DH and I are finally having our house warming party in a couple weeks (almost two years after we bought our house) and it feels really good to know that we are not inviting party-poopers like NMIL and EFIL. Granted, they will never know that they've missed out on the festivities, so the fact that they aren't invited really won't have much of an effect on them. But it means a lot to me that we've made the choice not to invite them. One of the things I was always struck by concerning the behaviors of my husband's parents was their complete lack of consideration. These are the kind of people who didn't RSVP, or who waited until the very last minute to do so. These are the kind of people who would RSVP that they would be attending and then not show up. These are the kind of people who would show up late, who would not help or even offer to help, and who would return our invitations with expectations of their own.
At each and every event we invited them to, DH's FOO behaved rudely and or inappropriately because they just didn't care. When they came to the hospital to see our newborn daughter in 2009, L videotaped the entire visit without asking my permission first. Talk about intrusive. Why they bothered videotaping it anyway, I'll never know - I doubt that they'll ever watch it. The least they could have done was sent us a copy. But I doubt the likelihood of that happening as well.
For our wedding, DH wanted his parents to be involved in some way in our wedding, so we asked EFIL and L to make a dish for dinner. They agreed. But two hours before they were supposed to be there, EFIL called my mother to ask how many people were going to be at the wedding because he had no idea how much food to make. Luckily, my mother was prepared for EFIL not to be, and we had plenty of food. To top off his unpreparedness, EFIL didn't even make the dish that DH had requested, he made something that he wanted instead.
NMIL never offered genuine help for anything. When she did offer help, it was always too little too late and came with some serious strings attached. A few days days before our wedding, she called to ask if we had a photographer and if we wanted her to pay for it. Everyone who has ever had or been to a big event like a wedding knows that it is impossible to get a photographer mere days before, and that even if you could, choosing a photographer is a very personal choice. NMIL wanted us to use her photographer, no doubt because it would make her look good. I ended up telling her that, if she was interested in helping us pay for the photography, she could send us a check for X amount of dollars. I took care of all the arrangements and used a photographer I had spoken to months before, whom I knew on a personal level and had worked with before. Even though all she did was send us a check, NMIL still tried to take credit for "taking care of the photographer" by informing DH's FOO at the wedding. It was all a lie. She no more "took care of the photographer" than I sewed my own wedding dress.
Every single event these people attended, big or small, was tainted by their disdain and tinged with their resentment. They weren't happy for us, they never were - and it showed.
So I'm glad they won't be coming to our housewarming party. Instead of having to deal with all the drama that comes with their presence, we'll be surrounded by people who love us and are truly happy for our happiness. There won't be any rude late arrivals or people taking credit for things they ought not take credit for. There won't be any pouting sister-in-laws or NMILs pulling my husband aside to whisper that he isn't proud enough of them. There won't be any of the wrong dishes being served or phone calls days before the event where the caller tries to guilt us into changing the date of the party because it clashes with their plans. There won't be a table of supposed adults gossiping about which of the guests they think have had boob jobs. (That happened at our wedding, believe it or not. SIL went up to DH during a lull and whispered behind her hand, "L has fake boobs! She got a boob job.") No one will have to give up expensive concert tickets in order to attend, and then spend the next year trying to make us feel bad for the choice they made.
It will be wonderfully drama-free. The way it's supposed to be.