A week after my mother’s trip, she found out that her father had passed away. It was really interesting how it happened. He was dying of bone cancer and didn’t tell a soul. He had disowned my mother years before and she returned the favor. The stories that I heard from others about him were that he was very abusive toward my mother. He abandoned his apartment and checked himself into a nursing home and died a few weeks later. It took the state of Pennsylvania about two weeks to find her since she was the only next of kin. He had no wife or other children. She was hysterical. I wasn’t. I was pretty blunt about it too and maybe insensitive. I felt that since he was so abusive toward her and then disowned her, she should just acknowledge that he died and move on. Personally, I always felt that if my parents died I would probably grieve a little bit, but really, it would be a relief. She didn’t see it that way. She dropped everything and made a trip up to Philadelphia. I understand that she wanted to see if he left any information about her birth mother. She had no information about her so I understood that this was important to her but I think there could have been better ways to go about it. They county already cremated him because they couldn’t find any family in time. She came back with some stuff and then a few weeks later went back with Dave and his (shitty) truck to take care of the rest of the apartment. I think she ended up having to pay for the last month of rent since he abandoned it and then she had to pay to have the rest of the furniture and stuff hauled off. He didn’t put his affairs in order. He left quite a mess. If it was me, I would have let the apartment go but she didn’t do that. Because she dumped so much money in the back and forth from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, I had to confront her about my wedding details. She flipped out and yelled at me that we couldn’t discuss my wedding because she was still grieving. It was a month after the fact and she wasn’t close to him. I’ll be honest. I was pretty fucking rude to her at that point because I didn’t understand why she was dumping so much of her resources (that she didn’t have) into putting him and his things to rest. I told her that she needed to hurry up and get over it. I did later apologize and I admit that I was being insensitive but she wouldn’t talk to me about the wedding details and I needed to know. I really couldn’t afford to be stuck with this entire bill. I was already paying for the church, the flowers and our honeymoon. That’s about all that we could afford. We were wanting to go to the Florida keys or something but had to go a different route because we wouldn’t be able to afford it. So, we ended up booking a bed and breakfast in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She was livid with me for my comment so I just let things simmer down for a bit. She finally got in touch with me and let me know that things would be fine and she would still be able to pay for what she promised. I don’t know how, but she promised.
We had asked both of our mothers to provide us with a list of family and close family friends that they would like to be invited to our wedding so that we could get our invitations ordered. We needed to have them ordered by December in order to have enough time to address them and send them out. We picked a simple 4-fold invitation that didn’t require an envelope. The RSVP was a tear-off postcard. I loved the simplicity and they were cheap. Todd’s mother sent us a list that would have been about 45 invitations total. Between Todd and I, we had about 50 invitations. We received a list from my mother and she had almost 90 invitations. I called and told her that I wasn’t inviting all those people because this would end up being well over 150 people. Granted, most of the people on her list wouldn’t be coming because they were out-of-town. However, there was about two dozen people on that list that had no business getting an invite from me. She had people that she worked with a decade before. These people probably didn’t even know who I was. They weren’t close family friends, they were her old co-workers. I called again after taking a closer look at the list and told her that I absolutely wasn’t inviting these people and that it was an embarrassment to me that she was even suggesting that I should. In her infamous fashion, she went ape-shit on me over the phone. Keep in mind that my mother cannot communicate like a mature adult. She chewed me out over the phone and reminded me who was footing the bill. She also told me, “well, duh, I know those people aren’t going to come!! I want you to send them invites so they will send you presents and money!!” Apparently, she wasn’t aware of the fact that people just don’t send a person that they barely know money and gifts for their wedding. I knew my invite would just end up in the trash and our budget was super tight so I didn’t want to have to bump up to the next level of invites. I would have been out an extra $50 to make that happen. I argued with her and told her that she was ridiculous and that I wasn’t after gifts and money. This was our special day and I wanted those that cared about me present and invited. She ended up threatening me that if I didn’t comply with her wishes that she wouldn’t pay for a damn thing. I was already screwed with a $1500 David’s Bridal credit card.
She hung up on. I was upset and crying. Todd was there with me. I told him what she said. That really pissed him off. He knew about my past with my parents and didn’t feel that I needed to endure any more abuse. He picked up the phone and called her back. In a very stern voice he told my parents that if my mother wants to act like a child and not pay for all of the things that she promised, then we would change our wedding plans and they would not be invited. She changed her tune real quick. A few days later, she told me that she was still upset about her father. I call bullshit because she hated her father but it was a good cop-out. Without her knowledge, I removed all of those co-workers from the list. She didn’t speak to those people any more and I knew she would never find out. I had to invite the people from the church. Partially, because she threw a wedding shower and most of those people showed up for us so it would be disrespectful not to. Also, she would probably find out if I didn’t invite them. We whittled her list down to about 65, knowing that most of those people weren’t going to come.
I got my first bill in February for the David’s Bridal account. When I opened the bill, I about lost my shit. She tacked on another $300 just for HER outfit. I didn’t give her authorization to put anything on my account but someone at David’s Bridal in Oklahoma didn’t think it would be a big deal. I thought she would have bought something at JC Penny or something like that and for a lot less than $300! At this point, we were putting all of our extra money into the honeymoon and pictures. Money was very tight! Todd and I already had several credit cards between the two of us and his student debt so we were trying to be smart and limit ourselves. I was livid with her. She hadn’t paid a dime toward this card so I felt that she had no business putting her outfit on there. I also thought that $300 for her stuff was just extravagant and unnecessary. I didn’t even confront her about this one because she swore she was paying me back for this.
Our wedding day came and everything went off without a hitch. We had good control over everything and everyone had a good time. My mother came through on the reception but that was it. We were forced to forgive the $1800 debt for the dresses because they were struggling financially because of my grandfather’s death. I was really surprised to see some people from my old church show up. It was about a 4 1/2 hour drive. I wasn’t surprised that many other family friends didn’t even send a card much less show up. She was so certain that I would get all of these presents and money but we didn’t really get anything from anyone on her list. She never found out that I didn’t send invites to her old co-workers so I’m happy that I made that decision. After the wedding, my parents treated me with more respect. I really think it’s because Todd stood up for me and they knew that they now had to go through him. I wasn’t fair game anymore.