Advice needed ASAP Updated: Now with more decisiveness!

Ok, so since I came out to my father's side of the family, one branch, particularly one uncle and his wife, ok, mainly his wife who rules her family with an iron claw, has been pretty shitty to me and Kristin. When Kristin and I had our reception after our committment ceremony, none of that family came. And the big family gift that everyone from my dad's side of the family went in on? Well, they didn't go in on it. Actually, I heard through the grapevine that my uncle DID contribute, but only on the condition that it remain a secret -- even I wasn't to know -- so his wife couldn't find out. My parents told me anyway so I wouldn't think that my uncle hated me (I worked for him for 10 years), but it just made me angrier that his love for me wasn't strong enough for him to visibly do the right thing.

Anyway, they were pretty cold when Kristin got pregnant, and even though we invited them to the shower (I prefer to try to stay open and continue to allow people chances -- what this means is that I prefer to force people to continually be assholes rather than just assume that they are one and make it easy on them by never asking them to change) they didn't come. My cousin, her daughter, did give us a gift for Julia shortly after Julia was born, but my aunt and uncle remained cold and distant. Then, at Christmas my uncle's wife seemed to thaw. She even had a present for Julia (it's not about getting things, but rather it's about being accepted as a family member) and spoke to us civilly for the first time in years. Now, my cousin's wife gave birth in January. And that aunt (her mother-in-law) has decided to throw her a shower. My mother knew she was going to be invited and has been very vocal (ever since they snubbed our shower and Julia right after she was born) that she was NOT going to attend. However she just called me to ask me what I think. Since they are being nicer to us and Julia, should she go to the shower? Should Kristin and I go? We were included in mom's invitation because my aunt claims that she doesn't have my address (I've sent her several things over the years with my address -- including our baby announcement, but whatever, obviously she just threw them away! Never mind calling someone and getting our address!). So, what do you think? Should we take this as an opening and move forward towards establishing good will? Or should we treat them the way they've treated us? Natalie (my cousin's wife) has always acted a little strange. She's nice, and most of the time she'll act very nice towards us, but then sometimes she'll snub us -- usually when that aunt is around. It makes me think that she's a decent person who's just trying to stay on the good side of a very autocratic woman. The shower's really about her and her baby, so do I want to hurt them because I'm so hurt by my aunt? (btw -- this Aunt insisted on calling me Trishta for the first, oh I don't know, 25 year of my life! It wasn't a lisp. She can pronounce her "s" just fine in every other word. Just not my name. Even when I would correct her she would call me that. It wasn't until I forcibly corrected her oldest daughter who pronouced my name that way that she also started calling me by my correct name)

What would you do?

Thank you everyone who gave their opinion. I really value what everyone said. Well, I do like to be the bigger person. But in this case I don't think I'm quite big enough. So. We decided that my mother would go as a representative of our branch of the family. She may take my Sister in Law the Maybe with her if SiLtM doesn't already have plans. She will bear a gift from Kristin and I and our excuses: too late notice, already had plans, so very very sorry, etc. All of which are true and none of which would have mattered if we a)had been asked nicely -- instead of as an afterthought or b)actually liked the people involved. So, ok, we didn't slam the door shut. But we're not rushing to push it open, either. I know in our current political climate I should be taking every opportunity to be open and loving and kind and get people to like me so that they will, I don't know, stop voting for people who take away my rights. But sometimes I'm just too hurt to keep putting myself out there. And sometimes I think that people should see that they've hurt me with their actions. *sigh* Oh well.

Posted by Trista @ 9:42 AM

Read or Post a Comment

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind...

Go. Just because they're assholes doesn't mean you have to be one, too. Set a good example for your daughter. (Not that you don't... that sounded sort of wrong... I'm really not being a judgemental ass... I promise!)

Posted by Anonymous Molly @ 10:16 AM #

I'm gonna go all "Golden Rule" on you here. I think you should go. Be noble and all that.

Posted by Blogger Jen @ 11:19 AM #

tough call. I think it is possible to go, while still having your own very justified feelings of hurt and anger. Not going won't teach them a lesson - but if on that day, or if in this particular case, you don't feel up for homophobia and 'doing the right thing', you have permission not to go.

Posted by Blogger charlotte @ 11:43 AM #

Yeah, it's usually the best policy to be the bigger person and do the right thing. But in this case I can't help but think "to hell with 'em".
Probably not my sagest professional advice, but you get what you pay for.

Posted by Blogger Anonymous Assclown @ 11:52 AM #

I completely understand why you are hurt. But if you don't go to the shower, I believe it will undo any goodwill that has been established.

People can be crapheads. People can also change. I think you should go.

Posted by Blogger Kiker @ 11:54 AM #

Okay heres what I think. We had this issue last year. We got invited to the big family Christmas party for the first time, and I didn't want to go, because everyone is so mormon. Well I decided that I wasn't ashamed, but rather proud of my family and wanted to show them off. So we went, after all if they didn't want us there they wouldn't have invited us.It wasn't too bad, although I don't know that we will go again, but we'll see. So I think you should go. I think it will be rubbing it in your aunts face even more if you go. Show how proud you are and how you don't care what they think. If you don't like it, then you don't ever have to go again. At least give it a try.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 12:44 PM #

I agree with this, Just Go and show them that you are the bigger person, But, if you feel any discomfort at the shower, just leave, you and K don't need this ok?
I know is though but the soon to be born baby has no fault of other's actions :)
That's my point of view

Posted by Blogger Sublime @ 1:57 PM #

I think if you don't go you'll be closing a door that has been cracked open just an inch. If you do go, that door may close anyway, but at least you'll know you have tried. I have found in my own life that my regrets usually stem from the things I haven't done rather than the things I have. It just may be that somewhere down the road this new baby and Julia will be very good friends. What if? I say take the chance.

Posted by Blogger K. @ 2:07 PM #

Today I got a thank-you note for a gift I sent to a shower that I wasn't even invited to. (Full story here.) That branch of the family is mostly jerks too, and yet I took the high road. I didn't go to the shower - even if I'd been invited (my mom was, interestingly enough) I wouldn't have gone, but that's more because of the fact that we were due the same day and she's having the baby and I'm not. I did send a gift, though. It keeps the peace, makes you look like a good guy and is a nice thing to do. And like you said, it's about the baby who hasn't offended you (yet).

Be sure you choose something they'll use EVERY DAY so they'll be reminded of you constantly. Nice if your aunt comes over and sees it, too. Stab stab stab.

I also buy gifts for J's distant relatives whom we only see during times such as these. I go to the showers, I go to the weddings, they don't know me and they really don't even know J. But it's what you do, and who knows, we might need them someday too. It's a family thing.

Posted by Blogger Lorem ipsum @ 3:50 PM #

I think since you were actually invited you should somehow participate. BUT you don't have to go if you don't want to subject yourself to a negative, soul-sucking environment. I like the idea of at least sending a gift and a nice note wishing mom and new baby well, full of regrets for not being able to make it.

And I like the idea of sending something VERY useful because I'm very subversive like that.

Posted by Blogger Sacha @ 4:03 PM #

I'm going to take a different tack. It has nothing to do with what is owed and what is the right thing to do.

Answer this question:

Do you feel comfortable going?

Posted by Blogger Joel @ 7:22 PM #

I would go to be the bigger person and it would be a good chance see the rest of your family

Posted by Anonymous Da Neighbor @ 7:59 PM #

Late commentator here! :)

We had a similar issue with a cousin, who did eventually come around to being nice, although I have no doubt that her religious views are the same as they ever were.

Maybe you could send the mother-to-be a note with the extremely practical present (I love that idea!) explaining your reason for not coming.

If you do go with a note, I'd try to take the most neutral tone you can, focusing on your experience and your feelings, less on the hurtful aunt's behavior. And I'd try to end it on a hopeful note, maybe talking about the future friendship you hope that Julia and her child can have, and the importance of family.

Good luck. This sounds like a very emotional and trying situation, and whatever you do, I know it will be the right thing for you, Kristin & Julia.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 8:57 AM #

By the way, useful baby shower gifts include diaper bags and baby monitors. I always go for the diaper bag. :-)

Posted by Blogger Lorem ipsum @ 9:03 AM #

totally go.

You being the "bigger person" can only make them feel worse by seeing how AWESOME you are!

And, ultimately, help to change the tide...

Posted by Blogger Shelli @ 12:22 PM #

I think you made a great decision and I hope you feel good about it. Sacha and I probably would have gone, unless it made us too sick to do so.

Posted by Blogger M. @ 9:46 AM #

I am very late with my two cents, but I just wanted to say that I, Grudgeholder Extraordinaire, would definitely NOT go. Period.

Posted by Anonymous bri @ 3:00 PM #
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