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Don't bother with an RSVP.... I KNOW you'll be there.

If you read my previous post, you'll know Big V's attendence was required last-minute for a family dinner. He went to said dinner, returned home and announced, "I guess I have to be to church tomorrow by ten o'clock, and I'm supposed to wear my dress pants, orange shirt and tie." Attendance was required, yet again, last-minute, for a nephew's first communion. Now, I'm not Catholic, but I'm assuming notification was given a little more than thirteen hours ahead of time.

"My precious child, you shall be receiving for the first time, the sacrament of the Eucharist, tomorrow morning at ten. You may now invite your family to attend. And go - !"

Like that didn't leave a bug up my butt. Our precious we're-not-planning-a-thing-and-spending-all-day-together was shot. We did manage to spend Sunday together doing yard work. I burnt my arms to a crisp helping dig out and remove piece-by-piece an old brick patio. We'll have to wait until another day to fill in the void and seed it. (See, THAT'S why we wanted Saturday AND Sunday!) (... and what's with requiring a specific outfit? "Wear something nice" should suffice.)

He was then notified that Memorial Day he should plan to be in attendence to watch a parade and eat in a park for a two year old's birthday. A week later his attendence is required for a pre-school graduation. And a week from that his attendence is required for a kindergarten graduation. (On a positive note, they're starting to give longer than a 24-hour notice.)

I'm all for family support, but monopolizing the calendar should not be allowed. It also makes me wonder when the time will come that our family will be put first, allowing us a position where we are grown up enough to decide what events we can attend and which ones we have to pass on.

In my family an event is thrown out there and invitations are extended... but no one hates you if you don't show up. We know lives are busy. We understand you have to balance two sets of extended families with what you desire for your own immediate family. We won't disown you, yell at you, make you feel like crap, for not being able to make it. In fact, we probably won't even ask why you can't make it. We figure that's your business and assume you can make your own decisions. Shoot, Big V is still fending off comments of utter disappointment because he failed to attend a third grader's State Fair over a year ago. (This was when 3rd Grader researched the State of Arizona and made a poster. All the 3rd graders - each having researched a different state - then hung their posters up in the school gym to display their hard work. Some students brought in things that represented their state... rumor has it someone was bringing in guacamole! And V missed it... shame on him!)

I guess it's the fact that in V's family you simply cannot miss any family event. Ever. You think I'm joking? His sister - pregnant with her fourth child - had a due date the same exact day the Queen Bee wanted to go out to dinner for her birthday. All week leading up to the dinner comments were made: "I just know you're going to ruin my birthday." (As if any expectant mother can control when she naturally goes into labor.) But sure enough, that afternoon at a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment she was notified that she was about 3 centimeters dialated. Knowing dinner was that night at 7pm, she opted to forego the hospital and wing it....Between the salad and the main course she finally announced she couldn't take it anymore and to the hospital they flew. It took about ten minutes to get to the hospital... twenty minutes after that her son was born.

Now, I ask you, if you can't even decline a family event to give birth is there any way at all to miss anything without being the family pariah?

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