Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weddings Make People Crazy

As many of you know, my sister Stacey is getting married. In fact, she's getting married one week from today. My little sister! A wife! So strange. But, by far the strangest part of this whole experience is how people (i.e. relatives) act when there's a wedding in the family. It seems to make everyone crazy.

I'm the only one who got nicer. I spent 11 hours calligraphy-ing (?) the envelopes for my sister's invitations. I spent 4 hours calligraphy-ing (I'm going with this spelling as you know what it means) the place cards for all the the tables. Plus, I made necklaces for the bridal party and let's not forget about the cross-stitch wall hanging. But enough patting myself on the back--you want to hear about the assholes.

I'm not going to bother telling you about my 45 year-old cousin who has changed his mind about attending 5 times. Nor am I going to write about how the groom's boss decided that since his girlfriend wasn't coming (which my mom found out about accidentally--hello uneaten sit-down meal) he wasn't going to bother with the $89 hotel room, but just crash with the groom's other co-workers. No, no! We'll work up the ladder of craziness, starting with my aunt Mary.

My aunt Mary offered to host a pool party on the Saturday afternoon before the wedding. Great. Nice. In a rambling conversation, she told my sister that even though she knows Stacey only likes that "organic stuff" and that feeding her and her friends would cost a fortune, she'd be happy to do it. Ok. Great. Pool party.
So, my mom's friends are making hospitality bags for all the out-of-town guests. Tucked inside each of them is a sheet outlining the weekend's activities such as the rehearsal dinner, the brunch and the pool party. Fine. Except that Aunt Mary called Stacey yesterday to say that she really doesn't want all of the out-of-towners to come to the pool party, only Stacey's closest friends. Which means that my mom's friends need to make an A-list gift-bag insert and a B-list gift-bag insert. And hope they don't mix them up. And hope no one talks to the "B-listers" about the pool party.

Next up is my aunt Barbara. In general, I'm a big fan of Barbara's. She's very creative and crafty. She taught me how to knit and has helped me with more sewing projects than I can count. Plus, she's pretty loud and speaks her mind and I admire people who stick to their convictions. Hell, who have convictions. But--this time her convictions seem a little bizarre.
She offered to have a dinner on Friday night for all the out-of-town guests. Not to be confused with the rehearsal dinner on Saturday night that my sister's in-laws are hosting, this dinner is a casual affair of cold cuts and sliced bread. Aunt Barbara said that all of the out-of-towners were invited. All of the out-of-towners and no one else. The groom's sister who lives in town? Nope--not invited. Stacey finally convinced her that she would feel uncomfortable if I was invited but the groom's sister wasn't. Fine, but that's where Aunt Barbara drew the line. She informed my mother that neither my mom's mom nor my dad's mom were invited. What. The. Fuck. The bride's grandmothers? Not invited? These two old ladies who would probably eat two pieces of turkey between them are not invited because they live in town? My 89-year-old Bubbie is supposed to sit at home on Friday night while all her kids and grandkids gather together without her? How does this even make sense?

And now for the main attraction:
My Auntie Bettie, my Bubbie's sister (and dad's aunt) who lives in Minnesota, was invited to attend the wedding. We love Auntie Bettie. She's the great-aunt who smoked pot with my older cousins several years ago and who told me I needed to get married soon "for all the old ladies." Spunky and kooky, she's a lot of fun to be around and I was looking forward to seeing her. Over 80, Auntie Bettie wanted to take a guest as an escort to help her navigate the way. However, neither of her two sons could go, nor could her niece, Sue Anne. Sue Anne's son, Max, was recruited.
I don't know Max. None of my family in Kansas City does. But, if Auntie Bettie wanted to bring him, that was fine. Where does the craziness fit in, you ask? Well, it started when Auntie Bettie called my Bubbie to say that she'd no longer be attending the wedding. But Max would. Wait. What? No. You can't pick and choose like that. Max was invited as someone else's guest, not actually to the wedding. 20, Max lives in St. Louis and attends a "special" college. I don't know how slow he is, but apparently he's able to live somewhat independently. So, my mother called Max to explain that while she would love to meet him should he be in Kansas City, if he wasn't going to be escorting Auntie Bettie, she didn't think there would be room for him at the wedding. After all, no one's kids were invited. All of my dad's cousins were invited but none of their children--it might seem kind of odd if Max was there. But maybe they could all have lunch together in St. Louis sometime? Fine. My mom thought it was done. Until Sue Anne called my mom, crying. How dare my mom uninvite Max? Didn't she know how much he was looking forward to the wedding? Didn't she know that family was everything? My mom turned to her sister-in-laws for support. Aunt Barbara, the same woman who didn't want our grandmothers to come to a deli dinner said she wasn't going to tell my mom what she thought because she wanted to remain friendly with her. Again, what. the. fuck. Each guest would be invited to the Friday night dinner, the Saturday pool party (well, that was before we knew about the "A-list"), the rehearsal dinner, the sit-down dinner at the wedding on Sunday, and the Monday brunch. That is a lot of money for some random that no one knows.
Stacey stepped in. She called to Sue Anne to try and smooth things over. Sue Anne was even more hysterical talking to Stacey. Didn't Stacey know that Max was there as a representative of her family? That he would be the only one from the Minnesota side. Fine, Stacey told her, relenting. Stacey figured Sue Anne wanted Max to come much more than Stacey wanted to keep him out. Fine. Done. Until two days later when my mom received a note in the mail from Auntie Bettie saying that my mother's true colors were finally apparent and that it was obvious that even after 35 years, she didn't consider them family. Auntie Bettie addressed the note to "Eileen." My mother spells her name "Ileene."

What have I learned from all this crazy shit? Elope. Elope. Elope.


Blogger JessiferSeabs said...

Hey, I live in MN, I could represent the midwestern peeps if you want -- and I"m not crazy, I'm actually really fun. ;-)

Ummm, my "little" brother got married a few years ago, and it was EXACTLY like this. People just go batshit crazy and forget social norms; so much stress, and the blending of two families, blah blah blah.

Anyway, all of the mess leading up to it had me also saying "I'm eloping!" and my parents saying "you're eloping, this is ridiculous!"

But once we were all these togther, it was so much fun that it was all worth it. And the next day, over dinner, my parents said "no way are you eloping, this was way too much fun."

I hope your experience is the same... and hopefully you're gaining a brother in law as wonderful as my sister in law!


11:43 PM, August 26, 2007

Blogger Princess Pointful said...

Hey... found you via Jezebel while wasting valuable worktime.

It is entirely frightening how little weddings have to do to with their whole stated goal (e.g., public declaration of your love), and all come down to random family politics.

1:08 PM, August 29, 2007

Blogger kelly lynn said...

Hey -

Found you via Gawker/Jezebel much like princess pointful, except my worktime is valuable to pretty much nobody.

Love the blog; I'm crossing my fingers for the book. I moved to NYC from St. Louis almost a year ago, and started photoblogging to chronicle the experience. (Okay, so I don't technically live in NY proper, but only because I'm desperately poor.) Unfortunately, it's gone a bit awry and I've gotten lazy, so I console myself with reading blogs much better crafted and more interesting than my own.

The stories about your journey here are great but what's more interesting is when the "I fucking LOVE New York!" posts turn into virginity-lost underwear posts. Your blog has perspective and humanity enough to hold my interest far beyond the midwest transplant aspect.

Way to be.


2:45 PM, August 29, 2007

Blogger Jen said...

How much do I love my readers? SO much! And how much do I love the comments? So much more. Thanks, for posting and thanks for letting me know how you found me. So glad you like the site!

2:58 PM, August 29, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got this one. My boyfriend of 6 years has 3 kids, 2 of which in their late 20's when we met, drove met nuts because of their over protectiveness of their Dad ( my boy friend) who came out of an abusive and empty 10 relationship with Mit. His ex wife, alcoholic, drama queen,(she looks a lot like precious from Lord of the Rings,no kidding)comes to family affairs lit and hides in the corner. Both ex wife and ex girlfriend have been invited to the wedding and it is causing major craziness. The ex wife will not take her daughter anywhere to help- the ex girlfriend when we see her is rude as hell to me, and I am looking forward to this like I need a hole in the head. The bride to be's sibling is married to the "I forgot to use birth control and got pregnant had to quit school lived in my boyfiends father's atttic for 2 years and this should be my wedding" crazies and is trying to control the wedding by ordering dresses for her and her daughter that are completly opposite of what the bride wants.I have decided to not drink at the affair and to have my personal car ready for escape like you would on a bad date. Love your blog!

10:58 AM, August 13, 2011

Blogger Vanessa said...

Great blog. Enjoyed reading your craziness to help with mine.

9:38 AM, October 12, 2012


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