Honor Thy Mother
My daughter is shutting me out of my grandchild's life because I'm a lesbian.
While your former crush was giving you so much attention at the wedding, how is it you didn't find the time to answer the now-gnawing question of what he's been up to the past few years? If you review your conversation with him, I bet you'll realize you got an answer to, "Hey, what have you been up to?" You're trying to convince yourself that you're strictly seeking biographical information, but you're not convincing me—and you rightly know you're not going to convince your husband. Especially troublesome is that you characterize as a "problem" having your husband, to whom you claim to be happily married, on your arm. And isn't it a little odd that this desire to reconnect with people from your past does not extend to catching up with female friends? In general, there's nothing wrong with being in touch with old flames. In this particular, you're playing with fire.
My husband and I have been close friends with another couple since college. We were both recently in the bridal party for their wedding. After an engagement party, four bridal showers, a couples shower, and the wedding (we brought gifts for each) my husband and I have been set back financially due to the gift-giving extravaganzas. Now, the weekend that they have returned from their honeymoon, they are throwing a birthday party for their dog! My husband and I feel like we have been picked up, turned upside down, and shaken until everything we have has fallen out of our pockets. It seems like we have been taken advantage of in our relationship even before the wedding madness began (vacations, etc.). In addition, the wife recently inherited a large amount of money. My husband and I are nowhere near that kind of financial stability and lead a modest lifestyle. I would hate to end a close relationship that we have had for almost a decade, but to continue in this way is really putting a dent in our pocketbook.
One shower is a celebration, six is a hosing. This couple sounds more like they were involved in a RICO conspiracy than a wedding. You shouldn't have given in to their extortion—for future reference, a single shower gift is sufficient. If you want to continue your relationship with these two, make sure you are in controlled situations (dinner at their house, a night at the movies) where a running tab is not necessary. If they want you to do such things as go on vacation with them, explain that you are on a budget and that you must have your financial obligations clearly defined before the fun begins. But what makes you think the birthday party for the dog is a gift-giving event? Have they announced the dog is registered—at someplace other than the American Kennel Club? If they truly are expecting a gift for Poochy, then a doggie bag of gristle would be an appropriate choice.
Photograph of Prudie by David Plotz.