I appreciate your advice and wisdom. I read your blog every day. At almost two years from D-Day, I’m looking forward to Tuesday and getting closer.
I’m writing because of an upcoming family wedding. My stepdaughter (FW’s daughter) is getting married next month and she just alerted me that FW would be bringing his homewrecking-adultery-committing-POS-ink-not-dry-on-the-divorce-papers skank to the wedding. And another of his affair partners will be there too. Oh, goody.
I know what I have to do. Be mighty. And normally I am. I have a good life, happy home and good friends. But this is setting me back for a couple of reasons. For one, I’ve never seen her (current AP) and I don’t want to. I was saved from the mind movies because I never knew what she looked like. But now …
The other thing is I’m really hurt that my stepdaughter would even want her there. This is a child I helped raise from the age of 5! I think she buys into his narrative that he didn’t start seeing the married co-worker POS until after we split. And she doesn’t know about the other AP (a former friend) at all. I might even wind up seated with her.
After months of peace, I’m back to not sleeping or eating. I’ve gone to the doctor for anxiety meds. What else can I do? Can I get some chump nation wisdom? I know we’ve all had to face these situations.
Trying to be Mighty
Dear Trying to be Mighty,
Had you considered not going? That’s an option. Your step-daughter is an adult, and you could level with her, “Look, I love you, kid, but I’m still not a place where I can attend an event with your dad and two of his affair partners.”
If you go this route, don’t huff and puff and demand different guest lists. Just admit that you’re still processing the recent end to your marriage. Maybe you feel like you must shield her from this knowledge? Protect your ex’s image at the expense of your own mental health? That’s not fair to you.
Perhaps you eat that shit sandwich to protect your step-daughter, so she doesn’t learn the truth about Dad’s cheating, right before her Big Day? Lest it put her off a festive, catered celebration of monogamy.
I admit, you could choose better moments to drop that truth bomb. There is the likely result if you deliver the news now, you’ll be seen as the Big Bummer who shouldn’t be invited, not Dad, the Big Asshole who broke up the family. If she’s like most kids of divorce, she just wants you both there. The day is about HER, not everyone’s messy heartbreaks and polarized seating charts.
So, if you decide to go, some pointers:
Discuss the seating chart and the photo lists with the wedding planner (or whoever serves in that role). I have a friend who is a high-end wedding photographer and these requests are totally normal. You don’t want a photo with your ex-husband. You don’t wish to sit near ex, his new supply or Former Schmoopie. Get it out there ahead, so you aren’t put in awkward situations on the day of.
Don’t go it alone. Can you bring a date? Do you have a handsome cousin that looks nice in a suit? Or better yet, a supportive girlfriend with a vicious sense of snark? Strength in numbers. Are there any allies in the crowd you can sit with?
Find your bitch shoes. I know it’s still raw, and seeing these people will rock your meh, but please trust that they suck. They’re pathetic people with less moral sense than God gave sea slugs. What could a celebration of love-forsaking-all-others mean to them? They’re probably there for the cream cheese filling in the canapés. If commitments actually meant anything to them, they’d die of shame on the spot.
They’re not dying of shame? Well, what sort of creatures are they? Puffs of impression management. You’re a solid person who walks among the shallow. They are not expending deep emotions on you, so why expend deep emotions on them?
Find your inner bitch. Stand tall.
I find it helps to visualize the bitchiest person you know. Whenever I’m faced with people intent on intimidation, I summon my grandmother Vi. The iciest ice princess who ever iced. She was beautiful and rich and casually cutting. (“You’ll die alone.” “That maternity outfit is not very slimming.” “He’s a dumb Pollack from East Detroit.”) Oh, you amateur mean girls? Meet the Mother of All Mean Girls — Vi.
She feared no one and was haughty to all. Go put some ice in my drink. That’s the energy you want around monsters.
Feel free to summon my grandmother at that wedding. And ask yourself What Would Vi Do?
Meet a Schmoopie? Vi would judge. And judge cruelly. “If you stood up straight, you’d lose 10 lbs.”
Would Vi collapse in on herself with self-loathing? Compare herself? No. Because Vi was the baddest bitch that ever bitched. She’s worth 100 of you. She’d have on her best shoes and her eye-popping bling and a fixed look of boredom.
Schmoopie, she’d say over a languid vodka and tonic, you bore me.
Because Vi can’t be bothered with stupid, disappointing people, she’d find the dance floor and join the lively, fun folks.
And you should too.
Don’t let them in your head. Vi wouldn’t.
And she’d probably have a vicious little story about it afterwards. Schmoopie looked like a limp wash rag. So wrung out. The girl should wear more lipstick.
Then she’d shrug, “But I suppose Edward isn’t very discerning.”