Author Topic: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  (Read 8927 times)

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drzim

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Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« on: December 26, 2012, 02:37:30 PM »
Okay, now that's Christmas is over I've had a chance to think about the situation and I feel myself getting a bit upset/angry.  I thought I'd get outside perspectives from you folks.....

Background: My mother died several years ago and was the "glue" of the family and the great organizer of holidays.  Since then, I have tried to step in but things are always a bit chaotic although I think everyone is happy in the end.  My only sibling, Pablo and his wife Kristina do try to help but they both work full time at low wage jobs, live paycheck to paycheck and are a bit flaky when it comes to plans/organization. 

My dad has been dating a lovely woman, Lita, for over a year. She is also widowed. Lita has 3 adult sons, 2 of whom live 500 miles away and 1 who is married with a small toddler; they live on the other side of the country.  Last year Lita visited her children for Christmas so there were no issues (also she and my Dad had not been dating very long at that point).  I should note that although Lita has a fairly large house, she spends most of her time staying with my dad at his house.

This year, all of Lita's children and families came out to visit her, as well as her DIL's parents.  So the drama begins.....


We now have to plan something to include our family of 4, my bro's family of 3, my bro's ILs, my dad and my elderly grandmother who can't drive, as well as Lita's 2 single sons, her married son, DIL and child, and DIL's parents.   Unfortunately, "no one" is willing to step up and host the entire crew
(I say that in quotes because actually I did offer....but our house is the farthest distance, and on the small side-- we would have to do card tables around the living room to accommodate everyone....so not good enough apparently).

So my dad decided that he would celebrate Christmas eve with Lita and her family at her house, and then we would get together with him and Lita to celebrate Christmas day at my grandmother's.  My grandmother is 95 and this would be easier for her.  Lita suggested we get Chinese food already prepared and bring it so my grandmother does not have to do anything.  Apparently, this is what Jewish people do on Christmas (none of us are Jewish, but Lita's deceased husband was).  My dad thinks this is a wonderful idea.  I am not a fan of Chinese takeout on Christmas I admit, but I kept my mouth shut because I agreed it will be nice for my grandmother.

So...can anyone guess the ending?  Yes, the day before Christmas Eve, after Lita's family arrives, her children decide that they can't live without her on Christmas Day.  Nevermind that they are staying for a whole week.  They must see her on Christmas Day!  So Lita cancels on my family, and we get stuck with Chinese takeout.  When all is said and done, we arrived around 1:30pm and left around 5pm.  Surely Lita could have spent 4 hours away from her family?  My dad did seem a bit subdued--normally he is quite talkative and upbeat.

Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  Or do out of town visiting children trump previous plans? 


onyonryngs

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 02:40:03 PM »
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.

WillyNilly

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 02:56:07 PM »
Are you upset she didn't come or because she suggested Chinese, which you don't like, and then didn't have to suffer through it like you did?

I think it was silly of her to make plans with your family in light of her kids coming to town - she probably rarely sees them, and probably even more rarely all together, not to mention they were house guests.  So to me her 'fail' was ever thinking she'd come to your family's gathering and especially for saying it.  I think to an extent your family was a bit naive to think she should come to your family as well.  I think though once she said she was coming and then bailed, yes you are justified in being a bit hurt... but I think you should let it go and forgive her.

As for Chinese take-out, yes lots of people Jewish and otherwise, have it on Christmas.  If you don't like it, why didn't you suggest some other sort of take-out (you can get a deli or grocery or even Boston Market to do a more 'traditional' type meal to go), or suggest a potluck of sorts, with each household bringing one component of dinner?  I'm betting everyone went with Chinese because it was the best suggestion made - if you'd made a better suggestion they might have went with that.

Shoo

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 02:59:01 PM »
I am actually surprised that Lita agreed to leave the family that traveled so far to see her on Christmas Day.  I think maybe she shouldn't have done that, and I don't blame her kids/family for wanting her to spend Christmas Day with them.  Your family, on the other hand, was all together, and Lita isn't even a family member, so I just don't understand why she should have spent Christmas Day with you.  Is there something about this situation that we are missing?

JenJay

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 03:00:38 PM »
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.

I agree. I can't see leaving a house full of out of town guests, including my children and grandchild, to go spend Christmas Day elsewhere. I think it would have been nice if she had offered to have your Dad's side of the family over, too, and made it a big celebration, but not everyone is up for that much work. Given her choices I can see why she sent your Dad along and stayed behind.

That said, it sounds like you wanted to have everyone over to your house and she shot that down, do I have that right? She definitely should have planned on staying home from the beginning and let the rest of you plan accordingly. To practically insist on going to Gran's with Chinese takeout and then pull a no-show was rude. I imagine you all would have enjoyed the day more in your home with a more Christmassy meal.  :-\

lowspark

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 03:05:36 PM »
So when exactly did she cancel? The day before Christmas Eve? That at least gave you a couple of days to reorganize and do something different. Not convenient or easy but doable.

I've been in situations before where I "go along to get along" and then wish I'd spoken up because it turns out, everyone was doing the same thing and agreeing to something they didn't necessarily want so as not to rock the boat. I've since learned to speak up. Not to necessarily insist on my way but at least voice my opinion, something like, "well, Chinese take out isn't my first choice." That usually sparks someone else to agree and gets the discussion going.

And I also agree that if I were her and my kids were in town for a week, I'd not leave them cooling their heels at home while I went off to someone else's house for the holiday. It would be different if they'd been invited. She was wrong to cancel at the last minute but I can't blame her for not coming.

yokozbornak

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 03:09:33 PM »
I think Lita was rude to make plans and cancel at the last minute especially when you wanted a different type of celebration to begin with but deferred to her preferences.  I can understand why she wanted to be with her family, but she should have made that known from the beginning instead of making plans with your family. It sounds like she feels torn in both directions and didn't know how to handle it gracefully.  I would let it go and then make your plans next year without her input.

I also want to say that I don't think it was unreasonable for Lita's family to not want to spend Christmas with you and your family. My mom remarried in 2011 after my father passed, and I have never even met her husband's children.  They are strangers, and it would be awkward trying to spend a holiday with them.  My idea of a Christmas nightmare is having dinner in a small space with a bunch of peoople I don't know. 

doodlemor

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 03:17:29 PM »
I think that Lita tried to be nice and please everyone, and in doing so made both sets of relatives a bit unhappy.  Her family may have been quite shocked that she wasn't going to spend all of Christmas with them, while your father and your family were unhappy at the late cancellation.

Unless this behavior becomes a pattern with Lita, I think that you should just let it go.  She goofed, but her family probably gave her a hard time about the initial plans.

If your dad and Lita are still together next year, plan early - very early.

Kaypeep

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 03:22:20 PM »
I think that Lita tried to be nice and please everyone, and in doing so made both sets of relatives a bit unhappy.  Her family may have been quite shocked that she wasn't going to spend all of Christmas with them, while your father and your family were unhappy at the late cancellation.

Unless this behavior becomes a pattern with Lita, I think that you should just let it go.  She goofed, but her family probably gave her a hard time about the initial plans.

If your dad and Lita are still together next year, plan early - very early.

Parking my POD right here.


penelope2017

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 03:49:31 PM »
Considering no one offered to host the entire family, Lita was really left between a rock and a hard place. Why didn't your dad and Lita offer to host everyone given the size of his house? or maybe you agree to help host at your dad's?

I agree she was wrong to cancel but like everyone else I would have been very upset if I traveled cross country to stay with my mom for Christmas and she took off for Christmas. Perhaps she was getting a lot of (understandable) pressure. Like everyone else said, unless it is a pattern, I'd let it go.

And I also would have offered to cook if I didn't like her suggestion of Chinese food.


Sharnita

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 03:57:09 PM »
OP did offer - she was turned down.  I am not sure who turned her down but apparently the size of her house and the use of her card tables made her hosting "not good enough".

OP, I would be upset too.  She kind of directed the plans to a large extent and then ducked out on what she had arranged.  I think that when Christmas plans come up again next year I would have the rest of the family decide what they want.  If she feels inclined to attend with or without any of her kids - so be it.  If not, wish her the best in the New Year.  Make no apologies to dad, just calmly tell him that it didn't work out when you tried to plan around her last year.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2012, 04:06:30 PM »
You live in the same town, I think it's a lot to ask to leave her kids at her house while she goes somewhere else for Christmas.  I think she should've told you sooner, but I'd stay with the out-of-towners too.

I agree with this.  What I don't understand is once it was decided that the two families would be separate in Christmas day you didn't re -offer to host at your home, or was it because your grandmother is not up to the trip to your home?

If you didn't like the idea of Chinese take out, you should have come up with a different plan.  While it was poor form of her to cancel at the last minute I do understand her desire to spend part of the day with your dad, but I also understand her families resentment that she'd choose to leave them on Christmas Day.  Her kids live a distance and probably aren't quite as ready to share the full holiday with their mom's beaux and his kids they don't know well.

snowdragon

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 04:08:56 PM »
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 04:15:32 PM »
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.

I think there is a big difference between force and suggest.  She suggested an option which the posters father liked.  The OP had the options of suggesting an alternative.  I'm sorry the OP ended up with a Christmas meal she didn't enjoy.  But it would have been the same meal whether the girl friend was there or not.

onyonryngs

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 04:26:13 PM »
I would be upset too, if my father chose to spend Xmas eve with his date's family and she could not reciprocate when my family made plans around her, she's put you in your place, so  to speak and I would be angry about it. Lita should not have made plans with you nor forced her idea of Xmas on you.

So Lita's kids and her DIL's parents should come in from out-of-state and stay at home without the mother they came to see?  I think the OP's dad sent up the plan to go to grandma's & didn't take the enormity of that into account.  I would be livid if I brought my kids, my husband, and his parents to visit my mom and then she ditched us on Christmas day.  OP lives near her father, grandmother & Lita and can see them any time.  And many people do Chinese for Christmas - if you don't want Chinese, cook something else and let the people who want Chinese, order Chinese.