Weddings have been known to compel even the sweetest, cuddliest people to say some pretty questionable things, but what one mom wrote about her daughter's maid of honor is completely unforgivable. In a Dear Prudence column from last week, the mother of a bride wrote in with a question that had us super worried for the well-being of Twitter user Nicole Cliffe, who prefaced it with, "I am no longer of this earth. This letter has killed me."
The supremely unclassy and deeply (deeply!) offensive letter started off fine, and then quickly swerved into the territory of Momzilla-levels unheard of:
"Q. Daughter's friend being in wedding: My 27-year-old daughter and her best friend, Katie, have been best friends since they were 4. Katie practically grew up in our house and is like a daughter to me. My daughter recently got engaged to her fiancé and announced that Katie would be the maid of honor (Katie’s boyfriend is also a good friend of my future son-in-law). The problem is that Katie walks with a pretty severe limp due to a birth defect (not an underlying medical issue). She has no problem wearing high heels and has already been fitted for the dress, but I still think it will look unsightly if she’s in the wedding procession limping ahead of my daughter. I mentioned this to my daughter and suggested that maybe Katie could take video or hand out programs (while sitting) so she doesn’t ruin the aesthetic aspect of the wedding. My daughter is no longer speaking to me (we were never that close), but this is her big wedding and I want it to be perfect. All of the other bridesmaids will look gorgeous walking down the aisle with my daughter. Is it wrong to have her friend sit out?
What. The. Actual. Eff.
Luckily, Slate agony aunt Mallory Ortberg was quick to shut it down, being high in hilarity and low in B.S.-tolerance:
A: I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around this letter. I encourage you to reread it and to ask yourself that time-honored question, “Do I sound like a villain in a Reese Witherspoon movie?” You are, presumably, sympathetic to your own situation and are invested in making sure that you come across as reasonable and as caring as possible, and yet you have written a letter indicting yourself at every turn. This girl is “like a daughter” to you, and yet you want to shove her to the side of your other daughter’s wedding just because she walks with a limp. Your daughter’s wedding will be perfect with Katie as a full and honored member of the bridal party. A limp is not a fly in the ointment; it’s a part of Katie’s life. It is not only wrong to have asked your daughter to consider excluding her best friend over this—it is ableist, and cruel, and it speaks to a massive failure of empathy, compassion, and grace on your part. You must and should apologize to your daughter immediately, and I encourage you to profoundly reconsider the orientation of your heart.
We don't blame her daughter for wanting nothing to do with her mum. Of course, the letter's ridiculousness sent several Twitter users into a spiral of rage and confusion.
But of course, the more jaded among us were quick to assure non-believers that yes, yes these people DO exist, and they're EVERYWHERE:
Mothers of the bride, just don't. (Maybe try bonding instead.)