Maid of Honor vs. Made Of Money

Posted on August 8, 2013. Filed under: Couples, Family, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Lora,

My younger sister is getting married and has asked me to be her Matron of Honor.  Although I feel privileged to be asked, I am a wife and mother of three.  Not only is money limited, but so is my time.  She’s expecting me to throw her a shower and I’m afraid I don’t have the time or funds to make it happen.  Is there anyway I can still be a part of the wedding, without hosting a shower, or should I back out altogether?

Dear Not Made of Money,

Let me guess, your sister is the baby of the family, so the fact that you have been married long enough to produce three children means she can’t even remember your wedding.  I’m also guessing whatever she did before, during and after your ceremony, your mom and dad paid for — including the push up bra needed for the super cute bridesmaid dress you picked out, am I getting warm?  Making matters worse, she probably has no idea what the cost analysis of a bridal shower is, right?

Trust me, I can feel your anxiety all the way over here!  Grab a glass of wine and let me put your mind at ease:

As a close family member of the bride, you are not actually supposed to host the shower.  You read that right, you’re not supposed to!  That’s because the guests might feel like you (family) were pressuring them to bring gifts.  Here’s a link to the goddess of all things wedding, Emily Post, who does an excellent job explaining why:

http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/new-times-new-traditions/129-who-can-host-a-shower

Now, how many of us would have lost that bet in Vegas?  I’m guessing the majority.

Take if from me, it’s good to follow ol’ Emily’s advice, otherwise things may be on a path to disaster.

My first trip down the aisle, I was given a shower by my ex-husbands immediate family members, needless to say, that union barely lasted long enough to write the thank you notes.  If EP was reading the tea leaves, based on the shower alone, she would have likely thought it was doomed before it even got started, and she would have been correct!

Honestly, it was downhill from there — trying to be agreeable, I let my ex talk me into allowing the groomsmen to each wear a different colored bow tie, so they could look like a “rainbow” (his description).  That was followed by reluctantly giving in to a rum flavored wedding cake, which I didn’t even like and everyone else complained about.  Then came the realization my ex didn’t even know the Lord’s Prayer until the actual service when his lips weren’t moving!  Good gravy, I wish I was making this stuff up and wish, at times, I didn’t have a memory like an elephant — but I digress.

After my practice marriage, as I call it, came the one that counts, marriage #2 (which is #1 in my heart).  This time, following EP’s book of etiquette to a T, both of my showers were given to me by friends, no relatives of either myself or my husband, Scooter, involved.  Needless to say, the rest of the wedding went smoothly, with black-ties, a tasty vanilla cake with butter-cream frosting and a hubby that even knows the words to the doxology!  The only rainbow that day was in the sky, where it belongs.

Basically, if you stick with EP,  you can’t go wrong.

Now, with that said, if you win the lottery and hire two nannies to take care of the kids, perhaps then you could offer to help physically and financially with the shower, but remember, you are under no obligation as Maid of Honor to do so.  She needs to understand the true duties of the MOH, it’s more of an assistant versus a wallet.

As the MOH, you get to do some pretty cool stuff, like help pick out the bridesmaid dresses, which is huge, we all know what a bridezilla thinks you should wear — lavender dotted swiss with empire waists – UGH!  Also on your list: witnessing the marriage certificate, assisting your sister during the reception, etc.  All stuff you can handle AND afford!

Feel free to share my story with her of what happens when you stray from the EP path.  Basically, when you mess with the tried and true, you may end up with more than just something blue.

So do yourself and your sister a favor, avoid the rum and rainbows and grab a copy of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette.  Put a post-it on the page which explains the MOH duties, give it to your sister and happily accept the position.

 

 

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Bounced because of Nana

Posted on February 27, 2012. Filed under: Family, Parenting, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Lora,

My mother can be inappropriate with the information she shares with my 12 year-old son.  The subjects vary.  Sometimes it’s about sex or drugs, etc., she defends it by saying she wants him to know any subject is okay with her so he has someone to talk to about anything.  Recently he complained to her that his babysitting job didn’t pay enough, so she gave him some bad advice that got him fired.  I am furious!  While he can’t be paid “normal” wages because he’s only 12 and has limited skills, that job was teaching him commitment and a good work ethic.  Now, he has lost all of it – including what money he had earned!

Galled Over By Granny

Dear Galled Over,

There’s a reason the old saying goes: “mother knows best” instead of “grandparents know best”.  That’s because, somewhere between becoming empty nesters and becoming nana and papa, our parents morph into a different species, which we wouldn’t recognize if we time traveled back to our childhood.

Their famous “eat your veggies first” line is replaced with “would you like nuggets or a cheeseburger with your Happy Meal?”  The mandatory bedtime you remember is now considered a suggestion, which is never implemented at their house.  It’s way more important for the grand-kids to stay up late watching old reruns of The Love Boat with grandma, who, by the way, considers it as educational as the History Channel.  Which is fitting, especially since your mother now seems more like bubbly cruise director Julie, than someone who was ever a parent.  She’s running around making sure her grand-babies are having fun, playing games and planning shore excursions in the backyard!

It comes as no surprise to me that your mom overstepped what you and I would consider to be normal parental boundaries.  When you combine a grandparents need to look like a rock-star with their desire to make up for their perceived mistakes made with us, you start to see how age doesn’t always equal wisdom.

Looking hip and “in the know” is super important to a lot of grandmothers.  While it may be cool for the grand-kids, it’s a hot button for us parents!  It’s crazy to watch the one time family sheriff turn into a court jester — treating grand-babies like royalty, letting them drink pop, eat cake for breakfast and teaching them how to play gin rummy for real money!  What happen to the parents who’s favorite line was “I’ll give you something to cry about”?  It’s almost like their bodies have been taken over by aliens, right?

Since I don’t have her side of the story, I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt.  In most cases, the last thing any grandparent would want to do is look bad in the eyes of their grandchildren.  I’m pretty sure she thinks she gave great advice and is completely shocked it backfired.

Unfortunately, you are the one who has to deal with the aftermath.  It’s one more thing added to your thankless routine of screaming “turn the volume on TV down”, “do your homework” and “for the love of gawd, quit trying to give the dog a Mohawk!”  It’s no wonder granny and pops have our kids undivided attention, not to mention unconditional love.  It’s easy to idolize someone who never requires they eat food with nutritional value and spends a crazy amount of time teaching the values of a Vegas card game!

Here’s the thing, your mom needs to “know her audience” — in fact, that’s something all of us can work on.  Just as there is a time and place for off-color jokes you can only share with certain friends, the same is applicable with the grand-kids.  Explain there are some things you shouldn’t be discussing with the kids — YET.  You can also tell her, when they are adults, she can say whatever she wants – whether you mean that or not, it will buy you some time — right now, they’re way too impressionable to handle that kind of advice.  Build her up so she can hear your message.  Re-enforce her queen bee status with her grandchildren and remind her that with that position comes big responsibility.  Let her know you’re trying to help her hold on to that spot…I know, I know, that’s going to nearly kill you to do that, especially now, since you’re so upset, but keep in mind, this is for your kid, not you.

I’d skip harping on how bad her advice was, and how ridiculous it was that she shared that with your son, that will only put her on the defense.  Make sure you stay away from the blame game and focus on gently conveying that it’s best for her to be a cheerleader, rather than an agent.

I agree, your son was earning more than just money with that gig and I applaud your efforts for instilling a work ethic, Lord knows more kids need that these days.  I suggest you call the family he was babysitting for and explain what happened.  Like all of us, that mom has a mother too and will probably understand the situation.  Hopefully she’ll give your son another chance and perhaps a little raise!

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