I think it's best I start a new category of reoccurring blogs. I'd imagine you women out there will enjoy the title... Typical Guy Ignorance.
Yes, I'm speaking about the all-too-common bravado and know-it-all attitude that permeates out of every guy on this planet and others. I'm also speaking from personal experience. I am a dude. My brother hates that terminology, but he only hates it in that he is a dude as well. At times. We all are. Acting like a dude is primarily done when men momentarily drop their maturity and become the Neanderthal predecessors of their past youth. To be fair, being a dude at times is totally appropriate. After all, being a man all day, every day, can be... boring.
Anyway, today's topic of typical ignorance comes from my fat ego-stuffed mouth in regards to wedding guest lists.
It seems just a few months ago, I was sitting in some neon-lit bar listening to my pal Baron Nightwing discuss the anxiety he was having over making his wedding guest list. He chugged Jack & Coke with feverish necessity. It was that type of frustration.
Baron said that there were all types of factors which made deciphering who and who wasn't invited to the wedding a puzzling dilemma that had the potential to turn into a nightmare.
I responded the only way I saw fit: I mocked him endlessly. I believe I may have called him a 'poor, sackless son of a bitch.'
How could deciding who gets invited to your wedding be such a difficult task? Just decide.
Baron said it wasn't that easy. For starters, there was a set number based on budget. This made sense, even to a monkey like me. You simply can't afford to invite every single person you've ever conversed with, as budget alone would make it impossible. You have to decide on a number, then stick with it at all costs. Baron continued...
"There are family. Friends. Co-workers. Past friends you haven't spoken to in years. Friends of parents.."
Did he say 'friends of parents'? Please.
Baron stepped outside to smoke, a pool of sweat slowly enveloping his upper neck. When he came back in, I dropped the guy facade and calmly stated my case.
"Look man, it's your wedding. You guys should decide who and who isn't invited. You dictate who you want there, and fuck anyone else that thinks otherwise."
I was a few drinks in, and cursing seemed to emphatically state what I thought was my maverick point of view. I figured I'd long been a guy that does what I want, why should that alter based on a guest list? Baron was a man. Invite who you want. Bottom Line.
What an idiot I was.
As I sit here, now six months into my own engagement, I realize how stupid I really am.
First off, the budget plays a far larger part in the guest list than I ever imagined, and in ways I really never grasped until now. Most importantly, you want to respect both sets of parents. This respect comes from both the financial contributions they made and the years of love they showcased in getting you to this point. When Mom wants someone specifically invited, you listen. Same goes for Dad. And certainly your future in-laws. Their opinion matters most.
Suddenly, your personal guest list shrinks. You start pitting friends against each other in a fictional gladiator battle that MUST have a winner. You feel empty inside from doing this. This isn't a WWE tournament to determine a new champion, these are friends with real feelings. People are bound to be upset.
Of course, Baron warned you. Somewhere between his fourth or fifth Jack & Coke, he smirked in a knowing manner. He knew I was an idiot when I said something like, "I'm not inviting such and such family member and not inviting the guy I once punched in the face in college after a long night of drinking bro. We bled together man. What do I even know about that family member?"
That was just the beginning. Already, I heard the chatter from friends regarding their own excitement over attending our wedding. "It's going to be so great!" they said. Yeah, it was. Only we hadn't planned on inviting them, so there's that...
And Baron's cryptic comment about 'friends from the past' whizzed right by me until I had my own wedding guest list to concoct. He said getting married was a journey filled with emotional turbulence you may or may not be prepared for. I thought he was a moron. A wuss. He was even more artsy than me, so surely I could withstand whatever came my way. What could possibly occur to stir up emotio-
Wait. Shit. What about that one guy I hadn't talked to in years but at one time had held his head while he threw up all manner of jager shots into the nearest alley? And there's the other old ally I spent nearly every weekend with for well over three years? And some of my college buddies that I revere, even if I hadn't spoken to them directly in some time. How can they not be there broooo? They helped get me to this point!
Jesus, this was not easy.
You start looking at the list, marginalizing relationships. "Okay. We're definitely inviting Snarf. But if we take away his date option and Dudley Do Rights as well, we can squeeze Super Mario in. And I definitely want Super Mario in!"
But even that creates problems. Because if you invite Super Mario, you definitely need to invite Luigi. And Luigi is married. And suddenly that's four more people towards your precious 100. It's like trying to navigate the Screen Actor's Guild, finding an agent, and getting actual auditions all over again. Which is to say, it's a never-ending web of confusion that begats more and more problems.
You think about how Master Splinter has been pissing you off lately, maybe you can cut him. But that's being foolish, as you love Master Splinter and only recently are mildly annoyed with his actions.
This must be what it was like to make decisions on the Varsity Football Team. There are only so many spots.
In the end, I didn't do anything I said I would. I simply deferred, resigned to whatever happens.
I already had to tell two friends that they wouldn't be invited, an action that had to be done before they felt sand-bagged. One took it well. One hasn't said much.
And as these issues continue to arise... I can only think of how preposterously stupid and ignorant I was when Baron was going through similar trials and tribulations.
I was a dude, my words came from being a dude, and I'm now paying for it now with karmic substance. That, and a barrage of well-earned laughter from Baron. His wedding is done. It worked out fantastic for him.
And that's what I keep reminding myself, it'll all work out. The list will happen as it should, and I'll be able to relax and enjoy the reason I'm there in the first place.
That is, until we start assigning table and seat assignments...