Things Not to Say to the Bride-to-Be

February 1, 2006 psipsina

Two months ago I would’ve thought these were obvious – until people actually said them to me!  So allow me to put on my Miss Manners hat …

Are you doing this just for the presents?  Sure, sure, this is a joke.  It’s not a funny one.  And, as a friend pointed out, if it were all about the benjamins, it would be cheaper to get married quietly at city hall, and then go and buy whatever you want.  The average cost of a wedding in the US is in the five figures.  I think that would buy one, even two, of everything at Crate and Barrel.  So:  no, stupid, we are doing this because Dame Fortune has already given us the greatest present one could ever want:  each other.  And we thought it might be fun to have a swell party to celebrate.

Is this your first or second marriage?  Yes, I’m 36.  I will be 37 by the time we get married.  It is hard to see how this question is anything other than a commentary on my Advanced Age.  If you doubt this, ask yourself, would anyone ask this question of a 22-year-old bride?  Believe me, I wish I’d met the Red-Haired Boy ten years ago.  But I didn’t.  I just feel fortunate to have found him, even if we are both geezers tottering on the brink of the Big Four-O, just waiting for the AARP invitation to arrive in the mail.  I want to spend my sunset years with him – if we’re closer to our sunset years than the average couple, so what?

And please, do not comment on the size of the engagement ring, whether you think it is uncommonly small or uncommonly large.  You don’t want to imply that the love of the bride’s life is a cheapskate who couldn’t pony up the cold hard cash for a cold hard rock, or that he is a spendthrift who could’ve earmarked that money toward ending hunger in India or hiring Johnny Damon back from the Yankees.  When being shown the ring, the only proper comment is, My, isn’t that lovely!

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