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Old 02-20-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
I was invited to my SOs brothers wifes baby shower. I got the invite via e mail. It is at a restaurant and you have to pay $22.00 for the lunch.

I have never in my life encountered anything like this. Is this the new norm? Whenever people in my family or my friends have had a baby shower it has been at their house or even a banquet hall. Some parties smaller than others, some very big. Sometimes just appetizer type food and other times all out banquet.

I have never been asked to pay for my lunch at a baby shower.

Does anyone know what's up with this? I don't know any of the people going and when the 2 families get together for anything, they separate. SOs family on one side, her family and friends on the other. We are more laid back and friendly and they are a bit more..."I am better than you" behaved. That is how it was at their wedding as well.... sheesh.

I am going to decline the invite and just get her something off the registry and get it for her.

What would you do?

It would seem that these folks don't understand that hosts don't ask guests to pay.

In your shoes, I would decline, too. I'd say I have a previous engagement. They don't have to know it's with a good book.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:40 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Garden State
2,683 posts, read 3,401,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
I was invited to my SOs brothers wifes baby shower. I got the invite via e mail. It is at a restaurant and you have to pay $22.00 for the lunch.

I have never in my life encountered anything like this. Is this the new norm? Whenever people in my family or my friends have had a baby shower it has been at their house or even a banquet hall. Some parties smaller than others, some very big. Sometimes just appetizer type food and other times all out banquet.

I have never been asked to pay for my lunch at a baby shower.

Does anyone know what's up with this? I don't know any of the people going and when the 2 families get together for anything, they separate. SOs family on one side, her family and friends on the other. We are more laid back and friendly and they are a bit more..."I am better than you" behaved. That is how it was at their wedding as well.... sheesh.

I am going to decline the invite and just get her something off the registry and get it for her.

What would you do?
That's the best thing to do. You can have the gift sent to her by ordering off the online registry. That's what I did once in a similar situation.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:48 PM
 
4,351 posts, read 3,219,455 times
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Paying for your own lunch is tacky. I wouldn't attend either, especially since the mom-to-be is so obnoxious.

I'd just give a modest gift and be done with it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:19 PM
 
16,025 posts, read 19,562,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
I don't mean to sound awful, but I am about to. She isn't really important to my future with my SO. She thinks she is better than his whole family and treats us all as such.

My SO thinks it is just as tacky as I do.

I will get her a gift but I am not going to attend the party. I will not know anyone there other than I may recognize them from the wedding. The wedding was pretty uncomfortable to be at.

Her family acts the same way she does, like they are better than everyone. During the barbque the day before and during the time after the wedding, the families split in half. It was awful.
Well, I understand. If you neither group wants to invest in a relationship that is the way it will stay. And, honestly sometimes that is a good thing.

I'm not aware of your other issues with this family, so forgive me if I didn't sound sympathetic.

Just do what you and your SO are comfortable doing. If it is a strained relationship she may be inviting you out of obligation, just like you are sending a gift out of obligation. It happens.
Life goes on. Be at peace with whatever your decision is.

Last edited by JanND; 02-20-2013 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: edit text
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:15 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,112,945 times
Reputation: 48552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
I was invited to my SOs brothers wifes baby shower. I got the invite via e mail. It is at a restaurant and you have to pay $22.00 for the lunch.

I have never in my life encountered anything like this. Is this the new norm? Whenever people in my family or my friends have had a baby shower it has been at their house or even a banquet hall. Some parties smaller than others, some very big. Sometimes just appetizer type food and other times all out banquet.

I have never been asked to pay for my lunch at a baby shower.

Does anyone know what's up with this? I don't know any of the people going and when the 2 families get together for anything, they separate. SOs family on one side, her family and friends on the other. We are more laid back and friendly and they are a bit more..."I am better than you" behaved. That is how it was at their wedding as well.... sheesh.

I am going to decline the invite and just get her something off the registry and get it for her.

What would you do?

In short? What you are doing. Here is my first experience with "hi- jack Baby Showers."

OK in answer to your first question. Yes I have encountered this exact scenario exactly three times in my life. I do not think it's a trend or anything. It's an annoying practice that has been popping up for the past 25 years. The first time, was in the 1980s when a divorced friend of two friends a woman about five or six years older than I named Dawn, was given her 5th baby shower. Dawn already had four children after leaving my home town to live in the 1970s back to nature hippie commune.She returned to town while I was still away at college four children in tow, acting all contrite and sweet, yet basically grubbing money, child care, favors, used furniture, rides, vehicles off off every person in town. She had a saccharine sweet, spacy vague manner about her, and an obnoxious helplessness that endeared her to some, but never failed to annoy the hell out of me. In short , I felt and still do feel that she was a sociopath and a scam artist. She lived her life making one haphazard mistake after another, with the whole world coming to her rescue. In the words of the Bruce Springsteen, "her life was one long emergency" and people kept falling for it hook, line and sinker. Now several years after her return, years later she found herself with child.

I am by nature a very generous person, but this woman never failed to grab the spotlight and have people come to her aid and rescue. I also never heard her utter a sincere thank you to any one who helped her out of her various jams.

There is one more thing. At the tine, :her baby-daddy" was the 18 year old son of an older woman, a co-worker, and of one of the staff LPNs from work. I was an RN and head nurse at the oncology unit of a small community hospital. I was also going to a local college finishing my BA in another subject, putting money away to save for a house. This ditz was seducing HS students, having her fifth baby with the youngest son of a 60 something year old woman who was not too happy with what was going on. Her son, the father of this baby had been doing favors for this woman Dawn, and was seduced by her. Dawn was a moderately attractive thirty something with four kids and enough baggage to rival Samsonite. I understand why Grandma wasn't thrilled.

So, in the mail comes an invitation issued by one of my two friends, to attend a "Baby Shower luncheon" in honor of Dawn, the woman who had seduced my co-worker's 18 year old son, and it was taking place at a pricey, waterfront restaurant.NICE! But wait! For the pleasure of my attendance, at this little extravaganza I was being asked to pay $20 dollars in 1986 money, give her a gift, the invitation conveniently informed me of where she was registered, AND a gift for the wishing well. (not sure if this is a regional custom - an extra small gift such as disposable diapers or baby wipes that are tossed into a generally home made vessel decorated like a wishing well.) The invitation, which read more like a "demand letter" to me and to several others, asked for only %100 cotton items, and that any wishing well gift be purchased at a pricey Health Food Store, and be made with :all natural ingredients." She was also registered at a very pricey baby boutique, not a regular store such as Baby's R Us, Sears,or Penny's. This was a place where well heeled Doctors and Doctors wives bought their baby goods, not a place that an average person would register. And this situation was far from average, on a multitude of levels.The other nurse and future grandmother, took a ride with me after work to check out the offerings on the registry and the lowest priced gift available, was an over priced set of receiving blankets made of organic cotton for $40!!!

My friend and co-worker the grandmother to be, had also received this invitation. The other nurse was about as surprised as I was, and as an older fairly conservative woman, thought that it should be kept a little quiet, and now there was this hoopla of an event that we both had to pay for. Her son had plans to join the Air Force after high school, and now those plane were over because at the young age of 18 he was now saddled with a family of five, plus his SO, Dawn. who of course had never worked and had only a year at a small 2 year women's college.( She dropped out after being invited to join the Hippie Commune in New Hampshire, after falling in love with an older student at another Boston area college. Her parents had kind of disowned her.)

The grandmother and co-worker was planning to have a small luncheon in Dawn's honor, inviting the nurses from work, some people from her church, and a few of Dawn's friends, where each of us was going to take a dish such as tuna salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, bread, pickles, soda, and a gift. Future grandma was making punch, and buying a bakery cake and a stroller. I was doing this with the other nurses at work, to help her to keep costs down and because we knew how distressed this woman was over what had happened to her son. He was only 9 years older the Dawn's eldest daughter. Had she conceived six months earlier, it would have been a criminal act. Rape.

This is how I decided to handle the invitation. Like yourself, at the time I'd never heard of such a practice. And like yourself, this woman was not really even a friend of mine. I did not see the reason for this lavish celebration. Unlike yourself, the woman really irritated me. The least expensive gift was $40, plus the organic gift from the Natural Food Store was at least $7 or $8, say $10 for easy, then there was a card and gift wrap figure another $10 and then there was lunch, which was yet another $20, not including a beverage and tip si say 30. OK, the grand total for this baby shower was going to be about $100! And this, for a woman I did not like and a situation that was very uncomfortable for me, Knowing the grandmother to be and this woman's track record as a user and as, at least in my eyes, an almost sexual predictor.I didn't even think I could stomach lunch and small talk.

So I RSVPed that I could not attend and didn't give an explanation. I had no regrets. I filed a large gift bag with $30 worth of gifts purchased at a store where I had a credit card. I managed to find gifts that were 100% cotton and I through in a package of disposable diapers of a moderate price. (Luvs I think) and dropped the package at one of the organizers homes with a card.

I never received a thank you note and quite honestly,I didn't expect one.

After that I was invited to another such party by my step mother's family in honor of the birth of my 1/2 brother and yet another for a co worker. I sent a gift.

Honestly, I am not a fan of this practice and, as you might expect, I'm going to tell you why. I understand that everyone is busy, has jobs, and that not everyone has a home large enough to accommodate 30 or 40 guests and that this is easier for the party thrower(s) no clean up, no cooking, everyone can relax, order from a generally reduced price menu, - I GET that.
It's also a bit more festive than the same event held in Aunt Martha's musty paneled finished basement, The church fellowship hall, or the American Legion. I get that too. It's also a chance to get a bit dressed up, have a glass of wine with some friends, and a day away from the family or SO. I get that, also.

BUT I find this custom to be presumptuous and unfair. First of all the organizers of the shower should pay more than the guests and they are generally closest to the mother to be. In the normal shower scenario, they pay for the food and beverages, decorations, and supply the venue. In this situation, it is split equally. It is assuming that everyone invited is equally close to the mom-to-be as are the organizers, when in fact, they seldom are.If they were, wouldn't THEY be organizing the shower? But they aren't.

I can only think of a possible scenario where a restaurant shower where the guests pay and that is in the case of a small shower given by a small group of close friends and relatives, none of whom wants or can have the shower at home all all of whom decide that this is what they want to do.

My sisters and I did this for a close first cousin with a fourth first cousin and about seven of her close friends and a cousin on her fathers side. It made sense because we all were economic equals and close to the mom to be. We all knew each other and many were friends outside of the relatives. Also, she and many of the guests lived in very small Manhattan apartments and the city dwellers were not keen about heading out to the burbs to my house, for example. We also adjusted the price for that.

Registries at least permit gift givers to chose from a variety of price points. I still thank that they should be selected at moderately priced stores, and not upscale boutiques.

To the OP, I'd do exactly what you are planing to do, decline the invitation (if one can one can even call it an invitation, chose a gift that you feel like giving from the registry and not attend this "hold up" of a shower. I'm not quite sure that you even should have been invited. Your connection to this woman is barely their!

P.S. Some years later, I asked my friend, one of the organizers of Dawn's shower, exactly how it came about. She said "I'll be honest...I had never heard of this before either, but Dawn had a relative who had a shower like this and she loved the idea of being taken to a restaurant, and convinced me that it would be easier." In the end both Kim (the other organizer) felt used. She had also complained as she opened every gift, found imperfections, said they were the wrong size and color. It was a mess and I'm glad I didn't go.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:20 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 46,578,114 times
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Well, do you want to be all Miss Manners and have your nose out of joint? Or do you want to perhaps strengthen your bonds to your S/O's family?

Yeah, this isn't exactly kosher from an etiquette point of view, but there is such a thing as being too much of a prig.

As far as not knowing anyone, why should that stop you? If you're going to be part of this family, you'll wind up knowing some of these people. How hard could it be to go somewhere for two hours and make chit chat? For all you know, you might wind up meeting people you really like.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:22 AM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 29,390,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, do you want to be all Miss Manners and have your nose out of joint? Or do you want to perhaps strengthen your bonds to your S/O's family?

Yeah, this isn't exactly kosher from an etiquette point of view, but there is such a thing as being too much of a prig.

As far as not knowing anyone, why should that stop you? If you're going to be part of this family, you'll wind up knowing some of these people. How hard could it be to go somewhere for two hours and make chit chat? For all you know, you might wind up meeting people you really like.
I'm going to be Miss Manners.

The issue is that my bond is very strong with his family. I go and visit them out of state, we help them do things when we are there. We all sit around and talk together. Talk on the phone, I mail them little surprise gifts here and there, they got a banana nut bread on Valentines day with a card and loved it.

I have to say, and I think his whole family would agree, I am more a part of their family than she is. She treats them with disrespect and just thinks she is entitled.

None of his family will be at the shower. None of his family know any of the people invited to the shower except for myself. They all live out of state. They will come once the baby is born.

She does nothing for them but call them and ask them to drive up and babysit when their babysitter all of a sudden decides she cant watch their daughter.


When they have a little get together at their house and her friends come and his friends come (us included) the same thing happens ever time. We go outside and talk, and they stay inside and talk.

I really am not going to go to a shower where I have to pay to be in attendance and will be the odd man out.

My kids will be with me that weekend so I have more than enough reason not to go. She will get her present.

I love his brother to pieces. I do not love how she treats he or his family, and I would not be the first one to say that.

So yep, not going. It will not sever any bonds I have with his family.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,112,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikantari View Post
I'm going to be Miss Manners.

The issue is that my bond is very strong with his family. I go and visit them out of state, we help them do things when we are there. We all sit around and talk together. Talk on the phone, I mail them little surprise gifts here and there, they got a banana nut bread on Valentines day with a card and loved it.

I have to say, and I think his whole family would agree, I am more a part of their family than she is. She treats them with disrespect and just thinks she is entitled.

None of his family will be at the shower. None of his family know any of the people invited to the shower except for myself. They all live out of state. They will come once the baby is born.

She does nothing for them but call them and ask them to drive up and babysit when their babysitter all of a sudden decides she cant watch their daughter.


When they have a little get together at their house and her friends come and his friends come (us included) the same thing happens ever time. We go outside and talk, and they stay inside and talk.

I really am not going to go to a shower where I have to pay to be in attendance and will be the odd man out.

My kids will be with me that weekend so I have more than enough reason not to go. She will get her present.

I love his brother to pieces. I do not love how she treats he or his family, and I would not be the first one to say that.

So yep, not going. It will not sever any bonds I have with his family.

I agree with your choice! You don't need to buy your way into the family. You already have as you say a firm footing in the family of your SO.

AND your kids are visiting. You have more than enough reason to not waste your time there.

Good choice and I do not think that you are being "all Miss Manners about it."

BTW What does your SO think?
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, do you want to be all Miss Manners and have your nose out of joint? Or do you want to perhaps strengthen your bonds to your S/O's family?

Yeah, this isn't exactly kosher from an etiquette point of view, but there is such a thing as being too much of a prig.

As far as not knowing anyone, why should that stop you? If you're going to be part of this family, you'll wind up knowing some of these people. How hard could it be to go somewhere for two hours and make chit chat? For all you know, you might wind up meeting people you really like.
This is just a baby shower! Strengthen the bonds? Really now . . . this isn't the baby's christening.

Showers are for gifts. As long as she sends a gift, no one will even care whether she is there or not.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 29,390,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I agree with your choice! You don't need to buy your way into the family. You already have as you say a firm footing in the family of your SO.

AND your kids are visiting. You have more than enough reason to not waste your time there.

Good choice and I do not think that you are being "all Miss Manners about it."

BTW What does your SO think?
He says he wouldn't go either. We will just get them something and give it to them whenever or when we visit after the baby is born.

They have a child who is less than 2 years old but is a different sex than the new baby. They are going to have a lot of what they need.

He e mailed his mother to see if she responded. I doubt she opened the e mail because it came from someone that neither of us know, and she gets concerned with those type things. They will be coming once the baby is born, so we will see them then.

He has no qualms at all about me not going. I told him about it before I knew about the money involved. I told him I didn't know what to do because it is when my kids would be here and right then he told me not to worry about going.
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