Friday, June 12, 2009

Relatives: Can't live with 'em. Can't kill 'em.

Having been married before, I sort of knew what I was getting into when beginning to arrange this shindig called our wedding. I knew that there would be tantrums (mostly mine), apathy (mostly Subtle's) and family dramas.

In my former life, the family dramas were all played out by ex-husband's mother. In simple terms, she was a nutter. She had declared that I had to have the ex's sister as a bridesmaid. Then she declared that she wouldn't come if we got married in a Catholic church. The final clincher was a week out from the wedding, his sister claims that he sexually abused her when she was about three years old. He would have been five. Did I mention his sister was a nutter as well? A bona fide locked away type nutter. I should have known then that things were not well in that family. But I married into it. And then divorced from it.

This time I was prepared for smooth sailing. No obvious nutters in Subtle's family (well his sister is a little strange - but nothing compared to what I have deal with!) and other than a few financial issues, all seems good from our end as well. And then *my* family decided to go crazy.

I don't know how people in Hollywood who have fifteen marriages do it, mostly Vegas-style with only them and Elvis I suppose, but there is something weird about re-inviting people to your second wedding. Something a little bit deja vu about it all. So in an effort to not "feel weird" and to also keep down numbers, we have opted for (a) a fairly informal wedding reception, canapes, drinks and cake, (b) a registry office service and (c) a small(ish) gathering of friends and family (note the order of importance there!). So that said, of my large extended family, I invited only three aunts, one uncle and two cousins. And this is where it all fell apart.

Apparently, one aunt and uncle were offended that I didn't invite their son and his wife. They were so offended that they rang my parents and hurled all manner of disappointment and bad manners their way. They claimed that I did it maliciously and clearly don't like them, their son, his wife and made intimations about what it might mean for the future of the family.


I thought I was saving them the bother of more presents for their errant relation (me!) who clearly couldn't make good on the first marriage. I also thought, well, I don't see them much, and hell, Subtle isn't inviting ANY of his cousins, so I don't need to really get them all coming. But you know, apparently not. So, in the spirit of trying to preserve the relationship my parent's had with one of their closest relations, I invited the son and daughter-in-law. God knows if any of them will now come. And really, it makes one not really care if they do or not. They weren't upset about not coming because they had wanted to celebrate our day with us - they were upset because they perceived that it was meant as some slight on their family!

So now I am left wondering, will Subtle wonder what he has married into after the behaviour of my kooky family?


Katagal Kapers said...

What is it about weddings that people go so insane over! I expect mild insanity from the intended bride and perhaps her mother but that's it! Why do extended family lose their grip on common sense and propriety and feel they need to stick their oar in. Keep your grip on the oar and resist the temptation to belt errant relatives over the head and all the best for the day and for the rest of your life together

Anonymous said...

I am SO with you - it's rough. But you will get through it, and it will be worth it.

Katja said...

I'm there with you, love. But 'twill all be worth it - just close your eyes and keep thinking of the shoes, ooops, I mean Mr Subtle!