Monday, February 26, 2007


To the parents I spoke to last Friday in the course of visiting a school district: Just because you are of higher average income does not mean your kid is more likely to be gifted than the poor kid 10 miles down the road, nor does it mean your kid is entitled to eat up more than his or her fair share of the relatively meager resources the school district has and must stretch to educate every kid in the district. I realize every child is perfect and should get special privleges, but come on, people, your kid is not necessarily gifted just because you own a million dollar home.

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I didn't get to watch the Oscars because we were being big nerds at Toph and Amber's house, they of the fall wedding that we're in, and I'm sure glad my mom is not like Amber's mom because she is driving them nuts about wedding stuff. Anyhow, they don't have a tv that is useful for anything besides watching movies, so Hulk pulled up IMDB and we kept refreshing the winner's list every so often, and when they announced my dad's cousin had won again for sound mixing (Dreamgirls) I wooted a little bit but that was the extent of it. I've met this guy before at family reunions - he's a nice guy, has good kids, you know, just a normal guy who happens to get nominated for a lot of awards and has four Oscars now. But he's never acted anything but like a normal, everyday guy who happens to work on movies for a living. Anyhow, congrats to you, Bob.

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While we were at Toph and Amber's, I perused some of the bridal porn Amber's mom had foisted upon her. The bridal magazine, which was relatively thin and had more actual content than ads (so at least it had something going for it) was a specific publication for Colorado, and they had a somewhat useful list of event locations with details about each place, potentially saving people a lot of research time. That was pretty much the only useful thing about the magazine, though; the rest of it was suggestions for $15 apiece invitations and what colors your $100+ guest bags should be to match your fancy evening soiree in an art gallery. Of course, everything needs to match, you should spend thousands on a horse-drawn carriage ride to take you 100 feet, and it's totally appropriate to expect your guests to give you lavish gifts to make up for the thousands you're spending on the party where they get to eat rubber chicken and dry, fondant-covered cake and watch you be the center of attention for several hours.

I think that is the last piece of bridal porn I peruse. I've got a hard enough time with celebrity trash and fitness magazines at the gym giving me body complexes - I can't afford for the Wedding Industrial Complex to convince me to spend obscene amounts of money on a dress I'll wear for a few hours or to freak out if my monogrammed napkins match the color of the custom-dyed and printed rose petals. Ugh.


Cagey said...

As someone who spent the least amount of time possible on details for her wedding, I applaud your attempt to thwart the Billion Dollar Wedding Industries nefarious efforts to convince you that you must obsess over planning your "perfect day". I chose to focus our money on what really mattered to me - the food and the location. For me, that was what I remembered most about past weddings I had attended. I didn't really remember invitations, party favors, etc. So, I say focus on what's important to you and not let someone convince you that you MUST have monogrammed matchboxes, unless you really WANT monogrammed matchboxes. Then, I say go for it! :-)

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

People are pretty much going to remember if you were

a) Pleasant
b) Had good things to eat
c) Nice things to drink

and that's about it.

I always figured you'd have a sort of California Casual wedding...though those are increasingly expensive these days.

(in all honesty, while the food at my sister's wedding was really really good, if my mom were up to it, she could have catered it all herself for $500 and it would have been even tastier)

I veer between wanting a traditional Indian wedding here myself...but the more I think about it, I'd love to get married in Goa at the Taj Hotel or something and only have it cost like a $1000 and then save the rest of my marriage money for a house.

Cilicious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cilicious said...

I messed up the previous comment.
What I tried to say was: about the gifted thing, I don't know how it is now, but when my kids were in DPS, the special needs lobby was very, very powerful, and services for gifted/talented kids were, well, rather meager. But I certainly agree that high income does not equal high IQ--heh, far from it.
I am glad Bob won. I did see that, but fell asleep soon afterwards.
Have fun planning your wedding.
I am sure that you and Hulk will arrange a beautiful ceremony and celebration without the aid of any glossy magazines.

MLE said...

Cil, this was not DPS. It was a school district to the south of here (just north of the Springs) where demographically, more than twice as many kids are identified gifted than sped, they fund gifted ed FAR more than sped, and the parents I spoke to were sped parents - who of course didn't hesitate to tell me that their kids were ALSO gifted. And that the school district should spend its money to make sure their autistic kid can participate fully in jump roping class (one-on-one trained aid in pt or something) rather than that 20grand going toward, I don't know, maybe paying a teacher or academic materials or something? It was just annoying, the whole community seems to have this weird view on what it means to be gifted and that a gifted label is bestowed because a family is wealthy. Or something.

Cagey, I have no intention of obsessing - it was just kind of weird to look at this magazine and realize the messages that (primarly) brides are given are so insidious. I looked through the magazine out of curiosity, and that's been satisfied, and I have no intention of looking at more.

Monks, we agree that what we care about is having the people we love all in one place to have a good time with good food etc. We haven't really started with details yet (I mean, we haven't even decided which STATE yet), but just brainstorming a bit on what we want.

Cagey said...

I actually like looking at Bridal Porn NOW because it's fun to see all the pretty, pretty things with NO pressure.

But yes, overall, the message sent to brides really made me angry. I was already getting the "now your life is complete" message from my grandma, I didn't need major publications driving it home.

Matt said...

"Wedding Industrial Complex" is one of those phrases where I think I came up with it independently but I'm sure I wasn't the first.

Anyway... in my humble opinion, even ahead of the food, the first, foremost, and just maybe only, thing that you should care about in planning a wedding is finding a location that you like and that your guests will want to go to because it sucks to blow a bunch of money on a plane ticket and some vacation time to go to somewhere that there is nothing to do other than one wedding.

Important note: I'm not saying this out of self-interest because all your potential wedding locations as far as I know (CA, CO), are can't-miss locales.

MLE said...

Well, Matt, we were considering Akron, OH, but just for you we'll plan on CO or CA.

Yank In Texas said...

I'm rather content with the fact that whenever it happens, my wedding will be the sort of casual affair at which I plan to be the most overdressed person there.
This whole spending tons of money on one day just seems insane. The food is most important as boy works in a restaurant and we have lost of chef friends. (Yay wedding cake as a gift!)
I say just have fun and do what you want within the budget that you have. Focus on what you want. Sadly, I have mine planned. But we've discussed this a lot before.