It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Showered with Indifference” who was upset when she was not invited to her fiancé’s cousin’s baby shower. “The hostess called me yesterday to apologize and explain she did not invite me because she doesn’t know me very well, and didn’t want me to feel obligated to come. She then insisted several times I come to the party, and left me stammering. She hung up the phone without telling me where the party is being held, what time to come, etc. I have not received an invitation in the mail and I do not expect I will.” Keep reading to see if she decided to go to the shower or not.
Now for the update: I decided to “split the difference” as best as I could between going and not going to the shower, since I had absolutely no idea if I was really welcome or not. I told my mother-in-law that I couldn’t make it, and dropped off a small gift with a thoughtful card for her to take to the party for me. That way, the whole mess about not inviting me could be dropped.
About a month after the shower, a beloved relative of my fiancé’s passed away. At the crowded viewing, the aunt demanded total quiet because she had an announcement to make and “shushed” some relatives who were crying over the casket. She announced very loudly that her daughter’s “cervix had softened, and the baby could come any day now.” Her daughter was not at the viewing. Many people were very hurt that she chose that time and place to make such an announcement, and appalled at how she treated her grieving relatives.
This aunt has been the “star” of the family for several years. Her children have all gotten married fairly recently, and her daughter’s pregnancy was the birth of the first great-grandchild. What we’ve come to realize is that she was having a very difficult time letting go of the spotlight, and her actions at the viewing and with the shower were a desperate attempt to keep it. Our wedding is the first major family event in years that won’t center around her and her children, and we think she excluded me from the shower out of jealousy. Those two incidents were out of character for the person she is, so I decided to have sympathy for the fact that she is obviously struggling, and just let it go.
Many of you said that I was feeling so concerned about the situation because I was worried about fitting in to a new family, which was exactly right. Having Wendy and others remind me that this person is not someone I will see too often made me feel a lot better. Also, some of the commenters mentioned how awesome it is to have a mother-in-law stick up for me so quickly, which is very true and was a great way to positively view the situation. We have included the aunt in every part of our wedding so far: engagement party, shower, etc., and so far so good. My fiancé and I just purchased a beautiful home, and are happily counting down the last few months before our big day. Here’s to hoping the aunt doesn’t use our ceremony as an opportunity to announce the state of her husband’s hemorrhoids. — “Showered with Indifference”
Wow, that aunt sounds like something else! Thank you for a funny and thoughtful update. Congrats on the new home and your upcoming wedding!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.