has a rather self-serving fluid definition of family. We shall call her Stephanie on here. Anyway, before she got engaged, “family” pictures included significant others who had not yet become official additions (i.e. me and Russ, her now-fiancee) because she wanted Russ in the pictures.

Now that they are engaged, I have been booted. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t care, except for the fuss she makes: “fifi, family-only pictures! You understand, of course. Here, you take the pictures.” Also, I have been around for FIVE years, which, not that anyone’s keeping score or anything, is three years longer than Russ has been around. I have been to four family weddings – i.e. ALL of them. I lived with the boyfriend’s parents for 2 months. I send them all Christmas cookies every year. I send Stephanie her own special Christmas present (this is somewhat under duress, NOT that I would ever express that thought outside of the Madre and my girlfriends).

I also wouldn’t care if she hadn’t made it a mission in the past six months to emphasize how “not family” I am, whenever given the opportunity. The boyfriend’s parents had a small engagement brunch for Stephanie and Russ right after they got engaged, an opportunity for the two families to meet. Stephanie spent the whole brunch going on and on about how she was SO glad she was able to include the ENTIRE family in her wedding because she knows how lucky she will be to be able to look back in fifty years at her wedding pictures and see her ENTIRE family in the wedding. This is where we note that not only am I not in any way in the wedding,*** but was the only person present not in the wedding. Specialness.

This morning it was a photo on facebook of the boyfriend’s parents, his brother, Bobby, Bobby’s wife, Beth, their daughter, Hannah (previously called “H” on here, but we shall give her her own fake name), and Stephanie and Russ, subtitled “Almost a family photo! Where’s [the boyfriend]??????”* And yes, there is a chance that I am being bar-exam-studying-inspired-crazy about this and it’s not a big deal and I am reading WAY too much into this, but at the same time, it’s irksome because she keeps doing this (it’s also irksome because it ties into recent discussions that the boyfriend and I have been having about what it means to be family** ).

Hmmmm…clearly this has turned into a Stephanie rant. THIS is why the blog is secret, people.

*FYI, at his girlfriend’s one and only law school graduation.

**I may have mentioned the photo thing to him and he was all: “But you’re not family. Should I be campaigning to be in your family’s Christmas card?” fifi: Actually you were. (It was a photo montage from our trip to Keystone with my family 2 Christmases ago).

***Blessing in disguise: Clearly it would be some what hypocritical for me to be in the wedding, considering that Stephanie is not my favoritest person in the entire world, but also because the bridesmaids’ dresses are UGLY. And this is not me being petty – her parents think they are ugly, her brothers think they are ugly, the boyfriend even attempted an intervention. They look really cheap. They are empire waist, with a t-strap halter top and the bottom is this brown-ish, maroon-ish shiny taffeta and the top is black jersey. They also are extremely short. And, on top of that, they were at the $250 price point. It’s bad, people.

Not, by the way, that I was ever invited to see the dresses. Stephanie showed everyone else, but never got around to me. I saw them later when the boyfriend wanted to complain about them to me and he showed me. Stephanie brought her big “wedding binder” with her to the brunch – we picked them in the city because I had driven up for the weekend and had my car in the city, and also spent the brunch showing everyone else things in the binder. When we all were in the car, I asked to see, because I am a nice person like that (and, yes, maybe I might have made fun of a few things to my girlfriends/the Madre/you all, but I would have been sweet as pie then) and she said “Oh no, I just wanted to show you my calligraphy.” At which point she handed me one of those plastic binder inserts with two scraps of paper – one was on the back of a receipt – with her “calligraphy” on them – apparently I did not warrant anything more formal. Just for the record, adding a few squiggles and curlicues to your normal cursive does not calligraphy make. FYI.