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Author Topic: Please help me be gracious.  (Read 6181 times)

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mmswm

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Please help me be gracious.
« on: March 11, 2016, 03:49:52 AM »
Some relevant background in this thread:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=140043.0

The short version is my BF's daughter is having a wedding in a few months.  She's actually already married, but they still haven't told anybody besides the parents, step-parents, sibling and me. They're still going forward with the original wedding they planned.

The other bride's mother planned a wedding shower.  The invitation came addressed only to BF.  I told BF that I had no intention of going as I wasn't invited. He said something to his daughter in casual conversation.  I wasn't there but apparently it went something like this:

DD:  Are you and mmswm going to be able to make it to the shower?
BF: She's not planning on going since she wasn't invited.
DD:  Oh, that's not right.  I'll call MIL and figure out what happened.

MIL called BF a couple days ago to tell him that I am welcome to attend. I still don't really want to go.  He said he'd talk to me. There's a number of reasons.  Firstly, it would be a logistical nightmare.  The shower is about 4 hours driving distance.  It's on a Saturday.  We would have to leave Friday afternoon, attend the shower Saturday, and either make an exhausting late night drive back home or stay over Saturday night and come home Sunday.  That's 2-3 days we'd have to be out of town.  For reasons I don't care to get into, leaving my kids home alone is impossible, and taking one of them out of the county right now requires some work I don't particularly want to do.  The kids aren't invited, but can be left with BF's mother, who lives about an hour away from where the shower would be held.  The kids like BF's mother and she likes them, so it wouldn't be terrible.  But even if I did decide to take them, they don't particularly want to go.  They'd have to cancel plans for the days in question; nothing formal, but as teenagers, hanging out with friends takes priority over hanging out with their 84 year old step-grandmother (that's how they see her).

I don't know if I feel like this is just another slight after the whole secret wedding hurt feelings and I'm just using etiquette to get out of going.  Should I go or not? I have a perfect excuse for not going, as the logistics would actually be difficult, and I do feel less than excited about it because of what happened in December.  On the other hand, I really like DD and I don't want to hurt her by not showing.  She completely understands the logistical issues involved, but I know she'll be disappointed.

What would ehell do?

Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Mustard

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 05:37:10 AM »
I think you're between a rock and a hard place with this one.  I have no advice, other than to say you don't have an excuse for not going; you have a reason.

#borecore

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 06:11:21 AM »
I think you made a legitimate reason (childcare) look like an excuse when you initially said you weren't going because of the lack of invitation.  It was clear to me as soon as the bride asked if you were attending that she meant for you to be on the guest list and it was a mere accident that you weren't.

I am not clear why a four-hour trip means two overnight stays.  I would leave home at 5 a.m. and drive till midnight,  if necessary to avoid the hotel costs alone at this point (money being more of a personal concern for me), so I could see the bride thinking similarly.

If you are committed to not attending, I would say,  "Thanks for inviting us. I'm afraid we're going to have to just send your dad this time. I can't get childcare that day!"

shhh its me

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 06:15:18 AM »
  BF boobooed , "She wasn't invited" while true (at that moment) wasn't the only or even most important reason you can't go.  He should talk to his daughter and just be honest and sincere.  DD I'm sorry , mmswm would love to attend but issue you know about make it impossible.  You should then call and express your regrets.

HannahGrace

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 06:30:58 AM »
I think you made a legitimate reason (childcare) look like an excuse when you initially said you weren't going because of the lack of invitation.  It was clear to me as soon as the bride asked if you were attending that she meant for you to be on the guest list and it was a mere accident that you weren't.

I am not clear why a four-hour trip means two overnight stays.  I would leave home at 5 a.m. and drive till midnight,  if necessary to avoid the hotel costs alone at this point (money being more of a personal concern for me), so I could see the bride thinking similarly.

If you are committed to not attending, I would say,  "Thanks for inviting us. I'm afraid we're going to have to just send your dad this time. I can't get childcare that day!"

I agree with this 100%.  My husband drives four hours to go skiing for a day and drives back that day.  Sitting at a wedding shower is way less taxing than skiing, so I don't see why it has to become a three day event for you to go to the shower, if you really wanted to go.  That said, if this is about childcare, I would say so and apologize for the confusion.  Invitations get messed up all the time when a third party is writing them out (as it sounds like the MIL did here) - if you are still upset about their rush wedding in December not including you and now going to read hidden hurts into every wedding-related event, well, for the sake of family harmony I would try to get over that asap.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 08:48:35 AM »
Just because other people are ok with driving for 4 hours doesn't mean the OP is ok with it.  and that's 4 hours each way, so 8 hours round trip in a car. 

I'm not saying the OP is right or wrong, but the whole argument of "I do it/I know people who do it, so you should too" is a bit SS. 

#borecore

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 09:09:45 AM »
It's not "SS" to share one's experience. I don't see anyone saying she has to drive!

RubyCat

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 09:28:49 AM »
I think you should find a way to go.  I understand not wanting to go.  It's a long drive, you worry about your kids, and slipping through the cracks on the invitations hurts, even if it was unintentional.

I recall you writing a while back about how good BF's family has been to you and how welcome you feel.  In light of this, I think you should make the effort.  I assume that the relationship with BF's daughter is good but even if it isn't, it would mean a lot to the rest of the family (and your BF) that you attend.  Sometimes we do these things for people we love.

Zizi-K

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2016, 09:34:13 AM »
I would send a heartfelt card and a nice gift, and have that be it. It sounds like it would be a real pain to go. Just warmly decline, and say that you look forward to the wedding.

HannahGrace

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 09:44:00 AM »
It's not "SS" to share one's experience. I don't see anyone saying she has to drive!

Thank you.  I certainly did not, I was just agreeing that it's something to think about, and that the brides might not expect that going to the shower involves a three day trip; I also said if there is a childcare issue, OP should simply say so and give her regrets.

Two Ravens

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 09:56:56 AM »
Did you not realize that going would be a huge imposition when the invite arrived for your bf?

Not that you have to go, but it does seem a bit precious to make the GOH go to extra lengths to assure you you're invited, and then declare that you couldn't go anyway.

Goosey

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 09:59:17 AM »
I think this is another situation that is etiquette vs. relationship.

Etiquette says you don't have to go. Etiquette says you don't even have to give an excuse.

But, it can definitely have an affect on your relationship with your SO's daughter. It will feel like a snub, especially considering your SO's communication with them earlier. And, if your relationship with the daughter is strained, this will not help.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 09:59:57 AM »
Did you not realize that going would be a huge imposition when the invite arrived for your bf?

Not that you have to go, but it does seem a bit precious to make the GOH go to extra lengths to assure you you're invited, and then declare that you couldn't go anyway.
It wasn't the OP that was fishing for an invitation, though.  The GOH asked if she was coming, and OP's boyfriend said she wasn't invited.

JenJay

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2016, 10:09:52 AM »
I wouldn't pay for a hotel and food for 2-3 days to go to a wedding shower. A wedding, probably (unless I only knew the couple casually), but not a shower. To me that's a "send a nice gift and heartfelt card" situation. For my husband's daughter I'd probably make the 4 hour drive but I'd be able to do it in a (long and exhausting) day. If you can't, plus the additional issues with the kids, I think you have a really good reason for not being able to go.

If I were you I would call your DiL and say "I'm so sorry but there's been a misunderstanding. I had mentioned in conversation to your Dad that I wasn't sure I was invited to the shower since the invitation was addressed to him only, however, I wasn't fishing for an invite as I'm actually unable to attend. It means a lot to me that you want me there and I'm so sorry I'll have to miss it."

Two Ravens

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Re: Please help me be gracious.
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2016, 10:11:38 AM »
Did you not realize that going would be a huge imposition when the invite arrived for your bf?

Not that you have to go, but it does seem a bit precious to make the GOH go to extra lengths to assure you you're invited, and then declare that you couldn't go anyway.
It wasn't the OP that was fishing for an invitation, though.  The GOH asked if she was coming, and OP's boyfriend said she wasn't invited.

She told BF "she had no intention of going because she wasn't invited," and he relayed that to the GOH. To me, that certainly implies 1. She would go if invited, and 2. She was upset she wasn't.

I just think now that not going with the suggestion that it would be a huge imposition sounds a bit like sour grapes.

OP, when declining, I would try to make it seem like you tried to make arrangements, but they didn't work out, instead of what you told us in the OP, which makes it see, like it was all a no-go from the start.