Grandma invites granddaughter's boyfriend to Mom's birthday dinner....

by FrustatedFanny
(Upstate, NY, USA)

Without even asking if Mom wanted a birthday dinner. My daughter has been dating a 21 year old(two years younger than she) for less than six months. I've only met the boyfriend a couple of times, and while I haven't sensed that he's a bad person, I don't know him. A few months can hardly be called "serious." My mother went ahead and invited him to a birthday dinner she had planned for me that she didn't ask me if I wanted in the first place. She doesn't understand how this is overstepping bounds. I've tried to explain that the course of this should have been asking me if she can take us out for dinner on my birthday, my daughter then asking me if the boyfriend can come, then me asking my mother if the boyfriend can come BEFORE I tell my daughter yes or no, OR Me asking my mother if it's ok with her to invite my daughter's boyfriend, then I invite him. Now she's giving me all kinds of guilt trips, including "I thought you'd want to spend your birthday with your daughter and her 'possible future.'" I'm a forty-something Mom of 4. What makes her think she has the right to tell me what I want?

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Dinner Invitation List
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear FrustratedFanny

You are absolutely correct. In a perfect world, ​within a perfect family, your described course of events leading up to the party are appropriate. However, real life is messy sometimes. I am sure your mother had the best of intentions when planning the party she thought you would like. There are two principle of good manners involved here. First, always accept a gift graciously without judgement​;​and second, without invoking guilt, make a point to discuss this with your mother before your next birthday. ​Happy Birthday!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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