Wedding season is upon us

Wedding season is about to begin. I always kind of dread it, because weddings are hard on me emotionally. I see all the families there and I tend to get jealous, and I hate that I am getting jealous, and suddenly all I am doing is focusing on myself and why am I not thinking about my friend? I sit there thinking about how nice it is that all the parents showed up and are being polite and how I wish I could have had that. I wish I could have a good relationship with them, but I try not to spend a lot of time thinking about it, because it’s fruitless to worry about a situation that isn’t likely to improve.

(Baby showers are hard, too. Imagining my mother-in-law coming to a baby shower of mine is like imagining an elephant flying on a rainbow through a sky of chocolate clouds. I mean, you can imagine it, but it’s so preposterous and unlikely. But there’s not really a “baby season.”)

Last year I was at a wedding where the families were all behaving nicely and the green monster was rising up inside me, and then I realized that I was seeing things in a much too black-and-white kind of way. Because I had heard the bride talking about her family and the groom’s family, and how hard some of those relationships are. And it was like a lightbulb went on inside my head, and I realized, “Families are hard for everyone! It doesn’t have to be a dramatic estrangement for there to be hard feelings! No one’s family is perfect! Just because they show up, it doesn’t mean that things are any easier relationship-wise!”

Maybe that’s not a revelation for most people. But, as much as I loved our wedding, there’s a part of me that feels ashamed that Mike’s parents weren’t there, that we had to explain it. Maybe it’s thinking of myself as second-class, and maybe it’s just normal to feel a sadness and a bit of shame about the loss of those relationships. Probably it’s a little of both. But as wedding season approaches this year, I’m going to try to keep perspective. Everyone has family troubles. I’m going to try to stop letting the shame and the jealousy paralyze me. No one has a fairytale life, even if they try to project one. I’m going to smile, and breathe, and hold Mike’s hand a little tighter. We’ll get through this wedding season, just like we always do. And maybe this year it will hurt a little less. Maybe this will be the year when I finally learn these lessons.

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