A while back I wrote about wedding invites and social intrigue. That was a case of a young woman dedicating her wedding to the memory of her mother to spite her father and his girlfriend.
I’ve never seen anything like that happen, but it is not infrequently the case where people will refuse to attend a wedding if so-and-so is going to be there. My own wedding was pretty scandal-free with the exception of my ex-girlfriend’s decision not to attend because her ex-boyfriend was going to be there with his fiance. I actually have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about that, actually. Actually, the bigger problem I had was that she wouldn’t come out and say that. Instead, she was “too busy”. Frankly, I find a broken heart to be much more understandable than I do the relative indifference of being too busy.
The only time I was keenly aware of invitational intrigue was when it came to Evangeline. Her father left her mother for a younger model and her mother refused to attend any wedding that the step-mother was going to be attending. Eva and I rarely discussed marriage, but to the extent that we did her parents were a rather central part. Her father wouldn’t attend if the step-mother was not invited and her mother would not attend otherwise. So she was going to be forced to choose. In the alternate history I wrote there were two weddings so that each could attend one, but that was an unsatisfying prospect. When Eva did marry, her father won. But it was streamed over the Internet so her mother got to see.
To me, protesting a wedding is one of the most arrogant and selfish things that a person can do. The decision not to attend someone’s wedding says quite a bit about your relationship with them. If it is a casual acquaintance, that’s one thing. The relationship is casual. There were people that didn’t come to my wedding that I was perfectly cool with. There was only one person who didn’t attend that I felt hurt by even though I would have really loved it if my ex-roommate Dennis had shown up as well as others. But that’s life. But to refuse to attend a daughter’s wedding because someone that you don’t like is going to be there says more about your relationship with your daughter than it does about the actions of the person that you refuse to be within a hundred yards of. It’s their day. I actually got a lot more irate about all of this than did Evangeline.
It’s of course spottier when it comes to friends. My ex-roommate Dennis initially refused to go to my ex-roommate Hubert’s wedding because of the Might Ducks Three Debacle and Karl was going to be at the wedding. Fortunately, good sense won out. Dennis didn’t attend, allegedly because of a broken down car, but at least he was self-aware enough to come up with a good and credible excuse rather than to be all self-important and to suggest that his feud with Karl touched off by that awful movie was more important than his friendship with Hubert.
I myself only barely attended Hubert’s wedding. I had a good excuse, but it was as much an excuse as anything else. Our relationship had not yet repaired and the idea of seeing the attention-domineering ex-roommate actually be the center of attention was not something I was looking forward to. As it turned out, though, he was already getting the attention he craved so he was as happy as a junebug and when he is genuinely happy he is at his best. And since our relationship has since repaired, I’m glad that I could be a part of a very special day for him.