Wow. My stomach is in knots. I can hardly stop crying. This all has to do with The Wedding of The Daughter of The Sister. I have three sisters and one brother. BrotherK is the oldest, then came BrotherS who died young, then SisterL, then me, then SisterC, and last of all SisterD. BrotherK, SisterC, SisterD and I are all flaming liberals (not to be mistaken for knee-jerk liberals). We have minds of our own and use them, we read and investigate and share information and work to share what we have and in general to make the world a better place for our being in it. We're not saints, but we do try to keep looking out for the other guy. BrotherK, SisterC, and I are a bit sartorially challenged; SisterC, SisterD and I don't wear make-up; and BrotherK has axle grease under his fingernails.
SisterL is the family Republican. 'nough said. All implied criticisms and aspersions intended.
She and I have never had a good relationship. I was born way too soon after she was, we were shoved together a lot by the way the family was divided up--the boys, the big girls, and the little girls--and we've never been interested in the same things or the same people.
I know I've messed up so many things in my life, taken wrong turns, made stupid decisions, done and said things I wish I hadn't, but man oh man the one thing in my life that I'm proudest of is my family, my trio of spectacularly lovely young women who are going to make some real contributions to the world in the years to come.
I'm used to the fact that SisterL doesn't like me much, but it has hurt that she didn't care for my children, at least not once they got past that 'cute little niece' stage. I've tried to ignore it as much as I could because it bothers our mother that SisterL and I didn't get along.
Her older daughter is getting married in January. The invitation came some time ago, but I hadn't gotten around to sending in the reply card. It was the ordinary sort of reply card, with the space for the respondent's name and the space for how many would be attending.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an invitation to the bridal shower. It was addressed to me only, which I found a little disconcerting. I understood The Niece didn't have a personal relationship with KidThree here, as KidThree joined the family relatively recently, but KidOne and The Niece were quite friendly, once upon a time. I checked with KidOne, thinking maybe she got a separate invitation, but she hadn't. She assured me she didn't mind if I went to the shower without her, so after checking with my mother that she was going, I sent back a response that I would attend.
Then I got around to the wedding invitation. It too had been addressed only to me, but it didn't occur to me, not once, that it meant only me. After all, the reply card asked how many would be attending. Surely they just hadn't put the other names on there. I filled it out, saying that Susan Brown would be attending with a party of three.
I just got an email from SisterL. KidOne and KidThree were deliberately not invited and can't be accomodated. After all, the wedding has to accomodate two families and all have to keep their guest lists trimmed (paraphrasing there). She is sorry for the misunderstanding.
This is a formal wedding with multiple attendants for both bride and groom. And my lovely, bright, beautiful, intelligent daughters aren't invited. I don't want to think it is because one is Brown and the other is Black, but of course that's at the back of my mind. They both sure clean up better than I do, they have good dress sense and wear make-up, and they're about as pretty as it's possible to be without surgical intervention.
I'm still crying. Forty-seven years old and it still hurts that my sister doesn't like me, that she disapproves of me, that she thinks my family is not good enough for hers. You'd think I'd be over it by now. Goodness knows I've had enough time to get used to the idea--it isn't a new one. But still I'm crying.