I'm just going to put it out there. It's hard to see people taking for granted things I never had -especially relationships. We recently found out that one of Allen's cousins eloped a year ago. No one knew anything about until a week or so ago. They flew in for Christmas at her parent's house and nobody realized they were actually married. (And just in case you're thinking it, no one thought they were living together either. This isn't cart before the horse.) Anyway, we all just found out that they've been married nearly a year, and NOW they're planning a wedding. I honestly don't get this. Her dad says he wants to give her away. What? Didn't that train leave the station long ago?
What really makes this so hard for me to see is that she gets to elope without telling her parents, not tell them for nearly a year, and still have her big family wedding. On the other hand, I really did try to do everything I could to placate my parents, but in the end I either had to walk away or be smothered into virtual nonexistence. I chose to leave. That meant my dad telling me he would not being giving me away (because by reaching out for my own, separate existence I had in my father's eyes nullified his authority) and my whole family in general having nothing to do with the wedding. They did come, but even then they tried to get away without speaking to us. Our cousin, on the other hand, voluntarily left her family out of her plans, and then gets everything I desperately wanted. It's hard. There have been times in the past few days when I've really wanted to lash into her -to point out how absolutely inconsiderate I think she's acted and loudly protest the unfairness of it all. But I can't. It's not her fault that my family acted the way they did. I'm a Christian for crying out loud. It shouldn't be in me to complain about someone else receiving an extra ounce of temporal grace and mercy when I myself have received so much. And yet it still hurts. However usual Allen and I may find weddings that take place after first anniversaries, the truth is that it just hurts to see her able to have her big family wedding after all of this. A reception to publicly announce their daughter's marriage? Sure. A wedding? Ouch. And I know that part of this whole wedding thing is for the parents and grandparents who have long looked forward to her wedding. I understand that. Of course it doesn't make me feel so much better because my parents rather easily dispensed with that side of things. Anyway, like I said it's not her fault I'm having this emotional reaction to everything.
Reading through this again I think a few caveats are in order. First, I don't have anything against elopements. If you want to be together and don't want to wait until everyone can dress up and traipse down the aisle with you then please go ahead and get married. Just tell someone afterwards. It doesn't seem quite kosher to me to, post elopement, come hang out with the family over six months later disporting yourselves as a dating couple. Second, maybe I have an odd view of sacraments (and related such things), but I honestly don't see a whole lot of point in going through the vows a second time. But then again I also don't see the point in getting baptized again because the first one "didn't take." Of course it took -you just weren't faithful to your covenant obligations. Thirdly, I realize that my opinions about all such things have absolutely no bearing on what her family should or should not do. There's no law in heaven or on earth against any of this. If I have a problem with any of this it's just that -my problem. All that aside, her husband seems pretty cool, and I hope they will be very happy together.