Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 28701 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1765
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #90 on: December 11, 2013, 12:13:40 PM »
"He [Larry] is not someone whose marriage broke up suddenly after many years or someone who is hurting over an untimely death of a spouse, or someone who was singled out to be the lonely one on Thanksgiving."

"I'm absolutely discounting Larry's "pain". From what we've heard in the OP, he's not going to be the only single person there (no bfs/gfs) and he hasn't at all been singled out."

Unless the posters knows much more about Larry than has been written, I'm not sure that discounting any pain he may be feeling about his recent divorce is fair or reasonable, nor do we know whether he was the only person affected by the no bfs/gfs rule or not.  The divorce could have been a result of either his or his spouses behavior, or a mutually agreed upon decision, we just don't know. Everyone else at Thanksgiving could have been with their spouse making him the only single person or not, again, we just don't know. 

I completely agree that bringing his GF was rude, but there is a huge gap between making that choice deciding that he can't be in pain from his recent divorce and hasn't been singled out.


JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7372
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #91 on: December 11, 2013, 12:24:36 PM »
There are different kinds of family holiday celebrations.  If it is typical for these certain members of the family to get together for Thanksgiving then that celebration is something that needs to be accommodated for everyone in the family, not just the oldest one who might die at any moment.

If she wants to have a dinner where only family are invited and it isnít a traditionally shared holiday like Thanksgiving, then she should knock herself out because turning down that invite is not the same as not spending a family holiday with your family because they wonít let you bring your girlfriend.



I wonder why you don't seem to think the aunt's feelings are important as well? Her life is about to change quite dramatically and she probably is sad to know that she will never again host a family holiday meal. Aren't her feelings relevant also? All of your sympathy seems to be on Larry's side

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.


Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6545
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #92 on: December 11, 2013, 12:31:23 PM »
There are different kinds of family holiday celebrations.  If it is typical for these certain members of the family to get together for Thanksgiving then that celebration is something that needs to be accommodated for everyone in the family, not just the oldest one who might die at any moment.

If she wants to have a dinner where only family are invited and it isnít a traditionally shared holiday like Thanksgiving, then she should knock herself out because turning down that invite is not the same as not spending a family holiday with your family because they wonít let you bring your girlfriend.



I wonder why you don't seem to think the aunt's feelings are important as well? Her life is about to change quite dramatically and she probably is sad to know that she will never again host a family holiday meal. Aren't her feelings relevant also? All of your sympathy seems to be on Larry's side

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.

If you believe other members of the family were upset about not being able to bring additional friends, neighbors, or BF/GF's then Larry should have discussed with them had the group discuss with the Aunt. "Aunt we understand your not up to hosting a large group this year but we as a family do not want to put restrictions on who can host. So we'd rather have the celebration at Larry's."

But there is no indication that anyone other than Larry was upset about this year's restriction and he chose to immaturely say "I'll show you. You can't tell me what to do."

For all you know, the majority of the family were thrilled to be celebrating Tday with a small group instead of any guest other family members chose to bring.

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3494
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #93 on: December 11, 2013, 12:43:59 PM »
"He [Larry] is not someone whose marriage broke up suddenly after many years or someone who is hurting over an untimely death of a spouse, or someone who was singled out to be the lonely one on Thanksgiving."

"I'm absolutely discounting Larry's "pain". From what we've heard in the OP, he's not going to be the only single person there (no bfs/gfs) and he hasn't at all been singled out."

Unless the posters knows much more about Larry than has been written, I'm not sure that discounting any pain he may be feeling about his recent divorce is fair or reasonable, nor do we know whether he was the only person affected by the no bfs/gfs rule or not.  The divorce could have been a result of either his or his spouses behavior, or a mutually agreed upon decision, we just don't know. Everyone else at Thanksgiving could have been with their spouse making him the only single person or not, again, we just don't know. 

I completely agree that bringing his GF was rude, but there is a huge gap between making that choice deciding that he can't be in pain from his recent divorce and hasn't been singled out.

But he wasn't singled out. It was a blanket policy: no girlfriends or boyfriends for any of those invited.

I don't see why Larry's feelings are even a subject for discussion. It's his behavior that is the subject of the OP's post. Etiquette is about behavior, not feelings.

Goosey

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1076
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #94 on: December 11, 2013, 12:51:45 PM »
To be clear, I'm discounting his 'pain' because it's something people are projecting onto him and has not influence on my assessment of the situation or his behavior. Who knows, he could be like my brother and 3 other divorced people i know, who were downright jubilant after receiving their final divorce. I could just as easily say that larry was so happy with his current single and dating status that he was unhappy when an invite was not extended to his gf.

I could say that, but it has no baring on the matter because it's just making stuff up.

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2247
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #95 on: December 11, 2013, 01:03:10 PM »
AudreyQuest, I see your point.  It doesn't change my opinion of this story, but I see what you are saying.

Holidays and family traditions aren't like any other kind of party, because although the host is the host, it's true that family traditions "belong" to everyone, not just the host.  It doesn't mean no one can ever do anything different, but hosts have to be realistic about how people might feel and try to handle it diplomatically and kindly if they do something different from the family's custom (think of all the strings on destination weddings -- "I know you all would love to be there, and you are very precious to us, but this is what works best for us, so I hope we can count on your support" is a lot better than "It's OUR wedding, so tough for you if you don't like our plans.").  Maybe (and it appears likely) this family's long tradition was to make Thanksgiving a come-one-come-all, the-more-the-merrier occasion, and maybe many or all of them love it that way (and yes, of course it's possible that some or even many of them hated it).  If so, I can see people being disappointed at one person's, even the host's, unilaterally changing things. 

That said, in this situation, I understand why Aunt wanted to do it this way this one year, and if I were a disappointed relative, I'd just suck it up and wait til next year for the big group.  Whether or not the family dynamics are such that Aunt was wrong (not rude or in violation of etiquette, just wrong for THEM) to ask this, though, doesn't change the fact that Larry handled this very poorly.  It would have been okay, in my opinion, for him to ask Aunt if she would make an exception for his girlfriend, especially if they're starting to get serious and he wants her and the family to meet, but if she says no, she says no, and whether he's right or wrong, he's stuck with it and must attend alone if at all.

Remember, I also said that if he does turn up with Girlfriend, I think Aunt ought to welcome them in graciously if she possibly can.  Not because they deserve it, but because it will probably be better for everyone else there (how is Larry's mom going to feel through the rest of that meal if her son just got the bum's rush, even if she completely agrees that he was wrong?)  That is how I handle "crashers," and I have never regretted it.  I've never had to deal with one I thought would be violent or disruptive or hurtful to another guest, which I agree would change things; absent factors like that, though, in my experience, taking the high ground and being more gracious than required by etiquette or than the person "deserves" is the best choice.  It pays off in the long run; no one is ever sorry to have a reputation for graciousness and generosity.

The same principle applies in both cases: You can only control your own behavior.  So even if people are wrong, wrong, wrong and were rude first and you aren't required by etiquette to accommodate them, it is wise to be as polite, generous, and gracious as possible.

(Maybe I just have Nelson Mandela on the brain this week!)

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8181
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #96 on: December 11, 2013, 01:03:51 PM »
If Larry wanted to spend Thanksgiving with his girlfriend, why didn't they go to HER family's celebration?  It's almost like he has the childish attitude of "NOBODY tells ME what to do!!"

I'm with those who don't really know or care about Larry's feelings about his divorce.  Whatever his 'feelings' are, they are totally irrelevant here.    I do care about Larry's lack of respect for his Aunt. 


cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #97 on: December 11, 2013, 01:05:18 PM »
There are different kinds of family holiday celebrations.  If it is typical for these certain members of the family to get together for Thanksgiving then that celebration is something that needs to be accommodated for everyone in the family, not just the oldest one who might die at any moment.

If she wants to have a dinner where only family are invited and it isnít a traditionally shared holiday like Thanksgiving, then she should knock herself out because turning down that invite is not the same as not spending a family holiday with your family because they wonít let you bring your girlfriend.



I wonder why you don't seem to think the aunt's feelings are important as well? Her life is about to change quite dramatically and she probably is sad to know that she will never again host a family holiday meal. Aren't her feelings relevant also? All of your sympathy seems to be on Larry's side

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 don't agree with this at all. If someone wants to host an event, no matter how much tradition is associated with it, the host has the ultimate say on things. If the guests/invitees aren't comfortable with it, they have the choice not to attend. An invite is not a summons. But it is completely up to the host to decide on parameters of the gathering. Otherwise it's really easy to override the host with cries of "But it's traaaaaaaditionnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!" (reminiscent of "faaaaaaaaaaaamilyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!"), leaving the host little choice but to host an event that s/he did not plan.

If a guest, family or not, cannot or will not abide by the terms of the invite (no +1, black tie, potluck, whatever the host chooses to do) that guest should decline the invitation. End of story.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13956
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #98 on: December 11, 2013, 01:20:04 PM »
And traditions change.

When my Mom was alive, Thanksgiving was always at my parent's house because her church had a big bazaar on the Saturday that people counted on to get their baking for Sunday/Monday (Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October, officially).

The year she died and the following year, I still participated in the bazaar, in her memory so Thanksgiving was still at my Dad's.

After that, we started going up to my brother's camp.  But I didn't want to drive on the holiday Monday, so we started doing the dinner Saturday night instead of our usual Sunday night.

Now, my nephews are working weekends and can't get the time off to go to the camp so we do the dinner, still on Saturday, at my brother's place.

It makes absolutely no difference to my opinion of Larry if it is decided by the masses that Aunt was rude for asking to host one last Thanksgiving in her home and limiting the guest list to what she felt she could manage (and I don't think she is rude).

Larry, regardless of any hurt feelings he may or may not have, was absolutely rude to insist on bringing someone who wasn't invited.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2247
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #99 on: December 11, 2013, 01:34:44 PM »
Quote
"But it's traaaaaaaditionnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!" (reminiscent of "faaaaaaaaaaaamilyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!"

This feels awfully harsh to me.

As I said, I agree that notwithstanding any family traditions, Aunt wasn't wrong to do things this way, and Larry was way, way out of line.  And traditions do indeed change.

But tradition and family aren't inherently worthless values, either, as this eHell meme seems to suggest.  Many people don't care a fig for either, and that's their privilege.  Many others care deeply about them, though, and they are not unreasonable to consider them important, both for their own feelings and also for parents who want to, and even feel obliged to, pass them on to their children.  I don't think that every time someone wants to have family traditions respected or at least considered it deserves this kind of mocking.

cwm, I don't mean to single you out -- I'm thinking of they way others have used this in the past -- and I know you just meant people being pushy or trying to trump others.  But whenever I see it put it like that on eHell, to me it suggests that that is the rule, not the exception, when people mention family.

twiggy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 785
  • wonder what this thing is
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #100 on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:25 PM »
Look it this another way. Aunt is nearly 90 years old. She has spend decades of her life entertaining and hosting others. During holidays, she has opened her home to not only her own family, not only her extended family, not only her own friends, but to everyone. Family members who have girlfriends/boyfriends, family members have brought lonely co-workers, friends have been invited. This is a woman who has spent decades taking in the "strays" out of the love that she has for others. Even if this event has always been potluck, she is still the one cleaning her home, organizing everything, and making it all happen. The tradition that Larry and Family have is a result of Aunt's generosity and welcoming nature.

Aunt has spent decades going above and beyond to show her love. Now she is in a position where she simply isn't up to hosting on that large scale. Her life is changing in a major way. This is the year for her family to say to each other, "Aunt has shown so much love to all of us, she has done so much for all of us, this is our chance to show Aunt how much we all love her." This is not an unreasonable request. For ONE year, Aunt would like to have a family only holiday. This is her last chance to do that. Larry can't put his own desires aside for ONE Thanksgiving? Aunt isn't allowed to make a simple request for ONE holiday after decades of giving of herself?
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4245
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #101 on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:50 PM »
The fact that family members independently stepped up and were urging Larry not to bring his GF tells me that Aunt was not perceived as having hi-jacked Thanksgiving by the others. 

It is also telling that Larry tramples on the wishes of those around him.  I acknowledge that I am projecting like mad here, but is this part of the reason that he is 3 time divorced?
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #102 on: December 11, 2013, 01:58:25 PM »
There are different kinds of family holiday celebrations.  If it is typical for these certain members of the family to get together for Thanksgiving then that celebration is something that needs to be accommodated for everyone in the family, not just the oldest one who might die at any moment.

If she wants to have a dinner where only family are invited and it isnít a traditionally shared holiday like Thanksgiving, then she should knock herself out because turning down that invite is not the same as not spending a family holiday with your family because they wonít let you bring your girlfriend.


I wonder why you don't seem to think the aunt's feelings are important as well? Her life is about to change quite dramatically and she probably is sad to know that she will never again host a family holiday meal. Aren't her feelings relevant also? All of your sympathy seems to be on Larry's side

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 guess that is our disconnect, then. I tend to think that just because things have been done one way for X number of years doesn't mean that exceptions can never be made or that traditions can never evolve to suit the changing needs of the people concerned.

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

cass2591

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3358
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #103 on: December 11, 2013, 02:15:40 PM »
There are different kinds of family holiday celebrations.  If it is typical for these certain members of the family to get together for Thanksgiving then that celebration is something that needs to be accommodated for everyone in the family, not just the oldest one who might die at any moment.

If she wants to have a dinner where only family are invited and it isnít a traditionally shared holiday like Thanksgiving, then she should knock herself out because turning down that invite is not the same as not spending a family holiday with your family because they wonít let you bring your girlfriend.



I wonder why you don't seem to think the aunt's feelings are important as well? Her life is about to change quite dramatically and she probably is sad to know that she will never again host a family holiday meal. Aren't her feelings relevant also? All of your sympathy seems to be on Larry's side

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.


Audrey, I think it's rather unrealistic to think that traditional celebrations don't evolve due to circumstances that can't be helped, and rather than complain one should try to adapt because that's life. If your traditions have remained the same, good for you.
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain

Adopting a pet won't change the world, but it will change the world for that pet.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest (who was brought along, nonetheless)
« Reply #104 on: December 11, 2013, 02:20:24 PM »
Um....so Aunt is not entitled to throw the party of her choice because it is supposed to be the "official" family Thanksgiving?

Since apparently most of these people are adults, presumably some of them have homes of their own, or jobs, or the means to book a restaurant - if they don't like it why not host a big family thanksgiving that everyone can come to?

I do not think, under any circumstances, a family is entitled to hijack one member's house - especially an elderly lady - and order her to invite a certain number, or group of people.

It is only the "family" celebration if the "family" deems it so. Aunt has not control over that. And if the family as a group decided that this would be their one and only gathering, Larry is even more out of line in crashing it with his uninvited guest.