Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 30237 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #255 on: January 09, 2014, 10:38:58 AM »
Do you think it's possible that the aunt didn't realize how loud she was being?  I'm wondering if her hearing isn't quite what it was, and maybe she thought she was being discreet.  My grandfather is 91, and when he thinks he's whispering, he really isn't.  That's led to some interesting looks from passers by. 

It's just speculation, though.  Larry was wrong, that's the only thing I'm 100% sure of.  I feel sorry for the girlfriend.  She might have stayed because she didn't know what else to do.  I know that when I'm extremely embarrassed in a social situation, I freeze, lock up, and do absolutely nothing.  :-\

TurtleDove

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #256 on: January 09, 2014, 10:43:16 AM »
I find it a little hilariously ironic that the "frail elderly lady just trying to enjoy her last Thanksgiving" loudly and publicly berated Larry.  I think her etiquette violations are the worst of the bunch, and the cousin who pointedly ignored Larry is not much better.  Again, as several of us continue to ask, I do think it makes a huge difference whether Larry was the only one who was asked not to bring his SO. 

I get the strong sense, especially because the cousin seemed to think he was really proving a point by being rude to Larry, that the family has harshly judged Larry for his morals.  Well, so be it, but then be honest about it.  Personally, I would not want to be around family like that.  And personally, since I have been in a similar situation to Larry for different reasons, I am very glad that when I called my family out on their judgment they responded in love.  What does Larry's family want him to do?  Be unhappy for the rest of his life so they can approve of his non-divorced status?  Whatever.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #257 on: January 09, 2014, 10:48:02 AM »
Hmmmmm wrote:

"I'm honestly trying to understand those who feel some sympathy for Larry."

The unspoken portions of snappylt's post are enough to (pardon the pun) make some people say "Hmmmmm."  The reason why there's room to feel sympathy for Larry is because, although it's pretty plain that he was rude, the family dynamic shows signs that Larry's being subjected to troublesome treatment and while that doesn't excuse his actions, it may explain them.  They excluded his GF to begin with, and although it's been asked several times, snappylt hasn't told us whether the "family only" restriction ended up excluding anyone else.  His elderly aunt chewed him out like a child, at the party, in such a way as to humiliate Larry's GF who may very well have been an innocent bystander to the whole thing (and since there's nothing in snappylt's posts to indicate that she willingly participated in upsetting the party it's rude to presume it of her).  For her own part, snappylt responded to the whole situation by ignoring them both, which is again very rude to Larry's GF without proof that she was willfully rude.  So all in all, it seems that a lot of etiquette balls got dropped, so there's room to read the situation such that Larry's family doesn't get any more pass than Larry himself.


Twik wrote:

"The fact that he arrived with an uninvited guest tells *me* that Larry doesn't particularly worry about "getting it in the head" or disturbing the family.."

It could also be seen as someone who's tired of being kicked around by the family and simply chose a spectacularly bad way to address it.

Virg

This is where I'm at with my sympathy for Larry.

The more I think about it, the more I also think that stipulating something as restrictive as 'No partners' for an event like Thanksgiving is rude in and of itself. If not technically rude by the etiquette book, then inadvisable and likely to create problems for people, which isn't a nice thing to do. If Aunt couldn't host everyone who would ordinarily be welcomed to such an event then she should have passed hosting duties to someone who could. I think she was selfish.

I agree with all of this. Look, no one, absolutely no one, has argued that Larry was anything other than rude to bring an uninvited guest. However, I also don't buy the, "oh poor frail old lady who only wanted her family with her at her last Thanksgiving and everyone was so horrible to her" side either. While she has a right to invite whomever she wishes, I think she erred here. It is very insulting to be pointedly told that your SO isn't welcome, especially at a holiday dinner.

And since we're citing the idea that retaliatory rudeness is not OK (and I agree), I think the aunt was rude to Larry and the rest of the guests by publicly berating him, and incredibly rude to the GF by complaining about her while she could hear. Then, everyone just goes about the dinner but some completely ignore the two of them? What a childish reaction. If their presence was so disturbing they should have been asked to leave (though if I were the GF I would have already run out in tears), not allowed to stay but then be treated like second class citizens.

(And I still must know if that rule actually affected anyone but Larry! Please ask if you can, OP?)

I guess that's what I thought the berating was. Aunt: I told you she wasn't invited and you need to leave. Larry: No, we are staying.

And if he was so insulted "DON'T GO!"

gramma dishes

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #258 on: January 09, 2014, 10:52:12 AM »
In this particular case I feel the exact opposite of Turtledove. 

The Aunt knew this was absolutely, positively going to be the last family meal she would ever be serving.  I think she had the right to set up the parameters in any way she liked.  It doesn't sound like there had EVER before this year been restrictions as it sounds like anyone had been free to invite whomever they chose to bring without regard as to whether they were family or not.  So this event was a one time thing and I think she had the right to decide how many people and which people would be included.

There is no indication that Larry was the only person subjected to this restriction.  It's just that Larry was apparently the only one who decided to blatantly ignore it and do what he wanted, regardless of the circumstances.  Nobody mattered but him.

As far as the girlfriend is concerned, I can see why she might have been frozen and stayed for the dinner simply for lack of knowing anything else to do.  If he drove and didn't want to leave, how would she leave? ...  and so on.  But the fact that he put her in this incredibly awkward position (apparently without her knowledge beforehand) and then went on to move in with him after she knew what had happened there doesn't speak particularly glowingly of her either.

TootsNYC

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #259 on: January 09, 2014, 10:56:06 AM »
Here's the thing - I can't tell you how many times I've read on here that someone else's rudeness does not justify you being rude in return.

It doesn't matter if the elderly aunt was rude to not invite the girlfriend. It really doesn't. What matters is that she was specifically not invited and Larry brought her anyway. There is not any situation where it is appropriate to bring an uninvited guest, and especially after it was confirmed by several people that she was in fact not invited. It wasn't a misunderstanding - he knew she was not invited and brought her anyway. That is rude by anyone's definition of etiquette.

Was he in a difficult place? Of course. But he had two etiquette-approved choices (come without the girlfriend for a few hours or decline the invitation) and he chose neither.

I agree with bolded, but not in quite the same say.

I think the first rudeness was Larry's.

If he thought his girlfriend was so important (it apparently wasn't the opinion of his own father or the OP's friend, who knew the specifics of Larry's life), he should have gone politely to his aunt and explained the situation.

And then he should have lived with the answer.

The *second* rudeness was the aunt's.

Lowspark put it well:
I'm still on the side of the Aunt as far as getting to decide who she wants to invite. It's Larry's perogative to either come alone or skip the event, but bringing the uninvited gf was rude. No question.

However, with the update, I think the Aunt went haywire berating Larry within earshot of the rest of the company. That is rude. She had two choices (as we've discussed at length in some other recent threads): Graciously accept the gf as a guest and treat her as such or (difficult but it can be done) turn them both away at the door.

I don't see yelling at Larry as an option, whether it was in private or not. She could have taken him aside quietly and said, sorry GF wasn't invited and you'll both have to leave but that's not what she did.

I agree. Well, I think in private she could yell at Larry; he's not a stranger to her, and so I think you can yell at people you have an actual relationship with. You might tick them off, but that's all a relationship issue.

Quote
So here's the score as I see it:
Aunt: -1 for yelling at Larry, -1 for doing it so everyone could hear = -2
Larry: -2 for bringing uninvited GF, (-1 because it was rude to the Aunt and -1 because it was rude to the GF)
GF: -1 for staying for dinner knowing she wasn't invited, but I give her a pass because I can imagine not really knowing what to do in such a situation.


I'd modify the score:
Aunt: -1 for yelling at Larry where everyone could hear
Larry: -2 for bringing the girlfriend, just because it's such a BIGGER rudeness and was done with such forethought (after warnings from two people); -1 for being rude to girlfriend.
GF: 0; I don't think she should have left after the whole "she wasn't invited" thing unless Larry initiated it.


Erich L-ster

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #260 on: January 09, 2014, 10:57:14 AM »

This sounds to me like a three-line-whip affair: "You will be there under the conditions we impose and you will like it", rather than any desire to make Aunt's last Thanksgiving a memorable one. Aunt treated Larry like a child where everyone could hear her, so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that scenario.



So how about not going? If you don't like the invitation's terms, don't accept. If I were the girlfriend I wouldn't sit down and eat a meal knowing I was absolutely not wanted there.

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #261 on: January 09, 2014, 11:03:25 AM »
In this particular case I feel the exact opposite of Turtledove. 

The Aunt knew this was absolutely, positively going to be the last family meal she would ever be serving.  I think she had the right to set up the parameters in any way she liked. 

For a normal family dinner? I'd agree. But to put someone in the position of having to choose between his partner and his family of origin on an important holiday, knowing that if he goes he'll be spending the holiday away from his partner *and* somewhere that it's been specifically stated that she isn't welcome to boot? Very selfish.


If he thought his girlfriend was so important (it apparently wasn't the opinion of his own father or the OP's friend, who knew the specifics of Larry's life), he should have gone politely to his aunt and explained the situation.


I don't think it's the place of either Larry's father or cousin to decide whether or not Larry's girlfriend is important to him.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 11:06:06 AM by perpetua »

Teenyweeny

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #262 on: January 09, 2014, 11:05:43 AM »

This sounds to me like a three-line-whip affair: "You will be there under the conditions we impose and you will like it", rather than any desire to make Aunt's last Thanksgiving a memorable one. Aunt treated Larry like a child where everyone could hear her, so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that scenario.



So how about not going? If you don't like the invitation's terms, don't accept. If I were the girlfriend I wouldn't sit down and eat a meal knowing I was absolutely not wanted there.

Ah, Perpetua is making a reference to a practice in UK politics. Each party has a kind of 'enforcer', known as the 'chief whip'. It is the party whip's job to make sure that MPs turn up to vote in the house of commons, among other things.

If the vote is expected to be especially close, the chief whip will issue what is known as a 'three line whip'.  This means DO AS I SAY, or face the consequences. If you don't obey a three line whip, it's basically mutiny within the party, and newsworthy.

In other words, extrapolating from that analogy, Perpetua is saying that she thinks that non-attendance may not have been presented as a workable option for Larry.

/threadjack
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 11:07:21 AM by Teenyweeny »



perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #263 on: January 09, 2014, 11:07:25 AM »

This sounds to me like a three-line-whip affair: "You will be there under the conditions we impose and you will like it", rather than any desire to make Aunt's last Thanksgiving a memorable one. Aunt treated Larry like a child where everyone could hear her, so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that scenario.



So how about not going? If you don't like the invitation's terms, don't accept. If I were the girlfriend I wouldn't sit down and eat a meal knowing I was absolutely not wanted there.

Ah, Perpetua is making a reference to a practice in UK politics. Each party has a kind of 'enforcer', known as the 'whip'. It is the party whip's job to make sure that MPs turn up to vote in the house of commons, among otherthings.

If the vote is expected to be especially close, the whip will issue what is known as a 'three line whip'.  This means DO AS I SAY, or face the consequences. If you don't obey a three line whip, it's basically mutiny within the party, and newsworthy.

In other words, extrapolating from that analogy, Perpetua is saying that she thinks that non-attendance may not have been presented as a workable option for Larry.

/threadjack

Yep. That's exactly what I was trying to say - sorry, an oft-used figure of speech over here that may not have translated. A 'three-line-whip' situation means "You will be there or else".

TootsNYC

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #264 on: January 09, 2014, 11:08:20 AM »
Quote
But the fact that he put her in this incredibly awkward position (apparently without her knowledge beforehand) and then went on to move in with him after she knew what had happened there doesn't speak particularly glowingly of her either.

Aw, c'mon--you don't love someone who screws up sometimes? Or who has some flaws?

To me the thing that makes Larry's rudeness so clear is that *two* people told him not to. He got in arguments with *two* people, people who actually know him, who have accurate information about his extended-family life (ie, they would know whether the girlfriend had been included in the extended family yet) and his personality.
   Two people told him, "don't bring your girlfriend, you're wrong, this is out of line on your part." Two people tried to talk him out of it.
   Two people.

And he did it anyway. That's what makes him flamingly rude. He had time to think. He had time to speak with aunt about how important this was to him. He had time and opportunity to persuade other family members to advocate for him--he failed.

That's why I'm willing to believe that Larry's romance was new enough that it was completely reasonable for Aunt to say, "family only, no sweethearts," and for that to NOT include the girlfriend.

TootsNYC

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #265 on: January 09, 2014, 11:13:04 AM »


It's also interesting that Larry apparently moved in with the GF around Christmas. Most people that I know do not decide to move in with an SO and actually accomplish it within the same weekend - or even same month. Logistics and rental agreements being what they are. That would seem to strongly suggest that at the time of Thankgiving Larry and the GF had likely already decided to move in together.

This might have made them technically not-a-social-unit at Thanksgiving, but they likely had already made the decision to become one - excluding someone in that situation is not really the spirit of the concept.

However, are most people that you know in a new romance shortly after the end of their third marriage?

I think that piece of info makes it quite likely that Larry's a bit of a serial monogomast, that he enters and leaves relationships easily and quickly.

And in my (admittedly limited) experience, people in *other* parts of the world (ie, not the NYC area that you and I are in) move in quite easily--they're in month-to-month leases, or they own their own homes. And then it's just a matter of moving their stuff.


And anyway, even if they were that serious already, then Larry's route would have been to go to his aunt and make his case.
   And to make this case to his dad and his cousin, who could have advocated for Larry.

But this just makes me realize how clear things were back when you were either engaged/married or you weren't, period. "dating" was not considered a deep connection then; nowadays people insist we recognize is at such, and that creates confusion in situations like this.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #266 on: January 09, 2014, 11:17:09 AM »
Larry:  -2 for bringing girlfriend in the first place; -1 more for sticking around when it was clear that his aunt was very unhappy with the situation
Aunt:  -1 for berating Larry in the earshot of others.  He deserved the dressing down but no one else, particularly the GF should have had to hear it
GF:  0 for the event; -5 for not kicking Larry to the curb and still moving in with the lout  ;)
OP's friend:  +1 for the event for choosing to sit at another table, rather than near Larry, to avoid making more of a scene than had already been made.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Teenyweeny

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #267 on: January 09, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »


It's also interesting that Larry apparently moved in with the GF around Christmas. Most people that I know do not decide to move in with an SO and actually accomplish it within the same weekend - or even same month. Logistics and rental agreements being what they are. That would seem to strongly suggest that at the time of Thankgiving Larry and the GF had likely already decided to move in together.

This might have made them technically not-a-social-unit at Thanksgiving, but they likely had already made the decision to become one - excluding someone in that situation is not really the spirit of the concept.

However, are most people that you know in a new romance shortly after the end of their third marriage?

I think that piece of info makes it quite likely that Larry's a bit of a serial monogamist, that he enters and leaves relationships easily and quickly.

And in my (admittedly limited) experience, people in *other* parts of the world (ie, not the NYC area that you and I are in) move in quite easily--they're in month-to-month leases, or they own their own homes. And then it's just a matter of moving their stuff.


And anyway, even if they were that serious already, then Larry's route would have been to go to his aunt and make his case.
   And to make this case to his dad and his cousin, who could have advocated for Larry.

But this just makes me realize how clear things were back when you were either engaged/married or you weren't, period. "dating" was not considered a deep connection then; nowadays people insist we recognize is at such, and that creates confusion in situations like this.

I'm tired of this part of the story.

Larry's Aunt is 89. That means that Larry could very easily be in his 70s (and I'd be surprised if he was younger than 50).

Even a 50 year old could have three decade-long marriages, albeit in reasonably quick succession.

All we know is that he's been married three times, and divorced 'recently'. As I've said before, 'recently' could mean last month, last year, or even a couple of years ago to some people.

Larry could easily have had three marriages of over a decade each, divorced early last year, and just now be moving in with the new GF. Hardly some kind of Lothario.



nayberry

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #268 on: January 09, 2014, 11:28:57 AM »
update doesn't change my opinion, Larry was beyond rude.  he was invited to dinner and told the condtion that noone other than family was invited, two people told him to either do as requested or stay away, he gatecrashed with his gf.

he's lucky he was allowed to stay for the meal as i'm certain that if a member of my family did this they'd be kicked out and told that they'd only be welcome back another day if it were to apologise.

i'll let the gf off, as we don't know whether she knew in adance that she wasn't invited.

and Auntie gets a bravo for letting him know what she thought of him!
i have no problem telling people off, as its worse to bottle it up imo

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #269 on: January 09, 2014, 11:32:17 AM »
update doesn't change my opinion, Larry was beyond rude.  he was invited to dinner and told the condtion that noone other than family was invited, two people told him to either do as requested or stay away,

Small but important point of order: That's not what was said. He was told not to bring the girlfriend. He wasn't told to stay away. For all we know at that stage that could mean 'you WILL be here and your girlfriend isn't welcome'.  We don't know if not going was even presented as an option.