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Marc Jacobs

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So sick of the short notice...
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I need some advice about this!

It seems too many people in my/my husband's life are short notice kinda people. And, I am NOT a short notice kind of person. I make plans in advance, look forward to them, and don't leave a whole lot of time for unscheduled stuff. Then, of course, we are the bad guys for getting upset that things that are important are left till the last minute (despite our inquiring about them).

For example, my SILs boyfriend's 30th birthday - It was on a Sunday, and on Friday afternoon we get a text from my FIL saying we'd celebrate on Sunday. 36 hours notice. We had assumed that we'd be celebrating the following weekend like we always do. So, we had to make time to shop for him on Saturday and change our plans for Sunday so we could celebraet his birthday. When we mentioned we weren't sure if we could do it with 36 hours notice, and would have to see if we could change our plans, we were told by FIL that if we couldn't make it, we could just celebrate with my SIL/boyfriend on our own (FIL was unwilling to budge). We made it work, and were happy to celebrate with the 6 of us, but the whole thing was clouded to me because of how unrestful getting it together was.

This happens for every family event with his side. Our friends aren't much different (though, thankfully my family isn't last minute - must be where I get it from).

I am tempted to not change our plans and hope that they learn, but then, like in the example above, I'd be punishing the wrong person.

I don't mind last minute stuff when it is of no consequnce and a no pressure kind of thing. A 'hey, feel like coming over and ordering pizza tonight' is always welcome - so long as I am also welcome to decline due to other plans without being made to feel like an asshole.

So, long story short, do I need to understand that they aren't going to change and accept it? Or can I keep trying to make them understand they need to be more considerate and understanding. Is it worth it?

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Gucci

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I hear you. I'm a planner too. I can be flexible depending on circumstances, but I like to know what my week/month is going to look like when I start it.

I hate to tell you, but in my experience, last minute planners aren't going to change. They may make plans, but those aren't really "firm plans" in their minds. It just boils down to two different personality types. What I usually end up doing is trying to anticipate events and ask about them early. That way it sort of forces them to make some sort of plan. Then if it changes and you aren't able to make it fit your schedule, at least you tried.

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Hermes

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I kind of like short-term planning. It's a little more spontaneous. I mean, I always figure if I call someone with a day or two or notice that they might have other plans-I don't think anybody would expect all their family/friends to be available on that kind of notice all the time.

I don't think you *should* change your plans if you aren't comfortable with it. If they make you feel like an asshole for it and cannot understand why you can't make it, then they clearly have no social lives or plans of their own. And that's not your problem! Plus it would probably work in the long run. If I try to make short-term plans with someone and they are always busy, then after a few times I *do* learn that this particular person needs more notice. So then the next time I'll try asking earlier.

The only thing that really bugs me is when I think I've made firm plans with someone and then find out the day of that the plans weren't "firm" to them and they've changed their mind. So I guess basically for me, last-minute invites are always welcome (and I don't feel pressure to always make it) but last-minute cancellations really get to me if they happen repeatedly.

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Hermes

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I say you have to accept it, however, don't change your plans if it happens again in the future. I would just say something like -- oh shoot - I wish i knew about this sooner - we've already made plans! and make sure you are sincere and apologetic. Maybe they'll get that you get booked up in advance eventually...

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Chanel

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I go the "firm" route. Both our families can be rather last minute types. There have been many times we've been unable or unwilling to jump when they finally decide what they're doing for a holiday or birthday. With DH's family, who live much closer, sometimes we go for an hour or two and then excuse ourselves.

Sometimes I have to take responsibility for setting up the event - e.g. we're having brunch at X time at Y place, hope you can make it. Or we preemptively state what our obligations are such as "when are we getting together for Hanukkah? We're busy Tuesday but Wednesday would be great."

In my mom's family, which is large and close, it's often assumed everyone knows about everything. But we live an hour or more away and don't socialize and communicate with them like they all do with each other. What happens is something is scheduled and two weeks later I hear "oh, Andrea/your mom/Aunt Rita didn't tell you? We're having Alicia's graduation party on Sunday."

In general I have a policy of not accepting last-minute invitations. Even if my plans are to stay home and watch TV, they still count as *plans.*



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Marc Jacobs

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I have this exact same problem with my husband's family and we've been married for 12 yrs. They've gotten a bit better and if it's a big deal (ie involving us having to switch our plans around or miss out on something) we will tell them no. My husband has gotten very good about setting boundaries with them but it took me a long time to make him realize how rude it is!! They are so bad about procrastinating, not letting us know when they are coming to visit, for example, or other plans regarding trips which has cost us to pay higher rates for airline tix, etc. I think it is their way of maintaining control over us. It's manipulative and I refuse to let them get away with it. But if I think I will be the one missing out then we try to just go with it, although it's annoying. For example, we moved to Turkey a yr and a half ago and they knew we would only be here only two yrs. We kept asking them when they were going to visit and they kept saying they didn't know. They are finally visiting us but it's going to be two months before we leave - which is less than ideal b/c we will be stressed out and busy. But that's what they do so we've accepted it. They also used to come stay with us and then not tell us exactly when they were leaving - which was a nightmare. I've gotten to be very outspoken with them and they've gotten better. Bottom line - stand your ground or it will get worse!!

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Dooney & Bourke

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I mostly hate short notices, but I'm very flexible and usually attend...with the feeling always "not nice to decline"...unless there is a plan like someone's bday that we have been invited in advance or some other occasion that was in invitation prior to all other plans...I guess for us the "weight" of occasion is the decisive point...

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YanaK


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I understand. I never used to be a big planner, but now that I have kids I HAVE to. I dislike when friends invite me last minute to do something fun, way too late to get a babysitter or switch nights with their dad.

As far as family planning last minute events, I say there is no point in trying to teach them a lesson. If you can make it and you feel you should go, then go. If it means changing some loose plans you had beforehand, that's life and it's just the way it is.

I have a very formal and organized cousin my age, who is also a mom of a young child like myself. But she is so strict about her planning that you would think she were the first lady of Texas. Even with 2 weeks notice, she'll rarely accepts any plans. When she calls to make plans with me, it's often next season, literally. As a result, I don't really reach out to her anymore to see what she's doing on a random weekend because I feel like if it's not months in advance, she will decline the offer anyway because she has "brunch plans with her mentor" or "going to weed the garden" or whatever.

I agree with Yana that it's the "weight" of the occasion that should count. Not every friend, coworker, or relative operates under the same scheduling behaviors and it's really okay. If the last minute occasion holds more weight than what I was previously doing, I am flexible and happy to partake.

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Chanel

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blink wrote:

Even with 2 weeks notice, she'll rarely accepts any plans. 




What amount of notice is considered good manners these days? 2 weeks usually isn't enough for DH and me unless we randomly happen to be free. 3 weeks is probably safe.

On Friday someone invited us to a party the following Saturday, so, 8 days notice. We already have four things going on that day starting at noon! (We don't expect to make it to all of them.)


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Dooney & Bourke

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Wow, Suasoria, that's one great social life! I hope you're shopping plenty to attent in style!

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YanaK


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Suasoria wrote:
blink wrote:

Even with 2 weeks notice, she'll rarely accepts any plans. 




What amount of notice is considered good manners these days? 2 weeks usually isn't enough for DH and me unless we randomly happen to be free. 3 weeks is probably safe.

On Friday someone invited us to a party the following Saturday, so, 8 days notice. We already have four things going on that day starting at noon! (We don't expect to make it to all of them.)


That's a good point. So, ah, we can't meet for coffee this sunday, then, huh?

I don't know what is considered good manners, that wasn't my point. My point was only that my cousin, in my opinion, puts "plans" as a higher priority than connecting to people. In more ways than I have shared here, she is rather uptight in general. Which is valuable in many ways, of course, but the drawback is that she comes across as cold and unfeeling. I knew her as a child, so I know better. But if I were someone new in her life, I would probably be put off by her.

And I too plan some weekends months ahead of time as well, but I am flexible with people who are special to me.

I was just thinking... is it unheard of to consider not attending events that are for the in laws and letting DH go on his own?

 



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Chanel

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DH's family is like this, too. And he has a huge family (7 siblings plus his parents). We usually get less than 24 hours notice for any kind of event, including holidays. Take Easter for example, no clue what's going on with his family that day but I'm sure they'll text him on Saturday night or Sunday morning to let us know. We'll be at my mom's house. Because she managed to make plans with us in advance.

Basically, this is how we deal with it- if we're free, we're free. If we're not (even if our only plans were grocery shopping), we don't go. This hasn't necessarily made them do any better with notice times, but they are understanding if we don't show up. Overall, they're a super nice family to have a in-laws, but just a little bad with time management!

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Hermes

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blink wrote:

I was just thinking... is it unheard of to consider not attending events that are for the in laws and letting DH go on his own?

 


 

I don't see why this would be a problem as long as you didn't do it EVERY time. I know plenty of couples, married or not, who don't attend every family event together.



-- Edited by Kelly on Wednesday 20th of April 2011 08:42:59 PM



-- Edited by Kelly on Wednesday 20th of April 2011 08:43:17 PM

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Chanel

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I do that - go to family events without DH. I try not to do it too often because it's guaranteed to get tongues wagging that we might be having problems. (That's been the case in the past when a spouse doesn't attend - it's generally a sign!)

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Chanel

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Kelly wrote:
blink wrote:

I was just thinking... is it unheard of to consider not attending events that are for the in laws and letting DH go on his own?

 


 

I don't see why this would be a problem as long as you didn't do it EVERY time. I know plenty of couples, married or not, who don't attend every family event together.



-- Edited by Kelly on Wednesday 20th of April 2011 08:42:59 PM



-- Edited by Kelly on Wednesday 20th of April 2011 08:43:17 PM


 We do this sometimes, just because his family is large and my schedule with grad school is hectic. 

 



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