Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We Eloped aka Taking the Easy Way Out

Here's a fun tidbit about me you probably didn't know...Hatta and I eloped to Vegas to get married. Not like yesterday or anything. This is old, but pertinent information for today's post.

Let's travel back in time, shall we. The year is 2006. Hatta proposed to me and I, for one wild reason or another, agreed to be his bride. I started an account on The Knot. We registered at Macy's and Crate and Barrel. I went wedding dress shopping. All normal things for a newly engaged couple to do. Then, the crazy took over. Not me, I wasn't like Bridezilla or anything. The family. Oh, the family. Everyone's two cents were constantly being thrown at us. But, let me be clear, when I say two cents that's completely metaphorical. No one was actually offering us money. The wedding would be paid for on our dime. Back to the unsolicited advice...Who we should invite. Who we shouldn't invite. Don't forget to invite these family members you have never even met. Where it should be. Where it shouldn't be. It must be in a church. You can't get married not in a church! Hatta and I, sensing the mounting tension surrounding our upcoming nuptials, contemplated a destination wedding. Jamaica was mentioned. Cue the family. You can't expect people to pay that much money to come to your wedding! If you get married out of the country *insert names here* won't be able to come. It's just selfish, that's what it is! Hatta, fearing for his raised catholic life, dismissed the destination wedding idea. Back on track for a traditional-ish wedding, we set a date and continued planning. I bought a book or two and started a binder. I contacted countless caterers, florist, musicians, wedding sites...the list goes on. Meanwhile, the growing strain of planning our wedding and trying to make everyone happy was taking a toll on us as a couple. Instead of sticking it out and problem solving our asses out of the situation, we took the easy was out.

That is what today's post is about.

We had a vacation scheduled to Vegas for a kick ass Halloween music festival. While we were there, we told no one in advance, and were married at The Little White Wedding Chapel by Reverend Keith Love. Not Elvis, much to Hatta's dismay. I loved our wedding. Truly. My mother had recently died and I couldn't imagine walking down the isle without my mom there. The way I saw it, for a brief moment all was right with the world. Hatta and I did it our way, putting the emphasis on our love not everyone else's happiness. And, my mother was the only guest there. Well, aside from the group of Italian tourist that flocked to watch as we said our vows outdoors.

Here lies the problem we never solved...family. Had we solved the family problem all those years ago we would know how to navigate them when they arise now. And boy do they arise. We took the easy way out, living in a dream world where no one else mattered but us. The honeymoon period, where that is concerned, is over. I assure you.

I honestly feel that we skipped a step in joining our two lives. Not because I needed the fairy tale wedding, I did not. As a little girl, you wouldn't have found me with a pillowcase on my head as a makeshift veil. I didn't fantasize about my wedding, having it all planned out well before I found a groom. The wedding didn't matter much to me. But successfully planning it, would have exposed Hatta and I to the complications family impose on a couple. In real life, you don't only marry your partner you also marry his (or her) entire family.

A fact I was made very aware of last weekend. The weekend forever known to me as hell weekend. I will not go into details, but suffice it to say that my in-laws greatly overstepped boundaries regarding the parenting of my daughter. The event as a whole made me so sad. Sad for me. Sad for Alice. But mostly sad for my husband. He is a good father and he deserves respect. Maybe, possibly, these most recent events will force Hatta and I to finally problem solve our asses out of the situation.

5 comments:

  1. Is it possible to love and hate a post at the same time? I had the big wedding, jumped through the hoops and still had/have massive boundary issues with family. At least you got the wedding YOU wanted....and at the end of the day, your family, i.e. you, your husband & your child is the most important. Not all the others. Speaking from my own convuluted set of shitty experiences of course.

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  2. Besides the daughter part, this is my exact story. And the sole reason we live 350 miles from our family.

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    1. Distance is the answer, you say. I'll look into that.

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  3. This is turning into a long and rambling response. Basically you're right, they're wrong, and I'd send cookies if I weren't leaving to see my family tomorrow. And I knew where you live :) You can skip the rest if you want...

    I'm not married, so I don't have in-laws to deal with, but I know that DeBie is not the only one out there with whack-a-doodle family issues despite the whole white wedding deal. I, for one, moved to Denmark to get away from my family issues (stupid visa restrictions made me move back, but that's a whole different story.)

    While I'm sure Hatta's family meant well, they're not the ones raising Alice. I know I'm very guilty of this and I'm going to kick myself over it when I have kids of my own, but how many times have you seen an adult and child interacting (usually in a disciplinary situation) and thought to yourself, "I would NEVER do that with my kid" or "I would NEVER let things get that out of hand!" It's something we all do, it makes us human, and in most cases we don't know enough about that particular situation to be correct in our judgement.

    As for your parenting, I'm going to go ahead and say that you and Hatta are doing a good job. I don't know her, but from what you write she seems to be a happy little girl. She's obviously creative and comfortable enough in her environment to explore boundaries. In the majority of cases, a child who is not thriving will not do anything to provoke his or her parents for fear of physical or emotional harm. This includes having an accident, coloring on walls, refusing food or medicine, asking questions, etc. The fact that Alice does all this means that you're doing something right.

    Eloping is NOT taking the easy way out. It's avoiding the stress and logistics of a wedding with guests, sure, but it's a huge decision as well. While I like the idea of running off to Vegas or Niagara Falls for a quiet little ceremony with just a maid of honor and best man in attendance, I don't want to be anywhere near my family for the first 3 years of my marriage if I choose to elope. They'd kill me, kill my husband and then bring us back to life just to force us to host all the family holiday gatherings for the next 20 years. I have a big family and they drink. A lot. This is turning into a long and rambling response. Basically you're right, they're wrong, and I'd send cookies if I weren't leaving to see my family tomorrow. And I knew where you live :)

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