Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jewish Guilt

So the time has come for me to mail our wedding invitations. Like so many couples do, we have had an ever-changing list of who is invited and who is not invited. I would love to invite our entire Shul - of course I would have to win the lottery to afford that but it's still a nice genuine thought of mine.

Since we've both been married before we agreed that we wanted a small ceremony. Originally we had planned for a minyan. That minyan has blossomed into three minyans. And I'm ok with that. And I am ok with the Jewish guilt I feel about inviting some of our Shul friends and not others.

So the list is FINALLY finalized. The invitations have been beautifully addressed and now they are sitting on my desk waiting to be mailed.

And then my sister calls to lay on some guilt. You see, I am not inviting my mother. My mother and I do not have a wonderful relationship. Actually, we don't speak at all. My sister is sure that years from now I will feel guilty about not having invited my mother. And of course the guilt has already settled in and I am doubting my decision since she is my only mother no matter what our relationship is like. What do you all think? Invite her? Don't invite her? Oy.

11 comments:

Gila said...

If you invite her, will she come? If not, invite her. :)

Suzsqueak said...

I would say to you, since I have the same situation with my father, you won't regret not inviting her. You don't want your wedding to be a time of stress because your mother shows up and makes you uncomfortable and unhappy. At the end of the day, I understand the guilt, but the guilt you can live with, the memory of a ruined day you won't. But of course that's my two cents, and you'll have to choose the path that feels best for you.

Chia in Miami said...

Will she make an unpleasant scene if she does show up? If there is ANY chance of that, then don't invite her. But if not, then see if you can get past it. Use your special *bride powers* to bless her. I never knew about bride's blessings until I attended the wedding of my frummest friend...but it was a very moving experience to be blessed by her. Maybe it will bring some healing to you both.

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

I agree, if there is a chance of some kind of scene, it's better avoided. My uncle wasn't invited to my wedding because he and my parents had a major blow up, and there were still very hard feelings there (even to today). If he came to the wedding, there was a very real chance of another argument/blowup. I felt bad that he wasn't there, but we all had enough to deal with... like that photographer... grrr... but that's a story for another day. ;-)

But if you and your mother could have a "time out" from whatever the issue is, then maybe it would work. (Would "Gung-gung" be able to help negotiate? From your post a while back, he seemed very comfortable with you and LO. Hope I'm remembering the name right and I'm not forgetting something else and putting my foot in my mouth.)

Jack said...

Tell your sister that she is welcome to give up her invitation for your mother.

Seriously, I don't know if I'd invite her. If she is going to make you uncomfortable...

Z said...

I think if you can feel that it's the best decision not to invite her then don't. But if you will feel like you should have years from now...even if it doesn't work out...then you should. You have to feel confident in your decisions.

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

I agree that if she wouldn't make a scene or drive you crazy,then it's worth giving her a chance - you never know.. my mother after driving me nuts for months, actually was perfectly nice about the wedding on the day, and even admitted she'd been wrong. I'm not holding my breath to hear that again, but it just goes to show, you never know....

Juggling Frogs said...

These are *exactly* the types of decisions I'm always grateful to ask my rabbi.

If I had to decide this on my own, I'd invite her, even if it's stressful, and even if she's a pain, UNLESS she is incapable of behaving herself, or UNLESS she is abusive, an addict, or openly hostile to your husband.

In short, I'd say, annoying is okay, but abusive is unacceptable.

And I feel your pain, Orieyenta, on the whole invitations-cut-off guilt.

Mazal tov, mazal tov, mazal tov! I hope you will be able to invite your mother, and that she'll behave herself, and that this will be the opening page of a new chapter in your relationship. A good chapter.

Another meshugannah mommy said...

I donlt know your family dynamic, so I cannot advise you what to do. Just go with your heart. Weddings are supposed to be joyous.

orieyenta said...

Thank you all for your input. I'm still undecided and realize I will have to make a decision soon. It's not that she will cause a scene - it's just that it will make both PHD and I very uncomfortable to have her there and that is a hard thing to ignore.

Doreen Orion said...

If that's the case, then don't invite her. I don't understand why you would feel guilty later, unless it's in case your relationship with her changes. But, if that happens, hopefully you'll understand that at the time of the wedding, the relationship was not were it ended up being, and while if the wedding were years from now (ie you and she got along better) you might invite her, but not today.

I never did understand the concept of doing something really sucky now, JUST IN CASE doing it prevented something sucky in the future. Seems like a lousey bet to me.

If it makes you feel better, send her a letter, telling her you wish you and she were at a point where it wouldn't be stressful to see each other at the wedding, but for whatever reason, that's not the case (no blame), and that you hope at some point in the near future, you'll be able to share simchas together.