Chelsea Getting Married

By Michael

President Obama was on The View last week, chatting up the ladies about all sorts of earthshaking issues, when he was asked about his attendance at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. He indicated he had not been invited and, of course, the media were filled with other names of people who were excluded from the affair.

The reason President Obama suggested for being excluded from the guest list was the security that would be part of his presence. The Clintons, he suggested, were focused on making this event about the bride and groom.

This is why I declined my invitation, as well. It would be tough for the kids to compete for the guests’ attention when a famous dadblogger is in the hood.

I thought the Clinton parents were right on target. A wedding is about the people getting married. They invite their peers and their parents invite relatives and a few close friends–ideally friends who also know the bride or groom or both. IMO, payback for golf games, lunch dates and promotions wouldn’t qualify as a reason for a wedding invitation.

When Susan got married last year, I talked with some of my friends that were not going to be invited. I explained that I would be inviting them if it was an anniversary party for Jill and me, but that they didn’t know Susan and a wedding wasn’t the place to meet her. More than half the friends I spoke with–all men–thanked me for letting them off the hook.

Now it’s Stephanie’s turn to take the walk of fame and the same rules apply. If the wedding is the first place she’s meeting someone, they’re not on the list. It’s not my party, or Jill’s, even if we are writing a check the size of a Publisher’s Clearinghouse prize.

Weddings provide a very clear distinction between the things we do for our children and the things we’re really doing for ourselves. There are tons of similar situations we encounter along the way, though, and it’s useful to consider who’s being served by a decision.

Whatever choices we make, it’s useful to avoid that lie we tell ourselves all the time: I’m only doing this for you.

Michael Rosenbaum is 5 Minutes for Parenting’s first dadblogger. He is a business consultant, playwright and author of Your Name Here: Guide to Life.

Michael blogs on life issues at Your Name Here Guide to Life and manages the Adult Conversation discussion group on Linked-In.

6 Responses to Chelsea Getting Married
  1. Hannah
    August 3, 2010 | 9:19 am

    Right on! I know there were people at our wedding I’d never met before — and this was after whittling down the guest list and having to cut out people we actually did know. It was for the reason you cited above. And boy, did I end up with a bunch of crystal vases! 🙂

  2. Kelly
    August 4, 2010 | 4:23 pm

    Common sense such as your seems to be in short supply these days. Thanks for injecting a bit of it into us.

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