Post # 1
So here is the deal (I’ll try and make it short)…
We live in SoCal and are planning to stay here for Christmas and New Year’s. My side of the family mostly lives here with the exception of my dad who booked a flight four months ago to come stay with me and my husband from during the holidays. We haven’t seem him in about 18 months so the hubs and I are both excited to have him some stay and spend Christmas all together.
Fast forward to today when I get an e-mail from the MIL saying they are planning a 90th birthday party for my husband’s grandmother in Colorado and she want us to try and make it. The grandmother’s birthday is on New Year’s Day so that would involve being gone like the 29th to the 5th or something like that. My husband now really wants to go to this.
Here is are my issues:
– Why is this 90th birthday party/family reunion that is taking place during a busy holiday season getting planned/announced only one month in advance?!?
– Because of the timing plane tickets, car rental, hotel costs, etc. would be a lot and we don’t quite have it in the budget because well, we haven’t been planning on it!
– I would like for my husband to see my dad since it has been so long since we’ve all been together and it will be a long time before we see him again.
– But I also feel bad because I know the hubs would like to be there for this party. I get that a 90th birthday is a huge deal and I want to acknowledge it but feel really stuck. Ugh!!
What do you think I should do? Just calm down and encourage him to go (even with the timing, money and family issues)? Or push for some recognition that if his mom really wanted everyone there maybe more than a month notice would have been nice.
Can you tell I am pretty annoyed right now?? The hive always knows…help me out!
Post # 3
Could you put flights to Colorado on farewatcher and go visit later in January (assuming you can find a cheap flight)? It wouldn’t be the same as being at the party, but maybe your husband’s grandmother would appreciate some special time with just the two of you? Sorry – that sucks 🙁
Post # 4
Wow – this is a tough situation. Given the timing and distance, your MIL really should have given you more notice. Is it possible that your hubby could talk to her about the extra expense and see if she offers to cover the plane tickets? I don’t know anything about her finances, but if she has the money she may prefer to help cover the cost of his attendance rather than have him miss the party.
Post # 5
I think that if you can work it, you should encourage your husband to go. There may have been health issues holding up the invites. 90th birthday parties are very important, and depending on the health of that person, this may be the last time everyone can get together. Let mom know that it is going to be tough financially and if she has any suggestions, you would welcome them.
Post # 6
Why does the trip have to be so long? What about taking a flight out on new years day and just staying 3 days? That should cut down costs and allow him to spend more time with your family right?
Post # 7
This is really hard. You would be completely within your rights to refuse to go, hinting that more notice would have been nice, but when you step back and look at the big picture, missing a 90th birthday party is probably not something you want on your list of life accomplishments. If the grandmother passes away in a few years, your husband will probably be really glad he went to this celebration.
Post # 8
this really IS a tough one…I totally understand your feelings – especially having such extremely short notice…
however – on the other hand – my first thought is – I actually feel guilty about not having seen my great-aunt enough before she passed away. I don’t want to assume the health of your husband’s grandmother – but what if this is the last chance he gets to see her? I’m not trying to make you feel guilty – please don’t think I am – but I just know that if I could go back and see my great-aunt, grandpa and grandma just one more time…
Personally I would try to figure out a way to go. But that’s just me.
while it may cost some – try to find plane tix for maybe just the 29th to the 2nd? make it a much shorter trip?
I wish you luck in your decision!
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
How annoying! I agree with CorgiTales… he should try to go if there is any way you can swing it (90th birthday parties are kind of a big deal), but I’d try and cut the length of the trip as much as possible so that he can spend some time with your dad, who DID plan ahead!
Post # 10
The MIL should definitely have announced this 90th bday celebration with more than 1 month notice, especially when it involved booking plane tickets. It would annoy the heck out of me, since the father’s visit was planned way before this. However, it IS your hubby’s grandmother and it is a great milestone for her so he should try not to miss it as it will not happen again. I’d want to spend time with the father and stay with him, and see if the husband can get to see the father, too, before heading out to the bday party. I probably wouldn’t go to the party, myself, if I don’t get to see my own father that often as is. I also don’t understand why the birthday celebration would take that long. Also, if the money is an issue, I (or the DH) might whine a little to the MIL and perhaps she should help out a bit due to her lack of planning ahead.
I hope it all works out for you!
Post # 11
I think a gathering on new year’s day that people will need to travel for should be announced much further in advance (in my family I can imagine it would be announced a year in advance – everyone would be told at the Xmas previous). So yes, I’m with you on the annoyance thing. I’m not sure why your DH would have to go for 6 days though. I think if he is going to be spending Xmas at home with you and your dad, it would be ok for him to be gone 29-2 (or something). You and your dad can have some more time together just the two of you which might be nice.
I should also say – if finances really don’t permit it now, I wouldn’t feel obligated for your DH to go, rather I would plan a trip to visit grandma later in the year when things aren’t so tight. Maybe MIL will help out but if not I’m not sure I’d spend money I didn’t have on this trip.
Post # 12
Okay, this might be a crazy question, BUT, do you think that your husband could talk to his mom about pushing the party off just a bit so you can both go and possibly get better travel deals since you won’t be traveling during a holiday? Since she just planned it last minute, maybe nothing is really set in stone so she can put the party off by just a couple of weeks? Shoot, or how about maybe even the following weekend? Will your dad be gone by then? The timing is a huge bummer, but this is such an important event for his grandma that it would be an even bigger bummer if either of you had to miss it, especially since you never know how long any of us have left.
Post # 13
Thanks so much for all your insight, advice and suggestions. I can alway count on my bees!
Here are some updates…
– The Hubs can go for a shorter time which helps with some costs but the flight is actually more expensive the closer you get to traveling around January 1st! Boooo! And I still can’t go because of my dad being in town.
– I don’t think the party can be moved as there are like dozens of other kids, grandkids and great-grandkids that live closer (like 30 minutes to 2 hours away) that said they can make the current January 1st-3rd party dates.
– MIL said she won’t be able to help with any of the costs. She said we are free to come or not come with no guilt either way. But…then adds in that everyone else seems to be able to make it and all sorts of other things that negates the previous “no guilt either way” statement.
– And if I wasn’t annoyed enough the MIL and her sibs are now requesting several memory book pages and a video diary recording to be completed and sent to them by December 15th (we got the e-mail about that this morning). Don’t get me wrong…I love my grandmother-in-law and want to celebrate her 90th birthday more than anything. But I am so bummed this is all getting planned/requested at the the very last minute when we are busy with holiday plans and other stuff!! Geeeeeez.
Any additional insight? I like the idea of maybe trying to go later in January. I just feel like the GIL is going to look around the room at her birthday see her grandson missing and not know about the last minute planning of it all (I doubt they will mention all this to her, nor should they). I’m still so conflicted…
Post # 14
Wow – MIL needs some lessons on planning and common courtesy. Regardless, I suppose you cannot change her behavior and have to deal with this… silliness. Yes, I will acknowledge that a 90th birthday is a big deal. Your dad also making plans far in advance to visit for the holidays, purchasing plane tickets, etc is also a fairly big deal (I mean face it, that stuff isn’t cheap). And, as you said, you haven’t been budgeting to do that either. I think if Hubs feels SOOOO strongly, he should go alone and you should stay with your dad. I don’t think this is a perfect situation by any means, but I think it’ll be the one that will create the least drama. At the same time, you and hubs need to have a… well, as my grandmother says… ‘come to Jesus’ talk with MIL – she can’t do things like that / make that sort of announcement, and expect people to run when she calls. People have lives, jobs, other family, committments, etc. I wouldn’t expect people to drop everything in my family for something like that without at least a few months notice (I mean it’s not like MIL JUST realized grandma was turning 90 – she’s been 89 almost a year… soo…). You and Hubs should definitely clairfy with MIL that in the future you two cannot attend functions like this that are sprung on you so quickly (for financial reasons, scheduling conflicts, etc).
Just a thought.
Post # 15
I voted for the hubs staying due to previous family plans. I understand this is a very big milestone, but you already have holiday plans with family. If you feel really bad, then make plans to visit the 90-year old shortly after. New Year’s day is the worst day of the year to plan anything, especially something as big as a 90-year old bday party and last minute at that. I personally would be relieved we already had plans and couldn’t make it – leaving the house on New Year’s Day is a nightmare, no matter what the occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other people decline the invitation due to the inconvenient timing.
Post # 16
Bella Luna said it perfectly….if DH wants to go REALLY REALLY badly, that’s one thing, but ask him to put the shoe on the other foot–how would he feel if he were you? I’d be highly discouraging my SO from going simply b/c it’s ridiculous to drop everything and go like that, especially when you ALREADY have company! You can’t just drop everything at the last minute–that’s a HUGE expense and i’ts not right to spring that on distant family members. I’d probably end up skipping.
It’s kinda like picking one family’s event over another…at one point we just go with who made plans first. Otherwise, it can get nasty in regards to what’s “more” importnat
Is the party a surprise? If anything, I’m sure she’ll understand if she gets a heartfelt phone call from your SO on the day of, saying he’s sorry you couldn’t attend because you are entertaining family from out of town already and it was too last minute to buy a plane ticket, but you’ll try to see her later in the month.
And i’d take my SWEET time on the memory books and recordings…it’s the holidays. Is it even feasible to demand stuff?!