Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 20760 times)

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lollylegs

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #105 on: March 01, 2014, 05:53:04 PM »
While I do think the MIL was a bit rude to cut out early, I don't think being a bit rude once, and especially for a 50 year anniversary party, is cause for calling her a rude personal in general, or for giving her a social death sentence. Of course, if this were a long standing pattern of behavior, that would be something else.

I also think its ridiculous for people to be calling the anniversary-celebrating couple rude, for planning an anniversary party on the same day as a birthday party that they weren't even invited too... Or for declaring that their anniversary party was not important because it wasn't planned weeks in advance. I know a couple who planned their entire wedding in a week. Does that mean it wasn't important, and in should have skipped it to attend my book club meeting, that was planned a month in advance?

Very well said.

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #106 on: March 01, 2014, 06:59:09 PM »
Excellent posts, LETitbe and Two Ravens.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 07:01:20 PM by TurtleDove »

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2014, 07:14:30 PM »
The OP states that there were other, lesser examples in the past year.  I don't blame her for being fed up.

Me either.  The OP stated this was the straw that broke the camel's back and the in laws have a habit of doing this.

I'd like to say, also, that this was an isolated incident, but there have been other examples of the IL's doing similar things in past year, this example was just the worst and last straw.

Quote
Am I wrong to just feel like this? I just feel like when we invite family members to our house, they only agree to come unless something else more fun comes up, or only "drop by" for a few minutes after we've planned an afternoon of entertainment.  I just feel like our time is better spent elsewhere.   I think my MIL is disappointed, and I've told her she can call and come by anytime.  Thoughts? Were the actions of my IL's rude?

IMO, your in laws were rude, and I agree with other posters that this will have shown your kids that they are less important to your parents in law.

I don't think you're wrong at all.  You've told your MIL she can drop by any time.  I'd leave the ball in her court and let her find the time to spend with you and your family.  I wouldn't bother arranging anything involving them again.

gen xer

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #108 on: March 01, 2014, 07:31:16 PM »
Seems to me, if the kids were taught anything by their grandparents spending more time driving than visiting at a long-planned and promised event, it was that it's OK to leave an event to which they were committed if something better came up. I wouldn't want my kids to learn that lesson, especially in their teen years.

It's hard to say what is important and what isn't from an outsider's view. 14 is actually a somewhat important birthday in my religious culture. 14 is when we are bumped up in our teen Sunday school classes, allowed to attend mixed gender dances and events, and become role models to the younger girls. Generally it's also when we're allowed to start wearing makeup and get a little autonomy in other social situations. I knew people who didn't make it to 15th birthday, or 16, or 18. I find it admirable that a 14 year old wanted her family with her, and sad that they rushed through food and gifts and raced away to spend hours at a more adult event. I believe the common phrase for that on these boards is a "dine and dash"...we'll come for your food but not your company.

That's what I thought too...especially if their actions are excused  in some way.

AnnaJ

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #109 on: March 01, 2014, 07:38:52 PM »
While I do think the MIL was a bit rude to cut out early, I don't think being a bit rude once, and especially for a 50 year anniversary party, is cause for calling her a rude personal in general, or for giving her a social death sentence. Of course, if this were a long standing pattern of behavior, that would be something else.

I also think its ridiculous for people to be calling the anniversary-celebrating couple rude, for planning an anniversary party on the same day as a birthday party that they weren't even invited too... Or for declaring that their anniversary party was not important because it wasn't planned weeks in advance. I know a couple who planned their entire wedding in a week. Does that mean it wasn't important, and in should have skipped it to attend my book club meeting, that was planned a month in advance?

Very well said.

Yes, I agree.  My brothers and I planned our parent's 50th anniversary party in about a month, and I cannot see any connection between 'important' and 'take a year or more to plan'. 

It would have been nice for grandmother to have discussed this in advance with grand-daughter but I honestly can't imagine not attending a sibling's 50th anniversary just because they hadn't planned the event months in advance.  I will fully admit that I do think there are occasions where adhering to a prior engagement is the wrong decision - not often, but sometimes.

sammycat

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2014, 07:42:20 PM »
I guess I don't see an anniversary being more special than a birthday.  I don't expect my whole extended family to celebrate my milestone anniversaries with me, it's between me and my husband.

I hate the term "milestone" either used towards a birthday or an anniversary.  14 is just a number, as is 50.  You don't win a prize or get additional years for making it.

Grandparents accepted an invite.  They got a better/ different on the same date.  Instead if declining, citing a prior commitment, they accepted the second invite.  They then were rude to rush their first commitment.  They are trying to have their cake and eat it too.  They also made it clear why they were cutting out early.  Rude again.

I believe they were rude by not being mature enough to stand by their commitment and for letting everyone know why they were bailing.  If I was the granddaughter I would be hurt.  If I was her mother I would be angry.

Edited to add that the time to make a statement that maybe as a child your wants/ needs take second fiddle is *not* at her birthday party!  Having grandparents blow off a party last minute like this, I think, would actually damage that relationship.

I totally agree.

I don't think my 20th wedding anniversary this year is any more important or special than my niece's 33rd birthday the day before, or my MIL's 87th birthday the day after. I attended my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago, but didn't consider it any more special than their grandson's 15th birthday a week later. Had I been invited to his party first and then found out the anniversary party was the same day I'd have honoured my commitment to the birthday party, not blown his off.

And as per the OP, the inlaws have a history of this rude behaviour, so it's not as if this was a one-off occurrence.
I'd like to say, also, that this was an isolated incident, but there have been other examples of the IL's doing similar things in past year, this example was just the worst and last straw. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #111 on: March 01, 2014, 07:50:51 PM »
Seems to me, if the kids were taught anything by their grandparents spending more time driving than visiting at a long-planned and promised event, it was that it's OK to leave an event to which they were committed if something better came up. I wouldn't want my kids to learn that lesson, especially in their teen years.

It's hard to say what is important and what isn't from an outsider's view. 14 is actually a somewhat important birthday in my religious culture. 14 is when we are bumped up in our teen Sunday school classes, allowed to attend mixed gender dances and events, and become role models to the younger girls. Generally it's also when we're allowed to start wearing makeup and get a little autonomy in other social situations. I knew people who didn't make it to 15th birthday, or 16, or 18. I find it admirable that a 14 year old wanted her family with her, and sad that they rushed through food and gifts and raced away to spend hours at a more adult event. I believe the common phrase for that on these boards is a "dine and dash"...we'll come for your food but not your company.

That's what I thought too...especially if their actions are excused  in some way.

To me the fact they drove so far proves they DID think it was important. I think if one looks to be offended, one will be. If one looks for positives in a situation, one will be happier.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #112 on: March 01, 2014, 08:02:42 PM »
The OP states that there were other, lesser examples in the past year.  I don't blame her for being fed up.

The full quote is:  "I'd like to say, also, that this was an isolated incident, but there have been other examples of the IL's doing similar things in past year, this example was just the worst and last straw."  That statement is a bit contradictory. 

I don't blame the OP for being irritated, and there is no obligation to plan a birthday party with the whole family. It sounds like MIL is prone to over-commitment, and may be unreliable in that regard.  She really should have stayed at least through birthday cake. 

I just don't understand the level of indignation on this thread.  If ILs had ditched the party early to go to another non-milestone birthday party, I would feel sympathetic.  But I agree with Perpetua:  A 50th/25th (Aunt's daughter was celebrating too) anniversary party does outrank a 14-year old's birthday party.  I also agree with Two Ravens:  The party does not have to be planned months in advance to be important, nor should the Anniversary Aunt have checked with the OP to make sure that her guests didn't overlap, and her party plans were acceptable to the entire family.  AA is not rude so far.  If the ILs had had declined the Anniversary party because of the prior birthday party commitment, AA would have to accept that graciously. 

Also want to throw my hat in with Letitbe: 
I know it's a bummer that they left early, but it seems they did the best they could to make it to both events. I can see why it might be slightly annoying, but I don't think it's really egregious, especially if this is just a one time thing. It seems like there should be more focus on the people who did stay and celebrate the party and whatever memories your daughter made with them than her grandparents leaving early. Honestly, at 14, I can't imagine that I would've been thinking my grandparents didn't care about me . . .  unless someone else somehow implied that.
I really hope that the OP doesn't make a big deal out of this with her kids.  As long as there's a good relationship between the IL's and kids, just don't plan anything around them.  Invite them if it suits you, or don't.  Start events on time and progress through them as you normally would.  If Grandma misses out, well, that may (or may not) teach her something.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 08:05:20 PM by JeanFromBNA »

TheaterDiva1

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #113 on: March 01, 2014, 08:24:41 PM »
To me, it almost sounds like the equivalent of the sweet girl who plans a quaint little party for some friends.  Then the mean girl who is jealous of her plans a much more elaborate party later, for the same day, and tries to upstage the sweet girl.  And of course, the mean girl's party would be THE place to go that even sweet girl's friends don't want to miss it.  So they ditch sweet girl's party.

Was there a movie about this b/c it sounds really familiar?

OT - sounds like Bride Wars... The two friends were supposed to get married at the same hotel two weeks apart, but a scheduling glitch booked them the same day. The mean one (Kate Hudson) tried to get the sweet one (Anne Hathaway) to change her date and get married somewhere else, and when she refused, they sabotaged each other's weddings. Oh - and their friends (invited to both weddings) were caught in the middle.

despedina

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #114 on: March 01, 2014, 09:14:53 PM »

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).

How was I supposed to know when DH's aunt and uncle got married or when their 50th anniversary was?  DH didn't even know (or remember) and no one had  mentioned it was coming up.

We were invited, but the invite was sent to my MIL and FIL and MIL was told that she should tell her children they were invited too.  I didn't find that out until much later, since MIL knew we had dd's bday day.

I know someone wondered why DH's aunt and uncle weren't invited to dd's bday.  We really didn't invite family that was THAT extended. We rarely see his aunts and uncles and this particular aunt and uncle was very unkind to DH growing up and has been unkind to me.   In their defense, I don't think they knew about dd's bday before planning their joint anniversary party with their daughter. 

This is FIL's brother and his wife btw.  FIL (who  is now deceased) was never close to his brother, which is why I still wonder why they gave such priority to the anniversary. 

I guess I may never know.

Oh and to those wondering why a grandma would boat/swim - those are some of her favorite things to do, so we planned everything knowing it would be great for all.  I mean, all she had to do was float around and sit in a boat. Not sure why some are thinking that's a strenuous activity :)

despedina

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #115 on: March 01, 2014, 09:43:00 PM »
First I would like to thank everyone for their comments.

I'd like to say that although DH's aunt and uncle are not my favorite people, I'm not blaming them for the last minute anniversary party.
It was a BBQ in the back yard sort of thing, so not fancy not that that matters.

No, I have not told or made my kids aware of my irritation with my inlaws in regards to parties, and in general I still very much love my MIL.  I just know what priorities she puts on things.  Her and FIL (who passed away in 2012) have done things like this before.  Examples:

1) FIL wanted to hang out with DH, me and the kids one Sat, and invited us to their house (which is an hour away).   That morning, we got in the car and were about 20 min down the road and DH called to say we were on the way.  MIL said that FIL had gone to visit a friend instead, didn't know when he'd be back, and that she was also unavailable.  We  had to turn around and go home. HUGE disappointment for the kids.

2) IL's again invited us over for the day, and mentioned they needed help with the computer down at their shop (family business). We went down, FIL spent an hour washing his motorcycle not really talking to anyone, and MIL during that time was working on her online class in the computer room.  We went down to the shop and DH (who is an IT guy)  fixed their computer, and we thought we were all going back to their house, only at that moment the ILs said they were going to a friend's house for the rest of the day.  We drove home.

3) Last summer, MIL wanted to take a family vacation with herself, her 3 sons and their families as a way to remember FIL who had passed the previous year.  MIL paid for the rental houses but asked me to plan horseback riding, a guided fishing trip on the lake and other things.    MIL flaked out on the horseback riding last minute and sat in the boat and didn't fish on the guided trip either.   For most of the trip she stayed in her rental house.  This was not so bad, but just shows how she changes her mind last minute on certain things. I would not have planned horseback riding had she not asked me to. 


Also, I'm not at all saying I don't want or that my kids shouldn't have a relationship with my mother in law.  I'm only saying I'm not going to waste time planning formal events in advance for people who change their mind at the drop of a hat.   A casual dinner or lunch or us visiting MIL (she rarely comes to our house) will suffice at least when it comes to kids birthdays.  So when she asked about a party, that's why I said we were planning birthdays in a different way.

kareng57

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #116 on: March 01, 2014, 11:43:59 PM »
First I would like to thank everyone for their comments.

I'd like to say that although DH's aunt and uncle are not my favorite people, I'm not blaming them for the last minute anniversary party.
It was a BBQ in the back yard sort of thing, so not fancy not that that matters.

No, I have not told or made my kids aware of my irritation with my inlaws in regards to parties, and in general I still very much love my MIL.  I just know what priorities she puts on things.  Her and FIL (who passed away in 2012) have done things like this before.  Examples:

1) FIL wanted to hang out with DH, me and the kids one Sat, and invited us to their house (which is an hour away).   That morning, we got in the car and were about 20 min down the road and DH called to say we were on the way.  MIL said that FIL had gone to visit a friend instead, didn't know when he'd be back, and that she was also unavailable.  We  had to turn around and go home. HUGE disappointment for the kids.

2) IL's again invited us over for the day, and mentioned they needed help with the computer down at their shop (family business). We went down, FIL spent an hour washing his motorcycle not really talking to anyone, and MIL during that time was working on her online class in the computer room.  We went down to the shop and DH (who is an IT guy)  fixed their computer, and we thought we were all going back to their house, only at that moment the ILs said they were going to a friend's house for the rest of the day.  We drove home.

3) Last summer, MIL wanted to take a family vacation with herself, her 3 sons and their families as a way to remember FIL who had passed the previous year.  MIL paid for the rental houses but asked me to plan horseback riding, a guided fishing trip on the lake and other things.    MIL flaked out on the horseback riding last minute and sat in the boat and didn't fish on the guided trip either.   For most of the trip she stayed in her rental house.  This was not so bad, but just shows how she changes her mind last minute on certain things. I would not have planned horseback riding had she not asked me to. 


Also, I'm not at all saying I don't want or that my kids shouldn't have a relationship with my mother in law.  I'm only saying I'm not going to waste time planning formal events in advance for people who change their mind at the drop of a hat.   A casual dinner or lunch or us visiting MIL (she rarely comes to our house) will suffice at least when it comes to kids birthdays.  So when she asked about a party, that's why I said we were planning birthdays in a different way.


Honestly, I would give her a pass on your #3 example.  I don't think it indicates a pattern of "changing her mind at the last minute" so much as that she didn't know how she would feel during her memorial vacation to honour her late husband.  I actually find you to be a bit insensitive in not recognizing this.

As for the birthday party, I have to side with PPs who figure that she felt caught between a rock and a hard place.  It's not as though she blew off your DD's party completely, she was doing the best that she could.

lorelai

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #117 on: March 02, 2014, 01:16:05 AM »
I don't really see it as doing the best she could when one event she has rsvp'd to first had planned activities and the other was a casual BBQ. She clearly could have sacrificed more time at the other event but prioritized it over her granddaughter.

MariaE

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #118 on: March 02, 2014, 02:08:51 AM »
I don't really see it as doing the best she could when one event she has rsvp'd to first had planned activities and the other was a casual BBQ. She clearly could have sacrificed more time at the other event but prioritized it over her granddaughter.

Agreed.
 
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sammycat

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #119 on: March 02, 2014, 02:40:18 AM »
I don't really see it as doing the best she could when one event she has rsvp'd to first had planned activities and the other was a casual BBQ. She clearly could have sacrificed more time at the other event but prioritized it over her granddaughter.

I agree.

I have a very low opinion of people like MIL who are unable to say 'no' to subsequent invitations after RSVPing to the first thing. Maybe it feeds their ego or something to think they're so in demand that they must attend every single thing they're invited too, no matter if it hurts other people in the process by making them feel that they're only worth 5 minutes of their time.

If I extend an invitation to someone I'd prefer they just decline outright if it conflicts with something they've already RSVPed for in that timeframe rather than try and squeeze me in as well. I'd rather (re)schedule if possible for a mutually convenient time rather than feel as though I'm just something else to be ticked off on today's agenda. If it's a party that can't be rescheduled, then oh well I guess they can't attend mine if they're already RSVPed for something else. I'll get over it.