So. My wedding is less than two weeks. We had a short engagement, all very lovely, and on the whole, it's been a very positive experience.

However. A few surprising things effected both practically me emotionally. I'm a pretty easy going person who doesn't tend to take stuff personally, and we're having an easy going wedding, so it's been an interesting experience that's broadened my ... well, empathy, actually.

Allow me to vent:

1) When someone sends you an invitation โ€” and I'm speaking to everyone here โ€” RSVP, motherfucker. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? Apparently this is a huge nightmare for everyone who throws a catered event. (Side note, an old coworker of mine is getting married a week after I am and a mutual friend said that her "So-and-so and guest" invitees are RSVPing with, like, seven people. Black tie wedding, even. Now she has to call them all and say that they can't just bring whomever they want. Awful.)

2) In fact, my first cousin has not RSVPed even though I directly asked him TWICE to just give me a yes or no answer because caterers (also: because respect). He's much older than I am (I'm a few months older than his oldest child), but he's always been an important part of my life, and I spent a lot of time with his kids growing up, as I'm their closest cousin, age wise. Anyway, when I first messaged people to get addresses for invites, first he was all "Mother's day weekend! That's a big ask." Except that his (awful) recently-separated-from wife is coming with a brood of grandkids.

I said awful because... well, she's kind of awful, although I gather a big part of that is cultural. She's the one who clogs up your FB page with "JESUS!" and "GRANDBABIE" posts. I try to be sympathetic because she's clearly never developed ANY sort of identity outside of "Christian" and "mother" (now grandmother), but goddamn it if she isn't doubling down on those identities of late. My favorite of her FB posts: "I have the most wonderful grandkids in the world, except for Jesus because He had grandparents too!" None of this wouldn't bother me if she didn't run around yelling at her grandkids. We're having a chill wedding with lots of fun stuff for the kids and I am not looking forward to her putting herself in charge of them.

Anyway, it turned out my first cousin was thinking of skipping my wedding to view ... a car race. One he goes to every year. (But maybe it's because he doesn't want to run into his sisters, with whom he's having a nasty inheritance dispute and the wife from whom is he now separated.) Did I mention his darling, magnificent granddaughter is going to be my flower girl? That our 98 year old grandmother will be there, and we're doing a mother's day brunch, too? Did I mention that he is just not replying to my messages?

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3) Speaking of cousins, I asked a younger (high school senior) second cousin to be one of my bridesmaids. Why would I ask a teenager to be in my wedding party? Two reasons, one of which will be expounded on below. The other reason is that for years her mother told me about how she fantasized about what dress to wear to my wedding. We spend the holidays together and designated ourselves "special cousins" because we were so crazy about each other. Obviously I didn't expect much from her, since she's a kid, but dress was purchased, she was getting politely excited. And then last weekend her dad called me to tell me that "bad news" that she and her mom wouldn't be able to come because she has AP exams the night before the wedding. And they've tried to figure it out and blah blah blah. Obviously, they knew about this since day 1, and obviously there isn't a real reason, besides maybe flight costs, for her not to be their in time for the wedding, and obviously the poor girl is missing out more than I am BUT... who in the hell informs a bride that her wedding party is down by one THREE WEEKS before the wedding??? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? We're not having groomsmen, it's not a black tie event or anything, but it COULD very easily have been. WHO DOES THIS?

4) So one of the reasons I asked her to be a bridesmaid is because another friend I asked โ€” I was her maid of honor โ€” was hemming and hawing about whether she'd be able to attend or not and told me not to make plans counting on her. Intellectually, I realize she has some pretty darn good excuses. She lives in Europe (I timed my wedding so that another member of my party, who also lives in Europe, could tack it on to her Easter visit). She's going through a separation (lots and lots of drama there) and her son has school. Except... her son is in preschool, not real school. And she is also going to be here for Easter. Actually, she came a week before Easter and is leaving a week before my wedding, so obviously she could have adjusted that. Oh, and her mother offered to pay for her ticket because she was mortified that her daughter wouldn't be there for my wedding after I did so much for her daughter's wedding. Like fly in for a) dress shopping, b) wedding shower, c) bachelorette shower, d) wedding. I spent all of my vacation for a year and, oh let's say $4K on her wedding. She didn't even give her bridal party bouquets or thank you gifts.

What does all of this have in common? It shows a lack of respect and regard. These stories are offset by unexpected people coming over hill and dale to attend, by lovely congratulation cards, and so on. But all of these examples tell me that these people do not take me or this event seriously. And, although I never expected to feel this way, it really hurts my feelings.

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5) On another track altogether, I got my hair done on Saturday by someone new (my hairstylist left the state) and she chopped off, oh, about SIX INCHES of my hair when I expected about two off. So, yeah. Totally fucks up the hair I was going for. (She also fucked up my color but was able to fix that.) I'm going to see the salon owner tomorrow to see about extensions. I have never, in my life, cried about my hair. Ever. But this weekend? I cried about my hair.

THIS PROCESS HAS CHANGED ME.