Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

Shiny spine moment! (with my mom)

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Knitterly:
I had an awesome shiny spine moment this morning!!  With my mother.  I always have a really hard time standing up to her.

I am a little shakey, since it wasn't well received, and I know it is going to continue to come up.  But now that I've stood my ground once, I am hoping it will be easier to stand firm and disengage in the future.

My mom's best friend's daughter is getting married soon.  We've been invited to the wedding and also to the bridal shower.  Unfortunately, the bridal shower is in a few weeks and we just got the invite yesterday.  The BTB and her family are wonderful, gracious people.

I am unable to attend the shower, as I have long-standing plans for the same day involving a much closer personal friend.  I am still planning on attending the wedding, though.

My mother called me this morning about it, and I let her know that I would not be attending, as I already had a commitment.  Well... for the reaction I got, I might have told her that I thought her best friend is an orc and her daughter is an ugly gremlin with hair coming out of her ears and nails for teeth.
I was subjected to the "Sigh of Deep Disappointment" (my mother's trademark guilt-trip starter).  I was reminded how they came to my wedding.  And my baby shower.  And LK's birthday party.  Even though they live 3 hours away and it was inconvenient for them, too.  And I owe it to them.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.....

"Well, mom, it's just not possible for me to go.  I have had a commitment for that day for over a month.  I have already RSVP'd.  They understand."

I got the "Sigh of Deep Disappointment" again along with the "Well, okay then" (in the tone that communicates that it is Very Not Okay!).

But I won't be bent.  I won't change my plans.  I spoke with the sister of the bride and told her what my plans were and her reaction was extremely gracious and understanding as she said that they will looking forward to catching up at the wedding.

I'm feeling a little bit victorious.

I know it's far from over.  It will come up at least twice between now and then, with my mother calling me, begging me to reconsider.  I've already got my script written for me.
"I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

jayhawk:
STANDING OVATION!!! :D ;D ;D

NyaChan:
I don't think there is anything wrong with offering an explanation to an old family friend of why I declined an invitation to an important event.  It isn't as if they demanded an explanation of her, she chose to let them know that she would have liked to attend except for her prior commitment.  I think you handled this beautifully Knitterly :)

Knitterly:

--- Quote from: Luci45 on February 09, 2013, 03:07:51 PM ---Other than talking to the sister of the bride and explaining your plans, you did well. We are proud.

One thumb and 4 fingers up. One never has to give details that can be argued with.

Dear friend figured that out when the reason for someone's missing a milestone birthday party was the we are putting in a cabinet (that had been sitting on their to-do list for 8 months) Hurt? Yes. She would have been far happier with regrets. Just keep quiet and say, "Regretfully, I will not be able to attend."

Even to mom. My stepmother and mother in law finally understood. Never an argument or discussion after I was 40. Really.

--- End quote ---

Well, let me clarify.  The sister of the bride is the MOH, so I spoke to her because she was the one to whom I RSVP'd.  Part of me did feel like I owed her a good reason, as what my mother said was true and they had come out to all of the aforementioned events for me.  So when I responded, I let her know why (Ie, I am truly sorry, I won't be able to make it that day.  Another dear friend has a milestone event that day and I have been committed to attending for over a month.) 

NyaChan:

--- Quote from: Knitterly on February 09, 2013, 03:18:32 PM ---
--- Quote from: Luci45 on February 09, 2013, 03:07:51 PM ---Other than talking to the sister of the bride and explaining your plans, you did well. We are proud.

One thumb and 4 fingers up. One never has to give details that can be argued with.

Dear friend figured that out when the reason for someone's missing a milestone birthday party was the we are putting in a cabinet (that had been sitting on their to-do list for 8 months) Hurt? Yes. She would have been far happier with regrets. Just keep quiet and say, "Regretfully, I will not be able to attend."

Even to mom. My stepmother and mother in law finally understood. Never an argument or discussion after I was 40. Really.

--- End quote ---

Well, let me clarify.  The sister of the bride is the MOH, so I spoke to her because she was the one to whom I RSVP'd.  Part of me did feel like I owed her a good reason, as what my mother said was true and they had come out to all of the aforementioned events for me.  So when I responded, I let her know why (Ie, I am truly sorry, I won't be able to make it that day.  Another dear friend has a milestone event that day and I have been committed to attending for over a month.)

--- End quote ---

I mean people can say you don't owe someone an explanation all they want, but the reality is that if you are speaking to someone and say you can't attend, it sounds really weird to say "I won't be attending," and then stop.  To me, it would feel really abrupt to not at least tell that person some general comment on how I would have liked to attend and as if I were indicating that the invitation meant very little to me.

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