I'm writing this blog well-aware that I'm going to make some of my family members very upset if they ever see this. 1) I don't really care. I need to get it off my chest. And 2) it's honest and something I probably should have spoken up about a long time ago. I also know that posting this will make a large number of you lose your minds over the prospect of an eminent engagement between Rashan and me. Another risk I'll have to take.
Sometimes I want to completely disengage from my extended family. All of them. I get so irritated by their occasional affiliation with me, their knowledge of my life solely from facebook. It makes me want to delete the ones who've made no effort to know me beyond that and keep the two who, ironically, aren't related by blood. It's really only semi-ironic since most of the closest people to me aren't related by blood. This frustration becomes more palpable as I have spent the last summer thinking about my wedding. At times I'm shocked and dismayed at what I view as their rejection of me. How could they dare deny themselves my company??? Then (most) other times I'm too irritated to feel anything but annoyance that I even have to consider such foolishness.
I don't want to invite a bunch of related strangers, many of whom I'm certain won't come even if it's just 30 minutes from their homes. Others I'm certain will come just to be nosy even though I don't know them well or like them at all. Why should I have to invite them to keep the peace when I don't feel included in their lives or even want to be included in some of their lives? So though they've never attended any other significant event in my life, I'm supposed to include them in a ridiculously expensive day where I just want to be surrounded by people I KNOW will support our love?
Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that, huh? But it's not. It never is. If you don't know or remember, I have 7 living uncles (and their spouses), 4.5 aunts (and their spouses) (or more if you count the outside offspring I've never met but for these purposes we won't), at least 36 first cousins (AND THEIR SPOUSES... sensing a pattern?) and only God knows how many second cousins. I've only met about 16-20 of those children of my first cousins.
The problem with weddings is that you invite one person and according to etiquette, you invite their husband, fiancé(e), or live-in significant other. And what about children? You say no children and then people see that the children who were known to be well-behaved were allowed to come but their ruffians were prohibited. What if the children are better behaved than the parents and you'd rather have them there so they could be around some normal people for once and get exposed to fabulosity?
Then it's like if you invite this person, then you HAVE to invite that person because they're as tangentially related to you as the person you originally invited. A 75-person guest list easily and ridiculously spirals to 125-person wedding then a 150-person wedding. And what if you happen to be a foodie who wants no less than a 3-course gourmet meal with alcohol? Those START at $30/person, not including alcohol, serving only chicken (i.e. not acceptable). For someone I felt obligated to invite?? Just the $30 plate translates to $4,500 for FOOD ALONE plus tax, plus a 20% gratuity. That's more than $5,800. That just sounds crazy! And guess what? I can't do it. I'm not the one to be compromising on food. Am I supposed to eat "cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off" (name that movie) when I hate cucumber and am equally averse to finger food (PLEASE FEED ME!!) so I can invite Pookie's grandma? (For the record, I don't know anyone named Pookie. LOL)
So you pare it down to aunts & uncles and close cousins (believing 0 of your long distance family will come because they've come to nothing else anyway and you've spent your life headed in their direction with one reciprocal trip) but then realize you still have to nearly double your original list with all of their plus ones (JUST spouses & fiancées). And that's still way too many people because what if they all magically decide, "Hey! We go to weddings and funerals!" and show up? It's enough to make you want to have a destination wedding: everyone pay your own way. Then we can invite the world! But the financial burden would be too great for some of the closest members of our families. UGH!!!
The crazy thing is I've always wanted a huge wedding. But I'm not independently wealthy. When I adjusted my ideas years ago (since I've been thinking about weddings since childhood-- so stereotypically girly, I know), I thought 100 people was appropriately modest considering the massive size of my family. Then I started researching how much weddings cost for the barest of the bare bones ceremonies and balked at the idea of spending $10,000+ on 8 HOURS of my life when all I want to do is get married in a beautiful Jameil-designed dress, have a great party & MOST IMPORTANTLY spend the rest of my life with my love.
Sometimes I feel sad when I think about not having a blowout party. Mostly because I really, REALLY don't want to deal with the problem of the dozens of attitudes and hurt feelings people (not technically related, but still quite close) will have because they're not invited. And what about the outrageous expectations of weddings these days? Every detail is expected to be magazine quality because somebody is just waiting to rip apart the day you spent months to plan. Then I get a grip on reality. I have the rest of my life to have blowout parties. For every Oscar I win, you'd better we are going to turn this mother out!! :)
But for now, I am a student. I want to own a house, start a company, win many awards for my films and have children. All in the next 10 years. I also hold an exorbitant amount of student loans. How stupid would I feel knowing I threw all that money at a day (and didn't even spend it on the people I love most)? Very. If you have the money and that's where you want to spend it, please do! Have a great time! And since you're inviting everyone, shoot an invite my way! But if you want to save some money and leave me out, trust and believe I understand.
If you're thinking like Rashan, you believe I wrote this to convince myself... It's true. I also want some help!!! So if you have some ideas on feeling better about leaving out a ton of people I actually do like along with some I don't like, do share. Wedding planning sucks. Even (or especially?) when you have no official wedding to plan. Don't be surprised when we elope and just stream it live on the web. It's fitting since we met on the internet.