On November 3, my step-daughter will tie the knot. For the past six months, the majority of her and her mother’s lives have been occupied with wedding preparations (I say her mother because we aren’t married, despite having lived together for so many years).
Last December, my stepdaughter received her university degree. Her college education cost me $40K even though it was a state institution. She has lived with us during her time in college and after she graduated, and she does not have a job. When she graduated from high school, I also got her an automobile so she could get to and from school.
Occasionally, her father would suddenly appear in her life and she would instantly fall in love with him. She still loves him and wants him in her life even though he hasn’t given her any money for her studies or paid child support—but that is my girlfriend’s fault because C.S. wasn’t included in the settlement. He remains long enough to abandon her and betray a commitment he made to her, crushing her heart.
The wedding venue may accommodate up to 250 guests. Since I was covering all of the expenses, I handed them a list of the twenty persons I wanted to be invited. They assured me there would be no issues and they will handle it. I informed these folks to mark the date because they would be receiving an invitation. I asked a friend of mine who was on this list if he was coming over to the golf course on Saturday. He informed me he was not invited. He informed me that, rather of an invitation, he received an announcement. He showed it to me while keeping probably six months’ worth of mail in his back seat. As expected, it was merely a notice with no mention of my name. Instead of my name, it had the names of her mother and father.
When I learned that NONE of the twenty people on my list “made the cut” for the final guest list because “250 people is very tight,” it caused me and my girlfriend to get into a heated argument. I was furious, but there wasn’t much I could do about it because the people who mattered most to me had already been hurt. “If some people didn’t RSVP, yes, I might be able to get a couple people in,” my girlfriend stated. But in my view, that is the ultimate insult to the face. I was therefore scalding on Saturday.
We spent Sunday supper with the future in-law’s family yesterday, along with the “Real Dad,” who was a surprise guest. During this small meal, my stepdaughter revealed that her “real dad” would be allowed to attend her wedding and would finally be able to propose to her. A chorus of “Oh how great” and “How wonderful” responses met this.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt mistreated and so angry. I was trembling. It took me a few seconds to center myself because, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to start crying, punching people, or both. I stood up from my chair and said, “I’d like to make a toast,” once I was certain I would be allowed to speak. Though my exact words escape me, the essence of what I said was this:
“Perhaps we should have a toast.” I can hear spoons rubbing across glasses. “I have enjoyed being a part of this family for the past ten years very much.” Oh, very adorable. “At this point in my life, I feel like I owe the bride and groom gratitude because they have helped me realize something really significant.” There were smug smiles shared. “They have demonstrated to me that my role in this family is not what I initially believed it to be.” And now a hint of bewilderment and disbelief appears on everyone’s faces in the room. It seems that I merely have the status of an ATM—good for a steady flow of cash, but not much more. I used to think of myself as the family’s patriarch or godfather, deserving of great respect and sought out for assistance in times of need. Since Real Dad has taken over as host for the ceremony and the invites, I am handing over my financial responsibilities as host to him. So let’s celebrate the happy couple and their decision. I drank all of my drink. “Everyone is free to be yourselves.”
Is this egotistical? I have to spend between forty and fifty thousand dollars on a wedding that I can’t invite anyone to? that I do not participate in? I’m so over this nonsense. I’m done with my girlfriend and my stepdaughter. Last night, I moved the funds out of our joint account. (Since moving in with me, she hasn’t held a job.) This morning, I called every vendor I had issued checks to for deposits to get my money back. Although it appears that I will lose roughly $1500 for the venue, the other vendors have been quite helpful in providing refunds.
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