Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 31249 times)

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etiquettenut

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #315 on: January 09, 2014, 02:15:36 PM »
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!"


True, I do agree that that's what he should have done. It would have sent a much stronger message to the family about including his new GF than ignoring the invitation and doing whatever he wanted.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #316 on: January 09, 2014, 02:45:30 PM »
Since this was Aunt's last thanksgiving she's hosting, and possibly she doesn't have that many left in her, I wonder if Larry in any way thought about his Aunt when he insisted on bringing his girlfriend. It's quite obvious that he didn't. He chose instead to make it all about himself instead. People are going to remember Aunt's last thanksgiving as "the one Larry brought his girlfriend to and was chewed out by aunt ".

Aunt wanted her last one hosting to be stress free and be there with the support of her family. Larry ruined that.

TootsNYC

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #317 on: January 09, 2014, 02:49:05 PM »
All the comments about how this family knows Larry and that's why they don't want to recognize his GF as important prove my point. The family has judged Larry, unfavorably, and it is important to the family to make their judgment and disapproval clear. That, to me, is rude. It also makes it probable that the exclusion of Larry's GF was personal.

Well, the only evidence *we* have is that people in Larry's family opposed his action of --bringing his girlfriend--, which I would feel even if I loved the girlfriend and was hopeful for Larry's happiness.


silvercelt

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #318 on: January 09, 2014, 03:19:31 PM »
I've tried putting myself in each of the major player's positions here.  The Aunt's, Larry's father's and brother's, Larry's, the 'new' girlfriend's and I still come to the conclusion that Larry was absolutely disrespectful to the Aunt and that he knew ahead of time that he was going to be.  That makes what he did all the more despicable.

Yep.  And the family was also disrespectful to Larry.  In my opinion, pointedly disrespectful so that they could feel morally superior by actively condemning Larry for moving on after divorce.

While I am firmly on the side of the aunt in this scenario, I have agreed with various points of your arguments.  This, however, is so far out there... this is such extreme conjecture that I'm not quite sure *how* you came to these conclusions from anything you read.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #319 on: January 09, 2014, 03:27:47 PM »
There's quite a bit if that in this thread which is why, for the most part, I've tried to stick to facts not conjecture.

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #320 on: January 09, 2014, 03:30:08 PM »
Since this was Aunt's last thanksgiving she's hosting, and possibly she doesn't have that many left in her, I wonder if Larry in any way thought about his Aunt when he insisted on bringing his girlfriend. It's quite obvious that he didn't. He chose instead to make it all about himself instead. People are going to remember Aunt's last thanksgiving as "the one Larry brought his girlfriend to and was chewed out by aunt ".

Aunt wanted her last one hosting to be stress free and be there with the support of her family. Larry ruined that.

See, my view is the complete opposite to that: Aunt took a major holiday and made it all about herself.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #321 on: January 09, 2014, 03:38:48 PM »
There's simply no evidence of that, it looks as if what Aunt said about family only was a request that the other family members (with the exception of Larry) were willing to allow.

I admit we don't know much about Aunt, she might be a self-centred "it's all about MEEE" person, but from her behaviour as described I don't think there's any reason it could be so. The only thing bad we know about her is her outburst at Larry which is completely justifiable. The only person I can see displaying this sort of behaviour is Larry.

Aunt's reasons for having a smaller gathering were also justifiable. She can only feel she can cater to so many people as she is finding it a bit more difficult these days.

I'm much more willing to believe a woman in her eighties, who for all intents and purposes looks like she was very generous other years.

You could look at it on a smaller scale. For instance if you usually hosted a big family gathering at Christmas with parents, grandparents, siblings etc but for some reason you don't feel up to doing it this year. Maybe you had a new baby, or a recent tragedy and just want things to be small. How could it be wrong to say "We just want it to be small this year and have close family". I can't see that as hijacking a holiday for your own purposes.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 03:45:55 PM by Katana_Geldar »

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #322 on: January 09, 2014, 03:49:59 PM »
I don't really see how Larry was being punished. Aunt doesn't want to host everyone under the sun, because she's old, she's tired, and oh yeah it's her house and she doesn't want too. Aunt counts Larry's new girlfriend as not family. Because the relationship is new. Prior to Thanksgiving they hadn't moved in yet, and post-Christmas they had. Ok, that's about a month, the relationship changed in a month's time, good for them. I've known people to start living together a week after they started dating. Everyone's time lines are different. But at Thanksgiving, they weren't living together. Maybe they were talking about it, maybe they were planning on it, but as far I can see, Larry didn't tell his Aunt this.

If Larry had sat Aunt down and said "Listen, Aunt, I know I haven't been with Jane for a long time, but we're pretty serious about each other, we're even planning on moving in with each other within the next month, I'd really love to have her at Thanksgiving to meet the family", Aunt still had the right to say no in that circumstance, but I think a lot less feather ruffling would have happened. And at least his family would've understood his stance. I'd have a lot more sympathy for him at least, if he'd acted like a grown up.

To me, he acted like a teenager at best. He wants his way. He will stamp his feet and hold his breath until he gets his way. And when they won't give in, he'll just do what he wants anyways.

Should Aunt have chewed him out in front of everyone? No. But that doesn't make Larry right either. I'm assuming Aunt was blindsided and understandably upset (I would've been), but no causing a scene won't fix anything. I know, my family loves causing scenes and it's yet to fix a single thing. If Aunt had closed the door and chewed Larry out, well, I wouldn't really have a problem with that. I'd probably do it. Then walk out, insist girlfriend sit by me, and act like she was the most fascinating person to every cross my threshold so that when Larry grumbled about getting chewed out on the way home girlfriend could say "What are you talking about, your aunt was fantastic!", but I can just be downright evil.

This Christmas my best friend's mother requested he attend the Christmas gathering alone. See his religious brother and SIL were in town. And well, best friend's finance is boy and so is best friend. And well...they love Best Friend of course, but it's just a bit awkward and golly son it'd make Christmas so much better if we could just pretend you're straight and single. BTW, fiance, 3 year relationship, living together, so committed. Fiance told him to go to his family on Christmas, he'd come with us to my grandparents, he understood, he loves Best Friend, and while he felt hurt by his future MIL, he wasn't going to ruffle feathers. Best Friend went, was peaceful and made his excuses to leave early in the evening and joined up with us.

I was hurt my Best Friend's mom. And it wasn't even directed at me or involving me. But that is an example of a family punishing another member for their life choices. When they deny girlfriend access to the next family function (now they live together and are seen as a social unit), or when they refuse to attend the wedding, then we can talk about punishing Larry. Until then, Larry wanted his way come hell or high water, and he was just going to do what he wanted no matter the consequence.

Iris

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #323 on: January 09, 2014, 04:02:27 PM »
Since this was Aunt's last thanksgiving she's hosting, and possibly she doesn't have that many left in her, I wonder if Larry in any way thought about his Aunt when he insisted on bringing his girlfriend. It's quite obvious that he didn't. He chose instead to make it all about himself instead. People are going to remember Aunt's last thanksgiving as "the one Larry brought his girlfriend to and was chewed out by aunt ".

Aunt wanted her last one hosting to be stress free and be there with the support of her family. Larry ruined that.

See, my view is the complete opposite to that: Aunt took a major holiday and made it all about herself.

But there is *actual evidence* in that in the past aunt has been willing to host everyone, including waifs and strays, to imply that this particular woman has been a generous host. Larry *may* have been judged or unfairly treated but there is no actual evidence of that, in fact there is evidence that the rest of his family thought that Larry was the unreasonable one.

At some point speculation based on personal experiences does not apply anymore. There are some interesting points of etiquette here, especially regarding what should have been done once Larry had turned up but there is just no reasonable evidence for some of the claims being made.
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MizA

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #324 on: January 09, 2014, 04:04:45 PM »
I don't really see how Larry was being punished. Aunt doesn't want to host everyone under the sun, because she's old, she's tired, and oh yeah it's her house and she doesn't want too. Aunt counts Larry's new girlfriend as not family. Because the relationship is new. Prior to Thanksgiving they hadn't moved in yet, and post-Christmas they had. Ok, that's about a month, the relationship changed in a month's time, good for them. I've known people to start living together a week after they started dating. Everyone's time lines are different. But at Thanksgiving, they weren't living together. Maybe they were talking about it, maybe they were planning on it, but as far I can see, Larry didn't tell his Aunt this.

If Larry had sat Aunt down and said "Listen, Aunt, I know I haven't been with Jane for a long time, but we're pretty serious about each other, we're even planning on moving in with each other within the next month, I'd really love to have her at Thanksgiving to meet the family", Aunt still had the right to say no in that circumstance, but I think a lot less feather ruffling would have happened. And at least his family would've understood his stance. I'd have a lot more sympathy for him at least, if he'd acted like a grown up.

To me, he acted like a teenager at best. He wants his way. He will stamp his feet and hold his breath until he gets his way. And when they won't give in, he'll just do what he wants anyways.

Should Aunt have chewed him out in front of everyone? No. But that doesn't make Larry right either. I'm assuming Aunt was blindsided and understandably upset (I would've been), but no causing a scene won't fix anything. I know, my family loves causing scenes and it's yet to fix a single thing. If Aunt had closed the door and chewed Larry out, well, I wouldn't really have a problem with that. I'd probably do it. Then walk out, insist girlfriend sit by me, and act like she was the most fascinating person to every cross my threshold so that when Larry grumbled about getting chewed out on the way home girlfriend could say "What are you talking about, your aunt was fantastic!", but I can just be downright evil.

This Christmas my best friend's mother requested he attend the Christmas gathering alone. See his religious brother and SIL were in town. And well, best friend's finance is boy and so is best friend. And well...they love Best Friend of course, but it's just a bit awkward and golly son it'd make Christmas so much better if we could just pretend you're straight and single. BTW, fiance, 3 year relationship, living together, so committed. Fiance told him to go to his family on Christmas, he'd come with us to my grandparents, he understood, he loves Best Friend, and while he felt hurt by his future MIL, he wasn't going to ruffle feathers. Best Friend went, was peaceful and made his excuses to leave early in the evening and joined up with us.

I was hurt my Best Friend's mom. And it wasn't even directed at me or involving me. But that is an example of a family punishing another member for their life choices. When they deny girlfriend access to the next family function (now they live together and are seen as a social unit), or when they refuse to attend the wedding, then we can talk about punishing Larry. Until then, Larry wanted his way come hell or high water, and he was just going to do what he wanted no matter the consequence.

Twinkle fingers to this. You said it WAY better than I could have.
)'( The world would rather hug you than hurt you )'(

JeanFromBNA

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #325 on: January 09, 2014, 04:32:41 PM »
Since this was Aunt's last thanksgiving she's hosting, and possibly she doesn't have that many left in her, I wonder if Larry in any way thought about his Aunt when he insisted on bringing his girlfriend. It's quite obvious that he didn't. He chose instead to make it all about himself instead. People are going to remember Aunt's last thanksgiving as "the one Larry brought his girlfriend to and was chewed out by aunt ".

Aunt wanted her last one hosting to be stress free and be there with the support of her family. Larry ruined that.

See, my view is the complete opposite to that: Aunt took a major holiday and made it all about herself.
After previous holidays that she seems to have hosted in which all were welcome.  For this last holiday in her own home, she just wanted family. 

Why Larry couldn't suck it up for one day (more like two or three hours) is beyond my comprehension, but I'm a grown-up.