When you receive a wedding invitation in the mail, you always have the same thought: There goes my entire weekend. A wedding invitation is just a bill, but instead of Verizon, it’s from Schwarzman. Thanks a lot, Barry and Jessica. Like a phone bill, you are given the option to pay the invoice by mail or deliver the payment in person. A few months before the bill arrives, you receive a preliminary statement known as the “Save the Date” postcard. Save the date? Save the trees, just invite me. All “save the date” means is save some money to spend on me. This adorable postcard provides you six months to make travel arrangements, purchase gifts, and initiate the anticipatory dread that only builds as the event draws near. Far worse is when a friend requests that you be in their wedding party. This paperless bill runs a bridesmaid on average two hundred dollars for her matching pastel gown, and a groomsman a similar fee if the husband-to-be decides to have all of his men dress up like “Men In Black,” in identical suits. In my lone gig as a best man, I had to buy a suit for four hundred dollars in addition to the train ticket, hotel, and gift that I had already obtained. Is their happiness worth a thousand dollars to me? No, it isn’t.
Unfortunately, the golden rule applies to weddings—if they went to yours, you have to go to theirs. You check the books, see what they gave you, and match their donation. If they bought you a fifteen dollar Bennett Bowl off of your Crate and Barrel registry, you will not be more generous. If you received a check for three hundred dollars, you will aggregate a gift with similar value. Of course, if you are not married, this tit-for-tat conduct does not apply.
Thankfully, there are extenuating circumstances that afford you the opportunity to salvage your weekend and dodge a friend’s big day. A destination wedding in Bali, a major illness, or a holiday weekend all lend you this privilege. As an aside, I fervently believe that a couple that selects a holiday weekend to wed should serve two life sentences in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. There is one group of individuals that have been delegated the most seamless route to bypass an undesirable event— they are called parents. Sure, kids are a miracle, often adorable, and add clarity and purpose to a grown-up’s life. They also provide their creators with with a vat of magnificent excuses that are impossible to invalidate. “Oh, I’m sorry, Jack has a soccer tournament in Syracuse, we won’t be able to attend. Mazel Tov!” “Lindsey has her best friend’s Bat Mitzvah the same weekend. Sorry but we’re unable to make it. We wish you health and happiness together.” As a father to a three month-old son, I am excited to raise my kid to the best of my ability, love and support my wife, and exploit every opportunity to sidestep a wedding.
Andrew Ginsburg is a stand-up comedian, new father, and author of Pumping Irony: How to Build Muscle, Lose Weight, and Have the Last Laugh (Skyhorse Publishing). His work has been published in The New York Times, New York Post, Huffington Post, GQ, Muscle and Fitness Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Details Magazine, Elle, and Flex Magazine. Ginsburg’s 4th comedy album, Eat theYolk, was recorded live at Caroline’s on Broadway in New York. Weighing in on everything from fitness to family and texting to Twitter, the album debuted in the Top 10 on the iTunes Comedy Chart. His TV appearances include The View, Saturday Night Live, The Sopranos, All My Children, As The World Turns, The Guiding Light, and One Life to Live. You have also heard Andrew on Sirius/XM’s Laugh Attack, iHeartRadio’s 24/7 Comedy, Hey, Get Off My Lawn, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. www.andrewginsburg.com https://www.facebook.com/andrew.ginsburg.3 https://twitter.com/GinsburgComedy