My mother is a wonderful person. Of course I think so. But a lot of others do as well. Today, someone hurt her feelings and I decided to do something about it.
My mom and dad retired to this house in NH upon my father’s retirement in 2000. My mother, to combat the rampant boredom of the winter months began substitute teaching in the local schools. She has always enjoyed teaching, was able to work it out that she would work with kids no older than 5th grade, and she became a local legend. The kids loved her. She still does it, at age 73 and the kids still love her. She doesn’t do it for the money, she loves the kids. Many become very attached to her, it’s very heartwarming. It’s equally depressing when you see what some of these kids have for a home life.
In 2001, the first of a long line of enamored children latched onto my mother’s leg. Her heart would soon follow. Kris was a a bright girl from an awful family. Both parents were postal workers in town, so money wasn’t the issue. The issue was a drunk, misogynistic father and a absentee mother. They held down the jobs, but they weren’t there for the parenting. Kris’s two older sisters had set the standard of being fat, useless and working in outlet stores and Kris was doomed to the same fate without intervention. Enter my mother.
My mother took her under her wing and made sure that this girl got through school. She tutored her after school and at home. She reviewed all of her work, kept her attitude in check and promised to do everything she could to get through high school. Kris ended up graduating at the top of her class. Mom was at the graduation cheering louder than anyone.
Kris didn’t know about going to college, Mom helped her do all of the applications. 2 years ago she graduated college with a job offer with Fidelity Investments. My mom was a huge part of her success and they are now special friends. It’s a great story, even though she annoys the shit out of me.
She calls all the time. She prattles on like a dipshit junior high-schooler. She is incredibly opinionated on everything. And despite being a 200 lb virgin with baked bean teeth, and engaged to the first guy who ever kissed her, she is also a relationship expert. In particular, on my mom’s relationships. Recently she made it clear that she didn’t like my mother’s boyfriend. Then it came out that she doesn’t want my mother to date at all because she believes that we only get one true love in our life so stop trying for another. Mom politely dismissed this observation. When she tried to get me to come to her side, I told her I thought she was wrong and waaaaay off.
Her wedding is to take place in October. My mom received her invite several months ago. In the “plus one” section she wrote in her boyfriend’s name. Tonight Kris called her on the way home from work and told her that she didn’t want my mother bringing him to the wedding. My mother was shaken by this, I watched her as she was talking on the phone. Kris asked her if she would be upset and my mother said, “Well, I wouldn’t be happy. For starters, who am I going to dance with?” They talked for a few more minutes and then they hung up. Mom filled me in on the details I couldn’t hear. I asked her if she was ok with it, she said she wasn’t.
I told her I’d take care of it. I told her I was going to send her a FB messenger message. I promised Mom that it was coming from me and that I would assume any responsibility for damages if a shitstorm ensued. Here is what I wrote:
I want to start by saying that I respect you. You’ve done some great things in your life and I consider you a good person.
Which is why I must take issue with your request that Dave not be at your wedding. My mother has been by your side since you were a child, almost a second mother to you. She has never asked anything of you. Knowing this. why is she not allowed to bring the plus one of her choice to your wedding?
I cannot imagine what benefit you find in making the person who treats you like her own daughter unhappy.
I have no influence over you and I don’t generally overstep my boundaries but I’m going to strongly request that you change your mind on this matter.
I let mom proofread it. She shook her head, said “wow” and walked away. I sent it. For three hours I did not get a response.
Mom walked in at about 11PM and asked if I had heard back. I told her that I hadn’t. She told me that Kris’s mother had just texted her that they would love to have Dave be a guest at the wedding.
Mom high-fived me and left the room. She seems happy.
Me? I feel like the right outcome was reached.