Dear Grandparenting: My granddaughter has really put me on the spot, and I’m not a bit happy about it.
Georgia and her boyfriend are both 21 and have been dating since their second week at the University of Tennessee. I got Georgia out of trouble when she was afraid to tell her parents back in high school. She trusts me totally.
Now they want to get married and just might elope. After sitting on this for a few days, my conscience is starting to really bother me. If you were a parent, wouldn’t you want to know?
I never asked to get involved in any of this but here I am, right in the middle. Either way I lose. If I tell the parents, Georgia hates me. If I don’t, it’s like I’m cheating on my son and daughter-in-law, since they have a right to know. Which way would you go? Undecided, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dear Undecided: Back in the day, the word elopement was semi-scandalous, summoning images of impulsive young lovers sneaking out of a bedroom window by moonlight.
So grandparents might be surprised to know that elopements have never been more popular—a cheaper, less stressful alternative to the traditional multi-family extravaganza. Just steal away!
As America becomes less formal and tradition-bound, stealing away has special appeal for grandchildren with multiple sets of in-laws, stepfamily members and other complicated family situations. Why bother with elaborate plans and protocols when a simple ceremony gets the job done?
Then there’s the money. According to one recent study the average wedding costs $35,000, and that’s without really trying. The wedding industry markets a range of elopement packages, as do municipal zoos, vineyards, scenic venues and other destinations.
Best as we can tell, your granddaughter’s decision to marry her longtime beau is a foregone conclusion. Since the decision to elope is her preference and prerogative, you should honor it. To heal any bruised feelings, start your granddaughter thinking about planning a subsequent wedding celebration with family and friends. With the money saved, it should be a great party.
Grand remark of the week
Duane Sears from Fishkill, New York thinks of himself as one lucky man.
“I have six blessings. They call me Grand Pop.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.