One of my female cousins is getting married next month.
She has four brothers, all married. All had grand wedding receptions that my uncle paid for – my uncle is a very rich man. She is his only daughter, so I thought we would probably end up attending the banquet of the century, or something like that.
But no, she is not having one. Because her younger brother had his last December, her parents felt it was too much of a hassle to have another one so soon.
She says she is fine with it, so we are fine with it. It’s not our time and money, so it’s not like the rest of the extended family should have any say.
Some years back, my uncle gifted each of his kids a property downpayment each, before they got married. They were all expected to continue making the mortgage payments for their own property, before and after marriage. When my female cousin announced her marriage plans, my uncle took back the property. I have no idea whether he reimbursed my cousin for the mortgage payments she had made. But even then…
Note – he did not do that to any of his sons.
And suddenly, her being the only child out of five to not have a wedding reception meant a lot more than just time and money.
Yes, she says she is fine with it. Can she say anything else and not be labeled entitled, greedy and unfilial?
It is not my time, my money, my property and certainly none of my business. But I am sad. Why am I thinking about gender equality among strangers, when parents cannot even treat their sons and daughters fairly, so close to home?
My mother has been subtly lobbying for my cousin with her parents, because it so happens that my mother was also the only one in the family not to have a wedding reception. Not even a home party. Because she was female, and she married a poor man. She felt it all her life, and while she never really blamed my grandmother for the unfairness, she never forgot it either.
But ultimately, there is only so much she could do, so we made up for it by giving my cousin a really grand wedding gift. But that is only us; we cannot take the place of her parents. I only hope that she really is fine with it all. Because I really am not.