First of all, PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: I clicked the link.
I did it. I looked at the first batch of my wedding photos.
Fifteen times in a row.
I did it for you guys. And the money and fame. Wait, that’s not right. I did it for you guys. And to finally sate my raging curiosity.
We are still eagerly anticipating the photos from our other photographer, so I think I’ll just wait until I have all of them to figure out which ones are going up here. Or perhaps I will just grow impatient and post some of the ones I already have. Gist of this story: I shall make it up as I go!
And hey, by the way, thanks for taking the poll in the last post. Over 60 people voted, which is, like, way more people than I actually even thought were on the interwebs.* A whopping 72% of you — which, according to my careful calculations, comprises roughly one third of the total poll-takers — want to see all of the pictures, oh my god, like right now. Two of you only care to see me at my ugliest, and one of you apparently wants only pictures of my shoes. Surprisingly, absolutely no one expressed interest in acquiring animated GIFs of Anthony Michael Hall, which is totally the response I would have selected if I’d actually taken the poll. Most of the rest of you replied along the lines of “post whatever you’re comfortable with,” a sensible answer I chose not to include in the poll options because I was Trying To Be Funny. One notable response featured some good advice about posting only the photos that make me “flutter,” another managed to lovingly address me as “beeotch” (thank you!), one endeavored to inform me that I am hot (beau, I’m looking at you), and yet another simply replied, “Your Mom.”
I am truly touched. So touched, in fact, that I want to include a poll in every post, just so I can see what you come up with next. But lo, such a gimmick would soon grow old. And I just had to restrain myself right there from making a poll about whether or not you like polls. So yes! Hurrying on! Photos and stuff, I will show them to you in some future post!
Meanwhile, there’s so much I want to tell you about getting married, you guys. For example, it turns out that when you get married people give you gifts. I was just as shocked to learn this as you are, but not as shocked as I was the first time I sent someone else a wedding gift and received a thank you card for it well before the actual wedding had even transpired. Seriously. Has this ever happened to you? It never had to me until just this year, and then all of a sudden, BAM. Advance thank you cards have arrived in the mail for every single wedding we’ve attended thus far. Do I smell a fresh new trend, or am I just really late to the party?
When I got that first early thank you, I had to back up off of it and set my cup down. I’d always envisioned opening gifts after the wedding, and here these other folks were turning that concept on its head. After the first few boxes from our registry** arrived, there commenced a few days of hand-wringing and brow-furrowing as I worried with the beau over whether or not it would be rude to for us to save them until we got back from honeymoon instead of ripping them open immediately and sending back a prompt thank you. We eventually decided no, we were just going to wait, trends and etiquette and general mobility around our living quarters be damned. And so those boxes kept coming, and we kept stacking them up along the walls and running into them with our shins. Ow! No matter, for I was bound and determined to have something to look forward to after the wedding, dammit.***
Getting gifts for your wedding is icing on cake. It’s a consolation prize — well hey, we just spent a year fighting over paper products and crying ourselves to sleep at night, but look, baby, a rice cooker! I couldn’t see the fun in prematurely spoiling that gleeful reward. It would be like opening gifts before your birthday! Except they are gifts you already picked out, so it’s not like there’s any element of real surprise involved. Still, you can never really know for certain what the contents are. Like that one box your mom’s friend constructed out of two glue gun boxes taped together and then wrapped in a brown paper bag? What the hell did she put inside that thing, anyway?
So last Saturday night we poured ourselves some drinks and finally sat down to find out. And you know, I never felt like I could talk about wedding gifts without coming off like a covetous, foot-stomping asshole with dollar signs for eyeballs, but I’m about to put on my asshole hat**** and do just that. A few points to remember about wedding gifts:
- Some guests will not give you gifts.
- This fact will cause you to experience a low-simmering mix of bewilderment, insult, and doubt.
- At least it did for me, anyway.
As we opened our gifts, the beau tracked them on our guest list so that we would know whom to thank for what. But as he marked the last gift down, he couldn’t help but notice all the, uh, gaps. “A lot of people didn’t get us anything,” he murmured quietly. “That’s okay!” I chirped. “Who really cares? That’s not what we got married for, anyway.” And I truly, wholeheartedly believe this statement. I do.
But then after a minute or two of silence, I had to ask: “Who?” And as the beau rattled off the list of names, I felt myself sink into a little funk. Check this: four out of the beau’s five groomsmen didn’t give us anything. Okay, granted, two of them tried to get us things that fell through (concert tickets, for example). But still. Some of the people closest to him didn’t deign to get him anything? What the hell?
I am reluctant to admit I had these feelings, because their very existence makes me feel like the epitome of MonsterBride IIV: Now That I Have Your Soul, Please Proceed To Give Me All Your Money.***** Yet even though I tried to squelch them, they continued to well up in me unbidden: Who goes to a wedding and doesn’t send a gift? We gave them gifts for their wedding. How freaking RUDE is that? Do they think that our parents paid for the whole damn thing, as if that would even make it okay? Did they just forget? Do they just not care? Do they secretly hate us? I can’t believe we gave them all that booze when they secretly hate us!
And then the real zinger of doubt: Oh my god, what if they sent a gift but it got lost or stolen and now they’re going to think we’re rude for not sending a thank you card?! I don’t want them to think I’m impolite and unappreciative of their thoughtful gesture!! And I can’t bring it up to them, because then I’ll look like I’m fishing around for presents!! Cue frantic hand-flapping, waves of anxiety. This etiquette thing? It kills me sometimes.
But you know what? It’s fine. A day or two after those feelings came, they ebbed away. I just don’t have it in me to resent people – people I genuinely like – for not playing along with traditional wedding rules. I don’t really want or need any more stuff, anyway, and as I already mentioned, that’s not what our marriage was ever about. So there. Take that, petty and ignoble emotions. You can just go stick a fork in your eye, because I’m done with you.
Overall, we were incredibly, ridiculously blessed on our wedding day, in both material and spiritual terms. “Overflowing with love”****** would be a fairly accurate description, and in my book, that’s way better than the dutch oven left unpurchased on our registry could ever be. So that’s the moral I’m going to end this story on: our friends gifted us with love and support, which is all we ever needed in the first place.
And now, before you go hurl in a Dixie cup from all the saccharine cuteness, I want to leave you with a fascinating bit of history. My mother, in a hyperactive fit of “let’s document everything for posterity,” typed up the old handwritten list of gifts she and my father received for their wedding and emailed this list to me. The perspective between then and now is fascinating, at least to me. True, they were wed in a heavily Polish part of rural Michigan, where the tradition was to give cash for the wedding (hence the wee smattering of gifts on the list), so their experience is not necessarily reflective of overall trends in the 1970s. Still, I’m amazed to see how grand of a gesture it was to give $30 for a wedding 31 years ago.
Makes me feel pretty damn lucky, that.
* I thought there were only seven people on the interwebs, one of them being a snarling, ironic-mustachioed hipster whose vast music library is comprised only of Bands No One Has Never Heard; one of them being a seething, mouth-frothing, patriotism-swilling Tea Partier; one of them being a Bob Marley-blaring, 420-loving, godless liberal socialist communist hippie; one of them possessing an impressive collection of tinfoil hats; and three of them being tweens lacking basic reading comprehension skills who are on a dogged quest to bring about the utter destruction of the English language (“OMG woah Thatsso stooped R U th Dummest person ever hehe LOL :P”).
** Registry sidebar: we made a Wishpot registry for our honeymoon, and an Amazon.com registry for our housewares. I wished we had used Traveler’s Joy for the honeymoon registry instead – when you go to make a payment, Wishpot just dumps you into PayPal’s website, which feels sort of sketchy and tacky – but the Amazon universal registry ended up working out perfectly. About 95% of what we wanted was actually being sold through Amazon, which meant our guests got free shipping. Not that that actually mattered in the end – the vast majority of our guests actually ended up buying off the honeymoon registry, which was admirably anti-traditional of them. There you go, kids! That’s the way to strike a blow against the Wedding Industrial Complex! Or something!
*** Let me just say that I was VERY EXTREMELY GOOD about not looking at our registry to see what had been purchased, so by the time we got around to opening them, it was like opening boxes of stuff you’d packed away years and years ago: “Oh, yeah! That! I love that! Yay!”
**** I’m not at all certain what this is, but I’m willing to wager it involves the likeness of Glenn Beck.
***** Personally, I much prefer Monsterbride XI, feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard: You Know My Name, Now Gimme My Money.
****** Oh, and terror. I was fairly overflowing with terror, at least in the hours before the ceremony.