Weddings: They're Actually About You!
• Stanley Idesis
The real stars of the show? Other people.
Napa Valley: home of wine, wineries, and Amy’s Winehouse, aka The Too Soon Saloon. On one auspicious day, Napa Valley brought two families together to celebrate their merger through the bonds of holy matrimony. A massive cross-country coach whisked 60 guests away from a hotel-slash-golf-course to the wedding venue, a vineyard-slash-golf-course.
As they disembarked, guests basked in the glow of the setting pacific sun. They seized the radiant view as an opportunity to celebrate the bride and groom in the tradition of our ancestors: by taking selfies. My girlfriend and I, arm-in-arm, watched dumbfounded as my cousins struggled to get the perfect shot for 10 minutes. We live under no rocks, we know narcissism is alive and well, but neither of us had ever seen it on a display so public and unabashed.
“Stock photo on three!”
Do you remember that feeling when you first learned how fast food was made? Or that pit in your stomach the moment you knew the tooth fairy was actually (spoilers) your mom? Or how your heart sank when you realized your vote (sorry, more spoilers) didn’t matter? That’s how I felt watching my family craft their social façades. I unwittingly bore witness to a behind-the-scenes look at the over-produced, meticulously choreographed, completely fake lives my family published.
But there’s a larger story at play here. At all times and at all moments, life is about me, I, and moi. To keep the semblance of civility, we’ve long respected statute #48 of the public decency contract:
…The individual may admit freely to themselves that in all occasions their truest concern is, in fact, themselves. But on occasions of celebration, in which individuals other than themselves are celebrated, for approximately one fortnight*, they must, like, totally pretend that it’s not all about them.
“Where are you going, George? Statute 27 states that you cannot leave without awkwardly announcing your departure to party-goers!”
In laymen’s terms, statute #48 suggests that to be decent people, we should put others first when it’s their moment and their time to shine - or at least we should pretend to. Social media and our me-culture now provide an excuse for breaking statute #48: amendment five, otherwise known as the Gotta Get Dem Likes Amendment, or GGDLA, pronounced, “guhg-dull-uh.” GGDLA draws a thick line in the sand between young and old, respect and disrespect, and those who stick by statute #48, and those who claim it, “isnt reel and ur makin this up.”
I respect other people’s limelight. I don’t twist their victories into my own. I don’t write posts about how someone’s major event impacted me, and I don’t request that you place my feelings on the same level as you do theirs. I think I’m in the silent majority, but maybe not. What do you think?
P.S. To my cousins and their loved ones reading this: you should be totes ashamed of yourselves… But omg I <3 you all and we should never break up again.