Grumpy Young Man on avoiding wedding season

Fall officially started yesterday.

I recall as a Grumpy Young Boy the first school assignment every autumn was to write on the topic “What I did on my summer vacation.”

As a backwoods lad whose biggest summer vacation was going to Dauphin to get new shoes, this was always a daunting task. Also off-putting was remainders in long division. 25 divided by 7 equals 3 r 4? What the hell does that mean?

Seriously, what does that mean? Then the next year they teach you how to work it to the decimal. What happened to the remainder? “Oh, we do it this way now.”

Long division aside, I thought I’d take a page from lazy teachers and tell you about my summer.

It was alright.

Sure, I could tell you about the things I did, but you don’t care. At least you shouldn’t. No, I want to tell you about what I didn’t do, which also happened to be the best part of my summer.

I didn’t go to any weddings.

For a 29 year old, that’s impressive. I’m at that age where every summer for many summers I’ve had to put on my one nice shirt and my one nice pair of pants so I can go see my friends vow to cherish one another until death do they part. Or for a little while. Whichever one comes first I guess.

I could go on and on about the divorce rate and the futility of marriage, but that’s not even my problem with weddings. My issue is that $50 envelope I’m forced to drop in that frilly box.

I know what you’re saying. “Fifty bucks? That’s it?!”

Yeah, that’s it. Why should I help fund YOUR party? Also, wasn’t that what the social was for, you know, when you raised money for that noble charitable organization, what was it called, oh yeah, You. Oh sorry, You Inc.

Maybe I’ve got you all wrong. Maybe you donated the silent auction cash to cancer research. Or maybe I’m just mad because I didn’t win that coveted jersey signed by Jets star forward Chris Thorburn. That prize was top of the line! OK, fourth line.

Why do only couples get to have socials and bridal showers? How about socials and showers for single people? Couples already have all the stuff. They are literally two persons worth of stuff. I’m barely one person’s worth of stuff, yet I’m supposed to go down to Sears and buy you a wok? I don’t even have a wok. I like stir-fries too.

Also, if your friends do separate – and they probably will – shouldn’t you get that wok back? That wasn’t a present; that was an investment! When I invest in something, I expect results. But all I got out of your wedding was chicken or fish. And I swear I checked chicken, but here I am eating fish, so what’s up with that?

By the way, have you ever gone to a wedding without an open bar? What is that? Some sort of Hutterite wedding? If you invite me to your wedding and the bar isn’t free, I hope you get divorced. That is unless you grow to hate each other. Then I hope you stay together forever.

As much as I’m not a fan of weddings, I’m equally as indignant about not being able to attend them.

See, a lot of people have their weddings abroad these days. They go to some all-inclusive resort in Mexico, see absolutely none of Mexico and then come home raving about Mexico.

I get invited to these destination weddings all the time, we all do, but very rarely do we go. That’s the point. They don’t want you to go. They want a small family wedding but they invite everybody so nobody gets offended.

I for one am not taking this anymore. I can’t afford to travel, but I will. I’m showing up at the next tropical wedding I get invited to, drunk as a skunk. Skunks by the way are notorious problem drinkers.

Slurred words: “Betcha didn’t tink yud see me. Meheeco! Let’s do this! Hey grams, wazzz up? Whoa, she’s old. Still hot though. What, I was whispering. Oh, hey, exsqueeze me senor, yeah you, were can I find da water that doesn’t make me sh_t myself?”

Now, I don’t want come off as anti-wedding or even anti-marriage. I might get married some day, if she wants to. And right now there is no she, so, um, how you doin’?

I just want us all to admit that weddings are dumb and no amount of free alcohol can change that. I’m no financial planner, but I’m pretty sure spending all of your money on one day is bad business. Oh, and admit it married people; your wedding was a huge hassle. Were a few pretty photos really worth putting up with your weird cousin, your handsy uncle Hank and your racist grandmother?

“Yes Nana, I know that’s what you call Brazil nuts, but we just don’t say that anymore.”

I recently read a feminist blog that said marriage is a patriarchal institution. That was the headline actually “Marriage is a patriarchal institution” by some chick named Jezebel. Joking.

Is marriage a patriarchal institution? Probably, but weddings are definitely a matriarchal institution.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for a copy of the latest Men’s Fitness (OK, Hustler) I tend to see a lot more Brides Magazine than Grooms Monthly. And if there is a Grooms Monthly, guess who’s reading it? Women! Well, a few men probably are, but I bet they’re not getting married to women. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

For some reason you have to say “not that there’s anything wrong with that” after those kinds of statements or people will think you’re homophobic. Which I’m not! I love homophobes.

These are jokes by the way.

If TLC has taught me anything – and it hasn’t – it’s that its women who want to get married. I’ve seen it. Ladies want nothing more than to say yes to a dress. They’re obsessed with other people’s weddings too. Remember the Royal Wedding? Women all over North America woke up in the middle of the night to live out their girlhood fantasy. Their girlhood fantasy of course being to marry a rich inbred dude in a castle and consequently have no longer have free will. Every little girl’s dream!

The only thing about the Royal Wedding that interested me was the thought of a Royal Wedding Social. I’m guessing there wasn’t one (the taxpayers picked up the bill), but if there was, it was probably like any other social. Socials are all the same. Lower class, middle class, upper class, royal class, it doesn’t matter. The Royal Wedding Social would still have cheese, kubasa, rye bread, a lack of condiments and Cotton Eyed Joe. The Queen would sell royal raffle tickets: “One or two arms worth? First prize is a Texas Mickey.”

Weddings don’t have to suck. Just get rid of all the pomp and the vanity and the tradition and the relatives. Just get rid of pretty much everything, especially the DJ. Wedding DJs are the worst. The Macarena? What year is this?

Not to say I haven’t had fun at weddings (one word: alcohol). I went to one a few years ago that was actually pretty damn decent.

It started with a small, traditional ceremony in the country, boring yes, but this was just to appease the old people. After a few pictures, all of us young people went home, changed into our street clothes and went to the couple’s house for a BBQ and a party. We played flip cup. Flip cup! At a wedding reception! I puked and then tried to hook up with one of the bride’s friends. I was unsuccessful. It was so much fun!

Not fun? Watching the groom take your sister’s garter off with his teeth to Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone. Even worse? Catching said sister’s garter.

By now, you’re probably asking “Grumpy Young Man, what’s your point?” Point? Why do I need a point? Who cares about points? If you like points so much, why don’t you marry them.

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Jared Story is a stand-up comedian and freelance writer. Yes, it’s a pen name. His real name is Dave, Dave Story. Follow him on Twitter at @jrockarolla.