Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Signed Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours

On Saturday night I once again found myself in New Jersey. Whoever said that "All roads lead to Rome" never had two Jewish mothers and an impending wedding.

As I sat eating pasta, meatballs, chicken, mini hamburgers, and meatloaf and potatoes (a typical Jewish mother's meal for her prodigal children) and drank a large goblet of Cabernet (a typical Jewish daughter's antidote to Jewish mothers) with my Future Mother and Father in Law, and Future Sister and Brother in Law, the conversation meandered on over to the wedding guest list. And by "meandered to the guest list" I mean that from the moment we walked in the door I was pelted by searing nuptially-focused questions and thus, the topic of the group's discussion transitioned only from the food at the wedding to the cocktails for the wedding and from the clothes to be worn at the wedding to the clothes to be worn the night before the wedding. I was an innocent fawn, slowly waking from deep slumber; its tender eyes open to a sunny and quiet meadow, until it's suddenly face-to-face with the first day of hunting season and the double barrel of a shotgun.

I looked down at the bulls eye on my chest as my Future Mother in Law said to me: "How many of our friends have not responded yet?"

I considered my after-life as finely prepared venison at a top restaurant. "Well..."

"Well what?"

"Well actually, almost none of your guests have responded." Anticipating her next question, I said "The responses are due in a week."

She became indignant. "Well if they don't respond, then I'm assuming they're not coming and well, we're not going to be friends with them anymore!"

Now I was the hunter. "What do you mean, you're assuming? Aren't you going to call them to ask if they're coming? You're just going to not talk to them? But we need a definite answer!" I was a hunter whose voice rose a variety of octaves to achieve a piercing decibel during the hunt.

At this moment, FMIL looked at me as though she were indeed welcoming a wild boar into her family. Her look said, now why in the world would I possibly call the people who are my so-called closest friends and those who I insisted we must invite?

OK, maybe her look didn't say that. But that's what I thought. Why in the world would she not call the people who she insisted we must invite because they would be so hurt if we didn't, because they are Such Good Friends? Doesn't she talk to these people anyway (if they are, indeed, such good friends) and is it really a big deal to call them?

Invocations of Verizon and T-Mobile aside, this is really just a symptom of the bigger issue at hand: why oh why, can these people not RSVP to begin with? Dear Lord, my Sauveur, what more can a person do to garner a response then send someone a self addressed and stamped envelope? Is it really such a burden to take a pen to the paper and check off "yes" or "no" and to take the envelope to the mailbox? This seems only moderately more rigorous than other taxing tasks such as breathing, walking, and sleeping. (I do feel compelled here to disclose that apparently there is an in-between option of just sending in the response card with no indication of whether you will, or will not, be attending and/or any corresponding indication of a food choice should you be coming. This possibility was presented to me in the form of a response from one of FMIL's friends who dumped the completely blank response card back in the mail to us. Not a speck of ink on that sucker to be found. I'd give you my two cents on that one, but since I already spent 47 cents on a stamp that served no purpose, I'll keep it to myself.)

Indeed, there is a part of me that is tempted to send over a courier to the homes of those who have yet to respond to solicit a yay or nay from those delinquent invitees - mostly because I am curious if they will respond, or just deem it too difficult to stand up and answer the door for the courier.

I'm aware how obnoxious and impatient this sounds. I assure you that it will sound even more judgmental in light of the following: I've been that person. I am the person who gets the envelope with the stamp on it and puts it aside thinking "I should really decide if I'm going to this wedding." And then I lose the envelope. Or I forget about the reply date. Or I go on a three-week bender and groggily wake up in Tijuana in the bed of a Mexican stripper named Carmen.

Man, I am so craving enchiladas and a margarita (on the rocks, with salt).

Anyway, needless to say, I won't be doing that again any time soon (turning in replies late; you can never be sure you won't find yourself in Tijuana). Go on, invite me to your wedding. Try me.

All that being said, that doesn't solve the problem at hand: my future In Laws apparently feel comfortable just assuming that lack of reply equals non-attendance. I, on the other hand, happen to know that many people believe that it is so obvious that they will be attending that they don't need to turn in an RSVP. Or if they're anything like my parents (which, being my parents' friends, presumably they are), they tend to firmly believe that they have said and done things that they have not, in fact, actually done (i.e., Mom assuring me that she sent me an email telling me the status of said RSVP list, when indeed no such email was ever sent. By the way, here's a hint - thinking about doing something does not actually make it happen. Or, as previously discussed in this blog, were that the case I would have a fridge full of ice cream, a house that sparkled like the Chrysler building and a closet that that boasted more Louboutin shoes than Saks Fifth Avenue.)

So where does this leave me? You guessed it. Eight days away from calling up 30 people I've never met and asking them point-blank if they are high-tailing it down to Baltimore in 40 days to attend my frickin' wedding. Somehow I suspect that this will not lead to much endearment by my In-Laws' friends; similarly, I suspect it will fail to lead to wedding gifts from said friends. Whatever. I didn't need a complete set of martini glasses anyway.


Sezzy said...

I agree, one martini glass for yourself will do just fine.

We're just getting into the guest list debacle, which is by far the worst discussion ever. Apparently we need to have this discussion now, even though The Wedding is over a year away because the guest list helps us decide our venue.

In crazy backwards world. Which, by the way, I'm beginning to discover is where all wedding planning happens. My kingdom for a chesire cat.

lazybride said...

I can't even begin to tell you how funny this post is, especially in light of my recent run in with the in-laws. How exactly are you supposed to divine what they are thinking? a crystal ball? I just want them to tell me exactly what they want. And not bombard me with non-options.

I never believed anyone when they told me in-laws were difficult. or wedding planning. Clearly, I do now.

Good luck with those calls!

Krista said...

Oh my gosh, that's so funny.

Why, indeed, would she call her friends to find out if they're coming?!

I love your humour!

Manders said...

Oh how I wish my blog was more anonymous... then I could tell you exactly how I feel about my all-too- soon-to-be inlaws and the ridiculousness that ensues behind the scenes of my wedding planning.

I'll have a margartia for you. Good luck with the calls.

heteronym said...

Everytime I read your blog, I think, "this is the best post yet." That fawn metaphor was brilliant.

In-laws have their own logic. Just like 2-year-olds, you can't reason with them.

Good luck!