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Etiquette

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by purnima22, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. purnima22

    purnima22 New IL'ite

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    Hi All,

    I have been married over 5 yrs and live abroad.

    I have a question on etiquette and wanted your advice.

    When we visit India, we live at our relatives place and are taken care of well during our visit (as our parents dont live in big cities).

    We often end up giving dinner parties for abt 10-15 people for 3 days during our 5 day visit

    What i find strange is that we are never informed abt this and the invitee list is also not mentioned to us. Guests are added and invited to these parties

    Usually they are really high end restaurants which even I am not accustomed to going in India.

    I raised a concern this time to 1 of the invitees and they mentioned t me not to worry abt paying the bill as someone or the other will offer.

    I was kinda taken by suprise because...firstly we are the ones who 100% of the times pick up the bill . Secondly, not right to go to a party and pray someone else will pick up the bill.

    I mentioned this to my DH and he says I should not involve in silly discussions and waste my time.

    He also says as we visit India once every 3 yrs - its ok to spend some money.

    I am not v comfy with his response as I feel people take us for granted and exploit our position.

    I sometimes feel- that staying abroad automatically give rights to others to walk over us when it comes to such social events?

    Also when people visit us here- they live in our house and I cook for them. We take them out and again we pick up the bill. I found it very odd.

    I have been married for 5 yrs and the previous 2 visits I didnt go with my DH. So, he thinks its a practice that has been happening for the past several years and there is nothing new...also mentioned by inlaws.


    Also my DH feels its ok to spend the money. He feels its not worth messing relationships with family. I really dont have any respect for his family or my inlaws- as noone understands our situation nor our comfort level.

    Overall I was very dissatisfied by this experience.

    Has there been anyone in my shoes before? What is the right thing to do.
     
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  2. shreya12345

    shreya12345 New IL'ite

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    Hi purnima,
    I wonder vy nobody has replied to ur post. Its a situation which I have faced many times. I stay in the US and when we go over to india to meet our relatives over dinner or lunch, we used to end up paying all the bills :spin

    People there just take us for granted...as if since v r earning in dollars, its our privilege to pay their bills! After having such experiences from relatives, me and my DH decided to cut down on these parties and just keep aside certain number of days to visit sme of our elderly close relatives at their home. Initially, relatives will talk behind ur back abt it...but who cares...we shud not allow anybody to take us for a ride:rant

    After all, we are not struggling here living in a foreign place, earning, to spend on some relatives who dont care for us
     
  3. MrsV

    MrsV Bronze IL'ite

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    hi purnima,

    very, very common! i actually have a huge issue with this, i don't mind paying when people we are with that cannot afford to pay a large sum but when they are well off, and they want to go out while we are there and bring additional people, they should atleast offer. My parents ALWAYS picks up the tab, and never have I remembered it not to be as such. We don't really stay at their place maybe a day or so, but it gets really annoying to see this happen time and over again. No shame whatsoever.

    Even when relatives come over to our place, we pay. I think for some reason people feel that it is ok for others to pick up your tab. It's fine, if you can reciprocate once in a while atleast. We work so hard for our money, maybe even more so than our relatives in India. DH's family is also similar. One of my very good friend that I feel comfortable discussing this with, said that for her wedding, her relatives didn't even bother getting her a card. It was just assumed that why would she need anything from them, since she's from the US. I found that pathetic more than anything.

    I think I have a different prespective on this because I used to visit India every 2 or 3 years, and it has always been the same. I asked my mom once, and she said, we go there, they're happy to see us and its just money and we are on vacation. But I think it goes a bit deeper and people are just stingy and frugal. All this is in addition to the long list of gifts/gadgets they want from here as well. So whatever, I have come to the conclusion, that if people can get things on someone else dime and time, it's much better.
     
  4. Foundlove

    Foundlove Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,
    I read your dilema and just had to say something.This is a real issue with relatives in India and should be handled diplomatically.

    Next time you visit India:
    • Why don't you just organize one party after you go there and have it catered(which is cheaper than high end restaurants) ..This will be a gesture of thank you to your hosts and you can meet everybody once and concentrate rest of the time with family.
    • No one will pile on after that..
    I do understand that relatives should not expect such things from you however since you are not living in your parents place this is expected.

    If that is unacceptable from next time just stay at a good hotel..you will be spending the same amount anyways and will have less drama in life too.
     
  5. Manaswini08

    Manaswini08 Bronze IL'ite

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    If you're paying for this party, you should be the one doing the inviting. These people are simply taking advantage of you and you should put an end to it. I've seen this behavior when my parents were the ones going for visits. It seemed that my mom and dad were the ones picking up the tabs on EVERY meal. This soon came to an abrupt end when I grew up and they all expected me to do the same.

    One day, we all went out "as usual" and just paid for my family's meal (DH, and me). We didn't have any children yet. Everyone seemed so astonished but I held my ground. They asked me pointblank why I'm not paying for their meals and I told them that I thought we were just going dutch since it was everyone's idea to eat out. I told them that I don't have enough money to pay for everyone's dinner and left them at the table. My DH stuck by my side. Of course, since then they have labeled me as being cheap, but I don't really care. There is no such thing as a free meal and it was about time they realized it.

    Take a stand and speak up. These relationships are based purely on greed and $$ not love. Tell your DH that $$ doesn't buy love. If, God forbid you and your DH should lose the financial stability you have now, I promise you that you will not see even one of these so called family members around.
     
  6. ProReal

    ProReal Senior IL'ite

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    It is exactly the opposite when we are there.. Whenever we travel to India we buy loads and loads of gifts for everyone, my brothers family, sisters family, relatives, neighbors and my parents long term friends. Before the trip I plan this and do extensive shopping. When I go there, we all unpack together and I give all the gifts and tell my mom who I got it for. My mom then decides who should get it (specially for relatives, neighbors and friends). Also we plan our trip when my sisters family can make it.. my brother stays with my parents, so we have this huge family get-together.

    During our stay we all go out, have fun and every time someone or the other picks the cheque. Relatives come over and take us for dinner or friends do etc .. and we rarely pay the price. It is not like we never do, we do sometimes... but rarely like what you gals have said here...

    This must be highly annoying.. Maybe you should plan the trip when you have some event like a birthday etc and call every one home for a party. Cater the food and you will benefit from the birthday gifts as well :)
     
  7. Sunny3

    Sunny3 New IL'ite

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    Purnima,

    I think majority of people living in US experience this when they go to India for visits.
    This is very common. Now, the question is how do we deal with this?

    I. Party
    A. Simple, Next time when a party is planned and you guys are not involved in the planning and guest list, simply cancel the party. You can give 101 reasons to cancel a party. But don't stop there. Ask whose decision was this and tell them very politely that you can handle this now onwards.

    B. Please do not throw parties EVERYTIME you visit India. People will take you for a ride only if YOU guys are giving them a chance to do so. Throwing parties without any reason of celebration and even if you go for a short time is like showing off! Ofcourse, no one would deny free food!


    II. Restaurants: Go ahead and pay only for yourselves if it was everyone's idea to go and tell them ahead of time that each one pays their own because in India it is the general practice for one person to pay for all and you don't want to be that "unfortunate one". Only if they agree that they pay their own then they will join you.
    If at all, since it may happen that you pay for all then do not hesitate to ask them to pay you back, tell them clearly.....pay me Indian currency its OK.......I will accept it....:biggrin2::biggrin2:
    I was kidding that one.. Just tell it (Indian currency) will be useful for me at airports while traveling. Hey! You don't have to TELL them where you will use it. Just ask them to repay you back so much amount.PERIOD. They may talk behind your back saying "what is this?? She is coming from US and still so miserly (as if here in US $$$ grow on trees)" or, "Poor thing! Her hubby must have lost his job " etc etc or more so..........Give a damn to all this. Once or twice they will talk,soon they will get used to you way of dealing.


    My personal experience: My aunt said she cannot repay me back because there is no way she could get me dollars :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  8. ShilpaMa

    ShilpaMa IL Hall of Fame

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    Purnima, I think the organizers (your DH's side) are enjoying parties thrown by others, its just that you both are never there to attend one.
    Finally when we visit them, they feel now its their turn to throw a party & expenses being borne by their son.

    Equivalent to how it goes for Indian marriages, the guys side want to invite any & every person whose party they've ever attended & make the gal's side pay for it.

    Unless the boy realises it as waste of money its nothing more than a silly reason to fight over... I know these attendees have no emotions for us but if brings cheer to DH & he's ready to pay for it, nothing more than it to pay it once every 3 yrs.
    Many guys do it, infact they would even visit their hostels & throw parties for their juniors... if its a big financial blow, then it needs to be resolved.
     
  9. purnima22

    purnima22 New IL'ite

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your support and understanding my current situation.

    I agree to most of you people. Next India visit if a party is organized without giving us notice and sufficient details regarding finance matters- we will cancel it.

    If its really absolutely necessary to throw a party then we will go to a restaurant of our choice and budget.

    --------------------------

    As some of you mentioned, I think my inlaws have been enjoying these lavish parties thrown by others and want to use us to repay back favors.

    Well...in one instance I did confront my fil and expressed my concern. We find it difficult dealing with my fil.

    He says...someone or the other will pick up the bill but eventually my DH picked up.

    This time I am going to be firm and tell them straight that I am not going to be the unfortunate one to pick it up everytime and we should share the bill.
     
  10. Sunny3

    Sunny3 New IL'ite

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    YOU GO GIRL!!! :thumbsup:thumbsup:thumbsup
     

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