Monday, March 16, 2009

spitting fire

I’m so mad I almost can’t write this post. Almost.

I have often read accounts of other brides being forced to invite people by their parents or their in-laws and pitied said brides. I've often thought how lucky I am to have such an understanding family and future in-laws, unlike those poor, wretched souls. I should have known this would come back to bite me.

Two years ago (yes, literally), when the Mister and I first assembled our tentative guest list, I asked both sets of parents if there was anyone in particular they insisted we invite that we might not think of. I was told there surely wasn’t, and that however we wanted to do it was fine.

We made a big deal out of trying to keep it as small as possible, but still including all the really important people in our lives. (If it were just up to me, it’d be me, the Mister, and our immediate families on some deserted island. The Mister has a big family and they’re close, though, and so we decided to do it close to home and invite all of them. And I’m pleased we did.)

But so apparently The Mister’s Mom took this directive as “FAMILY ONLY, NO BLOOD RELATION, NO CARE,” which it wasn’t. When we said something about The Mister’s cousin’s live-in boyfriend (they’ve been dating for about 6 years or something, and he comes to all the family functions, and as far as I’m concerned, they might as well be married) being invited, she sort of flipped out. She was concerned that she had been spreading the wrong message to the family (which she had) and implied that this was my fault (which it wasn't). In order to placate her, I assured her I’d send her the guest list so she could see what we were thinking and let us know if we had somehow missed someone important. I should have known what I was really saying was “PLEASE, UNIVERSE, SMITE ME.”

She called the Mister the afternoon I sent her the guest list to discuss three people she was concerned we’d left off. Two were a couple that the Mister’s parents are friends with, and I’ve literally never met. One was a creepy dude who comes to the big camping trip the Mister’s extended family does every Memorial Day. I guess he’s a family friend, but he seriously skeezes me out. And if there’s something I don’t want to be on my fucking wedding day, it’s skeezed out. Regardless, she began pointing out people on the list who she didn’t think were as worthy of an invitation as these three (all our friends, natch). The Mister politely informed her that the people on the list were close to us, and her suggested additional invitees were not, and, furthermore, should we have room for three more people, there are many people closer to us than they that would be next on the list. However, we didn’t want to invite three more people at all because, as I mentioned earlier, we are trying to keep it as small as possible.

In fact, I had a full discussion with the Mister’s Mom a few months ago about the importance to me of keeping it small, and how this strong desire was not just money-related (though obviously that’s a constraining factor too). I want to know and love every single person there. I want to be able to talk to everyone. I want it to feel like a party and not some kind of business meeting. I want there to be a NO RANDOMS ALLOWED policy. And, frankly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Not even a little bit. Particularly when I’m paying for the fucking thing. But even if I weren’t.

Cut to this morning. At 8 AM, the Mister received an email from his mother which says:

Your father and I have talked extensively about the guest list that you sent us. I know that you do not feel compelled to follow the standards of common etiquette, but being old, I feel the need to. Because the wedding is so close to home, there are a few people that we need to invite. If the wedding were in Oshkosh, we could get away with not inviting. I checked the [wedding venue] and see that the tent will hold up to 250 people for a dinner, so space should not be an issue. We will be more than happy to pay for these additional guests. If you need additional to also cover the extra invitations, we will be happy to cover that also.

[She then lists 8 additional guests and their mailing addresses, including the couple she wanted to invite over a month ago, but not including the creepy dude. I have not met a single one of them. The Mister hasn’t met at least 2 of them. She then suggests seating arrangements for these guests and closes with…]

I am trying to live with your guidelines of keeping it small so you all can get around to talk to everyone. You do not have to feel compelled to talk to these people, that is our job. We will be happy to entertain them.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I threw what could charitably be referred to as a temper tantrum about it this morning, making the Mister (who is actually on my side here) mad at me. There are so many things about this that INFURIATE ME. Not the least of which is that apparently I do not feel compelled to “follow the standards of common etiquette.” Oh, and that she doesn’t care at all about what I want for my wedding day. Oh, and that she’s pulling this shit exactly 2 months before the wedding (when the invitations, by the way, have already been printed). Oh, and that she suggests that instead of getting to talk to all the guests like we wanted, we just not do that. Oh, and that insists that they “need” to invite these people WHO I’VE NEVER FUCKING MET. No. That is not a need. That is a want. And that is also not. going. to. happen.