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Old 01-02-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
MEL
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Default I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

My dad turned 80 in September and my siblings and I (2 brothers) hosted a party for him. It was catered by a local country food restaurant and it cost only $6.00/person. There were about 21 people that showed up to my dad's party and 10 of those people were my extended family. We decorated my brother's neighborhood clubhouse and split the cost 3 ways costing each of us approx. $100.

My mom is turning 80 in February and I wanted to do something along the same lines as what we did for my dad. I've stated this in 2 separate emails and both times they've said they want to take her out to eat because she loves going out. They suggested us being responsible for our individual family members, then split the cost of my parents and anybody else that comes outside of the family between us 3. The dinner menu at the restaurant they've suggested have entrees that cost anywhere from $18-40/person. Of course that's ok with them because they have one kid each plus splitting the cost of the others would cost them approx. $100 each. It would cost me upwards of $400!! I cannot do this, nor do I want to do this. It isn't cost-effective for me at all.

Any suggestions on how I can ask them to meet me in the middle? I don't want to invite people to a party at a restaurant then ask them to cover their own bill. My kids are on a budget.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Why not just tel them what you told us?
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

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Originally Posted by The Yancey View Post
Why not just tel them what you told us?


Because I don't really want to discuss my financial situation with them. They all have jobs and make good money. Even though I lost my job back in 2008 we do fine, but we're trying to pay off debt and I have to pay a huge deductible in March for my knee surgery so I can't really afford to pay that much for dinner. At the same time, I don't want to be the wrench in the plans, either.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

My advice is to quit playing games with each other and talk about reality. It mightbring al of you closer together.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEL View Post
Because I don't really want to discuss my financial situation with them. They all have jobs and make good money. Even though I lost my job back in 2008 we do fine, but we're trying to pay off debt and I have to pay a huge deductible in March for my knee surgery so I can't really afford to pay that much for dinner. At the same time, I don't want to be the wrench in the plans, either.
You dont have to get into specifics, just tell them about the knee surgery stuff and you cant afford a dinner like that. It really shouldnt be that big of a deal for family. If they cant accept it, tell em to piss off!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

First thing is first- there is nothing wrong with those invited to pay for their own meals. I've been to many birthday's at restaurants and not only have my meals NOT been paid for...I would kind of feel weird for someone else to do that.

At any rate, I understand your feelings. Here is a suggestion:

Come up with a figure you are all willing to split. Invite those who you want and once they arrive, tell them that amount (per person) is on the three of you!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Sometimes for a big party the restaruant can make a special menu for just your party to keep the price down. Call them and ask can they do this.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Or just go someplace cheap. The idea isn't to impress with a fancy meal. It is to have the opportunity to spend time together. Just reserve the free meeting room at Golden Corral.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

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Originally Posted by The Yancey View Post
Or just go someplace cheap. The idea isn't to impress with a fancy meal. It is to have the opportunity to spend time together. Just reserve the free meeting room at Golden Corral.


I know. That's why I don't understand why they won't go for the party at the clubhouse with the catered meal at $6.00/person like we did for my dad. It was very successful and everybody loved it, especially my dad.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

On a personal note, I hate meeting at a restaurant with family and friends for something like a birthday. Everyone is spread out and everyone has to dish out money. I always feel bad for the young family with 3 kids obligated to show...it is expensive to feed kids at a restaurant even with a kid's menu. Luckily my family is full of cooks and we always had get togethers for those occasions.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

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Originally Posted by ColaCock View Post
On a personal note, I hate meeting at a restaurant with family and friends for something like a birthday. Everyone is spread out and everyone has to dish out money. I always feel bad for the young family with 3 kids obligated to show...it is expensive to feed kids at a restaurant even with a kid's menu. Luckily my family is full of cooks and we always had get togethers for those occasions.


I totally agree!! That's why I want to have a party at the clubhouse or somebody's house. It's more personal that way. There will be 3 little kids at this dinner so that could make things difficult for their parents.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Is this supposed to be a surprise party? If not why not ask Mom what she wants?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Good occasion to have a family reunion type thing on top of it all.

We just had a family get together with friends and neighbors of my mom, who just turned 90, held it at in church social hall. If you have enough time, invite family, friends, etc., cater some of it yourself (finger food.... and some heavier h'or douves or however you spell that Frenchy term), have a birthday cake brought in, of course, photos of Mom when she was a kid and young lady, family photos on a big display board. Worked out fine for us.

This is still going out to eat, just not at a fancy, expensive restaurant. Mom will enjoy it just the same.

Above all, follow the old maxim with your brothers of "truth being the best policy". They should understand things are tight with you right now and you literally can't afford to dole huge bucks at the moment. If they don't understand, kick them in the groin. See if they understand that.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Yancy's advice is the best. I am very close to my family and extended
family as well. My three brothers and their families have gotten much
closer in the years following our parents deaths, but with my familes
Kids, grandkids, brothers, sister in laws, daughter/son in laws etc....
when we all get together for an event of any kind we have a pretty large
crowd to say the least. ... Most times we just have everyone prepare
something and bring it and we chow down and we've never gone out to
a restaurant but I now our family close enough to know that if we ever
decided to do that for one of the family members it would come down to
our splitting it evenly.

That said:
I also know my family well enough to know that over the years, there have
been family issues that have caused a lot of ill feelings with other members
and we always just approach it head on and talk about it, get advice from
the other family members and work it out even if it means some
major compromises have to be made. There's been arguing at times but
in the long run, it's best to get it all out in the open and settle it and
not let it "fester" inside a couple of members and explode much later on
down the line.

What I do is to call a couple of other family members that I'm closer to
other than the one who I will eventually confront (to get their opinions
first). Ask them to be bruitally honest with you and tell you what they
think. Usually if the ones who are closest to you side towards the other
person's line of thinking, then you know eventually you're probably going
to have to be the one compromising in their favor. .... Either way, after
you talk to some other memebers first, just call the ones who you are
going to deal with and ask to talk to the face to face and when you do
just be honest and tell them like you told us here. Be direct and state
why you can / can't do what they are suggesting. Ultimatly you and your
immediate family will have to make a decision based on the outcome of
that meeting. Ultimately you will have to make a decision that is best
for you and your immediate family whether it is to compormise and go
along with the majority (even if it's a hardship on you), OR you simply
tell the family you can't go along with it because it puts your immediate
family in too much of a bind. ...At least you've let most all of the family
know your side of the situation by getting others opinions, and then
confronting the main party.

If it involves putting your family in too much of a bind to compromise
then simply chose not to participate in the function. Above all eles,
your immediate family is what comes first and if your family is close,
agree with your decision or not, they will understand. At least you let
them know and didn't keep it to yourself.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

I appreciate everyone's advice. My two brothers and I aren't really close. There are some ill feelings regarding money and that's why I'm hesitant to say "I cannot afford it" to them. I did think about asking my mom what she wants to do, but since I'm the only girl in the family I've been accused by one of my brothers that when I don't like something I go crying to her. That's not true at all. Geez, I'm an adult and this isn't high school! So if I ask what she wants to do and she says a party is fine, then they'll think I talked her into it. It's all stupid & ridiculous that games are played between all of us, I know.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

Mel, just say screw 'em and ask mom. WTF do you care what the others think anyway? Follow your own internal wisdom!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: I'm in a quandary - advice appreciated

I know that I can't speak for your mom, but I know my Mom would not want any of her children to endure any kind of financial hardship to give her a party. And I would never expect my adult children to do so.
I hope it all works out for you.
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