With the exception of cards, I’ve finished buying everything I need to buy for everyone I know who’s getting married this month. The first wedding in question is less than a week away, so my original plans for being a solitary recluse who has an affair with the Netflix queue had to be put on hold for a few hours.
Now that I have everything I need to prove to people that I am indeed their friend and most certainly deserve some of that open bar, I have a favor to ask:
People, please stop getting married.
This shit is getting expensive. We’re all getting to that age where people start making binding legal contracts with one another, and I’m past the point of the too-young-too-broke excuse. The wedding I’m in has me about $500 in the hole so far and it hasn’t even happened yet, and everyone else’s blessed events are making me cranky.
With that said, I’d like to assure you that in no way do I resent your decision to get married, and I am very truly thankful that you’ve asked me to witness it, and etc. etc. etc. don’t get pissed at me for what I’m about to say.
While I understand the practice of buying gifts for a just-married couple, I also realize that the custom is actually meant to get the couple started on their lives together. Prior to the wedding, their lives consisted of living with their parents and having few (if any) possessions of their own. Hence the need for KitchenAid mixers and cash, because you can’t very well start a new life together without stuff, can you?
So…why are we buying gifts for people who have been living on their own for years now? I moved out of my parents house when I was 18. Now I’m 28. If I (lost my mind and) got married next year, I think it would be a little…well, obnoxious of me to insist that everyone I know buy me things for the house I’ve had more than 10 years to furnish. If I haven’t acquired a decent number of drinking glasses in 10 years, I think I’d rather have someone teach me basic living skills than simply buy them for me. Now, I’m not saying that none of my imminently married friends have basic living skills. They’re just registering because that’s what you do when you get married. (Kind of like how getting married is what you do when you get older.) I don’t blame them. I blame society.
Well, kind of. On one hand, who’s going to pass up the opportunity for free stuff? On the other, everyone’s free to decline free stuff, especially when that free stuff is entirely unnecessary. No one needs three pairs of salad tongs on a registry when they go out to eat several times a week. No one needs a Hello Kitty toaster ever, so fuck that registry and I am not even going to that sham of a wedding.
I just don’t see why people can’t ask others to donate to select charities on their behalf, or, if we’re not being entirely selfless, why not ask people to donate to a travel registry that pays for your honeymoon plane tickets? You don’t need another non-stick pan in your kitchen arsenal. Wouldn’t you much rather get a few free daiquiris on the beach? Or, you know, feel like a decent human being by helping a family in need?
Again, sorry, people I know who are getting married. I probably don’t mean any of this. This is just what hours of consumer behavior does to me. It’s what happens when I drive to the suburbs to buy stuff. It’s the aftermath of me sitting on my couch and realizing that between noon and two, I dropped almost three hundred dollars on an institution with which I have deep personal problems.
I wondered why I felt a little nauseous when I got home. I worried that I was having a panic attack or might barf on the stairs. I was able to calm down eventually, but just so you know, everyone getting married in 2011? You’re getting donations made in your name to the Human Fund.
PS – I hope no one tried to buy a wedding gift at the Shaw Art Fair. What a bourgeois crapfest. I mean, unless you’re a rich old person who likes wearing nubbly sweaters. Then you were probably in heaven.
(cross-posted to ephemeraetc.blog-city.com)