Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 27838 times)

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perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #180 on: December 16, 2013, 10:26:34 AM »
Late to the party: Larry was rude to bring an uninvited guest and the etiquettely-correct move would be to decline and spend the holiday with his girlfriend, but on the other hand I can see where this kind of situation gets sticky, because if he declines, he's probably going to get it in the head for 'not showing up to Auntie's last Thanksgiving'. There aren't any easy winners in this situation, really.

Or accept, and spend Thanksgiving away from his girlfriend for a few hours. If this is their first year together, I suspect she has her own traditions with her own family, that she could keep.

But if they are a social unit, he shouldn't have to. That's the whole point of social units.

Teenyweeny

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #181 on: December 16, 2013, 10:27:49 AM »
It also irks me that an issue is being made of the fact that Larry has now been married three times. Why is this even relevant? If Larry's old enough to have an 89-year old aunt,  then he could easily be old enough to have had three 10-15 year marriages.

It's hardly serial philandering.



mime

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #182 on: December 16, 2013, 10:28:19 AM »
There's a way I can understand Larry's (possible) point of view: His third marriage ended, and he's with a new girlfriend. After three marriages, I wonder if Larry is the type of person who jumps into relationships with both feet and little thought. In his mind, NewGF could be significant even if they have only been together for a week. They could be discussing moving in together or getting married (although she is not presented as a fiancee at this time). Whether relationships are temporary and disposable to him or whether he falsely believes each time he has found a forever-wife isn't clear.

By (presumably) the Aunt's wording in her scaled-back invitation, in the past Thanksgiving has included girlfriends, boyfriends, family friends, and lonely neighbors. Larry may be envisioning a hierarchy of sorts. Why shouldn't his significant other be "higher than" a group of maybe: teenagers' boyfriends, neighbors who had no other plans, a family friend who is in town, etc? It also may not sound fair to him that he must come alone while his siblings get to bring a spouse and three kids. It may not sound fair to him that he can't have Thanksgiving the way he wants all because Aunt is getting old.

I can appreciate -- or at least have compassion for -- that point of view.

Audrey Quest helped me see that Thanksgiving could be viewed as either "our event at Aunt's house" or as "Aunt's event". Aunt seemed to have been very welcoming in the past, so everyone must have felt bit of ownership in the gathering. Aunt, as host, changed the rules this year, and that can be off-putting. Any of the guests could be thinking "That's not fair! That's not what WE have done for the last three decades!" I don't believe they would be wrong to have that reaction. *But* the Aunt has every right to limit access to her home to a guest list of her choosing, even if it is different from her choices in other years. The lines she drew were arguably within the norms of etiquette. The fact that is was a change from the past is hard to swallow, and it may be the trigger to lose some family guests, but it was not rude.

The invitees have the choice to say "thank you, no" and make other plans. For whatever reasons, they didn't. Maybe they adore her so much that she can do whatever she wants. Maybe they're happy to have a family-only gathering for once. Maybe they feel bad for her as she's facing such a major life change. Maybe they think "we'll just put up with crazy old Auntie for one more year, then we're free!" It is even possible that she is the family bully and Larry's dad only spoke up on her behalf to make Larry keep the peace by not upsetting her.

In any of those cases, I have the same conclusions over and over:
Aunt is not rude to limit the guest list in her home.
Larry is OK to be upset by the change.
Larry only gets to accept or reject the invitation.
Larry was rude to bring his girlfriend.

Twik

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #183 on: December 16, 2013, 10:29:59 AM »

What we do know is that
1. Larry is recently divorced.
2. Larry was told by cousin and father to not bring the girlfriend so they do not look upon the GF as a social unit with Larry.


Why do Larry's cousin and father get to decide whether Larry and his girlfriend are a social unit or not? Shouldn't that be Larry's decision?

Larry gets to decide he and his girlfriend are a social unit but Aunt gets to decide if they are a social unit she'd like to invite for Thanksgiving. Apparently she decided they weren't, and Larry's cousin and father tried to stress that point to him.

Then she invites either both of them or none at all. Inviting one half of a social unit and excluding the other is rude.

If Larry and his g/f are a social unit and see themselves as such - and I don't believe anyone gets to decide that other than the couple themselves - then Auntie goofed by not inviting them both.

Actually, society gets to make that decision. That's why it's called a "social unit". Because it's the call of society.

You do not get to declare that "Hey, X and I are sleeping together! Therefore, we must be invited everywhere!" You may *want* to go everywhere together, because you're just soooo in love, but the social unit rules still are, you are only *required* to invite couples if they are married, engaged or (late addition) living together. Just being in love, or lust, or loneliness, does not make you a social unit.
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perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #184 on: December 16, 2013, 10:31:23 AM »
In any of those cases, I have the same conclusions over and over:
Aunt is not rude to limit the guest list in her home.
Larry is OK to be upset by the change.
Larry only gets to accept or reject the invitation.
Larry was rude to bring his girlfriend.

You raise some really good points in your post but if Larry and his GF are a social unit then Auntie *is* rude for not inviting both of them, whether it's 'in her own home' or not, and even ruder to tell Larry that she is specifically not welcome.

But again, we don't know. I'd love to get some more details from the OP if she has the opportunity to find out any more  :)

bloo

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #185 on: December 16, 2013, 10:32:55 AM »

What we do know is that
1. Larry is recently divorced.
2. Larry was told by cousin and father to not bring the girlfriend so they do not look upon the GF as a social unit with Larry.


Why do Larry's cousin and father get to decide whether Larry and his girlfriend are a social unit or not? Shouldn't that be Larry's decision?

Larry gets to decide he and his girlfriend are a social unit but Aunt gets to decide if they are a social unit she'd like to invite for Thanksgiving. Apparently she decided they weren't, and Larry's cousin and father tried to stress that point to him.

Then she invites either both of them or none at all. Inviting one half of a social unit and excluding the other is rude.

If Larry and his g/f are a social unit and see themselves as such - and I don't believe anyone gets to decide that other than the couple themselves - then Auntie goofed by not inviting them both. And actually, it's worse than that, because not only did she not invite them, the family specifically pointed out that she wasn't welcome.

I guess I just disagree in all cases that might apply. If I was to host a gathering with a set guest list, and one of my guests had started dating someone 'recently' before the invite, if I was not inclined to host a stranger then I don't think the default assumption is that this person would have to be invited.

I just had a huge party and a friend I'd invited had started dating Holly. I met Holly a few months previous, so when I made my invite to my friend for the party, I told him to bring Holly if he liked. I did this for two reasons: I met Holly and liked her and it was a huge party so I was inclined to be more inclusive.

But a small dinner party with meaning and meaningful associates? I would feel it's within my rights to be a little more exclusive and just invite my friend with no mention of Holly, especially if I hadn't met her and I was aware that they were recently dating.

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #186 on: December 16, 2013, 10:34:27 AM »

What we do know is that
1. Larry is recently divorced.
2. Larry was told by cousin and father to not bring the girlfriend so they do not look upon the GF as a social unit with Larry.


Why do Larry's cousin and father get to decide whether Larry and his girlfriend are a social unit or not? Shouldn't that be Larry's decision?

Larry gets to decide he and his girlfriend are a social unit but Aunt gets to decide if they are a social unit she'd like to invite for Thanksgiving. Apparently she decided they weren't, and Larry's cousin and father tried to stress that point to him.

Then she invites either both of them or none at all. Inviting one half of a social unit and excluding the other is rude.

If Larry and his g/f are a social unit and see themselves as such - and I don't believe anyone gets to decide that other than the couple themselves - then Auntie goofed by not inviting them both.

Actually, society gets to make that decision. That's why it's called a "social unit". Because it's the call of society.

You do not get to declare that "Hey, X and I are sleeping together! Therefore, we must be invited everywhere!" You may *want* to go everywhere together, because you're just soooo in love, but the social unit rules still are, you are only *required* to invite couples if they are married, engaged or (late addition) living together. Just being in love, or lust, or loneliness, does not make you a social unit.

Then frankly I think it's time that society woke up to the changing times we live in. There are many established couples who could reasonably be considered a social unit and not fulfil any of those criteria.

What about - picking an example out of thin air - a long-term couple who aren't yet married or engaged, where one of them is serving in the military and is home on leave for the holidays and staying with the other? Is that person expected to stay home alone just because 'society' doesn't deem them 'together' enough to be invited to places as a couple?

ETA: Perhaps that's a discussion for a spin-off thread; there's probably enough material in that for a good few pages :)

TurtleDove

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #187 on: December 16, 2013, 10:36:38 AM »
It also irks me that an issue is being made of the fact that Larry has now been married three times. Why is this even relevant? If Larry's old enough to have an 89-year old aunt,  then he could easily be old enough to have had three 10-15 year marriages.

It's hardly serial philandering.

POD.  I take offense to this as well.

bloo

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #188 on: December 16, 2013, 10:39:14 AM »
What about - picking an example out of thin air - a long-term couple who aren't yet married or engaged, where one of them is serving in the military and is home on leave for the holidays and staying with the other?

I would imagine that the society they associate with, would view them as a social unit. And then this wouldn't be an issue. Under those circumstances Aunt would (likely) view them as a social unit because they're long established (in other words not recent).

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #189 on: December 16, 2013, 10:41:25 AM »
What about - picking an example out of thin air - a long-term couple who aren't yet married or engaged, where one of them is serving in the military and is home on leave for the holidays and staying with the other?

I would imagine that the society they associate with, would view them as a social unit. And then this wouldn't be an issue. Under those circumstances Aunt would (likely) view them as a social unit because they're long established (in other words not recent).

Well yes, quite. But they don't fall under any of the official 'rules', so the lines are blurred.

I don't think anyone else should get to decide how serious a relationship is other than the couple involved in it, is all. I find it very judge-y.

Twik

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #190 on: December 16, 2013, 10:43:29 AM »
Yes. They do not have to be invited as a couple. Of course, their friends probably *will* invite them together, because they are their friends. But, in cases such as the OP, where there is a reason to keep the guest list small, they do not *have* to be invited together.

If the couple doesn't want to be parted, the invitation can be declined. But they can't go around saying that the invitation to one member of the couple only was rude, or in any way against etiquette. No matter how much service was given to their country, or how desperately in love they are. It is the hosts' choice to invite them.

BTW, your hypothetical couple in your post could make themselves a social unit by announcing themselves "engaged". If they do not feel able to take that step, they should not judge society harsh in saying that they are not a social unit yet.
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."

bloo

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #191 on: December 16, 2013, 10:44:07 AM »
What about - picking an example out of thin air - a long-term couple who aren't yet married or engaged, where one of them is serving in the military and is home on leave for the holidays and staying with the other?

I would imagine that the society they associate with, would view them as a social unit. And then this wouldn't be an issue. Under those circumstances Aunt would (likely) view them as a social unit because they're long established (in other words not recent).

Well yes, quite. But they don't fall under any of the official 'rules', so the lines are blurred.

I don't think anyone else should get to decide how serious a relationship is other than the couple involved in it, is all. I find it very judge-y.

But I don't get to judge how serious someone else's relationship is from their standpoint, but for the purposes of who I invite to dinner, I get to make that determination for my house for those that don't make the seriousness of their relationship obvious (married/engaged/living together).

Btw, congrats on your 1000th post!  ;D

mime

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #192 on: December 16, 2013, 10:45:37 AM »
In any of those cases, I have the same conclusions over and over:
Aunt is not rude to limit the guest list in her home.
Larry is OK to be upset by the change.
Larry only gets to accept or reject the invitation.
Larry was rude to bring his girlfriend.

You raise some really good points in your post but if Larry and his GF are a social unit then Auntie *is* rude for not inviting both of them, whether it's 'in her own home' or not, and even ruder to tell Larry that she is specifically not welcome.

But again, we don't know. I'd love to get some more details from the OP if she has the opportunity to find out any more  :)

I would declare Auntie rude if I also considered them to be a social unit.

I suppose where we fall on different sides is in our definitions of social unit, then? Since there was no outward sign of commitment (engagement announced, cohabitating, marriage) I assumed the social-unit-status is "not yet" at best. I'm guessing you and I have experienced different norms that lead us to different conclusions about their status. That definitely makes it easier for me to understand Larry being upset.

Oh I just had a fun thought-- what if Larry was planning to announce their engagment to the family on Thanksgiving?  ;D

I do agree that I'd love to know more of the details.


perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #193 on: December 16, 2013, 10:46:47 AM »
Yes. They do not have to be invited as a couple. Of course, their friends probably *will* invite them together, because they are their friends. But, in cases such as the OP, where there is a reason to keep the guest list small, they do not *have* to be invited together.

Not technically by the book, perhaps. But it will create bad feeling if they are not.

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If the couple doesn't want to be parted, the invitation can be declined.

Yes, it can be. And then Larry gets it in the head for being 'the cousin who thought his girlfriend was more important than Auntie's last holiday before she goes into a home'. I wouldn't want to be in that position - would you?

Quote
But they can't go around saying that the invitation to one member of the couple only was rude, or in any way against etiquette. No matter how much service was given to their country, or how desperately in love they are. It is the hosts' choice to invite them.

Perhaps not, again, if they're going 'by the book'. But they would be quite within their rights to feel hurt at the exclusion.

Quote
BTW, your hypothetical couple in your post could make themselves a social unit by announcing themselves "engaged". If they do not feel able to take that step, they should not judge society harsh in saying that they are not a social unit yet.

I find that rather judgemental, honestly.

Hillia

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #194 on: December 16, 2013, 11:00:33 AM »
You know, if I were in that situation, and a family member *in this precise situation* asked me to come alone and not bring my new-to-her SO, I don't think it would be a big deal to me.  I think that for me, barring toxicity, the relative's desire for an intimate celebration would trump my desire to be accepted as a social unit or my need to be joined at the hip with my SO. 

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