Phew! I’m done, so done! The last son/step-son is married. How stressful can it be to just show up at one’s adult children’s weddings you ask? Well, let me give you just a glint of insight into this wedding “gig”, contending with families consisting of step-moms, step-dads, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, step-brothers, step-sisters, half brothers and half sisters, OMG! What other family combinations can there possibly be? Favorite aunts and uncles aren’t even a consideration after the extended families have been invited!
Consider the configurations of the guest lists and the insane task of trying to make each parent/step-parent comfortable with the wedding arrangements. Today when almost every parent of the bride and groom have new partners or are single and available; one has to be careful not to sound like a cynic about the sanctity of marriage. More often than not, the parents are remarried or in relationships with someone other than their original wife or husband. What a cesspool of intrigue and drama can be conjured up from a wedding occasion with all that history brewing. Just visualize the joys of arranging the wedding photos with the “Bride and Groom” without slighting anyone in one of the many parent configurations. Can you imagine?
Beware of the Convivial Ex-Couple
- faking it for the sake of the kids. They’ll never be friends again, really!
- seeking out their ex-spouses hoping they’ve aged better than the other and living a better lifestyle
- entrapping ex-spouses in reminiscing about the good old days together raising the bride or groom, secretly hoping to make their ex feel some guilt for screwing up their former marriage/family
Be Careful Around the Hostile Ex-Couple
- making the entire wedding process as prickly and antagonistic as possible
- thumbing their noses at each other with their middle fingers raised under the tablecloth whenever the other is speaking
- competing for the prized attentiveness from the newlyweds over their ex-spouses
- maintaining an adversarial stance; expecting seating placements on opposite sides of the ceremony and reception
- slagging their ex-spouses for past shortcomings to innocent ex-relatives
Be Wary of the Gracious New Spouse
- demonstrating he/she has more class than their new husband’s/new wife’s ex-husband/ex-wife
- seeking confirmation that he/she is a vast improvement over the former model
- working diligently to make a great impression with all the relatives present to irk their new spouse’s ex-husband or ex-wife
- purposely outshining their partner’s ex-husband or ex-wife in every way possible
Be Cautious Around the Cranky New Spouse
- looking completely disgruntled and refusing to put on a happy face and join in the celebration
- complaining irrationally that the child from their “new love union” is being ignored and overlooked by the newlyweds and their wedding plans
- refusing to enjoy the occasion and make it special for the sake of the bride and groom
Be Considerate of the Ex-Spouse Who Has Never Moved On
- noticing the true joy of the unattached ex-wife or ex-husband who hasn’t recommitted
- enjoying the unattached ex-spouse’s sincere and heartfelt comfort in attending their son’s/ daughter’s wedding without any hidden agendas or resentments
- celebrating their freedom to experience the “joy of the occasion” without the drama that consumes the others
Let me reiterate, I’m done, so done! Two sons and two step-sons are married and I made it through all four ceremonies with only a few battle scars and stories. But I’ll never tell, will I?
(If you enjoyed this post or could relate to it in some way, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from my readers! And don’t hesitate to re-post it to anyone else that might get a chuckle or two from it.)