- 10 years ago
- Wedding: May 2010
My wedding planning has gone from wonderful to sh*tty just days before my wedding, all because my sister can’t stop being a selfish b*tch.
My eldest sister doesn’t get along with anyone in the family, because she has an enormous sense of self-righteous entitlement and contempt for the rest of us. Any time someone tries to stand up to her, she screams at the top of her lungs about how selfish and insipid and bratty YOU are. I thought after 45 years and 2 children, she’d have some iota of self-restraint, but no.
Against my better judgement, I asked her if she’d like her daughter to be my flower girl. My niece is really too old to be a flower girl, but her age wasn’t important to me. My sister said she didn’t care. I should have taken the chance to back out then, but I was doing my best for the umpteenth time in my life to do something nice for her, and give her a role in my wedding by proxy, since she’d see a direct role in my wedding as a burden. She said as much when she was a Bridesmaid or Best Man at our middle sister’s wedding.
The next thing I know, she’s calling me up, saying she’s bringing her daughter’s friend as a plus 1. I’m not having a plus 1 wedding, and she knows it. It went like this:
“Sister, my daughter has a sleepover and it can’t be rescheduled, so her friend is coming to the wedding. By the way, my daughter can’t come to the rehearsal because her friend is coming over then, and she can’t make it to the hair appointment you set up because her friend is sleeping over. But I’ll drop her and her friend off while you’re getting your hair and makeup done, so you can take them both to the wedding.”
I was so shocked that something like, “ok” was the only thing that came out of my mouth. Of course the moment I got over the shock I called her back and explained that I didn’t think she should have planned a sleepover during my wedding, and that I wouldn’t be driving the kids to the wedding. As the bride, I have other things I have to do.
Then all hell opened up and spawned my sister in her usual light:
She SCREAMED at me for being a selfish b*tch, who only thinks of herself and refuses to have a relationship with her own niece.
Uh, I thought bonding with my niece was inherent in including her in the wedding party. My sister’s insistence in bringing a playmate for the flower girl counteracts any ability on my part to have a bonding experience with her, since her attention will be on the friend, and not on her role in her aunt’s wedding. And since it’s my wedding, I give myself permission not to babysit the preteens.
So I uninvited my sister to the wedding.
This wasn’t a rash act on my part. I’ve been doing my best to keep myself out of her life and vice versa for the past ten years, because all my attempts at trying to have a sisterly relationship with her are met with contempt and self-righteous entitlement.
Like all the times I cooked and hosted Thanksgiving dinner for her and the extended family of 14 in my tiny apartment, without her lending a single chair from her spare set in the garage, which our uncle gave her. So I borrowed chairs from three different friends so that she could have a place to sit. Ditto for the utensils, plates, and baster. And she refused to say, “thanks” at any point, since she felt entitled to my slaving over a hot stove for two days on her behalf.
And if I happen to ask her to do the smallest thing, like ask her misbehaving son to stop knocking over the medical equipment hooked up to my mother when she was staying with me while recovering from surgery, my sister flies into a self-righteous rage and SCREAMS at me for being selfish, etc. I wasn’t able to leave my mom’s side, so I had to endure my sister screaming at me at the top of her lungs for another half hour before I figured out a way to get her to leave. Did I mention my sister, who’s a doctor, never once came to the hospital in the two weeks I was there helping care for my mother?
I take responsibility for having reached out to her, in asking her daughter to be my flower girl. I should have known better, since all the other times I reached out to her were met with the exact same behavior. Silly me, I thought ten years might have made a dent her her wall of contempt. But no, her contempt will outlive us both. She will take it to her grave.
While I was perfectly happy to be done with her forever, my mom took up the cause, saying I agreed to have the flower girl’s friend at my wedding and to shuttle them to the wedding venue across town, so I should. Never mind that being a chauffeur and babysitter is not the bride’s job, I couldn’t believe my mom was siding with my sister and making the same argument as her, that because out of initial shock I said, “ok” that I’m not allowed to say, “actually, no.”
I’m paying for my wedding and rehearsal dinner and sunday brunch and half my bridesmaid’s dresses and my mom’s hairstyling and bridesmaids manicure and have spent well over $300 for bridesmaid and parent gifts, and that’s not including the $300 I’m planning on spending on my mom’s gift. Did I mention I had to quit my assistant job in order to get married because I couldn’t get the time off, and that my entire savings went to pay for the wedding?
So my mom’s argument that I need to make nice with the sister and invite her to the wedding so that my mom doesn’t have to feel embarrassed to admit to her siblings that her daughters aren’t getting along, has no weight with me. I don’t care that my mom blames me, that my sister blames me, that for all I know, my brother in law and niece blame me. It’s my wedding, and I refuse to have a screaming shrew who has nothing but contempt for me at my wedding, ruining the last vestige of what might otherwise be a happy day.
I’ve lost two days to this family squabble, which makes me more angry than anything else, since that was time I planned on researching readings, making adjustments to the ceremony and writing my vows. I’ll have to do without readings at my ceremony and I’m not much in the mood to write sweet nothings to my fiance at this point.
He’s been pretty good about supporting me in my wish for my sister to not attend my wedding, but as soon as he got me opened up to the possibility of the brother in law and niece coming, the family started screaming at me all over again.
In my opinion, my sister is an abuser. Screaming contemptuous and belittling epithets is as much abuse as any other form, though more subtle because everyone can just brush it off as a spat and nothing more. But decades of constant screaming is abuse in my book. She resembles my dad and his siblings in that respect, all abusers in their various ways, and I’ve taken enough abuse from all of them.
So my piece of advice to anyone who is considering giving in to other people’s requests, just because it’s a wedding, is: Don’t.
Many people will try to persuade you that it’s your duty to accommodate others on your wedding day. You may feel conflicted about paying attention to your gut feeling or think you’re being selfish for not compromising. You’re not selfish, and you’re not a bad daughter, daughter in law, sister, aunt, cousin, friend. You’re the bride, and this is your wedding.
Of all the days gone by and all the days to come in the future, this is the one day you are allowed to be happy. Own your happiness and whatever it takes to keep it. Don’t let anyone take it away.