- 6 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
I have an odd situation that I’d like to handle in the most polite way possible. My husband and I got married almost a year ago. Throughout our engagement his parents were all kinds of crazy and their constant refrain was, “If WE were planning this party it would be XYZ! In the country our parents are from it’s always done this way and that way!” We suggested to them a few times that since my parents were throwing our wedding (as the bride’s parents traditionally do), giving them nearly everything they rudely demanded (for example, having more guests from their side than mine, my husband’s, and my parents’; demanding a kosher menu before finally revealing they would have a grand total of zero kosher guests and are not kosher themselves), but that still wasn’t enough to stop them from trying to make us all so miserable, perhaps they would want to go ahead and throw their own wedding in that other country and do whatever they wanted. (“It’s not the money! I’ll buy this whole city! We have so many friends we couldn’t possibly limit our guest list to 200!”) Of course, his parents declined, declaring that there could only be one wedding and a second celebration just wouldn’t do.
Interestingly, once my husband’s older brother and fiance were planning their wedding, his parents did a 180. They paid for that party, but also didn’t impose their enormous guest list or ridiculous demands this time around. AND they decided that throwing a second party in the other country was all of a sudden a fantastic idea. After a few months of planning, his brother came to us and said that this second party should really be a double second wedding, celebrating the marriages of both brothers, since they both took place in the last year.
We were obviously second thoughts and I know that we were included because they would all look terrible if we were left out, and so I tried to graciously turn down the belated offer to be a pawn in a white dress to make them all look like nice/reasonable people. Our actual wedding was perfect and it happened almost a year ago. I didn’t need a second/joint wedding months later now that his parents all of a sudden decided it was a great idea in yet another offensive spectacle of hypocrisy – making the lives of my brother in law and his now wife super easy in all the areas they tortured me and my husband for so long.
But fine. Apparently, like so many things, this was not up to me. I agreed to be a part of this event. Invitations arrived with the names of both couples, in script, prominently at the top. It was a traditional wedding invitation, identifying the party to be a celebration of both marriages.
At the door to the venue was a lockbox for gifts/cards, most in cash according to this country’s customs, to be deposited. A few days after the “wedding,” his parents told us they had decided to give our gifts to charity. Since I have never known them to be involved/interested in any charities, I said what a nice idea and asked which one? His mom said, “Oh, you know, like a worthy cause,” trailing off. His dad than clarified that gifts for us from guests that came to our wedding but not to my husband’s brother’s wedding, would be given just to the brother instead.
Aside from the fact that I’m pretty sure the charity idea is lie (you can’t just give cash to a charity, they couldn’t even name a single charity, i suggested a specific charity all four of us have been involved in and that organization has not received a dime, etc.), I’m pretty sure the only people who should decide what happens to a gift are the giver and receiver. AKA, if someone hands my husband’s parents an envelope with my husband’s name on it, they should give it to my husband instead of stealing it for themselves or his brother. Doing this is not only bizarre and wrong, but highlights that this party was never for/about us in the first place, and they should have just left us out of it! Why put our names on an invitation and pretend you’re throwing us a wedding only to make it all about you and then steal presents?
Since we are very lucky and really don’t need/care about the gifts, this is annoying for aforementioned “pawn” reasons, and because now, they have done something crazy and used me in this scheme that also makes me look bad – how can I possibly thank people for gifts I’m unaware of? Their guests believe that they gave us a gift, and I never said thank you/wrote a note. THIS is the main issue. There were 5 physical gifts which his parents did decide to let us keep, and I promptly wrote notes but waited about 3 weeks for his parents to send me the address/gift list so I could send them. Included in this gift list were a few additional names and cash amounts. I have no idea what happened to this money. If they were actually going to donate it I could write a note saying thank you so much for the gift that’s been donated to x organization, but as it stands, what can I say?
Basically, how do you thank someone for a gift you never received?