Thursday, October 16, 2008

Always a Bridesmaid . . .

Or not.

My brother got married last weekend. I'm so happy for him. I really, truly, sincerely am. He seems in love and she seems really good for him.

The wedding was in New Hampshire, which required very complicated childcare and travel arrangements, but it was worth it because DH and I were able to spend a weekend away - the first time in THREE years. My sister and I drove for ten hours (yes, you read that correctly) Friday, leaving at 9:30 in the morning and having to end up driving directly to the rehearsal dinner at 7:30 instead of checking in to the hotel to wash up and change as we had expected. Both of our DHs couldn't miss work so they ended up flying out Friday night (we only hate them a little) and then we all drove back together Sunday afternoon ("only" took us seven hours coming home). Other family members were able to join us for the weekend and it was fabulous spending quality time hanging out and laughing with family that I don't see that often. The rehearsal dinner was at a crab place (No comments on spending Shabbat eating shellfish!) and was delicious. The reception was so nice - worked with the bartender to find a drink that I liked and looked pretty (a Cosmo which he made with less alcohol than usual for me since I'm such an easy drunk a lightweight), ate incredible food, got to slow dance with my DH, and laughed more than I had in a long time with the other at our table. The brunch the next day was also fabulous - delicious food, amazing company.

The ceremony itself just made me sad. I've mentioned before how my brother and I have never been close, how we didn't have much of a relationship growing up and that's it's even less now, but that was never more apparent than sitting at my brother's wedding and observing how he chose to not involve my sister and I in any way what so ever. At all. Not even to pass out programs, or read something, or even sing (not to brag, but I have sung professionally so know I'm at least somewhat decent, and my new SIL's cousin sang two different songs). I feel so petty feeling this way, but it's just the way it is. My brother was an usher in both my sister's and my weddings, and when he had gotten married before my sister and I were both bridesmaids (and I sang). Now I could understand if he was trying to make this ceremony completely different from his other one, but to not be included in any way made me feel like I was not even related to him. And that made me so sad. I tried to talking to J about this, but she will only look at it as proof that she needs to try even harder to pursue a relationship with him and his wife. I don't quite know how she could do that since she has called and e-mailed him many times before without getting responses. I have sent gifts/cards for holidays and his birthday before but have never received any type of acknowledgement that he even received it, let only any reciprocation.

So I'm left feeling so strange, so ambivalent, so conflicted. I DO want to have a relationship with him. The few times I have talked with my new SIL I have really enjoyed it. But every attempt I have made in the past has been rebuffed. They will be coming to PA on the 25th for an informal reception my parents are throwing to welcome my SIL to the family. My sister and I both invited them to spend the weekend as a way for us to have time together, but the response was very lukewarm at best, a "maybe" and "we'll see" tossed out. I plan to send them an e-mail with a more official type of invitation, maybe inviting them to brunch before the party or the next day. And if that is rebuffed as well, I really don't know where to go. He hasn't come home for family events or holidays in a while - he came to our grandfather's funeral but left almost immediately afterwards. He's in CT, so I know that it's not too conveniant to come home too often, but it would be great if he did once in a while.

The weekend away was great, but the wedding left me feeling sad. And I just don't know what to do about that.

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