Difficult Prom situation for dd...

(67 Posts)
emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 17:07:48

Sorry if this rambles on a bit, I will try and keep it concise, but need to try and give some back story and get feedback on how to deal with a situation that dd is in, and I have been dragged into...

Dd1's group of friends took another girl in the same year (let's call her Jane) under their wing about 18 months ago when she was subjected to some horrible bullying by some of the other girls in the year. I was very proud of dd and her friends for doing this.

Over time, dd has mentioned that Jane is very socially awkward, and that she sort of "hangs round" with the group but very very rarely actually speaks to them, or joins in the conversation. They do include her, but she just doesn't say much. When she does say anything, it's a bit random, and often blowing her own trumpet about how good she is at X or Y. The whole situation is awkward, but they are mainly nice girls so have just accepted her and got on with it.

However, Prom is just round the corner, and dd1's friends and wider group of friends have, for a long time, agreed that they would go to one particular girl's house to get ready, and then get a limo from there. They stupidly left the limo organising to someone who isn't very organised, and it has fallen through. Luckily, the same girl's mum is a bus driver with her own minibus and they are going in this.

All of this has apparently been discussed in front of Jane, but she has never joined in the conversation, or asked whether there is room for her in the minibus. Dd1 & her close group of friends have always assumed that Jane was included in the plans, but the wider group apparently don't like Jane and don't want her there, and have given away the last seat in the minibus to someone else, because "she actually asked us if there was room and Jane didn't ask".

All of this has left dd and her smaller group of friends in a very difficult position. Jane keeps asking them what's happening, and they don't want to hurt her, so were looking into organising some other kind of car from the house for the 4 of them (including Jane) so that they could still all get ready together, but Jane wouldn't be left out of the transport.

However, the girl whose house it is has said she doesn't want Jane getting ready there. I am good friends with this girl's mum, and have said I will talk to her about this to see if she can tell her dd not to be so childish, (I know she would be mortified to think someone will be left out and upset), but dd is not happy for me to do this, as she says everyone will hate her if I do. I said surely if Jane just came along then no-one would actively turn her away, but she says she doesn't feel she can invite her to someone else's house without clearing it with that person first.

All of this seems to me to be incredibly childish, petty and bitchy, which I have said to dd, but she really feels torn between not wanting to leave Jane out and not having to change her plans for the Prom and miss out on being with her friends (friends from primary school) for the sake of keeping 1 girl happy who she isn't particularly close to. I can see both sides, and don't want dd to end up having her night spoilt.

To add to the difficulty, I have had an email from Jane's mum (who I am friendly with as Jane is also good friends with dd2, through their singing group) asking if I know what's going on. She has, of course, been very worried about her dd over the past year or so, and has been grateful for my dd and her friends' "reaching out" to Jane. I don't want to have to tell her that Jane has been left out of the plans, but, again, I do really feel strongly that my dd shouldn't have to change all her plans and have her night spoilt just because she is the only caring one in her group of friends.

So (finally!), my question is, what on earth do we do?

adagio Sun 16-Jun-13 17:47:06

Didn't want to read and run, but as my DD is coming up six months old and I didn't turn up to my prom (not even sure if there was one…!) I have precisely zero advice.

Bump for you in the hopes someone slightly more experienced can be of assistance!

FredKiller Sun 16-Jun-13 17:51:07

Have a 'pre-prom party' round yours for DD, Jane and a few other close pals? You could make a big fuss with some music, new make up, nice snacks, maybe a bottle of weak fizz or something. Then book them a cab.

Your DD sounds lovely btw.

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 17:56:31

I would happily have the pre-prom here, but the plan has always been to go to the other girls' house and have a drink (one!) there and photos taken. Dd doesn't want to miss out on this just to keep Jane happy, but feels guilty for how this will all affect Jane.

The way I'm feeling at the moment, I would happily pay the full ridiculous price of a limo for the 4 of them from here, as I, too, feel bad for Jane, but feel irrationally annoyed that my dd seems to be paying the price for being a nice, caring girl while the rest of them (well, the majority) just seem oblivious to anyone else's feelings.

Dd also thinks they are lying about the last minibus seat being taken, as they say it is a "special" minibus which only has 11 seats. However, other than accusing them of lying, which would lead to all sorts of problems, she can't do anything about this.

This has really got me all churned up, stupid, I know, but really want dd to have a wonderful time, she has worked so hard at her exams, and is (mostly!) a lovely, caring, delightful girl.

Dackyduddles Sun 16-Jun-13 17:56:38

I agree with dd in so much as the person whose house they are getting dressed at has to invite girl. She can't just arrive.

Does that mum know one person is left out?

If this can't work I suggest girls mum take her to prom but your dd & mates promise to meet her at door at x o'clock so she doesn't enter alone. Then it's up to the girl to join in.

You really cannot drag a horse to water. I think you should be proud of dd and mates. They are really making an effort.

Dackyduddles Sun 16-Jun-13 17:58:17

I think orig plans need to stay in place as much as poss. I agree with ur gut on that.

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 18:04:57

I don't think the mum of the house where they are getting ready has any clue about any of this (as I say, she's a good friend of mine, but is incredibly flaky / ditzy). I know for sure she would hate to think her dd was involved in deliberately excluding someone (although I feel she is a little blind about her dd, who has been friendly with dd since they were 5, but has caused dd some problems over the years with her self-centred ways)

Perhaps I need to talk to her, stressing to her to not tell her dd I've said anything & see if she can get her dd to invite Jane. I will see the mum on Tuesday, so can hopefully speak to her then.

In the meantime, I have to respond to the email to Jane's mum & have no idea what to say. Don't want to have to spell it out that her dd's social awkwardness has yet again led to a situation where her dd is left out and unwanted sad

Tortington Sun 16-Jun-13 18:06:27

i think the solution is to find out exactly how many seats the minibus has. that wont get anyone into trouble just asking that question.

bowlingforsoup Sun 16-Jun-13 18:08:12

It sounds like this Jane girl is very very shy. I was the same at school i was always scared to ask if i was included in plans because I'd been bullied and was scared of being humiliated again by being told no or being mocked. I was very quiet and only turned up to things If it was clear i was invited or included. I missed out on a lot.

The best thing your DD could do, in my opinion, is invite Jane herself to your house to get ready alongside your DD. Let the other girl know how it feels to be left out and she will soon change her mind about leaving Jane out. If she doesn't want to do this give her some advice that could help her persuade the other girl to change her mind. Let her remind the other girl that Jane was bullied etc.

If shes socially awkward (like me) the best thing for your DD and friends to do is spell things out to her.

Your DD sounds lovely and you should be proud of her for thinking to include someone that others are happy to just leave out.

Hope this helps

LondonBus Sun 16-Jun-13 18:13:50

You need to speak to the mum of the house where they are planning to get ready.

I too would be tempted to pay for a limo for the four of them.

I would possibly put it to the girl of the house they are getting ready in that if Jane can't get ready there, then Jane will go in a limo.

See what happens then.

Tortington Sun 16-Jun-13 18:15:05

if your getting ready party is better, they will want to come to yours.

get a mobile hairdresser for two hours ask for chip in of £10 - which is considerably cheaper than what i paid for DD at an actual hairdressers - and considerably cheaper than the limo you are considering even if you deided to fork out for the hairdressers cost in total - once you have confirmed that the seats on the minibus are 12 ( becuase odd numbers is..well odd? isn't it?!)

99p face masks
music
champagne flutes ( plastic from poundland) bucks fizz
balloons, (£land)

get the mini bus to pick up at yuors then go on to the the other girls house

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 18:15:26

Not sure who to ask how many seats the minibus has - dd has been told by the girl whose mum owns it that there are 11 seats. I don't know the girl or the mum. For me to make a point of contacting this woman would in itself imply I think they are lying. Dd thinks the girl is lying, but that will only become obvious on the night.

There are not just dd, Jane and the other girl involved; if dd invited Jane here and they got ready together that would just a) "ruin" dd's night (yes, I know it probably wouldn't but she is 16 & this is their only Prom) and b) solve the problem for all of the rest of the group, those who care about upsetting Jane would think "good old emsiewill's dd, she's sorted it for us" and the others wouldn't care as they only care about having a good time themselves.

The answer of course is for Jane to ask the minibus girl directly. But if she could have found the courage to do that in the first place, then we wouldn't be in this situation. She is incredibly shy, and I know she suffers because of it, missing out on things etc as you say bowlingforsoup

Honestly, I thought we'd left all of this stupid "I don't want to play with her, so you can't be my friend if you do" behind at primary school.

NatashaBee Sun 16-Jun-13 18:16:46

I would talk to the girls mum who's house they were going to, if only to let her know how awkward Jane is finding things and what a difficult situation you're in with Jane's mum. This sounds really tough, I honestly don't know what I'd do.

monikar Sun 16-Jun-13 18:17:15

I agree with finding out exactly how many seats the minibus has. 11 does not sound very large for a minibus. You say you would be happy to pay the price of a limo so would it be possible to organise another minibus yourself from this friend's house, and pay for it yourself?

You and your DD sound like you have made every effort to include Jane. I too would be proud that she was setting the excellent example of including someone who the others are not too bothered about.

lborolass Sun 16-Jun-13 18:17:56

What a difficult situation, you and your DD sound like lovely people.

Could you ask the mum of the pre-prom house how many seats there are in the bus as Jane's mum has asked you to check that Jane has a seat. Hopefully she will see that Jane is included in all the arrangements and have a quiet word with her own DD if necessary

I've no idea what age your (very lovely sounding) DD is, but as you mention alcohol, I presume they're 16, 17 or 18? In which case I would question why you and "jane's" mum are so involved? Surely it's up to the girls to sort out?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 18:26:51

You and your dd are really wonderful!

I don't know how you specifically organise it but I have a feeling that if dd (and you) don't make some sort of stand over this then her enjoyment of the evening and also the memories of it will be always tainted...that she did not do the right thing by her shy friend.

I think a quiet word with the mum first off with the splinter party as a back up plan. Meanwhile, your dd needs to spell it out to shy friend...but also the other girls about just how unpleasant they are being. I realise that last bit is a hard thing for a teenage girl to do.

Good luck smile

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 18:31:54

They are 16, end of year 11 prom.

I had no intention of getting involved, and I knew this situation was brewing a while ago, as dd told me Jane kept asking her what was happening, but wouldn't ask the actual people who were organising things (as dd kept telling her to), but I have been directly approached by Jane's mother (which I feared might happen), so can't just not be involved now.

I imagine Jane's mum is involved because she is worried about her dd, who she has seen go through being bullied and having a generally difficult time at school over the last 5 years. Her email to me expressed desperation to try and work out what is going on to ensure her dd has a good time at Prom...

Also, dd has asked me what she should do - much as I've told her to try and sort it, sometimes even 16 year olds need help with difficult social situations.

Kleinzeit Sun 16-Jun-13 18:39:07

I can understand that you object to your DD and her friends being manipulated by this controlling girl, who first gives away someone else’s place in transport on the feeble grounds that she didn’t ask, and then admits she doesn’t want her to come anyway. But you don't want to go in all guns blazing....

You could speak to the other girl’s mother about a possible misunderstanding over transport which might lead to a problem for Jane that needs to be sorted out, and offer to help with extra transport from her house so everyone can go. This might solve things without offending anyone and without dropping your DD right in it or spoiling her evening. If you don’t even mention that the other girl told your DD that she doesn’t want to invite Jane, then the other girl wont be able to blame your DD for saying anything, it will all be between her and her mother.

Failing that, your DD could offer Jane and her close friends a get-together at your house before the party, and a lift (or even a limo!) from you. Or your DD could just give way to the little madam with no manners….

Jimmybob Sun 16-Jun-13 18:45:34

Gosh what a difficult situation. It sounds like your daughter is in uneviable situation of trying to keep everyone happy. I wonder if it is worth her and her friends asking themselves this question...when they look back on this night in x years time do they want the memory tainted by leaving Jane out?
They have done a great thing taking Jane under their wing(s) and one or two things are going to happen if they don't invite her...Jane will be at the prom and they will feel bad when they see her or she won't go and then they will feel bad the next time they see her (and probably will avoid talking about the prom) and it will lessen the enjoyment afterwards. I suspect Jane is probably a bit annoying and doesn't know how to fit in so I do understand where they are coming from and just including her a bit (in such a big group) is actually a small thing to do. Leaving her will be a big thing (as it is proving).
BTW - I would be proud of your daughter - she sounds like a really caring girl. Hope mine turns out like this.

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 18:47:08

I think the way to go is to say to my friend (pre-prom house girl's mum) that Jane thinks she isn't invited, but of course she is, isn't she and does she know whether there is enough room on the minibus for Jane, cos if not, I will arrange something else to go from their house, and dd, Jane and the 2 "nice" friends can go in it (won't refer to them as "the nice ones" though, as it doesn't include her dd!)

I know my friend will say "of course she's invited" (as she is a nice woman!), and hopefully will discuss with her dd as though it's all done and dusted. We may then as well get to the bottom of the number of minibus seats.

In the meantime, I think I will tell Jane's mum that her dd needs to ask minibus girl directly whether there is a seat for her. It's then up to Jane's mum to deal with her daughter's social issues, rather than me trying to do it by stealth through mydd (which isn't fair to my dd)

I know dd (and I, I guess) come out of this as the "better" people, but it sometimes feels like it would be easier to just not be bothered about other people and overthink things all of the time.

emsiewill Sun 16-Jun-13 18:49:26

The group of girls is definitely split between those who do care about leaving Jane out and not wanting to be that kind of person, and those who don't give a shit and just care about "having a good time" (and therefore won't have the memory tainted by leaving her out, as it's "not their problem")

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 18:51:26

That sounds like a great plan!

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 18:52:34

That pesky conscience!! But it does make you better people in the end!

Here's hoping karma exists

Jimmybob Sun 16-Jun-13 18:53:35

I agree - great plan! Hope it all works out.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now