Author Topic: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post  (Read 9818 times)

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YummyMummy66

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2013, 06:06:44 PM »
Oh and I think her son needs to have a talk with his mom on why she pays for everyone else, but will not even think of paying for you and him and also, why she never expects you and her son to sit with the group?  Is there a message she is trying to send?  Because if so, we can take care of that right now.  You clearly see us differently than your other guests, so we really don't need to have a relationship if that is what you want.

I am sure someone could word it better than me, but if this was me, I would so be having a talk with my mom or my husband would.

Erich L-ster

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2013, 06:27:26 PM »
It also says something (bad) that she doesn't even "treat" OP some of the time.

weeblewobble

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #62 on: August 02, 2013, 08:45:26 PM »
I think what bothers me about this situation is:

1) There's a certain element of "neener neener" to the emails in which MIL goes on about how she's treating "her children" to this wonderful experience, but if you want to join them, it's going to cost you $XYZ.  Implying that husband is no longer her child and that you are not worthy of similar treatment. 

2) That MIL seems to be none too subtly trying to exclude you from her plans without the guilt of actually excluding you.  She can tell herself, "Well, I extended an (half-hearted, inconvenient, expensive) invitation to them (that would have kept them sitting separate from the rest of the family, and therefore, feeling excluded and apart from the 'real' family.) So I did my part."

OP, I think I would just summarily reject all "invitations" from MIL even if you want to attend whatever event she's attending.  It's not worth the price to your dignity.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 08:51:50 PM by weeblewobble »

GreenBird

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #63 on: August 02, 2013, 09:32:41 PM »
I'd focus on the fact that she's making it impossible for you to actually sit with everyone at these events, thereby excluding you.  Yes, it's a bad insult that she rubs your nose in the fact that she's paying for everyone except you, but you can't really focus too much on that without sounding potentially grabby.   

For the next event, I'd reply to her "but you have to buy your own tickets if you want to come" email by saying "Since we're now unable to get seats with everyone else, we won't be going.  I wish you'd included us sooner - we would have loved to come."  I'd also be sure to include the text of her email in your reply and 'accidentally' cc everyone in the family.  I would bet the rest of the family doesn't know she isn't really including you in these invitations, and I think it would be great if they could see her backhanded invitations in her own words.  Maybe knowing that her tactics will be seen by everyone will cause her to behave differently in the future. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:34:32 PM by GreenBird »

cubemissy

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #64 on: August 02, 2013, 10:17:07 PM »
It would be interesting to find out if the rest of the family knows you are being singled out in this way, both to pay your own way, and having to buy your tickets at a separate time, making you sit apart.

I'm willing to bet all they "know" is that Mom is treating everybody, and how wonderful of her?

So I vote for trying Green Bird's response, just once.

Venus193

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #65 on: August 02, 2013, 10:52:55 PM »
I second that.  It may be somewhat P/A, but that is merely paying the piper in her own currency.

Sophia

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2013, 11:02:49 PM »
I'm also puzzled why you think she's issuing real invitations after the first 2-3 times.

I would skip the asking of "how much" and go straight to "no." ...

I would go a little a little farther and skip the "how much" and the "no" to "we can't afford it". 

It gets the message across that a) you know that there will be a cost and b) you aren't interested in paying it. 
With just declining the message could be that you aren't interested or able to go. 

eta: When she complains about next seeing you say that the price is too high.

A lot of times, we could afford it! We have a budget for entertainment, and we spend a lot of that on tickets to shows. (We don't eat out a lot because of various allergies.) However, usually we get these invitations last minute, or the show is already sold out, or the only tickets left are single seats, or whatever. I wouldn't mind paying if we could at least get fair warning and all sit together!

This is great catharsis. I'm now over being angry and am thinking of ways to be pro-active. Would a conversation or email like this help, you think?

Quote
Hi Albina!

You've expressed sadness that we miss a lot of the events that you organise. It would be helpful to hear about these events before you book the tickets. Then we could decide whether or not we want to go, pay you for our seats, and we could all sit together. It takes the fun out of the event to be separated from your group.

Best wishes,
Lisen

But, really, can you?  Think of it as taking some money out of your entertainment budget and putting in a "Albino non-hosted events" budget.  How much do you want to put in that budget?  The ballet, for example, you really weren't interested in seeing the Nutcracker again.  And, really, I can't blame you.  It gets old unless your kid is performing.  But, if she was actually hosting, then heck, it's the ballet, right?  Sitting with the family is great.  So, you would love to see it, but you can't afford it. 


LeveeWoman

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #67 on: August 02, 2013, 11:37:37 PM »
Hi E-Hellions!

This is an issue that has puzzled me for some time. How ought one to respond to an invitation that at first promises one thing, but then seems to promise something else? Is there a polite yet clear way to tell the offending party why one has declined their invitation?

Examples:

1. I received an phone call from a relative (the relative is closely related). I'll call her Albina. In the phone call, she says that for Christmas, she wants to take her family to the ballet to see the Nutcracker, and of course that includes me and my spouse. Are we free on a certain date? I say, "I'll look at my calendar." It turns out that I am free! Then she says, "Well, I've already bought tickets for my other relatives. Your tickets would be 95$ each. You can buy them by calling the box office at this number. It'll be so nice that we all go to the ballet together!" Suddenly, I was very very busy! This felt like a bait-and-switch, as she made it sound like she would be paying for the tickets for everyone when she invited us, and then sprung a cost of nearly 200$ (plus tax). I have often paid that much to go to a ballet or a theatre performance that I wanted to see, but I was annoyed because I have seen the Nutcracker twice before and I would not have gone on my own, except that it was a "Christmas gift". Albina then expressed great regret that we wouldn't all be able to have a fun time together.

2. I received an email from Albina inviting me to see her son in a play. This email was sent to about 7 people. Again, she made it sound like it was a treat. "I would be so excited for you to come see Berend in the play. Please let me know by X date if you can come so I can get us tickets together!" My husband and I said that we would love to go see Berend. We get an email back with an invoice for our share of the tickets. I did find out, however, that she paid for everyone else's tickets because "they are students or retired people".

3. I got an email from Albina this week. In it, she says that her son Berend is moving oversees for a gap year of secondary school. Before he leaves, she's planning to spoil him a bit. She plans to take him to see the Cirque du Soleil. She wants us all to go out to dinner for him (surprise party), and then go on to the show. We ask who else is going. She gives us a similar list to last time, and then tells us that she's already paid for those people's tickets. If we want to join, however, we have to get our own tickets (100$/each) and we probably can't sit together because "there aren't any seats left in our section".

Is there some way of conveying to Albina that
1: it is rude to "bait and switch" with people by making it sound like it's a treated/ hosted event, when it is not
2: it is rude (and hurtful!) that she makes it clear that we are the only relatives that she is charging for the event
3: it is outrageous to complain that she "never gets to see her family" when we decline these pricey "invitations"

Thanks!

EDITED: Albina is my spouse's mother. Before we were married, she would always pay for HIS ticket, and when I showed up, she would bill me for mine. (I didn't know differently, as my spouse, knowing HIS ticket had been purchased, believed that mine had been too.)

I know that there is a difference between a hosted event and a "let's all go to the show" event. The difference is that she always makes these events SOUND hosted. eg. "I want to treat our family to a nice night out at the opera! I am so excited to go to La Traviata with you!"

She never reveals that we have to pay our own way until after we've told her that we have the date free or that we'd be interested in the event. This way, if we say "oh, sorry, that's too expensive, maybe next time", she complains at length about how we "never want to get together with her".

I think she's a venomous person who should be avoided as often as possible. Just reading about her made me want to scrub my skin with acid and a boar-bristle brush.

Marbles

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #68 on: August 03, 2013, 02:48:08 AM »
I think I might feel that this is a personal rejection.
-When you and your DH were dating, she made you pay for your own tickets. So, at that point she was organized enough to ask you in advance to see whether you were available before she made the ticket purchase.
-Now that you and he are married, she no longer pays for either of your tickets.
-She does pay for the tickets for the SOs of her other children. She manages to coordinate the plans well enough in advance that she can get committments from the SOs.
-She claims to be purchasing tickets for the family, but leaves the two of you out.

Is there some way of conveying to Albina that
1: it is rude to "bait and switch" with people by making it sound like it's a treated/ hosted event, when it is not
2: it is rude (and hurtful!) that she makes it clear that we are the only relatives that she is charging for the event
3: it is outrageous to complain that she "never gets to see her family" when we decline these pricey "invitations"

You can't tell her it's rude, but you can be direct in telling her that it is hurtful for her to imply that she is hosting you, when that's not really what she's doing. You can tell her that it is hurtful for her to tell you about what she is doing for the family, but to never include you and your DH in that definition of family.

I would be very direct about that last one. "If you really wanted us to join you, you would ask us before the tickets were purchased so that we could all sit together. Since you consistently ask us to join you at the last minute or after you have puchased tickets, I don't appreciate the guilt trip when you are clearly not prioritizing spending time with us."

Many of the PPs are advocating asking "how much", but I think it would be more effective to ask "have you already purchased your tickets," since that is the criterion that you are really looking at. If you were to decline after she told you the cost, then it appears that you aren't going because the cost it prohibitive. If you consistently decline when she tells you that she has already purchased the group tickets, it gives her a better clue that you won't go if she doesn't include you when buying seats (even if you do have to reimburse her).

aussie_chick

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #69 on: August 03, 2013, 06:39:01 AM »
I personally would not say "i'm sorry that won't be possible, we can't afford it" and simply stick with "i'm sorry, that won't be possible. enjoy your time at ballet/cirque/etc". I think the second you mention affordability, it could come across as "not unless you pay for it"

I guess I don't really see the bait and switch aspect of this one. I didn't take it that she was going to pay or even suggested to pay for any of the events.

The issue is though that she asks you guys after everyone else has been sorted and leaving you not to sit together. I would refuse any outings with her. Or perhaps get on the front foot and organise a family event yourselves! You could invite everyone, explaining clearly that you were thinking of doing x and it will cost y per ticket and to let you know by z date if they are interested." Send it in an email maybe so everyone receives the same thing at the same time and everyone receives the same message.

Sometimes modelling the right behaviour is the right option

cheyne

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #70 on: August 04, 2013, 12:16:41 AM »
All IMO.

Your MIL has the right to spend her money any way she chooses.  She can treat half the town to the ballet and tell you to pay for yourselves. 

However, she has no right to rub your nose in it.  She sounds like a truly toxic person that doesn't like you and is angry with her son for marrying you.  She can say to herself, "But I invited lisen and son.  They're the ones who don't want to spend time with family!" and convince herself she is taking the high road.  Her email about the Cirq de solei is crude, cruel and PA.  Since the rest of the "kids" got tickets for the show, what did you and DH get for Xmas?  Nothing I'll bet.

I wouldn't be worrying about the etiquette of "B&S" invites.  I would be administering a cut direct or at least an icy politeness and avoiding my MIL like the plague if this were happening to me.  Politely refuse all invitations from her and get together with other family members if you wish to see them.

Your MIL doesn't get to be the gatekeeper for your rel@tionships with other family members unless you allow her to be.

iridaceae

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #71 on: August 04, 2013, 12:47:44 AM »
If I were going to be truly malicious the next time she extends an "invite" I'd ask about where what when as normal. Then once I had the info I'd be telling her cheerfully that since we can't sit with the family we'll be going to see a movie at the same time instead. It'll be just like doing a show with them. Only cheaper.

Slartibartfast

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations
« Reply #72 on: August 04, 2013, 12:50:10 AM »
Quote


She does tell us. She often includes in her invitations (which are plenteous) that "I am taking [siblings, etc.] to the ballet/ a concert/ the opera/ etc. for [so and so's birthday]. We want you to join us! But we are not paying for your ticket, so it will cost X$."

A quotation from a recent email, about Cirque du Soleil:

I want to arrange a Christmas gift event for our kids this year, especially since [youngest son] is moving to [foreign country]. There is something special I've always wanted to get them and never did. This year I have decided to do it!! It's the last year the kids are all "home", so this is the year. Here's the secret: we are going to purchase tickets for them to the performance of the Cirque du Soleil!! (I am so excited!) So, [her husband] and I are getting that for them as their main Christmas gift this year, even though it will be so early!! The show will be on [upcoming date]. Do you like Cirque du Soleil? If you do, would you be interested in joining us???

From this email, I interpreted her message to mean "I am offering to make this your Christmas gift, too." I wrote back, asking her what were the plans, were we meeting for dinner earlier (I assumed that would be dutch!), etc.  She wrote back


[Lisen's spouse] knows there is something that I have to reserve for, BUT HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IT IS (though he may have a suspicion). Actually, we are going to the box office and buying the tickets tomorrow! And he knows that we are treating our kids. We cannot purchase your tickets. They are 90$. It is a big price, I know, but i did not want to go ahead and buy your tickets without offering you to join us.  I told [Lisen's spouse] we aren't paying for you to come wherever we are going, but that you would be welcome to come too. So, want to come?? ohhhh, does it sound tempting?? or terrible?? I thought since you had a dancing background, you might really love it. But maybe for some reason you have no desire to go. You'll have to let me know either way. If you are interested, I need to know TONIGHT! So sorry for the last minute planning!!

I feel frustrated, as it feels like a snub, and also like a bait-and-switch, where she made it sound like it was a Christmas present, but it was actually more of a sales pitch. I mean, who says "This is a Christmas gift and it's a surprise and we're paying for our other kids, but you two have to pay if you want to come. And furthermore, one of you I'm not telling what the event is, so you have to decide to pay 'blindly'"?
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Actually she made it pretty clear bolded above that this was a gift to her other kids. I did NOT get at all that it sounds like she is offering to pay for yours as well.  Plus she even gives the reason why


Is there a possibility that you are giving off a vibe of "pay for us too!" and she is put off by that.  That's what I even got from your posts up to this point.  A kind of bitter vibe and that you are only willing to go ONLY if she pays and declines when she doesn't.


If that were the case, she would have included the word "other" in the bolded section above.  I think it's pretty telling that she feels she's treating "the kids" but doesn't include your DH (her son) or you (her daughter-in-law) as members in that group.

TootsNYC

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #73 on: August 04, 2013, 01:34:16 AM »
Yeah, the use of "them" made it pretty clear, "you aren't one of our kids."

And the "interested in joining us" does sound like "accompanying them on your own steam."

But still, pretty hurtful. The OP's DH *is* one of her kids!

iridaceae

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Re: "Bait and Switch" Invitations MORE INFO ADDED first post
« Reply #74 on: August 04, 2013, 01:42:09 AM »
Yeah, the use of "them" made it pretty clear, "you aren't one of our kids."

And the "interested in joining us" does sound like "accompanying them on your own steam."

But still, pretty hurtful. The OP's DH *is* one of her kids!

Actually join us in context with her other comments cements that the OP and her spouse aren't family.