Friday, June 23, 2006


I've been mulling over some feelings for the last few weeks. I thought I wasn't going to write about them. But if I'm still fixating after several weeks, then I should probably just let it out. At least give myself the vent I've been needing. I'm making an effort to not let my readership get in the way of what or how I write. For example if my friend says something that irks me enough to write about it, I'm going to write about it, even if I know she reads this. So, if you are in the habit of getting angry with people for writing things in their personal blog, please discontinue reading, in fact, let's make that a general rule of this blog.

Warning, I'm writing about family members here and using their names. The problem with using pseudonyms is that if you are close enough to know the people involved, you'll know who I'm REALLY talking about, if you aren't close enough, then you don't know these people, and it doesn't matter anyway. It's not like millions of people read this thing or anything.)

So I think that's enough warning labels, lets get into it.

A few years ago I was engaged to a nice enough young man. We were engaged for a LONG time, and had just begun serious wedding planning. My older sister had recently "come out", as they say, and told the family that she's gay. I'd known for a while, and so this wasn't news to me. I had asked my sister to be my maid of honor. I felt weird doing it then, because she doesn't believe in marriage, and was never very supportive of my relationship. But she's my sister and I love her dearly, so I asked her. I hoped that she would be able to just do the maid of honor thing and not make a big thing out of it.

My then-fiancé and I went to Chico to find a venue for the actual wedding, and my older sister was in town. I only saw her for about 5 minutes that first day, as she was leaving on a weekend trip. In those 5 minutes, she asked me if she could wear a tux to my wedding. (I had told the bridesmaids that I didn't care what dress they wore, just keep it to the color we chose). I was taken aback and didn't have time to think and said "ummm, if you absolutely can't wear a dress...then I....guess.....". Not much of an answer, but she took it as a positive one. I didn't feel I could tell her that I was REALLY uncomfortable with that. That it felt like she was just trying to make my wedding about her. This has been an ongoing issue for me, and I'd never really talked to her about it. I knew that my then-fiancé's family would be really uncomfortable with it, and I also knew that she wasn't against wearing dresses/skirts. I was hurt that she couldn't do this ONE thing for me.

My mom offered to talk to her about the plans, and I was grateful. I thought my mom would be better able to talk about it without being spiteful. My sister confronted me and accused of not wanting her in my wedding because she's gay. Which was ludicrous. I told her if she had REALLY wanted to wear pants, then she could wear pants, provided they were the color chosen. I couldn't understand why she had to be different. We never really talked about it again and my then-fiancé and I broke up not long after.

Fast forward a couple years. My sister found out Xtian and I were getting married before anyone else. Why? Because I had to call her to find out when she would be able to make a trip to California. I wasn't going to get married without my big sister there. I fretted a lot about asking my sister to be "in" the wedding as a bridesmaid. I spent weeks thinking about it. On the one hand, I love her and she's one of my closest friends. On the other, I doubted her ability to NOT make the whole thing about her, or do something to take the focus away from Xtian and I. I had been burned once, so I took the cowardly way out and just never talked to her about it. I know that was hurtful to her. We started to talk about it when I was out in Philadelphia, but I couldn't get the words out without crying, so I stopped. I tried to make it clear that she is really important to me and that it was important to me that she be involved in it as much as possible. But she kept saying that this wasn't her "thing." So, we avoided the issue and I had to whine and manipulate to get her to be in the family wedding pictures. She didn't have anything positive to say to me and I still felt like she didn't support me being so "mainstream" by actually marrying a man.

But, it was all good and we got through the awkwardness. We didn't really talk much after the wedding, but then again, I didn't talk to many people after the wedding.

A few weeks ago, during conversation my sister made reference to some aspects of my wedding and called them trashy. She quickly added in "oh, it was nice and everything, but you have to admit..." which is not an apology. I felt like I had been slapped in the face. I had worried about being judged harshly by outsiders. I know my wedding wasn't the social event of the season. I know it wasn't the classiest affair ever, but a lot of people well, a lot of people, but not her) put a lot of work into it, and it felt wonderful and special to me. Hearing my sister call it trashy cut me to the quick. I covered pretty well, and laughed along with her. But I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It was just unkind and hurtful.

I can step back from it and tell myself that she was lashing out about not being "in" the wedding. I can tell myself that she didn't mean it hurtfully. I can tell myself that only I can allow her to hurt me. But that doesn't change anything. It doesn't make me feel any better that of all the people who could have taken some of the magic out of my wedding day, it would be my sister.

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