The holiday fun never ends…

Tomorrow is our Illinois engagement party, which my mother insisted
on throwing since we were coming home for the holidays and just got
engaged.  I am the only daughter and I think she has been dreaming
about my wedding since I was a small child.  Unfortunately, I live
1300 miles away from her and she can’t have the role she would
like in planning, touring, selecting, etc in all that goes into
wedding organizing.  So this party is essentially our
Illinois-version of our wedding with caterers, a ‘head table’,
gifts for the guests, etc.

My friends have commented on how great it is of her to throw the
party, especially when we compare my family’s reaction to my
girlfriend’s family’s reaction to us getting married.  We are
lucky to have one supportive family.  Well, my mom is supportive
now and it took some time and certainly was a process and my
parents are divorced and went through two separate processes.

My father is great with us and gets the politics around sexual
orientation and the need for our civil rights fights.  That might
not seem like a big deal, but my father is “off the boat” from
Sicily; came to the States when he was 24 and didn’t speak a word
of English.   Most of his friends are from Italy also with
English as a second language and none of them have fully
assimilated into American culture.  They still speak Italian with
one another, eat Italian food exclusively, play Italian card games,
listen to Italian music and most of them don’t think they know a
gay person and they have a lot of homophobia and are not afraid to
talk openly about their negative feelings toward gay people.  My
father is proud of me and loves my girlfriend and me very much. 
He has lost a handful of friends and fights with others to demand
the respect we deserve.

Back to the engagement party. My father has since had two other
sets of friends tell him they morally oppose homosexually and
therefore can not come; he never knew they felt that way and was
shocked to hear their rejection.

Before we got engaged, I use to say I didn’t want to have a
wedding, just get married for the rights and commitment.  This
pending wedding does not seem to be bringing out the best in many
of our family matters.  I hope this party tomorrow isn’t awkward
or stressful…and why does all this have to be so hard?