Here’s the thing about weddings.

See, I get mad when I think or talk about weddings. Not just the kind of mad you get when someone slams a door behind you unexpectedly. No, not even the kind of mad you get when someone calls your mom a whore. The mad I get is like the burning fiery rage of a thousand suns. It makes me angry in my soul. When I find myself getting into a conversation about weddings, I have to withdraw instantly, lest I burn up inside and start shouting all the reason they’re bullshittical, hogwashical and colossal wastes of money. And there are several reasons why this is so. I shall now tell you about them.

First of all, I know the big white weddings are traditional. Most women (and I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but that’s fine – I’m ready) seem so stuck on this “tradition” excuse that they turn into robots. I SIMPLY MUST GO SPEND A THOUSAND DOLLARS ON A DRESS. Yeah. You must. Why? Because your mother did it. And her mother before her. And you know what they all have in common? They all had an expensive white dress in their closets that never got used again. Because when it comes time to pass your dress down to your daughter, she’s going to say, “Oh, that’s so 1950s! I need my OWN one.” And your daughter is going to do the same damn thing. “Oh mom, I can’t wear that! That’s so 2001!” So yes, by all means, you’re right. You absolutely MUST go out and spend a thousand dollars on a dress you will wear one time. Ever. Because YOU have to follow tradition. You’re smarter than the rest of them.

Talk to me about tradition. Rolleyes. Even though you’ve broken more family traditions and worldly traditions than you can remember. You who strive to break tradition. To be a trendsetter. You who doesn’t believe in conforming to the standards set by society. You want equality in the workplace! You think women should be paid as much or more than men! You hardly ever even go into the kitchen! You want to END women’s suffrage! But you’re going to adhere to a thousands-of-years-old tradition that requires you spend a thousand dollars (or more) on a dress you’ll wear once.

Oh, and the cake. Since when have you ever been so dumb that you actually believed a cake was worth $700? Never. But something about the word wedding makes it worth it. The word ‘wedding’ actually sucks women’s intelligence out through their ears and renders them ridiculous and idiocratic. So yeah, instead of using your brain and saying, “You know what? I could use that 700 bucks to go shopping for furniture or dishes or winter clothing – stuff for the house for our new lives together!” and running up to the Piggly Wiggly’s and paying $23 bucks for a cake, you’re going to go ahead and spend the money on it. And then start looking at groom’s cakes for $300. Because while you agree with everything I’m saying here, it doesn’t really apply to YOU. You’re special. You’re different.

Just think about it for just a minute. Seriously. Take your heart out of the equation. Leave emotion behind for just a second. It’s a cake. A cake. That people are going to eat. Literally. And it’s not going to be the best cake you ever ate. Remember that slice of apple pie you got at Shoney’s that one morning on your drive from Austin to Dallas that Thanksgiving weekend? Remember how good that was? Yeah. Your $700 wedding cake will not be that good. And people are going to eat it. What a great investment! It’s a cake.

And now let’s hire a photographer and a videographer. If you’re lucky, the videographer will cost about the same as your cake. The photographer – depending on how many shots he takes, will be about the same as your groom’s cake. So combined total, that’s another thousand bucks right there. So the photographer is going to line everyone up and take pictures of every single possible combination of people from every single possible angle. “Let’s get one of the bride with the groom’s best man and his uncles. Then we’ll get one of the bride with the groom’s best man and his aunts. Now with all of them.” And so on, ad nauseum.

Now. The question is this: why do we do that? Oh. I’ll tell you. So that you can fill a fat photo album full of the same pictures every other woman in the world has in her house. You can then set this fat photo album on your bookshelf, or your coffee table, or on your TV stand and push it on your friends when they come over. Because EVERYONE cares what you looked like on your wedding day! Everyone wants to see the same photo every time they look at wedding pictures. The same man in black, woman in white, too much makeup, that’s not how you really look EVER, forcing smiles, trying not to scratch that itch from the uncomfortable dress, trying to hide the frustration of dealing with that photographer who wanted you to stand in a hundred and three poses with every person there… Yeah. We all want to see your lovely wedding photos! Because YOURS are different. You know, yours are actually good. And interesting.

Let me ask you this… Why the CUSS do you think anyone in the world cares about your wedding? I mean, above all other things. Not the day you went to the horse races. Or your pictures from Disney World. Or your SCUBA trip to Egypt. You know, because those are all unique and interesting events that probably have some good scenery in them. People smiling naturally, experiencing once-in-a-lifetime events. That’s the stuff that people want to see. Why do you think they want to see your wedding photos, that for all intensive porpoises looks exactly like every other wedding album they’ve ever seen? “Oh yeah, I remember when OUR photographer made us stand in that spot too.” Gag me with a shovel.

See, you can tell why I get so angry about this crap. It’s just maddening to watch people go through this stuff over and over. Women will hang out and actually have this conversation when talking about a mutual friend who just got married. And when it’s time for them to tie the knot, they go through the exact same thing they ranted against. It makes me sad. When women get wedding on the mind, they become robots. MUST DO THIS ACCORDING TO TRADITION. CAN’T BE A FREE-THINKER. CAN’T COME UP WITH MY OWN IDEAS. Sad. Really.

So why all this hatred toward women? Well it’s not. Read it carefully. And especially those of you women who already have gone through this and lived to tell about it. All that money you spent and stress you went through trying to plan the wedding – getting just the right color of curtains and the right size cake and the dresses for the bride’s maids (where you made those women go out and buy a dress they’ll only wear once) and the tuxes for the guys (where you made all those dudes go out and rent a tux for over a hundred bucks)… Seriously. Your wedding is an anathema to all who are unlucky enough to be involved. So what sounds like anger towards women – well, it really isn’t. It’s anger toward the ridiculous, idiocracy of weddings. If you read this column with your emotions turned off, you’ll see what I say is true.

My first wife and I did the big wedding. We spent ten thousand dollars on a night we’ll “never forget”. On memories and arrangements that will last forever! Yawn. Well we did have a helluva party. But the wedding? Well, let’s just say now that we’re divorced, I threw away all those pictures. My friend Storm took 16 rolls of film. What a waste. When my now-wife and I got married, we stood on the beach. In flip-flops and swimming trunks. Well, my wife wore a nice wrap. And we spent like 12 bucks on a bottle of champagne. We didn’t inconvenience a hundred people to come spend a whole Saturday watching something that isn’t all that important. We brought our family and a few friends and said, “Hey, if you’re around the area and wanna stop by and watch us tie the knot, we’ll have some beer and food afterwards on Mom’s balcony overlooking the beach.” And we did.

Yes, I said it. The wedding is not all that important. If people took pictures of their children from every angle with every possible combination of family members… “Now one with Aunt Sue. Now with Uncle Bob. Now with both of them…” and so on. If people treated their children with the importance they bestow upon their wedding, maybe there would be less pain in the world. Fewer runaways. Fewer cases of neglect and abuse. And here’s a thought: if people would treat their marriage with the importance they give their wedding maybe there would be less divorce.

Seriously. Get over the stupid traditions and hangups. Weddings are NOT the most important day of your life. People don’t need to come from all over to watch you get married. No one cares. We care about your marriage, but not your wedding. Just call me when it’s over and I’ll swing by and have a beer with you guys. Happy you got together. Happy you found your soul mate. And happy you saved your ten grand for something great. Like a down payment on your first minivan.

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