Oy Vey! Have I Got A Problem

Oy Vey! Have I Got A Problem

Rachel Stein offers advice to a grateful but frustrated mother of the bride.

Toco Hills resident Rachel Stein writes about spirituality and, working with readers, tries to help community members deal with dilemmas.

Dear Rachel,

Waiting eagerly, we held our breath, and it looked like our dream was about to come true. At last, after years of searching – mazel tov! He asked The Question, she accepted, and our dear daughter was finally engaged. Following her arduous struggle to find Mr. Right, I blissfully imagined that the wedding arrangements would all be smooth sailing. The strenuous climb was over, so what could possibly go wrong at this point?

Thankfully, nothing major. But when you’re not expecting issues, even little hills can look like mountains. (Warning to all unsuspecting parents: Expect glitches! It’s always easier to deal with obstacles when they are anticipated.) So, when I sent my daughter the proof of the wedding invitation, expecting her to give me the green light for printing, her text took me by surprise.

“Please write Jennifer on the invitation,” she wrote.

Uh-oh, I thought, a mixture of annoyance and disappointment weighing me down. Great Aunt Judy will be so disappointed.

You see, we gave Jennifer the middle name Sarah in memory of Great Aunt Judy’s grandmother. Great Aunt Judy is a 90-year old Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family during the war. As she courageously rebuilt her life on American shores, two values were paramount: living as a loyal Jew and the well-being of her family. Her love for family extended to include us, as well, even though we were related through her husband’s side. She was incredibly devoted to us, and generous, too, especially since our father passed away when we were very young. She opened her home and heart to us throughout our formative years, giving magnanimously and with a loving smile.

Is it too much to ask Jennifer to keep Sarah on the invitation so that Aunt Judy will get some pleasure?


A Grateful but Frustrated Mother of the Bride


Dear Grateful but Frustrated Mother of the Bride,

Congratulations on your beautiful occasion!

As a peacemaker, I shy away from dispute and love compromise. Therefore, I propose the following innovative solution to your sensitive dilemma.

What if you print two invitations? One will go to Great Aunt Judy and her immediate family, and Jennifer Sarah will be displayed prominently. The other invitation will be sent to the rest of your family and friends with only Jennifer appearing.

Is it deceitful? In my opinion, absolutely not! It’s called peaceful, not deceitful, and everyone will be happy. Perhaps it could be disingenuous if you told your great aunt that everyone is receiving the invitation where both names appear. But why should you say anything? And if by any chance she catches sight of the other version, well, printing errors occur all the time!

The bride is entitled to be happy with her invitation; it is her wedding. And I’m sure you want her to be happy. At the same time, you are welcome to give nachas to your well-deserving, devoted great-aunt who gave so much to you throughout your life.

What do you say, Mother of The Bride? Do we have a win-win?

May the happy young couple be a source of pride and joy to their families and the entire Jewish people as they build a home predicated on love, honor and respect.

Wishing everyone such wonderful problems!

Warm regards, Rachel Stein

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