Author Topic: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?  (Read 9427 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 05:08:04 PM »
To answer the question in the title, yes, it was unreasonable to expect Lita to attend.  I can see that the OP was upset, and it would have been better had Lita not tried to please everyone, but it also seems like the OP was passive when she probably should have voiced her desires.  I doubt Lita was trying to be hurtful to anyone and likely does not realize that, for example, her suggestion of Chinese takeout would be upsetting tot he OP.

buvezdevin

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2012, 05:56:22 PM »
I am wondering how OP's father has felt about the past few Christmas' as OP mentioned that her mother had been the organizer of Christmas for their family, a role which OP has been filling though also adding that the past few years have been a bit chaotic.  If OP's dad felt some responsibility as patriarch to try to take on hosting his family, he may have seen it as taking the burden off OP, and wanted his girlfriend to help.  That may be part of her reasoning for making suggestions.

Either way, OP, my feelings would likely be hurt by the late change in her agreeing to attend, though - as others have noted, I would not fault her or her children for her staying with them at her home.

I would probably talk to your father soon after the holidays to get a touch point on what he did/didn't like best from recent years Christmas celebrations for your family, without making it just about this year, and solicit feedback from all family members for planning for next year generally.
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Yankeegal77

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 06:49:44 PM »
Some thoughts:

I do send a little fault Lita's way. It sounds like she cancelled at the last minute. That cancellation, I'll fault her for. BUT...

OP, I don't fault her family for wanting to see her on Christmas. If they came across the country to see her for the holiday, they are perfectly within their rights to include Christmas. I live across the country from my parents and brother and if I weren't invited to, say, my brother's girlfriend's house for Christmas and they went, I'd be hurt. Even for four hours. Because really, it sounds like quite the project to get all of the siblings and their families together. You don't know what went into making this trip. Heck, it's hard enough for just me to arrange to visit.

As for dinner, it sounds like this is the real point of contention. Not only did Lita (perhaps understandably) cancel, but you sound more peeved about getting stuck with Chinese food. Did you consider checking on places that are open on Christmas, where you could get a more traditional take-out? Even a Denny's could have boxed up some meals.  Also, many grocery stores (not mine, unfortunately) are open for awhile on Christmas, so picking up some potatoes, a bag of frozen veggies, packaged stuffing and maybe a turkey breast or some Cornish hens would have been possible.

If I were you, I would have made the best of it, dumplings, Szechuan shrimp and all, and made sure your grandmother had a grand time visiting with you. As for your Dad, it sounds like he was disappointed with Lita and he should be the one to address it with her.

In short, I can definitely see where you were annoyed, and this could have been handled better, but don't make it a hill to die on. If Lita is still in picture next year, you're forewarned.

Oh--one more thing. Chinese on Christmas is quite common and not just a "Jewish thing." Think A Christmas Story. ;) In fact, as someone who spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone this year (save for my faithful little bunny) I would have been quite happy to have company, even if we had Chinese. Which I actually did. Both nights. And it was deee-lish.



Sharnita

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2012, 06:56:24 PM »
Whether other people do Chinese takeout for Christmas or not is not really the point.  Lita put it forward because it is (kinda) her cultural/traditional thing.  SHe didn't defer to what the majority of OP's family wanted.  She basically said she was part of the family and a pivotal part of the family at that.  Her wishes/traditions determined the menu.  I don't know that she ws trying to make everybody else happy there.  And i don't know that it is reasonable that she play both sides of this.  She is family enough to determine the Christmas Day menu but at the same tiem she can ditch for her real family?

Frostblooded

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 07:00:47 PM »
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

bonyk

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 07:07:02 PM »
Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck?

I'm not the OP, but I think she mentioned this to (indirectly) explain that they would not be able to afford host Christmas.

peaches

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 07:15:17 PM »
In my view, it's rude to cancel on a social invitation once you've accepted. What's more, Lita participated in the planning of the event she later decided not to attend.

It would have been reasonable and understandable for Lita to spend the holidays with her visiting family. But she (and presumably they) agreed that she would spend part of Christmas day with OP's family.

I've taught my children, and my grandchildren by example, that polite people don't bail on commitments.
I would have gone through with the original plan.

Having said that, it is a bumpy road in my experience when families are changing and reforming. Hopefully, your Dad and Lita will work out these issues over time.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 07:29:20 PM by peaches »

NyaChan

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 07:27:06 PM »
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

camlan

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 07:53:51 PM »
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Yup. This.

I agree that it is understandable that Lita and her family wanted to spend all of Christmas together. But Lita had made other plans.

Plans that she cancelled less than two days before the gathering, not really leaving anyone any time to make major changes, or to plan, shop for and cook a more traditional Christmas meal.

Don't forget that the OP is not the host of the Christmas Day gathering--she might have wanted to change the menu, but someone else (her dad? her grandmother?) was the host for Christmas Day.

So Lite arranged the OP's family Christmas celebration to suit her, including the food, and then cancelled shortly before the event. I think this is what is bothering the OP--if Lita had said earlier that she wasn't going to be there Christmas Day, the plans would have been much different. Her last minute cancellation left the family with Lita's plans, but no Lita.

Understandable? Maybe. Rude? Yes.

Also note that the OP's father left his family on Christmas Eve to spend it with Lita's family. When it came down to it, Lita did not give him the same consideration.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Surianne

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2012, 08:11:38 PM »
Lita was minorly rude in cancelling when the others expected her for the dinner, but I'm happy to cut her some slack.  Pleasing everyone is tricky.  I do think it's unreasonable to expect her to ditch her own family, who had travelled to be there, for her boyfriend's family on Christmas day.

As for the food issue, Lita had no way of knowing the OP hates Chinese food, if the OP didn't bring it up at the time.  It sounds like she suggested the take-out as a convenient option, to help, and everyone else agreed for want of better options. 

So really, a single person cancelling out of the family gathering should not have made a significant difference to the plans that ruined anyone's Christmas. 

mj

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 08:22:39 PM »
I think that Lita was rude for cancelling on you like she did. However, I am also seeing you as unreasonable -- and actually, downright judgmental. (Why did you mention that someone has a low-paying job and lives paycheck to paycheck? Why did you not arrange something for yourself pre-made you could take in that day and everyone else enjoy Chinese?) I am surprised she agreed to spend time away from traveling family in the first place too, that's important.

This is how I read it too.  The OP did a lot of asking/offering and determining only to be undermined. 

OP, next year I think you need to offer to host and let the chips fall where they may.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 09:18:31 PM »
The extra information doesn't matter to me -  Stepmother committed herself to being at a certain place at a certain time.  She then backed out.  That's on her.  It is in no way unreasonable to expect people to keep the plans they voluntarily made.

Yup. This.

I agree that it is understandable that Lita and her family wanted to spend all of Christmas together. But Lita had made other plans.

Plans that she cancelled less than two days before the gathering, not really leaving anyone any time to make major changes, or to plan, shop for and cook a more traditional Christmas meal.

Don't forget that the OP is not the host of the Christmas Day gathering--she might have wanted to change the menu, but someone else (her dad? her grandmother?) was the host for Christmas Day.

So Lite arranged the OP's family Christmas celebration to suit her, including the food, and then cancelled shortly before the event. I think this is what is bothering the OP--if Lita had said earlier that she wasn't going to be there Christmas Day, the plans would have been much different. Her last minute cancellation left the family with Lita's plans, but no Lita.

Understandable? Maybe. Rude? Yes.

Also note that the OP's father left his family on Christmas Eve to spend it with Lita's family. When it came down to it, Lita did not give him the same consideration.

The way i read it, Rita did not assume hosting responsibilities for Christmas Day.  She suggested an option for food.  Everyone seems to be forgetting that Rita hosted both families for Christmas Eve.  That was her hosting obligation.  Once it was decided the two families were splitting up on Christmas Day, the OPs father probably commented that since his family would be having lunch at his mother's they would need to come up with an option that they could take to her house.  I can so understand Rita not offering to cook since she was hosting the Christmas Eve gathering.  Her suggestion was Chinese,  no one had to agree to that suggestion. 

johelenc1

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 09:36:25 PM »
I don't really get a lot of this.  My most prevailing thought is I'd be pretty thrilled if my dad's wife decided to stay with her kids Christmas Day and leave my dad just to us.  And, they've been married for years and I've known her forever.  But, sometimes, you just wish it could be just the immediate family.  Being upset that Dad's girlfriend stayed home wouldn't even register with me.

Other than that...I can absolutely understand Lita's family having a fit when they found out the plan was for their mother to leave them to go off with her BOYFRIEND on Christmas Day.  It would have been the same fit I would have thrown if my dad had pulled that.  Especially if I'd traveled all the way across the country.

I also don't understand why when Lita suggested Chinese no one said, "well, I'm not crazy about Chinese...what about..."  I especially don't understand why when two days before Christmas when she pulled out, no one said, "hey since Lita isn't coming and Chinese was her idea...let's get something else.  How about....?"

I really don't entirely understand why the OP is upset.  It honestly sounds more about the Chinese food than Lita not coming.  Unless the OP was genuinely disappointed she didn't get to spend time with Lita on Christmas Day, I think you should just let it go.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2012, 09:44:01 PM »
I don't really get a lot of this.  My most prevailing thought is I'd be pretty thrilled if my dad's wife decided to stay with her kids Christmas Day and leave my dad just to us.  And, they've been married for years and I've known her forever.  But, sometimes, you just wish it could be just the immediate family.  Being upset that Dad's girlfriend stayed home wouldn't even register with me.

Other than that...I can absolutely understand Lita's family having a fit when they found out the plan was for their mother to leave them to go off with her BOYFRIEND on Christmas Day.  It would have been the same fit I would have thrown if my dad had pulled that.  Especially if I'd traveled all the way across the country.

I also don't understand why when Lita suggested Chinese no one said, "well, I'm not crazy about Chinese...what about..."  I especially don't understand why when two days before Christmas when she pulled out, no one said, "hey since Lita isn't coming and Chinese was her idea...let's get something else.  How about....?"

I really don't entirely understand why the OP is upset.  It honestly sounds more about the Chinese food than Lita not coming.  Unless the OP was genuinely disappointed she didn't get to spend time with Lita on Christmas Day, I think you should just let it go.

Thank you.  I have poorly tried to get across what you stated so directly.

Luci

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Re: Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend?
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2012, 10:46:50 PM »

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.

This is the post that says what I want to say, with the bolds, well, my most strong thoughts.

If your dad seems to love her and this is the worst she does, you and your family are fortunate.

We all make misjudgments and need a break sometime.