My friend Virginia (whom I was lucky enough to meet through this whole blogging thing) wrote a piece about choosing not to ask her dad to walk her down the aisle. The piece got picked up by the AOL main news page, which means that her "alternative" wedding ideas flowed into the Mainstream. As a result, her inbox was flooded with almost "600 hate-filled comments."
She says, "The working theory is that I'm a spoiled feminazi bitch who hates my father, broke his heart and doesn't deserve to be given away because I already 'gave myself away' by shacking up with my boyfriend before marriage. (Oh and Dan has no genitalia and/or is probably already cheating on me. Obviously.) 'Why bothered to get married at all if you're going to do it this way?' is one of the most frequent responses. In fact, the only way people are considering it acceptable for me to have done this is if my dad was a deadbeat or worst who didn't deserve to be involved in my wedding. Actually...my dad is wonderful guy, we have a great relationship, and he was totally cool with my choice. (In fact, he just posted a comment to that effect because that's how much he rocks.)"
Here is just a sampling of one of the comments (I could only bring myself to read six of them. Seriously.)
And the message is clear to me: Find Your People. Yes, find those people who understand you and your perspective and immerse yourself in their support. A few of my wedding people are Becca, Ariel, and Meg. Their words remind me on a daily basis that we must reclaim our weddings from the hands of the Wedding Industrial Complex. Their ideas about weddings echo my own."It sounds to me like she has no respect for any tradition as it is. The fact the she has two cats and a P-whipped guy makes me wonder if he sould not be wearing the dress. They shacked up for 10 years and now they want to formalize their relationship. Her dad is probably as ashamed of her behavior as she should be and would not want to "give her away". I certainly don't see any sense in that farcical jesture. I have to think that she'll end up being one of those crazy selfish women who wait until they are forty something before trying to have a child. Let's hope these two don't reproduce."
I'm not suggesting that we just bury our heads in the sand and ignore alternative viewpoints, but we need to treat ourselves with care. There's only so much onslaught and assault a person can take.
I'm on your side, Virginia!