Author Topic: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219  (Read 31507 times)

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Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #240 on: January 09, 2014, 07:33:26 AM »
From her perspective, I honestly don't know what I would have done in her shoes - sneaked out feeling like a criminal for going somewhere I was so obviously not wanted, or if Larry's aunt came back behaving as normal obviously thinking I hadn't heard, pretended I hadn't so as not to embarrass her.

Good question. I think I would have left, if possible, then had a long hard talk with Larry afterwards about why family preferences do not trump my feelings as a partner.

Agreed. Poor woman, whatever she did was probably going to be wrong. If she knew that she was specifically excluded, then she shouldn't have gone, I think most of us are agreed on that, but in that case if Larry went she would probably have been left feeling that he didn't value her, and if he didn't go, she would feel guilty (well, in her shoes, I would - obviously we know nothing about her so I'm guessing). If she knew she wasn't invited but went anyway, she's in the wrong. If she didn't know... how horrible! Then if she stays, she knows she's the reason for (although not responsible for) a family row that they've all heard and half of them are pretending they haven't while the rest snub her for something that isn't her fault. If she goes, the family row will probably be worse because there will be no pretending that it isn't happening and either Larry goes with her (bad for the family) or he stays (bad for her).

I think we simply don't know enough about the length/depth of her relation.ship with Larry, and as other posters have pointed out, the precise relation.ships/lack of relation.ships that other members of the family have, to judge whether the aunt was being fair not to invite her, but I think that Larry has managed to put her in a horrible position. If he felt so strongly about his relation.ship with her he should have said 'we come as a couple or I don't come at all' and then fought out that battle. Personally, I would have based it on whether Girlfriend had already been introduced to the rest of the family. If yes, then she's serious and should have been invited. If not, there's a case to be made for 'not this year, please, Larry'.

I do get that Aunt didn't want sundry hangers on - my family has a tendency to collect lame ducks, and Christmases when I was young included the alcoholic divorced wife of a friend, the foreign visitor whose passport had been stolen and who couldn't go home, the elderly neighbour, the vague acquaintance with nowhere else to go etc etc cont page 94. There were other times when we did just put our respective feet down and say 'family only'. But the catch of that was that we didn't say either 'everybody... except John' or 'family only... except John'.

I can understand OP's friend being chilly to Larry - ignoring him is probably a bit childish, but choosing to be engaged somewhere else is OK - but I do hope that having allowed her to stay, the family was civil to Girlfriend.

greencat

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #241 on: January 09, 2014, 09:03:36 AM »
I definitely got the impression from the original message that Larry's family had the impression that the girlfriend was the flavor of the month - and, to be perfectly honest, I've known some people where even moving in together wasn't enough for me to start considering them a real social unit, because they would move in with people (or their new significant other would move in with them) after they'd only been dating a month.  If those relationships lasted more than four months, it was shocking.  Their relationships were always very ephemeral in nature, but they were incapable of seeing each new partner as anything less than The One.  If Larry is like this, especially as this was before the girlfriend moved in, I wouldn't be surprised that his family members were attempting to point out that his short-but-intense relationship didn't meet the criteria for a family-only dinner.

sammycat

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #242 on: January 09, 2014, 09:09:23 AM »
I definitely got the impression from the original message that Larry's family had the impression that the girlfriend was the flavor of the month - and, to be perfectly honest, I've known some people where even moving in together wasn't enough for me to start considering them a real social unit, because they would move in with people (or their new significant other would move in with them) after they'd only been dating a month.  If those relationships lasted more than four months, it was shocking.  Their relationships were always very ephemeral in nature, but they were incapable of seeing each new partner as anything less than The One.  If Larry is like this, especially as this was before the girlfriend moved in, I wouldn't be surprised that his family members were attempting to point out that his short-but-intense relationship didn't meet the criteria for a family-only dinner.

I agree.  For me, Larry still remains the only bad guy in this scenario (and the gf if she willingly came along despite knowing she wasn't invited).

Hillia

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #243 on: January 09, 2014, 09:27:45 AM »
The only thing I have to fault Aunt for is not making sure that Larry's well deserved chewing out was not private.  That was a mistake.  Maybe she didn't realize others could hear, maybe she didn't care, but that should have been kept between the two of them - not for Larry's sake, but for everyone else's, including the girlfriend.

We often hear stories on eHell about invitations that the recipient doesn't like - their SO isn't invited, their kids aren't invited but everyone else's kids are, the host or another guest has a history of bad behavior towards the poster.  The advice is always, 'It's an invitation, not a summons'.  You don't have to attend an event if the conditions are intolerable to you.  You don't get to unilaterally change a host's invitation to suit your preferences.   Larry is just flat wrong all the way around.

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SamiHami

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #244 on: January 09, 2014, 09:28:33 AM »
Larry created this situation through his own rude behavior. I give aunt a pass as she was probably emotional knowing it was her last time hosting and also probably hurt and frustrated that Larry was so blatantly rude and disrespectful of her.

At first I felt sorry for the girlfriend, but she still moved in with Larry after this happened. that says a lot about her own lack of character. Any guy who put me in such an awful position would be kicked to the curb immediately. What he did was not only rude and disrespectful to Aunt but also to the GF. The fact that she still felt okay moving in with this loser tells me that she is probably pretty special herself.

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Teenyweeny

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #245 on: January 09, 2014, 09:29:48 AM »
I definitely got the impression from the original message that Larry's family had the impression that the girlfriend was the flavor of the month - and, to be perfectly honest, I've known some people where even moving in together wasn't enough for me to start considering them a real social unit, because they would move in with people (or their new significant other would move in with them) after they'd only been dating a month.  If those relationships lasted more than four months, it was shocking.  Their relationships were always very ephemeral in nature, but they were incapable of seeing each new partner as anything less than The One.  If Larry is like this, especially as this was before the girlfriend moved in, I wouldn't be surprised that his family members were attempting to point out that his short-but-intense relationship didn't meet the criteria for a family-only dinner.

I know that can happen, I have a relative who is constantly meeting TheOneTM. Everything moves lightning fast, then TheOneTM turns out to be a waste of space. Relative swears off romance, then the cycle starts again.

Having said that, if we wanted relative not to bring the lastest squeeze, we'd tell them, and honestly. We wouldn't 'attempt to point it out'. We'd point it out. It's babyish to make a rule that, oops, somehow 'accidentally' achieves the result you want. Just be honest.



Winterlight

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #246 on: January 09, 2014, 09:30:42 AM »
Quote
Even after talking with their aunt, Larry told my old friend that he didn't care what their aunt (the host) said, he was bringing his girlfriend no matter what.

That's from the OP. Larry was asked not to bring an univited guest. He did so anyway, making it clear that his hostess's feelings didn't matter.

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Hmmmmm

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #247 on: January 09, 2014, 09:33:09 AM »
Pre-update I was one of the lone voices in support of Larry, although I agree that generally bringing an uninvited guest is a rude thing to do. Post-update, I think the family are horribly rude bordering on toxic and it's entirely possible this is what led to the situation in the first place. The aunt loudly chewed Larry out where everyone including the girlfriend could hear her? Really? How old does she think he is, twelve? Someone else pointedly sat at a different table and ignored Larry and his girlfriend? How unbelievably childish.

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.

And I'm with Turtledove - I still would like to know if Larry's girlfriend was the only SO not invited.

 I feel like Larry's girlfriend was the ultimate looser in this whole scenario.

I'm honestly trying to understand those who feel some sympathy for Larry.
I understand that some feel that Larry felt his family demanded he attend the family dinner and his not attending would have ramifications. So he was either in the position of disappointing his family or his girlfriend.

But I can't wrap my head around a guy that has the brass b** to say "Dad I don't care if my girlfriend was not invited, I'm bringing her anyway." but not having the same ability to say "Dad if my girlfriend is not invited then I'm not attending."

How does someone who truly loves and respects his girlfriend take her into a situation where he knows that she is not wanted and has been told by the hostess and two other family members that she should not attend?

It's his complete lack of care for his girlfriend's feelings that makes me feel like Larry is one of those people who does want he wants to the devil with anyone else.

And since he is older than a twelve year old, I'm pretty sure he has the ability to shut a door if he didn't want the rest of the family to hear.

Twik

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #248 on: January 09, 2014, 09:46:45 AM »
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.

Of course, it is completely conjectural that anyone would have objected if Larry didn't attend.

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..
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Virg

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #249 on: January 09, 2014, 09:54:27 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

perpetua

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #250 on: January 09, 2014, 10:03:00 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.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #251 on: January 09, 2014, 10:18:07 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

No sorry, it's still not tracking for me. If he's fed up with being kicked around by the family the logical action would be to say "Enough, I'm tired of you people trying to control my life. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. I'll be spending it with someone who really cares about me." Not "I'm coming and bringing whoever I want and you can't do anything to stop me." I mean we are talking about an adult with at least two previous marriages; not a 5 year old.

Teenyweeny

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #252 on: January 09, 2014, 10:24:10 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

No sorry, it's still not tracking for me. If he's fed up with being kicked around by the family the logical action would be to say "Enough, I'm tired of you people trying to control my life. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. I'll be spending it with someone who really cares about me." Not "I'm coming and bringing whoever I want and you can't do anything to stop me." I mean we are talking about an adult with at least two previous marriages; not a 5 year old.

Oh, I don't think tha anybody is saying that it's a-OK that Larry brought an univited guest. I think the point people are making is that there seems to be several people at fault. I can't see anybody who comes out of this smelling of roses, expect possibly the GF.



etiquettenut

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #253 on: January 09, 2014, 10:31:46 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?)

lowspark

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Re: The SPECIFICALLY not-invited guest - UPDATE #219
« Reply #254 on: January 09, 2014, 10:31:59 AM »
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.

As for the GF, I'm going to assume she didn't know she wasn't invited. If I were her, first thing I would have done would have been to take Larry aside and confirm that he indeed brought me knowing full well I wasn't invited. Then I would have apologized to the Aunt (even though I personally had nothing to apologize for) and made my excuses and left. I would not want to sit at the table and eat knowing that I was not welcome!

Now, I can see that there may be an underlying theme of the family not accepting the gf due to Larry's track record, but really, that is between Larry and the family. It was pretty horrible of him to put GF in the middle of all that.

And if Larry was really torn between spending the holiday with GF and facing the wrath of the family for not showing up as some have suggested was a possibility, then the thing to do would have been to show up at Aunt's for a limited period of time, an hour or two at most, then make his excuses and spend the rest of the day with GF.

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.