not to go to christening

(55 Posts)
Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:17:46

DN (DP's sister's son) is being christened in two weeks' time an hour and a half away. MIL told DP that we will not be getting an official invitation as SIL is too busy, but has given us the time and location, and told us we are expected to attend. The date has been chosen to coincide with a family occasion in SIL's husbands family. DP feels duty bound to go with DS and DD. I admit that I can think of better ways to spend a Saturday, but AIBU to think that if SIL is too busy to invite us, it's not unreasonable not to go? SIL has form for treating family as a right rather than a privilege; I may be prejudiced against her.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:43:55

Well I'm hardly likely to go round saying 'you didn't invite us so I'm not going'. Despite appearances, I do understand that it's not always best to tell the plain truth.

I think the cat may be developing a temperature. He seems very lethargic, and has hardly moved the bed / food bowl for the last 12 hours. If his condition get's any worse, I'll need to stay and look after him.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:37:23

^ ^ that was in response to OPs:
Much easier not to go and blame SIL for not letting us know., btw.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:35:37

Easier to not go and feign an illness or a slight injury IMO. Keep 'blame' out of it and things wont escalate or fester.

MrsWombat Tue 22-Apr-14 10:34:08

If your MIL had just said, "I've been asked to invite our side of the family. these are the details." Would that have been ok?

I would have been rather annoyed at being told the hosts were too busy to do the inviting, the way it was worded in the OP, and got the hump as well. But maybe there's been a bit of miscommunication with MIL?

I had a similar situation where DP told me we'd been invited to an evening wedding reception. I said where's the invite? He said there wasn't one. Apparently the bride informally invited him over facebook. Said there was a paper invite but we'd have to pick it up ourselves from her parents house. I did think that was a bit rude, esp as the bride and I work for the same company (different locations) and she could have stuck it in the internal post to me. I told DP he can go by himself, as I only knew the bride vaguely and wouldn't know anyone else. I honestly think we were only invited as an afterthought as some of the wedding party are DP's closest friends who live out of town and they don't get to see each other often (They all shared a hobby years ago) and someone might have said "why weren't the Wombats invited? " blush

Either way, you still need to go, I'm afraid. It's a family christening, and you need to build a few bridges.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:30:57

Being squiffy helps enormously at the event - I believe my jokes become vastly more entertaining - but not with driving home.

You're right though - it's expected that one will attend without a fuss, but stress of the build up to the event make it so much harder not to fuss that it's a vicious circle. Much easier not to go and blame SIL for not letting us know.

iK8 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:27:24

Lol at "does being slightly drunk all day help?". That was my first thought but I think being shitfaced at a christening is a bad idea.

Definitely cut it down from 6 hours. Anything longer than 3 in the company of other people's family is too much.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:22:14

Ctually, societal norms involve the expectation that you attend without a fuss.
But I can see that gatherings can be difficult for some people, especially if you have limited social skills.
How do you normally cope? Does being slightly drunk all day help?

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:20:50

OP if you don't want to go, then don't. It's fine to decline. Let DP go, with or without DS, and think of it as a dodged bullet.

Sallyingforth Tue 22-Apr-14 10:19:48

make uncomfortable small talk for six hours

A Christening usually lasts about 20 minutes and is a public event that anyone can attend without an invitation.

As to any party that might be held before or after, I am sure they can manage without you.

longtallsally2 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:16:58

wanted an excuse not to have to wear uncomfortable clothes and make uncomfortable small talk for six hours. I find social occasions like this a trial as I'm not good with people.

smile Poor you! This does sound like an ordeal, for you. So, how about wearing smart but comfy clothes, and getting MN to help you through the day. 1st tip: break the day down into smaller parts:

Meeting before the service - take along a present for the baby and some flowers for the mum. Smile and thank them for inviting you (!) - yes, I know they didn't actually, but the thought was there.

The service - you never know, you may enjoy it. Chance to be in a beautiful building hundreds of years old, with windows and carvings and music that people have created to make it a special place.

The social bit afterwards - have a few packs of chocolate buttons and a bottle of bubble mixture. I always found that at painful family gatherings, you can usually entertain a small child and have fun. Then if it is a do at someone's house, head for the kitchen to see if you can help out. Other people who don't feel comfortable in social settings will be there so you can meet a kindred spirit and garner some brownie points which might come in useful, in future. (My alternative strategy is to find Great Grannie in the corner. She is sometimes a wonderful source of entertainment.)

Alternatively, just smile and nod lots, and enjoy a few glasses of wine, and do some people watching.

WestieMamma Tue 22-Apr-14 10:15:38

DS is being baptised in a few weeks. I haven't issued any formal invitations. Do people even do that for christenings?confused
I guess nobody'll turn up and I'll be eating egg sandwiches for a month.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:13:28

Amanda I think so too. Sadly societal norms suggest this would be taken pretty badly, as other posters demonstrate.

rainbowfeet Tue 22-Apr-14 10:11:55

Is it worth upsetting your partner & his family over though?!!

I mean relationships are give & take.. Your Dp may have already been or will go to in the future gatherings with your family & friends that he'd rather not but you do these things for love!

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:09:57

lucked obviously that would be perfect, but to be honest they probably think I'm rude anyway.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:06:54

I think you should stay at home so you don't spoil the occasion for everyone else.

Thomyorke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:06:06

I suppose it is the dynamics of individual family, I could imagine the thread of MIL/DM inviting people who where not wanted and why would you turn up without being invited by the host? I would like notification from the host, it does not have to be fancy, but it would be nice to hear it from them.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:05:43

Jaysaway, you probably missed the bit where it wasn't the lack of a formal invitation, but of anything like 'little baby will be christened at xchurch on sunday'. I would have expected something similar.

Lucked Tue 22-Apr-14 10:05:30

So in reality you are looking for reasons not to attend but want to find one that isn't your fault and that you can pass off as due to someone else's rudeness!!

My mum phoned and told people about our DS's christening. It's a christening not a wedding.

Perhaps Mil told her daughter that she would be speaking to your DP and would let him know. It's not a big deal and your are being precious to think so.

iK8 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:04:00

Ah so it's more that you don't want to go. That's ok, lots of us find the in-laws a chore even when they're harmless enough.

So you need to have a plan to get you through if you're going, or come up with a good excuse if you're not. If it were my dh I would go, just because it's not fair to have him looking after the dc at a big event. Just a visit or lunch then I might send dh on his own and enjoy doing fuck all at home!

To help get me through I would play a game of bigot bingo with dh and use the children as an excuse to get away. There would also be a firm end time to look forward to.

jaysaway Tue 22-Apr-14 10:02:31

a family occasion is a family occasion i have never had a formal invite to a christening it was always little baby will be christened at xchurch on sunday please come, oh ok then that will be lovely, I am not sure what you are after somebody on horse back and scroll to formally invite you TBH i wouldn't invite you either if i thought you had better things to do with your Saturday, don't go you will be miserable at the lack of formality

It looks as though you are looking for an excuse not to go, if you don't want to go tell your DP that you find social occasions hard and let him take the kids and have a day relaxing. If your DP would like your support then I would just grin and bare it, it's only one day. I have a SIL I don't like but I would smile grimace for the day if I had to, and just pour a huge glass of wine when I got back home.

GoldenGytha Tue 22-Apr-14 09:58:04

I have never been to a christening that didn't have a formal invitation, I am the only one in my family whose DC were christened (though I no longer follow that religion) and I sent formal invitations to everyone.

I wouldn't be bothered or upset by a word of mouth invitation though. Just go and have a lovely day!

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 09:53:57

* I think it's more a question of whether I should go for DP's sake though.*

If you're throwing your toys out of the playpen over not receiving a formal invitation you're unlikely to add much of value to the occasion anyway.

Show a bit of integrity and stay away. Spend the day at home and do something you want to do but make sure you are polite and interested when they get home for your DC's sake.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:53:15

I really wish I hadn't started this thread now. I know I am self absorbed, and wanted an excuse not to have to wear uncomfortable clothes and make uncomfortable small talk for six hours. I find social occasions like this a trial as I'm not good with people. Suspect that people would have a better time if I wasn't there, but sounds like I ought to go anyway

littlegreengloworm Tue 22-Apr-14 09:48:37

Definitely go. I don't like my SIL but I would always go and be nice too.

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