Another potential problem with the stealth maneuver (which I admit I indulge in) is the hilarious delayed reaction. I reconnected with some friends I had lost touch with and dropped it in, then two weeks later, it came up in conversation naturally (I forget the reason) and they were like, "Um, yeah, are we allowed to talk about that? Because...we didn't know what to do with that when you first dropped it in there. Were you gay back when we knew you before and we somehow missed it?"
So they kind of called me on the "What? It's not a big deal!" angle.
On Ask Santa
I think I'm actually tearing up a bit. Man, Christmas really gets to me. In a good way.
I also love all the ways they try to personalize airports. My all-time winner is the Rochester Airport out of upstate New York, although I've only been once for a friend's wedding. However, because I spotted a minor celebrity on whom I had (have) a crush, I and the rest of my traveling party have seen the ENTIRE THING. Some bits twice. On the way to finding him (sitting right by our gate, of course), we saw a military return with full brass-band fanfare, a statue equivalent of a dancing music box with all the different cultures considered worthy by Rochester, New York, and a book store full of all leather bound books which I can't believe is still in business.
I had the earliest flight of my group, and it was ironic that I was the one who wanted to stay.
I have to jump down to say that this is EXACTLY how I feel about airports! I thought I was alone! Yay! Now back to reading tips.
So there IS a place for the sestina!
Sometimes I think my parents decided both to start calculating my weekly allowance as a fake bank account and quietly, discreetly closed my account without a proper payout, because of mine and my sister's obsession with American Girl Dolls (Samantha for me, Felicity for her). I have always appreciated the very basic lesson in finance and balancing a checkbook, however, not to mention the concept of "job performance" being tied directly to "salary". Also, we did not receive nearly as much of an allowance as, reading this back, this whole story makes it sound. Then again, I could afford to save up for AG doll stuff, so, how much of a leg do I really have to stand on here?
But - for the record - you do you. Yes, at some point, you are allowed to stop pretending to be the child they intended to raise. I agree with your statement.
@catalina Hello! Cradle Catholic here with a Mom who's not as intense as yours but in the same vein of faith. She and my sister once had a long fight when my sister (a sophomore in high school talking basic girl talk about what she wanted in a wedding someday long in the future) said she wanted my father (a judge) to marry her because she thought that would be amazing. My mom freaked that she would even CONSIDER being married outside the faith.
So that's just to let you know I'm in the club. For the record (not sure if it matters), I am an actively practicing Catholic at the moment.
But here's my suggestion after all that (probably unnecessary set-up): what about having the marriage blessed? It's the official procedure for people who have been married outside of the Church for whatever reason (couldn't get first marriage annulled, were a different or no faith when they got married, etc.) but want a marriage blessed by the Catholic Church. The rules are much less strict, however, and most priests will do it without a lot of prep and cross-examining about faith because you're already married/living like you are but not religiously married (depending on their level of fundamentalism).
You could have the city hall wedding, let the first wave of panic subside, and then tell her that, upon consideration, you want to have the marriage blessed in her hometown church. To her, it looks like you've realized the error of your ways.
You can also execute this plan without the deception of pretending it's a plan you had later if you're less devious than I am.
So, I thought about this a little more, and I want to amend what I said worked for my mom and me.
I didn't so much enact consequences and threaten to or actually cut her off -- I just used an old trick she once told me she used on her mother-in-law: I refused to respond in any way to her words when I found them offensive. I came out to the extended family as if she hadn't objected. I just gave her a blank look when she said hurtful/ignorant things. I didn't feed the negative conversation.
Won't work on everyone, but I felt compelled to correct myself.
Your letter sounds a lot like my experience coming out (bisexual) to my mother -- including the hint of "here's hoping it goes away!" with her not acknowledging my comments about potentially ending up with a woman instead of a man or rolling her eyes at my use of gender neutral words like "future spouse". She knew she was supposed to say she was okay with it, so she did, but we both knew it wasn't true.
We even had the "telling the extended family" fight/cry when I wanted to come out to my father's extended family (my father died a few years back) and she didn't want me to. There was a lot of "if you come out, you're stuck with this, and you can't ever take it back when you realize you're just straight!" mixed up in it which I'm guessing is related to what you're dealing with -- "When this relationship finally ENDS she will be stuck in this ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE BOX!" panic.
The good news!
My mother proceeded to get her act together and do all of the things that A Queer Chick lists. We had endless talks about it, she stopped blanching at gender neutral pronouns (although she still forgets to use them), and she basically faked being okay with it long and hard enough that she is deeply ashamed of her early reactions. But we've talked that through too!
So, yes, all the people saying you may have to cut them out may be right, no two situations (and especially not ours) are the same, but it CAN have a happy ending. The tough part is that the next step is on THEM, not YOU. I couldn't help my mom through the transition to bi-supporting parent until she wanted to do so. I had to make her see that it hurt me, I had to insist again and again that this wasn't going away, and I had to make it clear that this was putting distance between us.
I agree with some of the above comments -- set distinct, immediate consequences because they are not realizing (or caring) what the long-term consequences of their actions would be.
I hope this doesn't come out condescending, but I am a middle school teacher, and that's the way we stress discipline - we're providing immediate consequences for people who don't yet realize what the potential long-term consequences of their actions will be.