The Vine: March 5, 2014
I'm going to be a groomslady in my childhood friend D's wedding to M. I love M and am thrilled for them, so that's not the issue.
I got an invitation (from D's mom) to their surprise wedding shower. It was addressed to me, but not my husband C, so presumably he's not invited. Nothing unusual, right?
Except D will be at the shower. The invitation specifically says to bring a gift and advice for D. So unless D will be the only man there, to be henpecked by all the women in his and M's life (…feasible, knowing D's mom), it seems weird that C isn't invited. We've done a bunch of couple stuff with them; D was a bridesman in our wedding. It's not like he's a stranger.
If it was that simple, C and I would just shrug and roll with it. But there are a few not-the-couple's-problem complications.
C and I live in New York. D and M live outside Philadelphia, where my family lives. The shower is the weekend before Easter. I would be making that trip two weekends in a row, and I'd really hate to ask C to do that if he's not even invited (I don't drive).
Normally, I'd decline graciously and send a really generous gift, but as a member of the wedding party, I don't feel like I get to do that.
Do I ask D's mom what the deal is? Ask around mutual friends to see if other dudes were invited? Decline and treat them to dinner when I see them over the holidays? Resign myself to spending all freaking day on a train? Something else I haven't thought of?
Would have preferred the bachelor party
C isn't invited. I agree that that's a bit weird; I also agree that some moms will get as far as including the groom in a shower but then not think other dudes logically ought to come also. Either way, speculating as to why, or whether it's an oversight, or trying to engineer an invitation, is more work than this warrants. Skip that and get down to deciding whether you want to go given the transportation challenges.
That, I can't tell you. It depends how involved you feel, or you feel D feels, you are as a groomsperson. Would declining the invitation on scheduling-conflict grounds wound him, or would he understand? Or is it easier just to go, investing one weekend of hassle to save you guilt and/or having to stick to a story later?
I'd probably just go, but…I drive, and not that you asked me this, but if you don't have a physical challenge that prevents you from learning, give serious consideration to taking lessons and getting your license. Not before the shower or anything, but generally speaking, getting to subtract "but how will I get there if C can't take me" from your calculations about travel in the future will improve your life. I would love to hear recommendations for instructions in NYC, too, because Dirk wants to sign up for some, and Yelp is kind of unhelpful.
Anyway! I would just go. Chalk it up to the cost of doing wedding-party business, and load up the Kindle for a day of railroad goodness. I'd also sign off on your not going, because it is a long day of traveling for a subgenre of party that, in my opinion, has been actively fun or interesting maaaaaaybe seven times in the history of its existence. Either way, make the call, feel good about it, and don't expend any energy on the whys.
Tags: boys (and girls) etiquette