We have survived another family wedding. In fact, this one was largely uneventful and generally pleasant. When I was younger, I wondered why there were so many what seemed to me stupid movies about dysfunctional weddings. Some fifteen years later, after having endured, and sometimes feeling like we barely survived, almost a score of family weddings, I no longer wonder, except perhaps why there aren’t more movies about murders at weddings, or even films noir.

A dear but departed friend once observed that while we can all choose our friends we don’t have that choice with our families. What I’ve noticed is that often an excess of family characteristics, each one perhaps admirable in itself, is multiplied by the presence of innumerable family members with that same characteristic confined in a small locale for too long a period can result in various forms of high temperature reactions and meltdowns.

Fortunately, the latest wedding was organized and orchestrated by a family member with great tact and skill, who also understood the need for the placement and spacing of volatile elements. But, then, maybe I’m just getting worn out after years of being expected to be the human equivalent of a reactor damping rod.

Or maybe it’s relief that there won’t be any more family weddings for a while — like years.

4 thoughts on “Weddings”

  1. Wine Guy says:

    Family weddings are always of the shotgun kind: most people attend because they fear the relatives’ shotguns if they do not show up. Witness my wife’s families’ weddings.

    Weddings in my family are scarce enough that they are usually one large party from the start to the end. Of course, it might also be because we only rarely see each other except for weddings and funerals since my family is literally scattered to the four corners of the earth.

  2. Alison says:

    I think the biggest stress and strain on family weddings is when one or more of the participants expect the wedding to be their “perfect day”. Usually the idea of a perfect celebration hits the reality of the budget; or two conflicting visions of what perfection means. Not to mention the religious aspects of the ceremony — it is rare to find a family where everyone marches in lock step to the same religion, budget, or vision of what a wedding should be.

  3. Wine Guy says:

    Those darn preconceived notions and unreasonable expectations!

    Where would we be without them?

  4. Josh Camden says:

    Congratulations on the new family member!

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