Well, it’s time once again to rejoin the continuing saga of planning our daughter Casey’s wedding, which will be at the Norwalk Aquarium in October.
And, well, here’s a situation I didn’t see coming.
Our next door neighbor Belinda mentioned to my wife Barbara that a friend of hers has the same last name as Barbara’s maiden name, and (cue the little animatronic foreign Disney children) it turns out they actually are related. This other person, Leslie, is the daughter of Barbara’s father’s cousin or some such thing. Not only that, but she has a business right here in Stamford. Not only that, but she designs jewelry for a living, which Barb does as a hobby, and Casey did as a way to get into a hotsy totsy art college. So apparently the jewelry gene runs in the family, although, unfortunately, it appears to be a mutant variant of that gene whereby its bearers do things like string beads together instead of, say, sitting on the board of Zales.
Where was I?
Oh, right. So Barb and this previously-unknown relative Leslie have been talking to each other. Not talking exactly, but communicating through Facebook, which is like sending each other messages in bottles, only faster and fractionally more reliable.
Anyway, Barb is telling Casey and me about this burgeoning relationship one day, and I say, half-jokingly, “Don’t get too close. You’ll want to invite her to the wedding.”
At which point Casey adds, not at all jokingly, that I am absolutely correct and that she, herself, has instituted a strict “no new friends” policy until after the wedding, or at least until all the RSVPs are back and we know if we have any room for new people in our lives.
Such is the existence of a bride-to-be and her family. You’ll be at a party, and someone will bring over another person and say, “Do you know so-and-so?” and you’ll say “No I don’t and I don’t want to and forget you ever saw me.” Friend requests on Facebook get rejected, invitations on LinkedIn get ignored. New people at work are treated as pariahs until you are sure you don’t like them. Only then can you join them for lunch. “You are a truly awful person, and you really should bathe more often,” you’ll say. “You want to try that cute Mexican place?”
You must live like a hermit, except when it’s time to come out of the cave for a gown fitting.
Yes, sadly, you are stuck with only the people you already know. There could be better people just around the bend, but you are closed to them, unable to let them into your life because you’ve reached your invitation limit.
For you, there are only two kinds of human beings in the world: those who have been invited and those who haven’t. There can be no crossing over; it will upset the delicate balance of the universe. Not to mention the seating arrangements.
And so Barbara’s second, or third, or twenty-eighth cousin (whatever she is) will have to wait until after October to strengthen the family ties with her fellow jewelry-gene carriers. Unless, that is, she signs a pre-nuptial agreement that she will not expect an invitation to the nuptials even if she and Barbara bond like Thelma and Louise.
As for me, well, I hardly ever leave the house, so I don’t live in constant fear of meeting people like Barbara and Casey do. They’re out in the world every day, risking chance encounters with instantly relatable new friends or coincidental reunions with long-forgotten old ones.
About the only way I’ll be the cause of an extra invitation is if it turns out the UPS guy is a long-lost brother I didn’t know I had.
But I’ll tell you this: he won’t be getting a Plus One.*
See you soon.
*And also, my mom will have some explaining to do at the rehearsal dinner.