Author Topic: Nephew's Birthday Invite  (Read 4247 times)

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KimberlyM

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Nephew's Birthday Invite
« on: February 11, 2013, 07:16:28 PM »
As background, I grew up in a house where there really were no etiquette lessons.  I had never heard of a Thank You card until I was in my late teens and out of the house.  It caused me a great deal of embarrassment over the years but I learned on my own.  My little brother, it appears, did not. 

I got a text from him Saturday inviting us to my nephew's 5th birthday party.  It reads:

(nephew's) bday party @ (restaurant) on the 2nd @ 1 o'clock...lunch for the kids, cake for everyone else...I can't afford 2 feed everyone, last year killed me.

My husband and I discussed the tackiness of "bring presents for my kid to a restaurant at lunchtime, but I'm not feeding you because I can't afford it".  Husband decided to say something to him in case he didn't know how rude that was.  He responded with a shrug and saying it's not fair to punish his kid with a subpar party just because he can't afford the one he deserves. 

My son's 4th birthday was 3 weeks ago and we had initially wanted to do a party at Chuck E Cheese but decided it wasn't in the budget so we had a party at home so we could afford to feed everyone.  Apparently that qualifies as sub-par. 

Not sure what to do but shake my head...

How do you teach someone manners as an adult?  Do I just sit back and watch what happens?

peaches

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 07:30:56 PM »

How do you teach someone manners as an adult?  Do I just sit back and watch what happens?

Yes, and keep us posted. This is going to be entertaining.

Honestly, probably the best you can do is to lead by example. He may never change. But over time, his children likely will notice that there is a different way to do things.


LeveeWoman

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 07:32:58 PM »
I don't think there's anything you can do but decide if you're willing to pay for the privilege of seeing him unwrap the gift you give the boy.

Frostblooded

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 07:33:18 PM »
You don't. It's rude to point out others rudeness.

You lead by example and politely decline to attend if it's too rude for your tastes.

auntmeegs

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 07:41:06 PM »
Quote from: Frostblooded link=topic=124847.[/b
msg2885728#msg2885728 date=1360629198]
You don't. It's rude to point out others rudeness.

You lead by example and politely decline to attend if it's too rude for your tastes.

Personally I don't think that rule applies as much when it comes to close relatives like siblings.

delabela

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 10:21:39 PM »
Just to make sure I understand - is it a party focused on the kids?  Like, your child is invited and it's assumed you'll be coming along because of his age?  Because in that circumstance, I could kind of understand only feeding the kids.  However, if you are invitees also, that's super not cool. 

Roe

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 11:01:19 PM »
Quote from: Frostblooded link=topic=124847.[/b
msg2885728#msg2885728 date=1360629198]
You don't. It's rude to point out others rudeness.

You lead by example and politely decline to attend if it's too rude for your tastes.

Personally I don't think that rule applies as much when it comes to close relatives like siblings.

Still, it would be in bad taste to point it out, even to a sibling.  If anything, at least the OP knows up front what kind of party it is and she is free to accept or decline.  If her DH confronts her brother, her DH would be even more rude, at least IMO.

snowdragon

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 11:15:32 PM »
I would find the invite rude and decline to go. I think I would make the kid's present and experience rather than a  wrap-able thing. 

LilacRosey

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »
I write thank you cards for everything! It sounds like your brother has alotr to learn!, LilacRosey

m2kbug

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 03:01:09 AM »
If I received a message like this from my sister, I would think nothing of it.  I would laugh it off as a hassle of planning a party and giggle at the joke of nearly going bankrupt for a 5 year old's birthday party, har-dee-har-har. 

Typically birthday parties like this (like chuck-e-cheese or skateland or air soft) feed the children, not the adults and not the siblings of the invitees, just the invited children, 12 bucks a head, and I would not expect anything different. 

Brother could probably benefit from a class at Ms. Manners and if the people he associates with think a birthday party party for a 5-year-old means the entire family gets fed, they could probably benefit from a class at Ms. Manners too.


suzieQ

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 09:17:15 AM »
If I received a message like this from my sister, I would think nothing of it.  I would laugh it off as a hassle of planning a party and giggle at the joke of nearly going bankrupt for a 5 year old's birthday party, har-dee-har-har. 

Typically birthday parties like this (like chuck-e-cheese or skateland or air soft) feed the children, not the adults and not the siblings of the invitees, just the invited children, 12 bucks a head, and I would not expect anything different. 

Brother could probably benefit from a class at Ms. Manners and if the people he associates with think a birthday party party for a 5-year-old means the entire family gets fed, they could probably benefit from a class at Ms. Manners too.

That's the way parties around here are done if they are at a skating rink - the kids eat, and the adults stand around talking. At a restaurant, where everyone is sitting around a table, I would expect to be able to eat. Is this a Chuck E Cheese, or a "regular" restaurant?

jaxsue

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 09:55:02 AM »
I went to several Chuck-e-Cheese birthday parties when my boys were small. The policy at each party that only the kids were fed (even the cake was kids only). In one case, however, the parents of the birthday boy asked the adults if they wanted anything to eat. Sme said yes, and they were served pizza.
When the party ended, the host parents asked the adults to pay for the pizza. The thing is, these parents asked in a way that inferred the pizza was covered (it was asked in such a way). And the hosting parents didn't know who'd had pizza, so they asked each one of us, in turn, which was awkward.
This particular party was full of eitiquette faux pas as it was.

bah12

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 10:18:00 AM »
I don't think you can teach an adult manners.  And your brothers delivery of the invitation was rude, for sure.  He doesn't have to point out in an invite that he "last year killed him on cost".

That being said, I don't think it's out of the ordinary to throw a kids' party and only feed the kids.  While I might personally choose a different time other than a common lunch or dinner hour (and for me 1 is kind of late for lunch), providing cake and refreshments to adults and meals for the kids is not that unreasonable. 

I think people throw parties in different ways.  I usually like to provide everything for a party vs having potlucks and I'd rather have a snacks for everyone than only full meals for kids.  But, I don't think it's wrong to host potlucks or provide meals for children only at a children's party.  If your brother did anything right, at least he let you know up front what to expect.  Again, he could have left off the last sentence, IMO.

Also, I don't think your DH should have said anything to him.  RE my first sentence: You can't teach an adult manners and I don't think it's polite (at least in this instance) to point out his 'rudeness', that he was improper, or that he isn't providing adequately at his party.  I think you either accept the invite as is (even if you don't like it) and say nothing, or send your regrets. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 10:20:21 AM »
Even if your brother wanted to state that only the kids would be given a meal and cake for everyone, it was extremely rude to point out that last year's party was a strain on him financially.  I always figured if you put yourself into debt by hosting an event you just shut up and deal with it.  The next time you throw something smaller.

auntmeegs

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Re: Nephew's Birthday Invite
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 10:25:19 AM »
Quote from: Frostblooded link=topic=124847.[/b
msg2885728#msg2885728 date=1360629198]
You don't. It's rude to point out others rudeness.

You lead by example and politely decline to attend if it's too rude for your tastes.

Personally I don't think that rule applies as much when it comes to close relatives like siblings.

Still, it would be in bad taste to point it out, even to a sibling.  If anything, at least the OP knows up front what kind of party it is and she is free to accept or decline.  If her DH confronts her brother, her DH would be even more rude, at least IMO.

Not in my family, and many other families I know.  My brother is a bit clueless and my sister and I often have to point these types of things out to him.  Usually he is grateful because he does want to do the right thing, he just doens't always realize what that is.  I know that it is the standard etiquette advice to just decline if you don't like the kind of party it is, but I personally find it really unhelpful and unrealistic when it comes to close family.  Just declining is not really an option in my most families I know. 
I totally agree that the DH should not be the one to say something, though.