Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 41101 times)

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LadyL

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BG here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=124518.0

Basically my MIL wanted to turn the annual family reunion into our wedding shower, which we said no to for a variety of reasons. She agreed to do a  toast at the reunion but not do a whole shower.

This week MIL called LordL and asked for our bridal party's addresses so she could invite them to the "reunion." She also wants to invite my mother, father and stepmother.

In past years there were no mailed invitations, only verbal ones, and those did not include friends. My family has been told that they're always welcome to come to the reunion but it is 4 hours away on a holiday weekend so they never have.

I am pretty sure MIL is trying to make this a shower in everything but name. Main question: does that fear seem reasonable? LordL thinks some of my suspicion isn't warranted. I think he is tired of having to stand up to his mother all the time and would rather let her have her way than fight it, even though he knows that's bad in the long run.

 I am worried that if my parents come and I show up and there are gifts and it's a shower I'm going to get stuck grinning and bearing it for their sake.

What should we say to MIL, and what should we say to my parents? MIL tries to manipulate pretty much everyone she has any relationship with, but I don't know how to break it to them that they are being involved in one of her schemes without it seeming like trash talking.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 12:35:57 PM by LadyL »

BarensMom

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 06:37:22 PM »
I would change my acceptance to the reunion to a decline.  Tell the bridal party and your parents what she's up to and tell them to decline as well.

She can't have a wedding shower without the bride.  If you're not there, MIL will be the one with egg on her face.

StarFaerie

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 06:40:07 PM »
I would change my acceptance to the reunion to a decline.  Tell the bridal party and your parents what she's up to and tell them to decline as well.

She can't have a wedding shower without the bride.  If you're not there, MIL will be the one with egg on her face.

This is so perfect, I can't even express it. And as she is changing the event after you accepted the invitation, changing your RSVP is not rude.

jedikaiti

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 06:44:10 PM »
Tell her your parents know about the reunion AS ALWAYS and will be there or not as they see fit, and since there's no good reason to invite friends to a FAMILY reunion, you will not be providing addresses. Act totally baffled as to why she would even consider inviting them, there's no reason to be interested. Also, you might want to brief the bridal party on the situation, that way if she gets hold of them anyway, they can a) be prepared to decline, and b) alert you so that you can take appropriate action.

Can you recruit ANYONE in the family to do some recon and find out if this is what she's up to? I agree with you, this REEKS of a shower-but-we're-calling-it-a-reunion (why would you need addresses to invite people for a TOAST?), and if you can confirm that through a 3rd party, DH might take it a bit more seriously.

And yes, I third BarensMom - send your regrets to the reunion NOW. "I'm afraid I have a prior commitment that I shall arrange as soon as possible."
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PastryGoddess

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 06:53:26 PM »
Tell her your parents know about the reunion AS ALWAYS and will be there or not as they see fit, and since there's no good reason to invite friends to a FAMILY reunion, you will not be providing addresses. Act totally baffled as to why she would even consider inviting them, there's no reason to be interested. Also, you might want to brief the bridal party on the situation, that way if she gets hold of them anyway, they can a) be prepared to decline, and b) alert you so that you can take appropriate action.

Can you recruit ANYONE in the family to do some recon and find out if this is what she's up to? I agree with you, this REEKS of a shower-but-we're-calling-it-a-reunion (why would you need addresses to invite people for a TOAST?), and if you can confirm that through a 3rd party, DH might take it a bit more seriously.

And yes, I third BarensMom - send your regrets to the reunion NOW. "I'm afraid I have a prior commitment that I shall arrange as soon as possible."

This sentence is made of win  ;D 

VorFemme

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »
Or the always plausible "something came up at work" or "something came up medically and we won't be able to come" (her behavior is making me feel queasy for some reason, so I think that it is perfectly plausible!).

Just don't let her get the idea that you're pregnant or she'll try to turn it into a combination engagement party, wedding shower, and baby shower!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 07:16:59 PM »
I agree with PPs. You keep asking her not to hijack the reunion and turn it into a shower. She keeps trying to find a way around you. Stop playing the game.

doodlemor

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 07:34:23 PM »
BG here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=124518.0


I am pretty sure MIL is trying to make this a shower in everything but name. Main question: does that fear seem reasonable? LordL thinks some of my suspicion isn't warranted. I think he is tired of having to stand up to his mother all the time and would rather let her have her way than fight it, even though he knows that's bad in the long run.

 I am worried that if my parents come and I show up and there are gifts and it's a shower I'm going to get stuck grinning and bearing it for their sake.

Your fear is quite reasonable, and a very logical conclusion. 

I remember your original thread, and thought at that time that MIL was still plotting, and would likely win if you and DF attend the reunion at all.

I know that you really want to attend the reunion.  If you go, however, be prepared to smile and thank everyone for the lovely gifts.  MIL is going to do exactly what she @#$%^ well pleases.

I don't think that it would be trash talking to alert your friends and relatives to her scheming.  You can do this in a matter of fact way, and tell them that you are not going to be at the reunion, anyway.

Actually, if your DF is willing, you could tell MIL and everyone that you are not going to the reunion.  Then you could get a hotel room nearby and show up for a half day or so and see everyone.  [Between meal times, so as not to impose on the food providers.]

The problem with your going to the reunion at all, though, in addition to the shower thing, is the issue of MIL inviting people to the wedding.  I think it would be very uncomfortable for you to be in a group of DF's relatives and have MIL chat about the wedding in front of people that you are not planning to invite.  From what you've written, it seems like she is planning to put pressure on you at the reunion to invite people that she wants to be there.


gramma dishes

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 07:38:38 PM »
I agree with everyone else, but I think we're forgetting that LordL is part of this too.  It's HIS mother!

How would HE feel about canceling?  I'm thinking he wouldn't be in favor of it because even though he doesn't want a shower, he also doesn't want to make his mother mad.  Maybe I'm wrong.

And I agree with Doodlemor, whose post came in as I was typing this.   :D

blarg314

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 08:25:51 PM »

Who is hosting the reunion? 

If it's your MIL, I think it's probably worth it to decline outright, at least for yourself. I agree with others, she *will* host a bridal shower at the reunion. You can warn your bridal party and still have her invite her own friends without you knowing about it.

If someone else is hosting and you trust them, decline outright, and undecline immediately before.

Whatever you do, I think it's worth warning your bridal party and family that this will not be a shower, and not to accept. Doubly so if you're not going to be there.
 

TootsNYC

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 08:56:02 PM »
Tell her your parents know about the reunion AS ALWAYS and will be there or not as they see fit, and since there's no good reason to invite friends to a FAMILY reunion, you will not be providing addresses. Act totally baffled as to why she would even consider inviting them, there's no reason to be interested. Also, you might want to brief the bridal party on the situation, that way if she gets hold of them anyway, they can a) be prepared to decline, and b) alert you so that you can take appropriate action.

Can you recruit ANYONE in the family to do some recon and find out if this is what she's up to? I agree with you, this REEKS of a shower-but-we're-calling-it-a-reunion (why would you need addresses to invite people for a TOAST?), and if you can confirm that through a 3rd party, DH might take it a bit more seriously.


I have done something roughly similar to my MIL, in terms of refusing to give her addresses so she can invite someone who really shouldn't be invited to the family event. I was just mild and said, "No, I'm pretty sure they're not interested, and I don't want you to invite them."

Judah

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 09:54:24 PM »
I would change my acceptance to the reunion to a decline.  Tell the bridal party and your parents what she's up to and tell them to decline as well.

She can't have a wedding shower without the bride.  If you're not there, MIL will be the one with egg on her face.

This is what I would do. I think your suspicion is warranted and spot on, so just don't play.
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gramma dishes

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 09:59:25 PM »
Unless your bridal party consists entirely of relatives, why would they ever be invited to a "family" reunion? 

You're obviously going to have to come to a meeting of the minds with your soon to be DH about whether the two of you are going to show up at this shindig, but I would certainly worn your own family and your friends not to accept the invitation.

*inviteseller

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 10:10:15 PM »
I am PODing  Toots and just tell her that it is not worth it to invite these people as they would not be able to make it.  And it may make LordL unhappy to have to stand up to his mom, but unless you two do it and establish boundaries now, she will hijack the wedding and everything else that comes up in your lives.  Who is hosting the reunion?  Can you call them and say that you heard that there is talk of having your bridal shower and that you do not want that during the reunion?

kudeebee

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Re: How to stop the escalation?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2013, 11:31:01 PM »
I am PODing  Toots and just tell her that it is not worth it to invite these people as they would not be able to make it.  And it may make LordL unhappy to have to stand up to his mom, but unless you two do it and establish boundaries now, she will hijack the wedding and everything else that comes up in your lives.  Who is hosting the reunion?  Can you call them and say that you heard that there is talk of having your bridal shower and that you do not want that during the reunion?

Totally agree.  Concensus on your other post was that she wouldn't let this go and that looks like what she has done, otherwise why would she invite bridal party members to the FAMILY reunion?  You two need to put a stop to this right now or this will be the way your life will play out.  You will say no, she will agree and then will go ahead and do what she wants as she knows your dh won't say anything so he won't make her upset.

You and future dh need to sit down and talk this out again.  i agree with others that you need to not go to the reunion this year.  FDH calls his mom and tells her you are cancelling.  If she asks why, he should be honest with her--that you two suspect that she is planning a shower even though you told her you don't want one and she agreed.  If she protests, bring up why she would invite bridal party.  Tell her that you don't want to hurt the others who are there by walking out on the shower, so it is best that you stay home.  Then do so.

You will see the people you want to see at the wedding and at the next reunion.