Friend's Birthday Party Plans High Jacked

Updated on October 19, 2008
C.C. asks from Andrews, NC
18 answers

I am supposed to be going out of town with a friend next weekend to celebrate her 50th birthday. The original idea was that about four of her girlfriends, her daughter, her two daughters in law and her step mother were going to a mystery dinner theatre and then spend the night together in a motel. This is about a four hour drive from my home so I was planning on riding with the birthday girl to the event. Now, I just got an email from one of my friend's daughter's in law, telling me that her kids are going to surprise her - they (three kids, their spouses and seven grandkids) are all going to show up to take her to lunch ahead of time. Then they are planning on leaving the guys at the motel with the kids while the women all go to the dinner theatre. Now my friend and I will have to leave home two hours earlier that morning to meet for lunch (she thinks she is just meeting her daughter), and she will be torn between spending time with the kids and grandkids and spending time with her friends. I am really upset that the kids have basically highjacked our plans - it was my friend's idea to do this, not mine - and I figure if she had wanted to plan a family reunion for her birthday she would have done so. I know she will be happy to see them all but it won't be the weekend she - or any of her friends - planned. So, in your humble opinion, am I just being selfish and unflexible or am I right in thinking this will not be the birthday celebration my friend envisioned? How would you ladies handle this? I am praying about my own attitude but at this point I am tempted to just tell my friend that I will celebrate her birthday with her another time, and let next weekend be a family thing.

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So What Happened?

As of right now, this is what I have decided - there is another friend who was also planning on riding with us (me and the birthday girl) and she said she could absolutely NOT leave home that early, so she was going to have to cancel. (she has a young child she is leaving behind and several health issues that make it hard to get up and going in the morning). SO...I have offered to drive myself and the other girlfriend down and the birthday girl has offered to help us pay for gas. I hate for her to do that but she said she was the one who decided to go early. Of course she still has no idea that the whole family is surprising her, and I still think she will not be pleased, but this way I will not have to be a part of that celebration and she can deal with her own family in her own way. Thank you all SOOO much for all of your responses. Every bit of advice was helpful and kind, even if I didn't agree with all of it 100%. Having Mamasource is like having 100 girlfriends an email away! God bless you all.

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

I'd have a frank heart-to-heart with the ringleader adult child and try to get things back on track for the original plan. Be as kind as possible, but let the kid/adult know that it was his/her mother who put this whole thing in motion, and it's HER wishes/plans that should be respected. Good luck.

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P.M.

answers from Knoxville on

C.,
I would definetly call the daughter-in-law and tell you what her mother-in-law has planned, and how she was really looking forward in getting together with her old friends. Ask her if she thinks another plan is possible with the family, the day before or after. Myself, being a grandmother, I would definitely want you to communicate with the family. There should be know reason why they wouldn't understand and change their plans around the birthday girl. I know my family wouldn't want to mess up my plans with my girl friends.
P.

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

Persona;;y, I would stay home and make other plans for your weekend. I don't like crowds, and you are right, it will be family.
Then, you all, friends, can plan another "do", but not on the Bday weekend. She will have 2 big things to remember, and it will be even more special. Families get first dibs on Bdays, friends, second.
I am a gma too, and 63.

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S.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Be a good friend and remain quiet about it. Plan to go to the mystery theater as the original plans were made. This friend will have to deal with her family herself. If she is a "non-confrontational" type, she may say nothing. Later on in private (and after the event is over), ask her if she wants to plan a belated celebration for friends only. Make the best of the weekend, have fun and make it as fun as you can for your friend. In the long run, you will come out "smelling like a rose" and she will know who highjacked the weekend.
Try to remember that families love to celebrate those "milestone" birthdays for their moms and they likely meant no harm by it.
Good luck and have fun.

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C.B.

answers from Louisville on

Without knowing the daughter-in-law, I'm not going to go into why she did this. What matters is that your friend wants to go to the mystery dinner with you and the others. You should go and not take your frustration out on her. If you don't go, you will ruin her birthday entirely.

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

I would graciously let her children and grandchildren high jack the birthday party weekend--you and your girlfriend should bow out gracefully and never let on that it made you mad. I would touch base with all of her friends who had planned to go and plan a surprise long weekend getaway with "just the girls." I would probably take the "girls weekend" up a notch and rent a beach house or a cabin in the mountains and have it be a relaxing belated 50th birthday party. You can arrange with her employer for her to have a couple of days off. You can ask one of her daughters to pack her suitcase and you can kidnap her from work and take her on a mini vacation. If you go now during the off season at the beach you can pool your funds and rent a beach house for about the same thing it would have cost you to rent hotel rooms. Or it is still prime "leaf season" in the mountains and you could rent a cabin in the mountains if you all would prefer that. Contact a travel agent or get online and check out options before you talk to your friends. I would definately take the high road and graciously let her children have her "birthday weekend." Your friend will end up loving it that she got a "family weekend" and a "friends weekend" for her 50th birthday!

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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

I think that you are exactly right. If she wanted family she would have planned family (kids). Why don't you tell your friend just exactly what you said in this statement on mammasource: if she wanted a kid reunion, she would have planned that but sometimes there comes a time when she wants just a weekend get away for the adults. Tell her that you think that she wait.... in a nice way of course. THen if she refuses just tell her what you said: that you will just wait and go do an adult thing with her later. Also mention that you think that she will be disappointed in her weekend.
If she gets mad, so be it. Talk to the birthday girl when she comes back. Tell your friend there is no sense in going for an adult get away if the plans have changed that you would rather save your money for the adult weekend that she has planned later.
You are in the right and not being selfish.

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J.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi C.,

I would ask yourself "What would Jesus do?" -- and if it doesn't work out the way she wanted it this year, there is always next year or have a half year birthday! (although that won't be a milestone birthday -- the best gift may be something to look forward to).

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and think their plans were not malicious but rather wanted to make the day a bigger event for this year as someone suggested in an earlier posting. I think it is great that everyone wants to spend time with her for this occasion. She's lucky to be loved by so many people.

Keep praying on it and intend to have a good time no matter what you decide so you can free yourself of the negative energy. Blessings to your friend for her 50th birthday!

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A.H.

answers from Raleigh on

It might not be the birthday party that you and your friend envision but it might be just as nice, if not even nicer for your friend. . . it kind of stinks for you. I would bite my tongue and enjoy the experience. You are more likely to upset your friend by not going and making her feel badly on her birthday. Keep praying and go in with a positive attitude and it maybe wonderful. I agree with you that the family is not necessarily listening to the wishes of your friend.

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J.M.

answers from Memphis on

Tough one. It sounds like she was planning on a girls only weekend and they want to go and drag the grnadkids and husbands into it. Definitely not what she's expecting. On the other hand, I'm sure she'd enjoy seeing everyone. Being just a friend and not a family member I don't think its really your place to tell them they can't though. I'd politely point out that she was planning a girls only weekend and it's her special birthday. Maybe you could suggest the guys and kids meet up with all the girls the next day for lunch as you're checking out of the hotel or something. That way, your friend has had her night as she planned and the lunch is just an added bonus, extending the weekend for her instead of seriously altering her vision. However, as I said it's not your place to tell them they can't do what they want. You also shouldn't let it keep you from going- that would probably ruin her plans totally instead of just changing them, as the kids are trying to do. Make polite suggestions but don't get confrontational/hostile about it. That again would only put everyone in a bad mood and still ruin her birthday weekend.

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B.C.

answers from Nashville on

Yes, you are being a baby! You should be happy your friends family is planning to make this an even bigger day for her. If you don't want to engage in the festivities just don't. It would be better you didn't go than for you to go and be bitter about plans being changed. This is the day for your friend and I am sure if she knew what was planned she would be estatic. Hope you work through this because you are the only one that is going to lose out on being with your friend, everyone else will go and have a big time.

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

I understand that you are upset but this is her 50th and she should and probably wants to spend it with family AND friends. Leaving two hours early is not a big deal in the long run and she probably would do it for you. You can find something to do if you get there early and in just a few hours, plans will continue as scheduled. Worst case you don't have to go up early for lunch, just come in as planned for the dinner theater. You will still surprise her whenever you show up. I would think lunch should just be family only and friends do the dinner as originally planned.

W.

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M.B.

answers from Johnson City on

If I was you, I would go along with it and keep my mouth shut. I agree that it will not be what your friend hoped for but it won't have been you that changed it. I think a lot of people forget that grandparents are people with interests beyond the grandchildren and are actually offended if someone makes that suggestion. You can be there and be gracious for your friend's sake and perhaps plan an evening out for the two of you after the fact. Good luck!

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C.P.

answers from Memphis on

C., I think it was rude of her to do this all on her own without asking everyone that was included in the original plan if that would intrude on their plans, but since she didn't, all you can do is compromise. How about taking her a day early, or showing up a day later, for the ladies alone? Then she could spend all the time she wants to with her family. If that won't work, all you can do is go along. After all, this is about her birthday, not your plans. Have you thought about calling one of her daughters to explain why this is very hard on you, since you had made plans around the original plan? Or better yet, if she's mature at all, maybe you could call the daughter-in-law and explain it to her. If she has any maturity, she'll realize this is what her mom-in-law asked for, and she's messing that plan up. If the family wants to do something together, they could wait and take her to a nice breakfast. Best wishes!!

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M.W.

answers from Raleigh on

I can completely understand your hurt and I can see where you think that the DIL could be selfish here not thinking of the previous plans.

I am thinking that perhaps this really could all work out.
I think your friend will be surprised with the lunch, I know my mom and my MIL would feel that having their children and grandchildren honoring them with the luncheon would be tops!
I also know that "girls' night out" to the dinner theater could be the icing on the cake!

They are separate events on the same day. It's just a matter of going with the flow. It's not how YOU planned it, but it's how you react to the plans that will make all the difference.
I see that sometimes when we are faced with "surprises" that alter our plans abruptly can mean that WE need to act more like a rubber float down the white river rapids and less like a canoe! :)

So this is going to be a wonderful day, full of memories that your friend will cherish forever and ever. Aren't you blessed to a part of such a love filled day?

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A.T.

answers from Wilmington on

It doesn't seem as though there is any malice involved, just miscommunications. I would defer to the family. I am sure you and your girlfriends can reschedule your celebration. I am also certain the birthday girl will probably enjoy the girl's night out better, but the family is trying to do something nice. She is blessed to have the family even thinking of doing something without her planning it. Be happy for her and don't be soured on it. I am sure she loves all of you and a stretched out celebration is all the more fun. Remember, she will be 50 for a whole year not just one day. So celebrate every day of the year for her!

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E.R.

answers from Jackson on

I dont blame you if they knew of your plans this was totally uncalled for.they should have planed a different night for there outing so she could enjoy her friends as planed then she could devote her self to that event then mabe do the lunchen with family and grandchildren the day before or day after so she wouldnt be torn about who to spend time with.I feal the way they plan to change things will make her feel she must chose and this is unfair to her and might ruin the whole birthday for her.

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V.C.

answers from Wheeling on

God bless you for your efforts to help make your friend's birthday memorable!

You didn't say how long the plans have been made nor how soon the birthday is, but, personally, I think that the family should have planned their get-together at a different time/place since the 'birthday girl' had already made her own plans that involved 'the girls' (which INCLUDED the daughter/daughters-in-law who KNEW all HER plans)!

If I understand correctly, it sounds as if someone 'outside the loop' just got jealous of the 'girls' outing' and wanted to be included (badly enough to have EVERYONE go far away and pay hotel/motel rooms for themselves AND intrude on the already-laid plans!)

Does she love surprises? (I DON'T!)

So . . . what to do?

There's not really much you CAN do except pray that SHE has a wonderful time, and then make your own decision (about whether to go or not) by this criteria:
If I DO go and have a horrible time, would that be better than STAYING HOME and
a) 'deserting' your friend who may have a horrible time, also.
b) missing out on sharing a WONDERFUL time (if it turns out thus)
c) wishing you HAD gone (for any OTHER reason not mentioned).

Hope this helps (but, no, I DON'T think you're being selfish. They are).

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