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Let's say you've declined an invitation to a shower...


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Read this part first:

And the host (family) bumps into your dh & asks if you will be able to attend. He says no.

 

Host calls you later to ask if you will attend. You say no. She says that the party will be small, co-hostess recently had surgery, few people can attend.

 

Host has her dh call your dh to see if you will attend. Dh says no.

 

W/out getting into WHY you won't be attending, do you think it's (relatively) safe to assume host is unhappy w/ your decision not to attend?

 

 

 

 

Don't read on until you've thought about that.

 

 

 

Let's say you then email host, explaining to her again that you can't attend & why. Let's say you're kind & apologetic. Let's say your excuse is legitimate.

 

Host responds that she is NOT unhappy w/ you at all but "concerned." :001_huh: Given the above repetitive behavior, would you find that at least a little bit difficult to believe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't read the snarky conclusion until you've thought about the 2nd part.

 

 

 

After this event, all of mine & dh's sibs will be married. I'm going to dye my hair gray & start telling people, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I don't attend showers." And send a pretty card, perhaps. :glare:

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That is unusual. I wonder if they were planning on doing something for you at the shower?

 

No; it's my mil. She only has sons, so when it comes to the etiquette of a daughter...I'm afraid I embarrass her sometimes.

 

It's a shower I really should be at, so I understand her frustration. That's why I emailed her w/ a more detailed explanation & apology.

 

Unfortunately, when dh explained why I wouldn't be there, he said I had a project to work on. :svengo: How embarrassing! I mentioned that that was not something I'd make a priority in such a case as this, & the rest of her email was...*ahem* telling me to "understand the pressure" dh is under (in having to explain why I won't attend w/out being "disloyal"). And telling me how good & loyal he is to me, etc.

 

Which is true. But...there are things that...when someone feels that they need to SAY them to you...feel an awful lot like being chewed out. :glare:

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Whether she was concerned or unhappy wouldn't bother me one bit if I really couldn't attend. I'm not responsible for her happiness.

 

Now...if I'd planned something just to get out of a shower, and it's for a family member, I might feel guilty enough to care what other people think.:blushing:

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When I plan a party I always think about the group in 3 ways. As I plan, I count all of group 1., and half of group 2., none of group 3.

 

1. the people who I know will attend pretty much no-matter-what.

2. the people who will attend if it is convenient

3. the people who will more likely not attend, but get invited, often due to social rules (ie inviting every one in a kids class even though these two kids don't like eachother)

 

I am guessing that you were a 1. for her. I think that the guest list is short and by you being gone, it just got shorter. It may also be a source of pride for her, not wanting to explain to people why you are not there. Are you usually the 'cake baker', 'decorations planner', h'orderve baker? Is it possible that you had a role in her plans that you are obviously now not able to fill?

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Yes, your mil is unhappy with you, and yes she chewed you out in the way that nice ladies do.

 

There's no point in going around about it again. Send a nice gift and a pretty card. Shake the dust from your feet and move on. They'll get over it.

 

:iagree:

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Yes, your mil is unhappy with you, and yes she chewed you out in the way that nice ladies do.

 

 

:iagree:

 

The concerned comment would bother me. Mainly because it sounds like you're going to end up on a prayer chain somewhere.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*disclaimer: I am not again prayer chain, requests, etc. I am against those that use them as a veiled form of gossip. :D

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Yes, your mil is unhappy with you, and yes she chewed you out in the way that nice ladies do.

 

There's no point in going around about it again. Send a nice gift and a pretty card. Shake the dust from your feet and move on. They'll get over it.

 

I agree. Send a lovely gift. They'll get over it.

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I can't send a gift, I can't help the reason I can't go, & dh can't ignore these people: it's his mother.

 

Yes, I'm sure I was on list #1, as the shower is for future sil. Basically, I'd miss it if I was dying or equivalent.

 

Thanks for your perspective, guys. Sometimes I read too much into people, which can make things more difficult than they need to be. I don't plan to bring this up w/ mil any more or anything like that, I just wanted to know if anyone else read this the way I did.

 

"Girl-speak" is a stupid language. W/ people I love, I'll translate. "You're unhappy with me. I'm so sorry about that. I really care about you." But it freaks them out, & they ALWAYS deny it.

 

I look forward to be old & alone someday.

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If there are few people to attend, I can see making an ask a couple times to see if someone might change their mind and bulk up the guest list a bit. Parties or showers with few guests can be depressing for the one giving the party (and the one receiving it, for that matter)!

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I can't send a gift, I can't help the reason I can't go, & dh can't ignore these people: it's his mother.

 

Yes, I'm sure I was on list #1, as the shower is for future sil. Basically, I'd miss it if I was dying or equivalent.

 

Thanks for your perspective, guys. Sometimes I read too much into people, which can make things more difficult than they need to be. I don't plan to bring this up w/ mil any more or anything like that, I just wanted to know if anyone else read this the way I did.

 

"Girl-speak" is a stupid language. W/ people I love, I'll translate. "You're unhappy with me. I'm so sorry about that. I really care about you." But it freaks them out, & they ALWAYS deny it.

 

I look forward to be old & alone someday.

 

 

Aubrey ~

 

Perhaphs you could write your future SIL a nice letter welcoming her into the family and include some funny stories etc. The whole purpose of the shower should be to welcome her NOT just collect gifts.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Dina

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Aubrey ~

 

Perhaphs you could write your future SIL a nice letter welcoming her into the family and include some funny stories etc. The whole purpose of the shower should be to welcome her NOT just collect gifts.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Dina

 

:iagree:

 

And, recipes. What I really wanted was everyone's favorite recipes. I asked for that and did not get a single recipe. A few dribbled in later after more requests.

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I read part one and thought she was disappointed for the bride that the shower would be small. It's kind of embarrassing, especially for the bride, when many are invited and few come. I realize it's not a popularity contest. And yes, everyone is busy and has their own lives to deal with. But it still feels yucky. So I would assume first that the hostess's intentions are not hostile towards you but pro-active towards the bride. Yes...she is a bit over-the-top. :001_smile:

 

After reading the 2nd part...Wow! She is over-the-top. She needs to be just as sensitive to the potential guests as to the bride. We're all people. But I think the word "concerned" fits assuming she is concerned that no one will be at the shower. That could be really stressing her out. I don't know if the bride doesn't have a lot of friends/family or if they picked a bad day. Poor bride.

 

ETA: I see now that your mil is the hostess. I think that changes the dynamic quite a bit. Yes she is unhappy with you and she had your fil call his son/your hubby to try to get you to come to his brother's bride's shower. I don't think that is over-the-top. Obviously I don't know the relationship between you and your in-laws. This sounds less like advice on shower etiquette and more like a vent on a sticky in-law relationship.

Edited by silliness7
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Aubrey,

I think the whole pestering thing is strange. Don't feel too bad. I decided and told both my dad and his fiance, who are getting married 6 months almost to the day after my moms death, I won't be at their wedding. My husband had already planned a surprise weekend for our 20th wedding anniversary for us the weekend they are getting married. So, at least is is just a shower, and not a wedding. :)

 

By the way, my dad and fiance understood and haven't said a word since......

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I was thinking it was extremely strange behavior, until I realized that it's a shower for close family. You're a close family member and your dh gave a rather faint excuse which probably sounded very much like the white lie it was - - I would give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she may have been genuinely concerned.

 

No, guest do not have to give a reason for declining an invite, and it's rude to enquire in most cases, but this is close family and I doubt they believed dh's excuse. Asking three times if you will attend is not the best of manners, but it sounds like not attending is out of the norm for you, and they weren't given the real reason until the email. They were told a white lie, then they were told no, it's not that, but weren't told what it was . . . honestly, I probably would have been honestly concerned myself. Are you sick? Is something wrong? Because if you miss a family event you 'should' be at, and clearly don't want to tell me the reason, I only imagine bad things, kwim?

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I was thinking it was extremely strange behavior, until I realized that it's a shower for close family. You're a close family member and your dh gave a rather faint excuse which probably sounded very much like the white lie it was - - I would give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she may have been genuinely concerned.

 

No, guest do not have to give a reason for declining an invite, and it's rude to enquire in most cases, but this is close family and I doubt they believed dh's excuse. Asking three times if you will attend is not the best of manners, but it sounds like not attending is out of the norm for you, and they weren't given the real reason until the email. They were told a white lie, then they were told no, it's not that, but weren't told what it was . . . honestly, I probably would have been honestly concerned myself. Are you sick? Is something wrong? Because if you miss a family event you 'should' be at, and clearly don't want to tell me the reason, I only imagine bad things, kwim?

 

The real reason is something they know about but do not understand. Dh told them something true that I need to do, but it was not something that I'd do instead of a shower for sil. That was embarrassing but not exactly a white lie.

 

In the email I told mil the real reason again. I was specific. I did want her to know that I would not put...what amounts to a personal project...before such an important event. But she took that as criticism of dh & told me what a difficult position I put him in. :001_huh:

 

The problem is something that mil completely doesn't understand, & I'm fine w/ that as long as we don't talk about it. Things like this force it to the forefront, & it's awkward. I already feel like dh was incredibly unlucky in marrying me, so feeling like she feels sorry for her son but is proud of his loyalty...stinks.

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I read part one and thought she was disappointed for the bride that the shower would be small. It's kind of embarrassing, especially for the bride, when many are invited and few come. I realize it's not a popularity contest. And yes, everyone is busy and has their own lives to deal with. But it still feels yucky. So I would assume first that the hostess's intentions are not hostile towards you but pro-active towards the bride. Yes...she is a bit over-the-top. :001_smile:

 

I know it's embarrassing--that's how my showers were. And it's awkward when someone feels obligated to have one & it's obvious by the attendance/enthusiasm. If I had mine to do over, I'd skip them, too! :lol:

 

Sil had 3 showers last weekend. I don't know how many she will have total, & I know that's not the point: this is the shower from dh's family. I know she needs to feel welcomed into the family, loved, etc. I told mil in my email that I know that & want her to feel as loved as they have made me feel.

 

After reading the 2nd part...Wow! She is over-the-top. She needs to be just as sensitive to the potential guests as to the bride. We're all people. But I think the word "concerned" fits assuming she is concerned that no one will be at the shower. That could be really stressing her out. I don't know if the bride doesn't have a lot of friends/family or if they picked a bad day. Poor bride.

 

This is stressing her out because the bride's family is extremely wealthy, & she's afraid her family isn't good enough. She'd never say that, though.

 

I believe that she's concerned about the issue I stated, but I do not believe that that's remotely the reason she's continued to ask me about attending. I think she's concerned if we're talking about it over coffee, but when it disrupts plans, she's annoyed.

 

 

She's not exactly the hostess. She & dh's aunts host events like this together. She doesn't have daughters, so I'm the representative from our age bracket for her family. Although I know this party is more important than the other ones, she is nearly this pushy w/ all of them, but then...I always go so I won't upset anyone.

 

She's unhappy w/ me, but she says she's not; just "concerned." That bothers me. Let's at least call it what it is, kwim? She wants me involved w/ all of this, but dh & his bro aren't involved w/ ea other. Not that I disagree w/ her or object to being involved, just that if I can't go, I. can't. go.

 

I don't know why, but a good in-law relationship is getting sticky lately. She's stressed about work, but really? She's stressed about this wedding, & I know it's because she thinks she's not good enough. I just make her look worse. I don't think that's fair: I should only make my own mom look bad. ;)

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I had a saint of a MIL who adored me. I always felt loved and accepted by her. But even she would have had an issue with me not attending (as long as I were living nearby, of course) a shower she was throwing for one of dh's brother's future wives. She would not have been happy, but I have to say that my MIL is the type of person who would have said that she was upset about it and why...directly to me. ;) My MIL was a very polite woman and good woman, but was never one to beat around the bush. :lol:

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I had a saint of a MIL who adored me. I always felt loved and accepted by her. But even she would have had an issue with me not attending (as long as I were living nearby, of course) a shower she was throwing for one of dh's brother's future wives. She would not have been happy, but I have to say that my MIL is the type of person who would have said that she was upset about it and why...directly to me. ;) My MIL was a very polite woman and good woman, but was never one to beat around the bush. :lol:

 

Said wryly: So unless I'm making up my reason, my options are to leave dh or move far away. The good news is I'm half packed & mom's coming to town this weekend.

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Your MIL is controlling. Concerned? Yeah right.

 

The only misstep I think you made is offering a legitimate excuse. No explanation is necessary. You are spoiling her by saying anything other than, "MIL, we are concerned about you. Have you consulted with your physician about your loss of memory issue? You *poor* thing!"

Edited by arghmatey
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Said wryly: So unless I'm making up my reason, my options are to leave dh or move far away. The good news is I'm half packed & mom's coming to town this weekend.

 

 

You'e leaving your husband? That changes everything. I am so sorry. I didn't know, and I obviously didn't read your post closely enough.

 

Again, forgive me. I am so sorry for misunderstanding the situation.

Edited by LibraryLover
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:iagree: she sounds on the controlling side to me.

 

And no, you don't have to give reasons (although I completely understand why you might feel that you should). But it's probably more effective to just say "sorry, that's not going to work for us this time" and let the hearer make of it what they will.

 

She'll get over it. :grouphug:

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You'e leaving your husband? That changes everything. I am so sorry. I didn't know, and I obviously didn't read your post closely enough.

 

Again, forgive me. I am so sorry for misunderstanding the situation.

 

Sorry! No, I was joking. I have really sadistic humor but usually keep it under better wraps here.

 

I meant those are my only options for dealing w/ this. The packing & my mom coming are unrelated, but funny (to me) when put together like that. :blushing:

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Oh! I feel so much better! LOL Whew. :D I am a dolt.

 

I don't know what you should do, and your MIL does sound like a tough cookie. My nice MIL would have told me to my face that I should go, that it was proper blah blah, You know what? LOL It looks like my MIL was a tought cookie, come to think of it. I just knew she loved me, so I probably accepted certain parts of her because she made up for it in other ways. I am not sure. I miss her so much (she's only been gone since T'giving) that I am maybe blinded by reality. :tongue_smilie:

 

You have a right to not go, and she has a right to be aggravated. I think those people who are saying, "Do what you need to do; she'll get over it." are right on. My MIL would have, for sure.

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Oh! I feel so much better! LOL Whew. :D I am a dolt.

 

I don't know what you should do, and your MIL does sound like a tough cookie. My nice MIL would have told me to my face that I should go, that it was proper blah blah, You know what? LOL It looks like my MIL was a tought cookie, come to think of it. I just knew she loved me, so I probably accepted certain parts of her because she made up for it in other ways. I am not sure. I miss her so much (she's only been gone since T'giving) that I am maybe blinded by reality. :tongue_smilie:

 

You have a right to not go, and she has a right to be aggravated. I think those people who are saying, "Do what you need to do; she'll get over it." are right on. My MIL would have, for sure.

 

Thanks for this. I hope she will. It breaks my heart to disappoint her.

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