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Gifts and Gits. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Gifts and Gits.

A dear friend and former colleague got married yesterday. We did not attend, but we sent a gift. In fact, this is how we've rolled with nuptials for many years now. Either the couple's been out of town, or the gathering was very limited in size, or whatever. Eleanor and I realized, long ago, that the marriage is much more important than the wedding, and our love of the event isn't tied to the size of the event, or the quality of the rubber-chicken entree, or anything other than the content of the couple's character.

Two memories stand out from weddings we- or at least I- did attend. The last one we did, well over a decade ago, was of a co-worker of Eleanor's. It was outdoors in high summer- in the Delaware Park Rose Garden- and we were roasting our brains out all through the service. The thought of another 2-4 hours of slow-cooking under a catering tent was beyond anything we could handle, so we amscrayed in favor of a nearby Elmwood restaurant for dinner on our own. The bride never forgave Eleanor for such a sin, and I can’t even remember her name, much less care whatever became of the couple.

The other, long before that, was the last time I was in a wedding party other than our own. I traveled afar to the church, then the hotel reception, and after all the chicken dances and other rituals, headed up to the bridal suite for a quick goodnight to the couple…. and saw the bride, at the Gideon Bible desk in front of the room, literally running a calculator and counting the take. All that was missing was a green eyeshade- and in my mind’s eye, all these years later, she’s wearing one. That was when it really hit home just how much these events are about themselves- and not about all the commitment that led up to them or the years of better and, yes, sometimes worse which follow them.

If anything, it’s gotten worse since those late 20th/early 21st century days. Now, “Bridezilla” has become part of the lexicon. Especially in summer and fall, ads for bridal shows litter the media and even roadsides, as caterers and fotogs and all the rest of the nuptial carriage-trade all try to get in on the action. Forget the Joneses- it’s the other brides they’re pushed, if not shamed, to keep up with. And the consequences of not going along- whether as a not-yet-newlywed or as a guest- can be unfortunate.

Which brings us to this recent example of Etiquette Gone Wild- an exchange, first reported in Glamour and then by Jezebel, of a Bridezilla , anonymized to "Brandy," who went totally too far with a longtime friend who dared attend without a gift:

"Gretchen" is a long time friend of Brandy's and was a guest at her wedding. But Gretchen hadn't yet given Brandy a wedding present, largely because Gretchen is still in school and newly unemployed (also, bitches tell me you have up to a year to give a wedding gift). Brandy, however, was one of the those lovely people who made references to how much it was costing her and her fiancé to have this wedding. Gretchen and Brandy then had a text exchange where Gretchen explained the situation and said she'd be giving Brandy a nice card in the meantime (she was going to give her some candles also, but they got lost during a move she'd made). The following exchange then occurred.


   Brandy: Yrs sucks but really will help us with bills

   Gretchen: What I have to give you won't help at all, unfortunately - lost my job right before the wedding, which was completely unexpected and now that school has started I've spent so much money on books and tuition. Had I known, ever, that four parties were going to be held in your honor this year, I would have saved it all and given it to you in a lump sum instead

   Brandy: Ok but it's still something instead u coming for free ya know

   Gretchen: I'll be by with the card later, if you're not home, I'll leave it with your mother

What she left was this:

Good on you, Gretch- for understanding so much more about what the Big Day does- and doesn't- mean.

Finally, for what it's worth, our marriage has outlasted our reception hall, our cakemaker, our rehearsal dinner venue, and any connection to the guy who made our rings. Our minister's still there, and we're still here. And that, in the sight of God and of these witnesses, is all that matters.

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/161852.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
2 comments or Leave a comment
xiphias From: xiphias Date: October 6th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
As it turns out, I was privileged to officiate at a wedding yesterday. A couple of my relatives wanted a copy of the ceremony, so I put it online. If you're interested, it's here:
symian From: symian Date: October 7th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eh? Coming for free?


2 comments or Leave a comment