Where is the Line?


Sorry for the little hiatus. I’ve been really busy burning the candle at both ends lately between work, supplemental wedding $ work, wedding planning work, working on my weight loss and having a life. Ok, to be fair I haven’t had too much of a life lately either. Irregardless (Mean Girls, anyone?) I have been thinking about what to write about.

We recently showed Mama M the reception venue. This was, we thought, a necessity because although we would love to have tons of M’s Brazilian family come to the wedding, we are only able to accommodate 90 people in our space, a concept that just didn’t seem to sit well with her. As is, I am already terrified that it will be crowded and would feel much better if we could eliminate a table of 6 and keep it to 84. We thought if she saw it she would understand where we’re coming from and leave the guest list to us. What happened was a little less idyllic. Though her words were carefully selected and a transcript of the conversation would have read positively, her demeanor and tone of voice told a very different story. Instead of focusing on the guest list, she had views of the restaurant. As she was speaking to us about the space, I quickly recalled noticing the same mismatch in language and overtone when we went to her suggested flower vendor. The bottom line was that she didn’t like it.

I went to a wedding a few days after the venue incident. It was held at an event center, one of those places where they give you food on top of food with a side of food. My calorie count from that weekend was insane. Anyway, it was the first wedding I’ve attended since I have been engaged and I felt like I looked at everything with a really different view. Though there is NOTHING WRONG with that style of wedding, it just wasn’t the vibe that M and I have been working toward.

It occurred to me that I think this event center wedding was more of what Mama M wanted for us. I was really sad when I considered that she may not like our wedding at all. Her comments about the venue, about the atmosphere, about the very things we loved about our space hurt my feelings a lot.  I know we are not getting married for her, and pleasing her is not my responsibility, especially since she is not holding our purse strings. But I am still left with this feeling that our wedding, which I’ve spent countless hours putting blood, sweat and tears into so that it would be a beautiful reflection of our tastes and most importantly our relationship, is nothing more than a party that she will attend out of duty and when asked about will respond politely, but will not actually enjoy.

I’m not going to say I’m crushed, but I think I’m disappointed because I have been working so hard to foster a good relationship with Mama M. My family is not close by and I genuinely hoped that she would have a relationship with me where we could do things like go to lunch or bake cakes together and not have a weird air of politeness between us. She certainly doesn’t have to love everything I do, but I can’t see us going very far if she doesn’t want to be close enough to be comfortable with telling me when she thinks a decision I may be making isn’t the right one. And for that matter, I would hope that after defending my choices she would appreciate and respect the decision. I wanted to have a genuine relationship with her, and now I fear that it may just an exercise in polite appearances.

I’m not sure how to proceed, but my experiences with M and his mom have thus far told me that they would prefer the “sweep it under the rug” approach, which is a bit contrary to what I’m used to. My family operates on a “let’s get this out in the open and clear the air” frequency, and I tend to gravitate more toward this resolution. Help me understand: where can I draw a line and let her know that I’m affected by her obvious disapproval on something I’ve dedicated so much to? Or should I at all? For now, I’m still trying to play by the rules instead of making them my own, but I remain leery of telling her about anything else as I fear that she won’t like it. Here’s hoping we can mend this tear in our family quilt.

Thanks for reading. – A

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August 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , . 2011.

2 Comments

  1. SLZ replied:

    I feel your pain, girl. Hang in there. I think you are doing the best thing by being aware and engaging in open communication. (At least on your end.) I am sure that your love and care for her son will shine through and help her to be more openminded on matters such as this. Ultimately, it is your day and M’s day. Weddings can be tricky for hurt feelings. But rest assured, this probably isn’t the first time you have encountered this wall, and it won’t be the last. Is it frustrating and stressful as hell? Yes, but it will turn out alright. You’re too great a person for it not to. 😉

  2. J.D. Thomas replied:

    Do you think she would get the hint if you just stopped including her in your planning. I do not mean in a hostile way, but simply accepting that if she does want to have a frank discussion about the stuff you are showing her than it will be less stressful for you to accept that she will be just another wedding guest.

    It sounds like you have gone past meeting her halfway on the wedding planning stuff and it just is not working. That leaves the ball her in her court and if she comes to you or to M. with questions about why she is out of the loop you can take that opportunity to clear the air and address the issues.

    As long as you can keep your cool and make it clear that you did not feel that she enjoyed visiting the venue (keeping it specific is good) that you did not want impose on her when she did not seem interested in helping with feedback that would help you and M realize your goal and vision for your wedding.

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