Is this completely rude or am I over-reacting (or both)? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-16-2007, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we are planning a VERY small 1st birthday party for dd. We invited our 4 best "couple" friends (and the 2 babies that are attached to them) to the park for a picnic. We also invited dh's college roommate, E., and his wife, D.--I don't especially enjoy spending time with them, particularly C. In fact, dh and E. have really grown apart, and he's never really liked D., but he and E. have history together and we live in the same city, so we see them once every few months. Anyway, one of the couples is going to be out of town, so it was just going to be the 8 friends, 2 babes, and us.

D. replied to the invitation TELLING us that she was bringing her parents as well. I'm not a fan of D., as I said, but I like her parents even less. They are very "old school" from the deep South--dh and I frankly feel a bit uncomfortable around them b/c we've always sensed that they're a little anti-semitic (this isn't only in our heads, either--at E. and D.'s wedding, 2 other couples we're friends with--a mixed race couple and a gay couple--said they felt really weird around D's parents). D's mom made a semi-snide comment about my being a vegetarian at the pre-wedding brunch, as well.

Anyway, the point is, they're NOT people we want at dd's 1st birthday. Heck, I didn't even really want E. and D. there in the first place! And I'm pretty pissed off that she just decided to bring them without even asking. I know it's a picnic in the park, so it's pretty informal, but it's also very small--E., D., and family will now make up 1/3 of the adult guests.

I don't know what to do. I feel like we have to suck it up, because it seems really rude to make a thing of it, but I'm really upset. She only get ONE first bday, yk?

Thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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I would call them (or have dh do it) and explain that you want to just keep it people that you're close with.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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ITA with previous poster.

You could possibly add that your baby is overwhelmed by new people...if they get all snarky about it, well, their loss.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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I don't really see much need to be so honest. I'd just tell her we only had party provisions for a set number - so you'd understand if she wanted to skip the party to spend the day with her parents.

Two birds!
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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I would e-mail back and say, sorry if this offends you, but the party is for close friends and family only-as it is DD's FIRST BD.
Perhaps you could meet up with your parents later on, after the party?
If not, we'll just catch up another time.
Hope to see you...

This is polite, but gets te message across that they are not invited.
If she comes back saying they are still coming, have DH deal with his friend.
I'm sorry about this!
She's being rude and thoughtless. JMO.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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It's rude. It would possibly be more rude to make an issue of it, particularly since it's an informal picnic. Especially since you've met them before and (presumably) never made your dislike clear to them.

But I also think it's going to be easy to avoid any significant interaction--babies and year old dc take a lot of one-on-one.

Mom of two girls.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by claras_mom View Post
It's rude. It would possibly be more rude to make an issue of it, particularly since it's an informal picnic. Especially since you've met them before and (presumably) never made your dislike clear to them.

But I also think it's going to be easy to avoid any significant interaction--babies and year old dc take a lot of one-on-one.
That's what I'm worried about--is it more rude to make it into an issue? We've actually only met them once before (at E. and D.'s wedding), but they made a strong impression.

OTOH, I cannot FATHOM bringing along uninvited guests--especially my parents!--to a party without asking first, unless the invitation made it clear that is was a "bring your friends" or "the more the merrier" kind of situation.

I don't think it will be easy to avoid interaction though--too few people.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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It is completely rude, and you are not overreacting. I agree with the others that said to just tell them you are keeping it small and for close friends. I don't see anything rude about that. It's YOUR daughter's birthday party.

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Old 05-16-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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As I recall, Judith Martin (Miss Manners) has some perfectly polite but kind of scathing ways of responding in different situations. Maybe a trip to the library to check out "uninvited guests" is in order.

I'm just too big a weenie to make a huge deal of it.

ETA - If I were between a rock and a hard place in this way, I'd be sure to celebrate my dd's birthday quietly and privately early in the day, with just family, to take some of the birthday "pressure" off the gathering later.

Mom of two girls.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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Oh dear...

This reminds me of our dd1's first birthday! I had just quit my job 4 months earlier. We were completely strapped. We decorated the house with dh's childhood comic book stuff! Bought 1 bag of chips and 2 bottles of juice and 1 small carton of ice cream. Made the birthday cake.

We invited 1 of dh's colleagues and his dw and 3 children. My brother came into town. (All other family was too far away.) And we invited our birth doula.

Dd1 fell asleep right before the party... Sigh.

Birth doula pulled up in her van with all 6 of her children and her dh!!

We had nothing to serve them! Dh opened a can of beans or something while the other children licked the potato chip crumbs out of the bowl. Finally, I woke dd1 up so that we could serve the cake!

I'm sure your situation is not like ours...but, the moral of the story is that I think it's better to clearly express your desires ahead of time.

Most people (outside of NYC, of course--lived there for a few years...) agree that 1st birthday parties should be small. I would tell her that you wish you could accommodate her parents but it's simply impossible and you'll understand if she has to miss the party to spend time with them. Don't give anymore excuses or rationales for her to try to solve for you!

P.S. Now I'm totally paranoid of running out of food when we entertain and go completely overboard...:
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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I don't really see much need to be so honest. I'd just tell her we only had party provisions for a set number - so you'd understand if she wanted to skip the party to spend the day with her parents.
Yeah, until she turns around says "that's OK, mom and dad don't eat birthday cake, and it's Ok if they don't have a hat and noise maker". Then you're stuck.

I agree, call her back and tell her that it's for CLOSE friends and family, and that you want it SMALL and intimate. That excludes the uninvited and unplanned for parents.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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They're being rude, and you're not overreacting.

They didnt' call to say "can i bring my parents?"- they called to say "I AM bringing my parents." I think it's completely appropriate to call them back and say "Perhaps you misunderstood, but your parents were not invited to the party."

I'd certainly hesitate to invite them to anything in the future.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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I don't really see much need to be so honest. I'd just tell her we only had party provisions for a set number - so you'd understand if she wanted to skip the party to spend the day with her parents.
:

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Old 05-16-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NYCVeg
D. replied to the invitation TELLING us that she was bringing her parents as well.
That is rude, and I don't think you're over-reacting.
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Originally Posted by wwisdomskr
Birth doula pulled up in her van with all 6 of her children and her dh!!
This is understandable. I can imagine assuming an invitation to a child's birthday party includes my family.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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That is rude, and I don't think you're over-reacting.
This is understandable. I can imagine assuming an invitation to a child's birthday party includes my family.
You're right. We were naive and thought that because her invitation was related to her job, she would come alone. We should have been brutally honest when we gave her the invitation... Or, not invited anyone if we couldn't afford enough food for the party!
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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It's R-U-D-E!

Be honest. There's only one first birthday (duh) and you'll be sory if you don't say something.

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Old 05-16-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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They are being rude, definitely. I cannot imagine any situation where I would just invite my parents along and then inform (not ask) the host that they were coming! Unless you were also friends with the parents (obviously not the case), but if you were, you would have invited them yourself!

Baking mama to dd (7.5), ds (6), ds (3.5) and someone new in April
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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I would totally call them back and say sorry, but only invited guests allowed. It is rude to tell you who they are bringing to your dd's party without asking.

11/06 and 1/09 :
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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I'm from the very deep South from a very formal city, and someone like these people should know that it is very rude to bring extra guests to a party uninvited. If anything, they should have asked you if it were okay while giving you an easy out such as, "but if that's not okay then we'll meet up with them later." Given that your party is so very small and these people make you feel so uncomfortable I think you should find some way to tell your "friends" that the party is just for those invited. Don't let their presence ruin your special moment.

I don't know exactly how to word it, but don't give many excuses because, like another poster mentioned, that will just allow them to counter back against your reasons. Just tell them that it is for the few couples you have invited and that you're sorry you can't accommodate their parents. Maybe they'd enjoy "such and such nearby restaurant" while they are at the party. Something like that. Sure they will probably think you are rude, but then you don't like them anyway, and your husband isn't even close to his friend anymore. The people you don't like have essentially "hijacked" your party. Why does that always seem to happen to people so often?
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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I think it rude. If they were watching someone else's children that day and told you about it it would be one thing, it is a kids party but her parents.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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If you haven't responded yet, then I suggest you contact E. and D. and tell them "I'm so sorry you'll be spending time with D's parents and won't be able to make it to the party. Thank you for letting me know in advance. I hope you'll have a lovely day."

(I read Miss Manners regularly.)
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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If you haven't responded yet, then I suggest you contact E. and D. and tell them "I'm so sorry you'll be spending time with D's parents and won't be able to make it to the party. Thank you for letting me know in advance. I hope you'll have a lovely day."
Wow, this is perfect.

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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If you haven't responded yet, then I suggest you contact E. and D. and tell them "I'm so sorry you'll be spending time with D's parents and won't be able to make it to the party. Thank you for letting me know in advance. I hope you'll have a lovely day."

(I read Miss Manners regularly.)
Perfect!

So... I just told DH and he's telling me that it's very indirect, and that they could still show up if you tell them this way. I guess they could think you misunderstood them. He's telling me over my shoulder that if they are already rude enough to bring their parents anyway they probably won't take subtle hints. Just another thought there. He could be right.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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So... I just told DH and he's telling me that it's very indirect, and that they could still show up if you tell them this way. I guess they could think you misunderstood them. He's telling me over my shoulder that if they are already rude enough to bring their parents anyway they probably won't take subtle hints. Just another thought there. He could be right.
ITA with your dh.

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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It's rude, but I would just suck it up and ignore them. They might feel awkward anyway. Do they realize it's small?
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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move the party to another park just kidding.

Just because they are from the Deep South doesn't mean they should have antebellum manners. I've known lots of people from the deep south (Louisiana relatives) whose manners would embarrass a zoo chimpanzee. Or my 4 year old, your pick.

Then again, I know lots of people from elsewhere with horrible manners. IRREGARDLESS (lol...just needling y'all) it's rude, and I would just tell them the party is for close friends and family only, and you unfortunately are unable to accommodate extra guests.

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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True, it does only work as an initial response. They're likely to say something like "what do you mean, I told you we're bringing my parents to the party." To which you reply "oh I'm sorry*, that will be impossible." Now, if at that point they're still dense enough to nag at you about bringing D's parents to the party, you are free to say "I prefer to invite my own guests to parties and your parents will not be welcome.**"

*"that I didn't realize how rude you are before I invited you in the first place"

**Now from what I know of Etiquette, it does not actually permit verbally bludgeoning people like this. However, this makes an excellent question for Miss Manners--how do you deal with an uninvited guest when there is no door to firmly but gently close in their faces? If you were at home and they showed up you could greet them at the door with "well look who's here! dd, look D and E and D's parents have come to wish you happy birthday, isn't that nice? thank you for stopping by! I know you must be busy so I won't keep you, good day." <click> But in an open setting like a picnic, I think the ruling might be that you are supposed to grin and bear it and then just cross them off the invite list.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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move the party to another park just kidding.
I don't think that's a bad idea at all! I would still go about telling them that the parents aren't invited, but if you are worried, call your other guests and move the party!

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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SUPER RUDE! You are not in any way overreacting. I'd tell them that it is a small, friendly gathering and that you planned it to be that way on purpose. You could suggest that if they need to spend time with D.'s parents, they should just go hang out with them alone and not come to your dd's birthday picnic. Why did you have to invite E and D in the first place, if you're not excited about them even being there?

Stand your ground...It is not only your dd's first birthday, but a celebration of your first year as parents. Why have icky vibes around?

Happily parenting our snuggly wild child since 2007 and her little brother since 2011!

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Old 05-17-2007, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I showed dh their response. He's usually very laid back about stuff like this, but even HE thinks it's incredibly rude. He's going to call them and tell them that the party is for close friends of the baby only--and that, if they are already committed to D's parents, we completely understand if they can't make it. If dh gets hot under the collar, you KNOW it's rude. I'm really relieved--I thought this was going to be an issue with dh (especially b/c I wouldn't have invited E and D in the first place and he knows I don't like them).

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I don't really see much need to be so honest. I'd just tell her we only had party provisions for a set number - so you'd understand if she wanted to skip the party to spend the day with her parents.
This I wouldn't do. I think it's obviously disingenuous. Anyone who knows us knows that we would accomodate guests if we thought it was appropriate for them to be there (money isn't an issue for us for something this size--it's not even a meal--just fruit and chips and stuff in the afternoon).

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I don't know exactly how to word it, but don't give many excuses because, like another poster mentioned, that will just allow them to counter back against your reasons. Just tell them that it is for the few couples you have invited and that you're sorry you can't accommodate their parents. Maybe they'd enjoy "such and such nearby restaurant" while they are at the party. Something like that. Sure they will probably think you are rude, but then you don't like them anyway, and your husband isn't even close to his friend anymore. The people you don't like have essentially "hijacked" your party. Why does that always seem to happen to people so often?
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