Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Weird invitations and omissions

Okay, so I scheduled this to post at midnight on Wednesday morning and not Tuesday at midnight. Well, I suppose I don't need to worry about creating another post!

I was reading Dear Abby and started to laugh. Here:

Dear Abby:

With graduation announcements pouring in every day, I think I have seen a new low.

I actually received a photocopy of a high school graduation announcement. There was no picture, no personal note, just a photocopy folded into a cheap envelope. The "real" ones had been sent to more "important" people.

Should I send the kid a photocopy of a congratulations card and a photocopy of some money? - Flabbergasted in the South

Dear Flabbergasted: If you have not seen the graduate since grammar school and aren't particularly close to the family, just toss it!

We've all gotten those invites that make us tip our heads in misunderstanding. "Hmm. Why exactly was I on the invite list?"

Many years ago, I was invited to a wedding shower for someone that I previously went to church with. We were a small church and I knew the girl, but we had parted churchly ways and I hadn't seen her in years. Unknown to the bride was the fact that I had lost my job and was getting my very little bit on unemployment. I went with a friend, we put a gift together from both of us and that was fine.

A few weeks later, I received an invitation in the mail. It has been an invitation to her wedding-- in Virginia. Inside was a wonky cut strip of paper announcing that everyone had been so generous to them with the bridal showers, so they were requesting cash as a gift so that they would have money to start their lives together.


I sent a congratulatory card. That was it. I acknowledged, but didn't send anything more.

I've just been invited to a graduation party for a young man that I haven't seen since he was three years old. He is not related and is the son of someone who's house I hung out at in college with my ex-fiance. They had invited me to their daughter's graduation a few years back and I sent a gift and an apology for my inability to attend. I think that this year will be a repeat.

A few years back, there was a family shower. This portion of the family is one not often visited with. Nothing wrong with them, just the wedding and funeral visiting with kind of folk. At any rate, there was a family baby shower. Invitations had gone out and I had been asked about my attendance. "What shower?" "Oh, so-and-so is having a shower and you didn't get an invitation?" "Uh, no." "Oh. Even such-and-such who lives out of state was invited." Now, it seemed weird that I wasn't invited since I had just spent quite a lot of time talking with the party giver just the week previous to the invites going out. She ended up seeking me out, talking recipes, about Hubs' job, my job and whatnot. We had decided that since the invite said "Regrets only," that I would not bother to attend or send a gift. It was just so weird, but it wouldn't have been acceptable to phone to ask about the unreceived invite.

Speaking of unreceived invites, we had an incident with our wedding. When my sister was doing my hair for my wedding, the phone rang. It was a previous neighbor that I used to babysit for about 9 years previous. She said that she hadn't received an invitation to my wedding. My sister whispers, "You have to take it!" "No I don't! I can't take it! Just tell her that we didn't receive her RSVP, but just assumed that they were coming and marked them down for two." She told her that and all was well. The neighbor brought her daughter and the world was a happy place.

Why didn't I invite her? Well, for one, I hadn't seen her in a sweet forever. The other? They had folks that rented part of their house. Wherever this particular family went, the odd ball people went with them. They were rude. They were drunks. We didn't want them at the wedding.

Remember the weird wedding invitation to Virginia? Well, it seems as though the old church directory was dusted off again for the baby shower. I went again with the same friend. I don't quite know why I felt obligated to go, but I did. It was fine. I brought something thoughtful, but not overdone.

So, what are weird invite stories that you have? Aw, come on! Share! We all have weird stories!

Smiles in my day:
- Hubs spent all day working on G I Joe toys. I have no idea, but whatever takes him where he needs to go.
- It's my mother-in-law's 65th birthday! They had a nice time going on a trip to the casinos. No, they didn't bring home a million dollars, but they did bring home hundreds of memories!
- Apparently, this is the last week for homework for K-! I'm good with that!
- K- had a solo in the Kindergarten musical today. 2 of the 4 classes put on a musical for the parents and it was wonderful!

Have a great day!


Melissa said...

I think it's where you come from. Showers are meant for gifts from where I come from, and cash is the expected gift for a wedding, which is expected to cover wedding prices.

Not saying what is right or wrong, but it is what is it is where I come from.

Weddings here generally run from $100 a head and up, that may be a part of it.

Melissa said...

BTW - you were right to decline. That means she didnt pay for your head!!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I've had the family shower that I somehow got left off the invite list. Depending on who it is I've gone on Babies R Us and pulled up the registry and sent a gift anyway. I don't do it to make them feel bad, but I'm family and I wanted to send a gift.
I think I remember that shower and I'm not sure why you didn't get an invite. Weird....
A couple of years ago hubs side had 2 weddings and didn't invite any "kids" (he's 45 and I'm 40 so I think we passed the kid point but whatever). He was kind of close with these people and it made him feel kind of badly. No gift sent though. He didn't feel that badly.
That Dear Abby one is funny though. I'd photocopy some money and stick it in the card, or better yet, send an etiquette book. Sounds like the kid will need one in the future.

Bailey's Leaf said...

Here in NE Ohio, we do have showers and get gifts for that, but the wedding also brings gifts, too. Cash is not a necessary or a required item to "cover wedding prices." If cash is given, the thought is that it will go to help you further your life together by starting a bit of a nest egg, not pay for the bills you accrued by having a party that you couldn't afford.

We had 143 people at our wedding. It was small by the standards that each side of the family typically had, but we had the wedding that we could afford. We paid for it and had it paid in full before the wedding day. There were people that were close to us that gifted services. My mom did the flowers. They were gorgeous and since we married on Valentine's Day, we knew we couldn't afford real anyhow. That was my parent's gift. The best men, twin cousins of my husband, went together and hired a DJ for us. They later went into the DJ business, so we laugh at how completely appropriate their gift was. My aunt, since passed, made all of the family wedding cakes. She did a gorgeous job and was regularly commissioned for her services. That was my aunt's gift. For the alcohol that we didn't want but were given no choice to have, I traded my sister her maid of honor dress for the alcohol that was left over from her wedding. (Believe me, it was a lot.) She was divorcing (long story, but they had been together 7 years, but married for 6 weeks) and she didn't need it in her house. It worked out perfectly. My parents paid for the beer. My grandmother, on her deathbed, gave each of us engaged girls (there were three of us) $300.00 toward our wedding gown. She knew that she wouldn't be at the wedding physically, but she would gift us something that would last forever before she passed. My dress came in and I tried it on for her not long before she died.

I suppose that in a way, it takes a village. We were blessed to have been gifted with so many pieces to the wedding puzzle, but still, we kept the costs to something we could afford. No use in starting a marriage stressed out about having a huge party that you don't know if you'll have the cash later to cover.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I should add that my mother-in-law handled Hors d'Ĺ“uvres for us. We knew that there would be a gap between the folks arriving at the hall and us getting there.

Kassi said...

We have invited about 100 people to our son's first birthday party. We know everyone invited and about 1/2 those people are under the age of 10. I think it is weird that my husband wanted to invite everyone we knew. I had to actually stop him from inviting more people...because really, our son is going to be one year old. He isn't going to remember any of it. My husband is weird like that and has to invite EVERYONE. It drives me crazy. as an example he had to have his ex girlfriend at our wedding. I certainly didn't want her there, but omitting her would have been noticed by their mutual friends. Egads...when does the pleasantry stop and the reality set in??

Alternately, my mother put on a big mother's day picnic for the family about 5 years ago and purposely excluded me and my children. She has done this a few times though, so it wasn't surprising.

Bailey's Leaf said...


Don't feel bad about the first birthday. Because K-'s first birthday and adoption day were the very same day (true!) we had 94 people invited to an open house that we had at our little 1008 sq foot ranch home. Because the adoption was involved, it got huge. We live on a dead end street and it was parked full. So was our driveway. We actually had folks standing on the back step waiting to get in. (Our pastor, wife and daughter.) In the end, we counted 68 people that were able to come. It was crazy crowded, but we had such a great time. Never again, though.

On the other hand, yes, the wedding bit with the ex is weird and I'm sorry that you were left out of a family thing for Mother's Day.

Hey! Did your friend ever have her baby and did her husband arrive home in time?