- Okole Maluna
- 8 years ago
- Wedding: June 2011
As a fairly laid back and grown woman in her early 30’s, I considered myself “above” Sibling Rivalry. Then my text message buzz announced to me that my baby sister was engaged. I was genuinely happy, proud, and excited for her. And when she called and told me she was also expecting, I was still genuinely happy, proud, and excited for her. You can even add “supportive” to that list. When she needed advice on how to break the news to Mom and Dad, I offered to be there when her and her boyfriend talked to our parents—to act as a buffer (and to remove all ammunition from Dad’s numerous firearms throughout the house).
You see, our family is a very conservative and traditional one. And Catholic. And Filipino. So of course she was terrified of their reaction to the news that their unemployed and notoriously irresponsible 22 year old daughter was pregnant. And not married. In that order.
Mom took the news better than Dad because she was now Grandma to be. Dad became a little more supportive once my sister and her FI came up with their plan: he would take the ASVAB then they’d get married and he’d enlist into the Navy a month or so after the baby was born.
So I helped my sister figure out her pre-natal care. I called at least every other day to check in on her (we are a 6 hour flight away from each other). I also called Mom to make sure to cut her a little slack here and there and encouraged Mom to enjoy being a part of pregnancy/baby planning.
Then two weeks ago, my text message alert told me that they set a wedding date. September 25—of this year. It’s terrible, but my first thought was “Wait, you mean like 6 weeks from now? Before my wedding?” So I took those thoughts, buried them and locked them away, then focused on being a good older sister. I gave her suggestions on how to keep things affordable. Everything from where to buy a dress, how to dip Mom & Dad’s first wedding bands so that it was white gold (so they didn’t have to buy rings), and furiously researched cute, easy DIY projects.
Then out of nowhere, creeped out a hint of Bridezilla-ness. I began to notice that every time I called my Mom, she was too busy talking about my sister’s wedding to ask about how my planning was going. Then, when I’d shoot her an email or a link for her input on a wedding idea for me, she would completely ignore it and reply about something related to either my sister’s wedding or pregnancy. Then my sister–the baby sister that I have always stood up for, backed up, and practically raised–began giving me attitude! “Don’t call Mom unless it’s to talk about my wedding or the baby” “Mom and Dad can’t give you any money for your wedding because I need it for mine” (I never asked for their money, and they didn’t offer–FI and I are doing this the grown-up way–on our own). I was flabbergasted. My mantra became “be the bigger person, let it go, be supportive.” Then yesterday, the camel’s back broke. In like 8 different places. I called Mom to ask if she could mail me the locket that Dad gave her the day I was born.
Mom: “Why? What for?”
Camel (aka ME): “I just want to borrow it. I want to have the florist attach it to the stem of my bouquet.”
Mom: “Huh? Sorry. We’re trying to figure out what food to serve for your sister’s wedding”
So I talk Sister’s Wedding Food conversation and help them come up with fun backyard bbq food. (“Be the bigger person, let it go, be supportive.”) Then:
Camel: “So, can I borrow the locket?”
Mom: “Why again?”
Camel: “I want it to be my ‘Something Old’ for the wedding. I think that’ll be a great sentimental touch, don’t you?”
Mom: “Too bad your dad didn’t give me something when your sister was born so that she could do the same thing.”
And that was the last time I talked to my mom.
I get it. I really do. Her wedding is a month away with barely any time to plan, while mine is 10 months away. She needs my mom a lot more than I do right now because both she and her boyfriend make about $400 a month combined. My sister is young, expecting her first child, and probably hormonal. I still truly am happy, proud, and excited for her. But please please pretty please can I get a little excitement and attention too? Before all this, my mother was always excited to talk to me. Now I’m lucky if she even remembers that I’m speed dial #3. I don’t mind that they’re taking some of my wedding ideas and incorporating it into hers. I just want a little bit of “Oh, yeah honey, that’s a good idea! By the way, how was your day? How are you and FI?”
The second I got engaged, I promised myself I would not turn into the whiny, bratty, attention-whore bride, but dammit, I NEED A NEW MANTRA! “Be the bigger person, let it go, be supportive” is just not working anymore. Mature, laid-back Me wants to call my mother and explain my frustrations. Over-analytical Me says that if I do that, then I’m being overly dramatic and bratty over something that is not a big deal. Passive-aggressive Me wants to just stop calling and stop involving my mom in all wedding plans. And FI (Bless this poor bastard’s heart) says my wedding is the one thing in my entire life that I am totally allowed to be a brat about.
What are your thoughts? Do I have a right to feel a little bit hurt? Do you have a new mantra suggestion? Would you be a little bit bummed if a sibling took away your “Wedding Thunder” or am I slowly becoming the attention-whore bride I swore I would never become?