The Luv Doc: The Judgment of Solomon
Fortunately we have the depraved wisdom of the Old Testament to guide us
Dear Luv Doc,
My fiancé and I are getting married at a Mexican beach resort in November. Because of the cost, we have invited a limited number of people – strictly close friends and family. The good news is that our friends are all on board and excited to come. The one big holdup is that my mother – who has been divorced from my father for five years – is refusing to come to the wedding if my father brings his "new" girlfriend (they have been together two years). My father is refusing to come if we exclude his girlfriend. One more thing: My father is putting up most of the money for the wedding. I don't know what to do. I want my mother to come to the wedding. She has been very excited about it and has been helping me plan everything, but I don't want to exclude my dad's girlfriend either – and not just because of the money. I genuinely like her. And I don't want to hurt him by excluding her. What should I do? – Novia Triste
This is a difficult dilemma, Novia, but fortunately we have the depraved wisdom of the Old Testament to guide us in circumstances such as these. In this case, I would refer you to what is commonly known as "The Judgment of Solomon." The basic gist of the story is that two harlots (hereinafter referred to as "female sex workers") come to King Solomon claiming to be the mother of a child. King Solomon suggests that they cut the child in half and each female sex worker should get half. Sounds fair, right? No! Fuck no! It sounds like King Sol is a psychopath, but the Old Testament isn't for the faint of heart. Anyhoo ... short story long is that the true mother of the baby begs that the child not be cut in half but instead be given to the other female sex worker, thus proving by her sacrifice that she is the true mother. King Sol drops the mic, the crowd goes wild. Well, something like that.
Now, I realize you may not be a female sex worker and for all I know you may not have given birth to any children. If that's the case, brava! I can barely find a parking space in this town as it is. The kernel I want you to take away from this close-miss-infanticide biblical fable is that, somewhere deep down in her heart, your mother wants what is best for you, even if it means she has to make a personal sacrifice. Her sacrifice will be not letting her personal animosity toward your father or his new girlfriend stand in the way of her daughter's happiness. It sounds to me like you want to invite your father's girlfriend, and you should. It's your choice. Everyone else needs to suck it up and be grownups.
That said, let's not let your father off so easily. His tit-for-tat bullshit sounds a little childish as well. Please let him know that you would really like him to talk to your mother and try to reach some sort of logistical compromise that will make your Mexican wedding endurable if not enjoyable for everyone. That will be his sacrifice: doing his best to keep your mother happy so your wedding won't turn into some sort of reality show clusterfuck.
If that sounds like too much to ask, then I suggest you think very carefully about popping out your own spawn. Parenthood is about sacrifice – both willing and unwilling. You make a baby and then you make sacrifices – pretty much for the rest of your life. When you check out on that gig you check out on parenting, and plenty have. The only trouble with this solution is that one or both of your parents might not agree to it, but here's the really important thing: If either one of your parents refuses to come to your wedding, it won't be your fault, it will be theirs, and you should be at peace with that.