Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Where are your manners?

Now is a great time to have Ginger's latest Bring Back the Words prompt, because oh boy, do I have something to get off my chest.

Buddy is the best man in a wedding on Thursday afternoon (not evening. Afternoon). Groom is his friend since 4th grade. He lived with us as a roommate for 6 months after his first marriage fell apart and started dating Bride before he'd even moved out from his home with his first wife. Anyway, Buddy is the best man. On Sunday, after dinner, Groom asked us to come meet him at the bar his brother works at for a drink. Buddy told me on the way over that at the bachelor/ette party (yes, joint), Groom had asked if he could stay with us this week because Bride wants to build wedding day anticipation by being apart, and that was probably what he wanted to talk to us about. Buddy said Groom told him it would mean a lot to him, and who am I to say no, and fine whatever. So we had a couple of drinks and went home. 

Yesterday, apparently, Groom texted Buddy, "Hey, Brooke mentioned the rehearsal dinner last night. My parents are only inviting the bridal party." So Buddy texted me that I'm not invited to the RD, and I was like, "rude, but whatever." But now, the more I think about it, I am pissed. Okay, so judge me how you will, but I spent the better part of a couple of years spending a lot of free time on the Etiquette board of TheKnot.com. I'm pretty well versed in the etiquette of weddings, and have particularly strong feelings about a few things. Yes, I acknowledge that there are some things that are antiquated and that etiquette evolves with social and cultural norms, but one thing I do not ever feel is appropriate is inviting only one spouse to a social event. Okay, I can think of one exception - I was fine with a coworker only inviting us without our spouses to his small wedding, as I was pleased to be invited without Buddy than not at all to witness his wedding and Buddy would have been bored anyway. I think the coworker exception can be reasonable. But for 99.99% of situations, spouses should be invited. Period, end of story. I don't care if you hate your best friend's husband of 15 years because he has awful taste in clothes and wear mandals everywhere and has an annoying hyena laugh that he uses after his endless inappropriate jokes. He's your best friend's husband and you invite him and smile and thank them for coming and thank your lucky stars she married him and took him off the market so you'd never have to. 

So I'm uninvited to the rehearsal dinner. Or more like not invited to begin with, which is rude in and of itself. I am trying to remember, but I think the envelope the rehearsal dinner invitation came in was addressed to Buddy without my name, so YES, I wrongfully assumed I was invited. BUT, the invitation came from Groom's parents, and Groom's mom also hosted Bride's shower, the invitation to which I received only two days prior to said shower. So I probably didn't think anything of it, or I chalked it up to general ignorance or mess (this is not the most well planned wedding, folks) and didn't give it another thought. Never did it actually cross my mind that I wasn't invited. Because people with decent manners, which I assume just about everyone to be, wouldn't do that. 

So aside from the etiquette part of it, where the gracious Emily Post tells us that we invite spouses and we go out of our way to make our guests comfortable because etiquette is about being a gracious host and not an asshole, I have a few other reasons I'm miffed and ranty. First, Groom's sister and her family live next door to Groom's parents. Neither Sister nor her children are in the bridal party. So is she invited? Kind of hard to have a fancy dinner for one child with the other next door and not invite them. What about the husband of Bride's sister, who is the maid of honor? Will Bride insist her brother-in-law is invited? And if she does, do I have any grounds to feel "why her and not me? I'm a spouse, too." It makes me feel like my marriage is not being acknowledged. Buddy and I are a unit. And if an exception is going to be made for anyone else on this "bridal party only" nonsense, it's hurtful that it's not going to be made for us.

Second, I'm making the Bride and Groom's wedding cake and cupcakes. I know that doesn't make me bridal party, but considering I'm the wife of the best man and I'm allowing the Groom to stay in my home while they do this anticipating the moment thing (yes, I'm eye-rolly), does that not give me a leg up for an invite? So basically, Groom and Buddy are going to go to Groom's parents' house for dinner Wednesday while I'm knee deep in cake frosting and covered in flour and I'm left to fend for myself. That just seems... rude. On a different level from not being invited just based on my spousal status. Like how awkward is it going to be when Groom and Buddy leave the house Wednesday evening and they're all, "see you later Brooke. We're going to go have dinner. Thanks again for making my wedding cake." Is that not weird to anyone else?

And something someone else brought up is that this event is linked to a wedding, an event where one ACQUIRES a SPOUSE. it was actually mentioned in the context of someone on Twitter saying they hadn't been invited to an actual wedding (as opposed to a rehearsal dinner) with their spouse, but still. Weddings are about marriage and joining families and celebrating love, and these people are basically saying "eff you" to all of that, in my mind. "Let's celebrate Bride and Groom getting married while completely disregarding the marriages of the people Bride and Groom care enough about to stand up in this circus of a wedding." Makes sense. 

So, yeah, I'm pissed. It's just rude on many levels. And I'm not the only one who's upset by it. My husband is, too. Do you know what it takes to make a guy like Buddy - who doesn't know Etiquette from Adam - say "WTF?" Asshatery, that's what. I admit, I'm lucky in this way - we like to be together a lot. He's fine with me going out and doing things on my own and with my friends and doesn't feel that he always wants to accompany me. But he likes me to come with him to most things when he has to go some event or whatnot. He's bummed I won't be there with him, and his general statement is "at least I'll have an excuse to leave early - I want to come home and help with the cupcakes you're making as a favor to them." (It's not truly a favor. They paid me. But their other friend/baker backed out, and I basically have to use my vacation so that I can make cake and cupcakes for a Thursday afternoon wedding. So yes, it feels favor-y). So he gets it. And I feel justified in feeling totally snubbed.

That's my rant. People, invite spouses to things. It's the right thing to do, if for no other reason than to keep people from getting pissed off and going on the interwebs to complain about you.  

Check out the link-up on Ginger's blog