The Shower

I had three bridesmaids, of the bridesmaids one was my sister and one was my best friend. I made my sister my maid-of-honor, something I should not have done because it indirectly set the stage for my mother's antics. After months and months of hell we were down to the last two months before my wedding. I didn't expect a shower afterall I didnt have a lot of friends and i knew there was no way my mother (under the guise of my 19 year old sister )would throw one for me. As it grew closer and closer to my wedding and she did not hear anything my best friend decided to throw the shower herself. Though I lived up state she threw the shower in southern part of the state (close to my mother). Then invites went out exactly 7 weeks before the wedding. She used the address list of my wedding and invites all family and friends on the list. Upon arrival of my 'surprise shower' invite my mother sent me an email that read "I got [name]'s invite for your shower, let me know if she needs me to bring anything". That is right she told me about my surprise shower. I knew she was doing that intentially but i didnt want her to further ruin my shower so very nicely I told her to contact the number on the invite and to not tell my friend she told me. I thought there was no other way she could ruin the shower, I was wrong.

That day she contacted my friend, at first with my mom's "classic June Cleaver" like self. Acting like she was excited for the shower and there to help. By the third email (which was arrived in 40 minutes from her initial email) she began asking my friend who else she invited. My friend gave her the list and as soon as my mother found out her mother-in-law was invited the drama started. She wrote email after email talking about how horrible my mother-in-law was. Telling my friends stories how they were ashamed of their grand children and detailed stories how horrible they were. My mother then said how she could not go to the shower is her mother-in-law was there. My friend urged my mother over and over again to come that it is her daughter's shower and she should not miss it. At this point my friend let me know what was happening. She had never dealt with my mother before, she knew there was something wrong but never thought my mother was like this. So when my friend called me she asked if there was an issue with my mother and her mother-in-law. honestly, they would have their moments but they never fought or anything like that. I did not understand why my mother was painting this picture like she and her mother-in-law were two characters from the show Dynasty fighting and throwing each other in the pool. My friend knew like I knew, she just did not want to attend my shower.

Well over the course of the three weeks my friend received the same crazy emails from my mother that I was accustom to. But i have to give it to her, my friend was resilliant, she wanted my mother to act normal if not for one day, for me. My mother went from the excuse of made up family drama to she didnt have a babysitter for my 14 year old brother (who was special needs). My friend knew my brother and knew he was no problem at all. However my mother was accustome to hiding behind him whenever she needed to get out of work, appointments, or anything that required her. but that did not work either, my friend told my mother she had previously worked with special needs children and she had honestly expected my brother to come. Well, it was two weeks to go and my mother really did not want to attend. In her final two weeks she said that my baby brother was deathly ill... yes I said it right, deathly ill. At this point my friend was disgusted. She now realized what I had grown up with. My friend had treated my mother with kitten gloves but she could not take it anymore. In a more stern tone she informed my mother that it would look horrible if she skipped my shower and stayed home. That my soon to be in-laws were driving an hour and a half to come to the shower and she is only 20 minutes away, and my mother and is not coming. My mom didnt care. She told her she will drop off drinks but she is not coming.

The day of my shower was here. I did not realize that shower's were a big thing. Afterall in my house we didnt celebrate any of my accomplishments. I didn't get cake or a card on any of my graduations... and I thought showers were reserved for tv brides. So I wasnt truly excited that morning but after my fiance gave me a gift certificate to get my nails done I took that as a nod that this must be a special day. So I went shopping for an outfit to wear to my shower after all I couldnt wear the jeans I had intended. Maybe for once thsi was going to be my day. So with my hair done and my new outfit on I began my hour drive to my friends house for my shower.

That drive down was the first time I slowed down and enjoyed my engagement. My mother's horribly nasty emails, and phone calls... I figured that today was a cease fire and for once I could be a normal girl. I knew my mother was difficult during the three week planning of the shower but in the end my mother would do the right thing. After all, I wasnt a bad person. I had been there for her in a way a lot of daughter's didn't have to be there for her. Nursing her through her broken wrists... giving her money when she needed it (which was a lot)... It was like I was her parent but today I could be the daughter.

When I arrived I saw my mother-in-law, her sister, and my fiance's brother's wife and child. No one else. My friend's from up north did not come down. My mom's mother-in-law never received an invite (it was sent to the wrong address) and the other names that my friend thought was coming, cause they never called to declined all lived out of state. Thought they were missed I didn't mind thier lack of attendance. What I did notice and so did my in-laws was my mother was not there. She didn't even bring the drinks that she said she was going to bring. I never told my in-law's about my mother so they stood in my friend's empty house in horror not believing what was happening.

I'm not an emotional person, after growing up in a house with my mother there is no emotion I can have that could beat hers. So with that I always kept a cool demeanor. I made light of the situation even though I could see everyone's pain for me in their eyes. My friend did a beautiful job, her decorations and detail, it was so thoughtful and a shame she wasted it on me (and the baggage I came with... myy bi-polar mother). I was use to this but no one at the Shower ever experienced this before. I immediatley had a bottle from the case of champagne my friend purchased to toast my soon coming nuptials and kept a happy face. We all sat in her living room and opened my two gifts and tried to have a good time. after an hour they left, to begin their drive back home. I knew they were leaving because it was too awkward. on the way out they hugged me and even my mother-in-law's sister who was tough as nails was effected by my shower. I apologized and thanked my friend and drove home. It still hadnt hit me what happened when I went to bed that night. The fact that there other guests did not come did not hurt at all. it was the fact my mother really skipped my shower. The next morning when I opened my eyes I was now free from the numbness of the champagne. I thought for the first 5 seconds I thought it was a dream. 5 seconds of peace, by the 6 second, before my eyes even focused, I began to sob. I got out of bed so I wouldnt wake my fiance up but my clothes as fast as possible got in my car, back out the drive way and sobbed like I had never sobbed before. I didn't stop crying for two days.

tinadanka tinadanka
31-35, F
1 Response May 17, 2010

I am so sorry for the experience of your mother not being there for such a special day, especially when it sounds like you have always been there for her. I also want to say thank you for sharing, I can relate to your experience so much, as I am in the process of planning a wedding and my mother has stole everyday of planning so far and made it about her. I am considering eloping so I just don't have to deal with her. And that's not fair. Good luck! Stay strong.