Something happens when you hit twenty. Suddenly (or perhaps not so suddenly, if you’re female) you have to invite certain people to certain events in an effort to “keep peace.”
This particular post is inspired by the same lovely woman that is allowing me to be maid of honor in her wedding, and the social trials she seems to be facing. Of course, this entire dance is probably nothing new to anyone that plans any type of party surrounding a life event, be it a wedding, a baby shower, or a funeral. There are certain people that have to be invited.
Why? Because otherwise they will make life hell for whoever the person holding the event is. It could be through harassing phone calls, gossip, badmouthing, or plain old shunning.
Now, my personal thought on all of this is: So what if they throw a fit? If they’re far enough away from you socially that you barely see them, let them cry, wail, throw things, and yell at you. What the hell are they going to do? And if they pass into harassment territory, just call the cops. That’s what they’re there for, among other civic duty-ish sorts of things. Not only can they solve murders, they can also get that one crazy bitch to stop calling you via a threat to be tossed in jail.*
The problem with my solution, however practical it may be, is that it pays no heed to politics. None at all. For my friend, though, I’m trying to take a very Tudor-esqe stance and help her out in this game of political chess and why she should play politics.
Reason #1: It’s easier.
Much like my way out of relationships that involves increasingly ignoring contact to avoid drama, this keeps fits from being thrown either outside of or even AT the wedding by someone that turns up uninvited simply to make their perceived insult known.
Downside: If invite Geoffry that squeezes your ass and insists you call him Uncle G to your wedding to keep the peace, you’re in for an evening of ass groping and awkwardness. I’m of the opinion your wedding should be a happy occasion, not something you dread because you have to make small talk with people you barely know and who really don’t give a shit about you, they just wanted an invitation because they want free food and an open bar.
Reason #2: It keeps peace with the people you DO want to invite.
This one seems to have a great deal to do with parents in most weddings. “But you HAVE to invite your Aunt’s half-sister’s uncle’s pet gold fish on your father’s side! She’ll never let us hear the end of it if you don’t!”
Downside: First off, the simple fact that people take the approach of “If you make this person miffed, they’ll take it out on me, so I’ll take it out on you and make you regret ever causing me problems by upsetting them!” is just a bloody sinister, evil way to operate. Unfortunately, it is also a very common one in many families. The simple fact that YOU are held responsible for another grown adult’s reaction to something as little as a party invitation is absurd. If you were killing their dog, maybe I could understand. But an invite? My god, don’t you people have better things to do with your lives than want to stick your nose in everyone’s lives? You don’t even know the bridal couple, but you want to be invited because you know the bride’s mother? Go fuck yourself. It’s not the mother of the bride’s wedding. The bride can invite whoever she fucking pleases.
Those of you that have had your morning or afternoon coffee may notice that reason #2 is really just a subset of reason #1. That’s how far I’m having to reach for this. I can think of no better reason other than “it’s easier to go and be awkward at YOUR OWN WEDDING than deal with the fallout of self centered children in adult bodies.
I don’t get what happened to the whole concept of politeness. I’m supposed to invite YOU to be polite, but you have no obligation to me what so ever to not act like a spoiled child if you’re not invited? And if I DO invite you, you also have no obligation to behave yourself, not grope my ass, hit on my bridesmaids, and get drunk off your ass? What the fuck is this shit?! Why do I have to be the grown up and keep a stiff upper lip against the awkward, but you can throw tantrums and act like a classless jackass?!
I don’t get it. I really don’t. I have this old fashioned notion that the idea of politeness should go both ways.
I’m just going to stop here. Not only do I have other things I need to be doing, but if I keep going, I’ll start on one of my favorite wedding pet peeves: the open bar. Let’s leave it at a short post, rather than a ten page rant, shall we?