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Not to want to go to expensive night out to celebrate PIL anniversary

(59 Posts)
lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:30:11

Some background - MIL and her husband are loaded. When it was her 60th, she invited some family & friends to an expensive restaurant to celebrate. The arrangement was that everyone was to pay for their own meal (we were told about this after having accepted the invitation). We were fairly broke at the time and it was a real stretch.

When it was her mothers 90th, she instigated the arrangement of a family meal. For some reason, when the bill arrived, she said that the bill would be split between her husband and DH (not sure why BIL not liable to pay, for for some reason he's never treated as an adult - all very bizarre). Again this was quite expensive

So her 20th wedding anniversary is coming up and apparently she's mentioned to DH about having a 'do' (again expensive restaurant - well expensive by my standards). I'm sure the deal will again be that we all pay for own food. I just find this quite unreasonable - the assumption from her is that just because she's loaded, that everyone else can well afford it. Thing is, there are 5 of us and so it will be £££. We very rarely ever eat out together as a family due to the cost, and if we do it's a cheap Sunday buffet or something.

So AIBU not to want to go? There is also the fact that DS will only be 18months and it will be an evening meal, in a posh restaurant.

Filled with dread at the very thought

werewolf Wed 10-Nov-10 11:31:21

D+V bug the day before? wink

minibmw2010 Wed 10-Nov-10 11:33:14

No, you definitely are not BU. If you are invited to a restaurant to celebrate then my way of thinking is that the bill would be paid for you (unless its clearly said beforehand that its not the case).

KurriKurri Wed 10-Nov-10 11:35:38

Well if I was having a celebration for my anniversary, I would expect to foot the bill, and stick within my personal budget. If you MIL can't afford to pay for everyone, she should pick a cheaper night out.

No reason at all you should be out of pocket. You won't enjoy it anyway if you are struggling to amuse an 18mnth old.

I would decline, - get her a small gift and a card, wish her well and stay at home.

taintedpaint Wed 10-Nov-10 11:35:54

Can you say anything about the cost to her? I mean something like mentioning that things are tight for you at the moment and you can't really afford expensive evenings out. If she really wants your presence there (and I'm guessing she will) she may well be willing and able to assist financially.

Whether or not you would want to take your DCs to an evening meal in a posh restaurant is another issue, and might be reason enough for you to say no. In this instance, would it be possible for your DH to go on his own? Would save on costs as well as eliminating the issue of childcare.

taintedpaint Wed 10-Nov-10 11:37:26

As an aside, I don't personally believe that MIL should be expected to pick up the cost as standard, but I definitely think it should be specified before invitations are accepted how payment will be arranged.

nickelbangBANGbang Wed 10-Nov-10 11:37:51

YANBU - especially as she drops it on you after you've said you're going.

I would tell her that you're stony broke at the moment and cannot afford to go out for a meal.
say something like, if you were to throw a party we'd be able to come, but we simply cannot afford to pay for a meal at an expensive restaurant.

upahill Wed 10-Nov-10 11:38:46

This is something that has always happened in DH side of the family. TBH it doesn't bother me because it is nice to have an excuse to go to somewhere where I wouldn't normally pick because it is too expenisve but because all the family is going we think why not? let's push the boat out.

I would go and enjoy the family night and get a baby istter in.

Deliaskis Wed 10-Nov-10 11:39:58

What taintedpaint said, don't understand why you can't just say 'would love to come but things are a bit tight at the moment and we won't be able to afford it'.

D

jybay Wed 10-Nov-10 11:41:45

YANBU. You have to tell her the truth or it will just keep happening even if you make an excuse about this one.

I don't think your MIL should necessarily pay for everyone but, if you are paying for your own, she has to chose somewhere in your price range or celebrate at home.

mumblechum Wed 10-Nov-10 11:44:10

Agree that you should mention that the money would be a problem.

Surely you wouldn't take an 18 month old baby out for an evening meal in a posh restaurant, anyway, but get a sitter?

lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:44:58

I'd need to have the conversation with DH first if we were to say we're not going. Thing is there is some history and he is likely to take this as me just thinking of an excuse not to go

Don't have any babysitters unfortunately - my family are abroad. Also there are some current issues with her leaving DS out a lot, so I wouldn't like to accept on the basis that he doesn't come

alfabetty Wed 10-Nov-10 11:45:02

Can you not afford it at all? Or would you rather spend the money doing something you prefer?

If you just can't afford it, say so (offering DH up to go on his own is a good idea). Otherwise, I think you have to accept that although it might not be your idea of a good time, it is an important family celebration and you just have to bear the cost (a bit like weddings which always seem to cost us a fortune...). But def look into getting a babysitter so you can cut costs and actually relax!

flamingpants Wed 10-Nov-10 11:45:15

I think your DH needs to be straight up with her. If it is too much for your budget say so.

Are we talking birthday anniversary or wedding? I've always thought wedding anniversaries should be between the bride and groom. My parents have always thought that; a good thing since for 10 years of my adult life I congratulated them on a totally wrong date - it was only when I abused my dad for not taking mum out for a meal that they came clean I was 2 months late every year..oh and a couple of days out too blush

What I'm trying to say is, don't feel too guilty about not going if it isn't possible.

mazzystartled Wed 10-Nov-10 11:45:43

Nothing wrong with them wanting to celebrate their anniversary in a place of their choosing, with their family. And it's fine to expect everyone to pay their own way, if that is made clear beforehand.

It's a significant event, so IMO you should make the effort to go, even if its a bit if a stretch, - but definitely leave the kids at home.

Expecting your DH to pay for other people is totally out of order - is MIL deluding herself about how successful (financially) he is? He needs to have a word with her about that.

alfabetty Wed 10-Nov-10 11:45:43

cross-posted - but do you not have a friend who'd sit with them for a couple of hours?

flamingpants Wed 10-Nov-10 11:46:20

Sorry, you did say wedding anniversary. I thought so, then thought I'd imagined it

[logging off and going in search of brain]

lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:47:54

flaming, it's a wedding anniversary

alfa - the evening would end up costing us at least £150. That's twice my weekly food budget for example. The last time we ate out together as a celebratory meal it cost £35 as we chose according to our means

lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:50:07

The sitting wouldn't just be a couple of hours though. The meal would be say 7.30 or 8. We'd have to leave the house by 6, and not be back until about 11.30/midnight. All our nearby friends have very young children

When it was my mum's birthday she arranged it for early evening especially so family with young children could come, and in a restaurant that was suitable for everyone

KurriKurri Wed 10-Nov-10 11:50:12

See, I'm not sure a 2oth anniversary is a particularly significant event. 25th or 50th yes, or a 'big' birthday. But 20th? - I'd just have that as a me and DH thing.

If I wanted a family celebration, I'd lay on a party/buffet or something. I don't like the idea of asking people to pay for your party. People don't pay for the meal at weddings.

alfabetty Wed 10-Nov-10 11:51:37

Well, you have to say - sounds lovely, but too expensive for us. Come to us for lunch that day so we can have a little celebration and treat you.

No reason why you should go without essentials for a luxury meal in those circs. If the money's not there, there's not much of a choice to be made, really! smile

lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:52:30

That's what I think kurri. Generally I think you should do things within your means. If it's within your means to invite everyone out for dinner and pay, and you want to celebrate in this way, great. If it's within your means just to have a cheap party at home, great

mazzystartled Wed 10-Nov-10 11:53:23

or you can pay for babysitters you know!
(more expense i know, and believe me i understand how tight cash can be at the moment) If you just don't have the money full stop, with that cost included, then your DH has to be frank with PIL - but this sounds like an important family event.

the thing they want to do is just not baby-friendly, it's not about excluding your DS. If that is an issue you have to deal with it separately IMO.

upahill Wed 10-Nov-10 11:53:37

If that's including drinks that's not too bad for a special occasion! I thought you were going to say double that!!

TBH I would put money aside, ask a friend to have the baby for a while or see if the baby could stay at your friends. put on a smile, use it as an excuse to get glammed up and catch up with the family.

lookingoutthewindow Wed 10-Nov-10 11:54:53

If I pay for a babysitter that brings the total cost well over £200!

Also not really willing to leave my young child with a stranger for the first time to go to a meal I can't afford to pay for

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