Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 27039 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3166
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #120 on: December 11, 2013, 07:25:59 PM »
Adults form social units and others do not get to judge how significant someone else's significant other is.  I think the "rule" was rude to begin with and she should have known better.

Actually, yes they do. That's why etiquette has the social unit rule. Married, engaged and (since late 20th century) cohabiting. Otherwise, every single social invitation would have to have an "and guest" attached to it.

If Larry feels his love is more burning than a million suns, and he can't bear to be apart from his GF for a few hours, he can turn down the invitation.

The traditional rule here is that people can say "this is a significant relationship" by marrying/announcing an engagement (which just about everyone will accept); living together and making it clear that this is a romantic partnership, not non-romantic housemates (which many people will accept as creating a social unit, but not all; or by some version of "Marisol and I are serious about each other, and want to be treated as a couple even though we're not living together," which, again, some people will accept, but maybe fewer.

The only one of those where traditional etiquette demands that even the newest of partners be welcomed is marriage (even if you're convinced that the marriage can't last, because the couple married ten days after they met). Personally, I would wonder about the level of commitment of that marriage, and would privately take it less seriously than I do some long-term unmarried couples: but if you're playing by the old/formal rules even a little bit, it counts unless and until they split up. And those of us who are asking for acceptance of nonstandard relationships are usually also going to accept the standard ones: I may think it was silly of someone to get married after two weeks, but I also see that it's a pretty clear way of declaring themselves a serious couple.

OT but I just had to comment that my parents dated for 3 weeks before they marred, and have been happily hitched for over 50 years, so you just never know! I'm sure that a lot of people though they would never last, but they certainly proved them wrong!

Not that I think whirlwind marriages are a good idea...without question Mom & Dad are an anomaly!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2555
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #121 on: December 11, 2013, 07:37:25 PM »
I used Thanksgiving to introduce my husband, boyfriend at the time, to the family. I figured he needed to see what he was getting into, as I have a large extended family. Other aunts, cousins and (later) my own siblings used Thanksgiving dinner the same way. In my case, he popped the question about a week later so I guess the meeting went well...

...That being said, if my gramma had said "no non-family attendees" that year, I would not have used that gathering as a Meet the Family, even if precedent had been set through my aunts and uncles prior to me.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3743
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #122 on: December 11, 2013, 08:03:13 PM »
I think that if a particular family group traditionally celebrates together in certain ways every year, that that celebration belongs to the group and not just the whoever is willing to host it.  And things should be worked out to everyone's good, not just for the good of the hostess.

You plainly seem to this the situation in this thread is unfair to Larry, so lets address that.

In order to accomodate Larry's feelings, you believe that Grandma should have included Larry's GF in the party.
It is likely that if Larry's GF was invited, the other people who have GF/BF's would probably at least like an invitation extended to their partners too, whether they felt strongly about the partner attending or not. This becomes an equality thing.
This adds several people to the guest list, and now Grandma is unhappy.  So its not worked out to Grandma's good.

I understand that you don't feel that Grandma should trump Larry simply because she's hosting, but by that same token, why should Larry trump Grandma?  Pleasing everyone entirely is a nice idea which inherently unlikley.

Even if I agree that Grandma was rude, that in no way excuses Larry from turning up with his uninvited GF. That poor girl - I would be furious if that was me.  How embarassing.

I hope that Grandma welcomed the GF and gave her Larry's place and meal and let Lary have cereal as there wasn't enough dinner for everyone.

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6035
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #123 on: December 11, 2013, 08:42:07 PM »
snappylt  ~~  Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit this  :-[  but I really, really hope you find out soon how this scenario ended and come back to share with us.  I'd love to know how Aunt and the other family members handled this unfortunate turn of events.

OP here again.

I don't have an update, yet.  Based on our past pattern, my old friend and I will probably get together for lunch or something in another month or two.  I'll come back and post an update then.

OK, I am curious enough that I am tempted to call him and ask for the rest of the story on the telephone, but that would be really out-of-character for the way this particular friend and I interact with each other.
Could you call to wish him a merry Christmas? Please?

greencat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2385
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #124 on: December 12, 2013, 01:16:06 AM »
The guy I just started dating, although specifically invited to the Thanksgiving-with-friends celebration I attended (it was a more-the-merrier situation), didn't attend, because he felt like he would be "crashing" Thanksgiving dinner.  He is extremely polite. 

Aunt was so very not rude at all.  Having an intimate family-only Thanksgiving is something that goes along with that "Holiday Hill to Die On" thread.  That means only including spouses (and other long-term partners) of blood relatives.  A new boyfriend or girlfriend is not, by any measure I've ever seen, someone who should be considered a social unit by family.  Larry's dad, who arguably should have known if they were in a serious relationship, obviously didn't consider her family, since he tried to show Larry the light of the flames of EHell. 

I know a number of couples that I absolutely consider as social units, due to them living together (actual marriage is uncommon in my social circle) and one couple that I don't actually consider a social unit, even though they live together and have kids together, because they - by choice - have completely separate social lives.  During my very long serious relationship, both our families opted to treat us as a social unit as if we were married - his Grandmother, for example, permitted us to share the guest room at her place after the second year of our cohabiting, a treatment previously reserved for married couples.

Furthermore, I was always taught that the "social unit" invitation rule meant that if you were inviting anyone from that class of people, you needed to invite all the people from that class, so while it is okay to have a "just my children, not their spouses" gathering like one previous post, or a girl's night/boy's night, and not be in violation of etiquette, it is not okay to invite Susy's husband and Mike's wife and exclude Kelly's spouse just because you don't really like him/her.  It is not meant to mean that you must always invite both halves of the social unit to every event ever, just those where other people's equivalent partner types are invited.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9741
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #125 on: December 12, 2013, 10:07:25 AM »
gellchom, I understand your point about Aunt greeting them gracefully, but I disagree for one specific reason - if I were the gf and had attended in good faith, I would absolutely want to know what Larry had done, because it would be a dealbreaker to me. I wouldn't want to stay with a man that disrespectful. How could I trust him not to turn that lack of respect onto me?

Agreed. He's willing to be disrespectful of his elderly aunt, whom he has known all his life and who has made a reasonable request. What does that say about his behavior towards me?
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28339
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #126 on: December 13, 2013, 11:30:11 AM »
I think that if a particular family group traditionally celebrates together in certain ways every year, that that celebration belongs to the group and not just the whoever is willing to host it.  And things should be worked out to everyone's good, not just for the good of the hostess.

I must admit, I find this a very strange idea. Perhaps you have not had to deal with many elderly people, and do not know just how limited their strength and energy can be. Telling Aunt to "suck it up" will not make things work out "to everyone's good". It may well end up with a visit to the emergency ward on a holiday. This is not a good thing.

It would be wonderful if traditions remained constant. But things change. People get sick. People die. SIL who makes the best dressing ever gets divorced, and your brother shows up with a GF who can't boil water. Someone moves away, and forms their own family traditions. Elderly relatives start showing their mortality, and cannot do what they used to be able to do. Insisting that "It was this way last year, it must be the same way this year, and next year, and forever after!" is completely unrealistic.

The event absolutely belongs to the host, not the guests. If the host is not physically able to perform to the full value of the tradition, the guests must suck it up, or else persuade the host to turn over the duties. Is it kinder to tell an aunt who wants to host one last dinner that she can't, or to tell a new girlfriend that she will have to follow whatever her previous tradition was, for this year?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #127 on: December 13, 2013, 12:16:28 PM »
I think that if a particular family group traditionally celebrates together in certain ways every year, that that celebration belongs to the group and not just the whoever is willing to host it.  And things should be worked out to everyone's good, not just for the good of the hostess.

I must admit, I find this a very strange idea. Perhaps you have not had to deal with many elderly people, and do not know just how limited their strength and energy can be. Telling Aunt to "suck it up" will not make things work out "to everyone's good". It may well end up with a visit to the emergency ward on a holiday. This is not a good thing.

It would be wonderful if traditions remained constant. But things change. People get sick. People die. SIL who makes the best dressing ever gets divorced, and your brother shows up with a GF who can't boil water. Someone moves away, and forms their own family traditions. Elderly relatives start showing their mortality, and cannot do what they used to be able to do. Insisting that "It was this way last year, it must be the same way this year, and next year, and forever after!" is completely unrealistic.

The event absolutely belongs to the host, not the guests. If the host is not physically able to perform to the full value of the tradition, the guests must suck it up, or else persuade the host to turn over the duties. Is it kinder to tell an aunt who wants to host one last dinner that she can't, or to tell a new girlfriend that she will have to follow whatever her previous tradition was, for this year?

And frankly, if the family didn't like Aunt's idea for how she was hosting, they are perfectly capable of saying, "hey, Aunt if you're not up to doing the big traditional holiday, let's just do it at Suzy's house so everybody can come. We'll pick you up and drop you off." or

"Hey, guys, it's a shame to miss the whole big traditional family thing, but of course we can't expect Aunt to deal with all that.  Let's go to Aunt's thing and then do the big one tomorrow at our place."

But they didn't. So Aunt is not forcing anybody into anything.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7322
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #128 on: December 13, 2013, 03:06:36 PM »
I think that if a particular family group traditionally celebrates together in certain ways every year, that that celebration belongs to the group and not just the whoever is willing to host it.  And things should be worked out to everyone's good, not just for the good of the hostess.

I must admit, I find this a very strange idea. Perhaps you have not had to deal with many elderly people, and do not know just how limited their strength and energy can be. Telling Aunt to "suck it up" will not make things work out "to everyone's good". It may well end up with a visit to the emergency ward on a holiday. This is not a good thing.

It would be wonderful if traditions remained constant. But things change. People get sick. People die. SIL who makes the best dressing ever gets divorced, and your brother shows up with a GF who can't boil water. Someone moves away, and forms their own family traditions. Elderly relatives start showing their mortality, and cannot do what they used to be able to do. Insisting that "It was this way last year, it must be the same way this year, and next year, and forever after!" is completely unrealistic.

The event absolutely belongs to the host, not the guests. If the host is not physically able to perform to the full value of the tradition, the guests must suck it up, or else persuade the host to turn over the duties. Is it kinder to tell an aunt who wants to host one last dinner that she can't, or to tell a new girlfriend that she will have to follow whatever her previous tradition was, for this year?

I never even came close to suggesting that an elderly person, or anyone, should suck it up.  Nor have I suggested that a group's traditions should remain the same.

Many family groups quite regularly coordinate amongst themselves for annual holiday events without forcing anyone to do all the work, or to come alone.  They work together to plan it.  And hosting means having the gathering at your home not doing everything yourself and making all the rules for everyone else.

For me and folks like me, its not about things not changing, its about how they change-- people coordinating with each other, not one person issuing edicts.








SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2414
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #129 on: December 13, 2013, 03:13:23 PM »
For me, it depends upon who's issuing the "edicts" and the situation.  In the OP's case, my family would have no issue with going with the wishes of a beloved elderly family member and her last chance to host Thanksgiving.  If it were one of my aunts who's a total SS, I'm pretty sure the family would bow out or ignore her (she and my uncle never host, though, so there's no worries about any of this happening).

I couldn't imagine overriding the wishes of the beloved elderly family member in this case, and I don't think of her request as an edict.  Someone once pointed out in another thread about a year ago that we make allowances for and try to respect the wishes of our elderly (not always, but this would be one of those cases since several tried to talk Larry out of bringing his GF).



Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1744
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #130 on: December 13, 2013, 03:55:16 PM »
I have the impression that not only does Elderly Aunt like hosting for Thanksgiving, but there's a tradition of her hosting that goes back a few years. Perhaps she used to be able to host everyone, including non-family members, and she finds that she's just not up to it anymore. There's also the possibility she wants her last one to be special just with family, and that's why she's limiting the invites. It's an easy enough thing to do.

AQ, I don't understand why you're not thinking of the Aunt's needs ahead of "tradition" or a rather selfish person like Larry. She clearly WANTS to host for one last time. She has asked for her families help I making this happen and for the most part they have given it.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 04:06:21 PM by Katana_Geldar »

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30476
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #131 on: December 13, 2013, 03:57:55 PM »

Many family groups quite regularly coordinate amongst themselves for annual holiday events without forcing anyone to do all the work, or to come alone.  They work together to plan it.  And hosting means having the gathering at your home not doing everything yourself and making all the rules for everyone else.

For me and folks like me, its not about things not changing, its about how they change-- people coordinating with each other, not one person issuing edicts.

But they did coordinate! The aunt said, "I'd like to host, because it's probably the last time I'll be able to do so, since I'm getting old and my new place won't have room. But if I'm going to, I have to limit the guest list."

And they all said OK. Everybody but Larry.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21373
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #132 on: December 13, 2013, 04:01:16 PM »
In some ways I agree with Audrey in that the holiday belongs to the family as a whole.  It sounds like the family, as a whole,  accepted the holiday as Aunt outlined it.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6349
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #133 on: December 13, 2013, 04:01:37 PM »
I think that if a particular family group traditionally celebrates together in certain ways every year, that that celebration belongs to the group and not just the whoever is willing to host it.  And things should be worked out to everyone's good, not just for the good of the hostess.

I must admit, I find this a very strange idea. Perhaps you have not had to deal with many elderly people, and do not know just how limited their strength and energy can be. Telling Aunt to "suck it up" will not make things work out "to everyone's good". It may well end up with a visit to the emergency ward on a holiday. This is not a good thing.

It would be wonderful if traditions remained constant. But things change. People get sick. People die. SIL who makes the best dressing ever gets divorced, and your brother shows up with a GF who can't boil water. Someone moves away, and forms their own family traditions. Elderly relatives start showing their mortality, and cannot do what they used to be able to do. Insisting that "It was this way last year, it must be the same way this year, and next year, and forever after!" is completely unrealistic.

The event absolutely belongs to the host, not the guests. If the host is not physically able to perform to the full value of the tradition, the guests must suck it up, or else persuade the host to turn over the duties. Is it kinder to tell an aunt who wants to host one last dinner that she can't, or to tell a new girlfriend that she will have to follow whatever her previous tradition was, for this year?

I never even came close to suggesting that an elderly person, or anyone, should suck it up.  Nor have I suggested that a group's traditions should remain the same.

Many family groups quite regularly coordinate amongst themselves for annual holiday events without forcing anyone to do all the work, or to come alone.  They work together to plan it.  And hosting means having the gathering at your home not doing everything yourself and making all the rules for everyone else.

For me and folks like me, its not about things not changing, its about how they change-- people coordinating with each other, not one person issuing edicts.

I'm just not sure why you are convinced this was an edict issued by the Aunt. She said "I'll host but I'd like family only without additional guests added." There is nothing in the story to say that the other family members, other than Larry, had a problem with supporting her request. If there was lots of pushback it would seem that someone else from her generation or the next would have stepped up to offer to host.

Or do you feel because she was the hostess her making the request consitutes an edict that can't be questioned?

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #134 on: December 13, 2013, 04:06:21 PM »
I never even came close to suggesting that an elderly person, or anyone, should suck it up.  Nor have I suggested that a group's traditions should remain the same.

Many family groups quite regularly coordinate amongst themselves for annual holiday events without forcing anyone to do all the work, or to come alone.  They work together to plan it.  And hosting means having the gathering at your home not doing everything yourself and making all the rules for everyone else.

For me and folks like me, its not about things not changing, its about how they change-- people coordinating with each other, not one person issuing edicts.

I think I'm seeing the differences between your opinion and mine. It sounds like you've got traditions that are planned by the whole family together, so when something has to change, everyone discusses it and it changes. That's great, it works for a lot of people, but it's not how everyone works.

My experience with family events is that one person or couple does everything. My grandma and aunt would be the sole planners, cooks/food directors, and hostesses for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They'd get together everything they would be cooking, tell my uncle and dad what they would be responsible for cooking (usually the same thing, dad did meats and uncle did drinks by tradition), they'd do most of the setup. Everything was planned by these two people, there was no discussion. When tradition had to change, it changed at their discretion. There was no group planning in the first place, so there was no group discussion about changes.

The one person/couple planning is also what's prevalent in both sides of my mom's family. The people hosting the holiday do so on their own terms, they issue the invites and everyone knows what to expect. If something major changes, the invitations reflect that. When my great uncle had his first of years of strokes, my great aunt who had for decades hosted a major holiday party limited it to only immediate family. There was no discussion, because she was the sole host of the party. The traditions were "owned" by the family, but the event itself was "owned" by the hostess.

Recently (last three years) my uncle and grandma have tried to get a Thanksgiving picnic together, or at least a picnic atmosphere inside if the weather is bad. My mom is somewhat onboard, but my sister and I just don't understand why they keep calling/texting us about it. We've never had the experience of being involved in planning. It's foreign to us entirely. We're told when to show up, what to bring, and the parameters of the party (i.e. who we can bring, level of formality, etc.).