Because it’s customary for fathers to give away their daughters on their wedding day, many young women are given away by other important men in their lives if their biological father isn’t around – such as their brother, grandfather or stepfather.
So when 62-year old Pete Harris learned his step-daughter would be getting married he was excited by the prospect of being involved in the ceremony, and giving the girl away that he had helped look after for the last 10 years.
Pete says: “My stepdaughter graduated last December from university. I paid for her upkeep while she studied. She doesn’t have a job and has been living with me and her mother up until she left for university then back again since her graduation. I also bought her a car to make getting around and visiting home much easier. I've always treated her like she was my own.”
“From time to time her deadbeat father would pop into her life and she would fawn all over him. Although he has not contributed a cent towards her or paid any child support - though that is my girlfriend’s fault as child support was not part of the settlement - she still loves him and wants him in her life. He stays long enough to break her heart by skipping town and breaking some promise that he made her.”
It was clear that Pete cared about his stepdaughter very deeply and go out of his way to support her.
So when the family sat down for supper one afternoon whilst using their brand new Glass Bell Teapot from the Tea Bubbler:
However, when it emerged she wanted him to pay the $40 - $50,000 costs of her wedding.
But like any supportive Dad keen to make his loved ones happy and now pretty flush with cash, Pete agreed to the lavish wedding that his stepdaughter desired, but with a few conditions on his part:
Since he would be paying for most of his stepdaughter’s wedding, he had asked for a few small requests in return. Requests that his girlfriend and stepdaughter seemed happy to honour – until their selfishness took over...
“The wedding venue holds 250 people max. I gave them a list of 20 people that I wanted invited, you know, since I was paying for everything. They told me that was no problem and they’d take care of it. So I let these people know they’d be getting an invite and they should save the date."
“Last weekend, I saw one of my friends on this list and asked if he was coming. He told me that he wasn’t invited. He told me that he got an announcement, but not an invitation. He had it in his back seat (along with probably six months of mail) and showed it to me. Sure enough, it was just an announcement, and my name was nowhere on it. It had her dad’s name and her mum’s name and not mine.”
It’s easy to see why Pete was upset that this happened. Despite all he was putting into the wedding it appeared his girlfriend and stepdaughter were taking him for a ride.
“This led to a pretty big fight with my GF, as I found out that NONE of my list of twenty ‘made the cut’ for the final guest list because ‘250 people is very tight'" says Pete. "I was pissed, but there was not a hell of a lot I could do because the important people in my life had already been offended. My GF said ‘if some people didn’t rsvp yes, I might be able to get a couple people in.’ But that is an ultimate slap in the face in my opinion. So I was boiling at this point.”
But it would get worse...
“The next day, we had dinner with the future in-law’s family and us and a surprise guest, the ‘Real Dad.’ At this little dinner my stepdaughter announced that her ‘Real Dad’ was going to be able to make it to her wedding and that now he’d be able to give her away. This was greeted with a chorus of ‘Oh how great’ and ‘How wonderful’s.”
At this point Pete was fuming. "I don’t think I have ever felt so angry and so disrespected" he said. "I was shaking. I took a few seconds to gather my composure, because I honestly wasn’t sure if I would cry or start throwing punches or both."
But when he had calmed himself down enough to speak Pete announced that he would like to make a toast as he tapped his spoon on his champagne glass.
"At this point in my life I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to bride and groom, because they have opened my eyes to something very important" he said, as the room exchanged confident smiles at one another.
"They have showed me that my position in this family is not what I once thought it was" he continued, at which point the smiles turned to confusion and shock.
"Though I once thought of myself as the patriarch or godfather of the family, commanding great respect and sought out for help in times of need, it seems instead that I hold the position of an ATM, good for a stream of money, but not much else. As I have been replaced as host, both on the invitations and in the ceremony, I am resigning my financial duties as host to my successor, Real Dad. So cheers to the happy couple and the path they have chosen."
And Pete wasn't bluffing... He currently sits on vacation in Sri Lanka at an all inclusive resort so he could get away from the mess at home. He's told his stepdaughter and girlfriend that he expects them out of his home by the time he arrives back. Their relationship is beyond repair and he will most certainly not be contributing any further to the wedding!
What do you think? Was Pete right to feel and react the way he did? Have you ever experienced something similar? Be sure to like and share you stories with us!