Author Topic: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit  (Read 6734 times)

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twiggy

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 01:17:38 PM »
My reasoning is that I don't know her. DH doesn't know her. FIL doesn't know her. YSIL doesn't know her. OBIL doesn't know her. The only people she knows are SIL/BIL and MIL. And I'm tired of providing a venue for SIL's socialization. Friend has shown up for many, but not all Events, and I don't recall anyone having missed her.

The year I ate a cold dinner, I really was worried that there wouldn't be enough food. I had planned on X number of people, then Grandpa and Grandma were in town. Then YSIL was able to get off work early, so her family of 3 was able to make it. 4 adults and a toddler ate up (no pun intended) most of my 'food cushion' then there was another adult and 2 more kids.

The more I think about this, the more upset I am with SIL. This is a pattern for her, and I think that it's not so much about this particular person, as it is about setting limits for SIL and not letting her walk all over me. I can provide examples, but I don't want to start ranting/venting.

So, looks like I need to make a phone call and make sure that SIL knows I don't want her to invite her friend. If she does it anyway, what do I do then? I have never turned her away at the door, and I don't think I could bring myself to do it if I wanted to.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

WillyNilly

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 01:25:04 PM »
...This is one person. The same person. It's not like SIL invites whomever she wants whenever she wants. I don't see that it requires much if any extra effort on the OP's part...

Well on at least one occasion (the OP's DH's graduation party) this friend also brought at least 1 if not 2 of her children (wasn't clear if the kid running around was the same as the "baby" referenced).  So already this woman (or the SIL issuing the invites) is starting to include this woman's children.

Kaypeep

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 01:29:20 PM »
I understand the OP's frustration.  My SIL has a friend and this friend would come over every xmas to visit because she was in town.   She would stay for hours and sometimes stay for dinner.  She was pleasant enough, but it changed the dynamic of the gathering. (We're talking just my brother and SIL, me, mom and sis.  It's not the same as OP's situation but it's similar.  Having an uninvited guest (because SIL could never tell this girl "no" and make plans for another time) was just frustrating.  Even if no one else really minds, as the host it's annoying to have a guest bring along someone uninvited, especially someone who doesn't reciprocate or earn her keep. (Does she bring anything to these events?  Help to cleanup?  Does SIL????

I think a nice compromise is to inform SIL that the baby blessing/Easter event is invitation-only PLEASE, so no extra guests including GF.  However, let SIL know that perhaps next time when it's another less formal event like a potluck or picnic, this policy may be reconsidered. But for this event coming up, you'd appreciate it if she could limit her group to her husband and kids, only.

If SIL tries to pressure you just say "I understand but it's just not possible.  I have a set guest list and there's  no wiggle room. " and then beandip and get off the phone.  It's good your DH supports you.  He should still call SIL and reiterate the "no guests rule" and give a courtesy "thanks."  Maybe say "I know you've had friends over to our house in the past but I appreciate you following our request now that it's not possible to do that.  I'm calling because I know it's a big change and I appreciate your cooperation.  With new baby there will be a lot of adjusting so I wanted just let you know we appreciate you adjusting too." or something like that.  Give her a double warning.  If the friend shows up, then give her SIL's plate and let SIL know there's not enough food so since GF is HER friend, you're giving her SIL's meal instead.

*inviteseller

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 01:43:22 PM »
Waitwaitwait!!!  Not only was she not invited by the hostess, but she also brought her 2 children?  I would have told her, nicely "Oh I'm so sorry, we are just sitting down with the family to eat, if you and your kids would like to wait in the living room while we eat, you are more than welcome."  No way would I have busted butt all day cleaning and cooking then dealing with the last minute changes the invited guests had, then foregone a hot meal with my family for a woman you did not invite and her kids, just so your SIL could socialize with her friend.  And if I was SIL's friend, I would never go to a holiday meal at someone I barely knows house during a meal time unless the hostess herself had invited me.  OP, maybe you can borrow my dad.  When I was growing up, if people dropped in, unannounced and uninvited, at a meal time, he would politely chat for a bit, then rise, go towards the door and tell them "it was nice of you to drop by, but it is the families dinner time.  Call me, and we can make plans to get together soon."  Polite, but let them know how my dad felt about unannounced 'guests'.

Eden

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 02:33:16 PM »
OP, it sounds like this goes beyond this one example and you're using this as grounds to begin setting boundaries for SIL. More power to you. I do want to point out though that it is not SIL's fault or responsibility that your grandparents or YSIL's plans changed in the example you provided.

Again, she is only responsible for inviting Good Friend and it is up to you if that is something you want to address.

If she does invite Good Friend, like you, I probably would not turn her away. It's not her fault after all. She was invited. Just not by you. But afterwards I'd let SIL know that was unacceptable and if she can't respect your wishes, she will no longer be invited either.

lisastitch

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 02:42:01 PM »
Christmas of 2010 I tried a very passive approach to talking to SIL. I mentioned that I ended up eating a cold dinner because I was scrambling to throw together extra side dishes because of the unexpected guests. That's when I found out that Good Friend lives only a few miles from my house and SIL hadn't been able to arrange any other time to get together with her.
This sounds as if SIL's GF wasn't the only unexpected guest since I would assume that you had enough food to cover one unexpected guest. 
Are you able to say to the whole family that it's hard for you to deal with unexpected guests and to ask everyone not to bring extra people?  That way you aren't singling SIL out.
Or is there some other backstory that means that other unexpected guests are okay, but GF isn't? 

JenJay

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 02:45:16 PM »
I think SIL is being rude because it sounds like she's using OP's dinners as her "catch up with friend" meeting place since OP and friend live close to each other. SIL justifies it by saying she didn't have a chance to see friend at any other time, yet she's making time to see other people. She's choosing not to set aside time with her friend because she knows it will be convenient for her to invite her friend to OP's dinners. She doesn't even bother to ask if it's convenient for OP.

I'd have no issue telling her I can't accommodate her friend. If she chooses not to prioritize seeing her friend while she's in town, and the friend never goes to see SIL, that's between them.

Amara

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 02:47:37 PM »
I can see how your SIL's presumption that her friend is always welcome came about. That said, you, as hostess, decide on the meal, the entertainment, and the guest list. These are not just privileges of the hostess and host but the responsibility too.

Things change over time. Events change. People change. relationships change. It shouldn't be rude for rules to change too. I think the SIL was rude to include her friend from the beginning but it was what it was and should have been accommodated politely (as it was). But the OP wants to change that now.

OP, you definitely have the right to change it. Your MIL and SIL should be gracious and understanding about your decision. I would be if I were in their place, not happy maybe, but gracious. I think the only thing you owe them is to let them know as soon as possible about your decision. Though you don't need to, I think I would explain why in a kindly way. And personally, I would make it clear that this "no invitation to friend" is not a one-time thing, but permanent unless you want to confront this repeatedly. ("But why not this time?") Be gracious but be firm. And, yes, I agree that having your DH also tell them, perhaps separately, perhaps together, that this is the new decision is a good idea. Otherwise, they might, if they are so inclined, go behind your back, possibly resulting in a split (good son/brother, bad DIL/SIL). Let them see it is a family decision.

doodlemor

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 03:08:37 PM »
Christmas of 2010 I tried a very passive approach to talking to SIL. I mentioned that I ended up eating a cold dinner because I was scrambling to throw together extra side dishes because of the unexpected guests. That's when I found out that Good Friend lives only a few miles from my house and SIL hadn't been able to arrange any other time to get together with her.
This sounds as if SIL's GF wasn't the only unexpected guest since I would assume that you had enough food to cover one unexpected guest. 
Are you able to say to the whole family that it's hard for you to deal with unexpected guests and to ask everyone not to bring extra people?  That way you aren't singling SIL out.
Or is there some other backstory that means that other unexpected guests are okay, but GF isn't?

If indeed other members of the family are inviting unexpected guests to OP's home, then the matter needs to be addressed by both OP and DH. 

Amara is absolutely right when she says that OP's husband needs to support her in this.  It sounds like he has been enjoying the company of his relatives without doing his share.  When OP was scurrying around making extra food he should have been helping.

Promise

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 03:15:42 PM »
Why are you going to all this work? Tell everyone coming that you are going out to eat for Easter/blessing. Everyone pays their own way. Ask for a number and you'll make reservations. On any other nights that the family is getting together, order pizza or a large subway sub. Don't make it so hard.

bopper

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 04:10:34 PM »
I think I would have your DH tell her "I am looking forward to seeing you at Easter.  I wanted to bring up something though...sometimes you invite Good Friend to these gatherings and we would prefer if you didn't as this is baby's christening and we would rather not have someone who has no relationship with baby there.  I am sure you can stop over for coffee later in the day.  Anyway, how is your son/husband/partner doing?..."

squeakers

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 04:24:36 PM »
Christmas of 2010 I tried a very passive approach to talking to SIL. I mentioned that I ended up eating a cold dinner because I was scrambling to throw together extra side dishes because of the unexpected guests. That's when I found out that Good Friend lives only a few miles from my house and SIL hadn't been able to arrange any other time to get together with her.
This sounds as if SIL's GF wasn't the only unexpected guest since I would assume that you had enough food to cover one unexpected guest. 
Are you able to say to the whole family that it's hard for you to deal with unexpected guests and to ask everyone not to bring extra people?  That way you aren't singling SIL out.
Or is there some other backstory that means that other unexpected guests are okay, but GF isn't?

From a later post it was clarified that the other unexpected guests were the OPs grandmother, grandfather and YSIL.  IOWs .. family.
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Kaypeep

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2013, 06:11:25 PM »
Why are you going to all this work? Tell everyone coming that you are going out to eat for Easter/blessing. Everyone pays their own way. Ask for a number and you'll make reservations. On any other nights that the family is getting together, order pizza or a large subway sub. Don't make it so hard.

Because the OP is hosting, and hosts don't make their guests pay their own way.  She doesn't have a problem with the number of people coming or serving the people who do come, the problem is that her SIL keeps inviting an extra person (and their kids) without permission.  Your suggestion seems to miss the mark of what the OP is asking.  Also, as a catholic, Easter is the holiest day of the year.  And a blessing or baptism usually, for most people, warrants a celebration more cerebral and substantial than pizza or subway.

Marbles

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2013, 06:16:33 PM »
I'd be pretty angry if my SIL invited a friend over to my house (for a meal... without asking...) just so she could catch up with her friend. If SIL is coming over for a family meal, then she should be catching up with her family, most especially her host and hostess.

Also, if this happens at the "official" family Christmas (even if off by a few days), how awkward is it to be opening up gifts in front of someone who is not a part of that generosity? I would be very uncomfortable about that.

OP, you are going to have to spell this out for your SIL. If you don't want her to invite Good Friend to Easter, then specify that. If you don't want her to invite Good Friend at all, then I think you need to be clearer that you don't want Good Friend invited to your holiday meals without your express permission.

Roses

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2013, 10:24:25 PM »
I would send actual invitations for the event, specifically addressed to the people you want to include.  Ask for RSVP's.  When SIL RSVP's, use that as an opportunity to make it clear that the event is for family only as it's both a celebration of major milestone and Easter.  If she doesn't RSVP, then you can call her to check if she's coming and address it then.  If she mentions friend coming, then simply say, this event is family only and it won't be possible to accommodate friend.  We are sorry you won't be able to make it to our event, but I understand how you want to catch up with friend.  Her choice is to come alone or not come at all.