Show Us the Money!

We want money. Give us money.

We want big, fat piles of money to pay off our lingering debts and go on a honeymoon to Europe and buy neat furniture and art and sock away a few bucks in case my fiancée someday wants to stretch out her maternity leave a little. We want money for all kinds of good reasons and we’re not allowed to say.

Even though she’s a Newfoundlander and I’m part Italian, and even though those are two groups of people who tend to give money at weddings, courtesy apparently dictates we’re not allowed to actually tell anyone to leave the blenders at home and express their best wishes in the form of a cheque.

So we’re going to get stuck with ugly things in our house, which we will keep around until the half-life of guilt is spent, and then we will throw them away while thinking less of the givers. All because we’re not allowed to put on the invitation or the website, “Bring us money,” even if I come up with some pretty, other way of saying it.

(“The bride and groom would be delighted to discover higher bank balances following soon upon the conclusion of their nuptials.”)

Ah, the rules women make.

Much about a wedding — or most weddings, at least, including mine — seems calculated to bring everyone together and then put them at a reserved distance, starting with the stilted, formal language on the invitations through to the numbered tables (which, mercifully, we are not doing), not to mention forced traditions like the reception line (also not for us).

One day I will ask a woman where the point or pleasure lies in inviting one’s nearest and dearest to a special occasion only to end up treating them with the arm’s-length formality normally reserved for strangers.

Because this formality is a woman thing (and maybe a gay man thing). It’s one of those sets of practices only they understand and I must observe like a puzzled anthropologist — like what sized purse is OK to bring to what occasion, or why rolling one’s eyes at someone is somehow more satisfying than actually saying something.

You’d never see straight men being so coy and dainty. If I want money from Dave and Mike for my wedding present, I’ll tell Dave and Mike to get me some fucking money and keep their shit ugly presents at home. In fact, I think I will. That’s honesty and friendship right there.

On the other hand, I guess part of the point of marrying a woman is the fact that she knows things you don’t.

Image courtesy of lintmachine on flickr

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2 thoughts on “Show Us the Money!

  1. We probably need to think through the whole concept of wedding presents. Maybe way back in antiquity the purpose of wedding presents was to give the new couple what they needed to start a new household, thus blenders etc. Then I suspect it became an occasion to give high ticket items – good china,silverware, etc. What’s the utilitarian reason for wedding presents in this day and age?

  2. The Indian community is another where cash gifts are preferred… several invitations we have received for Indian weddings have a little note on the bottom saying “No Boxed Gifts, Please” – not exactly asking for money, outright, but definitely suggesting that the couple isn’t interested in receiving any toasters.

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