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    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 10:14 AM
    • 169Posts
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    JayJay100
    Alternative birthday arrangements
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:14 AM
    Alternative birthday arrangements 30th Nov 17 at 10:14 AM
    Here we go again.

    My mum is 80 in a few days time, and we have a celebration planned; by celebration, I mean that I've hired a function room in a restaurant/hotel, with a special menu and a drinks package paid-on. The cake is bought and paid for. There is also entertainment in the afternoon, and a light buffet in the evening. The family and two of mum's best friends plus partners have been invited to the meal, and additional friends to the afternoon 'do' and buffet. My mum's two sisters are away for her actual birthday, and my mum didn't want any celebrations without them, so this has been arranged for roughly two weeks after her actual birthday, to give them time to get home and to get over the jet-lag. My mum knows about the family meal, and that we're doing 'something' afterwards, but not the whole deal.

    Last week my cousin got in touch and asked what was happening for my mum's actual birthday. I said that we were having a quiet lunch together, but the main celebrations for everyone were two weeks later. My cousin said that she didn't understand the timings, so I explained that it was so the sisters could be there, one of which is her mum! My cousin said that she'd like to take mum out on the Sunday before her birthday, which I agreed would be lovely and that mum would enjoy it.

    I've now got people texting to say that it will be good to see me on Sunday. My cousin has booked a table at a local (and not very nice) pub and his invited all her side of the family on a 'pay your own way' basis; it appears that people are assuming that this is replacing the previous arrangement, and when I've said that it isn't, I'm either not getting a reply, or people are saying sorry, but thought it was, and because it's so close to Christmas, we made alternative plans now. At a rough count, we're looking at 26 people.

    How the hell do I salvage this?
Page 2
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 8:07 PM
    • 169 Posts
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    JayJay100
    You know, I'd almost be inclined to ask her straight if she realises that she's doing this. Just wouldn't want to risk causing stress to the birthday girl.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    I'm pretty sure that if I tackle her direct, it will blow up in my face and there will be a huge amount of upset. She will definitely drag my mum into it. Plus, if I'm honest, I've been so stressed out about other things over the last few weeks/months, I'd probably end up bawling my eyes out or tearing her hair out: not ideal, which ever way you look at it.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 30th Nov 17, 8:13 PM
    • 4,949 Posts
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    theoretica
    I think you need to get a bit ruthless and remind everyone your event is free.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    I would go stronger than that. Remind them the event is paid for by you on the basis of their original RSVP and will not be refunded.

    Possibly also explain that you do realise the wording chosen by the cousin was confusing, but you were not involved in that.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 30th Nov 17, 8:47 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 320 Thanks
    JayJay100
    I admire your calmness OP I would be livid!

    I would send a text out to everyone you invited along the lines

    There seems to be some confusion/misunderstanding about Mums birthday do. There is a meal organised by x on (date) and a meal on (date) organised by myself. The event organised by myself is still going ahead. You are welcome to come to one or the other or both. Mum and myself would love to see you at meal on (date) Meal and drinks are all paid for for so you only have the expensive of traveling. Please can you let me know if you will be attending this event as if not I will need to ask some one else to fill your place.

    Once you definite numbers then starting filling up spaces, ask neighbours old friends that weren't originally included etc.

    Good Luck
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    I think you need to get a bit ruthless and remind everyone your event is free.

    Does everyone have to travel far I can't see why they should refuse a free event in favour of paying? Or at the every least if they like the sound of the other one go to both.

    I am a bit confused are the sisters going to the event organised by your cousin?
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    I am livid, but edging towards upset now; I just wanted this to be as close to perfect for mum as it could be.

    The text you've suggested is pretty similar to the one I've sent, apart from the free bit; although everyone does know that it's a free do, apart from any additional alcohol, over and above the drinks package. People are apologising, but most of my cousin's immediate family have chosen the pub-do; they've even gone as far as to say that they're sorry, but they don't want to upset my cousin.

    There's very little travelling for anyone; most are within about a ten mile radius, apart from a nephew, who has already booked into the hotel for a night.

    The sisters are already away; they're visiting family abroad.

    I think I'm going to leave it now, and see how Sunday goes. Once that's out of the way, I'll look at how many confirmations I've got, and bump up some of the people that were invited, but not to the meal part. It will mean upgrading the children's meals, and more money, but it's better than completely wasted meals.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 30th Nov 17, 8:55 PM
    • 28,650 Posts
    • 72,979 Thanks
    Mojisola
    The message sent by cousin started with the words 'change of plan!'
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    There are no (polite) words that can be used - no wonder your invitees have become confused about which is the 'official' do!
    • barbiedoll
    • By barbiedoll 30th Nov 17, 9:10 PM
    • 4,802 Posts
    • 13,202 Thanks
    barbiedoll
    Your cousin knows exactly what she’s doing, as do you. She’s sticking her oar in, undermining your arrangements and has completely taken over YOUR plans for YOUR mum.

    Why is everyone so scared of upsetting her? I do understand that you’ve been through the emotional wringer lately so I can see why you don’t want to make a fuss at the moment. You’ve had lots of good advice on how to salvage your mum’s day, so make the best of it and do make the most of the “free” drinks that you’ve paid for!

    Can I make one suggestion though? Bide your time. Wait until you’re ready to strike and then let your overbearing bully of a cousin have it with both barrels. Personally, after seeing her text about the so-called “change of plan”, I’d have been on her doorstep the next day, screeching at her to butt out and mind her own business, how dare she hijack your plans!

    Hope you and your mum have a lovely day, along with your family. Do think about rescinding your cousin’s invite though!
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 30th Nov 17, 9:20 PM
    • 5,364 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    Personally at your Mums do I would be speaking to the Aunts and apologising that everyone from that side of the family is not here, they were invited but decided to go to your cousins do instead, whereas you delayed purposefully as you knew your Mum wanted to be with them and they wouldn't want to miss the event.

    Sorry but I wouldn't be able to let it go, no need for your Mum to hear the conversation but I would have to say something, thats just me.

    I am sure your Mum will still have a great day. It probably won't matter to her if shes see everyone at the same time as long as she see them. This way if you bump some of the evening people up to daytime you have spaces in the evening so can invite even more people for her to celebrate with.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 30th Nov 17, 10:20 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 1,219 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Change of plan is such a weird thing to say

    Strikes me that it could be one of two things

    She is a really horrible person and has done this delberately

    Or

    Could there be a miscommunication/misunderstanding and she really thinks that there has been a change of date/plan

    Unlike others here I wouldn’t be steaming in. I’d be having a quiet conversation with her over a cuppa/glass of wine to try and understand what is going on. And explain to her the issues

    In the end, the only important person right now is your mum. As long as she has a good time (or times) that’s all that matters
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 1st Dec 17, 9:48 AM
    • 169 Posts
    • 320 Thanks
    JayJay100
    Your cousin knows exactly what she’s doing, as do you. She’s sticking her oar in, undermining your arrangements and has completely taken over YOUR plans for YOUR mum.

    Why is everyone so scared of upsetting her? I do understand that you’ve been through the emotional wringer lately so I can see why you don’t want to make a fuss at the moment. You’ve had lots of good advice on how to salvage your mum’s day, so make the best of it and do make the most of the “free” drinks that you’ve paid for!

    Can I make one suggestion though? Bide your time. Wait until you’re ready to strike and then let your overbearing bully of a cousin have it with both barrels. Personally, after seeing her text about the so-called “change of plan”, I’d have been on her doorstep the next day, screeching at her to butt out and mind her own business, how dare she hijack your plans!

    Hope you and your mum have a lovely day, along with your family. Do think about rescinding your cousin’s invite though!
    Originally posted by barbiedoll
    That's just it, I'm not so sure if she does realise the impact she can have; it's almost as if there's a blank spot there. She seems to think 'this is better' and just steams in, with no consideration for the impact on others. You can tell her in black and white terms, and you can almost see her process the information and dismiss it, to carry on with her own thing. It's extraordinary to watch.

    Everyone is wary of upsetting her, and I think that's become almost a way of life. I can remember family do's years ago, where she would storm out, with first hubby and children in tow, and no one would actually know why. It would take months to sort out, and in that time, no one would see the children, I can remember people apologising, and not knowing what they were apologising for. It makes sorting things out or having your own say very difficult indeed. What's even worse is that you're expected (and told) to be the bigger person and not to make a fuss.

    Personally at your Mums do I would be speaking to the Aunts and apologising that everyone from that side of the family is not here, they were invited but decided to go to your cousins do instead, whereas you delayed purposefully as you knew your Mum wanted to be with them and they wouldn't want to miss the event.

    Sorry but I wouldn't be able to let it go, no need for your Mum to hear the conversation but I would have to say something, thats just me.

    I am sure your Mum will still have a great day. It probably won't matter to her if shes see everyone at the same time as long as she see them. This way if you bump some of the evening people up to daytime you have spaces in the evening so can invite even more people for her to celebrate with.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    My Aunts have had their invitations; they know that things have been put back so they can be there. Both Aunts are pretty vocal, so they will certainly have something to say. One Aunt isn't a big fan of mine, as she doesn't really view me as family, as I'm not blood, but I think she will still pull her daughter up for this. That said, their relationship isn't always great.

    Yes, I'm coming round to the fact that mum will hopefully have two great do's. In some ways, she's closer to her dancing friends, than some of the family, as she sees them every week and they do things socially; they will be my first choice to bump up for the meal. In terms of the afternoon/evening invite, I haven't really got anyone else to ask, but the OH has suggested that I send one more message saying that I understand that people are now busy on the day, but they're more than welcome to pop in for the entertainment (free beer), if they're in the area. I think he's right.

    Change of plan is such a weird thing to say

    Strikes me that it could be one of two things

    She is a really horrible person and has done this delberately

    Or

    Could there be a miscommunication/misunderstanding and she really thinks that there has been a change of date/plan

    Unlike others here I wouldn’t be steaming in. I’d be having a quiet conversation with her over a cuppa/glass of wine to try and understand what is going on. And explain to her the issues

    In the end, the only important person right now is your mum. As long as she has a good time (or times) that’s all that matters
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I think she may have meant change of their plans, rather than change of the whole thing, as the message was only sent to her immediate family. Hand on heart, I can't say she's a horrible person. She does have a lot of good qualities; we just don't see things or deal with things in the same way.

    I've tried the quiet approach years ago on previous things, and she just doesn't get it. I always try to understand her point of view, but she doesn't seem to be able to reciprocate.

    Yes, I'm hoping that mum will have two great do's. I know that if I make any more of a fuss, it will spoil it for her, so I'm keeping quiet now.
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