Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Bridesmaid Is a TATTLETALE

Hi ESB –

I have 5 bridesmaids… one is the groom's sister. She’s two years younger than me and my FH, she’s 27, and has been off unemployment for 5 months, after having collected for two years. She seems to have no intention of getting a job, but loves posting on facebook about how she is in two weddings and doesn’t have a dollar to her name. She does actually assist an older lady in her home on a semi-regular basis, and I know she is getting at least $80 a week. She lives at home and does not pay rent, so her expenses are relatively low. My other 4 amazing bridesmaids have generously accommodated the situation by agreeing to split everything for the shower and bachelorette four ways. My future-sister-in-law (FSIL) has been told all she needs to worry about are her shoes, and anything she eats or drinks the night of the bachelorette. I should mention at this time, that I bought her bridesmaid dress. 

My MOH has set up a facebook event page to keep everyone aware of the events and cost, etc. She’s reached out to my FSIL via email, text, facebook, and phone call to try to get her involved and find out her plans for who she will room with at the bachelorette, but to no avail. They finally connected, after I had to step in and ask FSIL to get in touch, and my MOH was as nice as she could be, but found my FSIL’s manner hard to handle. FSIL seemed to think that my MOH would be making all the arrangements for FSIL even though she decided to stay with her 21 year old cousins, (who I did not invite to the bach), instead of staying with the bridal party, where she would not have had to pay for the room. This caused my MOH to call me afraid she upset my FSIL, and my FSIL b*tched to everyone and her mother about how awful my MOH is.

Here’s the kicker… two months later, my MOH calls me to tell me that my Future-mother-in-law (FMIL) just called my MOH to “straighten out” the situation. I am livid!! I think the last time my mom called someone on my behalf, I was probably in elementary school. During their conversation, my MOH was made out to feel like she is completely and purposely leaving my FSIL out of the loop. My MOH tried to explain everything she and the other girls have done to accommodate FSIL, but FMIL wasn’t hearing it and made excuse after excuse for her daughter about broken phones and no internet access (all bs because I know the true timeline of those issues). In the end FMIL offered to pay for her daughter’s share of things, which is awesome, but now FMIL wants to be copied on all the emails to the bridesmaids so she can be in the loop. 

My MOH is complying because she doesn’t want any awkwardness at the shower/bach or wedding. She’s really not psyched about bringing FMIL into all the bridal party planning and neither am I. This really seems like FMIL is continuing to enable FSIL’s behavior and allow her to not accept responsibility or be a part of anything. I really want to confront my FSIL and say “Why the *!?@* are you having your MOM call my MOH?!”, but know I shouldn’t even be involved… my MOH really didn’t want to tell me, but I’d been hearing things through the grapevine and was able to weasel it out of her. 

Should I have my FH attempt to get a handle on the women in his life? Should I do anything at all? We’ve got 4.5 months to go before the wedding, and I just can’t imagine how out of control this could all get. I really feel awful that my MOH has to deal with this and am wondering if you’ve got any advice for any of this ridiculous elementary madness.

Thank you!


Sit your FSIL down and ask her if she actually wants to be a bridesmaid.

It sounds to me like she doesn't.

And if she's going to act like a five-year-old, she shouldn't be allowed to play with the big girls.

Andrej Pejic by Mert & Marcus for Vogue Paris via Kylea Borges via Kasia Bocian + The Fashionisto


  1. ain't that the truth... sounds like she doesn't deserve to hang with you on your wedding day. i don't like this girl already.

  2. WOW, that FSIL is a damn brat. and agreed with what esb said.

  3. your fsil and your fmil both sound like they suck. but you are stuck with them forever and you want a happy marriage and at this point your fh shouldn't be put in the middle. just accomodate the little bitch and talk shit about her behind her back while drinking wine with your other 4 bridesmaids. kiss your moh on the forehead and tell her she is a rockstar.

  4. Normally I would be all "you're not her mom. you don't need to teach her a lesson," but this is different because this is about Future Family! So....

    Your MOH sounds like a wonderful friend, first of all. Make sure you make her feel appreciated for not only all the organizing and planning she's doing, but also for taking it upon herself to try and handle this FSIL and FMIL bizznatch on her own and not wanting to stress you out by involving you!! Pretty great friend right there.

    But, unfortunately, you need to be involved. Because this is your Future Family we're talking about. Hurt feelings and grudges that form now could potentially haunt you for a long time...and unlike an unruly friend, you can't (or shouldn't!) just cut Fam outa your life when they annoy you.

    So, you need to deal with this in a way that will smooth things out for the long-run. It's clear that your FSIL is immature for her age, and her mommy is perpetuating this problem. But it also sounds to me like *maybe* the FSIL has been harboring the notion that she's only in the party because of her relation to the groom (probably true...) and therefore alienated herself a little from the rest of the 'maids, assuming that she wasn't *really* part of your inner circle and wouldn't *really* be wanted around. Is there any truth to this? I mean, are you *very* close to the other 'maids, and only somewhat close to your FSIL? If so, it might be time to sit her down and explain that you are really excited to be gaining a sister, you're stoked to get to know her better and better, and you couldn't be happier that she's standing up with you guys at the wedding, and you're very sorry if it ever came across that she was not wanted around for all the festivities because that is *not* true. And gently let her know that it's really hard to include her if she doesn't check her email, FB, phone or at least one of the avenues of communication, and that going forward if she can just manage to do that, she will be included in everything- happily.

    Don't make your man deal with it. It will look like you don't want anything to do with the women of his family. This drama is most likely stemming from some insecurities on their part, and they're definitely going to take note of how you handle it and remember how it ended. You can either fix it right, and set the tone for how you'll all solve problems together in the future, or fix it wrong and have it haunt you again the next time you're all at odds about something.

    Take the high road and lead by example. Be mature and be someone she can look up to and desire to emulate, because she clearly doesn't have a role model like that in her life.

  5. totally agree with Bicycle Built for Two on this one.

  6. YES, ESB's ADVICE. your FSIL's reaction to that one simple question should tell you a lot.

    (now that I think about this, I bet my brother's wife could have written a Dear ESB about me when they were wedding planning... I bitched A LOT about being the only bridesmaid in a poop-green David's Bridal number... whoops)

  7. This is just my opinion, but... I think someone (you, your FH, or your MOH) needs to kindly tell your FMIL she won't be copied on all the bridal party emails. Yes, she's paying her daughter's way, but that doesn't give her the right to butt in where she doesn't belong.

    Also regarding the FSIL, tell her you'll keep sending regular emails about bridesmaid functions, etc., and that if she doesn't respond, you'll assume she doesn't want to attend. Do not go out of your way to accommodate her--she will take advantage of you and your MOH's niceness.

  8. Makes me so glad I didn't have a wedding party.

  9. Are you fucking kidding me?

    Cut the FSIL. She's bad mouthed your friend, acted like a complete cunt and got your MIL involved. Do you WANT her to stand up at your wedding?!

    Or try for Bridesmaid fight club and beat the shit out of her...

  10. Yes to Bridesmaid fight club.

    Talk to the brat. All adult-like. If she's still a brat ... then put on your nicey-nice face, but don't ask anything of her. Shit rolls downhill and the more you ask of her, the bitchier she'll get.

  11. Agreed with Bicycle. I know my sisters and I have unintentionally made friends feel alienated and left out, but it's because we've spent nearly 30 years together as sisters.

    Whatever you do, don't get your FH involved. You can ask him maybe how to approach her, but even then I'd watch out b/c he might let it slip. From what I know with my brother he never wants got get involved with our drama unless it's a definite must, and pitting him against her (you're not but she may take it as such, so will your FMIL) could be a bad, bad idea.

  12. Could you ask your man if this is the standard situation in the family (sister is a slacker, mom overcompensates and tries to manage her life and make her socially acceptable, however awkwardly)? If it is just the family dynamic, then your wedding isn't going to magically change anything. I'd probably keep her in the party just the keep the drama down. You're not required to be best friends with her afterward.

    If it's not normal for her, then try to sit down with her and see if she'll talk about it and offer to release her from the whole thing if it's not her thing. But the FMIL might cause drama in that case.

    And whatever you do, buy your MOH several stiff drinks, because it sounds like she's going above and beyond.

  13. agreed. chick's a brat, and it's pretty clear your FMIL is enabling her. talk it over with your FH, but only because he needs to know. if he wants to deal with it, he can, but don't encourage him to get in the middle. definitely sit her down and see what's going on.

  14. I agree with ESB. I'd phrase it in a "I know you're going through so much in your life right now between job hunting etc etc (side note- wtf is she really going thru? This wedding shld be her saving grace)... And I would hate for you to not have a great time because of all the extra responsibilities that come with being in a wedding party." way... And, agreed with everyone here -- your MOH sounds amazing.

  15. YES TO ESB. you can tell your FH about it, obviously...but that IS his sister...who he's grown up with his whole life...and his be gentle at first, read him out.

  16. I had the basic same scenario, all she had to do was show up at wedding, but with my own sister. I finally just asked her if she would prefer to not be involved, and she didn't. It stung, but was dealt with, and I was able to ask a dear friend to step up. My sister was a guest at the wedding, which worked for both of us.

  17. She's the baby in her family, right? I'm going to say to do something that's really hard to do. I think you need to take the high road. Here's why: it sounds like she's sort of unable to cope with life. I used to live with the baby of the family as a roommate, and she just...wasn't able to handle things. Her mom bailed her out and stepped in, and coddled her, and so she was a good person who just...didn't have it together at all, and could be sort of bratty and spoiled. 27 is a bit old for it, I grant you, but....if your life is all messed up, and you have to be in lots of weddings, it's hard. Its hard to be the single person with a loser job, and all the people who will be asking where your date is and what you do. She's already clearly punishing herself with her attitude.

    But I do think you still should sit down, and say, "I'm going to be your sister! I don't know what happened between MOH and mom in law, but one of my friends said your mom called my friend and was upset on your behalf. If you are upset, you need to come straight to me! So I can fix it! I love you (practice it with a straight face a few times) and we want you to be able to enjoy our wedding. Promise me, any more things that aren't working out, you will tell me or your brother."

    I don't know if she will abuse it. But it's possible, that given a space, and a chance to feel like she has a direct line to you, she might be less difficult. It's not like she has a good primary female role model with her mom, so it may just be she has no idea how to behave like an adult. She's going to be your sister in law for life, so there's no time like now to start seeing if you can get along with her.

  18. You should get your mom to beat up her mom.....obvs.

    Then treat your MOH to a day at the spa.

  19. I say cut her out and try to keep her as far from your wedding as possible. I dount you even have the option of smoothing this out for your future family. Nothing you can do/say is going to fundamentally change who she is!! We had a similar situation with my husbands brother. He is unemployed, unhappy, angry and selfish and totally unable to take responsibility for his own actions. My husband still made him best man, he went into it with his eyes open about what was realistic to expect and yet was still left completely disappointed. He made such a negative impact on our actual wedding day that I still get upset about it. I hadn't spoken to him in the 7 months since our wedding and just saw him this past weekend and guess what, nothings changed. There is no rainbow-filled relationship just because we accomodated his crap for our wedding. The night ended in a huge fight between us because his only perception of this situation is that I am a b!tch and he is a victim because I haven't spoken to him. All that is left is resentment and bad memories.

    Please understand that if this person is disfunctional enough that she can't/won't manage her own life, then she isn't just going to pull it together because your wedding is important. It's more likely that the underlying insecurities will blow-up into a drama that you don't want or need.

  20. If she's a tattletale why not be one back? get your FH to talk to his sister or his mom. that's IF you want to do anything.

    but honestly, I don't think its a big deal if she's CC in an email. She doesn't have a say she'll just be spying. Maybe she can get her daughter to respond back or whatever. She obviously knows her 27 year old daughter needs to be babysat. Might be a win win.