Went to a wedding in a nearby state--my S.O.'s niece. We drove half way Thursday, arrived Friday mid-day, went to wedding in the evening. And then drove home all day today (Saturday).
We were rather ambivalent about the whole thing. There was no question of not going, but that doesn't mean we wanted to go. We haven't talked to Niece in four years. She stopped talking to us after we murdered her cat.
Let me explain. It only gets better from there (and by that, I mean worse).
Four years ago, soon after we had uprooted ourselves from one state to move to a new one--and were completely stressed out and not coping all that well--my mother-in-law's health declined rapidly due to spread of cancer. We all piled into the car on the quick and drove the 8 hours to see her. We hadn't yet formed a strong support network of friends and neighbors ready to take care of our pets, etc. So we took the dog with us.
We were staying at S.O.'s sister's house. She is officially a dog-lover, has two dogs herself and even does dog-sitting as a side business. And our dog was pretty low-key and extremely friendly. She (the dog) stayed in our bedroom at night and in the day was either in the car or tied to a tree at the far end of their big yard. So we thought things were fine. Sister's husband (the brother-in-law) and daughter (the niece) also lived there, and neither complained about the dog. Plus, we were distracted by the fact that S.O.'s mom was dying.
We said our last good-byes to his mom, spent some nice quality time with her. Then we drove home. When we arrived home, a voice mail was waiting for us. Brother-in-law was screaming about how he had just scraped his cat off the street with a shovel and blamed us for killing it--oh, plus a lot of bitter, raging swear words. This all shouted into our house phone message machine that our children could hear! Yes.
Apparently the cat had ran off out of fear of our dog and then gotten run over a street or two away. A tragic pet accident, yes. We're sorry for the kitty and would hate to lose a pet this way (or any way). But to unleash such an attack on someone who's just said good-bye forever to his mom? Can't you cut a guy a break in that situation?
So, when we returned a week or two later to help with burial arrangements and attend the funeral, we steered clear of brother-in-law. But niece was to help select flowers, etc with S.O., and she absolutely refused to speak to him.
So four years later, we were not happy at the thought of attending her wedding. The bride barely said hello to us (she did--but barely). And my daughter, who loves princesses and thus loves a bride, could barely elicit any attention despite her best efforts. That family hadn't seen my daughter since my daughter was a toddler--practically still a baby.
And my son (unfortunately) caught her garter when it was thrown. And she did not acknowledge even knowing him. They're cousins!
Sadly, each of S.O.'s three siblings has their own disturbing set of attributes and histories. At least the main problem in terms of his sister is her husband and daughter. I'm really hoping that S.O. and his sister can start reconnecting. She says she wants to come out to visit--I hope it happens. My kids need some better connection with that side of their family--that much was clear from the wedding.
Anyway, I just asked S.O. and he says he's glad he went. So I am too.