There are so many unanswered etiquette questions here - and we're still in the thick of this mess. Anyone willing to try and assist in the sorting out of this in a polite way I would appreciate it.
Several months ago, AIL and I were on the phone discussing GMIL's milestone birthday. AIL lamented how she longed to throw her mother a large birthday to celebrate this special birthday. I agreed and offered to help get the ball rolling. AIL lives across the globe, and IL's live across our country (several hours by flight). Over several emails AIL and I discussed venue, food, hospitality, decorations, fancy cake, etc.
As we neared the date I called MIL to coordinate (she lives in same city as GMIL). MIL sounded...not impressed. But cooperative and the illusion of support was there for our plans. I told DH "I feel like she will find a way to ruin this." Sure enough..
DH and I book our expensive flights. Take our last few days of annual vacation from work. Make arrangemetns for our pets. Have ordered a huge cake, and spent money on personalized party favours. We are ready for a big party and excited to surprise GMIL with our arrival in town for this special day. We'd discussed with AIL and MIL to have extended family invited, etc.
So we're about a month out from our trip. MIL informs us over a phone call last week that actually, GMIL wanted to go to XYZ restaurant ON her actual Bday, and so as not to disapoint her, she told her about the surprise party, and that we were flying out, and that we were planning a party. Then she says that they're having the party with the extended family on her actual bday now, and it'll just be immediate family when we fly out.
So basically, they are having the party without us, to heck with all the planning, and we are now going to ALL this trouble to fly there for a family dinner.
Immediatly DH got off the phone and said we are not going, let's cancel tickets. Which we did this week-end. I was livid. I started crying and left the room before the call was over (we were on speaker phone).
DH wants to tell them he is too busy to go because of work and that head in the sand routine is getting old. I told him I understand a white lie to grandma because why upset her further (she's in the 100+category), but he needs to tell his mother the real reason we're not going and discuss it with her.
Any advise appreciated...or commentary. Sigh. DH has yet to tell them we're not coming (he wanted to wait until their holiday celebration was over as he didn't trust his mom not to blow a gasget and let onto GMIL that she was angry/upset/disappointed, etc).