And other answers to questions you didn’t ask
“Wedding season has begun. How am I going to get through it?” — Single Sal
Marriage is a Medieval Tradition in which we give away daughters and get cows back. It’s kind of like NBA Draft Day. I’ll give you the #1 pick and you give me #1 picks in 2020, 2022 and 2025. Or whatever. You probably won’t even want those picks in the 20s. It’s an antiquated system meant to squash everyone’s individual sexuality into something capitalists can use against you. Without marriage everything would be cheaper. One Bedroom apartments wouldn’t be $2000 a month, that’s for sure.
If everyone just picked up someone in a bar and got laid occasionally instead of hooking up semi-permanently with people they will wildly outgrow, would the world be a better place? There would be a lot more seats on the L Train, that’s for sure. Sure, fall in love and get married and have kids. That’s just what the 1% wants! So they can control you your whole life! They’ll make you dance like a monkey for health care and keep schools bad so your kids can polish their silverware for a living.
But weddings are the most fraught social events of the summer. Getting dragged to some gazebo with pelicans circling while some family friend reads a poem by Rumi over the happy couple who then promise each other to not act like most human beings. On the plus side, there’s cake. You gotta wait forever, but there’s cake. It might be vegan free-range seaweed cake, but it’s still cake. Single people and weddings go together like single people and funerals. It’s an unwelcome reminder that you will die alone and no one will give a fuck.
Weddings are long and boring. Getting invited to a wedding, a supposedly-joy-filled event for the participants, is a clusterfuck of responsibilities. Getting tuxes, flowers, lube, booze, cocaine, strippers, dildos. And don’t forget shovels, tarps, lye. It’s the hidden costs that get you the worst. Most of my pals are on their 2nd marriages. That means I’ve already worn taffeta for you! How dare you make me buy you another gravy boat! Your other gravy boat is in storage.
The key to getting through a wedding is just to get as drunk as possible and possibly laid. You’ll get in trouble for doing either one of these things. But it will be worth it. There is usually a cool DJ who will play all the songs from the ’80s. And every open bar will only be open for a little while. So you’re going to need your own stash of booze. And possibly ’80s songs.
People may want you to give a funny and sweet speech at a wedding. If you pretend to cry at the very beginning of this speech, it will go way better. People who get all choked up about love and the beauty of marriages, you will get through this with flying colors. Anyone who rolls their eyes at the mere mention of enduring love, this is going to be a piñata full of things that suck for you. People can smell your suspicion on you. It’s like those blond kids who point at each other and scream “One of us! One of us!”
If you fundamentally refuse to play along with the zero sum game of Love and Marriage with the rest of “Decent Society” you will be smoked out as a mutant and disinvited to all weddings down the road. Not a bad outcome! Divorced friends are way more fun, anyway. They have zero fucks to give and can really be there for you when you need them. They won’t have to go to “Date Night” at Applebee’s. If one date per week could save the American Marriage it would be “Date the Nanny/Gardener Night.” Monogamy is the lie we keep on telling ourselves, because it just keeps getting funnier.
Show up drunk and just kind of blend in. If you can leave early, go for it. You can always tell them you had a bad clam somewhere, no one will follow that up in search of more info. Some day when we’ve found the cure for harmful emotions like love and compassion we will all live happier, alone and well-fucked by some kind of thing you plug into your computer or phone. Let’s stop pretending that humanity deserves to last forever. It’s not you, it’s everyone. Everything is terrible and we all keep making the same mistakes expecting different results. You know what they call that? Life.
Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works in a bookstore.