I'm a little confused, isn't this supposed to be a culture where married people happily attend long parties without their spouses? Yet your cousins can't bear to attend without their girlfriends?
People yes, their mothers are a different question I guess
. Like I said before, I doubt my cousins really mind.
I wanted to talk to my parents with DF on Friday night after dinner, but dinner ran late and we had to go so we talked to my parents on Saturday morning.
I let my mom talk a little, and she was obviously feeling very bewildered and hurt by her sister's and SILs actions. She really doesn't know where all this came from. Also, she did not know how she could "live with herself" if she didn't invite her father's cousin's children. Yes, that is correct - her second cousins once removed, with whom she has no contact except for the wedding invitation once every 4 years.
I told her that with these cousins she will just have to live with the possibility of them getting insulted, and told her that there are two ways that my cousins' GFs could get an invitation: either she removes two other people from the list, or she gets only 79 positive responses.
My father got very huffy about the whole situation, and his solution was "bite the bullet, and we'll all be a little crowded." He even quoted one of Newton's laws of thermodynamics at us. During the conversation he emphasized the importance of family - and how we might be insulting people and damaging family rel@tionships that will last for generations. He even had a few digs at DF for inviting people he has only worked with for a year (DF has beena full-fledged engineeer for only a year), and old Army buddies.
Dad suggested he talk to the event coordinator and to DF's parents. Immediately after hanging up the phone, we called DF's parents because they are just the kind to remove some of their guests to appease my parents. We did not want that to happen, because my parent's guests are not more important than DF's parent's.
Anyway, today I met with my mom and got more details from her.
Aunt1 dropped by for coffee and my mom told her about the difficulties she was having keeping the guest list small. Despite this, Aunt1 tells her that her family will all be coming, including GFs. Mom told her that she believes that eventually there will be room for them all.
The next day, Aunt2 (mom's sister) calls to tell her that she has a sensitive subject to talk to her about, and that Aunt1 was very hurt by the GFs not being invited. Mom says she is sorry but that there just is no room. Aunt2 then tells my mom to pull out the guest list, and that she will help her pick and choose who will make the cut and who will not. Apparently Aunt2 thinks that if my cousins' GFs are not invited, then my sister's BF (of 6 years, and by now a very loved member of the family) should not be invited either. Aunt2 also boasts that when my sister got married, and her son's then girlfriend (in high school!) wanted to come, she said no.
Aunt2 then apparently call Aunt1 to report the conversation, and Aunt1 called my mom, saying that she did not mean to cause such an uproar, but that she honestly thinks that her boys' GFs are part of the family and as such should be invited.
So what hapens now is that the guest list does not change, although my mom did ask me today if I or DF could give up a number of guests so she could invite her second cousins, once removed (I said no, the invitations had already gone out, but if I get a large number of negative RSVPs I'll let her know). My dad will talk to my cousins to explain that they are very sorry but the GFs are not invited.
Bottom line: just as I suspected, Aunt2 is the one stirring up trouble. She seems to be happiest when she is making her sister miserable. My mom is apparently incredibly sensitive, and this catches her unprepared every.single.time. I sort of wanted to call my aunts to give them a piece of my mind for putting my mom through this, but eventually decided that it's not my business to tell off my aunts, and that I'd better keep out of it.
Also: my mom realizes that she shouldn't have come to me with this, and I did not once mention her oh-so-PA email.
So right now we're OK. I'm crossing my fingers that this is the last we hear of this.