Author Topic: They're not invited  (Read 3342 times)

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Belle

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They're not invited
« on: September 30, 2013, 02:23:58 PM »
My DH's sibling (let's call him Dave) has offered to host Thanksgiving this year. This is the first time Dave has lived somewhere large enough to host a holiday and he is very excited to be able to do so. Dave lives in our original hometown and has invited his immediate family members (us, siblings, parents) for the holiday. We will all be traveling to hometown, as Dave is the only one who still lives there - the rest of us live many, many hours away.

Dave was kind enough to extend an offer to my mother, who also lives in our original hometown. He has met her several times.

Unfortunately, when I first mentioned this possibility to my mother (before plans were definite), she made a comment that sounded as though she expected my younger sibling (let's call her Jane) was also invited. Jane is not. Because nothing was definite, I didn't say anything at the time. Once plans were definite, I sent mom an email inviting her to join us at Dave's for Thanksgiving. I explicitly said, "If Jane will be around, we can do a small meal with just the four of us instead, and DH and I will see DH's family at some other point in the week." I thought that would make it nice and clear. Apparently not.

Mom's response (summarized): "Last year I had dinner with Best Friend and Jane. Does Dave have enough room for all of us? I'll have to ask Jane if she's interested."

Well, Jane is not invited. Neither is BF. Dave has never met Jane nor BF. In fact, I have never even met BF (though my mother talks about this person all the time). In addition, Jane is asocial, at best. I have not had a conversation with Jane in years upon years. She rarely shows up for family events (even though she lives five minutes away while the rest of the siblings have to fly in), and when she does she often stops in, makes a plate of food, and takes it back to her place where she can eat it alone. She is in and out in less than five minutes, usually without a hello unless somebody happens to catch her in the kitchen. When she does talk, she is VERY antagonistic - she has admitted that she likes to rile other people up because she finds it fun. In other words, this is not somebody who would do well socializing with people she has never met.

There are other reasons that I won't get into that would make it a very bad idea for mom's BF to attend this meal, too.

Mom and I have a rocky relationship. I would like to find a way to tell her that they are not invited, nor will I ask Dave to invite them, but minus the snarkiness that I'm feeling right now. And, honestly, even though I originally asked if she would prefer to have Thanksgiving with just the four of us, I would much rather have dinner at Dave's than with mom, Jane, and BF.

I'm thinking of just saying, "Jane and BF haven't been invited. Would you prefer to do Thanksgiving with the two of them, and DH and I can join you for dessert? Or would you rather eat with us and leave them to their own devices?"

If it makes any difference, we see DH's family far less often that we do my mom, due to the distance. (Though we live apart from both of them, DH's family is much further away.)

MommyPenguin

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 02:28:03 PM »
I would say that "Dave is just planning to have us, siblings, and parents.  You're welcome to come, but it would have to be just you.  If you'd rather stay home to eat with your BF and Jane, that's totally fine, just let us or Dave know so he can plan for a headcount."

wolfie

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 02:29:41 PM »
She gave you an out. She asked if Dave will have enough room. SO just answer that Dave won't be able to host Jane and BF too and if Mom would prefer to eat with them you can stop by for dessert after (if you want) or that you can stop in the day before or after (if you want).

Belle

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 02:33:22 PM »
Thank you. Sometimes I overanalyze what I say because the littlest things can set her off. (Luckily, I've learned how to handle it much better in the last 5 years!)

cwm

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 02:33:27 PM »
I would say that "Dave is just planning to have us, siblings, and parents.  You're welcome to come, but it would have to be just you.  If you'd rather stay home to eat with your BF and Jane, that's totally fine, just let us or Dave know so he can plan for a headcount."

I like this wording. Mom did ask if he had room, and this is a way of letting her know that there's no room and making sure she knows she needs to answer within a timely manner and make up her mind one way or another.

WillyNilly

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 02:39:53 PM »
I would say that "Dave is just planning to have us, siblings, and parents.  You're welcome to come, but it would have to be just you.  If you'd rather stay home to eat with your BF and Jane, that's totally fine, just let us or Dave know so he can plan for a headcount."

I like this wording. Mom did ask if he had room, and this is a way of letting her know that there's no room and making sure she knows she needs to answer within a timely manner and make up her mind one way or another.

I like this wording too. If she pushes you can remind her "I'm sorry mom but I am not the host. This is the first time Dave is hosting and he has limited space, I cannot [or will not, which ever you prefer] ask him to invite 2 additional people."

Belle

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 02:41:08 PM »
Thanks, all. I just sent this: "Dave is just planning on having us (including you) and his family. You're welcome to come, but if you would rather stay home and have Thanksgiving with Jane and BF, that's fine, too.

Let me know either way."

And, because I was cutting and pasting from here, I used the fake name I gave my BIL instead of his real name when I sent the email! Oops!  I sent a clarification within 30 seconds so she didn't see it and think, "Who the heck is Dave???"  :o

MommyPenguin

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 02:45:28 PM »
LOL

flickan

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 07:57:42 PM »
Jane sounds a lot like me around age 20.  In which case I'd say definitely don't invite her because she'll end up being a curmudgeon and making people uncomfortable.

I think your response is perfect.  Kudos for handling it well.

Zilla

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 08:17:46 AM »
Other than the fact your Mom gave you an out already; I do think you could have stopped it from the beginning.  You already know how your sister is and clearly didn't want her going to Dave's.  And although plans were not definite in the beginning, you could have said "Jane isn't part of the invitation.  Dave has never met her.  Anyhow will let you know later when things are definite."


That way she knows from the beginning that Jane isn't part of the invite.

Belle

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 12:16:58 PM »
Other than the fact your Mom gave you an out already; I do think you could have stopped it from the beginning.  You already know how your sister is and clearly didn't want her going to Dave's.  And although plans were not definite in the beginning, you could have said "Jane isn't part of the invitation.  Dave has never met her.  Anyhow will let you know later when things are definite."


That way she knows from the beginning that Jane isn't part of the invite.

True, except at that time I didn't know for sure whether Jane would be invited, nor was I entirely certain that mom expected her to be. (Mom's comments were rather vague.) DH's family is very much a "the more, the merrier" type of family, so it wouldn't have been entirely unusual for Dave to suggest both my mom and Jane attend, despite the fact that he had never met Jane. That's why I waited until I had all the details.

Mom replied to the email, but didn't really answer any questions - she at least clarified that she doesn't expect BF to be invited (despite the original email), but I still don't know whether she wants to attend Thanksgiving at Dave's or have Thanksgiving with Jane. At any rate, at least I've clarified who is and is not invited, and we have nearly two months to decide between dinner with Dave or dinner at my mom's.

Again, thanks for the help!

TootsNYC

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 05:31:46 PM »
Is it completely kosher to wait so long to accept an invitation, waiting to see if "something better" comes along?

I would say, accept Dave's invite--he's excited about hosting, etc., and you and DH  ARE his family. Then make plans to see your mom and sis some other time during the weekend or later (or earlier) on the day.

Belle

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Re: They're not invited
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 01:39:50 PM »
Is it completely kosher to wait so long to accept an invitation, waiting to see if "something better" comes along?

I would say, accept Dave's invite--he's excited about hosting, etc., and you and DH  ARE his family. Then make plans to see your mom and sis some other time during the weekend or later (or earlier) on the day.

You're right, and I really wouldn't wait until the last minute to make a decision. (I probaby should have phrased it better!) I really just meant that we do have some time before we have to give an answer, which allows DH and I to discuss what we want to do as well as give mom time to figure out what she wants to do.