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.