This is the same cast of characters as this thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=122461.msg2827098#msg2827098
, for some background.
Uncle is Mom's brother, he is married to Aunt. My sisters and I had a very nice relationship
with Aunt. Aunt Drama Llama (ADL) is Mom's sister. She is a bitter person who is only happy when she is causing my mom to be unhappy. Aunt and ADL have been very close in the past few years, and Mom feels left out, because she always had the better relationship
My sisters and I were brought up that family is very important, therefore we are expected to make an effort to come to all family events. ADL's kids come once in a blue moon.
Like previously mentioned, there has been some tension recently. My family are past masters of passive aggression.
Aunt had a milestone birthday this year. Uncle threw her a surprise party, with ADL's help. Mom knew of this party is because ADL mentioned to her that she is helping to organize it. The only reason Mom knew of the date is because Rachel, a mutual friend of Mom and Aunt's told her that she was entrusted with bringing Aunt to the party.
In form true to our family, no invitations were issued - nothing official, no phone call, no text message, no facebook message. Mom told my sisters and me to save the date - which was inconvenient but we did it anyway, under the understanding that not coming for a good reason will result in some serious familial repercussions.
Eventually last week Uncle spoke to Mom about the party, but only after Mom let ADL know that she received no invitation. Uncle told Mom that the guest list was getting out of hand, so he had to cut out "the younger generation", so the only "kids" (all over 20) there will be Uncle and Aunt's children. Fair enough.
My sisters and I pitched in to send Aunt flowers on her actual birthday, all of us called her and we invited her out to celebrate with coffee and cake at a later date. Aunt was happy to hear from us, delighted at the flowers and happily accepted the invitation (although she asked that her daughter come too).
The night before the party I spoke to Grandpa, who was surprised and disappointed to hear that I and my sisters were not invited. He doesn't get to see his grandkids a lot.
The day of the part rolls around, and then my sister notices that Fred, Rachel's son, who is friends with my cousin and the same age as my cousin and sister, posts a photo from the party on facebook. My sister is indignant that Fred was invited, but we weren't. At first we thought he just dropped by, took the photo and left - but no, Fred and his girlfriend were indeed at the party.
As were Aunt's brother's kids, also in their 20's. Neither Fred nor the other nephews have the same sort of relationship
my sisters and I have with Aunt.
Mom is incredibly hurt (so is Grandpa, but he won't say anything), and she thinks it is high time she has a conversation with her brother to try and diffuse this tension.
I'm upset on my mother's behalf. I think it's one thing to say "I don't want your kids there" for whatever reason, but telling her that all "kids" aren't invited is just cruel, knowing full well that my mom has eyes and will see the younger generation at the party. It's sending a very obvious message.
Even my dad, who is oblivious to any kind of nuance in human interactions and firmly believes that faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamily trumps everything will now admit that there is a problem. He thinks that ADL is behind this, that she is probably embarrassed by the fact that her
kids never show up, and wanted to even the field a bit.
The consensus in my family is that ASL and Uncle's behavior was nasty and stupid.
Additional tidbit: My DH and Cousin (Aunt and Uncle's son) are both in a small, select field. DH works for the top employer in this field, and cousin is just finishing his studies. Despite his grades not being up to par, DH put in a good word for Cousin with his boss, and arranged an interview for him which was this week. Aunt had no qualms calling me and asking me to have DH "sniff around" to see how Cousin's interview went. Quite cheeky considering my family wasn't good enough to be invited to her party (although I doubt Aunt had any say in the guest list).
Anyway, if you've made it this far... what would you do in this situation? Is it worth opening this can of worms?
If it is, what would you say to Uncle? Who do you think should talk to him? This has been bugging me all weekend, and I could appreciate some perspective and advice.