Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 18897 times)

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Allyson

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #150 on: March 02, 2014, 11:35:04 AM »
I think we definitely do prioritize which event is "important", it's just that what's important to us may be different. I remember a thread a couple of years back where somebody had a friend bail on her because her teen's sport event got rescheduled. A *lot* of people were of the opinion that the friend was OK to bail because it was her kid's event, and that was more important. I didn't actually agree with that but I do remember a lot of discussion about when it's OK to bail because "something else came up".

I think that everybody has different rules for 'emergency', so what's a pretty clear 'well obviously I couldn't make it' to one person is really really not to another. 

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #151 on: March 02, 2014, 11:35:19 AM »

Well, that wasn't in the OP, which just stated the husband's aunt, and I don't have time to read through 10 pages for extra information.

Still - who does the woman upset? Her family who are hosting an important, one-off, never to be repeated, or her granddaughter, who will have another birthday the following year? Why is nobody understanding this? She was in an impossible position.


we all understand, she ran out on her granddaughter because she got a "better offer"

Yeah, that's how I view it too, especially as the OP has said the MIL (and the FIL, when he was alive) has a habit of treating her family like this.

chigger

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #152 on: March 02, 2014, 11:42:31 AM »
The aunt is not MIL's sister.  The aunt is married to FIL's brother.

OK, so, the husband upsets his brother by not going, and she has to go because she's his wife. Same level of relationship. In which case, if it's not the MIL making the decision, why is she getting slated for it? Why isn't FIL getting slated for it? It's his brother, after all.

I think there's probably a bit of backstory here we're not getting, because if it's FIL's relatives, I'm not seeing why MIL is at fault.

Because the FIL is dead?  The OP stated he died in 2012.

Well, that wasn't in the OP, which just stated the husband's aunt, and I don't have time to read through 10 pages for extra information.

Still - who does the woman upset? Her family who are hosting an important, one-off, never to be repeated, or her granddaughter, who will have another birthday the following year? Why is nobody understanding this? She was in an impossible position.

And the aunt and uncle will have another anniversary.

nayberry

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #153 on: March 02, 2014, 11:44:14 AM »
The aunt is not MIL's sister.  The aunt is married to FIL's brother.

OK, so, the husband upsets his brother by not going, and she has to go because she's his wife. Same level of relationship. In which case, if it's not the MIL making the decision, why is she getting slated for it? Why isn't FIL getting slated for it? It's his brother, after all.

I think there's probably a bit of backstory here we're not getting, because if it's FIL's relatives, I'm not seeing why MIL is at fault.

Because the FIL is dead?  The OP stated he died in 2012.

Well, that wasn't in the OP, which just stated the husband's aunt, and I don't have time to read through 10 pages for extra information.

Still - who does the woman upset? Her family who are hosting an important, one-off, never to be repeated, or her granddaughter, who will have another birthday the following year? Why is nobody understanding this? She was in an impossible position.


we all understand, she ran out on her granddaughter because she got a "better offer"

She did not get a 'better offer'. She had something to attend that she probably could not say no to - a one off event that can not be repeated - that was *more important* than a child's birthday party.  Personally I think that she attended at all was a bonus.


tomayto/tomato,
she had accepted the invite and i bet if she'd said to aunt that she/the 7 of them couldn't go because they were already going to GD's party that aunt would have had her party on thew sunday not the saturday

chigger

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #154 on: March 02, 2014, 11:47:37 AM »
The aunt is not MIL's sister.  The aunt is married to FIL's brother.

OK, so, the husband upsets his brother by not going, and she has to go because she's his wife. Same level of relationship. In which case, if it's not the MIL making the decision, why is she getting slated for it? Why isn't FIL getting slated for it? It's his brother, after all.

I think there's probably a bit of backstory here we're not getting, because if it's FIL's relatives, I'm not seeing why MIL is at fault.

Because the FIL is dead?  The OP stated he died in 2012.

Well, that wasn't in the OP, which just stated the husband's aunt, and I don't have time to read through 10 pages for extra information.

Still - who does the woman upset? Her family who are hosting an important, one-off, never to be repeated, or her granddaughter, who will have another birthday the following year? Why is nobody understanding this? She was in an impossible position.

Isn't her son, dil, and granddaughter family?

nayberry

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #155 on: March 02, 2014, 11:50:12 AM »
The aunt is not MIL's sister.  The aunt is married to FIL's brother.

OK, so, the husband upsets his brother by not going, and she has to go because she's his wife. Same level of relationship. In which case, if it's not the MIL making the decision, why is she getting slated for it? Why isn't FIL getting slated for it? It's his brother, after all.

I think there's probably a bit of backstory here we're not getting, because if it's FIL's relatives, I'm not seeing why MIL is at fault.

Because the FIL is dead?  The OP stated he died in 2012.

Well, that wasn't in the OP, which just stated the husband's aunt, and I don't have time to read through 10 pages for extra information.

Still - who does the woman upset? Her family who are hosting an important, one-off, never to be repeated, or her granddaughter, who will have another birthday the following year? Why is nobody understanding this? She was in an impossible position.

Isn't her son, dil, and granddaughter family?

obviously not chigger :/

gramma dishes

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #156 on: March 02, 2014, 11:56:54 AM »

I'm aware of that. But sometimes real life gets in the way and requires us to not stick so unbendingly to the rigid rules of etiquette.

I mean, take the following example: A couple you are close to are planning a wedding to be held a significant time in the future. They discover that one half of the couple is ill/is being posted abroad on service/something else that means the wedding must be brought forward unexpectedly. When the invitation arrives, you check your diary and find you already have a lunch date with a friend on the proposed date of the wedding. Do you *really* turn down the later invitation to such an important event because 'you have a prior engagement' ?

I would sincerely hope not.

Sometimes you have to make these decisions and sometimes they're the right decisions to make.

But that really is different.  And if you called your lunch friend and explained the situation, she would almost certainly be very understanding and the two of you could simply choose another date to get together for lunch.  To make a valid comparison requires that the two invitations be more or less equal in significance and the ability to change dates.

A more genuine analogy would be if someone you don't know well but who was someone you wanted to impress invited you to have lunch with them on the same day as the lunch you had scheduled with your long time friend.   OR if instead of having lunch with your friend you had agreed to attend her wedding and now had to make a choice between the two weddings.  In either case I think you should honor the first invitation you accepted.

That's what happened here.  The MIL and FIL had to choose between two equally important (to the GOHs) parties.  In that case you really should attend the one you RSVPd positively to in the first place and that could have been followed up by informing the parents of Birthday Girl that another 'important' situation had arisen that they felt a reasonable obligation to attend and let them know that they would definitely come to the birthday party, but might need to leave a little early to attend the other one -- if that is okay.  Followed up by informing the anniversary couples that they had a previous committment, but would stop by a little later -- again, if that would be okay with them.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 12:20:53 PM by gramma dishes »

gen xer

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #157 on: March 02, 2014, 12:00:36 PM »
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.

I'm glad you said that because I was thinking the same thing.  I don't think it's about looking for offense...it's just that when you overbook yourself and rush through things it comes off as thought you're doing everyone a great favour to be there: "Must. attend. everything.....it's not an event if I'm not there"!!!  Maybe those types don't do it consciously.....but that's how it comes across.

My brother and SIL are coming to Ontario to attend my brothers best friend from childhoods ordination.  My daughters first Communion is the same weekend.  I would have loved for them to be here....and I know they would too....but the only way they could make it is by skipping out on the reception and some other churchy event....so they aren't coming.  They made plans for the Ordination before I had finalized the First Communion weekend ( there are different weekends / prep classes to choose from ).

C'est la vie.

Venus193

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #158 on: March 02, 2014, 12:02:24 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.

If we look at the party choice situation in conjunction with the events described above, it's obvious that the OP's time and efforts are not being respected.  In the first example had the OP's husband not called they would have driven an hour to find an empty house and would have had to do a U-turn and drive home.  That wastes two hours of their lives and who knows how much money in gasoline.  Not cool.  In the second example the MIL is on her online class after the OP's family arrives, missing the first and only hour they are there before going to the office to fix a computer and then that's it.  It sounded like that's all they wanted them there for.

rose red

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #159 on: March 02, 2014, 12:04:32 PM »
Yes, I don't understand why a 50th anniversary BBQ is more important than a 14 year old's family party planned three months in advance.  14 year old comes once in a lifetime too.  But then, I never understand why "milestone" days and dates ending in "0" are so special. 

I don't think this issue is about age either.  The issue is family who keeps accepting invitations and bailing (yes, showing up but leaving early is bailing).  Even if granddaughter is 16, 18, 21, or 50, MIL would have still done what she did because that's her habit.  This time it was two events.  Next time it may be three, four, five, six, and it sounds like she will make it to all of them.  That's rude and hurtful to the people of all those events.

Jones

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #160 on: March 02, 2014, 12:18:23 PM »
As FIL was dead by birthday 15, it seems a real shame that he didn't stay to make a last boating / laughing / conversational memory with his grandkids. Of course he may have made some good sit-in-the-yard-telling-stories-for-hours memories with his brother, but IMO a couple hours at the lake and a couple hours at the barbeque could have been divided a bit more evenly for the sake of all involved.

LETitbe

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #161 on: March 02, 2014, 12:27:04 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? 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.


lorelai

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #162 on: March 02, 2014, 12:38:12 PM »
I would see the opportunity to plan whatever I want to do for my birthday weekend as a gift, not a punishment.

LETitbe

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #163 on: March 02, 2014, 01:04:40 PM »
I would see the opportunity to plan whatever I want to do for my birthday weekend as a gift, not a punishment.

My reference to it punishing the kids is more along the lines of tipping them off to the issues with grandma.
I also think it's kind of contradictory to say that the kid prefers doing whatever she wants- except for a family party- while at the same time insisting she's crushed that one family member left early from said family party. If the family party isn't what the daughter likes to do for her birthday, I doubt a member of that party leaving really mattered to her, unless someone else was making an issue of it.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #164 on: March 02, 2014, 01:32:47 PM »
I would see the opportunity to plan whatever I want to do for my birthday weekend as a gift, not a punishment.

My reference to it punishing the kids is more along the lines of tipping them off to the issues with grandma.
I also think it's kind of contradictory to say that the kid prefers doing whatever she wants- except for a family party- while at the same time insisting she's crushed that one family member left early from said family party. If the family party isn't what the daughter likes to do for her birthday, I doubt a member of that party leaving really mattered to her, unless someone else was making an issue of it.

Kids aren't blind. They can see their grandparents staying for just an hour.