Here’s a story from Glamour.com about a bride whose mother took an anxiety shit every day over the fact that one of the bridesmaid’s — the bride’s sister — had tattoos. The story details the poor, besieged mother’s attempts to think of creative ways to submerge this bridesmaids (her daughter, just to be clear) personal expression, so that she might walk down the aisle and for once in her miserable life just look like everyone else when it really matters.
Of course, anyone who has a vagina and is over the age of 12 knows that this is considered to be not only perfectly normal behavior, but something that requires kid gloves, and some really thoughtful exploration of how you might handle the same situation.
Well, let me clear this up. If you indulge this behavior in your mother, or anyone else’s mother, while using your wedding as an excuse, you are being a total bitch. If you are the mother who is behaving like this, you are a double-down bitch. The fact that this situation is shrouded in white chiffon and tulip bouquets doesn’t suddenly change the fact that asking someone to cover up their tattoos (I mean, does anyone really give a shit about tattoos anymore??) for the sake of convention and in the name of not offending the guests is incredibly, fundamentally rude.
The bride, of course, is truly forgiving, a saint of the modern-day nuptial:
Rory [the husband] and I didn’t care either way. We asked my sister to be a bridesmaid knowing full well that she has a whole bunch of tattoos—and is likely to get another one at the drop of a hat. I didn’t want to upset my sister by asking her to cover them up, but I also didn’t want my mom to have a total but-what-will-the-neighbors-think! meltdown.
WOW. The second fucking coming of Mother Teresa.
Here’s the thing. Since I’ve gotten engaged, I’ve had a number of people tell me that in planning my wedding, I will have to do things that I don’t want to, to please people that I don’t want to please, and to hand over a great deal of control to my mother, my female relatives, my fiance’s mother, and my fiance’s female relatives. This advice comes not just from my clutch-your-pearls-at-the-sight-of-a-little-ink friends — it comes from some of my most progressive, strong-minded friends. And while I get that a wedding represents a whole lot of tradition, and the melding of two familes, and the start of a new life…guess what? It’s the start of my new life. And hopefully, my friends will remain in my life as the same people that they were before I was married, not some covered-up version of themselves.