Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I have been together for eight years and are now in our mid-20s. We have graduate degrees, good jobs, and have been living with our parents to save for the down payment on a house. We just placed an offer on our first house and (one month ago) set a wedding date for this summer. My fiance is from a large family, and two of his older siblings are also planning weddings for this summer. There is a lot of pressure for us to put our wedding off for one year so as not to crowd the older siblings. I see his family’s point, but feel like this is the right time for us to get married for both moral and financial reasons. Am I expecting too much? – Anonymous
I can sympathize with couples who are excited to have, say, Out of Town Grandma (OOTG) come to their wedding, and who find out that an upstart wedding has snagged OOTG for the one trip she can manage that season.
It’s understandable, too, when OOTG herself feels saddened at having to miss one milestone event just because it’s too close to another milestone event.
However, neither strikes me as sufficient grounds to ask a couple to stay apart against their will for a year, or live together unmarried against their will for a year. Priorities, people.
Even though these siblings are being very silly, don’t provoke them needlessly. Hold your ground – it’s your life – but bump your vows to this spring if you must. Assure them, too, that you won’t take so much as one dollar, guest or watt of light away from these other events.
Carolyn: When I introduced my now-husband to my friends, their collective response was “WOW, he is hot” – which he is, very gorgeous and equally wonderful. But my closest friend added “How in the world did you get him?” – out loud, in front of a dinner gathering. I didn’t appreciate that at all.
Before I could give a comeback, my now-husband said, “What do you mean? My girl is hot!” I married him, of course, and ended that friendship. After that I was told by those friends that I am quick to end friendships. I think I just don’t take mess. Given this exchange, what do you think? – D.C.
If you’re asking me whether your friend deserved to be shunned, then I’d have to ask you, what was the history? Depending on the context, your reaction could have been anything from heroic to cruel.
If you’re asking me whether “I just don’t take mess” is a sign of strength, then I’d argue that people are like buildings. The strongest aren’t the rigid ones, they’re the ones that give just a bit.