November 5, 2010

Problem page (not Japan)

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:23 pm by Jane

“My sister and her boyfriend are having their wedding in an overseas resort next October. I will find it hard to save the money required for my husband, me and our two children. I don’t want to borrow the money or put it on a credit card. We recently moved house and spend all our money on our house, nursery fees and supporting the four of us.

My sister is having chemo for breast cancer and tried to make me feel guilty by asking how I would feel if she died and I hadn’t been to her wedding. I really resent being forced to spend money I don’t want to spend, when if I had the money I would buy furniture or childproof the garden.”

I was personally astounded that almost all the comments generated by this post were hugely critical of the writer.   Some even told her that she would regret it for the rest of her life, if she didn’t show up at her sister’s wedding.  Leaving aside the fact that the sister is undergoing chemo, is it ever okay to try and emotionally blackmail someone into spending possibly huge amounts of money (well, YMMV) and take valuable time out from work and housekeeping just to indulge someone’s princess fantasies?   (And let’s not mention the fact that statistically speaking, it may not be the only wedding for the sister anyway.)  The writer mentioned honestly that she would rather use the money for improving her home and taking care of her children, and came up for fierce criticism for that as well. 

Is it just me, or is the bridezilla being the selfish one here?  If she really cared about her nearest and dearest, and wanted them to attend her special day, then she would have a simple ceremony and a garden party much closer to home – and then have her honeymoon in the exotic resort, if she so desired. 

As a houseguest once said to me when I apologised for the smallness of my home, “it’s not the place, it’s the people.”  In this case, I agree.

(By the way, this issue seems to be a relatively common one in some western countries.  It’s far less of one in Japan, where the parents of the happy couple are expected to stump up for the majority of costs.)

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2 Comments »

  1. Karen said,

    It seems to me one solution would be for her to go alone. Should be about 1/4 the cost. Or, tell her sister she just can’t afford it, she’d love to go, and would her sister pay her way. If not, then put the guilt back on the demanding sister. “If you can pay for this overseas wedding, then why can’t you pay for me to come?” Blah, blah, blah.

  2. Miko said,

    Yes, I think she should go alone, even if it looks strange to her family. That would be the best compromise (ugh, how I hate that word!). Reading about problems like these makes me realise how lucky I am to have literally no relatives at all except Sonbeam. The amount of freedom that I have is amazing. I look around and see people tying themselves into knots to keep their parents/siblings/inlaws happy, and keep family relations running smoothly,and I just thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to deal with any of that stuff. Yet.


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