Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Dear Mr Postmanners:
Recently, I attended the wedding of a family member. While I was there, my parents started pressing me to marry. Of course, they know that I am, shall we say, not exactly heterosexually inclined -- my father likes to say that I was waving a rainbow flag in the womb. (I then point out that the flag would have been awfully uncomfortable for Mum. She then agrees that it was. It's all very traditional. But that's beside the point, isn't it?) They also know that I am in, to put it mildly, an untraditional relationship with more than one partner. They know all of this and are pressing me to marry, or at least have some sort of commitment ceremony, nonetheless.
It turns out that they want me to marry my partners so that they can have an opportunity to hold an emormous wedding that will make the rest of the family green with envy. All of my cousins have gotten married (some more than once), and each of them has had a wedding even more grand than the last one. And here my parents sit, weddingless and enduring the snide comments of their brothers and sisters. I gather that it's gotten quite annoying. Luckily, I live a few hours away, so I haven't been around to hear most of this.
The problem is, I don't want a commitment ceremony or wedding of any sort. Even if I wanted a wedding, none of the people with whom I'm in a relationship want a ceremony. None of them would even come with me to this one!
Please, sir, tell me, what do I do?
Yours most sincerely,
Panicked in Pittsburgh
Alas, one knows all too well how difficult it can be to resist the pressures of one's parents. One's own mater was quite importunate when she realized the ... er ... precise nature of one's relationship with one's social secretary. Then again, she has always been a stickler for the proprieties.
One must admit, one would like to see a wedding with several principals, as it were, just to see how it's done. Alas, this is one event that has somehow escaped One. In any event, one is afraid that when the parents have their hearts set on ceremony and pageantry, one may do nothing but endure patiently. (Though One's Social Secretary foght back by telling One's mother all about One's sexual predilections. One was frightfully annoyed. Besides, One could have told One's social secretary that One's mother had appalled One frequently with the depth and breadth of her familiarity with sexual expression. One's poor social secretary was quite pale for the rest of the day. But One digresses.)
One can but tell you to grit your teeth and bear it. And send your regrets to family weddings.
(although One cannot imagine why you would want to obtain advice elsewhere.)Emily Post Institute