By Bob O'Connor
I was complaining about the privilege, preferences, and mating habits of today’s 30-somethings when my wife told me I was becoming a curmudgeon. According to Webster, that means I am a crusty, ill-tempered old man. I may be moody and old, but I certainly am not crusty. It makes me sound withered and decayed, with parts falling off my body.
Why, I groaned, are these Xers, or Millennials, or whatever they are, waiting till middle age to get married; they should marry when they are young and stupid like we were. Some of them are so old when they finally have kids, they don’t put them in nursery school; they sneak them into their nursing home.
I was particularly annoyed because we had received another invitation to a destination wedding. Why, I asked, are two kids who were born right here in Buffalo asking us to fly to Hawaii so we can watch them trade sappy, self-written vows while standing on some sweltering sandy beach on Oahu? Why should I have to take out a home equity loan so I can share in their “happy day on the road to forever?” Yech!
I long for the good old days when people had their receptions at the local fire hall and the groom’s toast would be interrupted by a four-alarmer in Depew. My own reception was at a Knights of Columbus hall. We had paper tablecloths, pitchers of Genesee beer, and a live band made up of four World War I vets. They looked like cadavers in tuxes.
Today, we have multiple showers to provide household items for a middle-aged couple with a combined annual income of $500,000 and a posh condo on the waterfront that they have shared for the past six years. I thought the purpose of a bridal shower was to provide the “young couple starting out” with a toaster, a set of dishes and a few bath towels.
My wife showed me the gift registry for an upcoming shower. I think the bride-to-be is CEO of Google and her fiancé advises President Trump. Among their “needs” are a $500 set of sheets, a set of baccarat cordial glasses, and a Moroccan salad bowl that cost more than my first car.
These couples are so well off they should be paying me to attend their nuptials. If they want to see my face in some far off place like Aruba they’d better cough up the plane fare and the hotel fee. They should throw in a few hundred for walking-around money.
One of my nieces, whom I love dearly, started a GoFundMe page to pay for her honeymoon. So I have decided to start my own fund to pay for my funeral expenses. Don’t let Uncle Bob be buried in Potter’s Field. Send him off in style!
I have also suggested to my long-suffering spouse that we should have a destination divorce. We’ll invite all our friends and family to the Cliffs of Moher in Western Ireland where a local judge will pronounce our marriage null and void. Afterward, we’ll quietly get remarried in some quaint little chapel in my ancestral town in County Tipperary.
She gave me that “I can’t believe I married you” look and said “Although a divorce sounds really tempting, I’m all for starting a fund to bury you.” Sensing a hint of sarcasm I say: “Fine, but when I go, I expect you to throw yourself on my funeral pyre.”
“Not a chance,” says she. “I’ll be in Aruba.”
Bob O’Connor, of Hamburg, had his wedding reception in a Knights of Columbus hall.