Trailer Park Family Values

With the passage of a law in the state of Florida, my sister, T and her partner, T* are free to marry! They’ve been together for nine years and have built a home – and a life – together. This is grand news, and plans for their celebration are underway!

T called me early last month to share the news, and check schedules. Studley, who is ordained as a minister in the Church of our Lady of Perpetual Motion**, will be performing the ceremony. The celebration will take place on a fabulous chartered yacht in Biscayne Bay at sunset! i will serve as MC for the reception! We are so very excited for them!

As T was working through details, she was wondering how to handle invitations to the members of the Trailer Park. Relationships were strained for the past few decades years. Like me, T was at odds with Mom’s living arrangements and choices. There had been scuffles – direct and indirect – that led T to take some time to decide whether she’d invite the rest of the family, or keep it fairly small.

With Mom’s death in September, i would have predicted that the entire clan would have imploded by now, and this would never be an issue. i fully expected to wander off from most of the rest of them after Mom was in the ground. T, already living a thousand miles away from The Park, had placed great geographic distance between her and the rest of the clan.

Yet it was my sister, T, who articulated the words that brought peace to most of the clan. In a conversation with my niece, DQ, T said “We all wanted what was best for Mom, we just didn’t agree on what that was… Now that she’s dead, none of that really matters.”

After deliberations, T decided to invite the entire clan, with some concerns about drunken drama and bad behavior causing disruptions. i assured her that i would manage the family dynamic, and promised to contain bullshit on her wedding day.

The curve ball in planning came from elsewhere. My sister’s partner comes from a family of means, politically visible and very well known in their hometown. Despite the fact that her mother shared a champagne toast to celebrate their engagement, she let it be known that she could not attend the wedding. T’s brother, also felt that a public wedding was not something he could support, and declined the invitation.

This was unexpected and heart-breaking for both my sister and her partner. Her brother had been with his wife for a mere two years before marriage – a fraction of the nine years T and T have been together. It seems they are more concerned about appearances than they are about the happiness of a daughter, and sister.

Fortunately, T’s sister will buck the family position, and is going to be there to celebrate.  As will the entire Trailer Park clan… Words i would never have expected to hear from my sister – “Our family is pretty fucked up, and we’ve certainly got our warts, but at this moment I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

let them eat cake

* i know this is confusing.  i should use names… i’ll figure something out. It’s only been 7 years out here… Give me a break!

** Not a real church, but neither is the one that grants on-line ordinations!

42 thoughts on “Trailer Park Family Values

  1. Congratulations to the happy couple. And to your family for being less screwed up than expected. Maybe some day my brother can marry his partner of nearly forty years. He lives in an even more Trailer Parkesque state than you do.

    • Other than my brother still being a complete tool, everyone has stepped up and is behaving well. That could be, in part, because they know i’m still sitting on a lot of cash…to be distributed within a couple of months. but i like to give the benefit of the doubt. Here’s hoping your brother and his partner can get legal someday…

  2. Fantastic news!
    So very happy for the 2 of them …. and for you and the Clan.
    Y’all may have your issues, but at the heart of it, y’all still have each others backs.
    That’s family.

    Putting the FUN in dysfunctional ….. 😀

    • It is family… in part, traceable to Momma. Even as little kids, we fought each other constantly – but pity to the fool that would mess with any of us in front of the others. Well, except for a few years in high school when my sister and i were quite disconnected…

      i think things will be ok for the wedding. Going to meet with my brother and his wife beforehand and explain that getting shitfaced, falldown drunk at the wedding / reception will likely get them tossed overboard…

  3. The bit about the non-attendees made me cry. How very cowardly and/or heartless of them. I will never understand this attitude. At least your sister and her love can get married though, it still is not possible in backwards Australia and this disgusts me. Love is love. Commitment is commitment. People are people. I wish your sister and her spouse all good things including long lasting love, happiness, and health.
    And I hope you all have a ball at the wedding! ❤ ❤

    • Me too, Ashley. It was such a surprise! My sister’s partner is a smart, hard-working and very accomplished woman. Her family means the world to her, and they have always been close – living within miles of each other, and spending a lot of time together. This was a complete surprise, and is devastating… We are still hoping that her Mom comes around and changes her mind. Her brother? He is an elected community official, probably running on a conservative ‘platform’, and i’m sure he’s worried about what others think. i consider him a total ass, and cannot believe he would choose the opinions of strangers over the feelings of his sister… Hoping that time will continue to knock down this wall, and that eventually most of the world can stand on the side of love. ❤

      We will celebrate and share the joy! It will be a glorious day!

  4. Congratulations. To the happy couple and to the clan for knowing what is important.
    .My heart hurts for your sister’s partner though. I hope as the day draws near her family reclaim their priorities.

    • We remain hopeful that her Mom will get with the program, and get excited about it… Perhaps after some time to think about it. T’s sister is continuing to encourage her to let it go and be a sport… Finger’s crossed….

  5. NO way! Studly will officiate! How special is that. I’m so happy for you guys. I’m glad we’re finally allowing gays to marry. I’m tired of protecting them. Let ’em ALL get married and see how much fun it can be. Heh. Don’t tell them anything beforehand. Let it be a surprise like it was for the rest of us.

    Are you sure you want to make yourself responsible for the family dynamic? They’re adults and not likely to take direction from you with a smile on their face.

    A shame about the regrets. There’s a hole in the place where their hearts should be.

    • It’s going to be fun! Studley officiated his son’s wedding last year, and he’s good at it (all that theater training pays off!). The family? My sister has booked rooms at a local hotel for the clan – it’s only for a weekend (most are arriving Friday and leaving Monday). The only real trouble spot will be my brother – and the plan is for me to talk to him and his wife before the wedding to make sure they know the rules – they can get hammered in their hotel room, but NOT during the reception. i’ll also make sure the bartender is pouring light for them as an added safety measure. i really don’t care if they like me any more… pretty sure they’ll behave because they’re still waiting for the “Dead Mother Lottery” to pay out, and they know i’ve got the purse strings…

        • One of my concerns was that one of them would fall overboard! And then it occurred to me that perhaps that would solve a multitude of problems! Brother will likely behave – and I think if I have the conversation in advance with him and his new wife (bless her heart) there’s a good chance she’ll help keep him in line. She’s very sweet and thoughtful… and probably still has no idea who she married.

        • these days i have no shortage of material for blog posts – but i’m short on time to sit and write. suspect the quality of what i put together will degrade even further, but i am compelled to keep hoarking this crap up! amazed i still have readers! 🙂

  6. Oh! Splendid news! Like everyone else, I do hope that T*’s mother and brother can accept things.
    And you and The Man doing the honours? Woo-hoo. Here’s a thought…remember when Studley lent you his tux? Well, he could do that again and he could officiate in his kilt and dog collar. Nah! Make you own plans.Not my business.But I’m going to be so upset if anyone has a camera fail!
    Hugs all round, especially for T*’s side because they seem to need it.

    • Have considered having him wear a pilot’s uniform – not a ship’s captain, but a captain! The kilt would be absolutely stellar! I’m unlikely to wear a tux – but have several costumes in mind for my official duties – could be a couple costume changes in the works, but all are subject to my sister’s approval!

  7. Hopefully, one day everyone in the U.S.A. may live in the state of matrimony, if they so wish,……. and of the legal age . 🙂

    • It’s so frustrating that this is still an issue. I am amazed that my home state of Ohio has YET to clear a path for marriage equality. Hoping that by the end of the year it is done… Suspect we’ll have legalized recreational marijuana before that, though. Sad…

      • Well if they all mellow out , they may see the light. 🙂
        From a Mass Media & marketing point of view the have lost the war, just as they have lost the war on inter-racial/ethnic couples. The advertisers & marketers know there is money to be made by presenting these couples in advertisements – the would be boy-cotters have lost their economic clout. 😀

        • That’s true – it is beyond the tipping point! When the advertisers believe there’s money to be made by supporting same sex marriage, the war is indeed over!

  8. I suggested creating the Church of the Donut in a post once.
    Sounds like MC and bouncer duty. Best wishes for the couple. Also, you need to practice both your speech and defensive moves.

    • I might attend that church! Especially if communion involved sprinkles! Bouncer, indeed… the rest of the family, including my sister, S’s husband – the fireman with biceps as big as his head – are standing by to assist as needed. There will be stories… although in this case, I truly hope they aren’t stories of teaching my brother to swim…

  9. I belong to Our Lady of Perpetual Hot Flashes myself. Not ordained, but I’m a member in good standing. Best wishes to the happy couple! Maybe this fucked up country is finally getting something right. One can hope.

    • i have recently dropped by that church. Hope i’m not there often… ick… i am also hoping that we are past the tipping point, but Alabama is putting up a good fight. Damn them.

  10. Families have a tendency to get that way – Fucked up that is – To bad more people don’t have my human’s attitude. One of his favorite sayings is “All’s thumbs up with me to anything anyone wants to do so long as you don’t force me to do it too. Then………..” You are one brave soul however. Volunteering to contain the bull shit – that’s epic. Any time me or my human do that we get stuck with 50 pounds of shit and a five pound bag.

    • Agreed. We could all use a good bit of “not my circus, not my monkeys” therapy! As for the family? It may be the most important gift i can offer them… and if i do it right, they will never know what transpires along the way…

        • Message from my sister tonight, after my brother confirmed that he would be attending – “Mom would be happy”. Yep. My job is to make sure that under no circumstances my sister sees any glimpse of an issue… And the rest of the family is going to be on board with that. We can do this…

  11. Your sis nailed it… and as Genet once said, “Famlies are the cruelest of jokes.” Please tell me that Studley is an official minister in the Church of the Dude, i keep meaning to get my ordination (on-line of course and free!) from the web-site just in case i need to perform any emergency weddings or spread dudeness or just abide (the last two which i’m already trying to dude)… congrats to the your sister and her partner.

    • Oh, my god! i had NO idea that the Church of the Latter Day Dude did ordinations? Holy shit, i’m a gonna have to get that taken care of, right after i get that rug cleaned up…

      No, Studley did the Universal Life Church – the largest, and most lucrative, on-line church. It works… but i think we both need to join the Church of the Dude… i’m thinking of starting a church based out of a Caribbean dive shop. This could work…

      You, sir, abide… Pretty sure you don’t need the certificate.

        • we’re on it. i’m going to become ordained. it’s overdue…

          upon further reflection, it occurs to me that The Dude was modeled after you. local hippie warehouse/art space is hosting a showing of The Big Lebowski next week. i am going. in my bathrobe.

    • Yes it will! In the U.S., most marriage legalities are handled at the state level – and the ordained officiant simply needs a credential/license to perform weddings. Forms are filed, fees are paid, and the marriage is recognized.

      The big news last year was that once it was legal for same-sex marriage at the NATIONAL level, individual states started to either legalize same-sex marriage, or not. If a couple is married in a state where it is legal? They are considered legally married in the eyes of the nation – but not necessarily in states where it is NOT legal.

      My sister and her partner considered getting married last year in a state where it was legal – although their marriage would not be recognized as a legal union in their home state, it would have been recognized by the U.S.

      Totally fucked up, i know… and for what it’s worth, a Satanist can perform legal marriage ceremonies in the U.S. No one actually cares, so long as the fees are paid…. We used to be a first-world country. i have no idea how we got so god damned backward…

      • Well, what a strange system! I thought federal laws would take precedence over state ones — I didn’t realise that the states could exempt themselves like that.

        And I am also astonished that it is so easy for anyone to get married! Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted for T and T (and hope that the po-faced non-attenders will come round to the idea in time), but the constant stream of cultural surprises between our two countries never ends.

        • It is strange. Perhaps it harkens to our origins as colonies? Federal law is the law of the land – the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution covers that. State and local laws can be enacted so long as they are not in conflict with federal law. In 1996 a FEDERAL law was enacted, The Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited states from recognizing same-sex marriages. In 2011, it was determined that this law was unconstitutional, and that opened the way for states to legalize same sex marriage.

          What is perhaps more interesting? When states (Colorado, Washington) made recreational use of marijuana legal, that is in direct conflict with Federal law identifying marijuana as an illegal substance. Things may yet get interesting in this regard…

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