Open Thread

by epi on August 17, 2012

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy August 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Prior to our divorce, my husband and I were married 14 years and had three kids. I always had a good relationship with his family during our marriage. And although I don’t see them much now, things are polite and friendly when I do see them. Recently, his cousin invited my two daughters (both elementary aged), but not me, to her baby shower. Not only was I not invited, but the cousin’s mom offered to pick my daughters up from my house for the shower. Is it just me, or does it seem tacky that I am not invited, especially since my girls are so young? And I suppose I will be out the money for her gift as well–being that my daughters don’t earn their own money. Thoughts?

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Chocobo August 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I don’t know if I would take too much offense, given the situation. There may be reasons you can’t be invited even though you may be wanted. What is more odd to me is the fact that children were invited to a baby shower at all. Heck, adults don’t even enjoy showers, I can’t possibly think how a young child would like one.

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Vanna Keiler August 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I think it is very odd, for the reason Chocobo described: young children being invited (unaccompanied) to an adult’s baby shower. Granted, they are all related, but who would be watching the children as they attended? Was the ex and/or grandparents invited and participating? If so, that would explain only the children being invited. Yet, I think it was in poor taste to invite them and not the mother – it is definitely something to wonder about with respect to future relations. Perhaps the relations (on ex’s side) is coming to an end, and a signal that future get-togethers will only involve the children? If so, that’s your answer. I have had a similar experience, and I just take each non-invite as a signal that I should not take offense, but consider the ex’s family wants to take a step back from me. I therefore reciprocate by deciding at each invited event, if I really want to be there and realize it is not as important for me to attend, as how it used to be, chalking it up to life.

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Elizabeth August 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Kathy,
I think that the invitation to your girls without you is not really appropriate because of their age. Certainly they have been invited to events, like friends’ birthdays, to which you are not invited (and expected to purchase a gift). But in those kinds of situations, they are with their peers and presumably supervised by their friend’s parents. This situation is different because there isn’t any person who’s clearly going to be supervising them. The cousin’s mom will be distracted with a lot of things going on, and I would personally not feel like she would provide adequate supervision. Unless their dad is going to be there, I would decline. If the girls were older, like 10 or 12, I could see them handling it better, but elementary school age is a bit young. I agree with Vanna that this is probably the family’s way of distancing themselves from you. Perhaps your ex is dating someone new, and this person will be attending the shower? I think it is nice that the cousin and rest of the family want to include your daughters. I can certainly understand that it hurts (or irks) you not to have been invited. But after a divorce I think it is natural for your relationship with your ex’s family to change. My advice would be: politely decline the invitation. If asked why, you can explain that the girls are too young to be without a parent at an adult event like this. Then, ask the cousin if you can come by with the girls to drop off their gift or if she can have lunch with you and the girls. However you may feel about the family (or however they feel about you), it’s important that your children maintain a relationship with their family, and picking out a nice gift for the new baby would be fun for them.

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Zakafury August 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I think you’re not invited to the wedding, so you aren’t being saddled with the shower. The young cousins are all being invited, so your girls are not excluded. Your ex should be doing the shopping for/with them if individual children are expected to bring gifts. I wouldn’t take offense.

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Alicia August 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Yes looks like you are not invited to the wedding and thus not invited to the shower. If it is all the ladies on your exes side of the family they may have wanted to include the kids.
You have a few polite choices.Depends on the ages of the kids and your relationship with your ex and his family
1.Have the girls attend bringing a gift (does not need to be large I can remember in about 4th grade making for my aunts and uncles wedding shower cross stiched guest towels. My sisters and I each cross stiched one of a different pattern coordinating colors and we brought that. She still has them( no idea ifmom gave an additional gift) but something nicely done like that by the kids might be nice. Also you or your ex could buy a gift but as neither of you is attending then a small token from the girls themself might be nicer.
2. RSVP no on behalf of the girls if you think they are too young to attend alone
3. Talk to their grandma on fathers side or an aunt on fathers side that you know and trust and have that adult on kid duty for the day.

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pc August 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

It’s a baby shower!

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scdeb August 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm

My co-worker took it upon herself to answer my phone this afternoon. I saw her going for my phone as I too was going for it. In the past I have asked her to stop answering my phone and her response was “I never answer your phone.”
Today she took the call and was quite rude to the person on the other end. The conversation lasted more than 3 minutes while I backed off.
I had been in the middle of a task that involved water & a fish tank so she might have thought she was doing me a favor.
But when I asked who called and why she got very snippy and short with me and snapped out that “it was not my concern” & that she and the other person who works with us would me getting an email about the call. Then she stalked off. When she returned I pointed out that it was my phone–I said “you answered my phone.”I asked who called & what did they want. Her response was that the person who had called (a superior to all of us) shouldn’t have called me at all.
We all have phones associated with us and with voice mail etc. There are 3 of us in a school library (no students at this point because school is not yet in session) each of us has a desk and each desk is in a different park of the very large room.
The day was over at this point but I am stumped at how to resolve this issue with her because she doesn’t take suggestions or even direct requests very well. Last school year I told her very firmly that she was to let my calls go to voice mail. I never answer the other phones unless I’m asked. How should I handle this on Monday?

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Lisa August 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Hi Scdeb.

I would take it up the ladder. Your supervisor probably needs to know about this. Your coworker doesn’t sound rude; she sounds mentally ill.

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Elizabeth August 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I was thinking something similar. If this coworker will not listen to you, it’s probably best to bring it up with a superior who can instruct her with some authority to stop answering your phone. Obviously she has no business decided who should and shouldn’t call you. And if she was snippy to your superior, than that person will probably not be surprised by what you report.

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scdeb August 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Lisa & Elizabeth:
Thanks for the quick responses and for some very good advice. On Monday I will have to get up my courage & talk to the administrator over me. We have barely started the school year and it would be best to put a stop to this sooner rather than later.

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Lisa August 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Glad to help, Scdeb. Having worked in the public schools under someone who, I realized much too late, was sadly mentally ill, I learned a few things about when and how to speak to administrators so that they will listen and how to protect myself. First would be to stick to the facts. I made the mistake of discussing my feelings and projecting motives onto the bully boss, and so my concerns weren’t taken seriously until the union representative became involved. Secondly, I left my laptop unlocked on my desk one day and she decided it was a good idea to go through all my emails, etc. So I would recommend leaving everything password protected and locked away when not in eye line. Perhaps turn the ringer off when you’re away from the phone? Good luck.

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