Open Thread

by Daniel Post Senning on May 27, 2013

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Christy August 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I have a question that came up last year, and I was unable to find the answer. My son & his now wife got married last September. They had asked my daughter to be a bridesmaid (along with her two sisters and 3 other friends). My daughter had a her first child on May 17th. After purchasing the dress and shoes, not to mention the Indian outfit (2 ceremonies); and her husband renting his tux and also purchased the outfit for the Indian ceremony; a month before the wedding my daughter was “dismissed” as a bridesmaid because she wasn’t fulfilling her duties to the bride. Is there a written rule that you have to be at the bride-to-be’s beck and call. This has caused a major problem in my family, and I am caught in the middle. Its been almost a year since my son and daughter have talked, and his now wife refuses to acknowledge my daughter’s existence even when she’s in the same room. I could use some advice!

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Elizabeth August 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sounds like there’s a lot you can do in this situation. Bridesmaids do have ‘traditional’ duties, but I think today some brides have an over-inflated sense of what their bridesmaids should be doing and be available for. Was your daughter unavailable for some of the main events (like the shower or rehearsal)? Or were the bride’s demands unreasonable (like wanting your daughter to hand make 200 favors)? If it’s the former, perhaps your daughter owes the bride an apology. If it’s the latter, the bride would be the one who owes the apology. But it’s highly possible that even you don’t know the whole story about what happened, so I would try to stay out of it as much as possible. I understand that this makes family get-togethers difficult. Perhaps you could leave your DIL out of it and simply encourage the siblings to reconnect? I would guess that they both behaved badly and are now too stubborn to get over it.

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Christy August 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm

It was my daughter-n-law being totally unreasonable, Elizabeth. Five days before my daughter was thrown out of the wedding, we had thrown a family picnic to introduce everyone before the wedding. We all contributed to a $10 item or gift card for my son to fill an tool box he’d made years ago, that I’d dug out, cleaned and stained — we wrapped all the gifts in wrapping paper made from a tarp and used duct tape to hold the paper together — then for my daughter-in-law, my daughter and I gathered recipes from every family member, made a cookbook for the bride that included a picture of the person who contributed, their comments and a picture of the dish — it was truly a labor of love — my daughter is much more experienced with MS Publisher, so she did most of the landscape of the book, which we had bound for her, and she did this while sitting at my computer breastfeeding her 3 month old infant daughter — 5 days later she was told she hadn’t been performing her duties as a bridesmaid, which was totally untrue — she’d done more than the rest of them — including helping paint the new apartment when her daughter was only 3 weeks old. My daughter has been married for 5 years, and has been in numerous weddings — this just came as a phone call at 9:30 at night from my son — SHE never called or spoke to my daughter ever again!

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Alicia August 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Sounds like there is missing info. Can you speak to your son about the issue?

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Christy August 16, 2013 at 7:08 am

Its a sad thing. There was nothing wrong and they got along great 5 days before the blow-up. No build-up, just out of the blue. My daughter-in-law is extremely self-centered, although she likes to think otherwise. At Thanksgiving, she talked all around my daughter, but deliberately ignored her. For St Patrick’s day dinner, when she asked what she could bring, I asked if she could bring an appetizer or dessert, and would she like me to make her some chicken (not everyone cares for corned beef) She got upset because I didn’t want her to bring Shepard’s Pie she wanted to make with chicken. I explained that its a very traditional family menu, so no thank you. She got highly insulted, and I haven’t seen or heard from her since. She’s managed to ruin every holiday or family get-together since they married last year. To be honest, I’m tired of being polite. She clearly dislikes both my daughter and I, and has gone out of her way to put a wedge between my son and I.

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