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I Don’t Care About Your Goshdarn Wedding

1 Oct

Sparkles. Surprises. Magic. No, I’m not talking about the life of Disney Princesses, I’m talking about the moment that so many women dream of: engagement.

I’m turning twenty-five in a few months and I’ve only been to two friends’ weddings so far, but I am already absolutely SICK of hearing about rings, venues, flowers, suits, dresses, everything wedding-related. A lot of women would not say this out loud (but I bet some of you are silently nodding your heads in agreement), so I’ll go ahead and be the martyr: I don’t give a goshdarn hoot about your engagement or wedding unless you are one of my close friends.

Image

No, I don’t want to read a 800-character blog post about your engagement day and how you spent the night clinking champagne in flutes from Pier 1 (and omg, you’re going to register there, right?) or how you’ve secretly had your wedding planned a year in advance thanks to your “One Day…” private Pinterest board. I am not happy for you unless I’ve seen you at your worst and best, I know everything about you and I am close with you. Then, and only then, can I truly be happy for an engaged woman.

This has nothing to do with jealousy. In fact, I have never — not even once — dreamt about my future wedding day. I could care less. It takes enough effort for me to decorate my work cubicle, let alone a wedding hall. Instead, there are two things that rub me the wrong way with weddings these days:

1. The money

2. The need to spend excess money and show off thanks to social media, which has turned us all into self-absorbed idiots.

Let’s go a bit more in-depth.

Money

Guess what? Our economy is still crap. Heck, we just had a government shutdown. Despite the fact that many twenty-somethings don’t make even close to what their parents would have made in the same position several decades ago, and despite the fact that we all have huge loans that we can’t pay off with our entry-level jobs, we still find it acceptable to plan $15,000 weddings. Maybe I’m just a frugal old man deep inside, but I can’t justify spending that much money on anything, even if you “get a lot of it back in gifts.” I really applaud couples who wait a year and a half or two years to get married and save money together. But, at the same time, that money could be spent on a future house, a car that really is getting old, retirement money, who knows. It’s just So. Much. Money.

Social Media is Destroying Our Life Events

I recently came across this amazing article which basically outlines the true underlying reasons of why we all go on social media. Spoiler: none of it is good. We are becoming self-obsessed, anti-social bragaholics who go online to get gratification for our lives and “prove” to other people that we are a fully functioning and enviable member of society. It’s ridiculous! Engagements and weddings are probably the most magnified life events on social media sites. From close-up shots of the ring to constant status updates about wedding planning, it is no wonder that so many women feel that they are almost doing something wrong because THEY don’t have those statuses yet. The same can be said for posts about new jobs, pregnancies or even new cars. Social media, Facebook in particular, isn’t a place where people are real. Instead, it’s where the best version of everyone lives, and sometimes that version is embellished.

Engagements are special because you are making a promise to marry the love of your life. Weddings are special because you are promising to love that person, for better or for worse, until you both take your last breath. THAT is the beauty of weddings, and that beauty can’t be shown through a $15,000 wedding, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s an event that is for two people… for their lives… for their future together. That’s it. No dollar amount is going to make a marriage better or worse and, if you ask me, starting off a marriage in debt from the ring/main event is no good way to start a life together.

Am I crazy? Does anyone else agree?

Dirty Dancing in Depends

14 Aug

old people dancing

From the outside, it looked like any normal hotel chain. It was a Friday night and, judging by the sparse amount of illuminated hotel room windows, guests were out for the night and exploring the various bars and upscale restaurants within proximity. At nine o’clock, we pulled into the hotel parking lot for what I was told would be one of the most depressingly entertaining nights of my life.

My initial suspicions and doubts were immediately erased by the very first glimpses of life that I saw emerging. From every corner of the parking lot, Buicks, Lincolns and Mercurys piled in, their shiny exteriors slowly spitting out men and women the ages of sixty and up with crisp suites, colorful ties and sparkling bodysuits that left in their wakes an intoxicating aroma of expensive aftershaves and perfumes that had been sprayed one pump too many. Like us, they were headed to the lounge located in the heart of the hotel – a place famously known for aging swingers and singles in the area to go when they were seeking to dance to rhythms set ten paces faster than their slowing pulses.

The most laughable part of entering the lounge was the fact we were all carded five feet before we even had a chance to look through the door. The bouncers, which were comprised of two men in their late sixties, seemed excited to actually have a chance to perform their jobs. The lounge was quite large – at least three rooms (plus a separate room where a wedding party was being held) with two levels plus a generously-sized dance floor equipped with strobe lights of various sizes and colors. Beneath these vibrant lights, dancing in outfits whose colors somewhat offset the pallor of their skin, were couples that I’d like to believe were never divorced and still much in love.

grandma DJ

Work it, Grandma!

I would be doing myself and the lounge a disservice if I was to even attempt to accurately describe what I saw for the next four hours. It involved a live band which, to my amazement, was extremely good. As the night went on, the dance floor became so crowded that it was hard for us to even pick out our favorites, which included an Amish man (we are assuming he just never went back after his Rumspringa), a seventy-something old lady who could bend down lower and perform more sensual dance moves than I ever could and two female wallflowers who looked like they had traveled forward in time from their high school prom, their now-wrinkled hands desperately clutching the vodka tonics that they shyly sipped. For me, the night hit its peak when the band performed a rap version of “Sexual Healing” by Marvine Gaye. Based on how everyone was dancing and moving so close, I had to wonder how many bottles of Viagra had been passed around the place that night.

Watching the individuals sitting near our table, on the dance floor and gossiping and acting giddy in the women’s restroom was a pure treat for a people watcher such as myself. Despite sitting there and laughing at the expense of senior citizens simply out to have a good time, it was almost like peering into a mirror that, although foggy and cracked, reflected the traits and trials that all human beings must go through regardless of what age they are at: I could see couples who were still in love, women who were still insecure about themselves, men who still felt like they had the world at their feet and a universal eagerness, almost desperation, to be accepted and loved. Looking out into that dance floor, I gained a newfound clarity on the fragility of life and how loving and accepting yourself is so important to learn while you are young.

During the last half hour at the lounge, the band started singing some of our favorite hits from the 90s. I found myself singing along to “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy and dancing in my seat. Smiling, laughing and enjoying music from the past, I realized that I really wasn’t that different from anyone else there that night.

One Blanket to Rule Them All

12 Aug

I will be the first to admit that I often intentionally prolong conversations with customers, while on the sales floor, because I really would rather avoid my work and gather material for this blog . Lucky for me, my lack of ambition seems to be paying off.

Halfway through putting up sales signs for the week, I was approached by what appeared to be a normal, slightly balding 40-something woman out shopping and avoiding the summer heat. She stopped me as I was entering the body care aisle and asked me about a particular body wash. Lucky for my customers, I am a shopaholic and have pretty much tried every product in my store (sans the Fleet Enemas and hemorrhoid cream) so I was able to give her an accurate description of a body wash that she was considering. She then decided to slowly stroll by the other body washes and ask my opinion of those. Looking for a way to avoid my work, I gladly volunteered my superb knowledge of overly-priced bath products.

She was everything I wanted in a customer: kind, soft spoken, a good listener, not overly demanding and not smelling of urine or that horrible bath powder stuff that elderly people use in place of real showers. Despite what appeared to be a perfect customer, I found myself once again being tricked by my failure to recognize crazy even if it’s right under my nose–a trait that allows me to become attracted to paranoid, neurotic or slightly mentally challenged men without fail. While I was talking to this woman, you see, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she was delicately and subtly stroking something that was folded up and resting on her right arm. Was it a small dog? A baby? A rabbit foot for good luck? Nope. It was a blanket.

That’s right, a blanket. 

The sequal to this book is called "Hello, Snuggie!"

This woman, I realized, was standing next to me and talking very normally about body wash all while stroking a blanket (which was very neatly folded, I might add) with such an amazing amount of tenderness. After noticing that, it took everything in me to not mention what appeared to be a very serious Linus Complex. What would happen, I wondered, if I grabbed the blanket from her and started running? I could see it playing before my eyes: the remains of hair on her balding head would be swept away by a violent gust of wind as she dropped to the ground and began crawling, in Gollum fashion, towards me while hissing “My precioussss!”

In all honesty, the woman was very nice and most likely had an anxiety problem that I can only hope is lessened by her blanket-stroking technique. It went down, however, in the list of the craziest and most random things I have ever seen customers do. If anything, I bet she totally invented the first Invisibility Cloak and she’s been shoplifting in our store, snatching up every body wash, for years. We may never know–that is a secret to be kept between her and that special cotton/poly blend of fibers.

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