I need to briefly describe my previous relationship with my other sister, Sandy, from before it fell apart. Although there was one main cause, there was also some smaller moments that led up to our estrangement. Sandy seemed to suffer from the very common “middle-sister” syndrome. She was often in Sharon’s shadow while at the same time watching me get away with more than she ever did because I was the youngest. I can only imagine how hard that was. She has a personality that I can’t quite describe but there are some selfish tendencies and some insecurities. Just like Sharon, she often put herself first, although she did care about others too, but only to a certain extent. I think the difference was, Sandy could be really nice and was fairly normal. We were very close for a long time; we had a lot in common and shared many of the same ideals. We spent a lot of time together when I helped her through one of her divorces. I loved her dearly.
Well, a few years ago, Sandy met what would end up being her third husband, Dale. Dale had a great job that paid well, although he wasn’t rich – he just happened to have been given his mother’s home when she passed away, so he didn’t have rent or a mortgage payment to worry about. For eight years, I dated a man with money but it never changed who I was as a person. I didn’t start spending money wildly and I still shopped the way I always had. This is how Sandy used to be as well. However, once Sandy met Dale, his money went to her head, slowly at first and then more and more. When Dale and Sandy got engaged, her and our relationship seemed less important to her and we started to grow apart a little.
Before going further, I should say that I hated my wedding and I am still slightly bitter about it. First, we only had $3,000 to spend on the entire wedding and reception. I had to take shortcuts everywhere: fake flowers, I made the bouquets (they were terrible), we had the cheapest photo package and the photos were terrible, we ate the cheapest possible meal, and the guest list had to be kept short. I had to order our wedding cake from Safeway for $100 and when we got it, the top was all smashed in. Second, Sandy was mad at Sharon the whole time and made sure I knew all about it. Sharon was supposed to do my nails but didn’t; in fact she wasn’t there for me at all that weekend. I cried most of my wedding day – I felt cheated of the magical day I had always dreamed about.
So, Sandy asked me to be her maid-of-honor. Since our relationship wasn’t as close anymore, I wanted to say “no” but I knew I couldn’t and so agreed. It was a nightmare for me, even though I hid it well. She had all the money she needed, yet she complained about everything. It killed me to see her actually complaining – didn’t she know how lucky she was? When it was all said and done, she told me they had spent about $35,000 on the wedding and honeymoon. While I wished I had had more than $3,000 for my wedding, $35,000 seemed ridiculous for a wedding with only 35 attendees. I kept my feelings to myself but it hurt. I know I sound jealous here and honestly I’ll admit I was. How could I not be? It’s hard to see someone get what you wanted when it comes to something so special in life and then watch them complain.
As the wedding drew nearer, Sandy started caring more and more about material things. She had always liked dainty jewelry but now all of the sudden she loved the giant stones. She started buying designer clothes (and then would get mad if my small dog jumped on her when she came over. She was quickly becoming a snob and it showed). She’d always tell me the cost, like that was important or would impress me. I quickly grew tired of hearing about the expensive jewelry, the vacations, and the four-star restaurants in the city. Let me say that this part was NOT jealousy – I don’t like those things; I am more of a casual person that buys normal clothes and jewelry and likes normal, comfortable restaurants – it’s just who I am. I can afford the higher-end things, I just don’t particularly want them. But Sandy did and I have to admit there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem was that it was all she ever talked about; it was always her, her, her. On occasions when my husband and I would be invited to Dale and Sandy’s house for dinner or family get-togethers, we would basically be ignored and they would act like we were beneath them. Dale did it the most but Sandy soon started to follow. It got to where we just didn’t want to go anymore.
And then, the weekend of their wedding – the beginning of the end. Let me summarize – my parents, my brother and his wife, and my husband and I were mostly ignored the whole time.(Sharon wasn’t invited – Sandy hated her back then). Sandy only cared about Dale and his side of the family. It was like she had swapped families and no longer considered herself part of ours. It felt like we were an embarrassment to her. Our side of the family, including Sandy’s two sons, was sat off at a back table on our own at the reception. Sandy sat with Dale and his family. When they cut the cake, which was in a side room just off the reception area, our side of the family wasn’t informed and wasn’t there. Sandy didn’t even care that her maid-of-honor and family weren’t present. When the slices of cake where delivered to our table, I was stunned when I realized what had just happened.
After the reception, we were all supposed to go dancing at the top of some ritzy hotel. My parents couldn’t go because of their health and my brother stayed behind with his wife who was experiencing an allergic reaction to dinner. My husband and I were the only people from our side of the family who were able to go. We arrived last because we had waited to see if my brother would be going or not and everyone left without us. When we got to the line of tables at the lounge, I noticed that there were two seats across from Sandy and Dale. I naturally assumed that they were for my husband and I. I mean, I was her sister and maid-of-honor. When we went over to them and I asked where they wanted us – Sandy stopped us and motioned for us to just go sit at the end somewhere. Umm, ok. WTH? We went down to the end but there weren’t any seats available so we sat off on this tiny bench across from everything else, after which we were ignored completely. After sitting there for about 15 minutes, with no one talking to us or even looking at us, I told my husband that I had to get out of there. I know I shouldn’t have left but I was so hurt and angry and it was just too much after everything else. We left and went back to our hotel. It turned out that Sandy didn’t even noticed we had left until after they announced the first dance and asked the wedding party to join the dance. The next day SHE was mad at ME! Seriously? She treated us like crap, and not just me and my husband – our whole family, and I’m the one who was in the wrong? She was terrible at my wedding yet I never said a word. Her snob transition was complete.
After that, her and my relationship began to decline further. She has become everything she had said she always hated and all because of her new-found money and status. It was disgusting to be around. I didn’t even recognize her anymore, not as the sister I once so loved and cared about. It is obnoxious to be around people like that, who brag about what they have while looking down on those who have less. Money doesn’t define who you are and it certainly doesn’t make you better than anyone else. No amount of money would change the person I am.
These events were not the reason for our estrangement but they were the precursors to the whole moving incident with my parents that ended our relationship for good.