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Would you arrive empty handed?

(135 Posts)
MawBroon Tue 13-Nov-18 00:03:46

I need to let this go, but I also need to let it out first!

I invited Paw’s brother and two sisters to lunch on Sunday as it is one year since he died and I thought they might wish to visit his grave.
It took a week before I actually got a response (Saturday afternoon) but luckily I always have the wherewithal in the freezer to put a Sunday lunch together.
I’m not bothered on my own account but I was brought up (and I know they were too) to always take something small, flowers, chocs or a bottle -depending on who you are going to, as a gift . In German they call it a “Mitbringsel” -literally a little thing you bring. .
So no flowers for me apparently, no wine, fair enough, they are family, I thought, but when I suggested we walk up to the church to their brother’s grave I expected somebody to say Oh I’ll get the flowers from the car.
Nope. Nothing, Zilch. Nada
I am too chicken to say anything and I was too slow to say “innocently” “oh have you left the flowers in the car?”
When we got there they would have seen the pink roses I took on Saturday and the white roses DD laid on his grave when she came to stay. Did anybody say anything?
Did anybody hug or talk about him?
I know his sisters loved him but I was so disappointed at this lack of a gesture either to me or even to each other. confused
When they left I wished them a safe journey, asked somebody to text me to say they were back or expected to hear this morning.
Did I?
A text, phone call or email to say Thank you?
Just a bit brassed off frankly. The sisters are very kind women and help DD2 with one day a week childcare between them so I know they are not mean or rude(not so sure about BIL, he only ever thinks of himself) but I know that my own DDs would always remember to say thank you and show their appreciation. And my Mum would have given me more than an earful!
Years and years ago I had an absolute houseful over Christmas, MIL 2 SILs, BIL plus his then wife, Niece and her friend from Brazil, all staying and after they had gone MIL was the only one to drop me a note to say thank you.
???Seething just a bit!

gmelon Tue 13-Nov-18 00:27:14

Absolutely not unreasonable.
I hope this isn't keeping you awake Maw.
You are perfectly right to feel put out.

janeainsworth Tue 13-Nov-18 00:59:55

No, you're not being unreasonable Maw.
I would never go empty-handed to anyone's house, and in the special circumstances of Paw's anniversary, I think your in-laws' behaviour is quite odd, really.

cornergran Tue 13-Nov-18 07:22:11

No, of course not unreasonable maw, hope you were able to sleep after expressing your frustration and hurt. I’d have been more than surprised too. Let it go now if you can flowers.

Brunette10 Tue 13-Nov-18 07:27:33

Def not Maw, you are right to feel the way you do. I think it's only manners to bring a small gift or whatever you wish but to come empty-handed is not acceptable at all. Thought it was some of the younger generation just to act like this but obviously not, especially under the circumstances. Just calm down though it's not worth getting all flummoxed about. You know you would never do that but we are all different. Try and relax. wink

Jane10 Tue 13-Nov-18 07:57:20

I quite agree Maw. This is most odd. I've given up waiting for thanks you letters or even texts from young nieces and nephews. Luckily, my own ACs are punctilious in that respect.
As to 'bread and butter' letters after a stay - a thing of the past I reckon.
I might make the invitations and substantial gifts a thing of the past as far as nieces and nephews are concerned!
A big weekend for you Maw. I'm so sorry to hear that you are left feeling like this.

kittylester Tue 13-Nov-18 08:09:33

Crumbs, * maw*, that's not nice but not unexpected from what you've said before! You did the right thing - they were wrong.

Marydoll Tue 13-Nov-18 08:09:44

Maw, you are not being unreasonable. We were always brought up to never go empty handed when visiting.
I can understand how upset you are about them not bringing flowers to put on Paw's grave.
DS1 and DIL are like that, we never brought up our children to be like that. I just don't understand it, but it seems to be the way of the world nowadays in my experience.
I'm sorry you have been upset at such an emotional time for you. flowers

Madgran77 Tue 13-Nov-18 08:19:03

Well not replying, bringing nothing and not saying thankyou are just plain bad manners in my view!

The flowers ...I think everyone feels differently about this sort of thing and some prefer not to put flowers on graves etc. However I also think that they could have thought about you and your feelings in this and explained if this was their preference.

I myself think that the living are the important ones here and if I knew. that a relative appreciated flowers /a token to ark their loved ones grave I would bring flowers out of respect and caring for their feelings

So overall I would say thoughtless and selfish, probably not deliberately unkind! I hope that you can move on now you have vented a

Greyduster Tue 13-Nov-18 08:24:27

No, not unreasonable. We visited our friend a few times after her husband - my DH’s best friend - died and always went to the churchyard, and always took flowers down in the car, and a bottle for lunch. I know she appreciated the flowers. It’s such a small thing to remember to do, and good manners.

grannyqueenie Tue 13-Nov-18 08:31:45

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable, maw, just understandably cross at what feels like a lack of acknowledgement of paws anniversary by folk you know loved him well and care for you and your family too.
I’m often surprised, and disappointed, when I realise how many of my family and friends seemingly lack the “thoughtfulness gene”. Sadly when we have high standards for ourselves in these areas we can often feel let down by others when those small acts of kindness are missing. Is it the kind of annoyance you’d have chewed over with paw at the end of the day, perhaps with a wry smile? I know that’s what I’d miss doing, I hope having spoken it out here enables you to let it go and face today.x

PamelaJ1 Tue 13-Nov-18 08:36:21

Very strange, I can totally understand why you were upset.
It’s not you, it’s them!

MawBroon Tue 13-Nov-18 08:37:40

Is it the kind of annoyance you’d have chewed over with paw at the end of the day, perhaps with a wry smile ?
Exactly grannyqueenie!
He’d have rolled his eyes hmm (audibly!) and understood exactly where I was coming from.
I can let it go now, but thanks to all who have “listened”.

sodapop Tue 13-Nov-18 08:46:22

Definitely not unreasonable Maw good manners dictates at least a thank you text or email, letters not so much now. As for arriving empty handed well words fail me, flowers or a plant for Paw would have showed love & support for both of you.
As you say they are not unkind people just thoughtless but I can understand your being hurt. Don't dwell on this you have love & support from the rest of your family and indeed here on GN.

jusnoneed Tue 13-Nov-18 08:50:53

Flowers for the grave, not everyone does that (I wouldn't) but a little something for you would of been polite.

Teetime Tue 13-Nov-18 08:55:11

Its a shame Maw but I think these 'good manners' gestures are fading fast- very sad.

Lynne59 Tue 13-Nov-18 08:56:40

What rude relatives! To not take flowers to the grave is bad enough, but then to not thank you, not take something to your home either, is bad mannered of them.

Whenever I've been for dinner at anyone's house, I've taken either the dessert or some wine. They could, at the very least, have done that.

If it were me, I'd be cutting them out of my life.

GrandmaMoira Tue 13-Nov-18 08:58:21

Not everyone wants to put flowers on a grave and thank you letters seem to be disappearing, but to not confirm the lunch until the day before and to turn up without a small gift for the hostess is very rude.
I also struggle with not talking about your DH at this time but it happened with me and I think people just don't know what to say. I understand why you are so upset.

Willow500 Tue 13-Nov-18 09:05:04

No I think you're right to feel a bit hacked off with the lack of thought especially the first anniversary of losing Paw. If it had been a last minute visit surely they could have at least said that they'd not had time to get a small token or some flowers and not to mention the flowers on the grave is just odd. Not letting you know they'd got home and to thank you for lunch is not acceptable at all. My family always let me know they've arrived back and thank us for a lovely day.

MawBroon Tue 13-Nov-18 09:12:08

If it were me, I'd be cutting them out of my life

No Lynne while I am sure that was kindly meant, I certainly won’t be doing that. They are Paws sisters and brother and my family. The SILS are also very close to our DDs and very kind generous women. The fact that they can also sometimes come across as a bit “eccentric” adds to their charm and is not exactly new to me.
Paw would not have been all that surprised!

Luckygirl Tue 13-Nov-18 09:12:46

How very strange. It is doubly sad that you do not have Paw there to let it all go and say what you think; then send it on its way.

I guess people react differently to things, but it does seem bad manners. We never take gifts or flowers when we go to people who are family; but I am guessing that the absence of flowers for Paw's grave might be to do with the discomfort of many when talking openly about death and dying.

I am sorry that this visit has left you feeling disappointed with them. flowers

Bellanonna Tue 13-Nov-18 09:24:33

Very bad manners on so many counts, especially given the generation. Only to confirm that they were coming with one day’s notice was so rude. Coming empty handed like that was also very unusual, and not just for their age group. I wouldn’t dream of going empty handed if I were invited out to lunch, and to be honest even to tea. I would also have taken something, albeit just a token, to lay on the grave. And finally my girls always text to say simply “I’m home”, and you had actually asked them to let you know. Even if it is being “thoughtless” it is in my book unacceptably rude. I would be less bothered if they were from a younger generation. Hopefully you can now put it behind you and of course stay friendly with them. I’m sure they are nice people in every other way.

mumofmadboys Tue 13-Nov-18 09:24:34

Maw are you not concerned your extended family may not chance upon this thread? I would hate it to cause a family fallout as I am sure you would. You have previously shown pics of yourself and your DH.

annsixty Tue 13-Nov-18 09:24:58

I wouldn't have taken flowers for the grave but that is a personal choice.
I would certainly have brought flowers for you, also wine ,and not thanking you is unforgivable.
However if the sisters are lovely people if eccentric, I would accept it and put it behind me.
BiL is just rude.

Maggiemaybe Tue 13-Nov-18 09:30:32

I'd be cutting them out of my life seems like a complete over-reaction to me, Lynne59. You’d stop seeing your family over something like this? shock No wonder there’s so much loneliness in the world.

Sorry you’ve been hurt, Maw, this must have been a very sad weekend for you. Not letting you know sooner that they were coming and not sending a thank you text was of course thoughtless. But though we’d never arrive for a meal at a friend’s house without a bottle and flowers, we don’t do this within the family. And we don’t take flowers to the cemetery either, though I’m surprised they didn’t comment on yours and your DD’s.