Justin and I visited Atlantica--a restaurant and wedding venue in Cohasset, MA--last weekend and loved it. Its got the feel and look of Newport for a more affordable price. We are "penciled in" but wanted to sit down with my parents to talk details/budget etc. We went for dinner last night and it turned ugly after just a bit of number-crunching. Yes, we may have been engaged for a year and a half but that doesn't mean we know our budget any better or how much a dj costs as opposed to a photographer or a Justice of the Peace.
It involved slamming doors, screaming, storming around and many tears. My mom didn't know how much they might be able to contribute and, my dad wouldn't say/couldn't give a number so it became a stupid game of bickering. The tears started with the bullied comments and fighting over their current finances. When it had cooled down and it looked like we had a safe exit in view, he pulled me aside to talk privately which sparked a whole new ordeal because my mom wanted to sit down with us too. So he stormed off yelling only to return a minute later to explain that he has a lot of stress in his life and he said he wishes they could pay for the whole thing which I tried to stress--through the tears--that we truly don't want. He mentioned the many things he has paid for over the years that have come from that saved portion of money--laptops, cell phone bills, car repairs, their trip to Israel etc. I only wish it didn't all boil down to money and spreadsheets depicting spending over the years. He explained how his life has become different than what he expected. He feels we don't go to him and ask him for advice like we do my mother. He doesn't think he'll be alive much longer and said he has many medical problems that we don't even know about. What I saw was a completely different person than the one screaming at my mom, bickering about Amex bills, Kohls purchases and snide remarks about my mom not getting a second job "like she said she would." He then apologized for what had gone on earlier. But it shouldn't have happened in the first place and I only wish my parents were able to communicate civily because last night reminded me of too many nights when my sisters and I were younger and tried to drown out the slamming doors and screaming matches. Their relationship is so unhealthy.
As we drove home and fell asleep, all I could do was replay the night in my head wondering where it turned horribly wrong and how I could have changed the conversation to avoid the eruptions that occurred. The root of it all- their communication, level of patience with eachother and criticism of eachother. It wasn't about us but we got front-row seats.
I was eager to sleep it all away but found myself awake in the middle of the night, unable to shake it and sleep soundly again. I want that to be the first and only sad memory of my wedding and its planning. It's not fair. It didn't need to happen, and it shouldn't have.
Here's to a better, sunny day. =)