Opinion: Sister-by-choice

Over the weekend I attended my ex-sister-in-law’s wedding. Sounds weird, I know, but she was married to my husband’s brother for 15 years and became one of my dearest friends. Since the divorce, we’ve stayed close, and so I didn’t hesitate when she asked me to come down to Florida for the ceremony.

The thing is, even though I like the new guy and she is clearly very happy, the whole event felt strange. I muddled through dinner conversation with her husband’s teenage daughters and their friends; I awkwardly explained my relationship to the bride during a multitude of introductions; and I ate from a potato bar, which although cool and incredibly delicious, just added to the surreal nature of the night. A potato bar!

Even more taxing however was the number of emotional outbursts and spiritual moments I found myself unwittingly a part of. For those of you who don’t know me, communal praying, crying, and hugging make up my own personal heebie-jeebie trifecta, and typically cause me to break out a disco move, an inappropriate remark or a short Broadway musical number. All fine, unless you’re at a funeral or, as was the case, a devout Christian wedding.

So when I arrived at the church and saw my sister-by-choice (that’s what I call her now) for the first time in a year, she burst into tears. Nooooooo! I wanted to run straight out the door, but instead made a fart joke and earned a few eyebrow raises from the grooms’ family.

And then I got stuck in the dressing room when her two besties announced it was time for the prayer circle. They began calling on Jesus and laying on hands, and I was just sitting there with pit stains forming, trying to suppress an urgent need to sing Abba’s “Mamma Mia.” Instead of “Amen,” I said “Are your eyelashes fake because they are amazing!” Ugh. What is wrong with me?

But I suppose that’s what sisters are for, right? Even if we’re not technically related anymore, I still know how to make her laugh. Peace out.

Danielle Wilson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year Dick Nixon was elected. Along with my twin sister and three younger sisters, I attended Catholic schools for thirteen years. (Holy Mother, pray for me.) I spent two years as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado until I wised up and transferred to a more normal school, Indiana University, where I received a B.A. in history and a teaching license just for funsies. In 2001, I officially entered the ranks of stay-at-home moms to care for my two-year old son and newborn twins. I have mentally blocked all of 2002 and most of 2003. In 2004, I received a Master’s degree in U.S. History from I.U.P.U.I. and a fourth child from my should-have-had-that-vasectomy-sooner husband. From 2005 until mid-2010, I played Super Mom in the yet-to-be released indie film "Provide Daycare for Your Sister-in-Law's Children Because You Don't Have Enough to Do Already." I returned to teaching this fall at an undisclosed Indianapolis school where thankfully very few parents know who I am. I am considering developing a bad habit.

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