Today I saw my aunt for the first time in months, possibly over a year. She was never around during my childhood, not a part of my or my siblings lives. We have never received a gift from her or were taken out by her etc. This is not a complaint as we’ve had a brilliant childhood, just giving background that she has not done anything for us and therefore is mostly a stranger.
Although I don’t know the details, I know my aunt has had run ins with other relatives in the past, including her own children all of whom are lovely and have been in our lives. So when at a big event today I caught sight of her very close by me and said ‘hello (Name)’ to be friendly.
The look I got could kill. ‘That’s Auntie (Name)’ was her response basically shutting down any further conversation. I cant fully explain the tone that came with it but I felt like a rude child who needed to be put in their place. It felt vicious, when I have done nothing to her because we barely interact.
I did not deliberately omit the word ‘Auntie’ - as a child I called all my parents friends Uncle and Auntie and now as a 30 year old man I tend to call them by their forenames. The only exception is some who are very elderly, but it’s not a conscious decision.
I am now concerned that I may in fact have been rude, she is absolutely my biological aunt and deserves a measure of respect as such. But I am also somewhat upset that a friendly innocent greeting on my part was turned into an insult.
My real quandary is that I am about to propose soon and am very hopeful about getting a ‘yes.’ I honestly don’t want to even notify my aunt that I am engaged let alone invite her to my wedding. But I also don’t want to be disrespectful, rude or petty. I have to think about how my other relatives will be affected. My older brother got married last year and did invite her (somewhat unwillingly) but she didn’t come. At the time my mother was very concerned that had there been no invite my Aunt would have ‘kicked off.’
How should I tackle this moving forward? If it weren’t for these possible upcoming events I might hope to not see her for another few months, but I feel like this is now hanging over me.