Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hope This Helps

I am a newlywed. Our wedding was lovely, but weddings always have one or two issues, and I can’t seem to move on from this one.

My husband and I paid for most everything in our wedding, with some help from our parents. This past summer, my fiancé and I spent some time with an old childhood friend of mine, whom I initially was not going to invite (even though he invited me to his wedding the year before). I didn’t think fast enough when he asked about the wedding, and I told him the invitation was in the mail (and it was a day later).

On another visit later that summer, my friend, newly divorced, half-jokingly told me he didn’t have any money to buy us a wedding gift. Long story short, after this display of vulgarity, I decided to be equally vulgar. I called him to say we are paying for the wedding ourselves, are only inviting a limited number of guests and unfortunately do not have room for his divorced (although they are still trying to work it out) wife. He assured me he will “pay his way” and asked if he could please invite her. I acquiesced. At the wedding, the two of them were making out one minute, shooting daggers at each other the next, making guests at their table uncomfortable. After leaving early, he later texted me — on my wedding night (!) — to tell me they officially broke up and he forgot to leave his gift but would mail it.

After a three-week honeymoon, we arrived home to a lot of junk mail but no gift. I unabashedly told him we never received his gift. He said he never sent it but would have it in the mail by the end of the week. Two months later, no gift. Why does this situation make my blood boil? I think because he lied to my face. Granted he is not a close friend, his life is a bit of a mess, and I should be happy I had such a nice wedding and am married to a wonderful man. But I still want to call him out on it again and again until I get something! Ms. Post, is it time to let it go or can I ask him again where is the gift?

Anonymous,

North Carolina


Sigh. Well, I tried, but I couldn't even get halfway through the New York Times' first advice column by Relative-Of-Dead-Emily Post. I'd been looking forward to it, too. I'd read an advertisement that said, "Don't miss our new advice columnist tackling etiquette in a whole new world!" and tried to pretend that, despite the fact nepotism clearly got this chick her job, their "whole new world" was totally different from the same old stupid one.

Somebody should have alerted Ms. Gingham Temperance Post IIIrd of the ad, because her response was pure old-school. Let it go, she said. Be happy you're happily married. If you don't let it go, it might appear that you value a gift more than your guest. Some people may think you're greedy!

Ridiculous. The truth is, SOME PEOPLE MAY THINK YOU'RE A CRAZY, GRASPING FUCKING COW. In case people got confused by all that excess wordage, let's cut out the dull bits.


Even though I went to a friend's wedding, I didn't want to invite him to mine. When he asked about it, though, I lied. I said I'd already sent him an invitation and I put one in the mail the next day. Later he maybe joked that he was poor and couldn't afford a wedding gift, so I said, "Well, then, you can't bring a guest!" He begged and said he'd make it up to me so I relented -- but then he didn't bring a gift! He keeps saying he'll mail something but it's been two months. Should I call him again or what?

With the boring parts excised, it's two minutes in the gazebo to the right reply.

Chick, the first person you should call is a PSYCHIATRIST, because you're mentally ill. Apparently it's okay for you to lie and say you've done something if you actually do it within twenty-four hours. "Did you feed the cats?" someone asks. "Yes! Yes, I did!" you proclaim, and the next day you massage Sheba into their emaciated jaws. "Did you put out the fire in the attic?" someone asks. "Yes! Yes, I did!" you shout, and at sunrise you scurry upstairs with a glass of sparkling water.

Perfectly cool. What's the prob? You're not really a liar: you just get your tenses mixed up.

In a "display of vulgarity," your friend says he can't afford a gift. Nobody comes to your wedding without presents, though -- I mean sure, you spent $750 for 100 Dixie cups full of Jordan almonds, but you're no idiot. You slash his invitation in half, since the sharing of your marital bliss was totally dependent on currency, and claim you're "equally vulgar."

No, girlfriend, you weren't equally vulgar. He farted, so you pulled up your skirt and jammed a greased corncob up your ass. Not quite on the same scale. Personally, I think your letter should have stopped there, because then Doily Suffragette Post IIIrd's reply would definitely have contained the words, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?" But you meander on and her footman intrudes and, well, she just loses track.

When everybody with a brain would have suggested you try out for Bridezillas, your poor friend said he'd put something in the mail. See, he wasn't fooled by your "already sent the invitation" lie: something called a "postmark" tipped him off. He knows you don't give a fuck for the truth, which is coincidentally why he told you he ate chicken-fried steak with George Clooney and he saw your dog take your tennis bracelet.

He figured that since you two are exploring the boundaries of sociopathology, he might as well kick it up a notch. He didn't mail his gift within the allotted twenty-four hour period! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't planning on sending something. Me, I'd go to Macy's and pick out a fabulous KitchenAid mixer specifically not to send to you.

What should you do? Fight back! You didn't wrap yourself in 80 yards of hand-beaded tulle just to be a $7,500 doormat. Call him again, and this time demand a tracking number for his gracious tribute to your love. Whatever you do, don't start wondering why you claim you're totally happy yet you CANNOT GO ON LIVING WITHOUT ANOTHER TOASTER OVEN.

So you see, "Forget it and go watch some kitten videos on YouTube!" isn't particularly good advice. It's also not awfully insightful to answer "I value gifts more than my guests" with "It almost sounds like you value gifts more than your guests."

As for the Times, they should probably learn that just having famous relatives doesn't mean somebody is qualified to do a job, but who'd buy the rag if all the pages were blank?

1 comment:

Yet Another Steve said...

He should just be creative in his gift-giving. Two hundred pounds of rutabagas would probably be just what she's been dreaming of!

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