Author Topic: If you want me to pay...  (Read 17631 times)

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kherbert05

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 05:05:34 AM »
I like your idea. Except would your parents feel a bit awkward? Especially if MIL makes it known that it's "her" meal and they're not really welcome.
But MIL turned over the hosting to the Kitchcat and her husband - so they get to organize it the way they want.
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aussie_chick

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2014, 05:23:16 AM »
Ugh this is yuck!
Absolutely change the venue and the guest list to suit you. Your DH may have agreed to pay but I think you can say "since i/we're paying and I don't care for that restaurant, I have changed the venue. I really hope everyone will still join us."

CakeEater

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 05:26:29 AM »
I like your idea. Except would your parents feel a bit awkward? Especially if MIL makes it known that it's "her" meal and they're not really welcome.
But MIL turned over the hosting to the Kitchcat and her husband - so they get to organize it the way they want.

Sure, but that may not stop her making comments in the direction of the guests she didn't invite, resulting in some awkwardness for the OP's parents, potentially.

Cherry91

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2014, 06:51:49 AM »
It may not be entirely etiquette approved, but if someone tried to put me on the spot like that, I'd put them right on the spot back.

"Really? That's funny, I don't remember agreeing to that. In fact, I think this is the first I've heard of the idea. Whatever would make you think you could just announce something like that without consulting us?"

secretrebel

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 07:18:13 AM »
Your husband 'put his foot down' and decreed that you will be paying? What the glaiven? This sounds like more than a MIL problem to me. If he wants to pay he should pay with his money and if he has no money then his feet (of clay) are his problem.

Margo

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 08:12:06 AM »
This really is outrageous behaviour both by your MIL and by your Husband, and I think you need to be having a serious conversation with your Husband about how inappropriate it is.

Ideally, you would be contacting your MIL to tell her "DH and I were happy to accept *your* invitation, and we are happy to pay for ourselves, but we did not offer to treat you or your other guests, and will not be doing so."

If you don't feel you can do that, then yes, change the venue to somewhere you can afford (and arrange a set / limited menu with the restaurant to keep it in budget, if need be) invite whomever you ant, and contact the guests directly to let them know the details. If you are hosting, then you host on your terms. Don't tell MIL of the changes until you have told all of the other guests, and if she argues, tell her that she chose to force you into hosting without your prior knowledge or consent, and that you have been extremely generous in saving her face by not telling everyone what she did but instead arranging things so that you *can* host, rather than embarassing her in front og everyone by telling them she has misled them.

But you do need to address with your husband his attitude, and that *his* behaviour is not any more appropriate or acceptable than hers.

Oh Joy

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 08:19:04 AM »
Can we please trust the OP to manage her own marital dynamics?   She said that not paying isn't an option, and we all have to choose our battles.  I don't think this is a case of a poster missing the real problem.

That said, if our OP and her husband are now hosting, they certainly may change the invitation's venue and guest list.  Anyone not interested in attending may decline.

bloo

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 08:35:39 AM »
OP, I think you're totally in the clear to simply take over hosting duties and everyone else can stuff it.

MrTango

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 09:13:04 AM »
It may not be entirely etiquette approved, but if someone tried to put me on the spot like that, I'd put them right on the spot back.

"Really? That's funny, I don't remember agreeing to that. In fact, I think this is the first I've heard of the idea. Whatever would make you think you could can just announce something like that without consulting us?"

Actually, I don't think there's anything rude in refusing to be put on the spot.  In fact, I think you could even be a bit more direct than your suggested quote.

miranova

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 09:18:29 AM »
My problem with this plan is that it's totally passive aggressive.  What OP really wants to do is tell her MIL that she's not paying, but she won't/can't say that.  So instead she is saying "I'll show you!" by changing the location and inviting more people.  If OP actually originally wanted to host a dinner out and wanted to invite her parents, that would be one thing.  But doing it specifically as a reaction to being bossed around by both her MIL and her husband isn't going to achieve the desired result.  I think it's only going to increase the drama in this already strained relationship

OP, my advice would be to drop the rope and not attend this dinner.  Your husband can make his own choices and you can deal with how he is spending your joint money however you prefer because that is a marriage decision and beyond the realm of etiquette.  If you want to invite your parents to dinner, do it another time and without the drama that MIL will inevitably bring.  Let's be honest, you are not really hosting this dinner even if you are paying.  Your MIL is the one in control so long as your dh is allowing it.  You are trying to come in after the fact and sabotage her plan instead of just saying no in the first place.  Understandable, maybe, but I don't really think it's going to get you the results you want.  You MIL is not going to suddenly realize that she did something wrong and respect you now.  She is who she is.  She will spin this to make you the bad guy and your problems will only get worse.  If you don't want to be bullied by her, the answer is saying NO and making boundaries, not passively aggressively upsetting her plan that your Dh is perfectly fine with.  If it were me, I'd be making this a hill to die on with my dh, but you are not me, and if you aren't going to say no to paying for this dinner then just let him go and plan your own dinner with your parents if you wish.  Don't use your parents to make a stand against your MIL.

dlws92

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 09:48:09 AM »
Wow...just wow.

You are perfectly within your hostessing rights to change venue and guest list.  Moving it to a less expensive location can easily be dealt with with a wide-eyed "I am so sorry...but we just don't have that money to spend right after Christmas" but I would not invite others to join the "party".  It would be unkind (and an etiquette violation) to involve others in this mess.

If your husband is unwilling to change venue require him to pay for it and stay home.  We often say here that it is permitted to allow people to experience the full extent of their behavior.  DH will have a different view of kissing up to MIL if he has to do the kissing alone :)  Dropping the rope with both your MIL and DH will save you a lot of anxiety.

cicero

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2014, 09:54:19 AM »
My problem with this plan is that it's totally passive aggressive.  What OP really wants to do is tell her MIL that she's not paying, but she won't/can't say that.  So instead she is saying "I'll show you!" by changing the location and inviting more people.  If OP actually originally wanted to host a dinner out and wanted to invite her parents, that would be one thing.  But doing it specifically as a reaction to being bossed around by both her MIL and her husband isn't going to achieve the desired result.  I think it's only going to increase the drama in this already strained relationship

OP, my advice would be to drop the rope and not attend this dinner.  Your husband can make his own choices and you can deal with how he is spending your joint money however you prefer because that is a marriage decision and beyond the realm of etiquette.  If you want to invite your parents to dinner, do it another time and without the drama that MIL will inevitably bring.  Let's be honest, you are not really hosting this dinner even if you are paying.  Your MIL is the one in control so long as your dh is allowing it.  You are trying to come in after the fact and sabotage her plan instead of just saying no in the first place.  Understandable, maybe, but I don't really think it's going to get you the results you want.  You MIL is not going to suddenly realize that she did something wrong and respect you now.  She is who she is.  She will spin this to make you the bad guy and your problems will only get worse.  If you don't want to be bullied by her, the answer is saying NO and making boundaries, not passively aggressively upsetting her plan that your Dh is perfectly fine with.  If it were me, I'd be making this a hill to die on with my dh, but you are not me, and if you aren't going to say no to paying for this dinner then just let him go and plan your own dinner with your parents if you wish.  Don't use your parents to make a stand against your MIL.
I basically agree with this. OP , of course you *can* follow your plan, but the question is why would you and what would you gain out of it?

Once you agreed to pay for the dinner that your in laws suggested ( and I understand you didn't exactly agree but were coerced into it), then you kind of should go along with what you agreed to, not do something else that might make your parents and the other guests uncomfortable. Or cancel the whole thing.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 09:57:17 AM by cicero »

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TootsNYC

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
I would say skip the "inviting your parents" part but *do* follow through with the "we need a less-expensive restaurant."

I agree that inside a marriage, the money is "ours," not your/mine. But it would impact my marriage of my low-earning DH "put his foot down" about spending a chunk of change that *I* didn't want to spend. Even if it did involve parents.

So I'd just take over the hosting of the *existing* event.
Call MIL and tell her, "I was surprised to hear you announce to everyone that DH and I would be treating. You know that I'm the only one of us working at the time, and that's really just a big chunk of money for you to decide we're going to be generous with. So I'm going to have to change the venue. I can't afford to treat that many people at that restaurant--it would be about $000, which is the equivalent of groceries for two weeks, so I'll send invites to everyone to let them know it'll be at Other Restaurant."
   You absolutely are completely fine to change the financial aspect of the event. It's called "financial damage control."

In fact, do that math. Get their menu, plot of out probable expenditure (don't exaggerate, but if you know that people tend to order wine, appetizers, factor that in). Tell her exactly how much money that's working out to be.

But I wouldn't drag your parents into it.

JenJay

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2014, 11:15:55 AM »
You can invite your parents but I wouldn't. It's bound to irritate MIL, which is "too bad, so sad" for her but it would create a tense, awkward situation for everyone else. Absolutely change the location to one you can afford!!

If you're worried about getting your husband on your side, approach it from a different perspective. Figure out a few restaurants you can afford and say to him "Honey, I don't know what to do. I know you really want us to pay for the dinner your mom organized, but we can't afford it. Did you realize that for 6 people to eat at place the bill will be at least $amount? Plus someone might want drinks or dessert, there's the tip, etc. We just don't have that kind of money. We can afford This, That, or Other place. Which one do you prefer?"

Then call her and present a united front "DH and I can't afford Her Place so we'll be taking everyone to New Place." Normally I'd suggest having him call but it sounds like she'll argue and he'll cave.

Kaypeep

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2014, 11:24:20 AM »
I change my answer slightly.  I agree with the posters who say not to invite your parents.  I think it would look hypocritical to say money is an issue but then add 2 more people to the bill, even if it's at a less expensive restaurant.  I still think you should change the venue to a more affordable one, though.

Also, OP, I'm curious and you probably don't have the answer to this, but why do you think MIL did this?  Is this just common behavior for her?  Or do you think she's trying to make a point to someone?  Maybe she or her family have issues with DH not working and she wants to show that you aren't struggling and are forcing you to pay for dinner to prove that point?