I've known for quite a while that this coming Saturday is my nephew's graduation from high school. My late sister's son is going to wear the old mortarboard and get his diploma, and bravo for him.
I have also been planning--for quite a while--to attend the party. But though this week began so pleasantly, the rest of it has simply been as rotten as a rotten week can be, and by Wednesday night I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it. It's just been too much, and yesterday's events just about did me in completely.
Mrs. Fungus has been entirely--incredibly--supportive throughout the entire situation. Everything that's been going on has been entirely due to my brother and sister-in-law and an impending visit on Sunday wherein they plan to remove a crapton of junk from the attic over the garage. Also, the first e-mail about this implied that my surviving siblings want to discuss "the future", meaning what's going to happen with the bunker. It's not going to be a good time for me. (Asking for a definition of "talk about the future" did not yield any useful information.)
So I wrote an e-mail in which I politely demurred from attending the party, citing the stress of the week...and then in rapid succession I got a guilt trip e-mail, and then one full of harsh implication that I'm merely being lazy.
This would seem to indicate that I don't actually have any say in whether or not I attend the party--that because they have invited me I must attend and have no choice in the matter.
I have been struggling to think of a situation where my presence would actually be mandatory wherein I was not the guest of honor, and I can't think of one. The closest possibility I can think of is if I were using their house to throw a party and decided not to show up for it myself, leaving them to do everything--but that's not parallel to this.
I'm declining an invitation, which makes me the bad guy? Do I understand this?
Plenty of my relatives didn't come to my graduation party in 1996. I didn't blame them for not coming. Okay, my late sister and her husband didn't come--they didn't even send a card, as I recall--yet I wasn't offended or insulted by the omission.
Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this. Recall last year the fiasco that was my attendance of my niece's graduation? You should have heard the shitstorm that landed on me because I had the gall to leave after being there a mere four hours. My sister-in-law found it completely unacceptable that I was leaving the event "so early" and she was highly offended by it.
So--apparently--not only am I required to attend, but I must attend until they say it's okay for me to leave. Yeah.