Dear Snarky – My Ass of an Uncle Ruined My Engagement Party

Dear Snarky,

I need your input on a recent situation I’ve had with my mother. I’m newly engaged and my fiancé and I held a small engagement party (20 people) at one of our favorite restaurants. My mother got very upset when she found out we weren’t inviting my uncle (her brother) to the party.

My uncle is a huge ass and a raging alcoholic. At any family gathering from Christmas to a Fourth of July party he manages to cause a scene. I told my mother there was no way I wanted my engagement party to be hijacked by my drunk uncle.

Long story short she wore me down with her constant begging and promises that “her brother had changed.” I did tell that if her brother did anything offensive at my party then she would be picking up the tab.

More promises ensued that of course she would but not to worry because her brother was “so much better.” Turns out my uncle is still drinking and still an ass. When it was time for dessert and some toasts (non alcoholic beverages were provided and encouraged) he did what he does best and said some very hateful things and threw two glasses. It took two of my brothers and a cousin to get him out of the restaurant and into an Uber.

When the bill came I handed it to the mom and left the restaurant. Now, she’s trying to get me to pay her back and even had the nerve to say that my uncle was okay until dessert so I should reimburse her for the appetizer and entrees. 

Am I wrong in sticking to my guns on this?

Signed, Already Thinking I Need to Elope 

Dear Need to Elope,

Bravo! You should feel zero guilt in making your mother pay for the dinner. She badgered you into inviting your uncle. You caved in against your better judgement. (So let that be a lesson in trusting your gut.) But you also placed some perimeters on your uncle coming which your mother agreed to and because those perimeters were breached you don’t owe her anything.

The fact that she’s now trying to renegotiate the terms of your agreement is ridiculous. And although I know next to nothing about mother I will warn you that while I think you were joking about eloping it’s not a bad idea. 

The other option is to have firm rules about who’s invited and not to give an inch. If your parents are paying for your wedding this is going to be a problem because I would bet a ten-tier wedding cake your uncle will be there. 

In the advice you didn’t ask for department I would suggest having a wedding you and your fiancé can pay for or a destination wedding that’s going to put more miles between you and certain family members. Because I’m no fortune teller but I foresee troubled waters ahead with tsunami size waves of drama.

Good luck!


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