Disagreement over paying for wedding reveals larger issue
Q: I am planning a wedding. My parents are not working, and I have felt I would be paying for my own wedding for a while. I'm a successful professional. My fiance, however, is put off that they are not paying and has made several comments. "You could ask." "My parents are more traditional." "If we have a daughter, I want us to pay for the wedding." There is sometimes an argument, sometimes not. I would have no problem if his parents wanted to take care of something (they work). They never had a daughter to test that "they would pay" theory. Should I keep mum? I'm planning with my mother and she may offer to pay for something. Again, I am not asking, but would not discourage any offers. This is expensive, and I'm trying to keep it simple.
A: When you're planning an "expensive" wedding and your fiance mounts a persistent display of selfishness, you halt the planning before the nonrefundable deposits, and thank him for revealing his true nature in time for you to get away clean.
You have money coming in, your parents don't, and he wants you fishing around in their pockets anyway? And your concept of compromising/getting him off your back (at least, I hope that's what it is) is to fish in their pockets only if they offer?
Your fiance believes the "traditional" path (or, the path that benefits him?) is superior to doing what is kind, practical or decent. Please project this attitude onto your future, including not just your relationship with him, but also your career, responsibilities at home, any future pregnancies, the emotional health of those kids, and your approach to handling money, dealing with extended family, everything. What if that someday daughter is . . . gay, doesn't want to get married/have a wedding, rejects the faith you raise her in, or travels any number of non-"traditional" paths. Will he be "put off," brimming with critical comments, picking fights?
In 2041, will you be glad your 2011 self chose to "keep mum"?
The keyboard dents from this one are likely to grace my forehead for weeks. But the regrets of pairing off with someone who is unkind and self-centered? Those linger for years.
Year after year, greeting cards the subject of discord
Q: I hate greeting cards — waste of money (sometimes $4 for a piece of paper???), waste of time picking one up, waste of paper that just goes into the trash. Needless to say, we don't send them. And when I receive them, they go straight in the recycling bin. They just don't mean anything to me; I'd prefer a call or a visit.
Just got word that my mother-in-law's feelings were (again) extremely hurt that we "didn't even send a card" to recognize her birthday, even though we called and sang to her. MIL is generally a lovely person — although quite sensitive. Should I just suck it up and start sending her cards?
A: Yes, obviously. But, "suck it up"? Really? Buy 10 (recycled paper) cards at a clip and you're out 45 minutes and 40 bucks per decade.
Even if your mother-in-law saves the cards — I suspect she does — the need is a bit much. Still, your years-long resistance is the real waste here. All that goodwill, sitting defiantly unclaimed.