I’m feeling pretty disappointed lately. We received an RSVP from my parents for our wedding. As you can imagine by my disappointment, they declined. No explanation, no phone call, just a simple “2” filled in under “Guests unable to attend.” That’s it.
We spoke recently in some friendly phone conversations. They called on my birthday and we caught up and laughed. I didn’t sense any shame or discomfort. I thought maybe this time was different. I never mentioned the wedding to them, preferring to enjoy the planning process and avoid excuses and arguments. Regretfully, I kept certain things from my parents because it made interacting with them easier. But it also probably allowed them to think that I might feel ashamed.
Now I just feel let down and angry. I cannot help but resent my sister right now. Thanks to Facebook, I am taunted by pictures of the new first home she just bought with her husband. Of course, my parents also took them out to dinner to celebrate and my sister shared photos of the gifts they showered them with. They not only attended her wedding but participated actively as parents of the bride. I’m pretty sure they also contributed financially, but I try not to torture myself with specifics.
Right after getting the world’s saddest RSVP, I called my sister because I still had not heard from her. I left her a quick voicemail saying that we needed to give a final headcount. Instead of having the courage to call back, she shot me a very short Facebook message simply stating that she had just settled on a house and was on a tight budget so they could not make it.
Not only did I attend my sister’s wedding, but I also acted as Maid of Honor – Well Matron, actually, even though no one referred to me that way (yet another way of pretending it’s not there). I watched my father walk her down the aisle and dance with her to a sappy song. I smiled as my mother beamed the entire day. I wrote a touching speech. I bought her some sexy negligee for her shower so I could really emphasize that I am the radical sister. I paid for the travel and the dress. I put Rose through so much discomfort and awkward moments. And the sad part is – I am not even asking for the same treatment. I don’t expect for them to renounce their strong religious beliefs. But I do want them to be present for me… for their daughter.
I continue to affirm to myself that “life isn’t fair” and that I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by SO much love and support, including my other relatives. I know I don’t want the life that my sister has with my parents. However, there is something about the lack of your own parents in your life that is just heartbreaking. Even though I do not agree with their belief system at all and often don’t fully enjoy their company, I still love them. I know they love me, too, but it is not unconditional love. They want to sweep parts of me under a rug. They are happy and comfortable talking with me about my job and school and my birthday – but they refuse to accept that I am a lesbian and I am happily married. They want to pretend as though that part of me does not exist, which leads to countless mind games and mixed emotions.
I was really holding on to hope that this time they might come around. The last Thanksgiving we shared together was much less tense. We did not have any arguments about how I need to respect them by attending without Rose. You see, in my situation, they are fine with me but only “non-committed-lesbian” me. I refuse to let this happen anymore. I do not want to be disrespected. I realize now that I cannot let them make me feel ashamed for who I am.
Oddly, on top of feeling really sad, I also have a sense of relief. Now I don’t have to wait and wonder and can just get back to last minute planning. And at least now I know where I really stand with them. I mean, with how awkward things can be, do I really even want them at my wedding anyway? If they cannot support me, they should not be there. This is the situation that I am in and it is not going to change. Weddings really bring out people’s true colors but fortunately, this also means an outpouring of love and acceptance as well. I’ll choose to focus on that as we continue to plan. Less than 3 weeks away!