Wedding Woes
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Ask to be seated away from him or switch tables in the moment.

Dear Prudence,

I (32F) went no contact with my dad about a decade ago for a lot of reasons, but mostly that I couldn’t handle his flagrant narcissism or taking his mood swings out on my voicemail. It’s been great not ending a phone call a day in tears. Now, however, my brother is getting married, and I know we’ll be seated at the same table at the reception. There’s a chance that 10 years, having a baby granddaughter, and getting to see his son married (always a goal) will have him in a good mood, but that might swing over into maudlin (“princess why did you abandon me,” etc.). I have no idea how to navigate a dinner with him. Do I just ignore him? Treat him like an old acquaintance? What do I even say? I told my brother “don’t start no shit won’t be no shit,” as I am perfectly capable of being polite. I just don’t know how to act when I see him again, or what to say. Thank god it’s an open bar.

—Scared of Small Talk

Re: Ask to be seated away from him or switch tables in the moment.

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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    Ask to not be at the same table.  If you ARE seated at the same table hopefully your brother is having a more traditional wedding where there's dancing and mingling and you only need to sit down while food is in front of you.    Should you be stuck in that position keep the conversations at a business level and then mingle once your plate is removed.
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    This is where mastering the art of "cold, formal politeness" comes in handy.

    Did the LW already ask her brother to be seated at a different table and he refused?  Because that would be the obvious and easiest answer.  If so, eat dinner and speak more to others.  Then wander away to socialize with other tables, once people are starting to get up.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    CasadenaCasadena member
    First Comment First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    if bro won't seat you separately and you don't want to sit with your dad, just don't. Sit somewhere else, switch seats with someone, stay near the bar, etc. You shouldn't put yourself through that after a decade of no contact.
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    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    If brother fights LW on sitting separately that would be a mark against him too. LW needs to ask if she hasn't already. There must be plenty of other family or friends for them to sit with. Hell, I'd rather be at a stranger table than with family I had cut off. 


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