Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 20748 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #75 on: March 01, 2014, 10:39:50 AM »

Well, not all parties take months of planning. I've certainly never had one that was. Three weeks should be perfectly adequate to plan a simple 50th anniversary party.

I'm wondering if the OP and her family was invited to this anniversary party? It doesn't seem like they were since it hasn't been mentioned, so it'd be interesting to know if there is any backstory here that's clouding feelings.

Sure, but then you (generic 'you')  shouldn't expect everybody on your guest list to be available for your party.
 

Of course. But if the MIL wants to go (or feels like she has to, because it was her sister), and she wasn't given the invitation until late, I don't see anything wrong with prioritising in this instance. A 14th birthday is not a milestone. The child will have another birthday next year. There won't be another 50th. I think this was more important, and MIL *did* attend the child's party, so, I think she did the best she could in the circumstances. She could have blown it out altogether, but she did not.

Like I said, strictly speaking she gaffed by accepting the invitation, but real life sometimes requires us to be more flexible than the rigidity of etiquette allows.

(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).
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:42:40 AM by perpetua »

prock929

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #76 on: March 01, 2014, 11:05:11 AM »

Of course. But if the MIL wants to go (or feels like she has to, because it was her sister), and she wasn't given the invitation until late, I don't see anything wrong with prioritising in this instance. A 14th birthday is not a milestone. The child will have another birthday next year. There won't be another 50th. I think this was more important, and MIL *did* attend the child's party, so, I think she did the best she could in the circumstances. She could have blown it out altogether, but she did not.

Like I said, strictly speaking she gaffed by accepting the invitation, but real life sometimes requires us to be more flexible than the rigidity of etiquette allows.

(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).


I assuming that it was at least close to the daughter's birthday since the OP did say that her daughter's birthday is in July (and that they had to reserve the park 3 months in advance (April))   Also was the anniversary party held on the actual anniversary or just the closest weekend?

Also, the OP (or her husband since I suspect it's his aunt) may not have been aware of when the anniversary was.  I know that I could not tell you when all of my aunts and uncles' anniversaries are.  (except one and even then I don't know the exact date, just a rough time period - end of April, for example)

BarensMom

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2014, 11:11:19 AM »
(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.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #78 on: March 01, 2014, 11:16:51 AM »
I'm not understanding why an anniversary, even one celebrating 50 years of marriage, is more important than a birthday.  Nobody in my family celebrates anniversaries (or, if they do, I'm never invited to the parties!).  Same with my in-laws.  I know my grandparents have been married for 50+ years, but as far as I know, there wasn't a big party for their 50th anniversary, and if there had been a party, it certainly wouldn't have been allowed to trump a grandchild's birthday. 

Birthday parties, for my family, are the big deal.  When my grandmother turned 80, I flew back to my HomeState to be there for the celebration, because she wanted as much of her family as possible to be there.  When I celebrated my 30th birthday, my parents came out to CurrentState to celebrate with me.  So I would be very upset if I was planning a birthday party for my hypothetical kids, and everyone deserted after an hour to go to an anniversary celebration that wasn't even announced for two months after the birthday plans were made. 

gen xer

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #79 on: March 01, 2014, 11:18:02 AM »
Why should any one event trump another?  This shouldn't be about which event is more "important"...it's about what one you committed to first. 

To me this is pretty simple - if you accept an invitation you honour it....and you honour it properly. 

It doesn't mean that the in-laws can't go to the anniversary party or that they have to stay to the absolute bitter end of the birthday party.....it's just that they should be giving the birthday party precedence and stay long enough that befits the kind of party it is.  Some parties are much more casual in nature - drop by for a hot-dog, beer and cake!  Maybe those are the kind where you can stay for an hour or two and not be rude....but this one seemed to be a family event where only staying for an hour gives the impression of people merely condescending to go.

perpetua

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #80 on: March 01, 2014, 11:53:46 AM »
Well, it's a one-off milestone event, for one thing. It's their Golden Wedding.

Lady Snowdon, the birthdays you speak of are milestones. That's different. Of course being there for someone's 80th birthday is important, but a 14th birthday is just a run of the mill birthday, there's nothing special about it. It'd be like me getting bent out of shape over my, say, 37th birthday not being celebrated 'properly'. If it was their 18th or 21st I would feel differently.

BarensMom

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #81 on: March 01, 2014, 11:59:07 AM »
However, the OP planned and sent invites to her daughter's party before anyone even knew that Aunt was going to have an anniversary party.  OP's invitations were accepted by the family, which gives precedence over any other event held on that date/time.

perpetua

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #82 on: March 01, 2014, 12:16:23 PM »
Technically, yes. But like I say, sometimes people have to be a bit more flexible. This was the grandmother's sister's 50th wedding anniversary. I can well see the grandma prioritising that milestone event over a run of the mill child's birthday even if the invitation did come later.

Also, the aunt wasn't invited to the daughter's birthday, so it's likely she didn't even know about it when she issued the anniversary invitations. I don't think she's at all at fault here.  If the OP's husband isn't expected to remember when his aunt's milestone anniversary is when planning a birthday party, I think the reverse should also be true - that the aunt couldn't be expected to remember the girl's birthday.

I think it's just one of those unfortunate coincidences where really, everyone should be mature enough to bend a bit so everyone can have their day.

Venus193

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #83 on: March 01, 2014, 12:17:37 PM »
However, the OP planned and sent invites to her daughter's party before anyone even knew that Aunt was going to have an anniversary party.  OP's invitations were accepted by the family, which gives precedence over any other event held on that date/time.

This.

If a 50th anniversary party is that important it's planned farther in advance than this was. 

perpetua

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #84 on: March 01, 2014, 12:21:10 PM »
However, the OP planned and sent invites to her daughter's party before anyone even knew that Aunt was going to have an anniversary party.  OP's invitations were accepted by the family, which gives precedence over any other event held on that date/time.

This.

If a 50th anniversary party is that important it's planned farther in advance than this was.

Why? Why does it take months to plan a party, unless you're hiring caterers and venues etc?

This may just have been a simple party in someone's home or at a restaurant and *still* been just as important as one that took months to plan.

The grandness of a party does not dictate its importance. Three weeks is perfectly adequate to arrange most types of parties.

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #85 on: March 01, 2014, 12:23:30 PM »
Was the birthday party only supposed to have 12 guests and did the inlaws know that? Were paper invitations sent with a start and end time for the party?

lorelai

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #86 on: March 01, 2014, 12:24:18 PM »
I think the MIL would have been less rude to tell the aunt that she had accepted an invitation to her granddaughter's bday party and that she'd come by as soon as it was over. That would have been the classy and kind way to handle this. That's bending too, and asking for flexibility too.

But to go to a bday party where going out on a boat ride was part of the planned activities, and bouncing early for a better offer thereby significantly changing the dynamics of the party, was unclassy, unkind, and just plain rude.

Venus193

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #87 on: March 01, 2014, 12:26:18 PM »
It's not the "grandness" but the relative importance.  If you're planning a 50th anniversary party shouldn't it be done adequately in advance that all the guests know to save the date?

As it was the anniversary party was planned after invitations went out for the one that required the logistical planning in advance and it sounds like it was also somewhat expensive.

Zizi-K

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #88 on: March 01, 2014, 12:47:18 PM »
The offending event happened two years ago, and seems like only one data point. Do you see your ILs for Sunday dinners or at times other than birthdays? If the kids like doing things on their birthday with just immediate family or with their friends, I see no reason to change it. However, it would be nice if they could have a relationship with their grandparents. So, why not do things at other times? Or, could you schedule a special birthday dinner with grandma and grandpa on a day other than when they normally celebrate, say on a weeknight? (I can't imagine they would have competing plans on such a day.)

gen xer

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #89 on: March 01, 2014, 01:02:04 PM »
However, the OP planned and sent invites to her daughter's party before anyone even knew that Aunt was going to have an anniversary party.  OP's invitations were accepted by the family, which gives precedence over any other event held on that date/time.

Yes....it really is that simple.  It's a pretty basic etiquette principal that you don't abandon plans because something else came along.  Saying "but it's a Golden Wedding Anniversary" doesn't cut it.  If we start making exceptions all the time it will never end:

"But this is my very best friend from Grade School - I just have to go to her shower!"
"But this is my favourite rock group and a friend of a friend is selling her tickets for half price - I can't turn that down!"
"But Grandma is 81 and we don't know how many years she has left so maybe we'd better go to this retirement home volunteer appreciation dinner".

The only acceptable reasons for bailing on plans is illness or something unavoidable or serious - say a blizzard making travel very dangerous.

Some posters have mentioned that if an event is "that" important then people will usually start floating dates around and checking people's availability.  If you just throw out a date and say "this is when it is" that's fine....but you have to be prepared that some people just won't be able to make it.