Author Topic: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?  (Read 16896 times)

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lmyrs

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #75 on: September 17, 2012, 03:08:16 PM »
No kiddding. Average first time bride in Canada and the UK right now is about 30 years old and the number of couples living together is growing pretty fast. In the UK 80% of newly married couples spent some time living together prior to the wedding. If we're only getting "excited" for the fresh, new virgins straight out of high school or even college, most weddings are going to be pretty dour affairs.

Don't get me wrong. I don't get terribly excited about other people's weddings either. But I can easily get excited or happy or any other emotion for the 30 year old bride with her 32 year old groom when they've decided that after living together for 4 years that they want to bring themselves even closer together and finally "make it official" I don't know why I should consider that any less special than the 18 year old bride fresh out of high school and her 20 year old groom that's in college or something. Or why the 25 year old couple that maintained separate residences for the 5 years of their courtship are more deserving of my excitement than the first couple. If we're saying that the excitement comes because the living together is the big change, then why aren't we throwing elaborate parties for everyone who moves in with someone else? I mean, if living with someone is the point, and marriage isn't the point, then why should anyone ever get married anyway? I don't think I'm explaining myself very well, but, basically, I don't think that you get to say that someone's wedding means less because they lived together unless you think that two people moving in together is worthy of some big elaborate celebration.

And, I also read that letter as the GMOG being a gigantic pill about the whole situation. She seemed extremely PA and, frankly, mean. And I don't think that chicken dinners and a hall is such an elaborate BWW that the couple should feel ashamed for having it. I don't think that GMOG has to be bouncing off the walls. But, it sounds from her letter like she would have a hard time spitting out a "Congratulations" and I bet that's what the MOG called her on.

KatPsych

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #76 on: September 17, 2012, 04:32:16 PM »
I can kind of see both sides of this.  Obviously, it is rude if Grandma is making disparaging comments at every turn, but at the same time it isn't fair to expect her to manufacture excitement about an event that she may feel ho-hum about (even if she is happy for them).

What we're probably seeing is some kind of conflict that is emerging as norms are changing.  It used to be that a BWW really only occurred for a couple if they weren't co-habitating, etc.  It signaled a major change in their lives as after that event they began to share a household and deal with the daily details of life together.  It wasn't just a shift it legal/commitment status -- it was a shift in life status as well (if that makes any sense). 

Now, with more and more people living together and waiting a while to get married, the BWW is turning more into a celebration of commitment/legal status as opposed to also being about how much your life is going to change.  And for some people, that just isn't the same because they view the most tangible evidence of being married as that life shift.  Also, many people see the choice to move in together and play Scrabble as a rejection of the traditional pattern of relationships.  So when that couple then turns around and wants a traditional wedding it seems a bit off. 

Oh Joy

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #77 on: September 17, 2012, 04:53:47 PM »
I wish I could ask Grannie a follow-up question: Are you talking about being excited about the wedding or the marriage? 

I can see where she might personally not be excited about the marriage.  There's really no major life change for her to be excited about - the couple have already met, chosen each other, and are living as though they're married.  (I understand the significance of declaring it to be forever/legal/time to start a family/etc...but am leaving that angle out of the discussion because this isn't about whether Grannie's views are right or wrong.)  A pleasant neutral attitude is all I think she's socially expected to display.

But from a broader family context, I would hope she would express some excitement about the upcoming event.  It sounds like a significant family gathering and I would consider it polite to be appropriately - but not overly - enthusiastic as a guest when discussing it with the hosts, just as if they were friends planning a major party.

Otterpop

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #78 on: September 17, 2012, 05:05:16 PM »
I can kind of see both sides of this.  Obviously, it is rude if Grandma is making disparaging comments at every turn, but at the same time it isn't fair to expect her to manufacture excitement about an event that she may feel ho-hum about (even if she is happy for them).

What we're probably seeing is some kind of conflict that is emerging as norms are changing.  It used to be that a BWW really only occurred for a couple if they weren't co-habitating, etc.  It signaled a major change in their lives as after that event they began to share a household and deal with the daily details of life together.  It wasn't just a shift it legal/commitment status -- it was a shift in life status as well (if that makes any sense). 

Now, with more and more people living together and waiting a while to get married, the BWW is turning more into a celebration of commitment/legal status as opposed to also being about how much your life is going to change.  And for some people, that just isn't the same because they view the most tangible evidence of being married as that life shift.  Also, many people see the choice to move in together and play Scrabble as a rejection of the traditional pattern of relationships.  So when that couple then turns around and wants a traditional wedding it seems a bit off.

I agree with this completely.

Also adding:  many of the couples I knew who were living together long term said they "didn't need a piece of paper" to prove they were committed.  Years later they decide to have a BWW?  You can't have it both ways.

My excitement comes from the fact that the couple are entering into a new phase of life.  New household together, new family and, in my conservative subculture, sometimes the consummation of the relationship.  (I have a friend in her 30s getting married for the first time in January.  She and her fiance are "waiting" and her gal pals all find it romantic, or "exciting")  When the couple is already living as married, it diminishes that, for me.  I am happy but not "excited."

But then again, what does my opinion matter and what does grandma's matter?  People are free do what they want and Grandma is free to feel as she does.  No one can force her enthusiasm.  Enjoy your wedding regardless.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 06:45:38 PM by Otterpop »

immadz

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #79 on: September 17, 2012, 07:43:52 PM »
I think people would have had a very different opinion if grandma hadn't mentioned the chicken dinners and the sexual activity in her letter. I would have thought her far less judgmental if she had said " I am an old woman. This is my tenth grandchild who is getting married. They already live together so I consider her part of the family so I don't feel like I am welcoming a new member. I am happy for them simply not excited."

Right now I think she is disapproving of the couple and the couple is feeling it and her daughter is trying to keep peace.


Dr. F.

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2012, 08:41:40 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out how the heck Grandma knew when they first started having s3x.

For me, I'd think, "They've been together since she was 16 and are now getting married? Oh, how SWEET!"

Twik

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2012, 10:06:04 AM »
Also adding:  many of the couples I knew who were living together long term said they "didn't need a piece of paper" to prove they were committed.  Years later they decide to have a BWW?  You can't have it both ways.

Let me say, I'll happily celebrate with my friends, no matter what. But there is an emotional difference between "We're putting an official stamp on a relationship that is otherwise not changing much," from "We're starting a whole new life together". Its impact as a rite of passage cannot help but be a little less.

It's sort of like someone who's gone through college without getting one last credit. They leave school, get a job, and years later collect that credit. While their friends may consider receiving the diploma at long last something to celebrate, it's not *quite* the emotional impact of graduating college before going out into the world.

As I said earlier, my advice would be for the mother to sound as supportive as she can, and the daughter to cease to demand that people be more excited than they are.
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Take2

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #82 on: September 18, 2012, 11:23:34 AM »
You know what? My grandfather is 90 years old, and he is understandably old-fashioned in his thoughts on marriage and how life should be. When I got married the first time, I did it to his standards and he was there to help me celebrate. When my husband left me, he was very supportive and kind. When I started dating again, he was happy for me. When my bf moved in with me, my grandfather was kind enough not to voice his disapproval and to respect that my life choices are my own. When I got married again, I KNEW I hadn't married according to my grandfather's ideal plan of events...but he came to my wedding and helped me celebrate my special day.

Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

TurtleDove

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #83 on: September 18, 2012, 11:27:11 AM »
Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

Well put.  In almost every wedding related thread I think, "You can silently disapprove of whatever you want, but if you can't keep it to yourself, don't go to the wedding and don't gossip about it and don't pretend you care about the people getting married."  It so often comes across as the complainer caring more about showing everyone how etiquettely or morally superior she is than actually wanting happiness for the people getting married. And in my opinion, that backfires.

Judah

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #84 on: September 18, 2012, 11:33:31 AM »
Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

The grandmother is not boycotting the wedding, nor do we have any evidence that she is whining about it, or making any PA jabs about it.  What she is is perturbed that her daughter, who isn't even the one getting married, is complaining that Grandma isn't "excited". She did explain that she's happy the couple is getting married, and she explained why she isn't excited.  Why isn't Grandma being happy enough? Why does she have to be excited?
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Allyson

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2012, 11:46:36 AM »

The grandmother is not boycotting the wedding, nor do we have any evidence that she is whining about it, or making any PA jabs about it.  What she is is perturbed that her daughter, who isn't even the one getting married, is complaining that Grandma isn't "excited". She did explain that she's happy the couple is getting married, and she explained why she isn't excited.  Why isn't Grandma being happy enough? Why does she have to be excited?

You're right we don't have evidence she's making PA jabs to the couple, but I think some of her comments in the advice column qualify for that title. We'll never know if she is letting those sentiments out or not, but she did make them, so it's  not totally out of left field posters are wondering if she's also expressing them, intentionally or not. 

bah12

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #86 on: September 18, 2012, 11:50:52 AM »
Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

The grandmother is not boycotting the wedding, nor do we have any evidence that she is whining about it, or making any PA jabs about it.  What she is is perturbed that her daughter, who isn't even the one getting married, is complaining that Grandma isn't "excited". She did explain that she's happy the couple is getting married, and she explained why she isn't excited.  Why isn't Grandma being happy enough? Why does she have to be excited?

Actually, we do have evidence.  It's her letter.  Like I said before, I seriously doubt that judgemental attitude is just coming out in her letter and that her daughter is totally off base with her "complaints."

She doesn't have to be excited.  But her explanation of why she isn't excited, comes off as dissaproving, harsh, and overly critical.  If I had someone display this kind of emotion about my wedding, our relationship would have soured quite fast.  I suspect that her daughter is trying to communicate to Grandma how her attitude affects the HC.

If she had said "My daughter thinks I should display more excitement, but while I'm happy for my grandson and his fiance, it's just not in me to be over the moon about this wedding.  They've been together so long that I already consider her a member of my family and I've been through so many of these that getting all giddy and doing back flips is too much. " then I think that she'd come across more as a victim of her daughter's expectations.

But, when the first thing she mentions is the age in which they first had sex, their living together, and then makes sarcastic comments about a couple hundred chicken dinners, she doesn't come off as the quiet, loving grandma who is being pushed over the edge by a greedy daughter and an OTT wedding.  To end with the sarcastic "woo-hoo I'm excited" just seals it.

Judah

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #87 on: September 18, 2012, 11:55:26 AM »
Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

The grandmother is not boycotting the wedding, nor do we have any evidence that she is whining about it, or making any PA jabs about it.  What she is is perturbed that her daughter, who isn't even the one getting married, is complaining that Grandma isn't "excited". She did explain that she's happy the couple is getting married, and she explained why she isn't excited.  Why isn't Grandma being happy enough? Why does she have to be excited?

Actually, we do have evidence.  It's her letter.  Like I said before, I seriously doubt that judgemental attitude is just coming out in her letter and that her daughter is totally off base with her "complaints."

And I guess we're not going to agree on this point.  I see her explanation as just that, an explanation to the advice columnist so that she has the full picture of the situation.   We don't know that Grandma has said anything negative or judgmental to the happy couple at all.
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bah12

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2012, 12:03:04 PM »
Why was my grandfather at my second wedding? Because a wedding is a time to celebrate and support the people we love. The people we love, we love even when they don't do things our way. IMO, boycotting a wedding or whining about a wedding or making PA jabs about a wedding are all ways to prove that one doesn't really care for the people getting married. And I can understand why a woman would be upset to see her own mother doing that to the grandson.

The grandmother is not boycotting the wedding, nor do we have any evidence that she is whining about it, or making any PA jabs about it.  What she is is perturbed that her daughter, who isn't even the one getting married, is complaining that Grandma isn't "excited". She did explain that she's happy the couple is getting married, and she explained why she isn't excited.  Why isn't Grandma being happy enough? Why does she have to be excited?

Actually, we do have evidence.  It's her letter.  Like I said before, I seriously doubt that judgemental attitude is just coming out in her letter and that her daughter is totally off base with her "complaints."

And I guess we're not going to agree on this point.  I see her explanation as just that, an explanation to the advice columnist so that she has the full picture of the situation.   We don't know that Grandma has said anything negative or judgmental to the happy couple at all.

Yes, we will have to disagree.  While I agree she offered an explanation, and likely a very accurate one, I don't see how it's possible that she hasn't shared those thoughts with anyone at all (outside of writing the letter),  whether in direct words or through her actions/attitude, and her daughter's complaints are pure coincidence. 

VltGrantham

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Re: Grandma not showing enough excitement at upcoming wedding?
« Reply #89 on: September 18, 2012, 12:07:45 PM »
I don't know.  The bolded parts come across as pretty judgmental to me.

Quote
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is annoyed with me because I'm not jumping up and down with joy over my grandson's forthcoming wedding. Yes, I am happy they're getting married, but how excited can I get? The two have been sexually involved since they met in high school four years ago. She was 16; he was 17.

For the past two years, he and his girlfriend have shared an apartment and lived as man and wife. The bride-to-be's parents are not exactly thrilled either at the expense of a white gown and a few hundred chicken dinners, hall and band. However, my daughter insists on it and wants everybody to get excited.

OK -- so I'm excited. Whoopee. -- GRANNY MAE

Maybe if she had left those parts out, it'd be one thing.  Why does anyone, even the advice columnist, need to know the respective ages of the bride and groom, when they first began having sex, or call attention to the color of the gown?  If she had left out those details, which in my opinion weren't strictly necessary to communicate the situation, she'd have sounded a lot less judgmental.