One Giant Mess!

scarlett2001February 22, 2011

My daughter (only daughter, so I have long been looking forward to her wedding when she got old enough) told me today, February 20th, that she and her boyfriend are planning to get married before this June. He is from eastern Canada and we live in California. They want to get married in the Bahamas - conveniently located for nobody and - here's the worst part - then they will move to Canada because houses are more affordable there. (This girl has never really seen snow.) After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked her several questions, including what her budget for this wedding would be, as I have saved some money for the purpose and she said the groom's parents are paying for the wedding. Wha-a-a-t?

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sweeby

Congratulations Scarlett!

I know it's not the wedding of *your* dreams -- But do try to get over that sentiment and let your daughter have the wedding *she* wants.

You've saved for years? Great! Perhaps you can throw them a lovely reception after their honeymoon in a location that IS convenient for your side of the family. That's not at all unusual in long-distance situations and would be especially appropriate where there is a destination wedding that few guests would be able to attend.

Plus, that's a party you'd get to plan...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:05PM
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gellchom

Congratulations, Scarlett! I wish your daughter every happiness.

I hear you. I can tell this is a disappointing surprise.

And it's fresh. It's not time for you to be reasonable about your feelings yet! You need time to adjust.

But eventually, I hope that you will see it as Sweeby suggests. And it is nice that the party you will give will be YOUR way, for YOUR friends and family.

Anyway, in the end, the wedding isn't important; the MARRIAGE is. Do you like your future son-in-law?

I wouldn't even worry too much about their moving to Canada. It's getting so rare that anyone stays put anymore; they may well move within a very short time. Especially after she gets her first taste of real winter!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:05AM
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asolo

It's not about the wedding. In particular, it's not about you. It's about their lives -- them, not you. Make a mental adjustment. If they'd done it your way, his mom would probably be posting. Small stuff. Get over it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:13PM
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sue36

I think it is great his parents are paying. Anytime sexist stereotypes/rules get thrown away I rejoice. Try to be positive...they must really approve of the marriage if they are willing to pay for the wedding! Take it from me...having in laws that actually want you married to their son makes a huge difference. They may have picked Bahamas so they didn't have to choose between Canada and CA for the wedding.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 9:16PM
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scarlett2001

"Get over it" Really? She means more to me than any other person in my life. Of course she can marry and have the wedding any way she wants to, that's not the point.
The point is that I will see her maybe once a year. You can't keep any relationship close that way. I'll not have the opportunity to be close to the grandchildren I have been looking forward to. I raised her as a single mom, no help from ANYBODY. Try losing the person you love the most in the world. "Get over it." Sure, I'll just go buy a hat or a goldfish or something.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:51PM
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colleenoz

Well, why don't you keep back some of that money you've saved to fly back and forth to Canada a few times every year? BT,DT,BTTS. My only baby chose to live on the other side of the country because it's a more exciting place. She has a great job and loves her life there. I miss her like crazy but I can't begrudge her the right to follow HER dream for HER life. One day I will be gone and she will still be here, so she needs to choose for herself.
We talk on the phone several times a week and visit about four to six times a year. It's possible.
You're not losing your daughter, she's just not in your backyard any more. By the time grandies are in the offing, they may have moved closer, or you may have. Don't borrow trouble.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 4:46AM
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asolo

""Get over it" Really? "

Yup, really. She's up and out. She's launched and flying. Isn't that what any parent would want? She's on her own, now. Your particular fantasy for her didn't work out, but that's not the important thing. I encourage you not to make a misery of this.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:47AM
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sue36

I don't think you need to be so harsh. I know I (and I imagine just about everyone) sort of plans in their mind how their life will be. When something dramatically changes you need to reset things. The OP needs time to process the news. Who really expects their child to move from CA to Canada with no prior discussion? Nothing wrong with Canada, but I don't imagine that is a common place for Cali kids to move. It sounds like all this was sprung on her just a few days ago. If she was already "over" her only child moving thousands of miles away I would think she was a little cold.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 9:05PM
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asolo

Should have known better than to come over here on this one. My lack of capacity for commiseration is known.

Hope it all works out.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:54PM
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scarlett2001

Work THIS out, Asolo: that woman you live with? The one who sleeps with you under the electric blanket with nothing on? She gets a great job 3000 miles away. Everything between you two is just fine, except you can only email, phone and see her a few times a year. How would you like to get over that?

Maybe you really do have the right idea. We all should just get over it. Lost your job and can't pay your bills? GET OVER IT! Garbage truck ran over your dog? GET OVER IT.
Lost your father, mother, lover, husband, wife, child - GET OVER IT, ya wimp.

There, no more emotional pain. Nothing all, in fact. Thank you SO much, you miserable old fart.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:59AM
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blueberry22

I feel your pain. My daughter is in California we're in Boston. For us California was a relief- before that she lived in Paris!
One of the tricks I use is to always schedule our next visit before the current one ends- so there is never an open ended goodbye. We usually get together every 2-3 months. In between we email nearly everyday and talk several times a week. At least once a week we skype which lets us see each other which I love!!
Luckily her wedding is going to be here and I have had fun working on all of the details- but she is not here.
It sounds like your daughter is living near you right now. How nice that you will be able to be with her to plan, and make choices over the next few months. I'm flying to California in May so that we can do some dress shopping.
Now as to grandchildren I feel for you. I told my daughter she's not allowed to have babies more than a few hours away from me- she told me I'll probably have to move!
Who knows what the future will bring? She probably won't end up in Califonia once she and future sil finish their PhD's- but we have no idea where they will end up. Meanwhile my son is flying out tommorrow for an job interview in Atlanta.
Relish and enjoy the time you have with her now. Use your "wedding" savings for trips to visit her. Be proud that you raised an independent self assured young lady!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 2:20AM
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asolo

Yo Scarlett. When you're done wallowing, perhaps you'll be able to share some of your well-raised daughter's happiness. You can't change this. You can learn to take joy from what you have as opposed to grieving for what you can't have. You are making a choice about that....an angry and unproductive one, it appears from here.

You can embrace it if you want, of course, though I don't think you'll find anyone to recommend it. You can slam me for my advice but, when you take the treacle off, it's exactly what everyone else is telling you, too.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:01AM
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sweeby

Sounds to me like your adult daughter is doing exactly what you raised her to do --- Marrying a great guy and going off to lead her adult life productively and independently as she sees fit. Sounds to me like you did a great job parenting --

Imagine the alternative: "Yes, of course I love you, but I could never leave my Mommy." (pick one) "She's getting old and lonely and couldn't get along without me." or "I could never survive without her advice and guidance."

Meh -- That's not what you were hoping for either.

Yeah, I miss my son, now in college 2,000 miles away. He may not even come home this summer. But that's for good reasons! The right college, fantastic internship opportunities.

Just like your daughter's good reasons for moving to Canada. And while you might not want to visit in the dead of winter, it's a beautiful place filled with lovely people. So update your passport and plan a trip.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 2:47PM
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suzieque

scarlett, although I agree that it's a bit odd for the groom's parents to already, without consult to you, have decided to pay for the wedding (it seems that they have know for some time before you, and payment arrangements planned), perhaps that is because your daughter knows that you may be of more limited means. Maybe she doesn't know that you've saved for "her day".

So - since you've saved money for that and won't be needing to spend it, how about instead using it as a source of funds to go visit her more often? How wonderful that you've already got your travel money in the bank ... even though that's not what it was originally intended to be.

As parents, it's our job to raise our children to live their life. Not to keep them close by. And frankly, comparing the situation with your daughter to a spouse is a bit off.

As was asked above, do you like your daughter's choice? Will he be a good, life-long spouse? A good father to your grandchildren should they decide to have kids? If so, you should be very proud that you raised your daughter to choose well.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 3:53PM
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sweet_pea10

My son moved to Scotland, taking my two young grandsons, so I understand your concerns. We use Skype where we can see each other as we talk. We also visit regularly, taking turns on who visits. As others mentioned, your daughter may not remain in Canada over the long term. There are ways to work around the situation.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:42PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"then they will move to Canada because houses are more affordable there."

Sound like a smart girl there! You seemed to have raised her right -- congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 2:31PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

It is not easy to see our kids grow up and leave us, though we have spent all their lives with us preparing them to do just that! I sympathize. Our only daughter married a young man she met living on her own in San Francisco. He is from across the country. They married there, and had their first son there. Both sets of parents flew in for short visits. But wonder of wonders, they liked southern California and so have returned south and are now parents of two darling boys and live a little over an hour away.

I am saying this because it can happen to you too. Jobs will take them places, and even expensive California is manageable somehow on a California salary. As lousy as the economy is and as scarce as jobs may seem, your daughter's home state offers lots of job opportunities, and there will be more in a few years.

I do feel for you. It was like slowly pulling a tooth here--first she went away to college, then her older brother left, then she graduated and left for the Bay area while her younger brother moved north to college. She married, her brother graduated and moved to the east coast and started graduate school and then law school, and both brothers graduated. We are empty nesters, and we still don't like it, but we also would not like having them living here at home and missing out on all that life offers. But still......

So I remind myself over and over, this is what you worked for. This means that he/she is doing well. This is all part of growing up and being successes in their own right. And I still don't like it!!!!!

Good luck to you in finding your daughter changing their plans some day. Here you worked so hard to raise her and educate her, and now this!!!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:07PM
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