Thursday, April 03, 2008

So this is just weird

Turns out this was the world's lamest wedding invitation.

I told Dad I could probably arrange for someone else to be on hand for my exam, and if necessary I could skip the conference I was planning to attend, so I could manage either of the first two dates he gave me. The third, my graduation, was an absolute no-go. Not only for my own sake, but because my mother already has tickets to come over here for it, and I cannot imagine her reaction if I told her she had to cancel her visit because my father was getting married.

But unfortunately (?) he has decided that third date works best for them. Which on the whole isn't so bad, because I think this wedding has serious weirdness potential, and it might be easier to have an iron-clad excuse for skipping it. It does mean I'm unlikely to meet his new wife (and her two school-age children who I just found out about today) until after they are a big happy family already, but I can live with that.

This is going to make NZ trips even complicated than they are now, though, since my father will be moving to Wellington, which will mean Geekman and I have parents who expect regular visits in Auckland, Tokoroa, Wellington and Christchurch. (For those unfamiliar with NZ, imagine a long skinny country and four cities fairly evenly spaced along its length).

One other consideration: do we send them a wedding present? Does it make a difference that Dad didn't give us one? Or would it just look petty not to?


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Oh, how odd... I hope it turns out well for your father -- but, having an iron-clad conflict already in place isn't exactly a bad thing.

I think you should send a wedding gift. Your new step-mom won't know anything about his not sending one to you, but she will notice if you don't send one. It is best not to get off on the wrong foot with her. When you go shopping, think of it as a 'welcome to the family' gift for her.

Dorie said...

I think it's good that events in your own life, will get you off the hook. It seems like when parents remarry they wish/hope that all will fall into place and everybody will become a happy blended family. Some do, some don't. At least, by trying to work around your schedule, he's making an effort.
As for a present, I guess the "do unto others" rule applies. Just do what you'd do for any other couple.

StyleyGeek said...

Well, Dorie, that's the thing. For any other couple whose wedding I would not actually be present at, I don't think I would send a gift. Probably only if I felt some obligation due to them having given me a gift in the past.

But in this case, I think ITPF is right. Not sending one would probably be interpreted as overly significant, so I guess I should.

But what do you get someone you have never met? (Going by my father's tastes is no good here, since he never wants anything, never buys anything, never needs anything.)

~profgrrrrl~ said...

I agree about sending ... well, at least a nice card. Because of your new stepmother, not your father.

Something like a vase is usually a safe gift, even though it tends to not be what the recipient most wanted or needed.

If you're truly stumped, perhaps you could just send flowers to her a few days before the wedding (so they don't get lost in the crazy, but add to her excitement) with a "welcome to the family" note.

Anonymous said...

alright everyone else is nicer than I am. I think I'd find myself so busy with upcoming graduation and what not that a gift would just slip my mind. then again, I speak to my father once a year or so. in which case, I think everyone else is giving you much better advice: something safe and easy like a vase or at the least a card would really be a good idea.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'd say the path of least resistance is best here, regarding the present: send something (mostly so that your new stepmom doesn't think you have something specifically against her), but don't put much effort or money into it. Actually, I think pg's idea of a vase is brilliant. Or maybe a serving plate.

So, this means your Dad's not coming over for your graduation, huh? Doesn't that iron out a few of the wrinkles for your grad attendance?

Natural Blonde said...

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the present.

I have a large and dysfunctional family and I've decided that I'm only going to give presents to those members of my family who actually seem to care about me!

My eyebrows are raised at your Dad deciding to get married on the one weekend you couldn't make it - if you don't send a present he might have to explain why to his new wife! If my partner had children I would move heaven and earth to make sure that he invited them and that they could come; remember you're not the one responsible for welcoming her into your family - what about her job of welcoming you into her family?

Nope; I'd just let them get on with it.


CAE said...

Do you have Ticketmaster in NZ? A gift card from them is always a great idea as the recipients can then choose an event to go to - sport, theatre, music etc. And you don't have to wrap it up or put much effort in at all ;)

James and Rachael said...

dude WEIRD. Weird weird family weirdyness. I fall before its mightiness.

Send a toy car. Or a hen. Or a book on tatting. That would almost balance it out.

StyleyGeek said...

I love James and Rachael's idea. Oh yes. A weird gift for a weird wedding. But I don't think I'm brave enough.

Maybe a vase :) Or flowers. I like the flowers idea.

StyleyGeek said...

Q of WP, yes, that makes thing much easier. Except that I suspect graduation is now going to be a little marred by my mother falling apart because Dad is getting remarried.

Lucy said...

I'm sorry it's so weird and complicated.
I have had no idea how to deal with my similar family weirdness, and I tend to passive aggressively ignore my dad rather than trying to figure it out, but I didn't get him and his wife anything for their wedding.
I think flowers would be a nice gesture, though.

Badaunt said...

I like the idea of flowers, too. Lovely to receive, but not too much trouble for you. I don't think you should go to much trouble.

Psycgirl said...

Wow, I was hoping that really wasn't a wedding invitation. That's kind of weird.

Helen said...

I'm also in favor of a weird gift. How about a nice jar of mixed nails?

liz said...

I would send something that the whole new blended family could use and enjoy. A favorite old movie on DVD with popcorn in a popcorn popper $50 (US) tops.

liz said...

Also, your dad...passive agressive much? Seriously, the only day he can hold his wedding on happens to be your graduation? Gah.