Author Topic: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)  (Read 4789 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Shopaholic

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1699
When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« on: December 23, 2012, 01:44:10 AM »
This is the same cast of characters as this thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=122461.msg2827098#msg2827098
, for some background.

BG:
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 aith Aunt.
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.

Thanks!



Danika

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1963
  • I'm not speeding. I'm qualifying.
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 02:05:38 AM »
I definitely think you should say something. Mainly because you are close to Aunt. And Aunt very likely has no idea that you and your siblings weren't invited. She probably was told that you had other plans. Based on the background, I certainly believe that ADL was behind this. And shame on Uncle for going along with it. He is probably scared of ADL and didn't want to cause drama. He appeased her at the expense of your feelings.

It's not Aunt's doing, but if you trust her, maybe you should talk to Aunt first. Or talk to Uncle about it. ADL is a lost cause. I don't think she's going to be worth talking to. But I'd definitely remember ADL's behavior and know that I wouldn't do her any favors in the future.

Mainly, I think your goals are: 1) Let Aunt know the full story because she probably was a little sad and hurt that you didn't show up for her important day 2) Let Uncle know that this is BS and that your feelings were in fact hurt and you did find out the truth and you're offended 3) Let ADL know that you will call her on her behavior and you won't take it lying down. And also if ADL's goal was to drive a wedge between you an Aunt, she failed.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11839
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 03:17:21 AM »
I do think you should say something, but I would be careful of assuming that all the attendees were indeed invited.  It's possible that whoever was doing the guest list really did want to limit the number of guests but some showed up anyway / assumed they were included in an "family" invitation / pitched a fit until they were included.  You're absolutely right to be hurt about this, but what good would saying something do?  You know ADL would just use it as fuel for more drama, your Aunt has already been told you weren't invited (I assume), and your immediate family know you were hurt to be excluded.  I don't thinking making a stink about it would accomplish anything else positive.

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 812
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 08:30:12 AM »
If this were my family, I wouldn't say anything.  It sounds like a lot of drama that I'd prefer not to be a part of.  Make plans to see Grandpa on your own, and move on.

Shopaholic

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1699
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 10:32:56 AM »
I found another thread that beautifully portrays my Aunts' love of drama, and my family's PA-ness. Aunt1 is Aunt, and Aunt2 is ADL.
http://www.weddinghellsbells.com/smf/index.php?topic=81814.msg1948394#msg1948394

It's quite possible that all the current drama is stemming from that, or from the time I spit up on ADL 30 years ago.

You know ADL would just use it as fuel for more drama,
This is where I stand - I think any reaction will play into ADL's master plan for family miserableness.


your Aunt has already been told you weren't invited (I assume),
I have no idea about that.


I don't thinking making a stink about it would accomplish anything else positive.
OK, so how do I say something without turning it into a stink?

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6378
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 11:13:11 AM »
I would not involve ADL, your Mom, or any of the cousins. It's pretty crappy if ADL orchestrated a snub but ultimately your uncle went along with it so he's just as responsible.

I would call Aunt and Uncle and ask if there would be a good time to come over or meet up, explaining that you need to talk to them about something. Then let them know that you understood when you were not invited to the party because they'd decided not to have any of the "kids", however, several of the "kids" have commented about the party on facebook and even posted photos. Ask if you've done something to hurt or upset them and, if not, why you were excluded when other "kids" weren't. Let them know that you've noticed some tension between them and your parents but your Mom has never discussed whatever the issue is with you because it is none of your business, she doesn't want it to affect your relationship with them, and you hope it won't. Then see what they say.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17918
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 01:23:53 PM »
This stinks.

I don't know what i would do in your shoes, but it is pretty hurtful to be excluded like that.


            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

scansons

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 702
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 02:14:06 PM »
I've read all the treads you've posted on this family dynamic, and I think  it's time you took control of the situation.  While this doesn't apply as much to this situation, I think it will help in the future. 

You need to start training them that you are an adult and therefore they communicate with you directly.  No more of  this so and so said other person is mad.  If you don't hear it directly from the person, it wasn't said.  You're going to have to train your mother to say, "Well, you need to talk to Shopaholic about that."  And she needs to mean it.   If  she turns around and comes  to you with the problem, you have to refuse to try and solve it if the person dosen't come to you directly.  No more phone trees of dissatisfaction.  If they don't want to talk to you directly, they can just live with their upset. 

Seriously.  You'll be doing the whole family a favor. 

As for this situation I think you need to back away from the intrigue.  Take what Uncle said at face value.  The guest list was out of hand.  You and your sister weren't invited.  End of story.  Whether or not it was some plot from ADL or not.  You've made plans with Aunt for her B-day.  Just let the rest fly.  Don't let them trick you into playing on their level.  Nothing upsets the apple cart for a PA person more than people who just won't play the game. 

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 02:48:40 PM »
I've read all the treads you've posted on this family dynamic, and I think  it's time you took control of the situation.  While this doesn't apply as much to this situation, I think it will help in the future. 

You need to start training them that you are an adult and therefore they communicate with you directly.  No more of  this so and so said other person is mad.  If you don't hear it directly from the person, it wasn't said.  You're going to have to train your mother to say, "Well, you need to talk to Shopaholic about that."  And she needs to mean it.   If  she turns around and comes  to you with the problem, you have to refuse to try and solve it if the person dosen't come to you directly.  No more phone trees of dissatisfaction.  If they don't want to talk to you directly, they can just live with their upset. 

Seriously.  You'll be doing the whole family a favor. 

As for this situation I think you need to back away from the intrigue.  Take what Uncle said at face value.  The guest list was out of hand.  You and your sister weren't invited.  End of story.  Whether or not it was some plot from ADL or not.  You've made plans with Aunt for her B-day.  Just let the rest fly.  Don't let them trick you into playing on their level.  Nothing upsets the apple cart for a PA person more than people who just won't play the game.

Scansons is wise. Listen to Scansons. There is a whole mess of crazy there and personally I would be slowly backing away, without making any sudden noises...
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Kaypeep

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2318
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 01:33:09 PM »
Wow, deja vous!  I just had a conversation with my uncle yesterday about this very same topic!  Me and my siblings were not invited to his milestone birthday, we are his only nieces and nephews.  But his new wife's side of the family was well represented.  I told uncle we were hurt being left out especially in light of how we were his only family for over a decade when he was with wife #3 and he became estranged from his own children.  Uncle had a hundred and one excuses to defend the invite list, even though each reason contradicted other things that he said or had happened, etc.  Bottom line, it was an exercise in futility and he showed no regret or remorse.  So now I know where I stand with him (or rather, don't stand.) I don't think a conversation with your uncle will be very productive either.  There are too many players here and they will just play the blame game.  I'd stop buying into your parent's mantra of "it's faaaaaamily" and focus only on relationships that you find value in or where they reciprocate.   Just because people share DNA doesn't mean you have to, or want to, have a relationship with them.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31385
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 02:15:21 PM »
I've read all the treads you've posted on this family dynamic, and I think  it's time you took control of the situation.  While this doesn't apply as much to this situation, I think it will help in the future. 

You need to start training them that you are an adult and therefore they communicate with you directly.  No more of  this so and so said other person is mad.  If you don't hear it directly from the person, it wasn't said.  You're going to have to train your mother to say, "Well, you need to talk to Shopaholic about that."  And she needs to mean it.   If  she turns around and comes  to you with the problem, you have to refuse to try and solve it if the person dosen't come to you directly.  No more phone trees of dissatisfaction.  If they don't want to talk to you directly, they can just live with their upset. 

Seriously.  You'll be doing the whole family a favor. 

As for this situation I think you need to back away from the intrigue.  Take what Uncle said at face value.  The guest list was out of hand.  You and your sister weren't invited.  End of story.  Whether or not it was some plot from ADL or not.  You've made plans with Aunt for her B-day.  Just let the rest fly.  Don't let them trick you into playing on their level.  Nothing upsets the apple cart for a PA person more than people who just won't play the game.

Scansons is wise. Listen to Scansons. There is a whole mess of crazy there and personally I would be slowly backing away, without making any sudden noises...

I agree as well.


Danika

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1963
  • I'm not speeding. I'm qualifying.
Re: When I say "no kids", I mean just YOUR kids (long)
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 05:32:07 PM »
I'd stop buying into your parent's mantra of "it's faaaaaamily" and focus only on relationships that you find value in or where they reciprocate.   Just because people share DNA doesn't mean you have to, or want to, have a relationship with them.

This is worth repeating. Hugs, Kaypeep. That's hurtful after you invested time and love into a relationship with your uncle. Now we know why he was estranged from his own children.

Shopaholic, maybe only mention it to your aunt, then, so that she knows you didn't choose not to attend. It sounds like ADL and Uncle aren't worth talking to about it because it will just across as "why not meeee?" And perhaps that's even how ADL wanted you to feel - left out.

And Slartibartfast might have a point about the other folks in the photos not having been invited either, they just showed up.

Back in 2008, I threw a birthday 1st birhtday party for my DD. I have many many cousins and I didn't want a huge party so I invited my aunt and uncle and then I told them that I was not inviting their children/my cousins and their own children because we wanted the party to be small. I didn't want to pick and choose between my cousins, so I didn't invite any of them. It was not personal or that I didn't like my cousins, I just didn't want a huge party. I did invite my then best friend and her DH and their kids because they were like family to us. And then they brought their nieces!!! Only once they were in our backyard (I'd been busy in the kitchen) did my then friend say to me "My nieces are here. I hope that's ok." I was so shocked that I said it was ok. Later, after they left, I was livid. Here were these two kids, sure, I knew them and liked them, but I wasn't as close to them as my cousins. And they were at the party but not my cousins. And worse, it would make me look bad to my aunt an uncle after I specifically said I had wanted to keep the party small. I told my friend that she had overstepped by bringing uninvited guests (and she didn't like that I defended myself and wasn't a doormat and that eventually led to the end of our friendship, but that's a tangent...). I did then call my aunt and apologize on my friend's behalf to let my aunt know that those other guests had not been invited so she didn't think I preferred them over my own cousins.