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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bride and Prejudice

I wrote this out in my head on a synaptic cocktail napkin while attending my cousin’s wedding in York, PA. I had planned a whole series on weddings involving tips and other anecdotes for couples looking to get married but decided against it in favor of a little advice and wisdom to my two year old who is dancing with her cousin to a God awful Dance House remix version of Journey's “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I know. It’s blasphemous. I expected more from a DJ chosen by a couple who first met at a hardcore punk concert called, “Kill Your Idols” and now culminated their courtship by entering into the reception hall to Joey Ramone’s cover of “What a Wonderful World.” While the bride and her attendants were more traditional, the guys donned red Chucks to match their red ties.

Song and shoe selections, aside, I have only a few pieces of Fatherly wisdom for my little one as I dread the years to come that will be filled with boys and men and headaches and heartaches. If only I could lock her away until she’s 30. Undoubtedly, being my child, she’ll be able to figure a way out using a bobby pin and a duct tape.

First off, little one, as I refer to her in the blogosphere, elope. We’ll give you the money from the wedding to start off on your new life together or at least put a sizable down payment on a house.
Weddings have been done to death. You spend a lot of money and time trying to find all the pieces to this ornate puzzle and it all gets ruined by some weird thing. Not to mention you don’t even get to enjoy the day because you are being pulled in so many different directions that when all is said and done, you don’t even remember those pictures of you being taken. Go, get married on a beach or in a small ceremony and enjoy a nice time alone. These days, weddings are more a show for family and friends than they are about commemorating an event. If you are dead set on a ceremony then fine, but if there is a hint of doubt, I’ll try my best to save you and that boy the anguish of all that planning gone to waste.

If you do plan on going through with a ceremony, do it in the early to mid Fall. Everyone and their sister gets married in the summer. It’s hard enough trying to schedule everything as it is, having to deal with the peak wedding season is ridiculous. Also, it’s freaking hot, although the Summer of 2009 panned out to be unseasonably cool and wet. If you wait until Fall you get cooler temperatures and better colors with the foliage. That is if you plan on getting married around here. The wedding we were just at was at a place called Lauxmont Farms in Wrightsville, PA. It was a beautiful reception in their Rotunda but at three hours away, we were ready to make you walk home after being a little cranky for two straight days.

Don’t get hung up on the details. Before you know it the deal is done and you don’t remember any of it, anyway. Hell, I remember going through the whole ceremony only to suddenly forget my left from my right when it came time to put the rings on. I handed your mother the wrong hand and she didn’t even think twice about it. It wasn’t until we went down to hand the flowers to both sets of parents that my Father laughingly whispered into my ear, “ You’ve got the ring on the wrong hand, genius.” I covered but if he noticed, I’m sure someone else did.

Let’s just realize that bridesmaid’s dresses are perhaps the ugliest thing in the world no matter how you slice it. Again, I bring you back to point one as it is a stupid dress that no one will ever wear after the wedding day. You can’t take them back and you can’t resell them because who in their right mind would want such an ugly dress. So, just remember, you are the star and you don’t need to make everyone else around you look worse by dressing them in loud colors with unflattering angles.

Go on your honeymoon and don’t skimp. Your Mother and I opted to try and be a little frugal by going to Niagara Falls for four days since we were a month from Christmas. She spent most of the time sick as a dog in bed and the weather was cold in Canada in November….go figure. It’s been five years and since you came along, the odds of us being able to go on that official honeymoon I promised her are about as good as your Grandmother actually having that yard sales she keeps saying she’ll have. Honestly, my mother has loads of boxes in the garage labeled “Yard Sale” They’ve lived in that house 25 years and those boxes were from 20 years ago.

Lastly, do me a favor and marry someone you can feel comfortable with before you get married. Realize that while 50% of marriages may end in divorce, a good percentage of the ones that do survive do so out of fear of being a statistic. Settling for someone is never an answer and anything that you find intolerable as a couple before you get married won’t change afterwards. Men and women go through life letting their parents’ set the tone for how they perceive a partner. “You have to train a man.” “Remember, he’s dumb and doesn’t get it.” “You’re the one who is really in charge.” “Women are too concerned with the little things.” “Women shop and aren’t very smart about things.” These are stereotypes that are a product of all us growing up in the shadow of our parents. While your Mother and I are not exactly carbon cutouts of our parents, I believe we got the best parts and will try to at least pass that onto you. Just remember, it’s easy to get married, it’s hard to stay that way.

So, as I sit here watching you twirl around on your toes to this horrible version of a beloved classic I am saddened that someday you will grow up and you will get married. Although, I’ll be happy that you’ve found someone to love and that loves you, the sting of being replaced as the man in your life will hurt all the same, if not more. I can only hope that we can teach you well in this world and that you find that one person that gets you and can make you happy. My parting advice is this. Treat each other with respect, be friends first then lovers, and for the sake of all involved, don’t subject us to the Electric Slide.

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