Black outfits at a wedding and the confusion that follows...

This story needs some background information. Please bear with me- there is a point, a rambly story in the middle, and a question at the end I swear.

My Aunt (my mothers sister) is 9 years younger than my mother (damn that ww 2) and her 2 children are much younger than I am- my cousin Jenn is about 9 years younger than me, Matt is about 16 (or more) years younger than I am. Matt is getting married next month. First time, outside and at night, to a wonderful girl. We are all very happy for him.

There is more. About 4 years ago, my uncle divorced my aunt. He left a NOTE on the kitchen counter stating he wanted a divorce. He also turned out to be gay- although he didn't come out of the closet until much, much later (although we all knew because my cousin found some stuff on his computer- stuff that had to do with (hopefully) teen aged boys and men- and my uncle was having at least one affair that he didn't hide very well. He also did something pretty bad at work- that we don't really know everything about- and got fired. ) He was HATEFUL to my aunt. Mean, cruel, just plain awful. He is often mean to his kids and grandkids, totally selfish and only cares for himself. His father was an awful man and passed it down to him- it has nothing to do with him being gay.

My Uncle was my uncle before he married my aunt. I have known him (and loved him) since I was 2 years old. He was my favorite uncle. He taught me how to swim and he took the pictures at my wedding - we go back a long, long time. He was never mean or hateful to me . But I can't forgive him for treating my Aunt so badly. He tried to destroy her- he failed- but he tried. Actually, it's his life that has totally fallen apart. He can't get another job- his romantic life has been nothing short of a disaster. I feel so badly for him- but he broke my aunts heart and was mean to her, tried to destroy her and I can't forget or forgive that. Again, nothing to do with being gay. Actually, if he would have come out earlier (before the cruelty) and just admitted everything, said he couldn't stay married because he was gay - hell, I would have helped him move and I wouldn't be in the dilemma. But he didn't. He chose to be a coward and a bully.

I haven't spoken to him since my wedding 5 years ago.

When my mother was helping my aunt get through this ordeal, my uncle would ask how I was, how my son was. I know that at this wedding he will try to talk to me. He may feel that I am the only safe one to speak to. He is wrong. I can't do anything at this wedding to ruin my cousins day. I don't want to be rude to either my cousin or my ex-uncle. I don't know what to do. I don't want him around my son. I don't want to have to avoid him all night ( I mean, how can I really) but I don't want to take the chance of having a few adult beverages and telling him how I really feel. I don't really know what to do.

Even worse, everyone is in a quandary about what to wear. They are having fits about their outfits . It seems the clothes they have chosen to wear are mostly black.

It's a night wedding and totally appropriate to wear black -but as much as I tell them that - they seem worried. Hell, they are worried. The bride has even approved what my aunt is going to wear (black) but it seems to worry them all still. My aunt, my mother, their friends, all wearing mostly black. That said- I don't know what I am going to wear. I had a nice black and white outfit picked out - black skirt, tank and white and black jacket. Now I don't know. To much black????? I have about 6 weeks to find something to wear and to get prepared to see my uncle. Can I do both? Can I even prepare to see my uncle or do I just have to let things happen?


drwende said...

I know exactly how it feels to find an issue very complicated, so please don't take the brevity of my answers as a sign that you missed something obvious.

1. You have nothing to be ashamed of, so you are not going to avoid your uncle. You're not going to seek him out, either. If he approaches you, you are going to be coldly civil and then make an excuse to go circulate, even if this means you have to run for the ladies' room.

2. If the bride has approved the wearing of black, then wearing black is good. Etiquette exists to tell people what to do when the specific wishes of their friends are not known.

Colleen (CQ in DC / quinncx) said...

hear hear wende! I was going to post exactly the same sentiments (though not as clearly I am sure)...

lorijo said...

My friends and I back in Tx had this thing at parties when we got stuck talking to someone we didn't like we always had a "warm drink" and needed ice.
Thanks Wende, I needed to hear this. Coldly Civil are my words to remember.