Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wedding showers rain on Curmudgeon

This year it's Oldest Son's turn to marry. He, too, will marry out of town and we'll have to scramble to accommodate the date. Youngest Son will have to rearrange his final exams.

But that's alright; this is the way things work.

Oldest Son and his bride won't be able to "tap" my friends and relations for gifts because almost no one from my side of the family will go. I gave him a minimal invitation list, just enough to be proper, and warned him that, even from this small group, only a few will come.

But Long Suffering Spouse does want to throw him and his bride a shower (technically, it's his sisters who be the hostesses... but you know what that means) and we've been bandying dates about lately, trying to see what might work for the young couple.

We finally found a date. So I asked Oldest Son for a list of people -- his friends, his fiancee's friends -- that we should invite.

He doesn't want to invite any of them. And he said so. Nicely... but still rather bluntly, too.


I understand that showers are not a lot of fun. My wife's mother threw a very traditional (read: women-only) shower before Long Suffering Spouse and I were wed. The event was at the very large home of a friend of my future mother-in-law's and there were little triangular sandwiches with the crusts cut off and some orange goo in them and all the other traditional fixings.

I was one of those fixings: The groom is trotted out, but only at the end of the 'traditional' shower, like the prize bull, to be pinched and petted and fussed over.

(No, not pinched that way! Clean it up, please. But I seem to recall my face aching for a couple of days....)

Anyway, Long Suffering Spouse and I have since been involved in many "couples' showers" -- this worked particularly well as our friends paired off -- and some of these turned into enjoyable parties.

It was this sort of event that Long Suffering Spouse had in mind for Oldest Son and his bride.

But they are not cooperating.

When Oldest Son sent me the non-list list, I duly reported it to my wife. And then I ducked.

She got after me immediately to write to Oldest Son's fiancee -- she and I are Facebook 'friends' you see, so I have a means of reaching out to her that bypasses my son -- and I did so immediately. I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid.

But I knew how it would all work out... badly. Oldest Son is marrying a girl just like himself. These may be the most independent pair of humans ever to join forces. Oldest Son was ready to move out from the family home in about 7th grade. He delayed his actual departure until a week or two after his college graduation, but he absented himself from the center of the family at every opportunity during the intervening years.

It's not that he is alienated from us, or angry with us. He's been a dutiful son. And very correct. But he is not... shall we say... warm and fuzzy. He never was.

And today, when I speak to Long Suffering Spouse at lunchtime, I'll have to tell her about our future daughter-in-law's very correct -- and not at all helpful -- response to my plea.

And then I'll have to duck again.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well i see this as having an extremely simple answer... no shower. easy for you and keeping with their wishes. they won't get the gifts but that is their choice. the end.

smiles, bee

Shelby said...

i almost agree with Bee. almost.