Author Topic: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?  (Read 4744 times)

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CakeEater

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2014, 07:56:42 AM »
I'm in Australia. I've just sent paper invitations to my daughter's whole class of 25 five-year-olds expecting that maybe half will come, but prepared for all of them if they decide to come. I know very few of the parents, and have put my phone and email as an RSVP contact. So basically, all the parents will be contacting a stranger to them, but a parent of one of their child's classmates, so not totally a stranger. They've been together at school for 10 weeks now.

But I think what Megan has done is a bit strange. It's not culture to invite people to your child's birthday party who neither you nor your child have ever met.

And I agree - I'd feel completely free to ignore that kind of invitation.


Redsoil

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2014, 08:13:18 AM »
Megan comes across as quite needy, which would be off-putting anywhere, I'd imagine!

What part of Australia is she from?  Perhaps if she's from a small town, that may explain things a bit?  Some places are quite "odd", just depending.
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rose red

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2014, 11:05:34 AM »
Re how she requested the response: She didn't actually invite most people via a facebook invitation or a personal message (which is how she invited me). She handed out paper invitations as she randomly met people that said "RSVP to Megan at 555-555-5555" OR sent a jpg of the paper invitation to people via facebook. So rsvping would have actually involved calling/texting a stranger.

That being said, I still can't believe so few people took the time to at least let her know.

Sorry but if a stranger or near-stranger did this, I would feel no obligation to RSVP. It feels like being handed a flyer from a store clerk. I may even think they are setting me up for a sales party while the children played.

cicero

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2014, 05:03:42 PM »
In the US here, in an area that is usually pretty good about RSVP's. What your friend did is so far outside the norm of party invites, I wouldn't even register it as an actual party invite.

If I got such a thing from someone I did not know, I would ignore it. I would assume it was either a mistake, or that it was some kind of bait-and-switch sales party. I would feel no more obligation to RSVP, than if someone left a flyer on my windshield.
This. I think you could gently tell her that this isn't about RSVP culture, but rather that she sent out invites to strangers who have little to zero connection to her ( different from inviting one's child's classmates who you may jot know but they are in school with your child).


That being said, I still can't believe so few people took the time to at least let her know.

Why? If I got an invite from someone I barely/don't know, I would assume it's a mistake or some kind of bait and switch or Tupperware type "party"

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SoCalVal

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2014, 05:07:18 PM »
I just reread the first post.  Megan doesn't know the name of anyone (other than OP) who she invited yet she expects these people to RSVP???  She doesn't know any of them.  None of them have an obligation to RSVP to a random invite from a stranger.  What a bizarre way of going about trying to make friends (and, had I been the recipient, I would've just considered it an invitation from a stranger to a gift grab and ignored it).



EllenS

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2014, 07:52:58 PM »
I think the point about classmates is a good one. I don't know the parents of all my childrens' classmates, have not met most of them, but the kids certainly know each other, and those invitations are always identifiable as having come from school, or being in some way attached to a schoolmate.

blarg314

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2014, 09:00:40 PM »

So someone gets handed a invitation to a party by a third party, to a toddler's birthday party of someone they've never met and whose name they may not even recognize (and it's not clear that the invitation even has their name on it).

I'd say there's a strong possibility that they assume it's a mixup and ignore it, or they are weirded out enough by it that they actively don't want to contact the invitee and get pulled into the craziness.

Getting an invitation from someone whose child shares a class with yours is different - there you have a context and know who the person is, even if you haven't met them.

MommyPenguin

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2014, 11:53:50 PM »
I sympathize with what Megan is trying to do, because we have been that family that moves a lot.  And our kids are always desperate to have friends to invite to their birthday parties.  But when you just moved into a new state at the end of September and your kid's birthday is a month later, it's really hard to know people to invite!

If she'd accept advice from somebody who has been there, done that, what I'd do is to put off the birthday party as much as possible.  Maybe have a small family recognition on the day of (a small cake or treat, family presents).  Give your child a few more weeks to attend church, daycare, preschool, AWANA, whatever program/class/group your child is in, and let them get to know people.

Then invite just a *few* kids, those your child is closest friend with.  I've usually heard that a reasonable number of kids to invite is one for each year of age your child is turning.  So a 3-year-old would invite 3 friends, etc.

She might also consider, when she talks to the people and hands them an invitation, that she's just moved to the area, her child is really excited about having playmates come to a birthday party, etc.  That might help them understand why she's inviting them when they don't know her well.

Of course, if the party is really soon or already happened (since you mentioned your child is sick and wouldn't be able to come), it might be too late.  But if your child was the *only* child coming and nobody else shows up, she might try a "do-over."  Another option could be to see if it could be a birthday playdate, with just your child and hers, if she just hasn't had enough time to get her child involved in groups so there would be kids to invite.

My heart hurts for that little one, if the toddler *is* old enough to wish for friends to come to her party, as I know my daughters really struggled with this.  They've each developed differently because of all the moving.  One is more of an introvert and entertains herself really well.  Another is really, really top-notch at remembering people's names and making friends.  We were out of town this weekend and went to a new church, and she made a friend, visited with the friend after church, and wants to go to that church every time we're in that area now, so she can play with her friend again.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2014, 11:45:11 PM »
Another Aussie here.

Megan's behaviour is quite strange. It's definitely not a "common practice" in Australia to invite a whole heap of strangers to your child's birthday party.

That said, some of my peers/acquaintances are very intense when it comes to making "instant friends". They'll meet someone new (like at a party or through a mutual friend) and within five minutes, add them as a Facebook friend. Within half an hour, they'll invite them over for dinner or something. Perhaps Megan is like this? Especially if she's under the age of 30.

Ceallach

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2014, 07:49:59 AM »
The sad thing is there are ways she could have approached this that might have had a better outcome.   In my international moves I've found that many people are friendly and receptive if you make the effort, some people even like feeling as though they are the "welcomers" and the novelty of getting to know the newcomers.    For example, if she'd taken the time to *talk* to the parents, and then said:    "You know we're new here and don't know many people.  It's Sally's birthday this week so we're going to have a small celebration.  Sally and Mary seem to be getting along so well, I'd love it if your family could come over on Saturday and join us for lunch."    Something like that.   They'd get a celebration and a chance to make new friends.   Which presumably is her goal - to create a new social circle.   

Instead the way she's gone about it comes across as if she's not particularly interested in their friendship, just in filling seats for her kids party.
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Fliss

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2014, 04:22:31 AM »

What part of Australia is she from?  Perhaps if she's from a small town, that may explain things a bit?  Some places are quite "odd", just depending.

It's a lie I tell you, a lie!

(ahem) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go oil my webbed feet and feed the drop-bear.
Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.

Redsoil

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2014, 09:02:14 AM »
*cough*  Methinks the lady doth protest too much!

*Sticks tongue out at Fliss and flees, before she can sic the drop-bear onto me!*


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Fliss

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2014, 03:58:44 AM »
*cough*  Methinks the lady doth protest too much!

*Sticks tongue out at Fliss and flees, before she can sic the drop-bear onto me!*

(narrows eyes and flicks open the hunstmans' cage) Attack!

Seriously, and strangely for me, back on topic -- this would be an odd thing to do even in Oz.

Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.

greencat

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Re: US-Australian Etiquette? Or just unrealistic expectations?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2014, 04:08:17 AM »

What part of Australia is she from?  Perhaps if she's from a small town, that may explain things a bit?  Some places are quite "odd", just depending.

It's a lie I tell you, a lie!

(ahem) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go oil my webbed feet and feed the drop-bear.

What is a drop-bear?  I am afraid to google.

Fliss

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Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.