Wedding Trip Blues | Aunt Mom | Love Is Color Blind


Wedding Trip Blues

Dear Micah,

My best friend is getting married next spring. She’s decided to get married in the Caribbean. I can’t afford a trip like that. She is so excited talking with us about the fun the trip will be and the whole time I know that I can’t really go. I haven’t told her cause I don’t want to ruin this special moment of her life. She’s the kind that might change her plans because of me. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be if she didn’t have the wedding of her dreams because I couldn’t be there. I don’t want her to pay for me going either. How do I break it to her that I can’t be at her wedding?

Lynnsey

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Dear Lynnsey,

Start by showing her this “Ask Micah.” I think she’ll understand. Sometimes people get married in exotic locations, which can make the wedding a lot more fun to attend, but can also be a hardship on some others who may not be able to really afford such a trip. I don’t know if you are in a position to borrow the money for the trip from someone or if you’d rather not even take on a debt like that, even if you could secure the funds from somewhere.

If you’ve exhausted every possibility of being able to attend, then you must tell her as soon as possible. She needs to make arrangements for another bridesmaid or maid of honor (I’m assuming that you’d be in the wedding party). When you tell her, be totally truthful. Do not sound wishy-washy or leave any hope that there could be a chance by saying something like “Maybe things will work out though before its time and I can go after all.” Don’t do that. If you know that you cannot attend, do not lie to soften the blow.

I would say this, “I wish I could be at your wedding, but the simple truth is that I can’t afford to go. You know I’d make any kind of cutbacks or adjustments to my budget to make it happen, but there just isn’t any way I can save or raise that kind of money in the time frame before your wedding.”

Then add something like this to transition your point, “What I want to see happen is for you to go have the wedding of your dreams. I do not want you to feel bad. I do not want you to change plans. I do not want you to offer to pay my way. All of those things would only make me feel a hundred times worse than I already do. I just want you to go, marry the man of your dreams, in the location of your dreams, and come back with tons of pictures, video, and stories to tell me. I can’t be at your wedding, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be there for your married life.”

It’s going to be an awkward and embarrassing situation for both of you. But if you are honest about the situation and then absolve her of guilt by letting her know that you are all right and that it is okay for her to go without you, then your friendship will be just fine. She shouldn’t have to feel guilty for wanting an island wedding any more than you should feel guilty for not being able to afford it.

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Aunt Mom

Dear Micah,

My nephew lives with me. He’s sixteen now. He needs a car. Is it my responsibility to get one for him or should his mom do that? He hasn’t lived with her in years and years due to drug issues she had in her past. Then he just stayed with us because of school and it was his home. I don’t know if I am supposed to get him the car or should I tell his mother to provide that. I don’t mind getting him a cheap car as long as he follows the same rules my own children followed, but I don’t know what’s appropriate in our situation. It’s not about the money. I am worried about stepping on toes and doing something for him that could be a moment his mom would like to share with him. First car is a big deal. But I also don’t think she has money to get him one, even a cheap used one. I may just draw attention to a touchy situation if I bring it up to her. I don’t know which way to go with it. What do you think?

Aunt P

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Dear Aunt P,

I think you’re putting too much thought into this. It sounds to me like he’s basically your kid and has been for years and years. You seem to be his mother figure and his only real parent. You’ve raised him. So why in the world would you want to now turn this moment over to the woman who didn’t raise him and was rarely there for him?

There are lots of factors in first car buying—looks, safety, gas guzzling. You’re the responsible adult in this family, so you are the one that needs to be directing the “first car” experience. Also if his mother cared in any way about his having a car, I think she’d have brought the subject up by now. It sounds like she’s spent a lifetime dodging all the hard stuff, like parenting, so I wouldn’t worry too much about what she thinks.

I think you are working overtime trying to not step on the toes of a person who cut their own feet off a long time ago. Get your nephew a car under the same guidelines the other children in your care had to obey. Your nephew, for all intents and purposes, is your son now. Treat him as such and don’t make distinctions. I think he’s probably felt passed over too often in his life already anyway. Getting a car from you, just like your own children got, will make him feel secure and equal in his place in the family.

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Love Is Color Blind

Dear Micah,

My family: parents, siblings, grandparents, and my aunts, uncles, and cousins are all a little prejudiced. I won’t call them racist because I don’t think that fits. They are nice to all people but let’s just say its always been made clear that we were to only bring home white girls. I think you see where I’m heading. I am in love with an African American woman and it’s time my family met the person I want to spend my life with. Everybody knows I’m serious with a girl but no one has met her yet. I have never said she was black. I don’t know how to do this now. I may have let too much time pass not saying anything and now it’s going to be an even bigger shock. Help!

Rodney

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Dear Rodney,

There’s an old story about a man who was watching a friend’s cat while the friend was on a trip and the cat died. The guy was unsure of how to tell the friend so he eased into it by writing the friend, “The cat got out.” Then he wrote again the next day and said, “The cat’s on the roof.” His next letter said, “The cat fell off the roof,” and the final letter said, “The cat died.” You could always start off by telling the family that there is a black woman on the roof.

Seriously though, this isn’t going to be easy and it’s probably going to be a shock to a family that just never expected to have an African American daughter-in-law—but that doesn’t mean that they won’t love her once they meet her. My family never expected me to bring home a man (though why they never expected that, I have no idea. It was pretty damn obvious). In my family, being gay was not even a conceivable possibility. No one would have ever thought they’d ever know anyone who was gay. Unlike today, it wasn’t even a thought that crossed someone’s mind.

Nowadays we understand that being gay is a natural thing that occurs in about 10% of the population. Back in the days of my childhood in the 1970’s and 1980’s, gays were still considered a little mysterious, sinful, and wicked—and probably from the North. I grew up hearing terms like “fag” and “queer” being thrown around like those people were the most vile people you’d ever encounter.

And then flash forward to the early 1990’s when I came out—you could have truly knocked me over with a feather by the family’s reaction. I was embraced, loved, and welcomed. Not only was I accepted, but my boyfriend (now my partner of 15 years) was as well. My mother loves him. My brother and his wife and their kids treat us no differently than they would any other couple. My aunts, my uncles, my cousins, everyone that mattered was so loving and accepting. In fact, I am so much more closer to my relatives now than I ever was before because I am no longer living a half-life or worrying that everyone is going to turn their backs on me.

Now don’t get me wrong, there have been a few people here and there that whispered in the background against us, but I continued to love them regardless. Every time I see those people now, I get nothing but love from them. I know that they know they were wrong and that they wish they’d been different at the time. Nothing has to be said on the matter. All was forgiven in the moment it happened. You will encounter a little of that too, Rodney, but love them through it and do not get angry or defensive. Be the better person and wait for them to come around. You are going to be very surprised at how few people there will be against you. The majority of your family is going to embrace this woman and welcome her into your family. They will do this because they love you and don’t want to lose you. And in just a short time they will be doing it because they love her for her own sake.

Her color is going to stop being an issue by the time their first meeting is over as long as your girlfriend is warm and outgoing and charms them. I can picture the scene in my mind: you bring her in and suddenly there’s just dead silence. Then someone realizes that there is silence and sparks a wave of faked smiles and “glad to meet you’s” Everyone will be acting overly friendly to compensate for their minds working overtime to process this. They’ll all be on very friendly auto-pilot for a few minutes.

Then slowly, as the visit goes on, you and Debbie (I’ve named her Debbie in my mind), talk about yourselves and how you met, and you smile to each other. Maybe Debbie tells your family some funny and embarrassing stories about you. Then your mom tells about stupid things you did as a child. Somebody breaks out the photo albums. And before you know it, The Black Girl That Came Through the Front Door has just become Debbie, our future daughter-in-law, “Isn’t she great? She’s the one that will keep Rodney on track.” Families have a funny way of surprising us sometimes. Don’t sell yours short. I think they’ll surprise you.

If you have a question you’d like to ask Micah, please email it to MicahCargo@hotmail.com. Your question may be used in a future online or printed article in B-Metro.

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One Response to “Wedding Trip Blues | Aunt Mom | Love Is Color Blind”

  1. Myrtice Shipwash says:

    I would say “unbelievable” but that would be a lie.

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