This Wedding Season, Say Yes to Strangers
June 7, 2013 2:40 PM   Subscribe

This past month we learned about a pair of viral Craigslist ads that some nice young men had (successfully) used to find wedding dates. This was old news to me. In 2008, I was named a bridesmaid against my will, and I prepared to suffer through all the standard requirements that come with the duty. Usually, you simply grin and bear these life necessities, but when the bride vehemently insisted that we all have dates despite the fact that several of us were single, I decided to respond to her myopia with outright insolence, with the support of and in the shared name of my bridal party cohorts. On July 8, 2008, I posted the following ad to Craigslist:
“seeking awful date for awful wedding (w4m)”
i’m a bridesmaid in a terrible wedding. i need a date to ruin it with, preferably one that is either ridiculously unkempt or too hot to be able to enjoy with a straight face. i’ll buy you however many shots you might need to make it through this endeavor. you send me 25 words or less on why it should be you and a picture.
posted by Blasdelb (37 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aww! Cool story.
posted by Glinn at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2013


A week and a half before the wedding or picking you from amongst my many suitors the bride had requested the names of our dates to print name cards. It was apparently crucial. There were multiple emails, two calls in a row, and many texts about it. So I called up one of the other bridesmaids, freaking out: “I NEED A NAME.”

She was sitting in her living room with her cat. There was a long pause. And then she goes, “Mike Itten.”


I love these people.
posted by sweetkid at 2:53 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


The story was cuter and more fun than I'd expected (make sure to read the bonus story of how Mike Itten got shot) but I wonder why people will invite friends to their wedding and try to control their behaviour like that, and also why said friends will try passive aggressively to sabotage their friends' wedding.
posted by brokkr at 3:00 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno, so many things about weddings are passive aggressive. You are supposed to Not Bother The Bride so you just take a lot of crap sometimes (I've been lucky but there's still crap) and sort of have fun with it sometimes.
posted by sweetkid at 3:06 PM on June 7, 2013


If you're not quite clear on why Mike Itten is a cat, say the name three times fast.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:10 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I assumed she was like, the sister of the groom or the bride's cousin. Family drama + wedding drama is a potent combination.
posted by muddgirl at 3:19 PM on June 7, 2013


This was kind of cute...and I say that as someone who just ordered Netflix for AD and accidentally got addicted to Bridezillas instead. Let me tell you, if a bridesmaid tried that shit with any of the brideszillas- OH NO! You would be OUT of the wedding! This is cute though, I wish I was brave and young enough to have crazy-kid adventures. As in those crazy kids.
posted by bquarters at 3:20 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I wonder why people will invite friends to their wedding and try to control their behaviour like that, and also why said friends will try passive aggressively to sabotage their friends' wedding.

I think this is a big part of that answer:

> I was named a bridesmaid against my will

The passive voice construction of that sentence makes it sound like she was named the defendant in a lawsuit, whereas a more accurate statement may have been something along the lines of, "I said 'yes' to the bride when I should have said, 'I'm sorry, but I can't.'"

But then, weddings seem to create their own very potent reality distortion fields, including a ridiculous myopia that front-loads the importance of the wedding ceremony and reception over the actual marriage. I've been to more than a few beautiful weddings that were the beginnings of lousy marriages. A beautiful cover does not necessarily make a book good.

Glad this worked out for the woman and her date, though. And it certainly makes for a great story after the fact.
posted by mosk at 3:21 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


(For your convenience, the bonus story of how Mike/Nick got shot is here)
posted by zeptoweasel at 3:24 PM on June 7, 2013


The "how I got shot" story is really awesome.

Oh, the fun of crazy wedding stories. My [family member] insisted that no one could wear a long dress except the bride and her sister (maybe the mothers too), and my aunt felt obliged to go and buy something new. A family friend got invited to some family wedding, was asked what meal she wanted and then was asked to switch to vegetarian because it was cheaper (she didn't). My aunt recently went to a wedding where everyone was required to dress in black and/or white.
posted by jeather at 3:45 PM on June 7, 2013


OH NO! You would be OUT of the wedding!

That is what is known in the business as a feature, not a bug.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:51 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh man. I'm only just getting to the age where my close friends are starting to get married and I already hate weddings with the heat of a thousand suns.

I'm due go to a wedding back home (ie 5000 miles away) next month, but my girlfriend of 11 months wasn't invited because she doesn't know the bride, even though there are ~500 people going. Said girlfriend is upset as a result, so I'm involved in back channel negotiations, not with the bride of course, but with the groom's brother, to see if they can fit her in or some kind of face saving agreement can be reached.

Stupid adulthood.
posted by kersplunk at 4:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


My aunt recently went to a wedding where everyone was required to dress in black and/or white. -jeather

I went to one of those about 20 years ago. I think I wore a white dress with large black polka dots.
posted by luckynerd at 4:25 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


(For your convenience, the bonus story of how Mike/Nick got shot is here)

Oh man, if I'm aware and have the ability of speech when I'm on my deathbed someday, I am totally going to whisper "Rosebud" on my way out! It'll give everyone a good laugh at my wake.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:31 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man I've had nothing but fun at all my friends and families weddings as an adult including mine of course. I'm glad we don't seem to take weddings seriously enough to ruin everyone's good time.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:40 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


On the one hand, that was kind of adorable. On the other, "I'm sorry, that won't be possible," is an extremely useful phrase, delivered with or without a smile.
posted by rtha at 4:52 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just a note - the author was barely an adult when this wedding occured (she stated she was under 21). It would be great if near-teens had the maturity and wherewithal to set appropriate boundaries with their friends and family, but it seems like a pretty high expectation that even most adults don't meet.
posted by muddgirl at 4:59 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I went to a wedding where all the guests were requested to dress as pirates. Arrr!
posted by aniola at 5:09 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like these people.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:12 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I liked how the article didn't end with them dating or getting married; a new friendship was enough.
posted by aniola at 5:18 PM on June 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


muddgirl: "Just a note - the author was barely an adult when this wedding occured (she stated she was under 21)."

I don't think she said how old she was, but she was definitely over 21. The boy was 20, which he said was inappropriately young. And he said she would sneak him into bars.
posted by team lowkey at 5:23 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved this story! And the one explaining how Nick got shot...but it leaves me wondering, if the drunken shooting didn't end the friendship, what did??
posted by Baethan at 6:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man I've had nothing but fun at all my friends and families weddings as an adult including mine of course. I'm glad we don't seem to take weddings seriously enough to ruin everyone's good time.

All this wedding drama seems to occur in another dimension that I’m not a part of.
posted by bongo_x at 6:21 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


And he said she would sneak him into bars.

Whoooops I read that the wrong way. Still, I don't really expect most adults to be able to give a polite "That won't be possible" to something that is functionally painless in the face of family pressure. I will admit that maybe I'm reading too much into this.
posted by muddgirl at 6:24 PM on June 7, 2013


Oh man. I'm only just getting to the age where my close friends are starting to get married and I already hate weddings with the heat of a thousand suns.

I'm due go to a wedding back home (ie 5000 miles away) next month, but my girlfriend of 11 months wasn't invited because she doesn't know the bride, even though there are ~500 people going. Said girlfriend is upset as a result, so I'm involved in back channel negotiations, not with the bride of course, but with the groom's brother, to see if they can fit her in or some kind of face saving agreement can be reached.

Stupid adulthood.
I hate being "wedding age." Until recently, weddings were a rare enough occurrence that I could lump them in the category with graduation parties and parents' anniversaries, events that I don't really have to do anything for except comb my hair and show up. When my cousin got married when I was in college, it was a lark. I got to see distant relatives and dress up in a funny suit for a few hours.

Now it feels like every summer month, someone I know is getting hitched. I actually had to use some of my vacation time at my last job to attend one of the weddings. And after the first one, I realized the shabby suit I had for job interviews wasn't cutting it, so I had to buy a new one, which I only wear for weddings. I have no idea what to get anyone, so I just give cash – which my girlfriend has recently informed me is tacky, apparently. Ugh.

I find the typical American wedding borderline intolerable. Reception bartenders never know how to make anything with more than two ingredients, presumably under the assumption that you're going to be hammered anyway. I don't eat meat, and out of the six or seven weddings I've attended in recent memory, only one caterer has properly understood that a "vegetarian meal" should not include a baked potato with bacon bits. (It doesn't help that most of these weddings are in the midwest, where I've honestly been asked, after politely declining a steak and saying I'm a vegetarian, if I eat chicken.) Then the bride and groom dance to a song that is clearly not a love song but rather a song about infidelity and heartbreak that prominently features the word "baby."

But the worst part is watching the endless planning and re-planning that people who I otherwise consider reasonable and responsible adults will undergo to just barely survive the financial maelstrom of this one gigantic, all-consuming ceremony cum dinner party that they must invite every single living relative to, plus all their college friends who they haven't seen in five years, which becomes the central concern of their lives, sometimes for years. I was so happy and relieved to see that two of our friends are getting married in their parents' condo and then doing the reception at the bar down the street, and that they didn't really plan this at all but just sort of said, "We're going to get married!" and then asked their parents to borrow the condo for the weekend. I would rather know they have an extra $10-20k in the bank than to deplete their dwindling fortunes for the sake of tradition. I understand the appeal of the tradition, but I can count on one hand the number of people I know my age who can truly afford to spend that kind of money on a wedding.

Stupid adulthood, indeed.
posted by deathpanels at 8:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Giving cash is not tacky, deathpanels, most couples like that.

Luckily, we're old enough that all our friends are married. Back in the 90s we all got married within a couple years of one another, only one has been divorced, she's on marriage number 3 and the last one was no big deal.


(by all our friends, I mean the group of friends I have had for 25 plus years. Most of our marriages are at least 14 years old.)
posted by SuzySmith at 8:35 PM on June 7, 2013


brb, writing rom-com pitch

Seriously, this was something neat on the Internet. Delightful.
posted by purpleclover at 10:08 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find the typical American wedding borderline intolerable.

But people found love.

(I think I have as much chance of that as becoming an astronaut. I'm ok with cold food if it means seeing other people be happy.)
posted by sweetkid at 10:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't get the wedding hate! I love a big old party where I am treated to a four course meal and open bar and cake, and my only jobs are to dance and let myself be idealistic for one night about the possibility of everlasting love.

That said, I hate craigslist, so this story's kind of a wash for me.
posted by artemisia at 11:06 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've missed the "wedding age" - I was out of the country when a few friends got married, and the rest are single or happily living in sin.

And the only time I've ever been a bridesmaid was when I was nine. (Kind of sad about that).
posted by jb at 11:31 PM on June 7, 2013


On behalf of all your outdoors-loving friends from northeastern North America,

please,

Get married in February.
posted by tss at 5:41 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


This would make an excellent romantic comedy starring Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg with Allison Janey as "Mom" and Megan Fox as the bride to be with Alan Arkin starring as a wise old but crotchety "Pappy" where hijinks ensue and two people fall in love I'm thinking the name should be "Found You on Craigslist" its catchy and relevant to this modern Internet age.
posted by pashdown at 8:06 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if someone was freaking out that much about a wedding, and forcing me to bring a date: I'd either tell them to get stuffed, and not attend (Yay, saving money and a boring evening) or remind them that I can't get a date normally, why the frak do they think I'd be able to get one for a wedding? Except I'd probably be either more self-deprecating or less polite.

Luckily, I have few close relatives, fewer still my age, and none of them have gotten married (The ones who was about to be, but bailed at the last minute was having it in Florida anyway, so we weren't even going to try and go). Also, while I'm in my mid-twenties, and most of my small circle of friends have long-term significant others, they are at the stage where they have been living together for a few years, but are still scared of getting married.

So I've never been to a wedding. Given that I've just moved 4000 km away from all of them, I forsee not being forced into any in the near future.
posted by Canageek at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2013


After living together for 20 years the health insurance industry decided it would be a good idea for me and GF to get married. We told NOBODY and eloped in Hot Springs and returned to NOLA with the happy news. Best way to do it evar.
posted by localroger at 2:51 PM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


all of you who hate wedding season? just you wait until the endless parade of baby showers begins.

ugh.

I love these people. In my own 20s I had a close platonic underage guy friend I used to sneak into bars and find dates for as well. We're still close friends nearly twenty years, 2 marriages and 1500 miles of distance later.
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:59 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find the bizarre part of this story the requirement for a date. Man, if ONLY my problem was people WANTING to not bring a date. You'd think the bride would be doing cartwheels, not enforcing couplehood.

That said, I find the behavior shitty. If you're the bridesmaid, you're expected to support the bride, not try to passive-aggressive sabotage her.
posted by corb at 7:52 AM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


For all of you suffering through the trauma of having your friends invite you to their weddings, be of good cheer: this stage of life does pass. It occurs to me (who went through this time in the early to mid-80s) that I haven't been to a wedding in years. All my friends got married long ago. Now they are overseeing their own childrens' weddings. Which I, thank heavens, have not been invited to (and both my children are boys. Much less drama involved).
posted by lhauser at 12:03 PM on June 9, 2013


« Older In 1966, with America in the grip of spy fever, so...  |  HappyPlayTime seeks to rebrand... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments