Columns Dec 23, 2010 at 4:00 am

An Affair to Forget


Can't wait to try the cookies!
today's column was amazing! great advice plus cookies FTW
today's column is amazing! great advice and cookies FTW
I hope MOM's mother's boyfriend is an awesome guy who proposes to her right after the last shovel of dirt is heaped on her asshole husband.

Right over the grave, too.

BOTB: When you get married, don't invite her husband, and see how she likes it.
How DARE you call your mother a CPOS, MOM. Your FATHER is the piece of shit and your mom is a saint for putting up with it for five minutes, let alone three decades!

Let her enjoy whatever little joy she's found away from your asshole father.
MOM's sons are misogynistic douchebags. Content to defend mom while she's being abused. But the second she steps out of the martyr role--which they only find out about through snooping!--they forget their dad's YEARS of abuse and start to question mom. How about shutting the fuck up and being thankful that she's FINALLY doing something for herself? And discreetly? Assholes.
I will make those cookies this week, Dan, and wish you a wonderful holiday while I do! :)
Dan, why not encourage the sons to talk to their mother about divorcing the asshole? The sons are obviously old enough to handle it, and the mother's rationalization to stay in the marriage is not as valid as before. Who knows, perhaps it can end well for three of the family members.
re: BOTB

I kind of agree with the advice, but kind of not. The sister doesn't want drama at her wedding- and tried to make it clear by putting only BOTB's name on the invite.

I think it's fair to ask if your boyfriend can come, but by making it a "her or me" thing, you're putting her on the spot. It doesn't sound like your sister has any problem with your lifestyle, she probably just doesn't want any drama.

You can choose to make this a political issue if you want, but it will add to her stress if you "win". If she wants to make a stand, then fine, that would be awesome, but for her sake, please don't push it.

And at your wedding one day (and no matter where you live, you will be allowed to marry one day), if you don't want screaming kids to be there and you ask her to leave them with a sitter, you will be grateful when she allows you to have your own, stress-free day, too.
#7 - are we sure MOM is a son, rather than a daughter? Nothing in the letter indicates one way or the other. Not that girls can't be misogynistic douchebags, or course! Dan's advice is absolutely spot-on though.

#5 - Yes, yes, and YES!
Hey, MOM, how did your older brother find out about your mom's private emails?
HE feels "betrayed?" Your mother seems to have been betrayed by her entire family, including the children she stayed with (in the words of one of them) "an abusive asshole and borderline psycho" in order to protect.

You should be ashamed of yourself. Not only does she deserve a better husband, she deserves better children. If you love her and you have the slightest bit of human compassion, you'd be cheering that she's got one person in her life who wants to make her happy.

Also, I don't know how old you are, but grow up: your mother has a right to happiness in life, and the world isn't as black-and-white as you'd seem to like it to be.
## 3, 7 -- What they said.
and #10 -- yes, it does sound like the sister has a problem with it. He says "my FAMILY doesn't support my gayness," not just his mother, and if you are right that she deliberately left off the "+1" (I don't think we know that, fwiw), then yes, that's a problem.
#10 - Being gay isn't a lifestyle. You can choose a lifestyle, but you can't choose your sexual orientation.

Think about BOTB's situation, but imagine that instead of being gay, BOTB is a straight white guy with a racist family and an African American girlfriend. Is it okay not to invite his girlfriend to make sure there's no drama?

Bringing one's significant other to a wedding isn't a "political statement" and it's not necessarily "taking a stand" - it's just living a full, open life.

I think Dan's advice is spot-on, including the part about hashing it out ahead of time. That way the sister can choose: either to have her brother at her wedding, or to condone and enable homophobia.
Oh, for the love of God, MOM. You have zero right to discuss anything with anyone.

What's that you say? It's giving you an ulcer? Good. It serves you right. The next time you have the chance to violate someone else's privacy, the gnawing pain in your gut will remind you to butt out.
Right on, #9... maybe if the mother hears that she has the love and support of her children, she will find the courage to leave her husband...
Yep, I have to agree; MOM and MOM's brother should keep whatever they found confidential. If MOM's description of their father is accurate, then their mother's escapades look like a necessity for someone who wants to keep her sanity.

My impression is that MOM is probably young (and so is his brother). He's jumping to CPOS labeling because of the mere act of cheating; it feels as if he hasn't noticed that people aren't either 100% angelic or 100% demonic (I'll bet their father also has a few redeeming features that weren't mentioned). He wishes his mother were 'pure' and never had to lie.

But time will help. He will grow and, after being in a few complicated situations himself, will realize that he still has -- has always had -- a great mom, despite any 'cheating.'
Jeez people! You'd be upset to learn that your mom/dad cheated on your dad/mom, too! Even if dad/mom is a total jerk! It's just human nature -- we like our parents perfect.

And Dan, if you're going to acknowledge that nearly anyone in a lifelong relationship is going to cheat a little, you should also acknowledge that anyone in a lifelong relationship is going to snoop a little. Both serve purposes, and both can be very painful.
MOM, YOU are a prying gossipy blabber mouth selfish POS. You and your sibling need to butt out, grow up and grow a pair.

BotB, you know that old saying "no one can make you feel inferior without your permission"? That applies double if it's coming from your own family. Quit giving them permission.
As a side-point: shouldn't it be 'gaiety' rather than 'gayness'?
"Ma Savage shipped tins of these cookies to us if we couldn't make it home for Christmas."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww :)
I love you, Dan! Merry Christmas and thanks for being you and doing what (and who) you do.

Dan, you're really getting soft in your old age. I think the mid-90's era DS would have ripped MOM a few new ones. She/He certainly deserves it.

Still, your compassion most likely will get through to her/him a lot quicker than the vitriol which will be poured upon MOM in the ensuing comments. Vitriol that she/he so richly deserves. A brave woman with the patience of Job, and all MOM writes about is me, me, me.

Oh, & @19....
You reading comprehension isn't up to par. Re-read the letter again.
Um, sorry, but weddings are not date affairs. They are for family and close friends. If the boyfriend is not family (i.e. commitment ceremony or at the minimum cohabitation), the guy should not assume his bf belongs there. Much less that he can just invite him to his sister's wedding. It's her damn wedding, not his opportunity to make a political statement.

But if he feels like the bf is family, he should politely decline the invitation and tell his sister that he already had plans to be with his real family (the bf) and he is not ditching the bf for her wedding. If she extends an invitation at that point, fine, he should go, if that's what he wants. Otherwise he has just been handed a goldplated excuse to avoid a horrible event (all weddings are boring horrors, stop deluding yourselves, ladies). And mom and sis can wallow in the shit they dumped all over her special day by having to explain why their homophobia meant the family fag was a no-show.

And not only would it be rude to the sister to give her an ultimatum to invite the boyfriend (maybe she has good reasons, maybe not), he ain't doing the bf any favors by dragging him to an godawful family event he knows he was intentionally not invited to. That invitation purposely did not include the bf or "and guest". I sure as hell wouldn't want to crash a party, much less a party where I know I will not be welcome. Why does Dan think it's so important to do so?
Dear Dan,

Thank you for the cookie recipe and Merry Christmas to you and your family too. It was so touching to read about your annual tradition and how you're still missing your mom.

Also, I totally agree with all the advice this week.

@10 - If BOTB's sister isn't going to support him and his relationship, why should he go to her wedding and support hers? Being gay and having a boyfriend is normal, it's not a matter of creating drama. The homophobic family is creating drama by refusing to accept BOTB, and the sister shouldn't be accommodating that.
I don't agree at all with the advice for BOTB. His sister's wedding is not an excuse to take hostages in the conflict with the parents. It's her wedding, not BOTB's, and while it's perfectly fine for BOTB to ask if he can bring his +1, it's a dick move to not respect the sister's wishes. What kind of asshole says "I will only agree to come to your wedding if you agree to have mom and dad be pissed off the whole time?"

There's nothing the sister can do to make her parents enlightened. But BOTB can certainly, for one day, accept that his parents are less than enlightened and leave the boyfriend at home.

Besides, who is to say the parents have anything to do with it? Maybe the sister doesn't want the boyfriend there simply because he's even more of a dick than BOTB is.
@26: The sister isn't having a wedding to support her brother's relationship. She's having a wedding to recognize HER relationship. If BOTB wants the sister to support his relationship, he should have a wedding and invite her.

The sister is not obligated to induce drama/conflict into her wedding to support anyone else's relationships. The sister can have a conflict-free wedding without her parents. Or she can have a conflict free wedding without the brother's boyfriend. Parents win.

And, if she must, she can have a conflict-free wedding without her brother and his boyfriend, but only if her brother insists on attempting to turn her wedding into a battleground for his conflict with his parents.
God damn how are this many comments already?

Advice for MOM: Dan nailed it. DO NOT SNOOP unless you are ready to find out the most nasty, disgusting things about the snoopee. Snoopy. heheh

But seriously, let well enough alone. Your brother only knows because YOU TOLD HIM. Keep your hands and words to yourself next time.
Sure, MOM's mom should leave the dude. It would be lovely if she could discuss the possibility with her sons. But I think Dan picked up on something more important... mom's privacy (or, after the asshole e-vesdropping, the illusion of privacy). To confront her would be humiliating. She's put up with the bastard this long because she can't or won't leave him. The kids can talk with her about that, but to say they know about the affair is out of the question. MOM found out in an assholic way, so now he must suffer like an asshole. He must continue to shaddup shuttin up.
I disagree with the advice to BOTB. It's not about him and his boyfriend, it's about his sister and her soon to be husband. Sure, it's expected that one should invite the long term boyfriend/girlfriend of a sibling, but for all we know, maybe the sister doesn't like her brother's boyfriend, and it has nothing to do with her personal feelings on homosexuality in general. Or maybe she just wants a nice peaceful wedding without drama. Or maybe she's only inviting family. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it is extremely rude to insist on bringing another guest, when only BOTB was invited in the first place. Would it be so bad if BOTB simply ASKED his sister why his boyfriend wasn't invited in the first place, before starting to make demands and ultimatums?
reading all y'all comments about how BOTB should shut up about his boyfriend not being invited to the wedding are sickening.

you're the kind of people who would pull this kind of homophobic shit and think you'd gotten away with it.

here's a hint: gay people can tell when you're acting in a homophobic manner, even if you don't make it obvious or say any homophobic words at the same time. grow a brain - not giving the gay kid a +1 invite is bullshit.

because you are not gay, you wouldn't know what it is like to have your family not acknowledge your relationship. you expect people to come to your weddings, give you gifts and free money just because you have formed a co-dependent emotional bond with another human being, but won't extend the same recognition to BOTB because his old Ma might be offended. put yourself in another's shoes for a change.

good advice, Dan.

as for MOM - agreed with basically everyone - OPTION A: either put your money where your mouth is, DON'T mention the emails but tell your mom that you support her if she decided to leave your father...

OPTION B: don't tell your mom shit, and you shouldn't have mentioned anything to your brother either, it wasn't yours to know or to tell. seems like you found more than you bargained for and now you can't handle it. HINT: don't snoop, dumbshit!
The first letter could have been sent to Miss Manners. Who would have given similar advice.
I don't understand all these comments that BOTB should suffer in silence. If she only invited her siblings and not their spouses/significant others, then that would be one thing. But to intentionally preclude him from having a date, ANY date, at a wedding when everyone else is going to be accompanied is flat out wrong.

People are saying he shouldn't use her wedding to make a political stand, but that is exactly what she is doing. Separate but equal never is.
BotB's participation is either important or it isn't. If it isn't, then they excuse him from the wedding. If it is, then it is, and they should take the boyfriend.

Any other insistence is a mixed message BotB shouldn't feel ashamed to say he isn't equipped to accept. No one is that equipped.

MOM's mom left her login session live. She didn't deserve to have her privacy violated, but no one didn't deserve to be tempted like that like MOM was either. S/he should feel free to confess to an honest transgression. Breaks should fall all around.
Oh 33 you are soooo right!!! You made my day.
Dan, your advice to MOM is spot on. The son had no business snooping in his mum's e-mail, much less sharing what he found with his brother. They need to let their mum have what little happiness she can. There are some things that are none of a our business where our parents are concerned. Just as there are things no parent wants to know about their kid. My dad controlled my mum in much the same way. Fortunately, they got divorced after 30 years. The irony of that was my dad filed for divorce to prove how much my mother needed him not expecting her take him up on the offer.
I'm wondering if the only time they stand up for their mom to Psycho Dad is when he's on the attack. maybe for a change, when things are nice and calm, they should just come out and call him out on what an asshole he is. put him on the defensive for a change, instead of always waiting for him to go off on the mom.
Is it the Christmas spirit that has you all soft, Dan? MOM deserved one of your patented rants.

You have to feel for MOM's mom. She stays in a loveless marriage for three decades with an abusive, ugly, paranoid piece of shit. She does this in part to provide her two children with a family. Now she has two children with the gall to call HER a piece of shit for seeking a tiny bit of solace to keep her life bearable. Poor woman.

The only thing you should discuss with your mother, MOM, is how best to go about getting a divorce now that you and your brother are old enough to handle it. Never indicate you are aware of her affair. She put up with unbelievable amounts of shit already. Enough is enough, help her get a life for herself.
I guess I don't see how wanting to bring a date along is a political statement just because you're gay. Presumably everyone else invited is allowed to bring a date/spouse/whatever, or at least that the close family members are. Why should it be different just because BOTB is gay? He's a *brother* not a random friend or distant relative. It still would be wrong to say they don't want a not so close friend or distant relative to bring a same sex partner, but they can more easily just say 'sorry, no partner, no attendance'.

Personally, I think it's a bit selfish on the sister's part for not already addressing this in person one way or another. He's the brother so unless he's totally estranged from the rest of the family (which would make this an easier decision presumably, but maybe not) he'll probably know whether this was a deliberate move to leave off his partner. If he's not sure, then a tactful version of "I'd like to come, but can't in good conscience pretend my partner doesn't exist by leaving him behind".

The thing that bothers me is that people keep calling this a 'political thing'. The only reason this is a 'political thing' is because other people are making it so by continuing to buy into the idea that it's okay to deny someone just because they're gay. This isn't political, this is about having a partner that you don't have to pretend doesn't exist at society's convenience.
I went to my boyfriend's sister's wedding. It was one of the first trips we took together, and mom was not to happy. Neither was grandma. Luckily, sis and her new inlaws were more than happy to have me join the party. I even became an ad hoc usher and escorted grandma out of the church - much to her chagrin I'm sure.

Five years later and mom still doesn't acknowledge I exist. But, with every passing year, it becomes increasingly apparant WHO IT IS that has the problem. Not me, not my boyfriend, but only mom, who continues to's obviously her loss.
Like many others have said, MOM and his (her?) brother sound like they've inherited some of their father's assholery. So, this is "killing" MOM's brother. Boo-fucking-hoo. Now he feels that he shouldn't have defended his mom from his dad when he called her a cheating whore? Does he not see how fucked up that is? "It's wrong for dad to abuse mom, but only if she is accepting his abuse like a good Christian housewife, and not actually acting like an autonomous human being in need of love and affection." So many things wrong with MOM in this letter. Snooping in his mother's privacy because he was "bored"? Check. Feeling outrage at what he discovered that he wasn't meant to? Check. Gossiping to other sibling about it before writing to Dan (or thinking for more than five minutes) to see what to do? Check. Understanding/defending his brother's self-righteous indignation and possibly sharing in it himself? Check. Contemplating whether or not to possibly endanger his mom by telling a man he describes as a PSYCHO? Check. The whole fucking family needs a divorce and some serious therapy.
Dan Savage is great, but he tends to default to the position he has here in answer to MOM: some strange on the side is okay, if you can find some rationalization for it. And humans can *always* find a rationalization for it.

Yo, MOM, just a thought: maybe you missed the real show over the past few decades. Maybe you actually spent the last few decades watching your once-loving father become a bitter, angry man who treats your mom increasingly poorly because your mom was cheating on him all those years, and denying him the full love and and faithfulness she promised? Ever see what happens to a spouse who actually tries to make a marriage work, while the other spouse does as (s)he pleases? The devoted spouse usually ends up really, really pissed, especially if they are the ones who also pay the bills.

And since kids are often unaware of their parents' more complex personality traits until late teens or twenties, your primary memories of your dad's behavior are formed in the later part of their marriage.

My guess is your dad has a pretty good yarn to tell you about his marriage from years ago, and that you are just as clueless about that as you were about mom's infidelity. Heck, he might even tell you "yeah, she has cheated on me so many times, with people I had to deal with after that, and I bore the humiliation each time, in order to give you the best home I could...I could not, however, always hide my anger at her for doing that to me...sorry you had to see that." Now, wouldn't *that* rock your world, just like those emails did?

I am often suprised at how adult kids will view their parents' marriage largely through the eyes of the parent they favor. That is, a momma's boy will insist that his mom was largely blameless in a break-up or bad marriage, even though the dad has a pretty good story to explain how mom greatly contributed to the couple's problems.

In sum, every marriage is a mystery to outsiders, and kids are outsiders to their parents' marriage. So STFU, keep your nose out of it, and do not presume to know your father's story any more than you knew your mother's.
Dan, thanks for the cookie recipe. Sweet hugs and memories of your Mom.
i love you dan. merry christmas.
Yes, weddings are about the two people getting married, but it’s also about the blending of two families. That’s why they are called in-laws. To tell your sibling that they are welcome at the event but the partner or boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t is directly telling them that their relationship is second class at best. Would they exclude a straight sibling’s significant other? Yeah, didn’t think so.

And as for drama, I was surprised as hell to get the invite to my youngest brother’s wedding. As the ‘Pink Sheep’ of the family, I was basically persona non grata. So I was shocked and thrilled to be asked to join in the festivities. It turns out my new sister-in law (Hi, Laura! Luv Ya!) insisted I be invited as I was family, cock-sucking be damned! The drama happened a little later when they asked if I wanted to be a Groomsman. Turns out my older brother, who was Best Man, got busted for running a Meth Lab on the farm he was renting from my sister. Suddenly, pole-smoking wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I guess it’s’ all perspective, isn’t it?

so basically what you're saying is that Dan should answer every letter with "I can't rightly say what you should do until I get detailed accounts from every other person involved."

the dude wrote a letter, Dan gave advice based on the information given. Jesus Tittyfucking Christ, he's not testifying under oath, he's not part of any legally binding agreement.
#34 nailed it. The drama started with the homophobic exclusion. Don't blame the victim, blame the assholes who wish the victim didn't exist.
Merry Christmas, Dan. This is the year you earned the Nobel Peace Prize for "It Gets Better." But you'll have to settle for the love, admiration and gratitude of gay people all over the world and the people who love them.

I think you might be a bit off with BOTB. In principle, it's the bride's day. If BOTB's relationship would be a distraction, he should leave the boyfriend at home. That's especially true if the sister has been supportive. If not, then maybe she deserves to be raked over the coals. But if I loved my sister, I wouldn't try to make her feel bad on her special day. I'd give her a pass and fight this battle another time.
I'm afraid my dirty mind won't allow me to enjoy these wonderful cookies. When Dan says "snowball", I definitely don't think of holiday baked goods...
Spot on advice to MOM. It constantly amazes me how people can read Dan's column and still walk away with no concept of how the terms CPOS and GGG should be used.


Everyone who is saying that the wedding is about celebrating BOBT's sister's relationship is right, the wedding IS about celebrating her relationship. It is NOT about trying to reinforce her desire for her sibling to be something that he's not. If his sister's intention was really just to keep some family peace then she damn well should've talked to BOBT before she sent out the invites. Seeing as she didn't, she more than deserves some direct conversation initiated by BOBT. Not dickish conversation but direct conversation.
How do we know that mom wasn't a CPOS from the outset of her relationship with Dad? How do we know that part of the reason Dad became an abusive asshole wasn't because he was married to a lying, cheating whore? How do we know that Dad hasn't had major medical issues all his life because of the torment he's put up with from his lying, whorish wife? It's easy to assume that mom put up with dad for unclear reasons of her own .. perhaps cultural .. but it's just as easy to assume that dad has put up with a cheating whore wife for thirty years for similar reasons. Here's the thing ... none of us know what went on between mom and dad ... none of us know which was the chicken and which was the egg ... all we know is that they are in a dysfunctional relationship that has damaged them both.

Well there's the fact that dad's anti-social, borderline psychotic behavior is possibly due to some "cultural" issues (orthodox something or other?) which, if that's the case, would indicate that he was probably always a closet borderline asshole.

Other than that you're right. And also; how do we know that aliens aren't involved? or the mafia? or mafia aliens? How do we know that dad didn't travel back in time to initiate an affair with Elenore Roosevelt which promoted MOM's mom to cheat in the first place? Maybe dad was the one who had neglected mom and dad's physical problems are the direct result of his trying (unsuccessfully) to auto fellate? And how do cats fit into this? We know they must somehow......hmmmmmm.
@28 - You're right, BOTB's sister isn't having a wedding to support her brother's relationship. But it goes without saying that, as someone who loves her brother, she should support him and his relationship regardless of whether she's having a wedding or not -- unless his boyfriend is some kind of abusive douche, which isn't an issue raised by his letter.

To the people insisting that it's the bride's day, you're all absolutely right. Which means she shouldn't worry at all about catering to the homophobic parents, since it's not their day. If she personally has a problem with BOTB as well, however, then fuck her.

As someone who's been a bride, I would have been ashamed to exclude one of my sibling's significant others because they happened to be the same sex.
Geez, MOM's poor mom. That woman deserved better. Really.
I must be emotional or something today... your advice to MOM teared me up a little (of note: my father's not a psycho; my mom's not cheating on him). MOM mom's has my every sympathy.

But, I'd add one piece to the advice. If the son/daughter saw the e-mail was open and could easily snoop, so too could the psycho father. I'd approach her, let her know it was all okay, but then warn her to be more careful. You don't want the POS father reading these same e-mails and upping the ante towards violence.

Merry Christmas all!
Make that, "I'd approach her, let her know it was all okay, *apologize profusely for snooping*, but then warn her to be more careful."
Also, we made the snowballs, but damn if they didn't cook down flat as a normal cookie. What did we do wrong?
Thanks for the cookie recipe. I'll be whipping up a batch tomorrow. Even though I didn't know her, I'll send a little smile your mom's way and thank her for making such a good son.
The kids should encourage their mom to divorce their asshole dad. if she knew they'd stick with her, she might have the courage to leave this abusive relationship.

How dare they question HER instead of their father. If they loved their mother they'd support anything that makes her happy.
BOTB - As a bride, I can't imagine not inviting my brother's two-year SO. Male or female. Unless of course, it was a tiny wedding. I would call her, and put the feelers out, saying that you'd really like to bring your man. If you get the sense that she's trying to arrange a drama-free wedding (and I would seriously hope that your family is mature enough not to throw a hissy fit because you bring your boyfriend), tell her that as you would love to be there to support her and her husband, you would also appreciate some support for your relationship. If she still doesn't budge, well, I would say then that I wouldn't go, and I wouldn't send a gift.

And MOM is the reason I don't want children. You dedicate your entire life to raising a human being or several, make serious sacrifices, and then they stand in judgment of your decisions because you do something they can't comprehend.
The last dude's sister is a total bitch. I would not even discuss it with her, as her intent was quite obvious. I simply would not go.
As a straight woman, I have to say that the # of people who say that BOTB is making a "statement# is sickening. I'm sure that other family members were invited with their spouses. Cousins were most likely given a plus 1. He was excluded because he is gay. Spot on Dan! You are my hero! Happy holidays to all.
Homophobia aside (and that is what it is, not "political"), not giving someone a +1 on a wedding invite is just tacky.

Also, thanks for the cookie recipe Dan. Sorry that it's a painful time of year, but it's beautiful that you can remember your mother (who sounds like she was a wonderful woman) through baking and sharing.
I'm worried that MOM's Mom may be in deathly danger from the male members of her family... Why did this picture come into my mind?!

Merry Christmas Dan, thanks to you and your Mom for COOKIES!!!
Thanks for the cookie recipe, Dan. since I'm diabetic, I'm going to give it a whirl with Splenda. I'll let you know how they turn out.
Cool Yule Y'all
I can't refrain from commenting on the comments about BOTB. The extreme rudeness here is coming from BOTB's sister, who had the gall to send him an invitation that excludes his significant other. Since she did that, Dan's advice is absolutely right. BOTB should push the issue and refuse to come unless his boyfriend also comes and his family agrees to treat the boyfriend with respect. GROW UP, PEOPLE!!! A wedding is NOT supposed to be Bridezilla's perfect day. It's a celebration of relationships--Bridezilla's included. As a gay man, my own policy has always been this: If I can't get married, I support no one else's right to marry. The only exceptions I make are for people who I know support gay marriage in general and who support my relationship in particular.
Why is bad behavior so frequently attributed to 'cultural issues'? I can't find Assholvania on the map so I'm not exactly sure where this culture of brutish louts is. Bad behavior is due almost exclusively to personal assholism rather than cultural assholism....
i agree with 69 . . . hehe . . .

saying a wedding is all about the bride is like saying that Christmas is all about buying and receiving presents. it's just bullshit consumerism to make people feel that if they're not spending enough money, they're not doing it right.
Spot on advice all around. MOM snooped on his mom's e-mail "to be an asshole out of boredom," then expects people to sympathize with his "dilemma" of how to confront her with what he found? & told his older brother about it, even though he likely knew it would make him feel betrayed -- & even though it was NONE OF HIS FUCKING BUSINESS to begin with? The advice he really needs is "don't do something that you know from the start is an asshole thing to do."

Can't believe anyone has stepped in to defend the bride on the grounds that weddings are "the bride's day" or "about the couple, not you" or whatever. If the couple wants to have an event that's all about them, they should can host a swanky party & invite all their most glamorous friends. Or go on a nice weekend trip & not invite anyone else at all. When you ask someone to be a GUEST at your wedding, you're taking on the responsibility of making them comfortable, feeding them well, & honoring their place in your life. In other words, being a good host. The purpose of a wedding isn't to have a captive audience for your perfectly choreographed Barbie & Ken Show. And the whole day isn't "all about" just one couple. If that's your attitude to your guests, please elope.
I think that BOTB's situation is pretty straight-forward. His sister wants him at the wedding, just minus his gayness. Regrettably (for her), much like his liver, his orientation is not something she can just have him remove for the day.
If she wants him there, she has to take all of him. If she can't or won't, then she should simply not invite him, and choose to live with the consequences of such a decision.
I agree with 10 31 et al. Your sister's wedding isn't the time to make a political statement or air dirty family laundry. It's about supporting your sister whom you (presumably) love. If your sister would rather not have the drama that bringing your bf would create on HER day then you should respect that. I think you should inquire and figure out if bringing your fella is acceptable, but that you should respect whatever your sister decides. If i was getting married and my brother was dating a gal with Tourette syndrome who would undoubtedly cause i disturbance at my wedding i think it is perfect acceptable to not invite that person.
Dear Dan,

Thanks for sharing your mom's cookie recipe. You're a real sweetheart for keeping the tradition.

Your missing your mom for some reason made me think of what you say about all relationships coming to an end, until one doesn't. But all relationships do come to an end, sadly. As your relationship with your mom came to an end, sadly. The sorrow we feel when such relationships end is the price we pay for the joy of knowing and loving others.

Wishing you much joy.

If she'd rather not have the drama that BOTB's life brings, then she'd better not have him at the wedding, so Dan's solution works for everyone.

Also, your Tourette's comment proves that you are a gigantic asshole. Go fuck yourself.
Unless of course you were being ironic, in which case I'm an asshole. Go fuck myself.
@74: "If i was getting married and my brother was dating a gal with Tourette syndrome who would undoubtedly cause i disturbance at my wedding i think it is perfect acceptable to not invite that person."

You are not a very nice person.

Hm, where else would your brother's girlfriend not be invited? After all, there are so many lovely family occasions that should not be disturbed by the uncomfortable presence of the person your brother loves. Christmas... Thanksgiving... your parents' 50th anniversary dinner... And really, there are so many different ways that people can be disruptive. Their sexual orientation. Their disabilities. Their colour. Their religion. Their politics. Really, why should your family occasions have to be disrupted by the presence of anyone who would in any way make you or someone else there a bit uncomfortable?

Family occasions are for family - all members, which includes significant others. No matter how uncomfortable they might make someone feel.*

*(Okay, I'd give a pass on inviting Uncle Badtouch, even if he is out on parole and on his meds. But then, there's a difference between "makes me uncomfortable" and "registered sex offender".)
Great advice, plus cookies! I love it! Merry Christmas to you and yours, too, Dan.
Weddings aren't perfect days. The people that want them perfect get upset about the place settings or the flower arrangement that didn't come out "perfect".

Tourette's - are you shitting me? The person with Tourette's knows they have it. They've been excluded from stuff forever. Maybe you should accept them on that day of love, family, community, etc. Not all tourette's is screaming obscenities, but I do think it would be kind of humorous to hear the occasional "blow job" screamed out during the vows. Someplace in between honor and obey.

Maybe BOTB's sister will get her second wedding right :)
@80: "I do think it would be kind of humorous to hear the occasional "blow job" screamed out during the vows"

I wanted the words "blow job" to be in the vows, but my wife vetoed it.
I think we've stumbled on to the genesis of the origins of homosexuality in Dan. His mother had him eating "chocolate sno balls" ever since he was a young boy! My god, Dan, how did you ever miss this. I've seen pictures of your boyfriend and his balls, i'm quite sure, are not chocolate, but the sno balling that goes on in the Savage household is rampant I'd suspect. So, Dan, you can consider the next sentence to officially be a question for your next SLOG. Would eating Dan's chocolate sno-balls make me gay?
74 is a glaring illustration of exactly what's wrong with anyone defending BOTB's sister. Yes, it's her wedding day, and no, that doesn't grant her impunity to treat certain members of her family like they're something to be ashamed of. If she can't fully accept her brother, she shouldn't have invited him to the wedding at all.
@54: Nailed it.

MOM, you're a douche. Fuck you for calling your mom a CPOS; you clearly have no idea how this works. Confront your *brother*, and support your mother.

And by that, I mean, it extends to never ever letting her live alone with your PSYCHO DAD. I'm assuming you still live with them, and when you get the financial wherewithal to move out, take your mom with you. Seriously. You owe that to her.
To BOTB: She's your only sibling so I think you should be there. I think Dan is right and you should tell her you'd like to bring your boyfriend, at least to the ceremony and reception. You say the family doesn't support your gayness, so I take that to mean your sister as well. But does that mean she is openly opposed to it or just a sad sack that won't speak up for you to the rest of the family? This would be the time to find out exactly where she stands.

If it turns out she is just like your mom, well, maybe you should only go to the wedding ceremony but none of the other surrounding festivities (assuming the wedding is within comfortable driving distance and it doesn't place a financial burden for you to do so). Buy a nice, tasteful gift, show up, smile and leave. No one can bitch at you later that you didn't attend. Sure, you can try to reason with your sister, but if she is stupid and homophobic or just a scaredy-cat to stand up to the rest of the family, there isn't much point in making it all a drama. Just let her know firmly that she is offending you, but you will be civil during "her day" (I really hate that phrase). Showing up,smiling grimly and then leaving is a statement, but no one can accuse you of ruining the wedding because you didn't attend.

Be careful, cause emotions are always running hot at family events like weddings and it could easily become a huge family blow-up if you let it get to you. Don't let them put you in a position that you get blamed.
@82: "Would eating Dan's chocolate sno-balls make me gay?"

God, I hope so. My next Christmas bash would be sexy indeed.
Great advice, and those cookies sound awesome. My mom makes a vanilla version of those cookies (only she calls them Russian Tea Cakes), and a chocolate version sounds absolutely delicious!
@78 A marriage ceremony is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime event. It is about the people having the wedding. It isn't Christmas which occurs every year and is a religious observance. Thanksgiving again happens every year and isn't about honoring individuals. That is the big difference. The parent's 50th wedding anniversary would be another good time to leave the bf at home if it's going to cause a problem because it's a day to honor individuals. The wedding is also a day to respect the wishes of those getting married. If they want you to wear green you wear green even if wearing green makes you uncomfortable. You don't skip your sibling's wedding because they would rather not have drama on their special day. That makes you an asshole. The bigger person would have a conversation asking for the bf to be able come and respect the decision because not everything is about you.
@83 not wanting your mother to freak out and have a shouting match with your sibling on your wedding day isn't treating anybody with any disrespect or acting ashamed of them. It is about enjoying your wedding day which is totally selfish and totally justified.
@85: Expanding on your advice, I say bring the boyfriend to the ceremony, but skip the reception.

Meanwhile, I've NEVER been invited to a wedding, graduation, etc. where there wasn't a +1 included with the invitation. To not give that option is simply uncouth.
@76 name-calling isn't nice and ad hominem attacks are boorish. If you can't argue the merits of my statement don't argue at all...please.
Take your boyfriend to the wedding BOTB. It won't be you creating the drama, it will be your mother, if she chooses to do so. Hopefully she will recognize that her daughter's wedding is neither the time nor the place but all you can do is not buy into it.
Merry Christmas to you Dan.

#74: Bless your heart. You should maybe look up the word karma in a dictionary. It will help you understand things later.
@19 Uh, I did find out one of my parents was cheating. Yes, it was upsetting because I put that parent on a pedestal, but realizing that person was human brought me closer to my parents. Luckily the parent that was cheated on was able to see the same thing. They are now closer and more open than I've ever seen them.

Parents are not asexual nor perfect. Remember that.
To kmonkey (#10),

Being gay is not a lifestyle nor a political issue; rather, being gay is not a choice and further a human issue. To sacrifice one's dignity for the sake of someone else's comfort is inhuman. He should never have to sacrifice his dignity for the purpose of comforting his sister and the rest of his family, because that is outright condescending to him. If I were the brother, I would follow Dan's advice spot on and give the sister a choice between him or homophobia.
To #10,

Being gay is not a lifestyle nor a political issue; rather, being gay is not a choice and further a human issue. To sacrifice one's dignity for the sake of someone else's comfort is inhuman. He should never have to sacrifice his dignity for the purpose of comforting his sister and the rest of his family, because that is outright condescending to him. If I were the brother, I would follow Dan's advice spot on and give the sister a choice between him or homophobia.
#27 - To put this into perspective, BOTB's partner is being taken hostage by BOTB's family, and it's a dick move by the sister to not invite BOTB's partner...what kind of asshole ignores someone's partner like that as if he is scum because someone else's thoughts about him and homosexuality in general is more superior? There is never, ever a valid reason to further homophobia, not even for one day, not even at someone's wedding.
Flounder: agree that one should respect the wishes of the couple, as much as is reasaonble, on their special day. But what if the *only* difference stated here was that BOTB was NOT gay...? If he had a girlfriend for two plus years, I guarantee she wouldn't want to sit at home while her SO was at a wedding. There comes a point where a certain level of commitment is assumed between a couple of adults, & at that point it's reasonable to expect them to be included on invitations to major events within a family.

BOTB hasn't *talked to* his sister about this, which is what I think he should do. Brides get a lot of pressure - their own expectations, those of their family, the groom's family, their mother's reliving their own "special day" through their daughter; ugh. BOTB, find a moment in which your sis *isn't* looking like she wants to hurl a wedding planner out of a window, & talk to her about things. Were I you, I'd want my sweetie there, but not everyone gets what they want. Sometimes ya gotta play politics. Me, I wouldn't go w/out my boyfriend/girlfriend.

Good luck BOTB..& Flounder, regardless of what well may have been meant, comparing a gay relationship to one where a partner has Tourette's was graceless at least. :/ Someone sitting there, quietly holding hands w/ someone should not cause the same potential for upset & unease as someone who can't control shouting outbursts.
I come a very similar family dynamic. My father was a controlling piece of shit, handgun in your face wielding dick, (i was the victim of the gun thing when i was 14 and told him i was gay ), rage-oholic asshole. I believe that my parents' marriage was doomed from the onset: when my mom got knocked with me, she finally put her foot down and decided to NOT have another backroom abortion. Unlike the TWO prior abortions he forced her to have, (this was the mid-60's, an era of little or no women’s rights.)

So to "MOM", i would think you'd want your mother a little piece of happiness. I WISH my mom my had had an affair, fling or something during her marriage, maybe that would have made her life with my father a tiny bit more tolerable. I even broached the subject with her when i was teenager, "screw dad, go out and have some fun!" But alas, because of her generational upbringing she never did and for that same reason she never divorced him. And now, my dad is dead, and she's a broken, depressed lonely older lady.

On a happier note, Dan thank you for initiating the "It Gets Better" campaign! As all of us on this blog know, it has received major news coverage on all the various media outlets. And even if it saves just ONE kid's life, what you and Terry started was well worth it million times over. Kudos to both of you. Dan you are my personal hero

Have a Merry Christmas to you, Terry and the kid.


Flounder, not everything is about an offended gay man, but if members of a family can't accept him for who he is and who he loves, then they don't deserve his company. Asking someone to wear green and forbidding someone from bringing the person they plan on spending the rest of their life with are not even close to the same thing. Your comparisons on the issue speak to a lack of understanding of what this family is asking. The sister in question may be getting married, but it's not just her day. It's her husband's day, too. She is entitled to a drama-free day, but he is entitled to bring the person he shares his life with to family events. How would you feel if someone asked you not to bring your significant other because of his or her gender? And by BOTB not bringing his SO he tacitly agrees that his relationship is not on the same level as the rest of the family's relationships.

I understand that weddings can be a huge day for a lot of women, but you don't get to do whatever you want for your wedding without consequence. If she makes the decision that she doesn't want to include a huge part of her brother's life, then she should be prepared to not include her brother in her life.
@88: "@78 A marriage ceremony is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime event. It is about the people having the wedding."

This is something we will have to disagree on. I've had two marriage ceremonies. Both were not (solely) about me and my wife; they were about our families, and the new family that we were forming together. This man is a part of his sister's family; his partner is a part of his. I believe they both have a place in a celebration focused on family.

"You don't skip your sibling's wedding because they would rather not have drama on their special day. That makes you an asshole."

I could equally say "you don't refuse to allow your own brother to bring a guest to your wedding because you would rather not have drama." Really, where would the drama be coming from? From the brother and his boyfriend? All they want is to attend the ceremony just like every other member of the family. All they are asking for is to be treated exactly the same as everyone else. The only drama I could see would be in someone refusing to do so.
@91 I didn't argue, I called you an asshole. I stand by that. That isn't nice, you're right. Tell you what, you don't have to invite me to your wedding.

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