This likely cost you money as well as time and effort.  This is not a small thing to have this ignored as though it meant nothing.  That your cousin told your sister of her pregnancy and not you compounds the insult.

Say nothing and do nothing until they contact you, at which time ask "When were you going to tell me you had changed your mind about coming here?"  People deserve to be called out on behavior like this.

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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 09:31:13 AM »
Leaving the pregnancy out of this, they were rude to not let you know they weren't coming.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 09:35:09 AM »
Your cousins owe you a  phone call, not the other way around.  Tell your mom you'll congratulate cousin when she calls you to explain her no-show.

POD. You're not being petty.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 09:58:11 AM »
I agree with everyone else -- you are definitely not being petty, because they were both (all?) incredibly rude and inconsiderate. They aren't thinking of you at all, so why on earth should you spend any time thinking of them?

The one thing that I would have suggested you do differently, if you'd asked before Thanksgiving was over, was to call them both on the day they were supposed to arrive to check in regarding what time they would be there (or something similar). That would have forced them to admit that, actually, they weren't coming after all. It also would have given you a much better opening to tell them that you were upset that they pulled a no-show on you, because you had made preparations for their arrival and could have spent the time doing something else if you'd known they weren't going to be able to make it.

At this point, though, that's a harder conversation for you to initiate. I don't think it would be petty for you to do so, but I think the rest of your family might think it is. On the other hand, if you don't call with congratulations in the near future, your family may end up thinking you're being petty regardless (even though I don't think it's at all petty to decline to congratulate someone for something they haven't actually told you about).

So personally, I'd decide which mattered to me more -- avoiding initiating confrontation, or avoiding worrying about said confrontation. If I wanted to avoid starting it, I'd just wait for your cousins to call you, and bring it up then. If I wanted to avoid thinking about it, I'd probably call them and let them know that I didn't appreciate their canceling plans without telling you. I'm guessing that your family is the type that shares news with each other, so you probably can't realistically pretend ignorance of your cousin's pregnancy, but I still wouldn't use that as the reason for the call (if you call her).

I also think it's worth telling your sister what you told us -- that you would have appreciated her telling your cousin in the moment that she needed to talk to you about canceling her plans, even if she gave no real reason for it. I don't think it's worth being mad at your sister (if you are), just because it can be difficult for people to think on their feet. But letting her know what your preference in such a situation would have been might help her in the future.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 10:40:08 AM »
I'm not sure I understand exactly what happened. Of the four people who were supposed to come visit, did any of them come? Three of them did not, pregnant cuz, her DH, & male cuz, correct? So did sis show up? If so, didn't she say anything then about the others not coming?

Or if not, if no one showed up, not one of them bothered to let you know they weren't coming? Your sister planned this, told you four were coming, none came, but no one called? I just can't wrap my head around this. It is just incredibly rude!!

No, I wouldn't call anyone. These people, all of them, owe you a huge apology. And your sister, who planned the whole thing, really needs to make this up to you. This whole situation is just so wrong.


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Re: Am I being petty?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 11:14:49 AM »
I guess I'm a little confused, too. If people made firm plans to come and stay with you, and then they simply didn't show up with no official notification (not counting someone who told you that someone else said something to them secretly...) that is incredibly rude and hurtful. You made preparations to feed and house overnight guests, and then they bailed without even letting you know. For all you knew they could have been dead in a ditch somewhere (not to be morbid, that is just something we say in my family).

I too think it would have been best if you had called them on the day they were supposed to arrive--when they would have been late--and asked them what was going on. But, since you can't go back in time, I think you could contact them now to say, "Hey, what happened?" It seems like you aren't really supposed to know about the pregnancy, so I don't think you need to address it--you can address why they stood you up without notice, and say how hurtful this was to you. If they tell you about the pregnancy then, you can say, (cheerful voice) "Wow, that's great, congratulations!" (serious voice) "But I wish you would've at least told me you weren't coming. You didn't have to say why, but I worried about where you were, and I had made all these preparations for you."

And I think you probably have a good point about being pressured to accommodate people who don't go out of their way to accommodate you. At least, this happens to a lot of people I know, and it takes a lot to break those habits and stand up for themselves. Something like standing you up when you've made firm, multi-day holiday plans is a good break point, I think. At least, it worked for my mom--one year she offered to host family Christmas for her in-laws, they all agreed, and then... no one showed up. From among several households. They all just changed their minds--some for legit reasons like weather, some just capriciously--and no one bothered to call her. Some had even gotten to within a few miles of the house before changing their minds. That was the last time she offered to host anything for them.