General Etiquette > Family and Children

Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit

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I think you should contact the SIL and say something to her when you invite her to the dinner/celebration.  I'd say "Here are the details for Easter Dinner/Baby Blessing.   Also, I wanted to let you know what DH and I prefer to keep this event limited to our family and friends, so we'd appreciate it if you would not invite any of your local friends over for socializing during this time.  I hope you understand and I thank you for your cooperation on this."  I think your DH also needs to take a stand and speak to sis and reiterate this.  He can say "Look, we've said nothing when you invited her to xmas, graduation, etc.  but we're putting our foot down.  We host and pay for these events, and we don't appreciate having extra guests there that weren't even invited by us.  If you want to see GF, then by all means do so. But not on our time and not on our dime."  I disagree with the PP who said to consult with MIL.  Talk to your DH and see what HE thinks.  These are YOUR parties and you do have a say.

Is this your SIl through your brother or your dh's brother?  If this is the latter, than your DH needs to address this with his sister.   Hey, sis, just wanted to let you know that since we are gathering to celebrate not only Easter, but baby's baptism, this will be a family only event.  No one else is invited outside of our immediate family. 

If not through your dh, than you can state the above in your version.

It's not that I dislike Good Friend. I nothing her. I only see her for a few hours per year, when I have a house full of people. I open the door, she greets me, I realize who she is, then I welcome her inside, offer her a drink, and make small talk, usually asking how the kids/husband are doing. I think I remember what her DH does for a living and how many kids they have, but I honestly don't know her. She seems nice, but a family gathering with 20 + people who are spread across 4 different states isn't exactly conducive to getting to know someone better.

I'm not sure if Friend has always come to family functions. Around the time DH and I got married, MIL/FIL moved out of state, so I don't know if Friend has always been around. I think that Good Friend was a college roommate, or went to school with SIL, or they worked together right out of school. So MIL knows GF, from that time period, and because SIL keeps up with her and keeps MIL in the loop (SIL is currently living with MIL). I do know that when we go to extended family functions hosted by DH's Aunts/Uncles SIL doesn't invite GF. Also, when MIL/FIL are in town, we typically have everyone (3 families in Home State, plus whoever came from Other State) meet up for dinner at a restaurant least once. Friend has never come to the restaurant dinners either.
Now that I think about it, I don't remember seeing her in SIL's home when they still lived here and DH and I spent a lot of time with them. She might have been at Nephew's First Birthday party, but I don't remember seeing her any other time.

DH doesn't really care. He is upset because he sees that I am upset. But he doesn't understand how much time/effort goes on behind the scenes.

I guess I have to call SIL. I am not looking forward to that conversation. I'm much better at being firm with my own family than with the in-laws.

Would it be easier to just assume she is coming and prepare the food for that?

It doesn't sound like you dislike her, you don't love that she just shows up having been invited by someone else, but you are polite and work with it.

Why not plan for it, and if friend doesn't show up you have a bit more leftovers.


--- Quote from: twiggy on February 20, 2013, 02:39:52 AM ---Later MIL was telling me how sad and depressed SIL was that Good Friend had ignored her, and I said I didn't really want to hear about it. MIL scolded a bit (not in a mean, bad way, it's just that sometimes she forgets that I'm not her actual child, and that I'm not a teenager for her to correct ::) though she did a lot more raising of me back in my teen years than my mother did) and told me that SIL only has a limited amount of time in Home State, and it's hard for her to make time for everyone. My response was that SIL could choose to spend her time any way she wanted, but if hanging out with her friend was more important than DH's celebration, I wished they would just go to lunch and save me the hassle of feeding everyone. It's like neither of them got that having Good Friend at the party, and socializing with her there meant that SIL was NOT socializing or celebrating with DH. Nor was she socializing with the rest of the extended family: aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents, kiddos.

--- End quote ---

The bolded is what jumped out at me in the story, it sounds as though you spent a lot of time as a teenager with your future inlaws.  If so, there may be a pattern of the family believing that friends are welcome at family gatherings.  Given that your MIL doesn't agree with your assessment of SIL, it sounds like a difference of expectation.  Maybe it would help to ask yourself if you, as a friend of your future husband, would have been welcome at family graduation parties or baby blessings when you weren't family yourself.  That doesn't mean you need to invite your SIL's friend, but if such an invitation is the family norm you need to be prepared for some fallout.


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