Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 20686 times)

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Tea Drinker

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #180 on: March 02, 2014, 10:08:41 PM »
That makes me think of another good question, and if it's too much of a thread derail I'll start a new one, but what is the etiquette when the event you RSVPed to is rescheduled and the new date clashes with a prior engagement? Is the original RSVP voided when the date is changed?

If the event is rescheduled through no fault of yours, then I think you're in the clear to attend the event that was originally scheduled for the new/second date and send your regrets to the rescheduled/original event. In other words, yes, the original RSVP is voided.

Agreed. If the invitation is for "my wedding to Obi-wan, at the purple church on the first of May" and you have to move it to a different weekend, most people who said yes are going to try to make it--and I think it would be kind to get in touch with those who said "I'd love to but I'm busy" and ask if the new time works better. But be careful not to push: if the person declined because it's too far away, or they have to spend May studying for the bar exam, it's still too far away and one week later won't make a difference (though three months would).

But even though the people getting married see it as the same event, someone they invited may have accepted another invitation for the following weekend and say no because they've accepted something else. Depending on the something, well, if you were going to come over to hang out and drink tea, maybe we can move it to the weekend that the wedding had been going to be. If it's someone else's wedding or graduation, that's not going to be rescheduled.
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MariaE

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #181 on: March 03, 2014, 12:51:31 AM »
Oh, and wait - isn't it considered rude to throw your own anniversary party anyway?

Not in my neck of the woods. I've never attended an anniversary that wasn't hosted by the couple themselves.
 
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Eeep!

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #182 on: March 03, 2014, 12:52:41 AM »
Yes, those things all seem mildly annoying, and I know you're claiming you don't let your kids onto your frustration, but I feel like this is what is still really rubbing me the wrong way:

So this year MIL asks if we're planning a party for DS who will be 10, and I simply stated that we didn't do big parties anymore, and just let the birthday child pick out what he or she wants to do for that entire weekend instead. 

Do you really think a 14 year old isn't picking up on this? How many other people were at the party? Did you guys have fun after your MIL left, regardless?
Yes, your MIL seems a bit flaky. What she did was borderline rude (as were #2 & #3 on your other examples. #1 seems straight up rude, but I'm wondering what their situation was at the time...was FIL ill? What kind of illness? Were they like this before? Not that I need that info, but it could play into it), but your reaction to it doesn't seem to be "punishing" your MIL (not your job, anyway), but your kids. Plan what you'd like to plan, and just assume she may be flakey. Don't let that ruin your time, and don't let it ruin your kids' time.

There is a fine line here, and I think the OP stayed on the polite/good side when dealing with Grandma.  Kids will pick up on things, so you have 2 options.  OP can keep being a doormat and let her kids see/experience it too (which one already has, so there goes that) or put a stop to it, stand up for herself and family.  And she did it with grace too.  The amount of money (yes, she didn't cite it, but boat rides and all that add up) she has spent to host her MIL only to have it wasted is enough to drive most people batty, imo.

The OP didn't vent, gripe or unload on Grandma in front of the children, she simply stated her boundary.  I have a hard time viewing that as punishment of the children.  I see it as a good example for her children on how to deal with difficult people.  They will need those tools one day and Mom here did a good job without crossing the line, imho.  It would be very easy to get really upset over what happened here and show her hand, from her OP she did not.  But she's also not going back for more.  Good job, Mom!

I agree that the decision is a good one. Making a decision to not continually put your children in a position where there is a good chance they will be hurt is a good one. And the daughter was 14. More than old enough to all on her own notice that her party - which was planned 3 months in advance - and had a whole set of activities around which it was planned, was cut short to an hour when more than half the invited guests went on to another party.  And once the older sibling has noticed a pattern of behavior, there is a high chance younger siblings will notice it even sooner.
It's not like the OP is - is instead of having the family parties - making her children sit around doing nothing on their birthdays while making jabs at the MIL and company. I would think that they are doing fun nuclear family celebrations or school friend celebrations. Which are a totally valid and fun way to celebrate a child's birthday and aren't punishing the child in any way.
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123sandy

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #183 on: March 03, 2014, 01:02:28 AM »
I think this thread is just going in circles and I don't think anyone will change their minds in what they regard as rude or not rude.  The fact is the OP is tired of family members accepting invitations and then always being disappointed and she doesn't want her or her kids to keep feeling this way.  She said her MIL is disappointed they are not throwing a party this year and the OP ask if she was rude to feel the way she feels.  My answer is "no."  If MIL is disappointed, nobody is stopping her from throwing her grandkid a party.

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sammycat

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #184 on: March 03, 2014, 01:20:30 AM »
Oh, and wait - isn't it considered rude to throw your own anniversary party anyway?

Not in my neck of the woods. I've never attended an anniversary that wasn't hosted by the couple themselves.

POD. I've actually only ever come across one anniversary party amongst my family and friends, and that was for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary - and after the year they'd had they needed something good to focus on.

I'm not sure why a couple would expect someone else to pay for or organise their anniversary party. Maybe their adult kids might chip in, but it's certainly not something I'd expect or consider necessary.

lollylegs

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #185 on: March 03, 2014, 01:26:29 AM »
Oh, and wait - isn't it considered rude to throw your own anniversary party anyway?

Not in my neck of the woods. I've never attended an anniversary that wasn't hosted by the couple themselves.

POD. I've actually only ever come across one anniversary party amongst my family and friends, and that was for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary - and after the year they'd had they needed something good to focus on.

I'm not sure why a couple would expect someone else to pay for or organise their anniversary party. Maybe their adult kids might chip in, but it's certainly not something I'd expect or consider necessary.

Not in my neck of the woods either. And since an anniversary party isn't a gift giving occasion, I would imagine that it wouldn't be a faux pas to organise your own even in cultures where throwing your own birthday party is considered rude.

Paper Roses

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #186 on: March 03, 2014, 01:58:37 AM »
Ok.  I guess I was thinking of things like birthday parties and wedding/baby showers.  Sorry. 
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etiquettenut

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #187 on: March 03, 2014, 07:47:06 AM »
I reread the OP and found yet another thing that bothers me about MIL's actions. The OP reminded everyone a month before the event. Then, about a week after that, the anniversary party invitation is issued. However, the OP doesn't even find out until one week before the BD party that now MIL is only planning on staying 1 hour.

So, MIL couldn't even be bothered to talk to or ask the OP about anything at all. She just decided to sacrifice party #1 for party #2, and then didn't even tell the OP this until a week before. How rude!

Continue doing what you are doing OP. After the other incidents you related, combined with the BD party, I would never go out of my way for, or trust, MIL again. She wants a party; she can throw it herself. (And then you can grace it with your presence for a whole hour - kidding! ;-)



Pumpkin Spice

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #188 on: March 03, 2014, 09:42:54 AM »
I reread the OP and found yet another thing that bothers me about MIL's actions. The OP reminded everyone a month before the event. Then, about a week after that, the anniversary party invitation is issued. However, the OP doesn't even find out until one week before the BD party that now MIL is only planning on staying 1 hour.

So, MIL couldn't even be bothered to talk to or ask the OP about anything at all. She just decided to sacrifice party #1 for party #2, and then didn't even tell the OP this until a week before. How rude!

Continue doing what you are doing OP. After the other incidents you related, combined with the BD party, I would never go out of my way for, or trust, MIL again. She wants a party; she can throw it herself. (And then you can grace it with your presence for a whole hour - kidding! ;-)

I agree with this.  I was also wondering why the MIL didn't inform OP (to be nice and helpful) that this other party may interfere with the attendance of her party, just as a heads-up.

As soon as she got the other invite she should have done a few things IMO. She should have informed the Aunt that she would be going to her granddaughter's bday party that was scheduled months ago for the same day but that if she wanted them to come by afterwards, she could do that and then she should have contacted OP immediately and said something like "Hey, daughter in law, just to warn you, Aunt is having this party and oh my goodness it's for the same afternoon as our sweet soon to be 14 year old's."  Something about Murphy's law, etc.. And then "I hope you understand that I do want to make an appearance to hers even though it is last minute compared to granddaughter's but I want to make sure I thoroughly enjoy DGD's party first."  She maybe could have gotten away with one dropped activity from the end to accommodate the Aunt's party but to stay for only an hour is not okay (to me).

Kariachi

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #189 on: March 03, 2014, 09:44:15 AM »
If we take the numbers out of it-

They cut extremely short their participation in their granddaughter's birthday party, including skipping out on presumably expensive activities that were planned with them in mind, so they could spend the day at the anniversary bbq of FIL's brother whom he wasn't close to.

So, uncle- and aunt-in-law get to have the ILs for most of the day despite short notice and a further relationship, while granddaughter gets to suck it up despite having had their promise from months ahead.

I've been that grandchild where they're gung-ho to spend time with you, until there's another offer, or they actually get the chance. It hurts, it seriously damages the relationship, and you notice. My parents managed to shield me for most of my life, mostly due to physical distance and my grandmothers' actions being normal to me ("oh, grandma just dropped the animals with me and left, big shocker"), but after a point you grow and realize that other people are more important to them.

OP, I think you're doing fine. If anything, you're handling things the way my parents did, and that worked pretty darn well.
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Zizi-K

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #190 on: March 03, 2014, 10:31:52 AM »
Ok.  I guess I was thinking of things like birthday parties and wedding/baby showers.  Sorry.

It is not rude to throw your own birthday party. In fact, as an adult, you should be throwing your own rather than expecting your friends to pony up for you. If I want people to gather for my birthday, I sure as heck am not going to try and make them pay for the pleasure - I will be treating them. And, as an adult, I will also not expect gifts.

sammycat

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #191 on: March 03, 2014, 07:50:44 PM »
I reread the OP and found yet another thing that bothers me about MIL's actions. The OP reminded everyone a month before the event. Then, about a week after that, the anniversary party invitation is issued. However, the OP doesn't even find out until one week before the BD party that now MIL is only planning on staying 1 hour.

So, MIL couldn't even be bothered to talk to or ask the OP about anything at all. She just decided to sacrifice party #1 for party #2, and then didn't even tell the OP this until a week before. How rude!

Continue doing what you are doing OP. After the other incidents you related, combined with the BD party, I would never go out of my way for, or trust, MIL again. She wants a party; she can throw it herself. (And then you can grace it with your presence for a whole hour - kidding! ;-)

I agree with this.  I was also wondering why the MIL didn't inform OP (to be nice and helpful) that this other party may interfere with the attendance of her party, just as a heads-up.

As soon as she got the other invite she should have done a few things IMO. She should have informed the Aunt that she would be going to her granddaughter's bday party that was scheduled months ago for the same day but that if she wanted them to come by afterwards, she could do that and then she should have contacted OP immediately and said something like "Hey, daughter in law, just to warn you, Aunt is having this party and oh my goodness it's for the same afternoon as our sweet soon to be 14 year old's."  Something about Murphy's law, etc.. And then "I hope you understand that I do want to make an appearance to hers even though it is last minute compared to granddaughter's but I want to make sure I thoroughly enjoy DGD's party first."  She maybe could have gotten away with one dropped activity from the end to accommodate the Aunt's party but to stay for only an hour is not okay (to me).

I agree with both of you. 

I can't think of a single way to spin this that make grandma look good.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #192 on: March 03, 2014, 09:30:40 PM »
I'm reminded of a time when I was invited to a wedding of a friend, to which DH and I responded with a "yes" and then my aunt and uncle sent out invitations to my cousin's bar mitzvah that was on the same day and as there was just no way we could attend both, due to their respective locations, we sent our regrets for the bar mitzvah.

My mother thought this was the worst thing we could do! I pointed out our friend's wedding invitation came and was answered before we got the invitation to the bar mitzvah.  She said it didn't matter, that Bar Mitzvahs (and Bat Mitzvahs) are planned at least a year ahead and cost as much to the parents as a wedding does, I OWED it to my aunt and uncle to go because they're FAMILY!

Course my aunt and uncle understood and weren't even nearly as offended as my mother was.  ::)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #193 on: March 13, 2014, 12:36:45 PM »
Yes, those things all seem mildly annoying, and I know you're claiming you don't let your kids onto your frustration, but I feel like this is what is still really rubbing me the wrong way:

So this year MIL asks if we're planning a party for DS who will be 10, and I simply stated that we didn't do big parties anymore, and just let the birthday child pick out what he or she wants to do for that entire weekend instead. 

Do you really think a 14 year old isn't picking up on this? ..... your reaction to it doesn't seem to be "punishing" your MIL (not your job, anyway), but your kids. Plan what you'd like to plan, and just assume she may be flakey. Don't let that ruin your time, and don't let it ruin your kids' time.

I disagree.

I think the OP's reaction is absolutely perfect. It sounds like the pressure to have a big gathering came from the MIL in the first place. So now they just don't ever give in to the pressure, and they indulge the b'day kid some other way. Some way that the b'day kid prefers.

Of course the kids have figured out that Grandma is flaky, and blows off their time/energy/events. They're probably relieved to not keep having parties that more than half the guest list disrespects.

jfost

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #194 on: April 22, 2014, 10:25:32 PM »
(Of course, it could also be said that the OP was the one who was in the wrong for planning a party on the date of the Aunt's 50th anniversary, thereby forcing people to choose. Was the daughter's birthday on the same actual day as the anniversary, or did she just pick that date for the party? If so why? Just something to ponder).

Unless the OP has a phenomenal memory, how would she even know it's the Aunt's 50th?  OP obviously wasn't there, so unless the family consistently reminded her every year, there'd be no way.

In my case, my mother had 13 sibs and my father 7.  All their weddings took place before I was born.  Add in my DH's even larger number of aunts/uncles on both sides.  Neither one of us could tell you their birthday/anniversary dates if our lives depended on it.