I confess I'm not hip or a cultural diva. I unplugged the TV when I got pregnant the first time. Quite often I'm years behind in my consumption of popular books and media, buying them when they reach the clearance table. It's possible I might recently have run up on some subtle change in cultural norms without realizing it. I'm not sure.
Last year my only sibling announced that she was getting married. As she was 37 and the marriage would be her first, this announcement seemed quite important. I immediately cancelled all our summer plans and began researching travel arrangements to California. We spent hours pouring over flight schedules, train schedules, and rental car schedules. Even more hours were spent on wardrobe considerations. Some of you who are on e-lists with me may remember my questions about California climate and customs.
For weeks we heard about her wedding dress, her new home and her new job. This spring I wrote to ask for the date and location of the wedding so we could make our travel arrangements. All of a sudden I heard, "Wedding? What wedding? We're not planning any wedding! Not really! Somebody gave you the wrong idea."
And so it went all summer. More plans were discussed, but whenever I asked for a date, all we got were excuses. We heard everything from, "We're not really getting married" to "We're getting married on top of a remote mountain after a hard climb and you wouldn't make it" to "We're getting married, but you can't afford to come." When I protested that we were willing to spend the money on such a special occasion, I was bluntly told, "So go to Disneyland."
Finally this week I got an email from my Mom saying that she was getting on the plane for my sister's wedding this weekend at some undisclosed location.
Now maybe the culture has changed so much in recent years that such behavior could be interpreted as something other than a snub. Maybe, but I don't think so.
I remember when a college chum showed up with a purple mohawk for her sister's wedding. The family just plonked a wig on her head and kept on going, and I'm nowhere near as extreme as that.
My sister's behavior was not entirely unexpected, but still puzzling. The new in-laws are Republican Baptists. Maybe I'm too liberal and too Pagan for them. But for crying out loud, they live in Santa Cruz. I'm sure they've seen people far more "out there" than I am. I guess I'm too poor or too fat or both.
My husband argues that my sister is somehow snubbing the groom more than she is snubbing our family. All I know is it hurts like the dickens. In that tried and true methods used by introvert throughout the world, I stuck my nose in a book and read until dawn last night to keep from crying myself to sleep.