In fact, I've only ever attended a wedding (of a non family member) once.
I have, however, been a pall bearer four times in my life.
That said, I'm invited to my second ever non-family wedding this weekend.
(Actually, I stopped going to family weddings except for those cousins whom I liked, a small number indeed, but that's beside the point.)
My friend Ben and his girlfriend are getting married. I'm kind of excited, though I won't know but one other person there, other than the bride and groom.
I have no idea what to buy, however. What does one buy for a young couple who owns a fully furnished, beautiful house in which they've been living for the past two years?
I was all set to get a gift card from Target (I love me some Target)--it seemed useful and innocuous--until the following conversation transpired at dinner the last time I saw them:
"Oh, that's a cute top you have on," a friend tells Ben's girlfriend.
"Really? thanks," she says.
"Is it from Target?"
"Oh, no. They have such cheap stuff there, you know?" she replies.
Ohhhhhhhh kay, there went that idea.
Anyway, looking for ideas, the other day, I asked my friend Dennis for suggestions. He's been to lots of weddings. He ought to know.
He offered no ideas, but a lot of bitterness. I must have hit a nerve.
His brother (a doctor) had gotten married about two years ago or so. He and the wife were just moving into a new fabulous home the week before (helped paid for by his mother). His sister in law had mentioned casually to him that she had, "$800.00 in Pottery Barn gift certificates cluttering up the place." Such a nuisance, I'm sure.
He really went off on those Pottery Barn certificates. I can't say I blame him, especially when he's struggling to buy Target furniture (and I'm digging through the trash for mine).
He had helped them move into their new home, helped them unpack boxes and boxes and boxes of still unopened wedding gifts.
Soon his bitterness had spread to me. Much like a smile, bitterness is contagious.
I mean really, where the hell is my beautiful wedding, huh, huh?
Anyway, no time to think about all of that now, I have to get shopping.