Welcome to the latest intallment of the Social Suggests—you ask, we answer—and boy oh boy it’s a good one.
“I thought this question would make for interesting discussion,” Giovanna writes. “Three sisters; two get married and parents pay for reception food ranging in the $4,000-6,000 range. Years later one sister still did not marry, did not meet Mr. Right and is alone and now in her 50s with no prospects. She feels she has the right to ask for money from my mom for the wedding she never had!”
First of all, Giovanna, I’m guessing by your use of pronouns that you’re one of the three sisters, but not the one asking your mom for money.
Second of all, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with this. I’m not married, and although my brother is, my parents, who are separated, didn’t contribute to the wedding costs because there weren’t any: he tied the knot at city hall. (We’re practical people.)
Still, I can understand why your single sister is frustrated: she may feel like she’s being punished for having “no prospects,” as you put it.
Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie attends a friend’s baby shower and said friend asks her to remove her Manolos (ugh, they were part of her outfit) and the Manolos go missing?
When Carrie follows up on retrieving them, her married friend with kids makes her feel petty for caring about shoes. There’s more to life than Manolos—even if they did cost $485—and why should she subsidize Carrie’s extravagant lifestyle?
Carrie does the math and calcuates that she’s spent about $2,300 on this friend over the years.
“If you get married or had a child, she’d spend the same on you,” Charlotte argues.
“And if I don’t get married or have a child then what, I get bupkis? Think about it: If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you.”
And she’s not talking birthdays, because those are celebrated by everyone.
So Carrie lets her friend know that she’s getting married…to herself. The registry has one item: the Manolos. Her friends acquiesces and boom, Carries gets her shoes back.
While I do feel a little sad that your sister feels it’s necessary to keep tabs on what your parents spend on each of their children—Carrie started to do the math only after her friend woudn’t reimburse her for her lost Manolos—I still get it. Maybe she feels like there’s this penalty being inflicted on her because she never found love. Maybe she feels a sense of injustice because weddings are choices, and your parents chose to subsidize yours. Maybe she’d love $4,000-$6,000 to put towards a down payment on a home, or a trip someplace she’s always wanted to visit. And maybe your parents could help with that?
But mostly, I wonder if your sister is annoyed that she has to ask for the money in the first place.
Whew! Money and family issues: it’s not easy and it sometimes gets messy. Stay tuned for the co-hosts’ reactions today.