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Author Topic: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower  (Read 8429 times)

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LtPowers

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Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« on: July 06, 2016, 08:09:38 PM »
So bride's stepmother is insisting on throwing the bride a shower, inviting many people who won't be invited to the wedding. Bride demurs, rejects, says no, but still stepmom insists. She says they won't care that they're not invited to the wedding, etc.

Advice columnist Carolyn Hax says the bride should give in... sort of. http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/advice/article/Carolyn-Hax-My-stepmom-wants-to-throw-me-a-8328147.php

I'm curious what you all think of Carolyn's solution.


Powers  &8^]

AngelicGamer

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 09:17:52 PM »
I like it and I can see how it can backfire too.  Yes, you can call it something else or just go with shower, but people might really be expected to come to the wedding afterwards.  I know there's nothing in the letter about it, but with a stepmother this persistent, I expect there will be push back about the guest list next.  With an entire "but she was invited to the shower I threw for you!".  So, yeah.  Call it something else, explain the boundries, be prepared that she'll push for more guests.



Zizi-K

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 09:27:26 PM »
I disagree with Hax's advice. It would be so rude to agree to a shower with people the bride fully has no intention of inviting. I don't care how much stepmom insists. Instead of just saying no to stepmom, however, she could possibly redirect her to a different sort of event that would allow stepmom to celebrate her with that side of the family. It could be an "engagement party" or it could be a post-wedding "meet the newlyweds". Neither of these are giftgiving events like a shower would be.

kudeebee

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 09:52:24 PM »
I also say no to the shower.

Part of the problem is that the btb keeps saying no and listening to step-mom every time she brings it up.  After the second time, btb should have calmly stated "SM, I don't know why you keep bringing this up.  I have given you my answer and it is no.  I will not discuss it with you, so do not bring it up again.  My answer is no."  Then she needs to change the subject and if SM brings it up, calmly walk away or even leave if she can.

I have a feeling that even if btb  agrees to another type of event, there will still be gifts expected on SM's part and she will make this known to the guests.

sammycat

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 12:15:07 AM »
I disagree with the columnist's advice, and agree with the BTB that there shouldn't be a shower.

I hope BTB has her wits about her in case SM tries to throw a surprise shower at some point.

Regardless of who the host is in most cases, I have to assume the guest of honour is happy to have whatever sort of party is being thrown in their honour and what the guest list is*.  Therefore, if I received an invitation to a party for someone I had met once, or even not at all, I would have to (a) assume they were okay with the party; and (b) this would one of the very extremely rare occasions where I would assume something is a gift grab. This would not make me think highly of this person at all, regardless of the fact that they were strong armed into the party (especially if I was unaware of that, which is highly likely seeing as I wouldn't know this person).

* Exceptions for surprise parties that turn out to genuinely be a surprise for the GOH.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 06:37:27 AM »


I hope BTB has her wits about her in case SM tries to throw a surprise shower at some point.



POD to this. I recall that one of our regular posters here had a similar issue a few years ago - her MIL to be was attempting to throw the couple a surprise shower under the guise of a family reunion.

If the LW does find herself the unwitting recipient of a surprise shower, she should make it VERY clear to "her" guests (in a polite way, of course!) that she had no idea this was on the cards.

I also think this is one of those rare occasions where she doesn't need to thank her step-mother for the shower, either!

gellchom

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 06:43:02 AM »
I like Hax's advice and reasoning. 

I would feel exactly as this bride does in her place.  But I think the advice is sound.  This is how SM and hr friends do things, and that's who will be invited to this party.  I do think there's room to negotiate about maybe it being a non-gifting party, though.

Mustard

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 06:52:52 AM »
I have no experience of bridal showers at all - not done here - but if this was a 'come and meet the bride; my lovely stepdaughter' party perhaps it would be more acceptable to the bride?

HannahGrace

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 07:07:21 AM »
I think it's terrible advice to tell the bride she has to allow herself to be browbeaten into attending an event she does not want.

shhh its me

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 07:20:01 AM »
I have no experience of bridal showers at all - not done here - but if this was a 'come and meet the bride; my lovely stepdaughter' party perhaps it would be more acceptable to the bride?

Step mom could throw an engagement party. 

Showers are no no for people who aren't invited to the wedding because showers are the only type of party that gifts are required.

 There are some exceptions for cases where all the guests are "complicit" because you can't be rude to yourself ,work showers are a common one but those are more quasi work events then real showers.

Edit : what would worry me most about this one "'Oh don't worry Great Aunty will be fine when she finds out she's not invited"  in theory if 10 people who were already aware they were not invited to the wedding said "We're throwing you a shower" that's not rude.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 07:22:32 AM by shhh its me »

Pooky582

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 03:18:04 PM »
I really don't agree with Carolyn's advice. The step mother is pressuring the LW into doing something she doesn't want to do. Why should SM get her way? It isn't just etiquette that is the problem. It's boundaries in their overall relationship. SM should have taken the first 'no' from LW and moved on.  And just because SM says this is how things are done and no one will be expecting an invitation, it doesn't mean that's true! Those are SM's words, not the guests.  LW has valid reasons for not wanting this shower, but her reasons are the least important part. She said no, and that should be the end of the story. Caving to SM now let's her know she can pressure her way to the results she wants in the future.

AccountingIsFun

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 03:39:10 PM »
Kudos to the bride to be for trying to stand up for herself and for having the manners to understand that it seems like being a gimme-pig if you invite folks to your shower and not to the wedding.

I was the unwitting hostess for a shower where the bride to be didn't understand that the only people to be invited to the shower ought to be the ones that are invited to the wedding. When the co-host and I ran the guest list by the bride, she approved the whole thing either without checking her wedding invite list or possibly understanding that it is rude to invite someone to a shower and not the wedding.  I felt so embarrassed that this happened since some people invited to the shower weren't invited to the wedding.

I think the Step mom is making the shower more about herself than about the bride to be. The party is to show off the step-mom and not the bride and I worry that any non-gift giving party would be turned into a party about the step mom  - especially since the bride doesn't know the people very well. The bride needs to keep her boundaries up and not allow the step mom to hijack her wishes on this.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 04:11:05 PM »
Honestly, if the bride can't say no to her stepmom in a manner that stepmon understands that it means no, bride is not old or mature enough to marry.

TootsNYC

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2016, 04:16:37 PM »
"I need you to respect me."

That would be the phrase I'd be saying.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Carolyn Hax: Stepmom insists on throwing shower
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2016, 04:29:44 PM »
I agree with the PP that the advice was wrong. She should just continue to say no. She really can't be forced into attending a shower. And it's not her responsibility to make up for the SM's perceived gifting inequity.

If I'd been the columnist my advice would have been to suggest to the SM that she'd love to get to know her extended family better but will absolutely not be attending a bridal shower. However, if SM and Dad want to throw a party in honor of the newly married couple they'd be fine with that as a post wedding event. A simple "We're hosting a bbq to celebrate the newlyweds and welcome Josh to the family."