I'm in a sticky situation and not sure how I should have responded. I work in the legal field and our holiday party is approaching. The event is on the same night as my brother's holiday party. My brother works in a blue-collar, predominately male industry and as such, they are holding their party at a "guys" place. My party, otoh, will be held at one of the area's most elite country clubs and dress is black-tie. I was talking to my brother and I mentioned I was going solo this year as my +1 is hosting a charity event the same night. My plan was to just put in an appearance at my work event, then head over to his event.
My brother came up with this "brilliant" idea that he would go to his event with his bff, since it would be more fun to go to this type of place with another guy. He wanted me to take my SIL to my event (my guess is so he wouldn't feel guilty about taking his friend instead of her) and had told her about it before asking me. So he came by last night and told me this. He put me in a bad spot and I'm not sure my response was the best.
A little background, I'm frankly embarrassed to be seen out in public with my SIL. She's a good person, but she dresses horribly. Like so bad, men have come up to her and propositioned her thinking she had 'services' for sale. This happened in Wally World (that she told me about indignantly) and another time in Target (that I witnessed). Even when she's not letting it all out, she'll wear jeans with holes in butt area (no underwear), torn shirts, she always looks sloppy and trashy. It's the same with her hair and makeup. Her hair is always a mess and she cakes on the makeup, complete with either bright red or super dark (sometimes black) lipstick. Over the years, I've tried as tactfully as possible (as has my mom) to subtly show her different styles. Several times we've gone to MAC and had our makeup professionally, or when we are shopping, tried to encourage her to try different (more age-appropriate) clothes on, etc. My brother has, on several occasions, just pitched some of the worst articles of clothing. In fact, one time I was over there and she came out in said butt jeans and he just went over, grabbed one of the holes and finished ripping out the butt so they could no longer be worn. I've known SIL for about 15 years, and have since accepted that's just how she wants to look. Not my spouse, so not my problem.
However, there is no way in Hades I would ever take her to a black-tie event, especially with work colleagues. Not to mention, my SIL has had a drinking problem in the past and both the work event and charity event have open bars. So when my brother brought up that he had invited SIL on my behalf, I hemmed and hawed that it probably wasn't the best idea considering her struggles with alcohol in the (recent) past. He then tried to argue with me that she's "been good lately" and I should give her another chance. He just wouldn't let up, even though I tried to make a point that just because she was doing good, didn't mean she should be put in a situation like that. He kept arguing and finally I said I didn't want to hurt either his or her feelings, but I was concerned she didn't have anything appropriate to wear. He got huffy and said something like, "fine, don't take her then" and left. I felt really bad and sent him a text that I really didn't want to hurt either him or her and to please just tell her I had already asked someone else. Had I not been taken by surprise, I would have just said that from the start but he caught me off-guard.
I feel bad and my brother is now being cool towards me. Is there a better way to have handled? I know this will come up again and next time I want to be prepared. Thanks e-hellions.