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05/01/2015

Ask Amy: A wedding shove forces a dilemma

Dear Amy: About a year ago, my sister got married in a wonderful elaborate ceremony.

Around this same time, it was known within my family that I was struggling through a deep depression. Because it was my sister’s day, I gamely attempted to play “happy” and be supportive of her.

However, at this wedding weekend, my sister (the bride), my mother and my sister’s bridesmaids took it upon themselves to viciously and maliciously attack my (then) girlfriend.

The abuse was both verbal and sadly also physical, as a bridesmaid, apparently, shoved my girlfriend off the dance floor. With so many people at the wedding I had not seen in years, it was impossible for me to “guard” her at what was supposed to be a party.

This vicious behavior exhibited by my family, coupled with my lack of responsiveness at the time led to our breakup immediately after the wedding.

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I have tried to move on from this event and continue in therapy, but I am struggling to rebuild any real relationship with my sister or mother and have no real desire to see them. They have never apologized and know how hurt I was by their actions. Am I supposed to just “forgive” and pretend it never happened the way they seem to have? — Suffering in San Jose

Dear Suffering: Your guest was bullied by family members. Clearly, this is unacceptable on every level.

Bullies never want to acknowledge their own actions. They want to move through life without reflection or apology.

I assume you are discussing this in therapy. This episode requires that you do whatever you need to do to restore your own sense of trust and serenity.

Your family will not offer an apology, but you should ask for one. You should write down your thoughts, including an “ask.” Make it as calm and neutral as possible and include the phrase, “For the sake of our relationship, I would like you to acknowledge your actions on that day.”

Be prepared that your family may find ways to transfer the responsibility to you.

Your next task should be to reflect on how you can best move forward. It might be best for you to continue to avoid your family members until you can fully accept the reality of their flawed behavior and release your own anger. This is for your sake, not theirs.

Dear Amy: I am a 56-year-old woman. For most of my life I have been a liar. I’ve told small lies and really big ones — all mostly for the purpose of not wanting to hurt someone else’s feelings.

I have told a few lies I wish I had never told, and I realize I can only blame myself. Amazingly, no one has ever called me on any of my lies.

I’m now at an age where I’m having a hard time keeping my “stories” straight. Also, I feel like I don’t really care anymore about other people’s feelings, and that I just want to be able to do what I want without having to lie. I want to look at myself in the mirror without seeing a liar staring back at me.

What should I do? — Pants on Fire

Dear Fire: If you truly don’t care about other people’s feelings or their estimation of you, then you might as well come clean. When you do, accompany the truth with a sincere apology — because the many people you have lied to deserve at least that much.

Dear Amy: You talk a good game when it comes to “family values,” but your answer to “Disappointed Bride” was flawed. When family members decide to skip a wedding for an important baseball tournament, these parents are demonstrating to their son that his commitment to his team is paramount. That is a great message. — Disappointed in You

Dear Disappointed: Parents who make this choice shouldn’t be surprised when their children move through life assuming that their interests and activities will always come first.

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07:40 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

30/12/2014

How To Deal With Wedding Guests Who Try To Add An Uninvited Plus-One

It’s up to you. It’s understandable to prefer to avoid confrontation and possible hurt feelings, and if you feel it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie, that’s okay. For most couples, an unexpected extra guest can be a costly addition, go over capacity limits for the venue or cause problems with other guests who weren’t invited to bring to a date but might have liked to.

WEDDING RSVP
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It might seem rude to say something to a guest who added an uninvited guest to his or her RSVP, but it’s truly okay to speak up. After all, it was really inconsiderate of the guest to RSVP for someone who wasn’t invited. The trick is in how you go about doing it. Phone calls are the way to go -- they are more personal, immediate (rather than waiting for an email reply), and allow for no mistakes in tone of voice.

The guests in question should have known exactly who was invited (and by omission, who wasn’t), based on the name(s) listed on the inner envelope (or outer, if there was only one). But it’s possible they didn’t know this, so give them the benefit of the doubt, but obliquely. You might be right, but an argument about the finer points of etiquette will only make things worse. Instead, say, “Hi, Sarah. We’re so glad you can come to the wedding [open with a positive]. I’m so sorry if there was a misunderstanding [don’t get into whose that might have been, it won’t be productive], but the invitation was only for you [nicer to focus on who is included than who isn’t]. We hope you understand and can still come [again, return focus on what you would like].”

Don’t ask the guest questions like, “Is that okay with you?” because that could open the whole thing up for debate. Your tone should be friendly but firm. The ball is now in your guest’s court to decide whether or not to come.

There is one exception to this: If the guest is married or engaged and their partner wasn’t invited, the mistake was actually yours, as married and engaged couples are a package deal when it comes to a wedding invitation, regardless of whether or not you know or like the other half. In this case, the guest should call to explain the oversight rather than simply adding the partner to the RSVP.

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07:13 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

27/12/2014

Once essential at weddings, India's colorful brass bands struggle amid changing tastes

The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the neighborhood.

Dressed in faded military-style uniforms or long silken tunics and turbans, brass bands playing the latest Bollywood tunes have long been a must-have at any Indian wedding.

But as the tastes of young, wealthier Indians shift to more modern music, young couples increasingly choose DJs playing electronic music instead of live bands. The shift is leaving band owners and musicians struggling to find gigs, exacerbating an already difficult existence.

Poor wages, irregular work hours and endless travel eventually take their toll, said Shanawaz Ali, a bandmaster who plays several instruments.

"At the end of more than 35 years of playing in different bands, I have no savings. Nothing," said Ali, who has urged his children to take up other trades. "There is no future in the band musician's profession."

Away from the bright lights of the wedding procession, it's a tough life for the musicians, with lots of travel, long hours and inconsistent pay.

Most members of the nearly 100 wedding bands that operate in and around Delhi come from villages in neighboring Uttar Pradesh state, and many are related by blood or marriage.

In this Nov. 7, 2014, photo, musical interments along with personal belongings of members of Master Band hang are hanged on the wall of their barrack, in New Delhi, India. The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the...
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Hindu weddings in India generally take place on around 90 days throughout the year — mostly during the winter months — that are deemed auspicious by astrologers. Musicians typically sign contracts with band owners for about $1,000 a year. The rest of the time they return to their villages where they eke out a living as construction workers, painters or farm laborers.

A typical day during the wedding season begins in the afternoon, when 15-20 musicians gather at the band owner's place and change into uniforms and collect instruments — trumpets, drums, saxophones, cymbals, clarinets, oboes and maracas — that are usually battered from long years of use.

Then begins a long evening stretching into the late hours as they travel by bus or train to the groom's home, where they wait for him to emerge.

When he does, usually astride a white stallion, the band begins to play, marching ahead of the horse as the groom's friends and relatives dance all the way to the wedding venue. Once the procession reaches the bride's home or the hotel where the wedding is held, the band musicians wait outside, playing cards or watching movies on their cellphones.

They play again when the wedding ceremonies end hours later and the newlyweds leave.

"Often it is past midnight when we return to our lodgings and return the uniforms, before turning in for the night," said Ali, the band master.

During wedding season, most band players sleep in cramped quarters in the distant suburbs of Delhi, with more than a dozen packed into a room, their instruments and clothes hanging from hooks on the grimy walls.

"We are all related, so we've learned to adjust, but sometimes it becomes a bit too much," said Raees Ahmed, coughing and drawing on a thin cigarette.

Ahmed, a trumpet player, said despite the poor pay he continued with the band because the annual contract money was the single largest amount he would earn in the year.

The owners of the bands also feel the pinch as their margins shrink.

Sanjay Sharma, the current owner of the Master Band troupe, recalled days from his childhood when his father started the band company.

"Weddings were small, family affairs, where all the music was provided by the band," he said. "Today, the wedding ceremonies are spread over days and except for the part when the groom arrives, young people want to dance to the latest pop and electro music provided by DJs."

Some band owners have tried hiring DJs, but said they couldn't adjust to the music or afford the electronic equipment required.

"It's different music, a different pace," says Sharma. "I can't relate to it."

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07:43 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)