The Road To The Altar: Why Do Weddings And Funerals Make People Act So Crazy?

March 24, 2016  |  

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During my first semester of graduate school, my beautiful auntie, Brenda*, met the man of her dreams. She announced to the family that they would be getting married soon, and we were all so very happy for her. Aunt Brenda is one of my mom’s big sisters, and she basically assumed the “Mother Hen” role among her siblings. And when the nieces and nephews came along, she became a second mom to all of us as well. She never had her own children, but she devoted her entire life to looking out for, supporting, and lending a helping hand to her family. She was also my grandmother’s primary caregiver until she took her last breath back in 2009. Aunt Brenda has truly been the glue that holds our family together.

When my grandmother passed away, we were all very worried about Brenda. While we were all super close to my granny, she was immensely close with Brenda. And it seemed that caring for granny gave Brenda purpose in a sense. We used to jokingly call granny Aunt Brenda’s husband. That’s how tight they were. We thought Brenda would fall apart when it finally hit her that granny was no longer with us. She did fall apart, but then, she managed to put herself back together again. With God’s help, Aunt Brenda found new purpose. Although we didn’t think it was possible, she became even more outgoing than before. She took trips. She made significant strides at work. She found new hobbies. She even met a special someone, and they decided to get married. We all thought that this was awesome. Well, most of us did.

Our huge family decided that we would pull our resources together to pull off the wedding of Aunt Brenda’s dreams. After all, she had devoted so much of her life to us; we figured that this would be an excellent way to show our gratitude. Everyone was on board except for Samuel*. From day one, Samuel proved to be a Negative Nancy. He made it clear that he did not want to help out with the wedding, which was fine. We knew we couldn’t tell him what to do with his hard-earned coins, but we, at least, expected moral support. He had none of that to offer either. Instead, he was very pessimistic about their marriage in general, and it actually seemed that he was trying to turn everyone else off to the idea of helping out with the wedding as well. It was a pretty frustrating experience for everyone, and we honestly couldn’t figure out why he was being so icky about things.

By the grace of God, we survived without any outbursts or serious arguments. And many of us almost started to forget how much Samuel chose to show his behind way back when. Well, until I got engaged and he started trying to do the same exact thing to me. It began with him asking invasive questions like how I’m paying for my wedding and pressuring me to have it at a community center. As I shared in a previous entry, he even started harassing my mom about our plans and making belittling comments about what we should and shouldn’t be spending our money on as if he knows what my paycheck or bank account looks like. Mind you, we’ve never asked anyone for financial assistance with the wedding. Both my fiancé and I have good jobs and money is not really an issue. Yeah, weddings are pricey, but we’re pretty okay in that department. We don’t live above our means, and really, Samuel’s comments have been completely unwarranted. After he had burned us with his nasty comments a few times, I made the decision not to discuss wedding plans with him anymore. But the crazy part is that he acts offended when we don’t want to discuss it with him. He literally goes out of his way every time he sees us to ask, “How’s planning for the big wedding going?” I’m not planning a huge, elaborate wedding, but it’s also not going to be at someone’s rec center like he previously suggested. I get that not everyone is into weddings, which is fine. But it really makes no sense why someone who isn’t a fan of weddings goes so hard about them. The last time he saw my mother, he blurted, “I’m just going to let you know right now, I don’t where I’m going to be during the month of the wedding so…,” essentially leaving her to draw her own conclusions. It was evident that he received his save the date in the mail, and he just wanted to throw more salt in the game. And even though I sent it well in advance, and also, chose not to hold the wedding in November since he explicitly asked me not to because would be vacationing during that month, he still found a way to be a jerk. Just because.

My mom handled it well. She remained calm even though she knew that he was just trying to get under her skin.

“That’s fine,” she told him. “Just make sure you specify whether or not you’ll be present once the invites are sent out and you have the opportunity to RSVP. Hopefully, you’ll know where you’ll be by then.”

Of course, he proceeded to throw petty jabs.

At first, I began to wonder what he has against weddings, but as I began to reflect, I started to realize that he kind of acts up when funerals are approaching as well. When my grandmother passed, he went out of his way to do and say some pretty hurtful things. I’m familiar with the saying that weddings and funerals bring out the worst in people, but for the life of me, I really can’t seem to figure out why.

*Names have been changed

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