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When Pizza Is More Important Than The Anniversary

We didn’t have much in the way of money for our wedding day so my husband promised that I could have the wedding of my dreams for our fifth anniversary. I felt that having a wedding after already being married was a little strange, however, I thought a vow renewal would be amazing. So for five years, I plan our vow renewal .

Two months before the day, I send out invites. Just a small gathering, family and close friends, which probably totaled 20 people. I reserved the community room and began earnestly putting things together. I got some flowers to place here and there, a small cake that simply stated, “Congratulations on Five Years of Wedded Bliss,” a variety of music from everyone, wrote my vows and got a lovely but casual dress. About two weeks before the date, my mother-in-law starts making comments about how tacky a vow renewal is, how anniversaries are for couples to celebrate amongst themselves privately, how rude I was being expecting this kind of thing. Since she always made the comments under her breath and never to me directly, I let it go.

The day arrives. I come home from work, get the kids all cutely dressed, get all dressed up myself, then head down to the community room with the kids and get set up. An hour after the start time, I realize that no one has called, let alone shown up. Not even my husband. I make some calls but I don’t get any answers. Another hour goes by and I begin packing up, it’s finally sunk in that no one is coming. It’s still early in the evening, only about 7pm, so I pop a movie in for the kids while I try to figure out what to do with the flowers and cake. At quarter to 8pm, I’ve changed into my usual jeans and t-shirt and the kids are in pajamas. My husband walks in as they’re brushing their teeth and I’m just finishing up in the kitchen. He wants to know where I’ve been, that he was at his parents’ house and I never showed up. ((Side note: his parents have always had pizza night on Tuesdays and our fifth anniversary landed on a Tuesday.))

I asked why and he said that it was pizza night, so I informed him that it was also our fifth anniversary. He said that he thought it had been cancelled because I had decided that anniversaries should be celebrated privately between the married couple only (gee, who does that sound like??). After further inquiry and more phone calls over the next week, I found out that my mother-in-law had called everyone who’d been sent an invite and told them that I had changed my mind so the vow renewal was cancelled. Yet no one had bothered to confirm with me? Lovely.

Ya’ll should’ve seen the fit mother-in-law threw when I couldn’t get the time off work for her anniversary party about less than two months later. 0611-14

While what your mother-in-law did was reprehensible, my first thought was that you have serious marriage problems.   The communication between you and your husband appears to be almost non-existent and even if he believed anniversaries should be celebrated privately between the couple, it was abundantly evident that he preferred to chow down on pizza at his parents’ home than arrange a lovely, private evening with you to celebrate 5 years of marriage.  It’s quite troubling that your husband makes a promise to you and then nonchalantly forgets it in his quest for pizza and that your party is cancelled yet he does not hear this news from you.

And your MIL knew the entire guest list, including who your close friends were?   How did she know this?  Even your closest friends did not promptly call you to get the dirt on the changed plans?  My friends would have been burning up Facebook and email wanting to know if I was OK if I cancelled like that.

Your MIL was right in that you committed a fairly huge faux pas in inviting people to a wedding vow renewal right at a meal time with no plans to feed them that meal.     Did you really think people would come to a party after working a normal work day, at dinnertime (5 pm in your case), watch a vow renewal, eat some cake and dance the night away on an empty stomach?   To be honest, if I were your friend, I might not come either.   You appear to have spent 5 years planning a party that wasn’t particularly hospitable for your guests.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • starstruck June 17, 2014, 5:57 pm

    oh. my . God. my jaw hit the floor. thats almost unforgivable. it might be unforgivable. thats right up their with psychotic . it sounds like your mother in law needs some professional help. if it was any one else besides my mother in law , i would be tempted to sue her for the entire cost of the party.

    • Marozia June 18, 2014, 4:56 am

      I think the whole lot of them (including OP) need professional help.

      • starstruck June 18, 2014, 4:57 pm

        yes! family therapy needed asap!

  • nikki June 17, 2014, 8:46 pm

    My parents renewed their vows after 29 years of marriage. My dad surprised my mom with a small trip (just two hours from their home) and took her to get “married” at the courthouse. Just the two of them. He did this because he was dying and wouldn’t live to celebrate their next anniversary. No one else was involved. Just my dad and my very surprised mom who holds this as one of the sweetest memories of how my dad, who was very ill, labored to do something special to show his love to his wife.

    • Wild Irish Rose June 18, 2014, 8:51 am

      This nearly made me cry. What a wonderful, thoughtful man your father was!

    • Taxing June 19, 2014, 7:44 am

      This honestly just gave me shivers. What a lovely thing to do.

      • just4kicks June 19, 2014, 10:55 am

        How beautiful! What a loving gesture. Sounds like a WONDERFUL man!

  • David June 17, 2014, 9:27 pm

    One of the first things mentioned on Ehell is that if you submit a story, you need to change enough of it so that the people involved wouldn’t recognize themselves.

    So when I read these stories I expect that they aren’t about the exact situation written about. And if any part of them doesn’t completely make sense I figure it’s because of placing the actual story in the the new situation – details we need might get lost as the person rewrites so that the people involved can’t recognize themselves. So I try to just look at the question in the story.

    Your mother-in-law should never have cancelled the party – doing so shows a lack of respect for you so egregious that it’s mind-boggling. Honestly, I would cut off all contact with someone that did something like that to me – continuing the contact would only leave me open to more nonsense.

    I am sorry to say that your husband doesn’t come out smelling like a rose here either – he has a family at home, why is he spending his five year wedding anniversary eating pizza at mommy’s? You don’t mention it in the story but I can’t help but wonder if he was the source of your MIL getting a copy of the guest list.

    I won’t fault you for wanting a party for what feels like a milestone to you; next time though I suggest just keeping it to friends, your husband and blood relatives.

  • Ivy June 17, 2014, 10:31 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that the MIL was insulting their plans when it was her son’s idea? (“my husband promised that I could have the wedding of my dreams for our fifth anniversary”) Why did she gripe at the LW and not her son…? Bizarre, and gross. I hope the LW had some sort of sit down discussion with her about it afterward and had her pay back the costs she caused to be wasted. In addition, she sounds like the type one honestly shouldn’t have around, too much negativity.

    I also agree with admin that there’s something *really* fishy/weird/not right about LW’s husband not checking with her about the plans. Seriously, what the heck? He knew it was still their anniversary, and after “I had decided that anniversaries should be celebrated privately between the married couple only” – … he still went to have pizza with his parents, and not dinner with his wife? wut?

    • The Elf June 18, 2014, 6:38 am

      Well, any MIL who would cancel someone else’s party is probably going to be the type to hold her son blameless for everything and focus on that horrible, evil person that tricked her amazing, wonderful son into marrying her.

  • Phoenix June 18, 2014, 10:46 am

    Yeah, as someone who is practically glued to the likes of tumblr and deviantart, I can safely say this story is fake and I’m disapointed the webmistress didn’t catch on either.

    I suggest deleting this story already. Guve the OP no further attention she obviously craves by making such a tall tale.

    • Melissa June 18, 2014, 4:27 pm

      What makes you so convinced?

      (curiosity, not sarcasm)

      • Phoenix June 18, 2014, 11:47 pm

        Pretty much what everyone else has been saying:
        1. Husband doesn’t realize OP and kids were gone
        2 No friends called OP
        3. Friends didn’t realize that having someone else cancel the party might sound suspicious
        4. Husband does no planning for this supposed anniversary and even forgets about he anniversary
        5. MIL somehow contacts every friend to cancel the party

        Too many points that mKe no sense if you ask me
        (Sorry I’m on my iPhone)

    • LadyLelan June 18, 2014, 6:14 pm

      With all due respect, how does the fact that you are “practically glued to the likes of tumbr and deviantart” justify your opinion about the credibility of OP’s story?

      I do in no way doubt of you, I would just like to understand.

      • Phoenix June 18, 2014, 11:41 pm

        Because we get a treAsure trove of people making all kinds of stories up and immediately getting shot down. It becomes easy to spy a fake story after dealing with the nonsense that some people spew over those sites.

        • beenthere August 16, 2014, 8:02 pm

          As someone that has experienced life married to a mama’s boy and a mother from Hades, let me say that this story sounds all too real to me. My former MIL convinced my (now ex) husband to spend our FIRST anniversary with her having dinner with his parents. We had plans (and a 6 week old baby), but he never called me and strolled in acting like he had no idea why I was mad. She also sabotaged our wedding reception to keep people from coming, refused to let me bring our child to see her while crying to everyone that I “wouldn’t let her see the baby” (seriously, I called twice a week asking her to see the baby), purposely served me food that I was allergic to and referred to me only as “that girl” to my husband. I think the story is real, but I have lived through a similar life experience.

          • Vrinda May 18, 2015, 11:17 am

            Then how do you explain the close friends of the OP not contacting her? Was your ex-MIL also in touch with your friends?

  • Anonymous June 18, 2014, 11:47 am

    The OP’s MIL and husband were rude. As for inviting people to something at a “meal” time slot and not feeding them, the OP never said that she didn’t; maybe she just didn’t mention what she was serving the guests for dinner, but she didn’t need to spell out, “I ordered flowers and a cake, and oh, yes, I also arranged for proper food, because it was dinner time, of course.” So, maybe she left out that detail because she thought it went without saying. Also, since the OP and her husband couldn’t afford any kind of wedding celebration, I’d venture to say that this was more than an anniversary party or a vow renewal–it was also supposed to be a sort of belated wedding celebration. One of the biggest etiquette rules is to host the party you can afford, when you can afford it, and that’s what the OP and her husband were trying to do. They didn’t go into debt, or do a cash bar/dollar dance/wishing well/A-List and B-List/potluck wedding, or any of those “make the guests pay for the wedding, or treat the less-special people badly to save money” work-arounds so that they could have their Big White Wedding five years ago, and I think they deserve Brownie points for that, because a lot of people just can’t delay gratification, because it’s Their Day. As for scheduling the party on a weeknight, okay, maybe that was a little strange, but bear in mind that the OP had to pick a time slot when the community room was available, and weekends book up quickly at outside party venues. Maybe it was only meant to be a brief “early evening” kind of celebration, rather than a “dance the night away” kind of scenario. In any case, if a certain kind of party doesn’t work for you as a guest, the polite thing to do would be to RSVP “no,” and possibly invite the other person to hang out some other time, if you’d like. Instead, people RSVP’ed “yes,” and just never showed up……or rather, MIL called everyone else, told them that the party was cancelled, and ruined the whole thing. That was beyond rude.

    • Shannan June 20, 2014, 6:13 am

      But if she’s been “planning for 5 years” she would have had plenty of time to get the community center for any day she wanted. Also the guests had all said they were coming. The MIL was the one who told everyone the thing was cancelled and no onr, including her hubs, thought to verify with her.

      • Anonymous June 20, 2014, 9:51 am

        Okay, I missed the “five years of planning” part. Still, I think the MIL and the husband were much ruder than the OP in all of this.

        • Enna June 21, 2014, 8:55 am

          You do make a very good point, just because there is nomention of a meal plan does not mean there was not going to be one.

        • Shannan June 22, 2014, 4:37 pm

          The point is, that OP started thinking about this right after she got married. Yes the MIL was unbelieveability rude to take it upon herself and cancel it. OP’s friends didn’t find that odd enough to call OP and confirm with her and OP’s hubby didn’t pay any attention to the planning of this event to confirm with his wife. This dynamic isn’t something that just crept up because of this party. It was years in the making……..

  • Redneck Gravy June 18, 2014, 1:02 pm

    This took five years of planning and not a single friend mentioned anything to you about coming or the cancellation of the event. You spent five years planning this and not one friend mentioned ANYTHING about it?

    Your husband, not once, mentioned anything about the continued planning of this event … not one thing – is he deaf, dumb & blind?

    Hmmm, me thinks something fishy here also.

  • Littlepearls June 18, 2014, 8:38 pm

    I don’t know if the story is true or not but if it is, there are serious issues going on with this family. I suspect it may be partly true with some very large chunks of information missing.

    My grandmother didn’t have her dream wedding either as she was a Catholic marrying a Lutheran and was not allowed to marry in the Catholic Church. Fifty years later, not five, they had a vow renewal in the Catholic Church and then had a very large anniversary party following the ceremony allowing their descendants, family, and friends celebrate their very lengthy commitment to each other.

  • Em June 19, 2014, 1:26 am

    Definitely feel this may be fake: How did the mother in law get the guest list? she’s been planning it over five years and never mentioned it to family or friends? No one bothered to check with her out of 20 people, including the husband?

    if somehow she really has terrible friends and an awful husband who is so much of a mommy’s boy he ditches his wife on their anniversary (no natter if the party was cancelled) then they all need help.

    Also, I feel getting a cake that says “congratulations on five years of wedded bliss” (how the heck would that even fit?) is completely tacky. If someone else was hosting it would be fine, but congratulating yourself is just not on.

    • Shoegal June 19, 2014, 7:21 am

      I was once a bridesmaid in a wedding and I helped decorate the fire hall along with the bride, groom & other attendants. I also thought there was just something wrong watching the happy couple hang a handmade sign that read, “Congratulations Missy and Mark.”

      • Anonymous June 20, 2014, 11:29 am

        Yeah, that does seem a little off, but was it a situation where someone else made the sign, and Missy and Mark responded along the lines of, “Wow, Friend, what a beautiful sign. Let’s hang it over here, so people will see it right when they come in?” If everyone was getting the hall ready together, I can see that happening, and I don’t think that’s selfish, exactly–it’s just how things worked out logistically. If Missy and Mark made ‘zillas of themselves for the duration of the festivities (and/or the run-up to, and the aftermath of, the big day), then yeah, they’re self-absorbed and self-congratulatory, but merely hanging up a sign that someone else made? That’s no more objectionable than, say, a friend giving you a birthday card or a piece of artwork, and displaying it wherever you choose in your house.

  • Angel June 19, 2014, 1:22 pm

    If this story is not fake, which I really hope that is it since it seems pretty unbelievable to me, then I have only one question: if the mother in law is that much of a bitch than how the heck has the marriage lasted 5 years????

  • Enna June 21, 2014, 8:52 am

    I do agree with some posters that the story doesn’t completly add up. If this story were true I would agree with the admin that a serious lack on communicaiton between husabnd and wife is a big issue. Along with the firends not asking what has happened. However writing someone off as a firend just beacuse they make one etiqutte mistake does sound a bit much to me.

    I’m surprised someone didn’t make a suggestion about food arrangements for an evening meal. What a time for MIL to step in and suggest a lovely pizza meal afterwards? That’s what I would be inclinded to do had I been in MIL’s situation. That way OP is happy and MIL is happy.

    MIL going bahind OP’s back and hubby and firends not saying anything is not nice and by far the bigger ettiqute breach. But the firends’ lack of care and the way the children are involved dose arouse my suspicions on the story being real.

    • Amethyst Ribbons June 22, 2014, 2:43 pm

      I hope this does not come off as snarky, but it’s “friends”, not “firends”.

  • justmesometimes June 21, 2014, 5:30 pm

    The story vaguely jogged my memory of an old Nancy Drew, or some auch mystery book, where a party was thrown for a young woman/girl, but no one showed up. The girl drowned herself and the house/castle was boarded up.
    Years later, the invitations were discovered, unsent, behind a picture window seat.
    The children of the original guests were invited to a make-up party, and there was forgiveness and sadness.

    Anyone recall the story? I read it over 30 years ago.

    • Cannibal Queen June 23, 2014, 6:06 pm

      Ha ha, yes! That was “Meg and the Ghost of Hidden Springs”, part of the Meg Duncan series, by Holly Beth Walker.

      As for the OP’s story, well, I really hope it’s not true.

  • MISSMINUTE June 25, 2014, 2:25 am

    I’m afraid this story appears to be fake. It’s all too unnatural.
    Why was the OP unable to reach her husband or MIL on the phone for hours?
    Why did the OP then not call close friends to see what happened?
    Why did no friends ask her about it?
    Why did hubby not wonder where she and kids were and call them?
    How did MIL get the number/contact of everyone on the guest list?
    How did husband forget to be at the party when she had presumably been setting up for it?
    Why did the husband believe MIL it was cancelled and never ask wife?

  • Lorali July 5, 2014, 3:57 pm

    This story actually sounds a bit like a story I read in a newspaper, of a couple’s wedding was cancelled by the man’s sister. Apparently she felt that her sister in law to be wasn’t ‘right’ for her brother, that she was too friendly to their mother and her excuse was that she was ‘saving them a divorce'(!)
    The couple found out as the registrar called them, and the sister was brought to court over it (can’t remember if it was civil or criminal, but I would imagine civil court).

    It sounds fake, there are just too many holes in the story.
    If not, it seems this lady maybe needs some help as she is clearly oblivious to the horrible people in her life.

    • NostalgicGal October 3, 2014, 9:13 pm

      The sister hated the future sister in law, who was providing care for the mother of sister and brother; she thought that the future SIL was ‘stealing’ her brother away; and she cancelled the wedding three weeks out thinking she was ‘saving her brother’ from a mistake and a divorce-that once he was relieved of the worries of the upcoming event, and got a chance to think more clearly, he’d see it her way and be most thankful his sister was looking out for him and saved him from this fate. She called HIM and told him this after she did it. They managed to reinstate the wedding and the sister got 8 weeks in jail for it.

      As for this posting; there’s just a few too many things that turned out ‘perfect’ for it to all be sideways… the guest list and nobody saying anything to the OP when they find out it was cancelled, her not calling anyone to find out where they were (guests OR her hubby), and this was all she wanted (or could put together) after five years? If it was ‘wedding redo of your dreams’ I would say there should have been a lot more done and planned… and if the husband hadn’t figured out after months if not years of her planning that the OP was doing something THAT NIGHT and he better be in the loop by then… that’s the part that smells too. I won’t deny there are some that make this look like not only true but tame, but. It’s still not reading right.

  • EmmBee July 7, 2014, 6:29 pm

    I’d like to start by saying I think this story is either fake or seriously edited to make the OP the victim. However, on the “planning for five years” part, I know for me that would translate into “daydreaming about it and making elaborate castle-in-the-sky plans in my head for four years and 352 days, then finally realizing the time has come, and quickly throwing together something within my actual budget and capabilities.” I don’t think the OP meant she literally spent the whole five years making the arrangements.

    • yo misma January 18, 2015, 2:53 am

      +1 That’s what I understood too.

      I don’t think this is fake. I do think OP is trying very hard to make us believe this is only her MIL’s fault and not her husband’s. Think about it: how did Monster-in-law know the guests list? Because mommy’s boy told her. I can see happening is this: DH promised OP a big celebration 5 years after the wedding, but when the time came, he discovered MIL disagreed with the whole idea and managed to convince him too. He doesn’t dare to say anything to OP, and knowing the relationship with her MIL is awful, either he lets her call all guests or he asks her to do it. Either way, it is obviously the MIL idea and execution, and he manages to seem innocent.

      The fact that he went to his parents in the aniversary to eat pizza, instead of at least being home, is the main clue. Even if he didn’t know about this party, he knew the fifth aniversary was important for her. She spent 5 years dreaming about it!

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