Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 20272 times)

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kudeebee

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2014, 11:22:43 PM »
I don't blame you or your kids for being disappointed.  ILs knew about the party for their granddaughter 3 months in advance.  The anniversary party invitation was issued three weeks before the events both occurred.  ILs should have honored their original commitment and spent more time at their granddaughter's party and "dropped in" on the anniversary party. Instead they did the reverse--see OP original quote below.  They made a choice to put the anniversary party, whose invitation was received after they had rsvp'd for the birthday party, ahead of the birthday party.  I think it was inconsiderate of dh's aunt to plan her party on the same day as your dd, assuming that she knew it was going to happen.

We learned about a week before my DD's party that all my IL's were only going to come to DD's party for about an hour, then leave to spend the majority of the day at the Anniversary get together.  >:(  I took it all as graciously as I could but I was kind of irritated.  Here we were planning a party for DD and most of the attendees were going to leave shortly after arriving because something better came along!

Also, with the additional information about mil feeling like she has to attend everything that she is invited to--whenever you invite her in the future, do so with the knowledge that she probably won't honor the commitment.  Talk with the kids about it as well.  That way your family won't be disappointed.

Would it be tacky to set up a "how long will mil stay at this party" pool amongst your family? ;D

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2014, 12:50:47 AM »
Well, despedina, I've got to say you're a heck of a lot nicer person than I am.

After reading your message, my first thought was:

>So this year MIL asks if we're planning a party for DS who will be 10...

MY answer would have been, "No...2 years ago I invited you to DD's 14th birthday party 3 months in advance; you accepted, and yet you cut out after an hour to go to a different party you'd been invited to 3 weeks earlier.  DD was hurt, and I'm not interested in putting DS through that."

To me this seems quite petty, and also seems to be punishing the DS. How many people were supposed to be (and, actually, were) at DD's party? How many people "cut out early" and therefore caused this potential forever ban on a party?

jedikaiti

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2014, 01:05:05 AM »
Well, despedina, I've got to say you're a heck of a lot nicer person than I am.

After reading your message, my first thought was:

>So this year MIL asks if we're planning a party for DS who will be 10...

MY answer would have been, "No...2 years ago I invited you to DD's 14th birthday party 3 months in advance; you accepted, and yet you cut out after an hour to go to a different party you'd been invited to 3 weeks earlier.  DD was hurt, and I'm not interested in putting DS through that."

That's more nice (and more to the point) than what I would be thinking - something more like "What do you care? It's not like you stuck around for the last one we threw, and you ruined DD's b-day party for her to boot."
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NyaChan

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2014, 01:14:28 AM »
I'd probably go for "Well we tried once if you'll remember, but everyone left after only an hour and it left the kids really disappointed.  We've decided it isn't right to put them through that again."

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2014, 01:28:08 AM »
I guess I am really confused. How many people were invited, and how many came for "only" an hour? If there were 10 people invited and 9 came for only am hour I can maybe see taking such a harsh stance. But if there were 45 people invited and 5 came for only an hour......I just don't see it!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 02:00:14 AM by TurtleDove »

lollylegs

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2014, 01:59:07 AM »
Some posters seem really angry at the grandmother for 'only' staying for an hour which makes me wonder, are there any etiquette rules about how long one must stay at an event?

It seems to me that the grandmother did the best she could. She probably would have gotten into trouble if she hadn't gone to the anniversary party or if she hadn't gone to her granddaughter's birthday party, so she tried to make an appearance at both. And staying for an hour, having lunch and doing the presents and cake seems like a pretty adequate appearance to me. I'm just not seeing how the grandmother ruined the granddaughters birthday party with her rudeness, which makes me wonder if I'm missing some etiquette rule.

(I realise that people might argue that the grandmother RSVPed to the granddaughters party first but that's exactly my question - she RSVPed and she turned up, so why is it rude?)

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2014, 02:02:49 AM »
I'm with you, lollylegs. I don't get it! I think the ILs were fine!

Dindrane

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2014, 08:39:10 AM »
I think that if a guest, by only staying for part of the party, substantially changes the dynamic of the party, then it's rude.

In this case, I think it depends on how many relatives were only dropping in for an hour, and how central their attendance was to the party as a whole. It kind of sounds like despedina ended up having to change around the order and timing of events so that her MIL could be there for the meal and present opening. If she did that on her own initiative, I'd say just don't bother making changes to the schedule the next time she invites MIL to something (and if the in-laws miss out, that's on them).

If she changed things around because the relatives who only dropped in insisted on it because they were only going to be there for a short time, I think despedina's response (not doing these types of parties anymore) is entirely reasonable. She could just refuse to change the schedule for people who don't stay for the whole party, but that would be much more stressful (and likely confrontational) than just letting the kids do something else to celebrate their birthdays.

In the end, despedina gave ample notice of her party to allow her guests to plan their schedules. Behaving the way her in-laws did (accepting her invitation well in advance, then accepting the anniversary party invitation 3 weeks before both parties and choosing to spend the bulk of their time at the anniversary party instead of at the birthday party) absolutely does communicate that the birthday party is less important. And maybe it's justifiably less important, but making it so painfully obvious to the hosts and perhaps the guest of honor is extremely hurtful and a little rude.

Plus, an anniversary celebration might be a bigger deal to a lot of people than a teenager's birthday party, but not if the anniversary party isn't even planned to the point of inviting people until 3 weeks in advance. If it matters so much to the people celebrating the anniversary, they ought to make their plans known quite a bit sooner. As someone else said upthread, it's not like they don't know the date. I would personally assume that my presence was much more sought after and valued at a birthday party I was invited to 3 months ago than at an anniversary party I was invited to 3 weeks ago. Even if I thought I needed to attend both, I'd do the drop-in-attendance at the anniversary party, not at the party I'd made plans to attend weeks before.


secretrebel

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2014, 08:59:30 AM »
Wow. I would give a party at least 4 hours + travel time. I gave that long to my 3 year old niece and my 70+ aunt. Skipping out after an hour sounds rude to me.

Magnet

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2014, 09:02:40 AM »
I am shocked that a 14 year old girl would be "disappointed" that old relatives didn't swim and boat with her and her friends.

I was 14 once.  At that age, I tried to pretend that my parents didn't exist.  If I had to acknowledge them, I certainly wasn't going to pay any attention to some old aunt or grandma - especially when my friends were around. IMO, kid parties should be for kids.


mj

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2014, 10:02:46 AM »
Some posters seem really angry at the grandmother for 'only' staying for an hour which makes me wonder, are there any etiquette rules about how long one must stay at an event?

It seems to me that the grandmother did the best she could. She probably would have gotten into trouble if she hadn't gone to the anniversary party or if she hadn't gone to her granddaughter's birthday party, so she tried to make an appearance at both. And staying for an hour, having lunch and doing the presents and cake seems like a pretty adequate appearance to me. I'm just not seeing how the grandmother ruined the granddaughters birthday party with her rudeness, which makes me wonder if I'm missing some etiquette rule.

(I realise that people might argue that the grandmother RSVPed to the granddaughters party first but that's exactly my question - she RSVPed and she turned up, so why is it rude?)

If you agree to an event with activities, I think it is rude to rsvp yes and then decline the activities and only come for the food.  It's family, so they could have communicated that they would only be able to stop by for lunch, not swimming and boating - this is assuming they knew of the activities, which I take from the OP they did. 

An hour isn't the issue from my perspective, it's the way this Grandmother and family handled their schedule.  It was rude to others and possibly wasted the OPs money if she rented a larger boat to accommodate all of the affirmative rsvp's. 

suzieQ

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2014, 10:13:07 AM »
I am shocked that a 14 year old girl would be "disappointed" that old relatives didn't swim and boat with her and her friends.

I was 14 once.  At that age, I tried to pretend that my parents didn't exist.  If I had to acknowledge them, I certainly wasn't going to pay any attention to some old aunt or grandma - especially when my friends were around. IMO, kid parties should be for kids.

I think the 14 year old was disappointed because her cousins had to leave with the "old people", so she couldn't swim and boat with family members her age.
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NyaChan

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2014, 10:25:26 AM »
My issue came from:

 1) double booking - you already made a commitment, you should keep it, not sub in a better offer.  If the other party was so significant (like canceling going to the movies to attend an impromptu family wedding) in comparison, they could have talked to OP about it and apologized.
2) if they were invited to do X, Y, and Z and only intended to do X, they really should have told the host ahead of time which it sounds like they did not.  They raised expectations that they would be there for longer, and given the nature of the event, they had to know that. 

-I qualify the last one by agreeing that if they were 5 people out of 50, not as big of a deal.  If they were the majority and only left stragglers, then they essentially messed up the party.

etiquettenut

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2014, 10:25:53 AM »
Some posters seem really angry at the grandmother for 'only' staying for an hour which makes me wonder, are there any etiquette rules about how long one must stay at an event?

It seems to me that the grandmother did the best she could. She probably would have gotten into trouble if she hadn't gone to the anniversary party or if she hadn't gone to her granddaughter's birthday party, so she tried to make an appearance at both. And staying for an hour, having lunch and doing the presents and cake seems like a pretty adequate appearance to me. I'm just not seeing how the grandmother ruined the granddaughters birthday party with her rudeness, which makes me wonder if I'm missing some etiquette rule.

(I realise that people might argue that the grandmother RSVPed to the granddaughters party first but that's exactly my question - she RSVPed and she turned up, so why is it rude?)

I don't think that simply "turning up" for an hour is the only criteria required for not being rude. How you act after you show up is equally important. She/the rest of the in-laws changed the whole dynamic of the party. The OP was forced to change the plans and cram all the activities into an hour (which they barely participated in). The birthday girl was disappointed because of their lack of involvement and their actions that showed her her party was of secondary importance to the other party.

I agree that whomever planned this event shouldn't have planned it on the same day. They should have known, or someone should have spoken up and reminded the planner that the family was committed elsewhere that day. Frankly, if the 50th anniversary was so important it should have been planned more than 3 weeks prior.

Cherry91

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2014, 10:33:28 AM »
I think the biggest problem with this is how it could make DD feel - maybe I'm just sensitive, but if I were in her position I would feel a lot like the family see me as an obligation - "Ugh, we have to go to DD's thing before we can go and spend the day at the REAL event, let's give it an hour and then get out of there..."

People think an hour is an acceptable amount of time to spend at a birthday party? Really? At parties I've been to, there's always at least one person who's up to half an hour late, and then by the time you've made sure everyone has a drink and any specific needs are taken care of (eg, Nanna needs to always have a chair available in case her legs start to hurt) that's an hour all on its own.

Final point - The family committed to DD's birthday party. Including the ones who then arranged a party of their own for the exact same day! So. Not. Cool.