Every year around February it starts. The invites begin to roll in. The elegantly scripted notes that remind you to “Save the date” or the carefully crafted Etsy birds perched on branches that chirp at you to “Join in the revelry”. One after another, they pile up, a virtual “cha-ching” sounding off as each is deposited into your mail box. Your mouth goes dry. You begin to sweat as the dollar signs start adding up in your head. And then there are more.
By June, you’ve attended a number of events, all costing an average of two hundred dollars each. Your bank account is being depleted by the second. By mid-August, women everywhere are in the throws of a financial crisis, not unlike the economic meltdown of 2008. I see it all around me; the panic, the desperation, the pure, unabashed anxiety – that is wedding season.
It’s never-ending. It starts with the engagement party. “Hey! We’re getting married! Come to our pre-pre-pre-wedding celebration!” Perhaps a small token is in order. Then there’s the bridal shower. “Yey! I’m a bride! Come to the pre-party for my pre-wedding party! Oh! and bring me a present.” The next step is the bachelorette extravaganza. “Hey guys. I’m almost married now. Can you come to a really expensive party like, right before the super expensive shindig I’m going to have in a month to celebrate my undying (or two year’s long) love for my partner?” Then finally the wedding itself. “OK, this is it for real guys. We’re getting married now and you should probably get a new dress and shoes for the occasion, oh and don’t forget the REAL gift because this is like the main party, alright?” See you in Aruba at the $300 a night, four star hotel!”
Don’t get me wrong. I love a party. I particularly love weddings. They’re usually a blast but by the time you actually attend them, you can easily be down a grand. Now multiply that by three or four if you’re a woman between the ages of twenty-five to thirty-five and have a number of friends who are of the marrying age. The amount of money you’re spending in one year on your friend’s nuptials can easily spiral into the thousands. It’s out of control.
This is why I’m proposing (puns all around) that we lighten the load a little bit by cutting out what is easily the most obnoxious of all of the wedding hoopla: the bridal shower.
I mean what the hell is a bridal shower really, if not just a party specifically tailored to extract as much crap from your friends and family as your mom can fit into her station wagon? It’s completely gratuitous. It used to be that bridal showers were intimate get-togethers in a friend’s apartment where the bride-to-be collected things like lingerie and weird sex shit, but those kinds of gifts are generally reserved for the bachelorette party now and things like housewares you’re going to get at the actual wedding. So why is it that a lot of bridal showers have evolved into one-hundred person affairs, held in fancy hotels or restaurants, with their own registry? At that point you’re basically having two weddings and frankly speaking, it’s just not fair to the people who are expected to attend.
But what about the social contract that’s implied? You know, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?
Yeah, well that’s all aces if you’re in on the action but, and pardon me while I have a Carrie Bradshaw moment here (gross, just writing that gave me the chills) I’m not someone who ever plans to get married. So what’s in it for ladies like me? If I were to count up all of the money that I’ve spent on plane tickets and hotels at destination weddings, bachelorette parties at fancy spas and restaurants, limo rides, party vans, gifts, gifts and MORE GIFTS, I’m down about eight thousand dollars. That’s eight grand I will never see again, because I will most likely, never have a wedding.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to help you celebrate yours though. I’m happy to attend your engagement party, preferably if I’m not expected to chip in for it in any way. And when it comes to your bachelorette party, hell, it’s your last night as a single woman right? So I’ll throw in for whatever kind of nonsense interests you, all the while praying to the sweet baby Jesus that you’re not one of these girls who’s into condom veils and penis straws. And when it comes to the wedding itself, I’m totally down! I love to travel so set that shit up and I’ll meet you on the beach, at no extra cost to you. But as far as your bridal shower goes, which serves no other purpose than to pump the stock at Williams and Sonoma-
I’m just saying no.
I know it seems like it may be a small additional cost after mentioning all of the above, however if you’ve been invited to multiple showers in any given year, you could save hundreds of dollars by very respectfully, declining to attend. Cut them out over a lifetime, and you may be able to retire early. I’m sorry girlfriend, you know I love you but at the end of the day, my overall financial stability is more important than the pasta maker that you’ve registered for but will never use.
Just think of all the stress that could be avoided if we all, in unison and with conviction, declared “No more bridal showers!” Your wedding party would thank you and there would be a lot more room in your closet minus all of the extra junk that you probably don’t need anyway.
So whad’ya say?
Wanna just say no?
P.S. On a more personal note, I’ve gotten into some trouble over the last couple of weeks for a number of things that I’ve written which have been taken out of context. Many people who are very close to me are recently engaged. This is in no way a dig at anyone personally, it’s a subject that I’ve wanted to comment on for some time now and this just happens to be it. I love you all and can’t wait to get sauced and embarrassing at your soirees. See you there!