One of my oldest friends, “John,” is getting married soon, and I’m returning to my hometown to act as a bridesmaid. My mother asked me where the wedding was being held, and I thought nothing of it until she told me that she plans on driving to the church, 40 minutes away from her home, to stand outside and possibly “find a seat in the back” to watch the wedding! I told her kindly but firmly that it was a private event and that she hadn’t been invited. She insisted that churches are public spaces, and since she wasn’t costing them any money, she was allowed to be there. If she were friendly with John’s family it might be different, but she hardly knows them. In the decade since I’ve moved away, she has only seen or spoken to John once.
What makes it worse is that over the years, almost without fail, she’s insulted John’s family whenever I’ve brought him up. She’ll gossip about how “obesity runs in his family,” and will make disparaging remarks about their appearances. She’s always been obsessed with looks, equating weight with worth, and the last thing I want on the happiest day of my friend’s life is to have this smug near-stranger silently judging him and his loved ones. How do I put a stop to this nonsense and get her to stay at home?