Dun,dun,dun... The graduation party dispute

poppingraysMay 15, 2009

O.K. I'm just trying to breathe... SD-18 decided she wants her graduation party one week after commencement, that's great! Not too unusual. Well... so I suggest that we rent a pavillion that is 10 minutes away from our house at a beautiful reservoir that has bathroom facilities, hiking trails, frisbee golf course, etc. The pavillion rental is $30 for the day. Pavillion has seating for 50 and we're looking at probably 25 to 30 guests for the party.

I mention this all to DH, thinking how nice it would be to not have the expense of renting a large tent, tables and chairs ($200+) and not have to worry about teenagers running in and out of our house to use the bathroom, dissapearing into bedrooms, walking through DH's recording studio where he has thousands of dollars worth of equipment (studio is in the back of the house, and downstairs bathroom is off the studio), no parking worries, such as people parking in our yard and making it a muddy mess if it happens to rain earlier, putting the dogs in a kennel for the day and stressing them out, my list just goes on and on of reasons why I thought the reservoir would be the perfect location.

So... DH actually sounds interested in my idea... then BAM! Here comes the dreaded words... DH wants to ASK his daughter if it's ok with her... SD says no, she wants it at the house... DH fully gives in to her.


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I don't know.

Honestly, I am inclined to think that SD should have a say in this. Graduation is a big deal, and celebrating the way she wants to (within reason) is okay, I think.

If money is not an object (as in--you can comfortably afford the $200 versus having to scrounge it together) I think SD should get to have the party she wants.

I totally DO get your reasons for wanting to do it at the park, though, they are all valid and practical reasons.

BUT--if you are doing it at home, I would sure as heck have DH pull his EXTREMELY FAIR SHARE of the work involved. It wouldn't be ok for him to say "ok, she wants to have the party at home" and then expect you to do all the cleaning, cooking, etc.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 9:53AM
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As far as it being her party, it is a party FOR her, hosted by her Dad and I. It's not unreasonable to pick a venue! She got to invite everyone she wanted, got to pick the day, the menu, the games, the time, etc., etc.

I did cover this with DH yesterday, I told him it's totally up to him to make all of the arrangements, get everything ready and so on. The money is an issue too, because we're shelling out some big bucks for her graduation gift and we'll be dipping into our very modest savings to foot the bill for the party (with absolutely no help from BM, mind you).

I suppose this wouldn't bother me if I was allowed to have any kind of say in anything that goes on with SD. It's been this way for 15 years, I'm not sure why I expect it to change now... but it would be nice to be considered!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:07AM
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"I suppose this wouldn't bother me if I was allowed to have any kind of say in anything that goes on with SD. It's been this way for 15 years, I'm not sure why I expect it to change now... but it would be nice to be considered"

Oh, trust me, I totally get what you're saying.

And I do understand your POV regarding the fact that you and DH are hosting the party.

I think the real issue here is that DH should have discussed everything with YOU ahead of time so that you guys could agree on what would be spent, what would be involved in planning, etc.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:09AM
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I can dream...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Get out the guest list and tell her that if it is going to be at home we have to cut this list down to say 15 or less. Something low as to be as unpleasant to her as having 30 teens in your home. We could have as many as you want at the park. Or many be drop something like well with the money we would have saved we can't get you some gift she might have liked... Some way or another you can make it her idea to change to the park her own. I would just drop little ideas and maybe it will work.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:11AM
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The last part of your post just brought back so many memories of arguments with DH about his oldest daughter. The part where you write..it's been like this for 15 years!

I was in the same situation with my SS. Every single time there was an event or something that concerned her and I would suggest something to DH, it was like : Well, lets see what she thinks, what she says. It didn't matter if she was 9, 15 or 25. For example, we would plan to leave the city at around noon to go up to the lake. During the week, DH would tell SD that we would be picking her up around 12:15. When we would get there, she was NEVER ready. I've seen ourselves wait for her for HOURS or having to return home and have to wait for her until she was ready. The car was all packed, the other two step-children and the dog in the car. One day, I told myself, if this happens again, that's it! I will tell DH either you stay in town with her or you tell her we are leaving without her! I was sick and tired of this. Well, what had to happen happened. One beautiful hot summer day we go and pick her up and of course she wasn't ready. Her mother says...she still has clothes in the wash and she isn't ready! I looked at DH and he knew I was serious. He asked to talked to his daughter and told her that we would be going up to the lake now and that he would call her later to see if she would come up the next day! Guess what! She never was late again nor did she keep us waiting anymore!

I know how you feel. You feel ignored and you feel like it always has to be SD way or no way at all and yet all these people count on you. The best advice i can give you is stop being there for DH and for SD! Stop it! If SD doesn't agree on your suggestions for her graduation when you know very well that your suggestion is the best thing for all of you, tell DH he can organze everything and he can do it with her and her only! It's a hard thing to do, but trust me, it's the only way you will stop being hurt and ignored.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:42AM
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Nope dont agree in SD having a say wHere it is.
SD should have a say who's invited, what food to eat , what to drink and what music will be played.
ITS A PARTY THROWN BY YOU AND YOUR DH. YOU get to pick with your dh WHERE its going to be.
Put your foot down on this on poppin
tell your dh.
1. The rental is cheaper to do this way and its beautiful grounds
2. no hassle, no clean up at the house.
no ifs, no buts,,the party happens there.
SD can invite who she wants, SD can have whatever food drink, music etc..etc...
Tha'ts it and that's all. If she wants to fight about somethign soooo stupid! she can take it on with you now. THis is your house and you have the right to say no as well.
Sorry tell you dh it wont be at the house. Less hassle and sd and him can arrange whatever they like over at the hall. Its a done deal. Do not give him options. You've thought about, appreciate sd input BUT its less expensive and less hassle and you will not have the grad at the house. IT will be ina rental hall.
There is nothing to cry boo hoo on sd part. She getting a party, paid for , catered to, invites all her friends and her boyfriend...sooooo..there is no problem. If she insists on the house, you tell her the house is not an option. You have changed your mind due to hassles , money and cleaning. Period.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Isn't it dad's house too? Frankly, I agree wit party at outside venue, but why is it somepople here say it should be SMs way or the highway? Oops, guess that why higher rate of divorce for second marriages.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Where in the heck do you live where you can rent a Pavillion for the day for $30?

I'm in the process of buying my dad's party rental store... a tent here costs $275 plus delivery (an additional $60).. add in tables & chairs for 50, that's another $120 or so.. and that's if you use paper tablecloths. Then you add in decorations, food, drink, paper products, etc. It's easy to spend $400-500 on a simple party for 50.

I don't blame you for not wanting to have 50 people in your back yard, going in & out of your house and using the bathroom or making themselves comfy all over the house. I'd tell my husband that to compromise, the house should be locked up... rent a port a potty & skip the tent. Get a few umbrella's instead for shade or even better, have it in the evening so you don't need either. (of course, he'll have to run it by SD!!!)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:30PM
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Did dad ask SD why she wanted party at home? Where I live, all the parties are at kids homes, and no kid wants to feel different.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:33PM
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"Where in the heck do you live where you can rent a Pavillion for the day for $30? "

OP means a pavillion at a local park--you know, those free-standing buildings with a roof and no walls;they usually have some picnic tables underneath. She is not talking about a tent that you rent and have delivered to your house.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:55PM
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I see what you're saying with the fact that the buck should stop with what the parents (note the plural) say should happen, even if it is a party FOR SD. I also see the appeal, for many good reasons, of the party in a pavilion at the park.

But I could see it being a thorny issue if this decision is coming as a change to plans already made. I don't know when commencement at your SD's school is, or how many people she's already told that the party will be at the house, or how far the park is and if that's in any way prohibitive for anyone to get there easily... any of these could be factors making it seem like a more stressful change in plans than the otherwise good idea it seems to be.

One more thing to consider is that I know you said you want to avoid extra hassle, and that's why the pavilion in the park appeals to you. But bear in mind that it will be just as much hassle to clean up the area around the pavilion as it would be to clean up your own yard after such an event, as these parks do expect you to clean up entirely and take all the trash out... and in some cases you have to haul the trash quite a distance to the dumpster, wherever it is on the premises. There is also the matter of hauling back and forth from the car(s) all of the food and serving implements, napkins, tablecloths all of the gifts, plus any coolers or warming devices to keep anything cool/hot, ice for drinks, any decorations or balloons, plus any equipment needed to provide music and any gear needed in case it decides to rain hard. I'm just saying--- you kinda trade some hassles in for other ones and in the longrun it might not be that much of a difference.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:31PM
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You might want to draft a heavy duty clean-up plan so your house will look 'presentable' for the party -- a nice long written list. Then ask SD and Hubby to divide the chores since you will be busy preparing food, and after all, it is THEIR party.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:41PM
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I do understand why you don't want the party at your house. But all the hs grad parties I have attended have been at peoples homes.

I understand that your upset because you feel like you don't have a say about anything. But as far as this goes it is kind of all about sd. It should be her day.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:15PM
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lol, our local park charges $85 for the day... so $30 is still cheap. I thought she was saying if she had it at home, they would have to rent a tent. (plus the inconvenience of having lots of teens/people in & out of your house.)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:32PM
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yah its dh's house too...but the parents were in agreement. Her dh did like it. BUt noooooooo, he needs to get permission from his daughter??? hellooooo get a pair of jewels please!
Its not the sm's way or the highway kkny. The parents are throwing the party for HER. She should be greatful she is even getting one. Not all kids get a grad party. I didn't!
And since it is DAd and his daughters party, Sm here is left out cause she's placed on the side, why should be clean up after them and her friends when she hasn't gottne any appreciation over the years? oh yah druggie daughter has to get her way and bring her drugger boyfriend????
UHHHH no way! not under my roof. And not after the ordeal of attitude.
Poppins, you are already paying for the party and i think the least your dh can do for you is to either accept the outside party OR have the party at home like his daughter wants but THEY or HIM has to clean up afterwards.
oh yah, put a lock on yoru bedroom door if that will make you feel better to not allow any unwanted guests in your bedroom. Nothing wrong with that.
So if you and your hubby cannot agree and he really wants the party at the house, then you state what you want. Ie cleaning, lock on the bedroom door and if anything andi mean anything goes missing or broken he is to replace it immediately at your taste.
HE will be responsible for everything.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:34PM
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