Author Topic: UPDATED 3.28.14 Rude RSVP Enclosure?  (Read 7816 times)

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Sharpie

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UPDATED 3.28.14 Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« on: March 22, 2014, 01:10:36 AM »
UPDATE:


UPDATE:

Thank you for your advice, ladies. We were late to the viewing because cousin's mom wanted all of the pallbearers to wear a sport coat that DH doesn't own. We looked for hours and found one for $200 and I said forget it. He ended up borrowing one to appease aunt and it was raining so the only thing the pallbearers did was carry the casket 15 feet to the car. :/ I guess we should have left much much earlier. We had 2 hours set aside to shop and an hour to get ready so this really put a cramp in the schedule. Our fault, I'm just irritated.

Annnyway, there was five minutes left of the time the casket would be open to the family. I'm one of those people that needs to see the body. It's important to me that I see the body is just a shell and my loved one is no longer there. I hurried in to have a moment to say goodbye (I was very close to DH's gma.) No more than 10-20 seconds of alone time at the casket, my face is tears, cousin and aunt fly in like hawks to introduce themselves. Couldn't they have waited? It was really awkward. I needed a moment and they didn't let me have it. I politely exchanged greetings and the director closed the casket.

I didn't exchange greetings until the next day when we all went to cousin's mansion to visit with family. I gave cousin a hug and said I didn't feel like we got to have a proper greeting. She was friendly. Later, I gave little bitty mini wedding albums to them saying it was supposed to be in their Christmas cards, but we didn't get them back from our photog until January which is true. They were polite and pretended like nothing happened. Aunt even gave us a wedding gift and cousin said she hadn't bought it yet, but a gift from her is coming at some point.

So I guess all is fine and dandy? A family member told me the duo hates confrontation and would never speak to me about it, they just write aggressive letters. Interesting. I'm glad that's over.



Hi there!

I'm a long time reader, first time poster.

I am now married and am still dealing with the fallout from a rude RSVP.

Our wedding Response cards said (number) seats are reserved in your honor. I received this advice from another etiquette board that said this would be the way to go so no one writes in guests who were not invited (specifically children). It worked wonderfully and no one wrote in any additional people. My husband's cousin (in her 40's, we are in our late 20's) enclosed a note saying, "Dear Sharpie, Thank you for the invitation you sent to my husband and I. We will not be able to attend because we are a family of 5 and where our children aren't welcome, we are not welcome. We wish you well. Sincerely, Cousin. My MIL told her months before that children will not be invited so she knew this for a long time and it wasn't a surprise when she received the invitation. Regardless, she was all excited about coming and talked to my MIL about it several times before she received the invitation.

This cousin is known for her passive aggressive and dramatic behavior. When my husband (then fiancÚ) found out, he called her and told her she was rude to me and needed to apologize. It's our wedding and we aren't invited children because we have a strict limit on number of guests. Cousin pouted and a few days later emailed me an "apology" saying "it looks like we both got our feelings hurt." Yada yada. By this time we had received enough declines that we could invite her 3 children (even though I didn't want to reward her for making a stink and I thought it would be unfair to invite her kids and not others) however we told her this situation and if she wanted to come, they were all welcome. She still declined. She also went to the rest of her brothers and sisters and none of them came either as well as her mom, my MIL's sister didn't come because of this situation.

Now, it's 10 months after our wedding and I have yet to meet this cousin. My husband has limited time off, we live 5 hours apart , and when we visit his parents, we don't have time to drive an hour out of our way to go see cousins my husband doesn't care for. She is causing another stink saying to other members of the family that we are holding the whole situation against her and that's why we never visit.

My husbands grandmother died and I am finally meeting the extended family this weekend. Do I just ignore the bad feelings and pretend nothing happened? Have a talk with her? I don't know what to do.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 09:33:19 AM by Sharpie »

TurtleDove

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 01:17:06 AM »
Yep, just ignore the whole situation. What would anything else accomplish?

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 01:45:32 AM »
Here's my suggestion. Regard this as a public relations challenge. Your goal is to prove exactly how extreme and unbalanced her reaction is.

If you act offended, etc., you'll look unreasonable instead of her. So be as absolutely nice as you can. To everybody AND to her. Demonstrate by your friendliness (especially to her kids) that there are no hard feelings, why ever would there be?

Kill her with kindness.

You don't have to seek her out that much, but you should make it a point to do so some. I might suggest you always find her first when you walk into a room to greet with a smile, and then drift away to speak warmly with all the relatives she is trying to turn against you. You can mostly ignore her the rest of the time if it doesn't look pointed.

Doing this will rob her of that time she'd otherwise use to gossip and speculate about whether you're going to avoid her, etc. get it over with.

If you decide to use this tactic, Get your DH on board--he's the one who escalated things the last time by demanding an apology, so you've got to get him to go along with this campaign of Uber Kindness.

Oh, and never ever allow the guest-list/RSVP thing to come out of your mouth. If someone else brings it, look chagrined and say something like, "it was such an unfortunate situation." And go to the bathroom to get away from the topic.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 01:47:49 AM »
Also, a useful mantra: "Least said, soonest mended."

Particularly apt for you (she would have done better to follow that).

I don't even think it would hurt for you to literally say those words to anyone who brings up the topic of your wedding guest list.

CakeEater

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 01:51:17 AM »
Toots beat me to it! Don't mention it- don't try and talk her around. You were completely reasonable to not invite children to your wedding, she was completely unreasonable to cause an issue about it, but you won't convince her, so avoid the topic at all costs.

Get your DH on board and just breeze past it. Ignore the whole thing.

Amazing that the whole family didn't come- might be best to avoid that whole side of the family as much as you can.

Sharpie

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 02:24:03 AM »
That's good advice, thank you. I would never bring it up, I'm more concerned about how I should react if she brings it up. Just say it was an unfortunate situation then move on?

CakeEater

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 02:30:37 AM »
I notice you're actually going to your DH's grandmother's funeral? Wake?

Let's hope everyone's classy enough not to cause a fuss about your wedding at a funeral. Have lots of questions about their grandmother ready- what were their favourite memories, holidays, what did she teach them etc. Then if they bring it up, something like, 'oh, let's move past all that - what did you most like to do with Grandma?'

Sharpie

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 02:37:00 AM »
Yes, we are going to his grandmother's funeral, but are staying a couple of days because cousin wants to have abig family get together the next day. That's when I'm worried about her bringing it up. I'll be honest, I still have angry feelings over it all and when directly confronted it is difficult for me to bite my tongue. I would never bring it up in the first place and especially not at the funeral, nor do I believe cousin will either, but I almost expect her to bring it up the next day. I like the idea of killing her with kindness. I'll try my very best to do that.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 03:16:07 AM »
I can understand why you are still angry about it.  Passove aggressive people are very frustrating to deal with.

Be confident that you were right to do your RSVPs the way that you did.  You don't need to defend that, ever.  And of all the things you want to remember about your wedding, that is probablu not one.

And realize that going forth you don't have to be friends with this person.  You can respect the family connection without being buddies.

Sharpie

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 03:29:02 AM »
Thank you, Audrey! Great advice!  :)

Runningstar

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 06:33:51 AM »
Sharpie, I agree with pp's.  "This cousin is known for her passive aggressive and dramatic behavior", wow - she really made it all about herself!  I'd say to also have an escape plan ready for breaks if you need one (even just going out on the porch for a breath of air).  Hopefully it will go better than you think.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 09:16:34 AM »
I'll be honest, I still have angry feelings over it all and when directly confronted it is difficult for me to bite my tongue.

Try to see her point of view.

Her children are her family--her children are -your- family. Their connection to you & your DH is the same connection as hers. Oh, sure, it's one level away, because they're the next generation, but to most of us w/kids, we consider our kids to be valid members of the family no matter what their age.

So when kids are omitted from an event, it's not that odd to see it as a rejection of their family status. To many people, they see weddings as being partly a family event. "We see them at weddings a funerals," right? Which lends credence to the idea that these are family gatherings, in a way.

Also, there's a subtext to wedding invitations: "We've invited the people who are important to us." But we didn't invite your kids--it's sort of logical to take that to the next step, which is, your kids are not important to us.

What about the idea that this is an event for adults, not children? Well, that's an abritrary decision by the wedding's hosts, not some generally accepted societal norm. Many, many people have big, fancy, expensive weddings that run late into the night and involve formalwear and -still- invite children. So excluding kids is a deliberate choice; why wouldn't someone judge you for that specific decision?

In a way your offer to include them later sort of underlines the idea that it was her children you were rejecting, because if you truly wanted an adult event, you wouldn't have offered. If you include any other kids, then of course she'd be upset. After all, her kids are  your family, and if you are going to know her, you'll know them. It -is- different from a coworker's children.

Now, I'm not saying kids have to be invited, etc. You did nothing wrong.

But you might find yourself less pissed off if you can see the other side.

AND, it might offer you a tactic for what to say if she -does- bring it up: "We're sorry to have offended you; it certainly wasn't any slap at your children, nor was it a rejection of them. We just chose to have an adult event. It was very difficult to deal with the space limitations; I had hoped you would understand."

And some other phrases: "It would be a shame to let this destroy our entire relationship. After all, we're family." (throw that back at them!)

Or just, "yes, it was most unfortunate." And leave immediately--don't you have to go potty? Don't let her suck you into discussing it.

Always be aware of your audience. You don't really give a fig what she thinks. You just want all the OTHER far-away family members to remember that you were nice and pleasant, and Aunt is crabby and complaining. Who are you going to believe in that situation?

Also, is it possible other family members didn't come to the wedding mostly because of the distance, and not because she "got them on her side"? They may not have been offended at the exclusion of the kids. But they also may be opting for low drama and so just didn't bother to explain their point of view.

Mary Lennox

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2014, 09:45:02 AM »
Just because kids are "valid members of the family" doesn't mean they get invited. It just means they're related.

And it sounds like all kids were omitted from the wedding so it's not like it was a personal slight against a drama llama.

peaches

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 09:52:27 AM »
I agree that this is something you don't want to bring up.

If she does, I'd smile and say "Oh, that! That's water under the bridge." Then change the subject: "Wasn't that a lovely service yesterday?". Have a few topics you're ready to discuss.

I hope you can let go of negative emotions about her previous behavior. I'm assuming you had a wonderful wedding despite her, so you are the victor! Think of it that way.

I'd also make an effort to meet and greet all of the other relatives. Show them you are above pettiness.


coolio

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Re: Rude RSVP Enclosure?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 10:06:15 AM »
I would have a few key phrases ready. There is the possibility that when the cousin told about the no kids issue to her siblings and mother the story could have been changed for more sympathy towards the cousin. Also since 10 months have passed what the actual events were and what is actually remembered could be very different.