The Drama Llama Named Mama

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

As I am quite well-versed as to who is on our rather select guest list, I know for certain that I did not invite the Drama Llama or even send them a Save the Date!

Unfortunately what I didn’t realized was that someone we are inviting has been doing a little moonlighting.

Namely, Mama Leadfoot.

On Mom's 50th Birthday Cruise: Miss Road Trip, Mama Leadfoot, Brother Speedy, Dr. Aunt, Brother Truck & SiL Teacher | personal picture

On Mom’s 50th Birthday Cruise: Miss Road Trip, Mama Leadfoot, Brother Speedy, Dr. Aunt, Brother Truck & SiL Teacher | personal photo

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you know you very specifically said A but the other party in the conversation seems to have heard D? That’s what must have happened all those times I said the following to Mom: “just immediate family and close friends, no more than 50 people, max.”

Seriously. Those words have been my mantra since we started planning. In fact, I know I used those exact words when she asked “You’re not thinking of having a big wedding, are you?” when I mentioned we’d started our venue hunt.

Now, I love our guest list. I love that each person on there is an active part of our lives. I also love that by each of us having done the big church wedding in the past, inviting everyone and their cousin to it, we’ve fulfilled our social milestone obligation and I feel no undue pressure to extend those courtesy invites to people we hardly ever talk to.

Or, at least, I didn’t until Mama Leadfoot started in on me a few months ago.

The conversation started something like this back in March:

M.LF: Several people [at a cousin’s wedding back home I was unable to attend] were asking about your wedding plans and I just didn’t know what to tell them since you aren’t inviting any of them.

Miss RT: Well, you could say that we’re having a small wedding with just immediate family and close friends.

M.LF: Well, I’ll tell them to ask you about it because I don’t know anything about it!

Passive-aggressive there, much, Mom?

Now, to her credit, she doesn’t know “anything” about the wedding (not completely true, but we’ll go with it for now) because she doesn’t ask about the wedding. I know she’s happy for us, I think she’s even looking forward to it, but you wouldn’t know it by her inquiries on the subject. And this might not be so obvious if she didn’t ask everybody about everything at every opportunity (we work together, she asks our clients about their kids wedding plans; she’s just that kind of nosey). If I don’t bring it up, she doesn’t either, and even then sometimes when I mention our plans in passing she doesn’t comment on them.

And the reason is the guest list.

The rest of that conversation was me trying to explain that between our budget (which she is not contributing to) and our preferences, we’d like to keep it small. And if I invite her one sister then I really would have to invite that sister’s daughter and granddaughter, not to mention the rest of that side of the family who all live in the same small town and talk quite regularly. And suddenly our guest list has doubled, and that’s before adding in my father’s side of the family or any of Mr. Road Trip’s extended relations. That’s why we made the demarcation immediate family.

It also causes me to do the confused puppy head-tilt when I think of all those times she was oh, so glad that she moved us away from said family members and how she didn’t want to be a part of their gossip and in-fighting and how horrible that self-same sister was to her growing up. And then Mama Leadfoot says to me:

Well, it hurts my feelings that you aren’t inviting them, but I guess that’s my problem.

Just twist that knife, okay?

Of course, at this point I just have to give up–but not give in! First of all, our budget wouldn’t stand the change, it’s just not a possibility. Secondly, the contract we have with our venue is for a fairly small space and was booked over a year ago and there was just no changing it at that point, even if we did fall into a pile of money to afford it. Finally, though, with family comes even more drama. And while I respect my roots and where I come from, I don’t need them telling their favorite make-fun-of-Miss-Road-Trip-as-a-brainy-6-year-old stories that they tell every. visit. home. Teasing is not my love language (is it anyone’s? sometimes I wonder).

So our guest list currently sits at 8 family members, 7 co-workers, and around 20 mutual friends. These are people that make an effort to be a part of our lives (another thing they do not have in common with most of my family) and support us as a couple. And if anything, it’s likely to get smaller, not bigger.

Did you have any Drama Llama sightings from an unexpected corner?

41 Arboriculture | Putting Down Roots

64 Arts

Let’s chat, shall we?

One of my goals when working through the 64 Arts, beyond exploring some new skill-sets, was to encourage (in myself as well as others) little bits of daily creativity that feed our souls. I truly believe that doing something creative–and that covers a whole host of possibilities–can improve our outlook and our emotional health, with can only help our physical health as well. (That’s what the whole “better living through creativity” tagline is all about, after all.)

While I think my project tutorials do that to an extent, the Arboriculture art got me thinking beyond the basics. Not everyone has a yard they can tend a tree in or even a porch or balcony that gets enough sun, so what other ways can tree inspire us creatively.

Exploring our Roots

Have you ever done a family tree? Maybe as a school assignment long ago or maybe you got bitten by the genealogy bug and spent some time on a site like or trolling city archives. If you’ve never explored your family’s history, maybe this would be a good time to look into it, find out some stories from the generations that we still have around and then dig a little deeper. Maybe you have someone famous (or infamous!) in your lineage, or maybe you come from salt-of-the-earth hard-workers. Either way, knowing where you come from may help explain some of who you are, today.

Putting Down New Roots

A song I found for one of my old podcasts (man, I really want to get back to making those!) was called “Twisted Family Ties” and boy, oh boy, do I know all about those! Sometimes the people we’re born to make it hard to love them. Sometimes it’s just plain implausible and you might have to–for your own safety or sanity–distance yourself or completed cut ties. In this instance, why not create an imaginary family tree of the family you were “supposed” to be born into. Remember that a person’s flaws are just as important part of their character as the good things. Draw pictures or make collages of your new family portraits and give them interesting backstories.

Reach Out to the Forest

With us living in a very global society, it’s not uncommon to feel closer to someone 3,000 miles away than you do your own kin. Ages ago sociologists started to refer to these created family groups as tribes (urban or otherwise). They may not be part of your family tree (real or imagined), but they are part of your forest. Reach out a branch and write a letter (yes, a real, honest to goodness, paper and pen(cil), put a stamp on it letter) to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Or maybe to your best friend who you talk to every day–I don’t think they’d be any less thrilled to find something other than junk mails and bills in their mailbox, do you? And if you’re feeling a bit more of a lone cactus in the dessert vibe, why not reach out and make a new friend by joining a penpal group. (International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club comes highly recommended, by the way. I’m thinking of signing up for the next round, myself).

So, there you have it. Your creative mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use one of the prompts above and act on it. Add a little creativity into your life and enrich it in some way. Then, come back and share what you did–you never know what might spark an idea in another person.