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A Fight

February 17, 2010
by

As most star-crossed (okay, not so much but it just sounds dastardly romantic) lovers, our families are vastly different. His family is a Harley-Davidson riding, small town-loving, deer hunting folk. My family are tennis playing, country club going, private school yuppies. I don’t know how it is for him (and now, in retrospect, it probably was a good idea to ask my husband…) but in my case at least, growing up (in the States) money is the giant pink elephant in the room sitting on my marble coffee table. Going to a private school meant I was one of the lesser-to-do families. As in, I drove the family Camry to school (when I got to drive at all) instead of the Boxster convertable my father bought me for my sixteenth. I wore non-Abercrombie clothes. I did not wear Versace to prom.

The situation then flipped going to college. I was suddenly the girl whose parents paid for school and expenses. I had no idea how rare that was until college. My father worked for an oil company so that meant that he must be making it big. I said I was from Houston instead of what suburb I was from when people asked me where my family was because I didn’t enjoy the remarks about Stepford town. In college, people also assumed since I didn’t pay for stuff on my own meant that I could also pay for their stuff. It was little things like letting me pay for the group but not paying me back. Comments like “oh you can afford it, you don’t need a real job for real responsiblities”. That stupid pink elephant again. Now I am not whining. I am beyond blessed. I am just saying, when people mention money, I get a little touchy. Apparently, I either have too little or too much.

My parents are paying for a large portion of my wedding.

His parents are not paying for anything.

I would be lying if I said that this did not rub me the wrong way. Especially when we are picking up the tab for the rehearsal dinner.

Now looking back on it, I wish I had remembered to be more forgiving and understanding. I wish I were. Instead, I got irritated and snide.

“Where in their right mind did they think it was okay to allow their newly married son and his unemployed wife to pay for a rehearsal dinner that they still are attending?” I would huff at my sister in self righteous anger.

When I mentioned it to my father, my father shrugged and said, “Well, they can’t afford it” with all the maturity of a man who has lived 55 years and pulled himself up by his bootstraps as they call it. Maybe that should have been my siren alarm call to wake up. If my parents (who are really paying for this wedding) are understanding, maybe I should too. I poked at Cory and nagged, and made snide bitter comments (I am surprising good at those. Or maybe not so surprisingly).

This in the end culmulated in an explosive argument two night ago. You wince having seen this coming. My mother says “I did want to tell you to shut up but I figured you needed to learn on your own” (a sobbing Jesselyn on the phone to her parents at 4 a.m. cured her of that notion). We yelled. I sobbed. More yelled and more sobbing. I hate sobbing for the record. It wrecks my face and makes me puffy.

“I am so glad they are coming at all” Cory said at the end of the night (early morning?) as we lied in bed.

I felt ashamed of my inability to understand where his parents were coming from. Where he was coming from.

“Where did you learn to be so kind hearted?” I asked him softly

A long silence in the dark.

“I learned it from you. Everything that is good in me is because of you. You make me want to be a better person. And now…. is it okay if we go to sleep? It’s really late and I am tired”

Huff. I guess.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 8:07 pm

    You guys are already married. Your money is his money. If you inherit your dad’s money, it will be your cash as a couple. So, what can you do?

    The guy used to make twice as much as me. Then he lost his job. He new job pays him crap. So I have been paying the bigger chunk of our bills. I hate this. I complain. ALOT. But the thing is, he never complained when he made the most money. He never said, “that’s my money” or “jeez, why can’t you earn more money?”

    Being reasonable is hard.

    • Jesselyn permalink*
      February 17, 2010 9:37 pm

      Unfortunately, getting wed makes me crazy apparently. 😛 Sigh.

  2. February 19, 2010 8:43 am

    Oh cupcake is wise.

  3. February 27, 2010 2:54 pm

    Know the feeling… my parents are financially better off than his and so my parents are paying for a large chunk of it, we’re paying for the same amount as my parents and his parents… will contribute what they can (about 1/3). It has been hard not being bitter. But that’s no way to start a marriage right? or at least that’s what I keep reminding myself.

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