Saturday, February 6, 2010

Things Were Simpler Back Then Right?

I have long struggled with my relationship with my older brother. I can't explain why. I don't actually know what our deal is. I have my theories of course, but I am not aiming to write a blog post filled with negativity towards my brother and unfortunately, that is all I feel right now. Long story short I got married, he lives in London. I wanted to tell him over skype but the time change proved too much for me. I wrote an email...a week silence. My family is not known for their communication skills. I am not sure why, but we seem to be communication retarded sometimes. At the important times...someone is ill or depressed or has a sky high PSA and we just keep it to ourselves. Anyway, I am being told that I have "storybook" expectations of my brother. I disagree. I think in the digital age when people don't even take a leak without checking their email (and my brother is one of those guys), a week is too long to not respond in some fashion to news that a family member got married. Call me crazy!

So, beyond the struggle with him specifically, I find the hubbs and I at the point in the story when we are forced to decide who is invited to the ceremony in September. There are a few cousins and such who we have known since day one but we still just don't intend to include in the "inner circle" ceremony on Friday. It's not a measure of how much we love them its just that we can't invite EVERYONE and we have plans to party and celebrate with everyone who wants to come on Saturday and Sunday. It IS in some part, OUR day. So, the issue is that there are several very good friends who we have become close with over the past year who we would love to have participate in Friday. However, we feel obligated to give family first invitations. Why is this? If we have family members who we "SHOULD" invite who we are not as close to as our friends or one step further, if we have family we don't want to see do we have to "stay open" and invite them? Why does our wedding day have to be the charnal grounds for growth and being the bigger person? Why do we HAVE to feel obligated to invite people we don't wish to "deal with" on that particular day? It's such a loaded situation. Its not that we don't want to see the cousins or family or friends, its just that there are people who are easy to be around and there are people who are not. Why does a wedding mean that you have to invite people just because you share DNA? What is it about being "family" that means you let jerks off the hook, overlook bad behavior, or compromise what YOU want to keep the imaginary peace? It seems so opposite!

Anyway, I think this is a super hot topic. People have lots of different opinions about who you have to extend an invite to and why. I would love to hear those opinions. Not specific to my particular situation. I will handle that, but specific to experiences you have had or how you would anticipate handling the guest list for anythng important like a birth, funeral, wedding, anniversary, graduation...whatever. Lets talk about the feeling of obligation to share news, invite, NOT invite (I know this can be a hot one too, feeling like you have to NOT invite someone for someone elses comfort). What is this all about and how do you sort through these tough decisions? Its not as black and white as we would like.


  1. Weeeelll, our wedding was only 14% family members present. We were lucky in that we have particularly understanding family, but still, no one raised a fuss about who was or wasn't invited. I hope everyone can be as understanding of your choices!

  2. We HAD to invite family. We just HAD to, and, you know what? Only 20 family members showed up (out of the 70 that were invited) but every single one of our friends did (we had 80 friends there, yeah, our wedding was kind of big). We even had a few empty "sorry, couldn't make it because of the weather" last minute family-not-coming so we asked some friends to fill the seats. Much to my mother's horror and our friends' delight. We said, "No gifts, just come, eat, and drink."

    Parents feel so obligated about stuff but if mine cared so much than they would have invited a family member of ours who is certifiably insane and not worry about people thinking, "He's crazy and associated with us."

    Someone's feelings always get hurt. Not much you can do about that. I can't even being to tell you how many calls I got pre and post wedding from people who were like, "I can't believe you didn't ask me to be in your wedding" or "why am I not invited?"

    All in all, planning sucks but the party is a good time and I think totally worth it.

    On the older brother topic, tell me about it. My brother and I don't speak except at family functions and it's usually just "Hello." I have no qualms about saying negative things about him though, but that's just me.

  3. Cindy,
    I just didn't want to spew venom while I was stil feeling so wounded for fear of turning the post into a "how much my big brother sucks" themed post. That said, how do you deal with this stuff? How does your family (parents) deal with your lack of relationship? Did you feel conflicted about inviting him? I feel like as it stands right now I don't want to invite him. I feel like a wedding invite is a privlage (I have always felt honored to be invited to weddings as I think they are super special) and if he can't even muster up an email of "congrats" then why bother you know? I feel like an ass though and do not want to hurt my mom but I really don't want to hurt myself either and I don't quite know how to give up my desire for him to be a better brother.