Dear Margo: Just Another Nutty Bride

What’s a bridesmaid to do when her sister is bridezilla? Margo Howard’s advice

Just Another Nutty Bride

Dear Margo: My younger sister, “Tammy,” is getting married in August, and she’s turning into a real bridezilla. I am one of the bridesmaids for the wedding. The drama started when my husband and I announced that we were expecting our first child. My sister accused us of getting pregnant “to ruin her wedding.” She is now upset because people (supposedly) will be paying attention to me and not her at the wedding. (I’ll be six months pregnant.)

Now she has crossed another line. I have been instructed that I am “not allowed” to have a farmer’s tan on the day of the wedding. I ride horses and spend a lot of time in the sun. Even though I apply sunscreen with a high SPF, I still end up with a farmer’s tan every summer. I told my mom Tammy is going to have to deal with it; it is unavoidable, and I’m not going to a tanning salon. Mom says I’m being terrible, and she doesn’t want bitterness and arguing on the wedding day.

I’d just as soon not be in the wedding, but my sister thinks that would look even worse. Am I being stubborn, or has she crossed the line with her orders about how my body should or should not look on her “special day”? — Had About Enough

Dear Had:  Your sister’s conspiracy theory that you arranged your pregnancy to pull focus on her wedding day tells me that she is majorly insecure and perhaps does not have the fondest feelings for you. You do not say what the relationship was like before the nuptial plans, but my guess is not great.

Like pregnancy, a tan is an act of nature and certainly nothing you can undo. If you want to go the extra mile, I suppose you could put bronzer on the parts of your skin that remain untanned, but that is your call. I agree that the bride-to-be has delusions regarding what she has a say about, so I would tell her you cannot change the fact of your pregnancy or your exposure to the sun, but you’ll gladly be a guest at the wedding to spare her talk of the pregnant bridesmaid with the tan lines. Invite her to make the call. More than this you cannot do. — Margo, normally

Punishing Silences

Dear Margo: I am a 30-something single mother of two. I’ve largely stayed away from the dating scene so I could spend much-needed time with my kids. But I recently met someone for whom I’ve fallen head over heels. Unfortunately, he’s in the military, stationed 4,200 miles away.

He is just wonderful. We can spend three hours on the phone, and it seems like 20 minutes. We both feel the same way about each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together. The hitch is that when he is upset about something, he shuts me out and won’t respond to me for two or three days. This really wears on me because I never know what’s happened. My mother used to do this to me when I was younger — wouldn’t talk to me for days on end — so this is a real hot button for me. I want this to work, but I don’t know what to do. — Looking for a Workaround

Dear Look:  How lucky can you get? A guy who pulls the same punitive stunt your mother did!  Before you get in deeper, you need to tell your military man that unexplained silences about unnamed issues are not in your plans. Whether or not you tell him of your mother, he needs to know that when you’ve said something he finds upsetting, he must discuss it with you … at the time. If he cannot correct this not inconsequential problem, I don’t see a happy future together. — Margo, directly

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.

COPYRIGHT 2012 MARGO HOWARD
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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65 comments so far.

  1. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  I truly think some brides watch that Bridezilla program and believe that the boorish behavior of those brats is now perfectly acceptable.  I would bet that Margo is right when she suggests that you and your sister are not close and have had some major sibling rivalry over the years.  One thing which may (or may not) calm her down is to simply kindly say…no one looks at anyone but the bride at weddings and you will be beautiful so quit worrying.  I definitely would not risk my health or the babies by going to a tanning salon and being exposed those chemicals or tanning beds to make your tan *even*.  I suppose, if you wanted to be as bratty as her you could say *you intentionally set your wedding date knowing I would have a farmers tan and look stupid in the strapless/sleevless dress you chose and not only that I’ll be six months pregnant and look like a cow…I hope your happy now*…but that is just going to make matters worse.  Folow Margo’s advice. 

    Letter #2:  Another woman who says *hes just perfect….except for* and then reports a big red flag of an issue.  I suspect you met this guy online, have spent very little (if any) face to face time with him, and because you haven’t dated much, are putting on your rose-colored glasses.   Telling him to cut the silent treatment out is absolutely necessary and if he doesn’t, I would let the relationship go or be prepared for a very difficult marriage.  Maybe he can and will change his pattern.  I think its more likely he will not.  And if nothing else, since marriage will mean he will be step-father to your children…expect him to give your kids the same treatment your mother gave you and decide if  you want to subject them to his emotionally punitive, passive aggressive ways. 

         

  2. avatar Artemesia says:

    Wow — he is just great except he is controlling and passive aggressive just like Mom was. A single woman with two young kids needs to grow up and not chase after every warm body she encounters. Having a man is not the important thing; raising decent kids is. Chasing a man, any man, is guaranteed to increase the lifetime misery of those kids.

    He isn’t a great guy — he is your projection of your need — layered onto a guy who is a particularly bad choice for you since he is helping you recreate an abusive childhood situation.

    • avatar Jennifer juniper says:

      Amen!

    • avatar bleeble says:

      Chasing any warm body? It sounds like you’re projecting a lot into what she’s saying that isn’t there. She specifically says that she’d stayed out of the dating scene because of her children (which you assume are young for some reason).

      The focus of her letter is how to wrangle a long distance relationship problem, and the part about her being a single mom who had avoided the dating scene was to frame the need for advice as a result of a long period of time without dating. The letter requires a heads up about this situation in her relationship being a bad sign for the future, not judgement calls about her parenting skills or how chaste you think she needs to be. Single mothers are not simple stupid creatures, there are many that manage to have romantic relationships while also raising well-adjusted children.

      • avatar blueelm says:

        *slow clap*

        Totally. The guy is probably a sign that she’s ready to start looking for some one, but it seems like the silent treatment is a big red flag. That’s all that needs to be said. The woman is being about as responsible as you *can* be. The sad truth is though, it sounds like this just isn’t going to work, and after years of not dating for other people’s sake that has to be a bit hard to take. Hopefully, she’ll pull through it and find a better partner.

    • avatar bamabob says:

      whoa. what letter did you read? I saw nothing about chasing every warm body that comes along–just the opposite. Up to now she’s avoided/ignored every warm body that’s come along and focused on raising her kids. This warm body is 4200 miles away. Project much? I do agree with your frustration with the frequency of letters that are about “wonderful” people who aren’t so wonderful. Margo’s advice is spot on. Tell G.I. Joe you’ve been there, done that, and won’t do it again. (I can project, too: I wonder if Mr. Wonderful’s shutting down is ptsd related?)

      • avatar sassyvixen1971 says:

        Dear Letter #2: Welcome to the world of dating an active duty military member. For many of them, what he does is a coping mechanism (as well as the response when he’s faced with something he can’t change particularly when he’s being told something by a CO)….he’s learned to be quiet and deal with it internally. Would you rather he scream, fight, call you ugly names? Letter writer needs to find a friend, support group, etc. made up of active duty military spouses/girlfriends to learn to deal with him. They need far more support than you can imagine!

  3. avatar lincer says:

    LTR 2:

    RUN – This perfect guy is being emotionally abusive.  A grown man who uses the silent treatment has control issues. Believe me, I’ve been there.  Save yourself the grief and get out now.

  4. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1: Do they want you in the bridal party or out?  Either way, tell bridezilla sis (and your mom) that you’ll entertain no more talk about how your pregnancy and tan lines will look in August.   

    LW2: Sounds like the three hours you spend gassing with this temperamental guy on the phone might better be spent developing relationships closer to home … or playing with your kids.

    • avatar Sita says:

      JFC4612, very true about LW#2. Her time will be better spent playing with her kids or even volunteering. I grew up with such a mother and married a man like that. Not good for marriage and happiness in general. So out with the husband and long distance with the mother. Actually very long distance about 15,000 miles and she behaves nicely on the phone. I still love her though, but I never counter on her for emotional supports.

  5. avatar luna2012 says:

    For LW1: I cannot for the life of me, understand bridezillas. I planned a small wedding and I had no bridesmaids. Even that was stressful enough for me – figuring out this and that. I don’t understand why women think that kind of behavior is acceptable. I’ve heard of men breaking off the engagement because of it. It’s one day. Your marriage is more important, not the party.

    For LW2: I commend this writer for mentioning her children first. However, because there are children involved, I can only hope this boyfriend is not controlling or abusive. He may be under a great deal of stress as a serviceman overseas. She should talk to him about this behavior and if he refuses to change, she should break it off for the sake of her children. They are your #1 priority. They may or may not ever forgive you if you bring this kind of man into their lives. I know what it is like. You must remember that this man is more than just the love of your life or your potential husband. He is their potential FATHER. Just think about that.

    What does your gut tell you? Is he really wonderful if he treats you like that? Plus “head over heels” usually spells infatuation, especially when there is a glaring red flag like this one.

  6. avatar sdpooh says:

    LW#1 — Drop out of the wedding NOW.  Offer to man the guestbook.  I did that at my sister’s wedding (she only had one attendant) and it was fun.  I got to welcome all the guests and got to sit down while doing it.

    LW#2 — Dump the bum.  He’s not worth the trouble now and in the future.  Make a list of what is acceptable in a man and consult it whenever you think you “love” someone.   

  7. avatar D says:

    I would not be so quick to criticize the military man. He might not be talking to her about certain things because he is not allowed to talk about these things. It might be a situation where national security might come into play. Also we do not know how much stuff he goes through. If he told her everything the tenor of the conversations might change, which could cause her to view him in a different light. One of the reasons people do not always confide everything in significant others is because they are afraid that the significant other cannot handle the truth.

    • avatar mayma says:

      National security, huh? That’s a new one.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        My thoughts exactly. That wouldn’t lead to the silent treatment, it would lead to, “I’m sorry I am not allowed to speak about work matters. If you can’t handle it then it’s over. “.

  8. avatar butterfly55 says:

    LW2, I’m just curious as to how he has 3 hours daily to spend on the phone with you.  And could it be that the days he isn’t calling you he is calling another woman?  There is something strange in this situation to me.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Butterfly55, a 4200 mile distance is probably about a six-hour time zone shift. My best guess is that he is in Germany and she is somewhere on the East Coast. We had to deal with this all the time when we were stationed over there – to do any business Stateside, we had to wait until 3PM our time to start trying to call. And calling family and friends was always done at night for us.

      If he’s a night owl, he could be calling around 11PM his time when she might be getting off work in the US. But you’re not going to do this every night, staying up until 2AM, when you have to get up at about 5:30 AM to start a military day.

      • avatar butterfly55 says:

        Then why is she upset when he doesn’t call for several days, it sounded to me like they talked everyday and only missed when he was “punishing” her.  I would have no problem understanding a reasonable relationship of calls a few times a week.  Thst just was not my impression here.

      • avatar Lila says:

        Butterfly55, I’m kind of wondering. She says he shuts her out and does not “respond” for several days. Email or texts maybe? Not picking up on Skype? But if someone is 4200 miles away, I certainly would not expect daily calls, especially not daily 3-hour calls. Expense aside – she does mention the phone – it’s a huge chunk of time out of his day (or his sleep).

  9. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW1: Why on earth do people ever agree to be in weddings—especially when the bride is a bitch? I just don’t understand it. Use the pregnancy as an excuse and bow out. Done.

    LW2: “He’s 4000 miles away. He’s 4000 miles away.” Repeat this as necessary.

  10. avatar etiennewestwind says:

    Well, I´m glad all weddings I´ve been involved with had reasonable people in them.

    Nothing else to say, WOW doesn´t have a version that pulls up quickly on the phone, and won´t e-mail me follow-up comments without commenting myself.

  11. avatar Teri Brown says:

    I’m still trying to figure out what a “farmer’s” tan is, and how that is different from any other tan you’d actually get from the sun (as opposed to a salon)….

    • avatar zz says:

      Hey Teri…a farmer’s tan is what you get when you wear a t-shirt all day in the sun….your arms are tan, but your upper arms and shoulders are not.  It looks funny then, when you put on a tank top or something strapless.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      She has tanlines that indicate she was wearing some sort of shirt/halter, etc. It’s not as “pretty” as a regular tan, which doesn’t have those annoying markings.

    • avatar wendykh says:

      A farmer’s tan shows the tan lines of your t-shirt or tank top, as opposed to a swim suit. It basically leaves anywhere covered by a work shirt ghost white and the rest tan. If someone wears long sleeves especially, this can be very silly looking when they wear say, a sundress or a bathing suit.

    • avatar Mary Brensel says:

      A farmer’s tan, where I’m from (Nevada) is a white forehead from wearing a hat in the sun. usually a cowboy hat, worn 24/7.

      • avatar mmht says:

        ZZ and Wendy are right on the definition of a farmer’s tan, and yes it does look weird!

  12. avatar wendykh says:

    There is a big difference between “the silent treatment” and taking some space. I take space often from people, including family and my husband. Obviously since I live with my family that space might be an afternoon or so where I don’t call or text or whatever. Maybe I let their call go to voicemail. This might happen after I think they’ve said something stupid and I just am thinking “whatever” and don’t want to discuss it really. Especially if it’s something we won’t agree on. Then I talk about something *else* when we do talk again.

    The silent treatment is ignoring someone until they apologize or change their mind about something. Very different. And frankly, I think it’s a lot more normal to not talk for 2-3 days when you’re 4K miles apart than to talk for 3 hours daily.

    Now all that said…. Single mom, I’m gonna be real blunt with you as a fellow single mom and someone who has a very, very long line of military men in the armed forces of two nations including all 4 US branches… The likelihood of this man either being already married or seeing one or more other women is very, very high. You aren’t there. People have needs. The military breeds a culture of infidelity (and I know 50 military wives will say “my husband NEVER cheats!” or get their military spouse to come say so, but even if you are married to one who doesn’t or are one who doesn’t, you also know of what I speak). Single Mom, guys like someone doting on them and babying them, especially military guys who have a wife at home who may be bitching about why he hasn’t gone up in rank yet like Suzy CO’s Wife down the street’s husband has, or about how much it sucks being home alone for a year or more, or bitching she doesn’t want him going back to the sandbox, etc. If your children are young and you marry this man, their father if he is alive may suddenly decide to make moving a living nightmare for you. If your children are young and you marry this man you should think about how much they may resent being moved all over hell and gone (to say nothing of you). And it’s not always somewhere fun like Germany or Japan. It’s usually Fayetteville, North Carolina or yay, even more fun, Minot, North Dakota. My cousin just got stationed there after living in London UK for 15 years. Her kids are *horrified* and don’t have a stepparent to blame it on. Then you get to deal with deployments lasting a year or so. And don’t believe it when they say it’s just once or twice. I know people on their 5th and 6th trip to the sandbox who can count on two hands how many times they’ve had sex with their spouse in the last five years.

    You couldn’t pay me enough to be a military spouse (I like regular frequent sex too much, and monogamy, sue me) and I’m one who is pragmatic about marrying for money being not necessarily a bad thing.

    Finally, it’s extremely easy to be *anyone* on the phone/from a distance. May I suggest you join a yoga class, a fitness club, volunteer at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, or with your house of worship if you’re into that, and find a mate there? I’m guessing you’re not into the bar scene, and that’s a good thing.

    • avatar wendykh says:

      Obviously by fellow single mom I mean previously. I remarried and although it has not been an easy marriage so far, I am optimistic for our forever chances, celebrated 7 years yesterday :-)

    • avatar Lila says:

      Wendy, valid points about the military lifestyle. It is not for everyone. I would not go so far as to say there is a “culture of infidelity” – in fact I have seen people fired from leadership positions and kicked out of the service for adultery, despite the fact that it is very, very hard to prove to a legal standard.

      Still. The whole lifestyle can be very lonely and isolating for the military family, which is probably why the military hangs together so tightly. Because of all the moves, spouses have a hard time finding jobs and a harder time having careers. Kids have to adjust often to new friends and new schools. You are far from your parents, siblings and friends, and then the guy you moved all that way for is often not even there. True about the deployments, but then there are also required schools that take the soldier away for weeks to months at a time, and field exercises that run anywhere from a week to a month or so.

      So – our single mom needs to think hard, not only about the occasional shut-outs, but if in fact she is really cut out for this at all. Love is great, but it absolutely does NOT conquer all.

    • avatar NDgirl says:

      Just out of curiosity what is so wrong with Minot, ND? It is not a big bustling metropolis true but it is a great city for families.

      • avatar K Coldiron says:

        I can’t speak for the person who posted the comment, but Minot, North Dakota after 15 years in one of the most metropolitan cities on the planet has got be a major culture shock.

  13. avatar Lym BO says:

    Are pregnant women allowed to ride horses? I know I rode shortly after a miscarriage & it was very uncomfortable.

    • avatar Mishy Smith says:

      I was wondering this too. It isn’t recommended. But what is also not recommended is tanning or chemical bronzers. So either way, her sister is asking too much.

    • avatar NDgirl says:

      Yes we can ride just not after 8 mo. and also just take it easy not bronc riding :)

    • avatar Eventergirl says:

      Yeah, you just have to be smart about it. My OB is fine with me continuing to ride – of course I was riding 5-6x/week before becoming preggers and have been riding since I was 9 – I wouldn’t recommend taking it up new when you get pregnant. Basically she told me after 20 weeks the baby is no longer protected by my pelvis so she recommends I stop jumping, but she’s fine with me continuing flat work/trail riding as long as I feel comfortable doing it. It’s actually really good exercise and it’s great for your core strength. :)

  14. avatar Lila says:

    For the single mom: “The hitch is that when he is upset about something, he shuts me out and won’t respond to me for two or three days. This really wears on me because I never know what’s happened.”

    The question is: upset about something YOU did or said, or upset about something ELSE in his life?

    If it is something about YOU, then this is the silent treatment and is a controlling / punishing tactic, totally unacceptable and, frankly, childish. I would not continue to relationship if this is the case.

    But if it is something ELSE, then I would say he is brooding and letting something bother him, although he does not want to discuss it, and it may not even be appropriate for discussion. Still, he owes it to you not to leave you worrying in the dark over the cause of his silence. All it takes is for him to admit that he is annoyed about something, and then set your mind at ease with, “Oh, it’s just crap from work. Let’s talk about something else.”

    FYI – it took me YEARS to get my own hubby to grasp that one thing: it’s OK to be ticked off and grumpy about something, and it’s OK to not want to discuss it, but it is most certainly NOT OK to leave me wondering in the dark.

  15. avatar Kathy says:

    LW1 is being passive aggressive.  Yeah, it sounds like little sister is being a bit of a bridezilla (though I’ve heard worse stories), but insisting on sporting a farmer’s tan rather than using a bronzer or wearing a sleeveless shirt when outside seems a little mean-spirited.  I live in the midwest – where the term “farmer’s tan” originated – and women do anything to avoid having one.  I can’t imagine any woman WANTING to wear a sleeveless (or worse, strapless), bridesmaid’s gown with arms that are golden brown up to the bicep and then snowy white the rest of the way.  I’d say these two are working out some childhood issues and they both need to grow up.

    • avatar Eventergirl says:

      Some women just aren’t preoccupied with something as silly as “OMG, how will my arms look? What will people think???” Some people aren’t willing to walk around half nude or expose more skin to harmful UV rays just so you don’t have to look at their pale shoulders. I had a farmers tan in my wedding photos when I was the BRIDE. Who cares? It’s not about the photos – it was about getting married to my wonderful husband. :)

    • avatar etiennewestwind says:

      I live in the midwest – where the term “farmer’s tan” originated – and women do anything to avoid having one.

      Also live in the Midwest, and the women you refer to are far, far from the entire female population here. And in my experience, guests are far less likely to notice or care about a farmer’s tan than they are to make snide remarks about an obviously fake tan. (Bronzing agents don’t well work for all skin types.) I wouldn’t want to expose my unborn to anymore chemicals than necessary if I was in the letter writer’s shoes, anyway. The hazards of tanning booths have all ready been pointed out, and it’s not as if the letter-writer can start riding horses topless.

      • avatar etiennewestwind says:

        I have to admit, when I first read the letters, I was wondering if any similar, or worse stories about bridezillas would show up. Though on reflection, unless its common for brides to freak about about their maids not having flawless tans or ones so horribly fake, they look like Oompa-loompas, there probably aren’t that many useful tales out there.

  16. avatar christineb says:

    Thank you to those of you who have pointed out that tanning is bad for the health of the mother and the baby. We all know about the dangers of tanning and melanoma but there are other risk factors for a pregnant mother. Tanning beds increase your boddy temperature and therefore the baby’s. It’s especially dangerous during the first trimester but has been linked to spinal damage for the infant. Additionally, lying on her back too long can restrict blood flow to both mom and child. And if that isn’t enough, the bridezilla could be even more unhappy if her bridesmaid ends up with those dark splotches that can appear on your face and arms during pregnancy. Since tanning beds are higher energy rays and the sun causes the marks it leads one to believe that they could be even worse after a tanning bed. Overall this is a very bad idea.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Christine, YES, because exposure to UV destroys the folic acid in our bodies, which the developing embryo needs for the neural tube to form correctly.

  17. avatar Caedwin says:

    LW#1 – Since you are pregnant, keep an eye on your moles. Pregnancy can (and does)trigger melanoma and other skin cancers in women (even with sunscreen). It did in me and it has in others as well.

  18. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – Bow out now.
    LW2 – Bow out now.

    Alrighty then. I’m off to the store.

  19. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – In regard to your “farmer’s tan” due to riding horses, why would you be riding horses if you are pregnant?

    Your sister has a right to a wedding day that looks and flows the way she wants it to. A wedding day is a ceremony that represents (God wiling) a life long committment. It is a special day and needs to be treated as such. She is completely over the top in regard to comments about your pregnancy, but she is absolutely correct to expect your skin to look a certain way. I think this is a silly conversation because given the fact you are pregnant you don’t belong in a tanning booth and should instead defintely rub on a bronzer. I don’t get the drama here. Just as you are accusing her of being overly dramatic, I would argue your response to her requests are likewise.

    Letter #2 –  This letter writer gets a standing ovation from me! Bravo!

    To be in your 30′s and have learned such deep insight into how your relationships with family tie into your relationships with men is huge!  There are women my age and older that haven’t made that connection. Pat yourself on your back and find comfort in the fact you see what is happening.  The act of silence is the ultimate in manipulation. I don’t care if it is a parent or a lover, a person that attempts to manipulate you is showing you in no uncertain terms that they have a level of contempt for you. Why would you want that in your life?

    As much as he may feel like the center of your universe right now because the love is new and fresh, you need to walk away.  To stay with him would be tantemount to “He only hit me twice. Beyond that he really is a wonderful man”      He has his issues and you have yours. There are MILLIONS of men out there in the world that can give you all the wonderful things you love about this man without the silent treatments.

    Never settle. You have proven to yourself you are smart enough to pick up on cues that he is behaving in a way that brings back bad memories from your mother. That shows maturity. So too does it to say to yourself, as wonderful as he seems, there are some things you will not tolerate and silents treatments are one of them. You want to be his lover, not therapist. He needs to find a woman that doesn’t have a problem with silent treatements. Don’t be the “He only hit me twice so……” type of woman.  

    • avatar Eventergirl says:

      She’s still riding horses because she’s pregnant, not disabled. As other equestrians have stated above, being pregnant doesn’t automatically mean you should stop riding. I actually fell off my horse (tore my PCL and ruptured the bursa in my knee, so a pretty nasty fall at that) at 11 weeks and it didn’t hurt the baby. Besides, as most equestrians know, unscheduled dismounts should be an occurrence, not a norm. :) The baby is well protected by the uterus/pelvis up until 20 weeks. After that, my OB just recommended I don’t jump anymore (and I’ll be keeping speed confined to the arena, trails right now are for moseying).

      Now, if you’ve never ridden before, taking the sport up after you become pregnant is a bad idea, but if you’ve already been riding regularly, it’s pretty safe (granted you should use common sense, don’t do high risk riding and don’t ride horses you know to be unsafe or unpredictable). Horseback riding is fabulous exercise that increases your cardiovascular health, core strength, and balance. Exercise is GOOD for the baby and my OB says unfortunately more women don’t practice that good habit.

    • avatar dcarpend says:

      She has a right to expect her sister live the whole damned summer in service to her bridal fantasies? I don’t think so. Does she have the right to demand her sister dye her hair a particular color? Get it cut a particular way? Get a visible tattoo laser-removed?

      I am so sick of girls who think that because they are making a lifelong commitment they get to be Queen For A Season and play a life-sized game of Barbies with their girlfriends and relatives. If you’re young enough to make petulant, foot-stamping fashion demands while whining “But it’s myyyy daaaay!” you’re too damned young to get married.

      Personally, I’d warn any man of my acquaintance to run a mile from a twit like this.

  20. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: You’ve not done anything wrong (obviously). Your sister needs to get over herself. A wedding is supposed to be about THE COUPLE, not just her. It used to be bride AND GROOM, but now it’s all about “Penetchka” (princess). What a bunch of baloney. Give your sister a choice: She shuts up with her ridiculous childish tantrums and you remain a bride’s maid, or you’ll simply be an attendee. A pity she won’t grow up before being married.

    L #2: You’re having a TELEPHONE romance. Think about it.

  21. avatar mmht says:

    LW#1: I know I am going to get A LOT of nasty responses to this, but I have to say I sort of understand where the bride is coming from. Not about the pregnancy, b/c that’s super crazy, but about the tan lines. I got married in September and I was very easy going (even my bridesmaids said so). I had 3 bridesmaids and a maid of honor (all family members). I allowed them to choose whatever dress they wanted as long as it was the color and length that I wanted and I also allowed them to choose their shoes. I’ve been a bridesmaid enough to know there is nothing worse then being ordered to buy a super expensive dress that you can never wear again and super expensive shoes that you can’t walk in. To my surprise, they all chose the same dress, which I didn’t really care for but they loved it so I said fine. To my horror, all of them looked terrible the day of the wedding. Some of them looked pregnant due to the cut of the dress. My maid of honor decided to tailor her own dress and my sister’s dress, both of them practically had their breast hanging out the entire time. Despite the fact that they chose everything, they still complained to me about how they looked that day. And the thing is, I AM the one stuck with $2,000 worth of photos with my entire wedding party looking trashy. I AM the one who was ordered by my sisters and cousin to never allow anyone to see this photo or that photo b/c they think they look terrible (which, honestly, they did). The thing is, not one photo of my entire wedding party or of me with my bridesmaids looks good and everyone throws a fit if I try to frame them. So I’m stuck with all of these wedding photos where my bridesmaids look their worst so I don’t frame them or put them in photo albums b/c I know that they’ll throw a fit and be upset. So I really don’t have photos of me on my wedding day with some of my favorite people. It kinda puts a damper on my memories of that day.

    So, yes, in a way I do understand why she would order her sister not to have a farmers tan the day of the wedding. It looks goofy and honestly, pretty terrible, with evening gowns. The LW might not care but she’s not the one paying and stuck forever with these images. Not to mention the fact that as an archaeologist, I know for a fact there are ways to avoid a farmers tan, you just have to put some effort into it. Wear a light weight long sleeve shirt or an SPF long sleeve shirt. I’m a red head and I spend about 60 hours a week outside in the sun and I do not have tan lines. It can be done. That being said, if the bride truly feels that strongly about the tan lines, then kick the LW out of the wedding.

    • avatar etiennewestwind says:

      I’m 37 years old, and have never heard of an SPF shirt before now.  Where do you find them?  How much extra hydration and breaks do you need to workout in one?  How do you avoid tan lines on your neck/face?  Or still having really tanned/burned hands?  I assume you wear gloves, but don’t you get sun between the glove and sleeve?   You have a point about farmer’s tans looking odd with evening gowns, but so do tan lines from one’s swimsuit or sports bra.  Most of us accept that most people rarely wear evening gowns these days.  There are certainly worse things to look at, like scars from Melanoma removal.

      I’m sorry you’re not happy with your wedding photos and feel you can’t show them, but I’m not inclined to feel sympathetic towards your bridesmaids’ wishes, because, well they did coose the outfits. 

      • avatar mmht says:

        Etienne, you can buy SPF clothing at REI or any other outdoor retail stores. They generally come in 50 spf and you can buy winter and summer shirts and pants. They are expensive, generally about $50 per shirt, but if you think about how much you’d be spending if you had Melanoma, its worth the cost. I generally wear that, put 50 spf sunblock on every 2 hours to exposed areas, wear pants, and a large hat that shadows my face and neck. Do I look cool? Absolutely, 100% NOT! But, like I said, I”m a red head and doing all of that I don’t get tan lines, I get just a smidge darker but not by much. On my honeymoon in Mexico I was the palest person at the resort, which had mostly British people there!

        As for my wedding photos, I don’t show them b/c I know that my sisters and cousin feel bad about themselves when they look at them. Yes, they made a terrible wardrobe choice but that doesn’t mean I have to rub it in their faces!

      • avatar etiennewestwind says:

        Huh.  I’ve wandered through both Cabela’s and Bass Pro, and never noticed anything.  Of course, I haven’t ever thought to look, and when I’m buying to be outside in 90-100F high-humidity weather, long sleeves aren’t what I want.  Is the every two hours the instructions your sunblock has?  I’ve managed to tan while wearing 65 SPF, but the bottle says reapply every four hours.

        I wasn’t so much thinking of rubbing the photos in their faces so much as enjoying the memories without guilt when the family in question isn’t around.  Of course, if you feel they look bad enough to spoil the pictures for you, well that’s another thing…

    • avatar dcarpend says:

      Awww. You have photos of people who loved you enough to invest time and money in your wedding, and they don’t look quite the way you wanted, and you can’t make other people sit through the whole album and nod and make polite comments. Wah.

  22. avatar Carolyn Schmahl says:

    mmht-photoshop your pix. You’d be amazed what your computer can do!

    • avatar mmht says:

      Carolyn, my husband’s a graphic designer and we’ve done the best we can with them but Photoshop doesn’t save everything! I’m not trying to say that my day was ruined because of that, but as someone else pointed out, these photos are going to last forever and it does bother me that my sisters and cousin look at my wedding photos and just feel bad about themselves. I didn’t want that for them, which is why I allowed them to choose their dresses. I wanted them to feel beautiful because I knew that if you felt beautiful you’d look radiant in the photos. Unfortunately, didn’t really work out the way that I had planned.

  23. avatar susan says:

    L#2, End the relationship now, I’m married to a man like that and he isn’t going to change. The silent treatment is his weapon of choice and he uses it effectively. If you do continue with him you’ll need to develop a pretty thick skin. Trust me, no man is better than a man like him.

  24. avatar sootpokey says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with Margo before and I’ve been reading for at least ten years. Having said that, Bridesmaid, you are totally in the wrong! I would feel exactly as your sister does on BOTH the baby and the tan. I wasn’t a picky bride. I paid for the bridesmaid dress, had only one attendant and was very low key BUT the pictures live forever afterward! You are going to ruin them with your farmer tan. That looks so bad in pictures. Honestly you need to think about why you chose this particular time to be 6 months pregnant. It looks like you just can’t stand to not have all the attention on you. Unless you didn’t know about the wedding when you got pregnant or unless you have infertility issues, you blew it! Still a pregnant bridesmaid is one thing a farmers tan is another. I say stay out of the bulk of the pictures! I know, snarky responses are coming but the bride HOPEFULLY only has one wedding day!

    • avatar mmht says:

      Sootpokey, I disagree with you about the pregnancy thing and here’s why: no matter what, this will be the brides day. Its not going to take away from the wedding and anyone who thinks that is completely delusional. As someone who just got married I can tell you that people will discuss things at the wedding that isn’t the bride but they are not going take away the importance of the day for the bride. At my wedding reception, 2 of my cousins announced their engagement. No one was any less attentive to me or my wedding because of it and we were all happy and celebrated with them.

      I do, however, agree about the tan. To me, a farmers tan is laziness and someone that doesn’t care about their appearance. There is a way around the tan lines that doesn’t involve tanning salons or self tanner it just means putting in a little effort. And your right, her pictures are going to last forever and the sister will have made them look pretty bad with her tan lines. I also believe that the LW is purposefully doing the horrific tan lines to get back at the sister for her comments about the pregnancy.

    • avatar dcarpend says:

      Oh, good Lord. You really think that people should put their own lives on hold for a year so some girl can plan a wedding? And anyway, since when did weddings become a freakin’ beauty pageant, all about appearances, instead of a solemn ceremony about the feelings and the commitment involved? I’d advise any male friend to run as fast as he could from any girl who felt her sister should put her family plans on hold to accommodate her Bridezilla fantasies.

  25. avatar Nancy says:

    Bridezilla suggestion – how about the attendants don’t wear teeny-bodice or strapless dresses? Bolero jacket or a dress with actual sleeves, heaven forbid? It would be an appropriate choice for a bridesmaid with a farmer’s tan!