Author Topic: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit  (Read 7522 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2013, 05:32:16 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing, but I can't help feeling sorry for GF.  I mean, from her perspective she was invited by a family member to family events - and probably told by SIL that "of course, you're welcome!  You're my friend!". 

Of course, it was not SIL's right to do so, but I mean - she's spending nearly every major holiday for apparently YEARS at your house, and suddenly she is told that she's not welcome (and I'm not sure SIL will be gracious about it).  Not your problem, but like I said, I just feel bad for her.  How awful to realize after the fact that you were not wanted.  Ugh.

How unfair of SIL to put her friend in the middle like that.
I don't feel sorry for her at all.  She obviously has her own family so she should be spending holidays with them.  From OP's posts, the GF has not made any effort to get to know anyone but the SIL and her DH.  If I was going to continuously show up at these events, I would be bringing something, dessert perhaps, and I would socialize with the whole family.  They are just using the OP as a meeting place.

WTG Twiggy !  It is not easy to have a spine o' steel with family, but you did it, you did it politely, and now just get ready to enjoy your baby's blessing.  I POD the other posters who say to let hubby know what you said so if he gets a call, he is ready.

Twik

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2013, 06:47:09 PM »
Would it be easier to just assume she is coming and prepare the food for that?


I suppose it is "easier" to allow guests to invite third parties to your functions, without speaking up. But easier is not always best.

The SIL has been doing something that is expressly against etiquette, and which has not only annoyed the OP but cost her time and money. The solution should not be to shrug and accept it.
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Kaypeep

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2013, 08:32:12 PM »
Would it be easier to just assume she is coming and prepare the food for that?


I suppose it is "easier" to allow guests to invite third parties to your functions, without speaking up. But easier is not always best.

The SIL has been doing something that is expressly against etiquette, and which has not only annoyed the OP but cost her time and money. The solution should not be to shrug and accept it.

Exactly.  And it's not just the friend, it's her kids, too. (and husband?)  This is 3 or 4 people.  And what's to stop SIL from inviting other old friends to visit at OP's while she's in town?  Where does it end?

Bravo OP for making that call.  I hope SIL doesn't stir up any drama but if she does, DH should have your back on this one.  SIL seems to forget it was't just the graduation party but xmas and other events as well.  Enough is enough.

AnnaJ

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2013, 09:03:05 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing, but I can't help feeling sorry for GF.  I mean, from her perspective she was invited by a family member to family events - and probably told by SIL that "of course, you're welcome!  You're my friend!". 

Of course, it was not SIL's right to do so, but I mean - she's spending nearly every major holiday for apparently YEARS at your house, and suddenly she is told that she's not welcome (and I'm not sure SIL will be gracious about it).  Not your problem, but like I said, I just feel bad for her.  How awful to realize after the fact that you were not wanted.  Ugh.

How unfair of SIL to put her friend in the middle like that.
I don't feel sorry for her at all.  She obviously has her own family so she should be spending holidays with them.  From OP's posts, the GF has not made any effort to get to know anyone but the SIL and her DH.  If I was going to continuously show up at these events, I would be bringing something, dessert perhaps, and I would socialize with the whole family.  They are just using the OP as a meeting place.

WTG Twiggy !  It is not easy to have a spine o' steel with family, but you did it, you did it politely, and now just get ready to enjoy your baby's blessing.  I POD the other posters who say to let hubby know what you said so if he gets a call, he is ready.

There are many people who do not spend holidays with families - several posters here included - and instead spend them with friends.  In this case the friend had two children, so arguably she wouldn't be alone on holidays; however, do you think that anyone without a family, or who doesn't get along with their family, or lives away from family should spend their holidays alone because it's rude to spend the holidays with someone else's family?  I don't, my family didn't, and fortunately my friends and their families do not.

Poppea

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2013, 10:23:28 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing, but I can't help feeling sorry for GF.  I mean, from her perspective she was invited by a family member to family events - and probably told by SIL that "of course, you're welcome!  You're my friend!". 

Of course, it was not SIL's right to do so, but I mean - she's spending nearly every major holiday for apparently YEARS at your house, and suddenly she is told that she's not welcome (and I'm not sure SIL will be gracious about it).  Not your problem, but like I said, I just feel bad for her.  How awful to realize after the fact that you were not wanted.  Ugh.

How unfair of SIL to put her friend in the middle like that.
I don't feel sorry for her at all.  She obviously has her own family so she should be spending holidays with them.  From OP's posts, the GF has not made any effort to get to know anyone but the SIL and her DH.  If I was going to continuously show up at these events, I would be bringing something, dessert perhaps, and I would socialize with the whole family.  They are just using the OP as a meeting place.

WTG Twiggy !  It is not easy to have a spine o' steel with family, but you did it, you did it politely, and now just get ready to enjoy your baby's blessing.  I POD the other posters who say to let hubby know what you said so if he gets a call, he is ready.

There are many people who do not spend holidays with families - several posters here included - and instead spend them with friends.  In this case the friend had two children, so arguably she wouldn't be alone on holidays; however, do you think that anyone without a family, or who doesn't get along with their family, or lives away from family should spend their holidays alone because it's rude to spend the holidays with someone else's family?  I don't, my family didn't, and fortunately my friends and their families do not.

I think that its not the OP's problem where the SIL's friend spends her holidays. 

*inviteseller

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2013, 10:44:01 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing, but I can't help feeling sorry for GF.  I mean, from her perspective she was invited by a family member to family events - and probably told by SIL that "of course, you're welcome!  You're my friend!". 

Of course, it was not SIL's right to do so, but I mean - she's spending nearly every major holiday for apparently YEARS at your house, and suddenly she is told that she's not welcome (and I'm not sure SIL will be gracious about it).  Not your problem, but like I said, I just feel bad for her.  How awful to realize after the fact that you were not wanted.  Ugh.

How unfair of SIL to put her friend in the middle like that.
I don't feel sorry for her at all.  She obviously has her own family so she should be spending holidays with them.  From OP's posts, the GF has not made any effort to get to know anyone but the SIL and her DH.  If I was going to continuously show up at these events, I would be bringing something, dessert perhaps, and I would socialize with the whole family.  They are just using the OP as a meeting place.

WTG Twiggy !  It is not easy to have a spine o' steel with family, but you did it, you did it politely, and now just get ready to enjoy your baby's blessing.  I POD the other posters who say to let hubby know what you said so if he gets a call, he is ready.

There are many people who do not spend holidays with families - several posters here included - and instead spend them with friends.  In this case the friend had two children, so arguably she wouldn't be alone on holidays; however, do you think that anyone without a family, or who doesn't get along with their family, or lives away from family should spend their holidays alone because it's rude to spend the holidays with someone else's family?  I don't, my family didn't, and fortunately my friends and their families do not.
The problem is, she is NOT being invited by the OP because her and her kids have no where to go for holidays, she is showing up just to socialize with SIL, and mooching off OP.  I think one of the kindest things to do is invite those you know who may be alone to join you for a meal on a holiday, but this does not seem to be the case here. This is, from the OP a married woman with 2 kids, so there's a family.

weeblewobble

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2013, 11:30:34 PM »
Also, pretending not to know why you think SIL would DO such a thing as inviting someone to one of your family's parties, is classic gaslighting technique.  It allows her to

1. Disavow any fault.  (She doesn't even know what you're talking about!)

2. Be insulted that you would think she is rude.  (She goes on the offensive, making you defensive - when it's her behavior causing the problem in the first place.)

3. Pretend ignorance, so she might be able to get away with it again.  (Ohhhh, I didn't realize you meant you didn't want me to invite GF to ALL family parties, I thought you just wanted her to stay away from the blessing party.) 

My DH's aunt used to invite whatever random person who crossed her path to holiday meals.  It was just as awkward as the OP described. If any of aunt's contemporaries (the hosts) started to mention "limited the guest list" aunt would interrupt to tell the tragic story of her coworker/church acquaintance/guy she met at a gas station and how she invited this person to Christmas because she ONLY WANT TO HELP them by providing a place for them to celebrate the holiday.  (which she wasn't hosting.)  So the hosts dropped the subject and aunt continued as she pleased. As the younger generation married and had kids, there was less and less room for the extra people. So the hosts worked up the nerve to tell her no more random guests. 

Aunt was incensed that the hosts would suggest she could do such a thing!  She would never put the hosts out like that!   All of those extra people she'd invited over the years?  They were exceptions due to XYZ.  (Like, "but that was at the park!")  Hosts were left confused, but at least the random extra people at holidays came to an end.

twiggy

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2013, 12:01:25 AM »
I think you are doing the right thing, but I can't help feeling sorry for GF.  I mean, from her perspective she was invited by a family member to family events - and probably told by SIL that "of course, you're welcome!  You're my friend!". 

Of course, it was not SIL's right to do so, but I mean - she's spending nearly every major holiday for apparently YEARS at your house, and suddenly she is told that she's not welcome (and I'm not sure SIL will be gracious about it).  Not your problem, but like I said, I just feel bad for her.  How awful to realize after the fact that you were not wanted.  Ugh.

How unfair of SIL to put her friend in the middle like that.
I don't feel sorry for her at all.  She obviously has her own family so she should be spending holidays with them.  From OP's posts, the GF has not made any effort to get to know anyone but the SIL and her DH.  If I was going to continuously show up at these events, I would be bringing something, dessert perhaps, and I would socialize with the whole family.  They are just using the OP as a meeting place.

WTG Twiggy !  It is not easy to have a spine o' steel with family, but you did it, you did it politely, and now just get ready to enjoy your baby's blessing.  I POD the other posters who say to let hubby know what you said so if he gets a call, he is ready.

There are many people who do not spend holidays with families - several posters here included - and instead spend them with friends.  In this case the friend had two children, so arguably she wouldn't be alone on holidays; however, do you think that anyone without a family, or who doesn't get along with their family, or lives away from family should spend their holidays alone because it's rude to spend the holidays with someone else's family?  I don't, my family didn't, and fortunately my friends and their families do not.

I think that its not the OP's problem where the SIL's friend spends her holidays. 

^^Friend isn't spending the actual holiday day with us, just a day during the holiday season (to an outside perspective). Typically the out of staters spend Christmas Day at home and then travel here for the last week of December/first week of Jan time frame. So while it is DH Family Christmas Gathering, it's happening anywhere from Dec. 28- Jan. 9 so Friend may not even be picking up that it's a Holiday Dinner as opposed to big family gathering because people are in town. So I'm assuming that SIL is saying, "hey, we're having dinner at Twiggy's house, why don't you drop by" as opposed to "My family's Christmas Celebration is tomorrow. You should come"

DH is in my corner. He doesn't quite get why it's a big deal to me, but since it's a big deal to me, it's a deal to him. Last time SIL called to ask why I hate her, he let her vent, told her I don't hate her, and basically let her know that he didn't see a problem with what had gone down.
Which is a big change. He used to comfort her, roll his eyes, tell her how much we all love her, and that he was sure I wasn't trying to hurt her feelings, etc. etc. etc. Then when he finally got off the phone, he would ask me why I couldn't just play nice/apologize to keep the peace, even though it wasn't my fault. DH is the peacekeeper in his family.
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Poppea

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2013, 10:39:58 AM »
Not that it really has much to do with the question at hand, but I wonder why the aunt (in one story) and the OP's SIL feel the need to invite others to family parties?  Do they see themselves as outsiders needing reinforcement?  Is it an ego thing, when they want their fangirl at the dinner?  Are they trying to show how generous they are (on someone else's dime).

sparksals

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2013, 12:04:58 PM »
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.


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.

 I disagree.  The OP as hostess has the right to establish and maintain her own norm.  The ILs can't expect her to pick up every single tradition of theirs.

sparksals

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2013, 12:08:45 PM »
While I agree with others that SIL was rude to invite Good Friend in the first place without ever asking OP, were I in the OP's situation, I would seriously consider if it was really worth it to me to address this. Here's my thinking:
1. This has clearly been a practice for awhile and gone unaddressed making it a bit of a tradition.
2. 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.

Because this has been happening for some time, it seems to me the potential fallout is pretty certain and probably not going to be minor. To me, it wouldn't be worth addressing at this point. But that is for the OP to decide.

OP, if you want to put a stop to this and are okay with whatever fallout may follow, I'd proactively contact SIL and say you'd like to keep Easter family only and would appreciate if she checks with you before inviting Good Friend  does not invite friend to future gatherings.


I think this is a good way to address it.  I don't understand what fallout could happen.  This is the OP's home with her DH.  She goes to get time, effort and expense to entertain the entire family.  It is not her job to make room for SIL's friend at her gatherings.  The family doesn't seem to be thinking how this situation makes the OP feel.

sparksals

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2013, 12:12:28 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.

I'm with you on all counts. Your SIL is being extremely disrespectful to you and is pushing major boundaries.   

She would be pretty brazen to invite her anyway.  If she does, I think your DH needs to sit SIL down and have a very serious talk with her. 

sparksals

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2013, 12:15:21 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.

Actually, the GF should not be showing up on the SILs invitation since she is not the hostess.  We have discussed many times 2nd hand invitations and it is not polite to accept them.

sparksals

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Re: Need Spine Polish for upcoming visit
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2013, 12:19:38 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.

It sounds like the OP likes to host more formal events.  It would be extremely ungracious and against etiquette to invite people and then expect them to pay.