I (25F) just got engaged to the love of my life, Ben (30M). We wanted to throw an engagement party to let our families get to know each other better. My sister, Avery (31F), who has always been the favorite among all family members, returned home the week before the engagement party.
She's been traveling all over the world (SouthEast Asia, Africa, Middle East) as a physician and has now opted for a change in her life. Avery has always had the spotlight. Even at my high school graduation (she wasn't even there), everyone mentioned how amazing she was (because we went to the same school) and how I had filled in her footsteps. Wherever she goes, she just makes everyone else disappear.
Before the party, I told her how important this party was for both Ben and me. I also asked her to, for once, let the day be about me. She agreed. During the party, everyone from my side of the family briefly saw us and went to Avery to ask her about her adventures in Uganda or Yemen.
In just half an hour, she had the whole family around her. I called her out and said she needed to try not to take the spotlight once more. She said I was being ridiculous and that it was not her fault she had a life that people wanted to know about.
I told her she could either go back inside and keep a low profile for the rest of the night or leave the party and talk about herself as much as she pleased. She called me pathetic and jealous and left. My parents are mad at me, saying I should have understood the situation and made a better judgment. AITA?
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I feel mixed on this one. For one, it's not Avery's fault that people are curious about her life, but on the other hand, you addressed this with her. You asked her to let your engagement party be about you and she agreed.
If she can manage becoming a physician, she should also be able to manage diverting attention away from herself. She ignored your request. She's the AH.
While your parents may certainly be proud of her, they should be proud of both their daughters and understand this, they're also the AH's here. This does not bode well for your wedding. NTA (Not the A#%hole).
YTA (You're the A@%hole), mostly to yourself. You've mentioned that Avery was the one people were focusing on, even at your graduation when she wasn't even there. In that case, you don't have an Avery problem; you have a family problem. Even if Avery goes away, you won't get the kind of attention you want from your family. So, let it go and enjoy the festivities of your wedding.
Don't be too focused on who and what people are talking about because the alternative might be not inviting anyone from your family, and I don't think you'd be happy about that either. So, enjoy yourself regardless of Avery, and don't focus so much on her.
If you repeat this at your wedding, either don't invite Avery, and everyone will be talking about why you didn't invite her, or if you do invite her, you'll be focused on her interactions with people and won't enjoy yourself. Let it go; it's not going to make you happy.
Sister relationships can be really triggering, which is probably why you sound younger than your actual age here, but I don't see how you're not TA in this situation. What did you honestly expect your sister to do? Tell everyone that she's not at liberty to discuss her life? That's just unrealistic and would create an awkward situation for anyone trying to talk to her.
What's next—banning her from your wedding because the people talking to her won't be focused on basking in YOUR presence? Based on your story told in your own words, your sister hasn't done anything wrong. She's right; you need to deal with your jealousy.
YTA. Your sister isn't the problem here; the people who you feel were ignoring you are the actual issue. I hate to say it, but the reality is that hearing a person talk about their experiences in Yemen and Uganda would be a lot more interesting to most people than a wedding. If you wanted your sister to make herself small and silent, you shouldn't have invited her.