My son and his wife decided (finally) to let everyone know that they are already married. I don't know how (or really, if) they managed to keep it a secret for so long but ..... the deed is done. I have a feeling that the wife's family already knew because there has been no real outcry and no drama. Something tells me that this cat was let out of the bag a long time ago.
Regular readers might have noticed that I stopped talking about The Wedding altogether. I decided months ago that (a) I was opposed to the deception involved in planning a big wedding which would have involved inviting people from near and (especially) far who had no idea that my son was already married and (b) I was not going to pay one thin dime for a party that really didn't need to happen on the grand scale that was being planned by my son and his wife. Color me a pooper!
Well, I am guessing that the bills started to add up or the estimates for venue/food/expenses in general were just too large .... either way, my son realized that spending such a large amount of money on a party was wasteful. Nothing like pushing the responsibility where it belongs! There is no way the spouse and I can afford a pointless hoo-rahh when my son has already been married for almost 2 years. No way at all. And I am glad that things have worked out the way they have for a number of reasons, not least of which being that the wife is finally coming down to earth finance wise when it comes to our finances.
There was a general unspoken vibe that gave me the impression that the wife thought we were going to pay for everything. I'm not sure where her attitude came from ..... probably from seeing us bail our son out here and there back in the day. If he needed a car, we bought it. If he needed money for bills, we provided it. Whenever he wanted to discuss a big financial expenditure that he couldn't finance himself, we were all helpful ears. Well, we had to change the way we dealt with ALL of our children and I won't say it hasn't been painful for them. Not so much for us.
It wasn't a gentle let-down either. It was sudden and abrupt.
Mom, I need a car. You had better get a job and get saving for one.
Mom, I need help with bills. We will front you just this one time but you have to pay us back.
Mom, I want to go to summer school. Sorry, we don't have $7000 for that this year.
Mom, we want to plan a wedding. How much is that going to cost YOU?
And so on. Every time we felt that our kids were acting as if they were entitled to our money, we turned the request around and batted it right back at them. This is what one has to do when the gravy train stops running. It was either continue to fund (often wasteful) requests and projects or .... sacrifice the spouse's retirement and it wasn't going to be the spouse anymore. And especially after we gave our son a large sum of money to ostensibly complete job training .... only to discover that every cent of it had been frittered away on the wife's bullshyte spending.
It's surprising just how easy it gets when the money isn't there to give or to lend. It becomes very cut and dried. We have no feelings of guilt, which used to be my big hurdle to get over. Probably in order to make myself feel better about the things that have happened in the past, I readily jumped to the financial rescue time and time again. Now, I am blatantly honest with my kids about what they can reasonably expect from us in terms of money lending: not much. And I think we are all the better for it. My kids are all having to become much more resourceful and, for two of them in particular, it has been a boon. They have shown themselves to be very resourceful indeed.
Yes, we are still funding college. We have told the college attending kids that regardless of whether or not they graduate next year, we are funding just the 2014/15 school year only. That means one more year of a free ride. If they work hard, they can all be graduated next June. If they flunk classes, get lazy, lollygag ..... it's on them. They can graduate next year if they want to. So, we are pushing the responsibility where it belongs.