Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the ex at the wedding.
Nicole: I love when you KNOW the real question.
Danny: I felt it in my bones.
Is 7 and 9 not small, for kids?
Nicole: Can you give me a little time to do this gift guide intro first? I suddenly realized I am late w/ Crown recaps AND the gift guide and you can only use I WAS VICIOUSLY THROWN FROM A HORSE for so many days
though truly my body does think it happened yesterday
Danny: yeah no problem!
btw i left my car keys in hawaii last night lmao
Nicole: Never change except for the rather major change you have made in the last few years, we’re all on board with that one.
Danny: THANK YOU
just like the second i landed
“oh yeah they’re in the heavy jacket i hung up on a hanger and never wore”
Okay, can now look at question!
It’s ridiculous to invite the 7 and 9 year olds without their mother.
Their father is literally the groom, he’s not going to be SUPERVISING them.
Danny: interesting! I’ve felt split on this one myself
I did a straw poll of a few pals and they all said to find a grandparent or aunt or cousin to do the supervising
Nicole: The mother seems…fine? Wasn’t thrilled when you got together? Has made subsequent attempts to be nice?
I guess a lot does depend on the size of the wedding
And what “small” means to her.
If that’s 50 people, I would invite the mother and not think twice. If it’s seven people on a beach, I think a supervising cousin is fine.
Danny: that seems like a reasonable cutoff to me
Like, either this is a good-faith effort to be nice and put on a happy face/make sure her kids have someone’s full attention the whole time
Nicole: I absolutely trust the LW that the girls don’t give a shit
Danny: or she’s just really nervous about her kids and wants to feel like she’s still a part of what might be a complicated moment for them
like, they might be totally fine and it has a little more to do with HER
Danny: in which case, again, communicating the childcare plan and stressing that you’re going to make sure the kids don’t fade into the background is the way to go
Nicole: also, your husband needs to have that convo
Danny: but maybe take her up on this, even if you don’t end up inviting her to the wedding—why not try to let go of the fact that she wasn’t thrilled about you two getting together at first and try to get to know her a little better now?
for sure, the details need to come from him since you two haven’t established much of a relationship yet
Nicole: even if he’s trying to dodge it as he obviously is
I completely agree that if the ex has made efforts to reconcile, it would be best for all (wedding aside) to gain some comfort and civility for future graduations and so on
Danny: yeah I can definitely see a lot of people wanting to hold a hard line and say “No way, no ex at the wedding” and I do think that’s reasonable
but if you can see your way towards doing it, and her request seems genuine, it might be a step towards real, meaningful friendship?
she doesn’t sound like she has a history of trying to make things really difficult for you
just that she wasn’t thrilled when you first started dating
Nicole: Few people get really jazzed about that
Danny: it’s the rare ex-wife!
only in European movies from the 60s
Nicole: yes I can see it happening in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie or something
Danny: Bonjour Tristesse, maybe
Nicole: Also, queer people are totally different
Danny: This seems unrelated, but yes
Nicole: just in terms of a more diverse set of attitudes towards exes and their ongoing role in your life
Danny: ah gotcha
Nicole: some being the same as the LW and some being “wouldn’t be a party unless Jill came with her bean salad” which is generally my experience
Danny: on the other hand, queer wedding ex drama often has the potential to be fully byzantine
especially when your exes marry each other
it’s either a total lovefest or it means the entire state’s queer community is driven apart
Nicole: I think guests should receive charts like they have at the beginning of Russian novels
Nicole: Everyone adores those anyway
Danny: It’s the best part of Russian novels.