Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dysentery Icky

I read Miss Manners all the time. She's sarcastic and funny and has absolutely no tolerance for people's tom foolery when it comes to etiquette, and I love her.

One of the things Miss Manners is always writing about is people in today's society's tendency to expect, expect, expect. People throw themselves birthday parties, housewarming parties, and engagement parties, expecting gifts at all of these things; they send graduation announcements to distant relatives and casual friends expecting money in the mail; they invite people to wedding ceremonies but say there's no room for them at the reception; they--and this one, to me, is the most shocking of them all--write on their wedding invitations that instead of gifts, they would like cash.

Almost every week, Miss Manners writes about contemporary society and our growing sense of entitlement.

It's my turn.

My sister has this friend. Let's call her Icky.

Icky is having a wedding. Now, please notice I said Icky is having a wedding and not Icky is getting married. That's because Icky is married and has been for a year and a half. Icky's actual wedding, though, doesn't seem to have been enough for her, so she's having another one; a "real" one. One with a maid of honor (my sister) and an entire bridal party.

I don't know all the details, but from what I understand, the wedding's going to be quite a big to-do. It's going to be somewhere fancy, and Icky--who has two kids already with two guys other than the guy she's been married to for the last year and a half--is going to wear the big white dress. The other two things I know, besides that my sister spent almost $200 on her maid of honor dress, are that I was talking to my sister yesterday, and she was out with Icky and Icky's fiancĂ©, scouting--get this--places to have their bachelor/bachelorette parties (their bachelor/bachelorette parties! Even though they'll have been married, by the time of their wedding, for almost two  years!) and that my sister and Icky's sister are dividing the cost for--God, it makes me so mad to even write it--Icky's bridal shower. Her fucking bridal shower! You know, even though she's been married for nearly two years. 

I cannot explain to you how much this whole scenario disturbs me. First of all, I feel infuriated on my sister's behalf. My sister, a single mother who's not exactly rolling in the dough, is the kind of person who does almost anything for her friends, whether they're the greatest of friends or just a step above friendly acquaintances, and Icky's wedding is no exception. My sister would never say no to any of these things--and please don't think she in any way wants to; she's not the indignant one; I am--and I find it maddening that she's participating in the ridiculousness that this wedding is.

But it's not just that. Forget my sister. What about Icky's friends? Why the fuck should Icky's friends be expected to go, not only to a wedding, but also to a bachelor/bachelorette party (my sister decided on a combo affair) and a bridal shower for a couple that's been married for nearly two years? So they could buy a bridal shower present (for a non-bride) buy a wedding present (for a non-marrying couple), and spend money at a bachelor/bachelorette party (to celebrate what's not the last big hurrah for a non-bachelor and a non-bachelorette)?

Please don't get me wrong. I have no problem with Icky having a "real" wedding. My wedding was a tiny little thing, and I've often thought it would be nice for me and Glenn to renew our vows in a somewhat more spectacular fashion with a real reception-type thing this time around. But if we did that, it would be just that. A celebration of us with friends and family and no gifts, and that would be the end of it. Certainly there would be no accompanying festivities like a bridal shower (which I never had) or bachelor/bachelorette party. And you know why? Because we're married! And those are clearly things for people who are not.


I know this post probably annoyed some people, people who are thinking that this has absolutely nothing to do with me, that I'm just a big malcontent, complaining just to complain and that my detailing Icky's wedding is just as bad, if not worse, than what Icky is doing herself.


1 comment: