Invariably, it works this way.

It’s a random day in September and a lovely wife is opening the mail.

Lovely wife: “Oh, look! My old friend from high school is getting married.”

Husband: “How special. Say, do we have any Pringles?”

Wife: “They’re having the ceremony on the seashore in May and the bridesmaids will be wearing mermaid outfits. Oh, it’s going to be just gorgeous.”

Husband: Inaudible grunt.

Wife: “We’re going to go, of course. You’ll come with me, right?”

Husband: “Absolutely. Doritos? Potato sticks, anything like that?”

Twelve seconds later, the well-meaning but — let’s face it — really dumb husband has entirely forgotten the conversation. His wife, on the other hand, will think about it for at least three hours daily until the day of the blessed event.

Fast forward to mid-May, the day before said blessed event. It’s really nice out, in case you haven’t noticed.

Wife: “Don’t forget we’re going to Shari’s wedding tomorrow.”

Really dumb husband: “Wedding? What? Who the hell is Shari?”

Moron! And just like that, you’ve sacrificed a gorgeous spring Saturday to celebrate the nuptials of a couple you’ve never met and will never see again. Because you agreed to the atrocity waaaaaay back in September, when something eight months in the future seemed so tiny and innocuous, you didn’t give it even half a thought, did you?

DID YOU?

No, you did not. And now there’s no way out of it. Houdini himself couldn’t wiggle out of this one, chump. Try to balk your way around it and bad stuff will happen.

Your wife’s little chin will start to quiver. Her eyes will go all glassy and she’ll give you that look. She’ll mutter two little words, in a voice so broken with hurt that it barely rises to the level of whisper, and like that, you’re sunk.

“You promised,” she’ll say in that squeaking Bambi voice.

And you did, yahoo. You promised, back in September, that time you were hankering for Pringles but had to settle for plain old potato chip crumbs instead. I mean, what; you’re supposed to drive all the way to the grocery store to get something good?

The husband in this scenario really is an idiot and the sad fact is — there’s no way you saw this coming — that idiot is me. I’ll allow you a moment to recover from the shock of it.

I fall for the wedding trap every. Single. Time. I fall for it because I have absolutely no long-range vision whatsoever. If it’s happening more than three days in the future, to me it isn’t real. Someday, man will live in colonies on one of Saturn’s moons. Someday, dogs will master human language. And one day, one of my wife’s long lost friends will meet her damn soul mate and I’ll agree to go to their wedding because what do I care? It’s so far off in the future, it’s little more than fantasy.

And the next thing you know, you’re driving to the church wearing an ancient suit (powder blue is coming back, you know) that looks like something one of the Gibb boys would have worn to first communion in 1975. Other guys are out with their motorcycles and baseball gloves and fishing poles, but your wife assures you that you’ll have a grand old time at the blessed event.

“There’s going to be dancing and socializing and games and food… You ordered the fish, by the way.”

You don’t remember ordering any fish. You hate fish! And dancing and games and socializing, too. But there you’ll sit, picking at your haddock and pausing to applaud every time some distant relative of the blushing bride walks into the room. Applauding when the cake is cut, when the bride dances with her father and with her groom. You’ll applaud every time the bride visits the ladies room because by that point you’ve been transformed into a brainless clapping machine, terrified of breaking some ceremonial tradition.

You’ll dance, you’ll socialize, you’ll eat the damn fish, bones and all because it might be a tradition. And all the while, you’ll be thinking back to that otherwise uneventful day in September when you agreed to all of this, knowing the whole time that you’d be right here even if you HADN’T agreed to it. The very moment the dashing Clark proposed to the fetching Shari, your place at this table was set, fool.

And while you are eating scalloped potatoes and mulling all of these things, you will see that your lovely wife is having an animated discussion with a stranger across the room. She’ll come bounding your way momentarily and you know what’s about to happen, don’t you? DON’T YOU?

You do.

“Did you hear the good news?” your wild-eyed wife will say. “My old friend Matilda from preschool is getting married! Oh, isn’t it wonderful? We’ll go, of course. You’ll come to the wedding with me, right?”

Just agree to it and get it over with, sucker. Go eat some more fish and hope that it’s bad. Maybe you’ll die before the next blessed event.

Important clarification: While the above dramatization may reflect the miserable experiences of some poor fools, it is certainly not so in my case. I have thoroughly enjoyed all 700 of the weddings I have attended with my own lovely wife. I am extremely pleased that Dodi has found someone and that I get to be a part of her blessed event. Extremely pleased, I tell you! Say, are you going to finish that haddock?


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