I'm willing to bet that Larry's girlfriend was not the only one excluded. Aunts instructions about no one other than family give the indication that previously the invitation was a lot more open. This year, aunt probably found it rather difficult to cater to more people and she wanted to be around family for the last thanksgiving.
I still don't understand why the needs of an elderly woman hosting a family event in her own house come second to one selfish person who could do without seeing his girlfriend for one measly day.
Because if Larry and his girlfriend are a unit and she was the only one not invited, then Aunt was rude, and given that she chewed him out loudly where everyone including the girlfriend could hear, she's not exactly covering herself in glory, so I'm quite willing to assume she was rude about this, too. She doesn't get a pass just because she's old. Neither does the (cousin?) of Larry who pointedly sat at a different table and ignored him like a five year old.
That's not too much to ask, and it's an easy way to limit invitations. It would have been no skin off Larry's nose to tell his girlfriend the truth, which he obviously did not do. Showing up with her and not telling her that she wasn't invited doesn't endear him at all in my book.
I admit that the aunt could have been more discreet in chewing out Larry, but it needed to happen. Had she been involved in this or known about it, it would have been the last straw.
This entire thing could have been avoided if Larry could have actually stuck to the conditions of the invitation, which was not bringing a guest. I don't see how it could have been any different if Larry had brought her to a wedding.
That is a valid point, but then that puts Larry in the position of having to choose between his serious partner (which as now ascertained, she is) and his Aunt on a very important family holiday. So he can either turn up alone or decline. And as I think I said upthread the first time this was open, I can easily see a situation where if Larry declines he gets it in the head for 'ruining Aunt's last Thanksgiving'. Given the reaction of the cousin at the event - pointedly sitting at a different table and ignoring him like a child - can you imagine the uproar if he'd declined to spend it with his partner instead? Poor guy would never have heard the end of it.
The family's reactions tell me pretty much what I need to know about their attitude towards this event.
Honestly, I now have no idea who to feel most sorry for. Nobody comes out of this looking awesome. It sounds like a lot of unhealthy dynamics all round.
Maybe Larry is an awful human being who pigheadedly brought his GF somewhere.
But Aunt doesn't exactly look great either. Who publicly berates another adult instead of just asking them to leave?
And I do have a strong suspicion that a decline from Larry would not exactly have been warmly received either (else why didn't the Aunt just ask him to leave? It's obviously not because she's conflict-averse.). Basically this is starting to sound like the only option that Larry has was to attend, sans GF. And I really don't think much of invitations like that.
Also, we still have no word on whether or not the exclusion of non-cohabiting partners actually affected anybody but Larry.
As I said upthread, my wife has 4 siblings. All but one of them is married. The other one has a GF who he doesn't live with, and who my MIL does not care for. My MIL could host a dinner and say "only married/cohabiting spouses are invited", but the effect of that would be exactly the same as saying, "Ted, don't bring Sarah". And we'd all know why. It would be a judgement couched in reasonable-sounding language so that my MIL has plausible deniability. And I really don't think that plausible deniability should be something that you think about when interacting with your family.
Look, I'm not saying that Larry smells of roses. You don't bring uninvited guests. But he's definitely not the only etiquette offender.