Wedding Woesby Marnie Macauley February 27, 2017
Personally, I’ve rarely seen a “tsouris-free” major simcha. Is there a special helix in our DNA that manages to find the OY VEY in happy events? We Jews who have spent centuries running, hoping, trying to survive have become, after 3,000 years, a little…suspicious should a little mazel creep in there. And if, G-d willing, things are going well, a Jew with saychel might even create some tsouris…to deflect any outside demons from ruining a perfectly exquisite event.
Dear Marnie: My future mother in- law called to say that she may not be able to join us in Scottsdale for our wedding due to the fact that she is trying to sell her house in Tucson. She wants us to consider changing the location! She knew my family was making the wedding in Scottsdale and we booked with the synagogue and catering hall over a year ago. I’m furious! Should I just go with this, blow it off, or call and confront her?!
– Rock and hard place
MARNIE SAYS: Mamala, the following words have been handed down to me since the very first “Marnie the Maven” advised “Vilda the Chaya” in the next cave whose MIL brought her own bison to Shabbos. Now I shall pass these words onto you: Don’t START!
Hear that? That’s the sound of your mouth filling with bilious ire, aching to spew: “Who the HECK does she think she ….” OK, you feel manipulated by a mama in-law who has fast become “high maintenance.” Suddenly your plans are “an issue” you feel you have to defend.
All I’ve heard is “I.” Where’s the “son,” our khosn? Choosing latke puffs? Well, how does he feel about this mess in the making? Get things straight with your fiancé.
Decide together how you’ll go. For example, celebrate with her after the wedding, help her get to the wedding – whatever. Then, it’s up to him to call her with these suggestions. When it comes to new in-law meshugas, the very best thing you can do in the interest of peace, harmony and your stomach lining is … bupkes. You have a lifetime to work with him on new “mommy” strategies. For now, allow your future mate to lead this dance – that is, if you want your “First Dance” as man and wife to be to the theme from “Love Story” not a Mylanta commercial.
STEPSON STEPS ON WEDDING BELLS?
Dear Marnie: I’m a widow engaged to a widower I met on a Jewish marriage site over five years ago. The problem is his 18-year-old son. (My late husband and I did not have children.) When we first started dating I thought the boy was okay with this. From the start I put up with him. I try to be civil but mostly we avoid each other. A few weeks ago, the boy wrote a letter to his dad stating if we married he wouldn’t come to the wedding or spend summers at home (he’s in college away). It was left in a conspicuous place, so I couldn’t help but read it. After meeting with our rabbi, my fiancé said he wouldn’t let it interfere, but talk of marriage has come to an abrupt halt. I don’t want to be in limbo because of the whims of his son. Will this boy, who I think is a spoiled brat, get better or should I look for a way out?
– Stuck in San Diego
MARNIE SAYS: I could tell you to stop lying to “dad,” to talk to “the boy” together with concern, honesty and devotion, then ask your rabbi about counseling and support groups. But I won’t. Because you won’t. Why? Because you don’t want to.
Face it. Whether “the boy” is as appetizing as a sinus infection, or he’s responding to one (you), you can’t stand him.
Truth, now, OK? You didn’t “try” – you “tolerated.” As did his papa. You see, if after two years you’re both: a) this “unkosher” in your communication with each other and “the boy,” b) still clueless enough to believe avoidance is terrific solution, your chances of finding lasting love here are about the same as finding a pastrami sandwich in downtown Damascus.
Unless you and Dad get “unstuck” by tackling this as adults, go! Scram. For even if you manage to “win,” a victory upon the broken back of a stepchild it will be a precarious and pathetic one, indeed.