To put it simply, my husband’s side of the family seems to be lacking some social graces. They are absolutely wonderful people and I love spending time with them. But…you knew a but was coming….but…they just don’t get the concept of event planning.
It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to come home to a message on the answering machine on a Friday night (after 9:30pm) inviting us to something like a confirmation on Saturday morning at 9:00am. Mind you, they would have known this date for a month at least, but still, the actual invitation doesn’t happen until the last minute. This is across the entire batch of siblings (though it’s more likely to happen more last minute with one sibling – previous example – than with the other two). Same thing happens with recitals, school plays sporting games and birthdays.
For the most part, I’d been expecting this latest last minute invitation. I knew my nephew’s first birthday was any day now. I’d even already purchased his gift to make sure I had it on hand when said last minute invitation arrived. So yes, I wasn’t completely surprised when we received an emailed “invitation” to his first birthday for this Sunday – as in four days away. But I can still be grumpy about the whole thing.
I mean how does someone not know when they’ll be having the first birthday (or other milestone event)? They know when his birthday is. They know it will be a Sunday (dad is a mail carrier, so he only gets Sundays off). So surely they knew it would be this weekend and surely they knew it would be this weekend at least a week ago. So why wait until four days before the big event to even see if family can make it?
Most often, I don’t worry about it. If we can’t make it, we can’t make it. I don’t try to rearrange our schedule and I don’t feel guilty if we’ve got other plans. Mind you, it took at least 2-4 years before I finally stopped stressing and freaking about this sort of thing. Then again, it probably took me 4-5 years to stop freaking out and stressing about his family’s lack of social graces and planning around the family holidays as well.
My husband likes to say that it’s just his family. He figures that his parents (mostly his mom) never bothered with basic social etiquette so there wasn’t any modeling going on while they were growing up. In fact, he said that his family as a whole rarely socialized with others period. And I guess I can let that work as an excuse.
But…they’re all adults heading towards mid-life now. They watch TV, they interact socially both at work and at home. Surely they must be aware just how rude inconsiderate their behaviors are. Surely they must. Though sadly, I don’t think they do.
And of course the planner and organizer in me wants to just schedule these family get-togethers in advance so we can know when they’re coming and plan around them. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.