MILM-Holy Drama Llama pt 2

courtesy of

So in my previous post I talked about our truck and UN-invite drama with my MIL [did you miss that? read it here] and I touched on our Wedding Invite Drama.  So let me update you on that now:

So months and months ago, when James and I needed to gather the master list of who to invite and get their addresses, we sat down with people.  I sat down with my mom, got my side of the list taken care of, and then I sat down with my MIL and James’ Grandma to get his side taken care of. James & I arrived at my MIL’s house and Grandma arrived shortly after.  We all sat down on the front porch and my MIL brought out her address book. She handed it to me and then said, “Oh I have to go talk to so and so.” and then she left. I was left there thinking, Um hello? How am I supposed to do this now? What if James & I have questions? So we started thumbing through the address book. Grandma helped make sure we got names/addresses for everyone on James’ Dad’s side of the family.  And she did her best to help us get everyone from my MIL’s side of the family.  Every now and then my MIL would pop in and we could ask her a question or two, otherwise she was off gardening or on the phone or doing god only knows what in the house.  Yes, it was very frustrating.

James & I got together with my MIL 3 more times after that and showed her the list we had.  She said everyone was on there, especially all the family members. Well apparently she didn’t look at the list close enough.  Example #1: James & I had all our save the dates out except a few.  We needed an address for a Betty & Don, and we could tell they were family by the same last name. So instead of calling my MIL [she never answers the phone] I called Grandpa:

Me: “Grandpa I need an address for Betty & Don so we can send them a save the date, do you have it?”
Grandpa: “Well…..they don’t need one.”
Me: “Oh! How come?”
Grandpa: “It’s my brother and sister-in-law….and they’re dead.”
Me: “Oh….well……I’ll take them off the list then……”

OH MY GOD. Did I really just try to invite Grandpa’s dead brother and sister-in-law?! Thankfully he laughed it off when I explained they were in MIL’s address book and she didn’t tell me to take them off the list.  But I was still mortified.  After that debacle James & I showed the list a few more times to my MIL and every time she said, “everyone is on there that needs to be on there.”  Fast forward to 3 weeks ago and James & I were printing off labels to mail out our Wedding Invites.   MIL kept asking to see the master list because she just wanted to see who was invited.  Which of course confused me because I thought to myself, the whole family is and a few close friends, why do you need to see it? But none the less I told her I would send it to her when I had time. Well our laptop broke and our hard drive on the laptop was turned into an external hard drive, so we could only access it with a computer [so basically when I was at work and had time].  With the help of Grandma and a close friend, our invites were done, labeled, stamped, and sent out. [yay! or so I thought….]

This weekend, during the truck drama, James received another angry phone call from his mother.  Apparently I had addressed two invites as Mr & Mrs Last Name to two different families. The first family, we’ll call them the Jones, had 4 adult children that I didn’t know about and Mrs. Jones [who really has been a longtime friend of my MIL, no joke] called up my MIL and said, “are my kids invited? Because I don’t want to be that guest who brings their family that isn’t invited.” Super awkward for my MIL, I get it, but if I didn’t know they had kids who were supposed to be invited, how was I to know to address it as The Jones Family? And James never said anything to me when I asked, ‘should I address this as Mr & Mrs Jones?’ so it technically wasn’t my fault.

The second family, we’ll call them The Smiths, are related to my MIL and they have 3 children who are the same ages as James & I.  Well James didn’t realize that there were 3 kids, he knew about one and she received a separate invite but her 2 brothers didn’t. Big whoops. My MIL wanted to sit down with us and see if there were other families where the whole family wasn’t invited.  So she came over last night.

Holy. Drama. Llama. There were 2 other families, who are related to my MIL, that have children and their invites were addressed as Mr & Mrs and not as The Blank Family. Uh. Oh. My MIL took notes and said she would call them to apologize and clarify that the children were invited.  Which of course I felt bad for, but again, I didn’t know there were any children to invite.  So at this point in time my MIL says, “This is why I wanted to see the list before you sent out the invites so that I could make sure everyone was actually being invited.”

I was Pissed. We had sat down with her numerous times and she always said, “everyone that needs to be invited is on the list.” I was so angry with her, and I let her know it.

Me: “We sat down with you numerous times and showed you the list. You approved it each time. I’m sorry that some of these people’s children didn’t get invited, but you should have told us then, ‘these people have kids, they should be addressed as family’ or ‘they’re total is 5 not 2′”
MIL: “I never knew that was the final list, had I known I would have.”
Me: “why would we show you anything but the final list? It was the final list.”
MIL: “Well…I guess we had a misunderstanding then.”

I really wanted to let her have it. I really wanted to yell and say that every time we sat down, she ran off and didn’t help. That this was all her fault. That it wasn’t on me. That these people were so distant in the family tree James didn’t even know who they were. But I didn’t, that wouldn’t have been mature or fair of me.  So I let it go.

But then, she wanted to add MORE people to the list. “Well I really am close with this person at work.”  “He kind of lives in the neighborhood we should invite him.”  “Well you know these people’s children better than those people’s children so we should invite them.”  James and I had to tell her No at least a dozen times but she still didn’t get it.  One of the people she wanted to invite was James’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss. No joke. He lives in the same neighborhood but like, 6 streets over and isn’t even a part of the ‘close neighbors’ that are invited.  James said no because his dynamic at work is different than most, and it would be too weird and unprofessional to invite him.  Which I understood but my MIL didn’t. She started to get angry and say things like, “well if I can pay for people to come, and I want them there, then I should have them there!” [Uh no because its our wedding and if we have no idea who they are, and they aren’t family, they aren’t coming]

But James and I stayed true as a team and kept our ground.  We told her no and James even stood up to her and explained why he was saying no.  At the end when she left, he even talked to her outside privately and told her it was rude and disrespectful of her to demand certain people be invited, and for the way she treated him throughout the whole truck incident. I was and still am so proud of him. He told her that he wasn’t a bad son, and that he didn’t have a problem helping her with things.  But that she couldn’t call and expect him to drop everything and help her instantly. That it was not fair how she would guilt trip him into doing things. That she needed to be more independent and doesn’t need his help changing a light bulb.

Like always she got mad and said that we were “training her not to call anymore” and that their “relationship is strained and not what it used to be.” Which if anything their relationship isn’t strained, it’s just different because she’s no longer the #1 woman in his life, and he’s not letting her control and guilt trip him like in the past.  Eventually she’ll understand and we won’t have to be so ‘tough love’ on her, and hopefully our relationship will get better.  But until then, it’ll just be this awkward control battle field.

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Posted in Advice, Mother-in-Law Monday, Reality Check

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