Author Topic: Baby Shower Derailed  (Read 5004 times)

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lastnightsdream

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Baby Shower Derailed
« on: April 05, 2013, 03:00:08 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm having a problem and it may be too late to sort out but I'm still uneasy about where things went wrong, and why. Not looking to 'point the finger' but this mess could get worse before this is over..any advice or insight is appreciated.

I have a group of child hood best girlfriends. All of us very close, each others MOH's, etc. One of us, let's call her A, is PG with her first.

The rest of the group got very excited about throwing her a baby shower. There had been some drama between us and her sister when A got married and as a result none of us were part of her bridal party (we weren't asked - but dutifully attended, and I even made a speech), so we were all very excited to throw her a baby shower.

The shower is this month. For the past five months, we've been asking for a guest list and a date. That's all A was asked to provide, but between life being busy and being PG she didn't really get around to it.

She did however, get around to letting us know she was having trouble 'giving up control' of the baby shower and insisted on several occasions that we include her sister as much as possible. I sent her sister a few texts asking her for input, keeping her in the loop, and never heard back from her.

I had a phone call with A that was awkward to say the least. Un benoun to A, I had purchased invitations and was waiting for the addresses to send them out. Well, A informed me she had personalized baby bump photos she'd like us to have made and sent out for the invites. As well she'd like the guests to be informed instead of cards, to bring a book with an inscription for the baby (in addition to the gift). She also said she'd made some posts on 'pin terest' with pictures of what she envisions as her decorations. I said okay what does that look like and she snapped at me that she was busy eating ice cream and couldn't tell me everything on the spot. When I said look A...we're doing this shower for you. Why not just let us throw you a nice shower and you just show up and enjoy? She was quiet and then said 'yea...no. I have a vision.' The call pretty much sucked.

Finally, friend B got a call from A's sister. A's sister informed B that she 'heard' we had told A that family shouldn't throw a baby shower and thus she was very sad, didn't really want to participate as she wasn't wanted, and that we had sucked all the fun out of her doing this for here sister.

After what happened at A's wedding, B basically freaked out and didn't want more problems with A's family. So she told A's sister basically, okay then. You go ahead and host, and we'll  bring food day off (shower is also happening at B's home in the amenity room in the building complex - so nothing much to clean or anything in advance). The sister seemed happy with this change of plans but said 'oh we can all do it together.'

At this point, B was just angry. Three of us had spent months making plans, had no communication from the sister, and had everything ready. Then A started in with not 'wanting to give up control' and her 'vision' for the baby shower. THEN her sister started in with drama about 'not being wanted'. B has three kids under the age of six and is...busy! So she basically threw her hands in the air and told the sister 'fine. You guys go ahead.'

 As it turns out I had to travel for work and would be unable to attend. But I did tell her as soon as I found out, and she was very understanding. Until, three weeks out to the baby shower date, A calls me clearly upsest, if slightly hostile.

She wants to know why all of this is suddenly on her sister, why I'm not helping more, and why the other girls are basically now just 'bringing food.' I explained about what happened between her sister and B, but she didn't seem to accept that and lamented that her sister was 'really busy' and didn't have time for this and besides, her sister was throwing her a shower AFTER the baby was born. So I said look, just do the shower after then, we'll forget about this one. But she said she wanted this one to be the BIG shower, and the one after to just be family and a few close friends. She then called B and blamed her sister for being 'emotional' and causing problems. But she was the one who wound her sister up by telling her she wasn't wanted!

I HAD said yea, family shouldn't throw baby showers, which I believe, but we've known each other going on 20 years, and most of the time she tells me she'll do what she wants, so not sure why THIS time it turned into a big issue.

So at this point, I won't be there, our other friends just plan on bringing food, A and her sister sent out 'E-vites' because they never got addresses together for the invites. And its unclear how many people will actually show up. A's sister and B spoke one time and the 'vision' now seems to have turned into 'minimalist' decorations......

Part of me feels bad for A that her big baby shower has turned into a 'minimalist' party. Part of me thinks she got what she asked for...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 03:04:46 PM by lastnightsdream »

Zizi-K

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 03:18:51 PM »
A's reaction to the news that her friends were throwing her a shower was not normal and not within the bounds of etiquette. The mom-to-be's job is to provide input on the guest list and addresses, and the date - and that's about it. Decorations, food, etc is a gift - and one does not art-direct a gift. It sounds to me like you and your group of friends got into trouble by responding to her decoration demands and by giving in to the sister when she made her little ultimatums. The better responses would have been, "thanks, I'll look at the pinterest page" (with no further commitment) and to the sister: "we're really sorry to hear that, we hope you'll change your mind and attend."  Your friend sounds very difficult, and you are correct that difficult people do end up losing out when they make it hard for people to do nice things for them. It would be very hard for me not to write this person off completely.

lastnightsdream

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 03:24:06 PM »
I'm trying to give her a free pass as she's PG, and has spent the last couple decades being, mostly, a very good friend. But this, to me, is just ridiculous.

I feel like when your friends tell you they're throwing you a party, you say THANK YOU and show up. End of story. I think you're spot on with your reply.

We did handle this poorly. And so did they. At this point I'm not sure there's anything that can be done. The girls and I are going to ensure there is a venue with plentiful food there, otherwise we're leaving it up to the sister.

I won't even be there, but in case A brings this up to me in future, part of me wants to tell her this is her fault for refusing to give up control and stirring her sister up to think we didn't want her. (The other issue here as well is the sister is broke, and disorganized. So we sort of suspect she is low on funds as well as being able to organize something of the magnitute that we are all used to doing for each other.)

WillyNilly

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 03:47:13 PM »
To be honest when Amy (sorry letter's are confusing for me) didn't give you the info you needed, then asked you let her sister host, and further tried to reject your offer and dictate her own, she was telling you "thanks but no thanks, I don't want what you are offering" and you all should have stepped down. Its nice to offer and host a shower, but if the MTB doesn't want what you are offering, its rude to force it on her. You offered a particular shower, she declined the shower you offered, end of story.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 03:57:00 PM »
A's reaction to the news that her friends were throwing her a shower was not normal and not within the bounds of etiquette. The mom-to-be's job is to provide input on the guest list and addresses, and the date - and that's about it. Decorations, food, etc is a gift - and one does not art-direct a gift.


I would disagree just a little bit and say that any physical or dietary problems that might be an issue are fair game to bring up when someone says they will throw you a shower.  Such as, if you can't climb stairs, for them to remember not to have the party in a place only accessible by stairs.  Or if you are allergic to strawberries, you can ask that the cake not be strawberry.  In the case of a baby shower, it might even be something like a food you normally really like now turns your stomach.

One would, of course, hope that if someone is close enough to be throwing you a shower, they would already know about anything like this regarding you, but people do forget.  And of course you wouldn't want that to be your first response to the offer.  You would gratefully accept and then have a polite, private word with the hostess later.

But otherwise, I totally agree.  Throwing a shower is a very nice thing to do for a person and the recipiant of the shower should accept what is offered, barring any potential problems as I mentioned above.

lastnightsdream

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 04:02:46 PM »
I felt that way but at the time we were just shocked.

Since then, and the last time I spoke with her, she spent the entire time lamenting that this wasn't 'right' and that I should (and the other girls) be the ones doing this as was a big deal to us and she even wanted to move the date to another so I could be there to 'host'.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 04:21:13 PM »
You and your friends offered to host a shower for A - she then delayed getting you the information you needed to throw such shower.  She also began asking for special & specific things for her shower, even asking you to allow her sister to help host.

At that point I think you would have been well within the bounds of etiquette to inform A that you had enough hostesses and a budget you had worked out.  She could have declined the shower you were offering and/or gone to her sister for the shower she envisioned. And her sister calling is just a no-no in my book, she wasn't invited to participate and inserting herself into the deal landed the whole thing right in her lap. 

The entitlement of some these days is appalling.  When friends offer to host you a shower you should be appreciative, helpful and agreeable.  This is another instance when I believe trying to excuse rudeness with pregnancy hormones is unacceptable.   

No part of me feels bad for A getting less than what was originally offered - she chose to be difficult, this is the reward for that. 

Zizi-K

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 04:33:19 PM »
I felt that way but at the time we were just shocked.

Since then, and the last time I spoke with her, she spent the entire time lamenting that this wasn't 'right' and that I should (and the other girls) be the ones doing this as was a big deal to us and she even wanted to move the date to another so I could be there to 'host'.

The phrase "I'm sorry, that's not going to be possible" will be very helpful to you, then, when you next speak!

If a good friend of mine acted like this, other phrases would also come out: "Are you serious?" "Has pregnancy completely adled your brain?" "What is wrong with you???" and "This is not OK." come to mind. Not EHell approved, I'm sure, but my friend group is close enough that bluntness would not be poorly received.

Is this friend a Queen Bee type? I'm just curious why you and your friends are tip-toeing around such egregious behavior and not standing up for yourselves.

bah12

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 04:49:05 PM »
I'm surprised you guys are still being as accommodating as you are.  Offering to throw a shower for your friend was a very nice thing to do.  Asking her for her input was also kind.  But her response to it all is bizarre.  You don't owe her a shower and honestly, at this point, I probably would give up completely, send the baby whatever gift (if any) you feel like getting, and wish her luck.  But I wouldn't put any more effort into doing something nice for her. 

lastnightsdream

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 04:58:21 PM »
She isn't normally the Queen B type. And we are all quite blunt with each other the majority of the time.

The problem here is when she got married, friend ("C") informed A that she didn't like her fiance because he had been rude to her. A denied this, and thus ensued WWIII in our group of friends (C was also getting married that year - they were supposed to be each other's MOH's, but after this all went down, C was no longer in A's bridal part - none of us were either - and A was kicked out of C's bridal party - myself replacing A as the MOH in C's wedding). This got worse when A's sister involved herself in this mess (in an attempt to stick up for her sister) and ended up making everything worse by attacking random people who had nothing to do with this. At A's wedding, in her speech, A's sister apologized for her behaviour (a very sincere apology - she didn't name names but it was very cleari t was directed at us and she was quite tearful in her delivary).

So, why are we tip toeing? Well, mostly because after the disaster of A's wedding party not including any of us, or any of us really being part of anything for her wedding, (things which A has tearfully told us she regrets very much), we just didn't want the baby shower to turn into another life time regret for her.

bah12

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 05:09:49 PM »
She isn't normally the Queen B type. And we are all quite blunt with each other the majority of the time.

The problem here is when she got married, friend ("C") informed A that she didn't like her fiance because he had been rude to her. A denied this, and thus ensued WWIII in our group of friends (C was also getting married that year - they were supposed to be each other's MOH's, but after this all went down, C was no longer in A's bridal part - none of us were either - and A was kicked out of C's bridal party - myself replacing A as the MOH in C's wedding). This got worse when A's sister involved herself in this mess (in an attempt to stick up for her sister) and ended up making everything worse by attacking random people who had nothing to do with this. At A's wedding, in her speech, A's sister apologized for her behaviour (a very sincere apology - she didn't name names but it was very cleari t was directed at us and she was quite tearful in her delivary).

So, why are we tip toeing? Well, mostly because after the disaster of A's wedding party not including any of us, or any of us really being part of anything for her wedding, (things which A has tearfully told us she regrets very much), we just didn't want the baby shower to turn into another life time regret for her.

As nice as it is for you to want make this a special memory for her, it's not up to you to ensure that she doesn't regret her actions.  If she didn't learn anything from the drama and subsequent exclusion of her best friends from her wedding party, that's on her.  She's lucky that you guys are all still friends after that mess and offering to do this for her.  If she's going to be demanding and difficult and if her and her sister are just going to cause more drama and tension, then she doesn't deserve to have you protect her from another milestone where she regrets her actions.  This is a consequence of her own actions...it's ok that she feels it.

jedikaiti

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 05:11:39 PM »
Well, she seems determined to turn this into a lifetime regret, no matter your best intentions.

1) No more calls/texts about planning, it all needs to be done by email.
2) Just back away slowly, and say that, since you had already done X, Y, and Z and had only been waiting for the guest list from A, your part of the planning is done, but that if Sister wants to change anything, she's welcome to go ahead and re-do it according to a different vision, she is welcome to do so and you will stay out of her way. Just hand over the things you had ready (invites, etc.) and let her do her thing.
3) Be quietly glad that work will prevent you from attending.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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lastnightsdream

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 06:06:25 PM »
I am very quietly glad.

I think you guys are right. Where I'm at now is I do think I will be honest in telling her I think its her (A's) fault that things ended how they did.

For our part, we're providing food and drink (and all utensils, etc). So there will be a venue, and food. The rest is up to them. Friend B left A's sister a text message today letting her know what we will provide day of, and that two of us will be there to help set up.

B wanted to ask the sister what she had planned, and offer some more assistance, but at this point, being one week out and having enough on her plate to contend with, I adivsed her just send the text and let the sister work out the rest.

I really wish this had all gone differently.

Surianne

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 08:20:16 PM »
I'm a little confused here.  Did you offer a shower, and she accepted?  Or did you just assume you were throwing one and move ahead with it, asking for the information you needed, without giving her a chance to turn you down or say that her sister wanted to throw it?  Did you ask her what kind of shower she'd enjoy, or did you go ahead with what you thought would give her great memories?

I noticed a few things in your first post, such as "dutifully" showing up for her wedding even though you weren't bridesmaids (why would it be dutiful?  Why not attend happily as guests?  No one is *required* to choose friends as bridesmaids over her sister), and you saying more than once that family shouldn't throw a shower, that make me wonder if you weren't overstepping a little bit too and wanting to enforce your vision of things.  I could be wrong, though;I had trouble following your post.

sammycat

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Re: Baby Shower Derailed
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 08:44:22 PM »
I'm trying to give her a free pass as she's PG,

Why? So far as I am aware, being pregnant doesn't give one a right to be rude, controlling or otherwise obnoxious.