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Last week I learned that my mother who is in her mid 80's and my younger sister had driven almost 1,000 miles unannounced and uninvited to my brother's house. Today, after returning home, my mother called me. I asked her how the trip had gone. She said fine and then said that she had not told me about the trip because every time she talked to my brother, she got bad vibes. In other words, she suspected (correctly) that she was not really welcome there. And, of course, she knew I would had sounded the alarm had I known--which I probably would have done. She did essentially the same thing to me (but without my sister) after an estrangement of several years, but since we live in the same town, showing up at my house was not nearly such a big deal. Without going into details, my brother, his wife, and I have valid reasons for distancing ourselves from my mother and our sister and the sister's family. I guess I'm posting this because I'd like to know what the rest of you think about this. There is a rather tense detente between my mother and me these days. We see each other a couple of times a week at the park to walk our dogs. She comes to my house occasionally, but I refuse to go to her place because I will not have anything further to do with my sister and her family. I am astounded that anyone would even WANT to go somewhere they aren't welcome, much less drive halfway across the country to do so.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
 
Posts: 3400 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Without knowing the dynamics behind the family issues, I suppose it is a Mom's prerogative to show up unannounced. Not saying it is right or wrong, but something my mother might have done.

Like you, I had a pretty shaky relationship with my mother and after 50 years was seldom surprised by her actions. Decisions your mother has made about your sister and her family are not going to be changed by what you and your brother think. I would keep inviting mom, remind her when necessary why Sis is not invited and just keep it at that level.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3482 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I guess there is nothing much else to do about it. I just hope she isn't going to try bringing my sister over to my house.
 
Posts: 3400 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of joyluck
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From the limited info you've provided it seems Mom (and perhaps even Sister) are reaching out to try to improve the relationships. There is probably a need on the part of all to forgive and forget the past and start anew.

Holding grudges, remembering past insults, and being angry are unhealthy emotions. If for no other reason try to do this for your own health and well-being. This does not mean you need to see these people on a regular basis (or really ever), just make clear the amount of involvement you will tolerate.

We can choose our friends but we cannot choose our relatives.


Lucky

"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow

Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
 
Posts: 12720 | Location: north of 50 in Canada zone3b | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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joy, I'm sure that's what they think, but I still can't understand how anyone would think it's a good idea to go where they know they aren't welcome. It would be different if she didn't realize it, but she DOES. It is just astonishing to me that she knows it and doesn't have enough regard for my brother to respect boundaries. She might think the visit went well, but how could it when she was holding the "host" captive?
 
Posts: 3400 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of CJO
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Did they stay at his house over night(s) and expect meals, entertainment, etc.?
 
Posts: 2863 | Registered: Oct 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No, thank goodness. My mother had sense enough to stay in a motel. As far as food, entertainment, I don't know. But if you knew what a tightwad my mother is, you'd understand just how much she knew she was out of line. She doesn't spend a penny without first waiting to see if someone else will treat her. In fact, money is at the root of all this when I think about it. My mother expects my brother and me to take care of our sister AND her family after she (my mother) dies. She supervises their finances as much as she can and she'd do the same to my brother and me if we'd allow it. The problem causing the rift isn't so much as old grudges as it is about unrealistic expectations. My mother wants to rule from the grave and I am having none of it.
 
Posts: 3400 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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I'm glad you brought this up Sm because some similarities exist between your story and my own.

First to answer your question, no I would not go even down the block to see someone I knew would not welcome me.


So I guess what you are saying SM is that there could be occasions (like weddings, funerals, celebrations etc) to which your sister and her family would not be invited?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
 
Posts: 12536 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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quote:
and then said that she had not told me about the trip because every time she talked to my brother, she got bad vibes.


It sounds though like your mother is not really aware of what is causing the "bad vibes" Wouldn't be more fair to tell her why? If someone isn't welcome because they get drunk at every occasion or have done something really harmful to a family member or start constant arguments, etc. etc. they should be told why they are unwelcome.

IN my story told above the three relatives that live far away are not estranged in any way from the other family members, they do spend time together and had that weekend. Their "offense" was in inviting themselves to my nieces home.
 
Posts: 12536 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When and if my daughter marries, the guest list will be up to her. I would be very surprised if she did not invite everyone. She is not involved in any of this unpleasantness except when my niece (sister's daughter) pulls her shenanigans. A typical example: The niece and her husband (a really nice man) live with my mother and when my daughter and her boyfriend went to deliver Christmas gifts and visit, the niece would not come downstairs to acknowledge them. This same niece badgers everyone who knows her on the phone year round wondering why no one likes her, but when it comes to actually visiting, she's a no show??? But my daughter wisely chooses to behave graciously no matter what.

I won't invite my sister anywhere, but I don't expect anyone else to abide by my wishes. As for funerals, they never attend them anyway. When my mother and I were estranged, I kept away from family gatherings so as not to make anyone else uncomfortable.

LoS, you can't tell my mother anything. She is always right. Besides, how do you tell someone that she w*orships money and make her understand all the ramifications? How do you tell a control fr*eak that the jig is up? It doesn't compute. So you do what I did--you withdraw and when that CF tries to draw you back in, you make the boundaries clear.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
 
Posts: 3400 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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quote:
. She is always right


I hear you. What amazes me is that seemingly very nice people can often (when it is their family involved) see only one side to a story.
 
Posts: 12536 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Best Wishes with this situation. It is difficult I'm sure.
 
Posts: 773 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of zone9alady
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My parents died before I got married so I don't know what kind of relationships DH and I would have had with them. I can only guess. My mother was very introverted and never would leave the house much less visit without an invitation, but that was 40 years ago.

I have made it very clear to my husband that I DO NOT want unexpected company, I will not open the door. I know it's extreme, but I am a very private person. My three sisters already know this and wouldn't dream of driving all the way from Louisiana without giving me a few days notice. We live an hour away from his family in Tampa so they know not to show up unannounced.

DH's mother is almost 90, never learned to drive and doesn't speak English, somewhat of a godsend for me, because she can be quite opinionated. I have listened to DH complain about her for 25 years, so I know it can be difficult.


Life is a great big canvas...throw all the paint on it you can.
Danny Kaye
 
Posts: 7393 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: Feb 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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