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The Wedding Party

February 20, 2013

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A PROGRAMMING NOTE: I hosted a live taping of the Savage Lovecast in Seattle on Valentine's Day, and it went great—thanks to all who came (especially to the five boys who left with butt plugs in their butts)—but I made the mistake of having a drink or five afterward, and I'm so fucking hungover right now that I shouldn't be sitting upright, much less giving advice. But deadlines are deadlines. So here we go...

I'm a 31-year-old genderqueer in Brooklyn with a large family on Long Island. My only sister got engaged 48 hours ago, and she's moving fast on planning the wedding. I have two questions.

Number one question: I texted my sister the only date I wasn't available in the next two years, which is Columbus Day weekend 2013. I have my 10-year college reunion, which I've been organizing. My sister texted me back that they picked this Columbus Day weekend for the wedding even though they have no idea if the places they want will be booked up. It quickly came out that they didn't check with anyone about potential conflicts. She wants me to be the maid of honor, and I'm not sure what to do. She's really upset with me. Columbus Day weekend is of no significance to them (it's not the anniversary of the date they met or anything), and I can't reschedule the reunion.

Number two question: I was born female but do not identify that way. I'm genderqueer and do not look like a girl. I have not worn a dress in 10 years and feel like I'm in drag in one. In the past, my sister said she would consider putting me in a pantsuit-ish kind of thing at her wedding, which would be great, but I am worried that now I'm rocking the boat too much with this Columbus Day thing and I don't know if I should just leave it alone. My girlfriend, who is very pretty and feminine, said if I had to wear a dress, she'd go in a suit and bow tie.

Dan, help! If for some reason my sister can't get her weekend, it will be because they're rushing and everything is booked, but I have already caused trouble! Is it worth it to fight for the pantsuit thing, or should I just leave it alone and do what she wants?

Thank You So Much

Number one answer: If your sister didn't check with anyone—not members of her immediate family, not members of her bridal party—about potential conflicts, then your sister should've anticipated that some of the folks wouldn't be able to attend. Folks who aren't getting married have lives and commitments of their own, which means they can have conflicts, and your sister could've worked around those conflicts if she had cared to ask about them. But she didn't care to ask, because she seems to be one of those brides-to-be who think an engagement ring on her finger puts her ass at the center of the universe. Here's hoping your sister can't get the venue she wants and has to reschedule. If that doesn't happen, TYSM, tell your sister you'll be with her in spirit and send a gift.

Number two answer: The fact that your sister has been engaged for 48 hours and is already furious with her maid-of-honor-elect is a bad sign. You'll be doing yourself, both families, and your sister a service if you stand up to her now. A little pushback now will either prevent your sister from going Bridezilla or get you dropped from the wedding party. You literally can't lose. So tell your sister now that you're delighted to be her maid of honor, if scheduling allows, and that you look forward to shopping for a pantsuit that matches her dress and the dresses of her bridal party. If she tells you that you have to wear a dress to be her maid of honor, TYSM, then it's clear that the dress is more important to your sister than the person wearing it, and you should tell her to find someone else to model it at her wedding.


A gay friend of mine is getting married in Seattle, and we're hoping to throw him a most excellent bachelor party. However, as a straight dude, I'm fairly clueless about gay strip clubs in the Seattle area. Can you please recommend one or two good ones?

Straight Best Man

There are no gay strip clubs in Seattle, SBM, I'm sorry to say. You can blame the Washington State Liquor Control Board for that sad fact. Adults in Seattle can look at naked people or they can have a drink, but they can't have a drink while looking at naked people. While there's enough demand for naked ladies in Seattle to make non-booze-servin' straight strip clubs economically viable, there isn't enough demand for naked boys to make gay strip clubs economically viable. (And people have tried.) There is, however, a great gay strip club in Portland, Oregon, called Silverado. If gay strippers are a must, plan a road trip as well as a bachelor party.


My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married, and I am incredibly excited about marrying this awesome dude. My problem is that my ideal engagement ring is something that looks nice but is cheap. Seriously, a $50 ring would be perfect. I don't want something expensive because (A) it'll make me paranoid about losing it/having it stolen, and (B) I'd rather use the money for something else, like a house. However, my guy wants to spend about a grand on an engagement/wedding ring set. Given his income, this is far from an outrageous expense, but I'd still rather have my $50 cubic zirconia. I've talked with him about this, and we joke about how the stereotypical roles are reversed here, with me being the one who wants to go cheap and him wanting something more. But he's holding fast. Any ideas how I might be able to get my way and make him see that he's my prize, not the jewelry?

Not A Ring Girl

The difference between the engagement ring you'd prefer and the ring set your fiancé wants to buy—$950—ain't nothin', NARG, but it's not enough to buy a fucking house. I could see digging in your heels if your fiancé wanted to spend twenty grand on a ring, as that kind of money would go a long way toward a down payment; I could see going to war if he was planning to go into debt to buy you a rock. But learning to pick your battles is the secret to a happy, successful marriage, NARG, and the difference between a $50 ring and a far from outrageous $1,000 ring set isn't worth fighting about. You want to make him see that he's your prize? Let him have his way on this.


My brother and his new wife had a three-way with a male hotel receptionist while on their honeymoon. I don't have a problem with three-ways in theory, but I think it's wrong to have one on your fucking honeymoon. I was their best man. What am I supposed to do now?

Disgusted Big Bro

You're supposed to shut the fuck up and mind your own business—now and always.


Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

My new book—American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics—comes out in May. Order it now!

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Comments (252) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
first?
Posted by firsty on February 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Report this
2
Good advice as always.
Posted by alyssa0987 on February 19, 2013 at 10:10 PM · Report this
3
Damn it. I *knew* I should have gone on a honeymoon. Now I know why.
Posted by Kinky Ana on February 19, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
lolorhone 4
What was the LW with the threesome-having brother and sister-in-law really asking? Whether he should start shaming them for their frankly awesome extracurricular activities? What a nosy judgmental dick.
Posted by lolorhone on February 19, 2013 at 10:24 PM · Report this
5
NARG I too think $1000 on a ring is extravagant, I am also engaged but don't wear jewelry, I told my fiancé I rather he have a cock ring if the ring is so important.
Posted by alyssa0987 on February 19, 2013 at 10:25 PM · Report this
6
Just to put a slight twist on Ana's comment, why couldn't I run into a honeymooning couple like this one when I was working various crappy service industry jobs.
Posted by FrankUP on February 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM · Report this
7
I actually think that Dan missed the boat on the Columbus Day wedding. It seems to me that the bride to be definitely DOESN'T want her sister there. Why else chose the ONE date that the sister has a conflict with? Seriously, its a aggressively passive way of saying -- "Uh, I am ashamed of you and your gender confusion. Please don't come to my wedding." Hey, it's very fucked up. But honestly? That's the only idea that makes sense here.
Posted by bittergaymark on February 19, 2013 at 10:47 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 8
Ditto 7. That was my first impression, too.
Posted by OutInBumF on February 19, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Report this
9
Fuck yeah, Dan, you rock!
Posted by EvaApple on February 20, 2013 at 12:11 AM · Report this
10
I told my then-fiance/now-husband I wanted a plain grey band of aircraft grade titanium. It cost a whopping $65. I think it's quite symbolic of our relationship: sturdy, unassuming, doesn't get caught in things it oughtn't.

It was economical, it makes me happy, and hell. It matches all of my clothes.
Posted by ringgggggg on February 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM · Report this
11
@NARG, Dan's advice is fine, but realize that this won't be the last time this comes up. You might try to talk about the values behind his preference, to see if it's just about symbolism ("my love is real so I don't want a fake diamond") or if it's about keeping up with the Joneses or some other value which you will like even less after a few years go by.
Posted by EricaP on February 20, 2013 at 1:09 AM · Report this
12
"I don't have a problem with three-ways in theory" ...and I bet you don't get a lot of them in practice, DBB.

Posted by EricaP on February 20, 2013 at 1:10 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 13
Letter #1: I'm echoing @7 & @8: the very first impression I got was that the sister doesn't want her 'embarassing' genderqueer sis & GF to attend. The *only* date she can't make & Ms. Gorgonzilla had to pick that very one?

Stick to your guns, LW#1/TYSM, & don't give up on the reunion you've been organizing. It's not a crime to miss a wedding, & it's not like she's made a real effort to think of your - or anyone's - availability. Comforting thought: I've been to some holiday weekend weddings & they make folks resentful. You won't necessarily be missing much.

As for the last letter with that painfully good advice from Dan: agreed, butt out! & more echoing of a response, this time @6.

Hmph. Don't seem to have much original to add..best go to bed. ;)
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on February 20, 2013 at 1:13 AM · Report this
14
@9: I second that!

And Dan, thanks, too, for printing my Griz weight loss updates---and continuing to put up with this crazy lady!
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 20, 2013 at 1:17 AM · Report this
MythicFox 15
@7 -- Agreed. TSYM needs to tell her sister rather firmly to go fuck herself.
Posted by MythicFox on February 20, 2013 at 1:45 AM · Report this
16
If you want to be still wearing a ring that looks good and is in one piece in 20 years, then you probably need to get one that costs more than $50.
Posted by krissf on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 AM · Report this
17
"Uhh.. I have no problem with three-ways in theory, but how dare they have a good time on their honeymoon?!"

Jealous much? Shut the fuck up.

Posted by jack chandelier on February 20, 2013 at 4:08 AM · Report this
18
"You're supposed to shut the fuck up and mind your own business—now and always."

Hahahahaha! I'm gonna use this like at least once a day now! lol
Posted by RudyJ on February 20, 2013 at 4:15 AM · Report this
19
The brother should always mind his own business--until it becomes his business. Did he find out about this by hypothesizing after seeing the third leave the room? Keep quiet! Did he find out about this because his brother and/or sister-in-law bragged about it? Then THEY MADE IT HIS BUSINESS and should expect him to react/comment.
Posted by LML on February 20, 2013 at 4:22 AM · Report this
Sketch 20
#1 I agree with everyone hwo said it's highly suspicious that the sister picked the ONE date her genderqueer sib can't make it. Especially since she didn't ask anyone ELSE about conflicts--it's as if she asked her brother, and only her brother, specifically so she could plan for when he couldn't make it. Especially since they then decided on that date even though they don't know if their venues are available.

It's a shame he's feeling guilty for "rocking the boat" now, when all he did is dare to have ONE other thing planned in the next two years.

#3 While I agree the ring is not worth fighting over, they should have a conversation to make sure this isn't the start of an ongoing trend where he ALWAYS wants to be more extravagant and spend more than she's comfortable with. Money is one of the things couples fight most about.

#4 Huh? Why is he writing to Dan Savage? I don't mean only "Why does he think it's his place to do anything at all?" (though that's a good question, too), but more importantly--why DAN SAVAGE?

Had he written to Prudie or Dear Abbie, he'd have a shot at getting the kind of answer he's apparently looking for. But he must have known Dan, who's not exactly known for his conservative views on marriage and sexuality, would reply as he did.
Posted by Sketch on February 20, 2013 at 4:25 AM · Report this
21
I love this week's column! I follow wedding and bridezilla questions all over the 'net because they're so gossipy, spicily ... inconsequential. With all the real problems in the real world, with all the hurt and violence, seeing people hop up and down making etiquette productions, well, what can I say, I eat it up like I eat up any theatrical performance and the backstage intrigue. I might have a different take if I knew any of the people involved personally, but to me, they're all actors in a big daytime drama. I have fun watching.

So, for TYSM, it's possible that your sister is deliberately trying to exclude you by picking the one day you can't make it, but from what I've read, it's just as likely that she's really clueless. Booking the venue for a wedding while taking into account cost, catering, the schedules of a large family, and a dozen other variables is a whole huge skill in itself. She likely doesn't know what she's stepped into. For that, sit back and wait to see what happens. You may find that she's taking into account your schedule conflict along with a dozen others.

For the dress, remember that no bridesmaid likes the dress the bride chooses. None. They're all designed to look stupid in bizarre colors, uniquely unflattering on a great number of figures, with the added insult of being too expensive for any bridesmaid to afford. Yet it's supposed to be an honor to be asked to wear such a thing.

Bottom line is that your genderqueer status is irrelevant to your question. Your letter could have been written to Miss Manners by a straight woman: "My sister wants me to wear a costume that I hate for her wedding ..." The answer is to ask before accepting the bridesmaid/maid of honor position what will be involved, then accept or decline depending on whether it sounds like something you want to do. If it were me, I'd just go ahead and wear the damn thing, whatever it was, as long as I didn't have to pay for it, shop for it, or pretend to be excited about any aspect of it, but that's me.
More...
Posted by Crinoline on February 20, 2013 at 4:30 AM · Report this
22
@16 has it - let this one thing be good quality, because only quality lasts, and that's the point of an engagement ring, no?
Posted by misspiggy on February 20, 2013 at 4:41 AM · Report this
mydriasis 23
re: the sister, I agree with 7 completely.

re: threesomes... I'm sorry but am I the only person who heard "I'm the best man" and thought it implied "it should have been me!". Disturbing, but it seemed like such a non sequitor otherwise.
Posted by mydriasis on February 20, 2013 at 5:01 AM · Report this
24
The first letter feels like the flip side of a question to another dispenser of advice (who would probably make the short list if one were setting out to choose Mr Savage's opposite number) some years ago. (Gay) questioner's father was soon to turn 75. His we-don't-discuss-that siblings told him they wanted to give Daddy a surprise birthday party. Questioner asked them please not to choose one week before the birthday, as he had agreed to be in the ceremonial party for his best friend's commitment (no marriage option). Of course, the bratty siblings chose one week before the birthday. What should questioner do? He was told in no uncertain terms that blood-is-thicker-than-water, he could not blow off his father for a party, no his celebrating with Daddy on the actual birthday itself or some other time would not be an acceptable substitute, and because Daddy would want him at the party with all the siblings he really had no choice.

This is so easy to guess I hate to give it a full point, but I am so pleased with Mr Savage's response that I'll be generous and allot a full point to the first correct guesser of the other adviser's identity.
Posted by vennominon on February 20, 2013 at 5:25 AM · Report this
25
@21 - There's a huge difference between asking a cis-gendered woman to wear an ugly bridesmaid's dress and asking a gender queer person to wear an outfit that does not match their gender expression. One is merely an inconvenience and the other is asking someone to pretend to be someone that they aren't for an entire evening just for the bride's pleasure.
Posted by Abi on February 20, 2013 at 5:37 AM · Report this
mydriasis 26
re:25

As a cis-gendered woman who'd be very upset wearing an ugly dress... I completely agree with this.
Posted by mydriasis on February 20, 2013 at 5:50 AM · Report this
27
A better objection to the ring than price might be practicality. When we got engaged, I knew that my work would involve much wearing of nitrile gloves. A big rock, or anything pokey, would be really annoying with those gloves so I picked out a ring with a small recessed diamond that cost $300. Rather than saying "don't spend money on me" you can say "buy me something I'll actually enjoy wearing that happens to be cheaper".
Posted by Jani on February 20, 2013 at 5:58 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 28
Re the wedding ring:

In many social circles, the flash of a nice engagement ring is a reflection on the husband. Even is Mrs. Horton didn't want a big ring, I would rather her wear one to avoid the awkward conversations that ensue from friends when they all inevitably ask to see the ring.

This all assumes the money is largely irrelevant, which NARG says it is.

Posted by Tim Horton on February 20, 2013 at 6:03 AM · Report this
29
Dan's answer to Disgusted Big Bro makes sense as it's written, but I see something else in it. I think the DBB is trying to normalize threesomes by applying etiquette rules to them that are as absurd as most other etiquette rules. Look at wedding rules that put all matter of importance to how invitations are addressed, what color the napkins should be, who dances first with whom. Look at the whole books written about the exact placement of step parents and exes in receiving lines. If you think about it, it's all pretty funny. So here's the best man asking if it's appropriate to have sex with the hotel receptionist on the honeymoon. As far as I'm concerned, it's in the same tone of voice one asks if it's okay to dance a waltz with one's step-father before serving the chocolate mousse to one's cousin's ex-wife.

As for Sketch's comment in 20, you might be surprised by Abby and Prudie's views. Abby is still a little bit conservative, but even she would tell DBB to mind his own business, and Prudie's answer would be just like Dan's except with more puns.
Posted by Crinoline on February 20, 2013 at 6:06 AM · Report this
30
As for the letters themselves:

1) Well played indeed, Mr Savage! This erases about six and a quarter heteronormative responses.

Bridey's motivations are likely to be irrelevant. The last time I checked, there were a good number of Italians on Long Island; Columbus Day will be long taken.

2) Why is LW2 in the position of having to consult Mr Savage? This one is a coin flip. Heads: LW2 reminds me of the Mandarin Socialism popularly associated with Bloomsbury during the time of poor dear Mrs Woolf. He's supportive of social justice for sexual minorities but doesn't take afternoon tea with them. Hence the idea of asking any of the groom's gay friends is just unthinkable (to continue teasing Ms Cute about Loitering with Intent, as unfathomable as it would have been for Maisie Young to think of getting a copy of Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua from the public library, so that she has to ask Fleur how to get hold of a copy and Fleur borrows it for her). Tails: Groom has no gay friends, which is apparently a growing and disturbing trend among young urban gay men now that the Assimilationists have razed Gay Culture (Mr Sullivan must be SO proud). Accordingly a straight bachelor party will do just fine.

3) DTDDA - Ditch The D* Diamond Already. It has been well established that Diamonds are More Problematic than Red Meat. Even a Free Range Diamond that never passed through the hands of any questionable South African company doesn't advertise its presence as such. And an imitation diamond is only sort of a half-answer.

But it's not as if a diamond or imitation thereof is so much more attractive than any other possible stone, just more expensive. First come to some sort of compromise on the price ($223.61 being the rounded answer to X/50 = 1000/X) and then pick a stone. Even one of the next-to-the-top-drawer stones (which appear to be regaining acceptance fairly widely for this purpose) can provide a much nicer ring at a much lower price, and there are probably some perfectly lovely stones that would allow for about the otherwise ideal ring for about my compromise amount.

4) I have a serious response to 4, but I shall let it sit for a while and permit myself a bit of enjoyment. I thank everyone for letting me be Captain Obvious here. This letter could not have a clearer case of the Operative Word if we were on Match Game with Richard Dawson, Brett Somers, Fannie Flagg and Charles Nelson Reilly.

MALE?!?!?!?
More...
Posted by vennominon on February 20, 2013 at 6:13 AM · Report this
31
I sympathize with "Not A Ring Girl". I agree that you need to pick your battles, but considering that "Not" will theoretically have to wear her unwanted ring every minute of every day for the rest of her life, this IS a battle worth fighting. The fiance's main worry is probably that people will think he's cheap - if that's the case, why not get him to buy you an expensive necklace (or whatever other type of jewellery you'd prefer), then you'd only have to wear it on "special occasions" instead of every day, and you can still show everybody what a generous guy he is. Just a thought.
Posted by Not a Ring Girl Either on February 20, 2013 at 6:31 AM · Report this
32
While I agree with Dan that learning to pick your battles is part of a happy marriage, meeting your partners needs is the REAL secret to a happy one. And it's kind of a red flag that he refused to do that right off.
Posted by Texans on February 20, 2013 at 6:34 AM · Report this
33
TYSM should invest in a perfectly tailored, perfectly dapper suit that either matches the groomsmen's or has details that match the bridesmaids' dresses. If he thinks it'll work, he should show up wearing it and let his sister be wowed by how handsome and color-coordinated he looks. If he doesn't think that'll work, he should show up in it unannounced.

As a plus? He might actually get to wear it again.

Amen to the advice on DBB. Gotta wonder how he even found out about his brother's wedding night, though. Perhaps one action is required: "Bro, stop telling me about your sexual adventures; I don't approve and I don't want that to come between us."
Posted by DRF on February 20, 2013 at 7:06 AM · Report this
34
I know a woman who wanted a cubic zirconia rock on her ring not for the question of expense but because of the whole "blood diamond" thing. She didn't want to contribute to child labor, civil war, etc. Naturally, her fiance was fully supportive of this conscientious approach to jewelry.
Posted by repete on February 20, 2013 at 7:16 AM · Report this
35
My engagement /wedding ring was inexpensive because I refuse to own or wear a diamond. I had it made with my birthstone, something that means something to me. After that wore out, (wore thru the gold band,) my husband bought me a new one in a vintage style - again, no diamonds. Skip the diamonds, save big bucks!
Posted by MabQueen on February 20, 2013 at 7:29 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 36
I have similar views about diamonds as 34. I worry that if the bf proposes, he'll buy a diamond because he might think as an American (he's not) it's the sort of thing I expect. But I have moral objections to diamonds and would be slightly offended if he bought me one.
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on February 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
37
For the first time in years, I agree w/all of Dan's advice, so maybe there's hope for the human race after all. I've had numerous experiences w/couples who decide to marry on a holiday weekend and have the nerve to be outraged when many people can't attend, not to mention the outrageous travel fares involved when the invitees live many miles away. 'Zilla indeed!
Posted by wayne on February 20, 2013 at 7:42 AM · Report this
38
concerning the ring question: I agree with Dan: it isn't worth fighting about it. I wanted a cheap engagement ring as well, but my husband got me a beautiful ring that cost more than a grand (I just found out a couple of days ago that it was the single most expensive object he ever bought even though he spent a lot on his computer too). I'm allergic to it and can't have it touch my skin, I'm still afraid I might loose it. But we didn't fight about it. It just is not worth the fight, let him have his way. (we got cheap wedding rings that looked very good when we got them but now after 1 1/2 years their black color start to fade. The engagement ring still looks like it looked when I got it, even though I have it on me every day)

concerning the sister: I had to reschedule my own wedding plans, because my sister scheduled her wedding close to my date (she decided later on the marrying than we did). Her husband refused to have a double wedding or moving the date. It meant that I couldn't be there because I can't fly to the old continent that often and it meant that I had to move my own wedding party because expecting the extended family to attend 2 weddings in one month sounded not like a good idea. She didn't decide on her date to hurt me or ruin my plans, she just forgot in the heat of the moment to check for conflicts. I would give the letter writer's sister the benefit of the doubt too: she was planning the wedding for only 48 hours so far and it sounded as if she didn't inquire for any conflicts before the LW pointed out that there was one weekend that was already booked. as I said (and as it was said before by others) give her the benefit of the doubt. I doubt that the decision has anything to do with the gender queer status of the LW.
Posted by GermanGirl on February 20, 2013 at 7:48 AM · Report this
39
Ha, the ring letter reminded me of my own engagement ring story - I just wanted opals, because they're my favorite stone, pretty and colorful (and not very expensive), and I didn't want a diamond because I think they're boring. But both my husband and my Mom ganged up on me and insisted on a diamond, so in the end my husband bought three unset stones - a diamond and two black opals - and a ring with a three-stone setting, and we had a jeweler set the stones. So now I have a unique custom ring, a diamond with opal accents. (You usually won't find diamonds set with opals, apparently because diamonds are such a hard stone and opals are soft.)
Posted by Dragonrose36 on February 20, 2013 at 7:55 AM · Report this
40
$1000 is FAR from an expensive engagement ring. many people spend upwards of $10k, or follow the 3x their monthly salary range. let the dude by you the ring.
Posted by 123abcdefghi on February 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM · Report this
41
I agree with those that say let the guy pick out the engagement ring. Just don't make it an engagement ring/wedding ring set.
You don't have to wear an engagement ring after the wedding. I rarely wear mine because it's fragile, although beautiful. But wedding rings are worn all day/ every day. Get a plain band for a wedding ring and make sure it's comfortable.
Posted by swing state voter on February 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM · Report this
AFinch 42
@28 has it right. I hate the stupid diamond racket - it's a total scam and waste of money - truly the definition of Conspicuous Consumption. The CZ rings are sparklier, last longer and priced appropriately (according to the utility of the object).

However, I just proposed last fall, and yes, getting a ring that would stand up in social settings - not make me look like a cheap husband and not make her look like the poor cousin - was important, sadly.

I got a CZ three stone monster for $65 for the actual proposal, because the real ring was a custom job that took about six weeks more to get.

re TYSM: The only thing I'd say here in defense of Dan's read is that Bridezilla is asking her sister to be the Maid of Honor...if she were embarrassed about pantsuits and genderqueer and the rest, somehow I don't think she'd be asking her to be the Maid of Honor.
Posted by AFinch on February 20, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
43
My husband and I (we're gays) had a fourgy with another couple the day after our wedding. That last letter just brought back a lovely memory. :)
Posted by SCmp on February 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
44
Hey non-ring wearer. Do you plan on being married more than a year? If so a $50 ring will not suffice. Cheap metal tarnishes and errodes. Thin cheap plating wears off leaving cheap bronze to stain and irritate your skin. A $1000 ring IS a cheap ring for a real ring. Appreciate that he doesnt want to look a cheap piece of crap everytime he sees you. Get your fake diamond set in a real ring. You'll be happier and so will he.
Posted by jojo on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
AFinch 45
@44 is right, and yes, there are lots of good reasons - not just the DeBeers Racket - for avoiding "real" diamonds...set your CZ in Platinum, not gold (which is soft and wears).
Posted by AFinch on February 20, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
46
Hey Dan, Sorry about the hangover, but the Valentines day party was a ton of fun. Thanks for hosting a really great evening. Did Randy manage to get all of that frosting washed off? Ugh. Just thinking about ingesting all of that frosting kind of made me queasy. But it was fun watching.
Posted by SeattleKim on February 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
47
@39. Honey that sucks that your hubby didn't listen to you. I also wanted a pretty colorful stone (don't really like diamonds). My husband knew Opal was my fav stone and went and had an amazing Lightning Ridge Opal ring made for me. When he proposed with that I knew he knew me better than anyone. 10 years later we are still going strong. I guess the message for guys and girls is to think about what your partner and you would want and don't give in to to the whole need to have a diamond crap. They are kinda boring if you ask me.
Posted by BubbleSox on February 20, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
48
Dan, are there any gay bars in Seattle that feature male dancers that get down to their undies/thongs? That's how they get around those pesky liquor and nudity laws in Ohio. Another option would be to have a private party and hire a private dancer. Or would that be a privates dancer?
Posted by Barbara on February 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
49
Road-tripping to a jurisdiction that allows reasonable adult activities (drinking in strip clubs) is certainly an option, however an option that has worked well for me has been hiring strippers that do outcalls.

If the group is of mixed orientation, you can hire a mix of entertainers, and a house or hotel suite is a much more relaxing environment than a strip club. You can also drink and smoke or smoke, have a nice dinner, etc.
Posted by A Better Party on February 20, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
50
NARG - I would recommend you find out WHY he's so invested in the idea of the $1,000 ring set. If he gets a real and genuine pride from spending this much money on it, or if he just really LIKES that ring set, sure, I'd take Dan's advice. But if he's working from a deeply-ingrained insecurity about his need to prove himself as a provider, it might be worth poking at a bit. His feelings about wanting to give a big gift also don't trump your desire to show your love for HIM with a cheap ring. You should find a balance you both feel happy with, but address the issue with humor and humility.

My husband and I spent a lot of money (for us) on our wedding rings, but my engagement ring came from a bubble machine in a truck stop. I was comfortable with that because it was egalitarian. It was for US, not for ME.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on February 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
51
Re: Columbus Day weekend wedding. Most K-12 schools have that Monday off - therefore, a lot of parents book mini breaks, vacations, etc. In some parts of the US, it's "Fall Break" and kids have a whole week off. Anyone who would book their wedding that weekend is just asking for a lot of people to send regrets because they will be sure to have other plans.
Posted by BethACZ on February 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
52
@36: So...tell him how you feel about diamonds. My bf and I discussed more than a year ago that we wouldn't want anything even trying to be a diamond, and we're not engaged.
Posted by Belle Starr on February 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
53
NARG, Dan forgot to tell you to smile and say thank you so I'll tack that on to his most excellent advice.
Posted by GG1000 on February 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
54
It IS possible to find conflict- free diamonds, people! It's also possible to find hypo-allergenic metals fir setting. And the the buy the ring he wants, as long as he takes your aesthetic preferences into account. Enjoy the splurge! You'll be glad, years from now, that you'd didn't marry a stingy bastard.
Posted by Failedatforty on February 20, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
55
For two reasons, I think TYSM should attend her sister's wedding and pass the reunion organizing on to someone else: (1) if her sister passively-aggressively secretly doesn't want her to go, then attending would get her panties in a real bunch; (2) because I've found the most "adult" way to choose amid clashing commitments is sort them by (a) family; (b) friends; (c) lovers; (d) everyone else.

YES, your friends usually behave better than family, and YES, they are more rewarding in a trillion ways. But you'll always feel like shit if you choose friends over family, at least for the milestone-type stuff. Honoring our shitty families gives us grace and nobility. And if they still verbally shit all over you, they're already doing it to others, and they're probably pretty fucking lonely for a wee visit.

We don't always need to like our family, but they may very well be life's best test of our patience. And that's damn good spiritual teaching.
Posted by Annegirl on February 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
56
Re. Gay bachelor party -- there may not be strip clubs, but there are some good Burlesque shows that have dudes. The Can Can Castaways have two very attractive male specimens; and, added plus, you can drink at the Can Can...
Posted by SarahMcMenomy on February 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
57
Why not meet halfway on the ring? Spend a little more than she wants to get lasting quality, but go a little less than what he wants to spend and find a happy medium. Marriage isn't about sometimes just giving in wholesale, sometimes, you can compromise.

Stick a foot in bridezillas ass now before it becomes a real problem.

Brother in law desperately needs his own threesome.
Posted by aleena on February 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
58
I might get hated on for this but... my bridesmaids took me to Silverado for my bachelorette party. We had a fantastic time. The guys were hot and super friendly. There were only 4 of us women, we were respectful, tipped well, visted fairly early in the evening, and nobody seemed bothered by our presence. It is well worth the trip.
Posted by wxPDX on February 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
59
NARG, is this a one-off or is he like this generally? If it's a one-off, it's important to him (I sympathize & the comments about the quality of the ring above are totally correct). If it's a pattern of him living beyond his means, then there's a problem you need to address, stat.
Posted by usagi on February 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
seandr 60
@NARG: As any wedding magazine will tell you, the quality of the engagement ring is a direct reflection of your fiance's value as a human being, and the ring you want to wear basically says "Hi, my fiance is a worthless loser."

The real question here is why are you so intent on humiliating him?
Posted by seandr on February 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
61
On, and re: rings. If you get something expensive, insure it! You can add a very cheap "personal article" rider to your rental or homeowners' insurance policy. Our jeweler recommended this to us -- apparently a lot of newlyweds lose their rings while swimming in Hawaii on the honeymoon. Most decent jewelers will give you an appraisal at the point of sale that you can send to your insurance company.

Pro-tip, you can add an event insurance rider to your rental/homeowners policy as well for the wedding itself. Geico makes this difficult because they subcontract out everything, but it was easy with State Farm and probably with others. Ask about this the next time you renew your policy.
Posted by wxPDX on February 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
62
Wish I could edit @61. $1000 isn't much for a ring. You'll find this out when you go shopping. Gold in particular is really expensive so consider other metals. Your fiance might end up getting you a cheap engagement ring out of economic practicality. Don't say anything now -- no need.
Posted by wxPDX on February 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
seandr 63
@NARG: One other thing to consider. Most guys interpret a cheap engagement ring to mean "fair game".
Posted by seandr on February 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
64
#7 Oh yeah, definitely...

also Columbus day THIS YEAR! hahahaaha... yeah good luck getting the sites you want. (unless it's your own super tiny church...)

My first impression is 1) planning the wedding BACKWARDS (don't pick a specific non-changable date without scouting out venues, family conflicts, etc. Maybe it's not sibling's 10th reunion that they're running, but maybe it's a major surgery for a parent or grandparent, or... other weddings) so there HAS to be an alternative motive here. (like "can't NOT ask my sibling to stand up with us, and can't bear to have sibling seen by friends...")

also MAJOR thought I had first: No way is this person even remotely mature enough to be getting married, if the Bridezilla is coming out this fast... Not mature enough to be inclusive of their sibling how is she going to handle the first real marital conflict (storming out and going home to Mother?), or a conflict with the in laws?

so yeah TYSM, "I can't make the wedding I have a prior commitment, let me know if the date changes... " is perfectly appropriate.

Posted by BatMom on February 20, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
65
* for TWO rings, because he wants to get the wedding ring too with that $1000. I suck at typing today.
Posted by wxPDX on February 20, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Jaymz 66
Dan - 3 for 3 on excellent advice here. I say you get super drunk every week!
Posted by Jaymz on February 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
67
For the gay strip club problem, first make sure that the groom would actually want to include that in the festivities.

As for the engagement ring - make one last attempt to avoid the expensive one. Try to find something silly/exotic/personal/etc. that would be special without being expensive.
My wife treasures her engagement ring - it took two dimes to get it when I went down on one knee to propose in the grocery store. She loves telling the story. [And I get to pipe in with the follow-up story about having to spend SEVEN dimes to get a replacement after she lost it.]
Posted by bbbbbb on February 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Jaymz 68
Actually, 4 for 4 I guess but that last one clearly was a throw away, like duh... STFU, bro.
Posted by Jaymz on February 20, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
69
#42 there are LOTS of expectations (cultural, family) that goes with weddings. there's the EXPECTATION your sister will be maid/matron of honor or at the very least a bridesmaid.

So yeah, to get out of that... there's 1) planned calendar conflict and 2) insisting on the sibling cross dressing "to blend in" rather than being themselves.

Posted by BatMom on February 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
70
Have to disagree with you on the engagement ring. If he wants to wear a $1000 engagement ring, he should get one for himself. If she has to wear something on her finger 24 hours every day, she should be able to choose the rock. Otherwise, he's just putting his mark on her.
Posted by Reticula http://reticulatedwriter@blogspot.com on February 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
71
I told my now-husband that I didn't want a ring (because I didn't), so he proposed to me with a video game. What can I say? He really knows me. <3
Posted by lurker29 on February 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM · Report this
72
Not A Ring Girl -

Dan is right. Pick your battles. I also did not give a shit about the ring, but my fiance (now husband) really wanted to get me something pretty. If your fiance is not a jerk about it, isn't trying to push gender roles or some red flag patriarchal wedding bs on you, I recommend you do what I do and let it go. Let him buy you that ring. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY be part of the buying process. Instead of it being a big hunk of money on your finger that you didn't want, it will be something you chose and love together.

xo
Posted by kersy on February 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
73
Oh, to add what I said in @72. Wedding planning and marriage itself is a lot of back and forth and finding compromise. Take the time with yourself and your fiance to pick what is most important to you and pick which battles to fight. For ex: we got a ring TOGETHER, worked out a procession that was nontraditional and met both our needs, and I kept my name. Planning a wedding is not happy fun times and the sooner you realize that the better, but you don't have to sacrifice your principles for it. Work it out.

@61 Helped a newlywed couple search for a lost ring in the surf in Hawaii. Insure that shit!
Posted by kersy on February 20, 2013 at 11:53 AM · Report this
74
@NARG:
"My problem is that my ideal engagement ring is something that looks nice but is cheap."

"Something that looks nice" leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

If what you mean is that you don't like diamonds because of the whole blood diamond issue, or because you just don't like the way they look, your fiance could get you an engagement ring with an emerald, or a ruby, or a sapphire, or whatever your birthstone is, or whatever your favorite stone is.

If you don't like any precious or semiprecious stone, there are rings without a stone (for example, in platinum) that could easily run about $1000.

Don't limit your search to the jewelry stores in the mall, either. Look in antique stores, which usually have at least some antique jewelry, if that's your style. Go to one or more custom design jewelry stores in your town, or the nearest good-sized city. Look at the rings, and think about what it is about them you do or don't like. Talk to the jeweler about what design elements s/he might be able to incorporate into a ring, e.g., "I like this design, but can you make it in white gold instead of yellow", "with a different stone", "with three stones instead of two", etc. By the time you decide on a unique ring that's exactly what you want, it's a pretty safe guess you'll be up to a $1000 price tag.
Posted by Tessiee on February 20, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
75
For the ring, my wedding band, I was the groom (now husband) was $1000. It's custom made by the jeweler out of palladium. It was in their case and was just perfect for me! My wife's ring used family diamonds and was also custom made. The expense of both rings was not in the materials, it was in the labor to design and make them. Not saying the materials were cheap, but the majority of the cost was in labor. Keep that in mind when buying any jewelery (boy, did I learn a lot while ring shopping for our rings!).

For the bridesmaid, it's your sister's wedding, not yours. As the bridesmaid, it's your job to help try to keep you sister grounded in something resembling reality, but at the same time, it's her wedding and not yours.
Posted by kcharm on February 20, 2013 at 11:55 AM · Report this
76
Rings can be handled several ways, including wearing the ring on a gold chain (like Joan Didion), wearing one ring during the day, the fancy ring for special occasions, having a fake ring made to look exactly like the real one, and keep the real one locked up, or having smaller stones embedded in the metal to minimize catching the stone on anything. By the way, opals have a reputation of bringing bad luck. Just sayin'
Posted by marilynsue on February 20, 2013 at 11:55 AM · Report this
77
@DBB: "What am I supposed to do now?"

Wash out both their mouths with soap and make them go to their room for a time-out?
Posted by Tessiee on February 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 78
Maybe $50 is on the low end for someone who can easily afford 20 times that, and maybe they could compromise one or two hundred higher. But it's a REALLY big deal for some people to walk around every day with $1000 on your finger in the form of a tiny, easily lost package of metal and carbon.

$1000 isn't going to buy a house, but from some people's perspective, it's still a shitload of money. It could be better spent on something that's meaningful for both of them. Like a nice honeymoon, or some other memory-making experience they could have together. Or they could fly in some long-distance friends or family for the wedding, people who couldn't otherwise afford to attend. Or pay for a hotel for people who could drive, but who wouldn't have the funds to get a hotel room for a night or two. They could pay for childcare or an alternate kids' party at the reception. It would keep the kids out of the way while still allowing their Momzillas to bring them along like Momzillas always insist on doing.

The couple should go to some vintage or custom shops and look at rings. Doesn't have to be an engagement ring, doesn't have to involve gold or diamonds, doesn't have to have a minimum price tag. It just has to be something they like the looks of, suits her personality, and has a hard enough gemstone to last through years of everyday wear.
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on February 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
79
"My girlfriend, who is very pretty and feminine, said if I had to wear a dress, she'd go in a suit and bow tie."

Am I the only one who interprets this as evidence of some pre-existing friction with Sister over the issue of being gender queer? From here, that sentence comes across as "If you make my partner dress against her preference, I'm going to rub it in your face and cause a scene (admittedly, a very minor one) at your wedding by deliberately dressing against mine." Kind of passive-aggressive, if you ask me, but it would also be explained by previous conflict with Sis.

Of course, Bridezilla is being pretty shitty herself -- choosing a date that has been a conflict since well before her engagement was even announced, and then acting all upset like it's Letter Writer's fault, when the planning has been going on for a grand total of two days? Seriously? -- so the overall effect is what #7 noted, that Sis probably doesn't want Letter Writer in attendance at all, but would prefer to not be seen as the bad guy.
Posted by avast2006 on February 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
80
@50: "but my engagement ring came from a bubble machine in a truck stop"

This reminds me of a cartoon I loved and had on my bulletin board for years:
"The bride may now noogie the groom".
Posted by Tessiee on February 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
81
If the girl's afraid of loosing her ring, she could wear it on a chain around her neck.
Posted by Honeyweed on February 20, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
82
The ring -- trust me, $1000 in 5 years is going to mean nothing to you, but the symbolism of the ring likely still will matter to your husband/fiance. Plus, you do want something to last.

For my ring, I don't care for diamonds and opted for a yellow sapphire because it has symbolic relevance for me (whereas diamonds don't). But, we did put a good deal of money into the setting as, in my opinion, that's where the true workmanship is. So, I have a ring where the setting is literally 4-5x more expensive than the center stone, but who cares? It's what I like and where I feel the value lies.

I'd highly recommend sapphires as center stones because they're almost as hard as diamonds (9 vs. 10), so they won't crack under normal daily wear unlike some of the softer stones (emerald, opal, anything in the beryl family, etc.). Plus, there are a variety of colors -- blue, yellow, pink, even white if you like the look of diamonds but don't want a diamond itself (and will be like 90% cheaper).

Diamonds have an inflated value thanks to DeBeers -- there is no real intrinsic value to them if you're not using them to cut glass or something similar (like in a diamond saw). So, don't worry about it. Get what you like/want and let the rest of the naysayers go to hell. The only other person that matters is your fiance -- I would try to find something that you both want and reflects his desires too, because the ring can be important to many men as well as a sign of their love, commitment, etc. Don't underestimate or dismiss that.
Posted by KL on February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 83
@63 SeanDr.- Well played. Especially true for professionally successful women who have cheap rings.

Posted by Tim Horton on February 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
84
Wait, they teach "How to recognize a cheap ring from fifty feet away" in Predatory Guy School these days? I am so not buying this.
Posted by Eirene on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
85
If the sister of LW1 really did select Columbus Day weekend as her wedding date AFTER she learned her gender queer sis had a significant commitment that weekend, then she probably was passively aggresively trying to keep GQ sis from being in the wedding party...
However, I have a very close friend who is a gender queer, and her best childhood friend selected her as maid of honor. Talk of pantsuits was tossed around. But my friend, good sport with an amazing sense of humor that (s)he is, ended up sporting a horrific lavender frock. It was definitely absurd to those of who knew her, but it also is the inverse of Dan's assertion that the bride cared more about the dress than the person wearing it. In this case, my friend cared more about being there for her bff's wedding day - in the way that she wanted - than about looking awkward in a heinous dress. And truth be told, bridesmaids dresses usually look heinous on the most feminine of ladies...
Posted by eatin_meat on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Sketch 86
@29 Really? Huh, maybe I should start reading them again.
Posted by Sketch on February 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
87
@7, 8, 13, etc....you may be right about the bride's intentions, but Dan's advice was spot on. It gives TYSM a classy path to the high road without bowing to sister's bully tactics. If sister really is passive aggressively "not inviting" TYSM and he follows Dan's advice, he is both staying true to himself and holding her accountable. Sounds like a pretty toxic family dynamic--my partner's family is very similar in the blaming/shaming game--and the only way to navigate it is via the high road. I feel for ya, TYSM, good luck!
Posted by rlc on February 20, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
88
the third letter writer is not being honest; he has a problem with three-ways both in theory and in practice.
Posted by barfuss on February 20, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
89
Your best drunken advice ever, Mr. Savage, and arguably among your best sober advice too.

Well played, sir.
Posted by Functional Atheist on February 20, 2013 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 90
@84 - "predatory" has such a negative connotation to it. I prefer "opportunistic."

In the CEO/medical/legal/finance world, there is a theory that a financially successful woman married to a less financially successful man is most likely to join you in your room at the Marriott at the end of the seminar. A woman with a band but no diamond engagement ring brings out the predators, i.e. first round of Mojitos.

I will now crawl back under my bridge and wait for the billy goats.....
Posted by Tim Horton on February 20, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
91
My wedding band cost $45 and is made out of tungsten carbide. It will outlast any gold ring made.

My wife's engagement ring does have an expensive diamond in it that she would be beside herself if she lost (even though it's insured.) The solution was a sterling silver stunt ring that she wears camping and when in high crime areas.
Posted by MikeB on February 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
92
Whoa, totally wrong on #1 Dan - skip the dumbass college reunion. That's on the level with "National Pancake Day" or something equally trite.

Think about 5, 10 years down the line: Will TYSM regret not reuniting with classmates she hasn't seen for 10 years for a single day (and she could always make individual plans to hang out with people anyhow) or missing her sister's wedding? Obviously she will regret missing the wedding over missing a FUCKING COLLEGE REUNION. Are you kidding?
Posted by fetish on February 20, 2013 at 3:14 PM · Report this
Sketch 93
@92 A college reunion she helped plan, that she probably has duties at, compared to the wedding of a sister who doesn't want her there?

College reunion. Any day.
Posted by Sketch on February 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
94
I agree with 7 et al. It sure sounds like the bride is trying to exclude you. But if your notes passed in the mail, and it really was a coincidence, (or even if she is excluding you) Dan's advice is good. Best wishes.
Posted by mother of two on February 20, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
95
@93 if it's important, someone else can pick up the slack. If no one does, it's evidence no one really gave a shit anyhow.

The letter doesn't say anything about if the sister "wants" her there or not. I'd kill my brother if he skipped my wedding for a college reunion.
Posted by fetish on February 20, 2013 at 3:49 PM · Report this
96
@92 I think you might be fetishizing weddings, fetish.

While making a public and life-long commitment to my spouse was important and nice, the part of my wedding that best was that it provided the impetus for people I love but hadn't seen in too long to come visit. It would have been weird, I suppose, if my immediate family hadn't attended and they'd have needed a hell of an excuse to miss it en masse, but it wouldn't have detracted from our "special day".

I see pretty much everyone who attended my sister's wedding as about much as I would like, although I wish my parents lived closer, and don't think I would regret having missed it if I had serious conflict. From here, her marriage seems good, has lasted decades, and her husband seems good to and for her; the ceremony itself doesn't seem to have much to do with any of that.
Posted by Now I Want To Throw Some Reunions on February 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
97
@90 I think there is such perception in such worlds, but ironically it is a perception perpetrated by men in those fields. By the women in those fields (at least based on my and my friends' experiences), we have to respect the men we're with, but that's not necessarily defined by his paycheck. He has to be in our general ballpark or have some other enviable skill/passion (like a man that's good with his hands and can build stuff goes a long, long way) to earn that respect -- coupled with being excellent in the sack. Those two things and he's golden. We don't mind helping out with the finances so long as we can be the girls in other circumstances.
Posted by KL on February 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
98
I'm doing a study on gay marriage for my SOC class. please take my survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XWXKZPN
Posted by sgilliland on February 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
99
I think the Diamond Industrial Complex is a bunch of BS. De Beers basically took a worthless stone and marketed it as a signifier of a woman's value (bigger the stone, the higher quality woman). I find that a lot of *average* women put a great importance on a diamond ring. The bigger the better. Small heirloom yes, but a big honking winking rock just screams 'desperate for attention/validation'. And that it's usually paired bad plastic surgery and french tip nails.

Great article about De Beers sleight of hand trick:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arch…
Posted by albeit on February 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
100
jeesh, dan. enough with the disclaimers about being hungover - it's such a cop out. the rest of us just do our best to pretend we're not hung over when we're at work - what makes you different, other than having a larger audience to fool? lame.
Posted by transient on February 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
101
Nothing in this column (okay, except maybe the threesome story) would encourage anyone to look at weddings - or marriage, for that matter - in a positive light.
Posted by Sancho on February 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
102
@Not A Ring Girl: Do you or your fiance have any heirloom jewelry in the family? I have two gorgeous rings, one belonging to each of my grandmothers, stowed away in my jewelery box. I always planned that if I saw wedding bells in my future I would suggest one of those instead of purchasing a new ring. Firstly, it's a lovely gesture to family, secondly, it's free, and thirdly, it will be far more beautiful than anything your boyfriend can buy for a thousand bucks. They just don't make them like they used to.

@Disgusted Big Bro: ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
Posted by transient on February 20, 2013 at 4:33 PM · Report this
103
@97, the predatory guys don't want to steal the woman away from her charming artist/artisan husband. They just want a night of hot sex after the seminar.

I think it's true that a woman who has risen to the top of a testosterone-laden field probably has high testosterone levels herself, and may enjoy sneaking off for illicit sex.

But it seems to me that a cheap ring would actually hurt the predatory guy's chances: it shows she's a romantic at heart, because the alpha women wouldn't hesitate to make sure they got a ring exactly as flashy as they wanted.
Posted by EricaP on February 20, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
104
EricaP -- yes, I understand they're not looking to steal the alpha women away from their husbands, but in the immortal words of Paul Newman, "Why go out for hamburger when there is steak at home?"

The big paycheck men are sought after for their big paychecks, not their prowess in the bedroom...so if she's looking for a hot night in the sack, it's unlikely to come from the colleague after a seminar.

If she's got her own cash, there isn't much appeal to the big paycheck men -- they're just like any other dude hitting on a chick in a bar. Not that special.
Posted by KL on February 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM · Report this
mydriasis 105
@104

AMEN.

You are right on every point.

@Tim Horton

It is a saaad sad world you live in.
Posted by mydriasis on February 20, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
106
On our honeymoon, my wife and I had a 4way with another couple we met at the hotel pool. When we got back home, a few of our friends had a negative reaction (although not to our face - through the grapevine) but most just shrugged and everyone got over it eventually. After all, f you can't have great crazy sex on your honeymoon, then when?
Posted by Datetimelocation on February 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM · Report this
107
I just listended to the Dan Savage podcast (recording of the Valentine's Day Live Show) and had to turn it off when this comedian dude was reading from his book. In the passage that he was reading, the man in the relationship was LITERALLY God and his girlfriend was a nagging retail associate. OMG. Men are LITERALLY GOD NOW. WTF-I know, bla, bla, bla, humour, bla,bla, satire, bla. My Goddess (LOL) what trite humour. If that's you humour crawl int a basement in rural Indiana now to exclusively watch sitcom reruns with ample cellulite jokes. And there is no satire in that because he was just - wink, nudge, wink - telling the audience, who was compliantly laughing, who women and men really are (Mars, Venus, God, annoyingly human retail associate. It is not satire if you repeat the mainstream gender discourse like a brain - dead gibbon for money, approval and a sweet spot smack dab in the middle of hegemonic masculinity. Yum, patriarchy is keeping me fed and complacent. OMG. It is the Fifties. Stop laughing, people. This is dumbass bullshit that is just super misogynist and sooooo laaame and ooold. I am done with you, Dan Savage. Godessdamn (I will keep on LOLing abot that for a while), what disappointing BS.
Posted by WHYOHWHY on February 20, 2013 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Roma 108
I hosted a live taping of the Savage Lovecast in Seattle on Valentine's Day, and it went great

I couldn't make it to that but just wanted to add...

After reading about it for a few years, I finally made it to one of your V-Day events, at Neumos about five years ago, after I just had my heart broken. And it was the perfect antidote; I loved it. My favorite was the panty smoothie you made from the woman's ex-girlfriend's panties...hilarious.
Posted by Roma on February 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
109
I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, so I will. The correct price of this girl's ring is one that is cheap enough so that he won't be all that upset if she loses it and also cheap enough so that she doesn't worry about how much money she lost if she loses it. Whatever other concerns there are, I think it's a legitimate concern that if he buys her a $1000 ring she doesn't really want and loses it, they might have a fairly nasty argument: "How could you lose it? That's a $1000 you lost!" "Well, if I'd had my way it wouldn't have been $1000!" They both need to be comfortable with the possibility of losing it, either through getting a cheap ring or by getting insurance.

As for people who want a diamond but don't want one that's morally dubious, they do make synthetic diamonds nowadays, and they'll only get easier to buy in years to come. They are exactly the same as mined diamonds, just made in the lab instead of coming from the ground.
Posted by alguna_rubia on February 20, 2013 at 6:31 PM · Report this
110
If I were "Disgusted Big Bro" I wouldn't bother myself about the threesome thing; brother and new wife probably picked up a few STDs as a "wedding present" from their "new acquaintance".
Posted by Marvalon on February 20, 2013 at 6:33 PM · Report this
111
I read so many of the posts, though I'm sure not all. I can't believe I only found one that mentions that the hotel receptionist was male. I don't doubt if it his brother had a threesome with a female receptionist this would have been no prob.
Posted by mamapants on February 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM · Report this
112
@92: Perhaps you missed the part where Bridezilla immediately fastened on Columbus Day weekend without checking with ANYBODY for calendar conflicts. Perhaps you also missed where she isn't even certain yet that her favorite venues are available that weekend. Nonetheless she is immediately furious with LW for having a conflict that pre-dated the fucking proposal? That is asshole behavior, and shouldn't be catered to.

The reunion can't be moved, the wedding still can. Easily. The engagement is, gee, a whole 48 hours old. Nothing is set in stone at this point. NOTHING. So move the damned wedding already, rather than making Letter Writer (and probably a good deal of the rest of the family) drop things that have been in the works for god knows how long. If she insists on running her wedding this way, she deserves every single "regrets" RSVP she gets, starting with Letter Writer's.
Posted by avast2006 on February 20, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
113
Bro is bugged cause it was a male they had the threesome with. I'm sure he'd have no problem if it were a two girl threesome on his bros honeymoon.
Posted by tito on February 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 114
@105 - Mydriasis - so you are saying I have a chance?

EricaP - you are right - an inexpensive ring could signify a romantic at heart. Or, it could mean the woman is married to a man who couldn't afford a 15k ring. I am not aware of the widespread phenomenon where an alpha woman buys her own engagement ring.

Since I have already dug myself a deep hole: in my experience, the Alpha Woman married to the Beta male more often than not express a lack of desire for their husbands. It's usually coined as "my husband lacks ambition." Women, unhappy in their marriage are much more likely to cheat.

@104 - I agree with you. My obnoxious post was merely the belief that the ring may signify an Alpha Women-Beta Man relationship, i.e. one that is vulnerable.

I will now direct your ire away from me to New York Magazine.

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n…
Posted by Tim Horton on February 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM · Report this
115
As far as the dress goes, I don't see anywhere in the letter where it's an actual threat at this point, only a fear. I would say just go with the previous working assumption that a pantsuit will be fine, until proven otherwise. With any luck that will be far enough down the line that the controversy over the date has faded.
Posted by avast2006 on February 20, 2013 at 7:18 PM · Report this
116
Fergawdsakes, don't make a road trip to the Silverado just for some males strippers. Have the party somewhere private and HIRE a stripper or two. Better yet, make it a really fucked up bachelor party where the straight friends strip for the guy or guys getting married. That should make the wedding and reception very awkward and entertaining.
Posted by jussmbdy on February 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM · Report this
117
More about rings than I ever wanted to think about.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM · Report this
seandr 118
@EricaP: it shows she's a romantic at heart

You know, I have to agree. If you are a "predatory" male looking for a hotel fling, your odds are probably better with women wearing big rocks.
Posted by seandr on February 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM · Report this
mydriasis 119
@Tim

I don't know dude, it's your world.
Certainly doesn't jive with any of the doctors I know but *shrug*.
Posted by mydriasis on February 20, 2013 at 8:03 PM · Report this
mydriasis 120
I find "ambition" a total turn-off in men.
Posted by mydriasis on February 20, 2013 at 8:05 PM · Report this
121
*sigh* my stupid inner girly-girl is making a rare appearance and whining that she wants a diamond...preferably a big one (any guys feel like proposing? Dang!)

...of course I'm also fuming about what a selfish bitch that sister is. Really honey? You got engaged two freaking days ago and you're expecting your MOH to disregard a pre-planned event? Either the various voices of reason on the comments are correct and she wants her sis to bail or she's a total Bridezilla. Either way I'd like to slap her....and steal her ring! Ha!
Posted by jujubee80 on February 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM · Report this
122
@mydriasis: I think (if there's any reality in the scenario at all) it's not exactly regular doctors, but the Harley Street sort. I don't think I've ever seen any of my doctors (male or female) in a ring with a stone at all. Okay, maybe a psychiatrist, but not people doing pelvics and stuff all day long.

I suspect people actually try for income differences in favor of the man on purpose, just like height differences. Seems idiotic to me. Money's money, and it's rather nice to have.
Posted by Eirene on February 20, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
123
The question of the dress is increasingly striking me as an O Henry moment. Morrissey will be married before I will, but the ending I'd write for this type of situation would be similar to one of the previous comments; Bride would never dream of trying to get Attendant into a dress, and then Attendant would show up in the dress anyway as a free gift given freely.
Posted by vennominon on February 20, 2013 at 9:08 PM · Report this
124
I am so glad we eloped. We didn't need to deal with any of this bullshit, and I am happily not wearing an engagement ring.
Posted by hairykeri on February 20, 2013 at 9:52 PM · Report this
seandr 125
@120: Ambition is overrated.

My ideal woman is a stoner babe who likes to loll around the house all day in her underwear. Kind of like Bridget Fonda's character in Jackie Brown.
Posted by seandr on February 20, 2013 at 9:53 PM · Report this
126
NARG: You do realize that you will be getting a certain amount of snark from your personal peanut gallery, once they clap eyes on your preferred inexpensive ring and start casting aspersions on your fiance's character -- and no amount of defending and disclaiming on your part will persuade them that you aren't about to marry a cheap bastard. Are you sure you want to let him in for the character assassination -- and yourself for the grief from so-called "friends" -- that is sure to follow?

I agree with you that the money almost certainly could go towards something else that you would actually appreciate. I'd go further and say that the modern version of the cult of the ring is bullshit, that the "three month's salary" standard is evil and was probably created by a DeBeers marketing troll, that people who actually subscribe to it are utter fools and the ones who would feel cheated by a fiance who spent less arguably deserve the label gold-digger.

Huh. Almost makes me want to suggest that you go ahead and get the cheap ring, because it will show you who your friends are (and aren't).
Posted by avast2006 on February 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM · Report this
127
Tim@114 Alpha women only wear jewelry they like. They do not allow their husbands to surprise them with an engagement ring. If he can't afford what they want then I suppose money is budgeted from some "joint" account to pay for the right wedding/engagement set.

seandr@125 I do that, but I suspect you'd be disappointed in my underwear.
Posted by EricaP on February 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM · Report this
128
edit: boyfriend, not husband, presumably.
Posted by EricaP on February 20, 2013 at 11:34 PM · Report this
eclexia 129
Dan, you're totally channeling the ghost of Abigail Van Buren with DBB's letter! A shorter reply would have been "suffer".
Posted by eclexia on February 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM · Report this
sissoucat 130
@Seandr and Tim Horton

So... what kind of advice would you give to a "predatory" woman looking for a hotel fling ? I mean, beside the obvious "go for the guy with no ring on".
Posted by sissoucat on February 21, 2013 at 3:46 AM · Report this
131
If one is a girl who wants to be a boy, but is dating a girl, how is that not just straight up queer ?
Posted by Seriously ? The real unregistered one on February 21, 2013 at 5:00 AM · Report this
mydriasis 132
@Erica (127 re:Horton)

Speaking the truth

@125

Yeah but ambition doesn't hold the same selling-point status in women as it does in men. Women may prize ambition in themselves but men typically aren't as concerned in the ambition of their female SO's as vice versa.

And just to be clear, lolling around in your underwear is not incompatible with ambition. I spent the last three summers sprawled on my couch in my underwear with a cherry coke in one hand... and a massive textbook in the other. Physics, anatomy, molecular biology...

Look, the point is, not having air conditioning can kind of suck sometimes, but liking your body makes it way more tolerable.
Posted by mydriasis on February 21, 2013 at 5:26 AM · Report this
mydriasis 133
P.S. the whole alpha-female engagement thing made me think of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLsn4oI4…

It's even funnier if you realize that he had already proposed to her but she made him do it over...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGxQPKlC…
Posted by mydriasis on February 21, 2013 at 5:35 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 134
@130 sissoucat - if you are looking for the alpha-male types (I honestly hate that term), stay at a high end, chain style hotel. Think Marriott, Westin, Ritz, Four Seasons. Find a seat at the hotel bar in the 6-8pm hour and make sure there are at least a couple empty seats on either side of you. Near the corner of the bar is a good spot, since you can give a man access to approach you without invading your space, initially. The ratio of men to women at these business travel hotels is 3-1, especially at the bar on Wednesday-Friday.

If you prefer to do the choosing, locate an attractive guy sitting at the bar and plop yourself in the empty seat beside him. Infinite conversation starters include "where are you visiting from." When in doubt, remember the first rule in business marketing: the number one thing people like to talk about is themselves.

Caveat - most of these types are married, especially those in the 35-45 range. That probably doesn't matter for a good chunk of them. If you are insistent that your room service beau is unattached, and want to thwart advances from married men, ask them about their kids within the first 5 minutes.
Posted by Tim Horton on February 21, 2013 at 6:18 AM · Report this
135
Apologies in advance for the blatant derail:

I may have to expand Homocentric August.

One can understand that occasionally a letter will gender the writer specifically, but in a manner with sufficient subtlety that some people will overlook this. And yes, this is more likely to happen in the heterocentric direction than the other way around. But there really must be some limits.

If a letter [from elsewhere, not here] makes it explicitly clear in the opening sentence that it concerns an M/M relationship, surely even solidly heterocentric readers ought to take notice. If anything, one might speculate that anti-gay people would be much less likely to post comments about the WOMAN in the relationship or telling the LW what SHE ought to do.

How explicitly clear is it? One would think it unnecessary to be smarter than a fifth grader to decipher that a letter opening with the three words, "I'm a man," was not written by a woman. And yet, before the end of the first hour, there were several comments mis-gendering the LW as female. And it wasn't down to malice, which is what irks. All this progress and still, here we are.
Posted by vennominon on February 21, 2013 at 7:11 AM · Report this
mydriasis 136
@ven

What are you talking about?
Posted by mydriasis on February 21, 2013 at 8:15 AM · Report this
seandr 137
@EricaP: I am pretty picky about the underwear (and other accessories) my ideal woman chooses to loll around the house and smoke pot in, especially if we're expecting company.

Nothing we couldn't sort out in a couple of fun shopping trips, however.
Posted by seandr on February 21, 2013 at 8:21 AM · Report this
nocutename 138
Does anyone else find it funny that Dan's getting all the wedding-related questions (oh, how I miss Miss Manners) and today's Prudie featured a man having sex with his dog?
The times, they are achangin'.
Posted by nocutename on February 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM · Report this
AFinch 139
@69 - I agree there is merit to this being a bizarre passive-aggressive way of excluding TYSM without having to face any blame or guilt for it. It resonates with a couple of breakup experiences I've had: being so obnoxious that you dump them so they don't have to dump you. What sounds really sad to me is that TYSM seems to be much more concerned with being sensitive to sibling's feelings than is requited.

@NARG: One other thought on the ring, since so many people have commented on the DeBeers racket: buy a used diamond. Diamonds are eternal right? So a "used" diamond, with a good cleaning, should be as good as new, right?

I bought a ring off of Craigslist for about 40% of the cost of what a "new" comparable diamond would have cost me, pried the diamond out of the setting and sent it off to a very nice family custom jewelry maker in Seattle who set it in a beautiful platinum setting for me, and then had it appraised for insurance purposes. It matched up to what the retail would have been.

This route is not for everyone, but just ask anyone who has tried to sell an engagement ring (post divorce or post broken engagement) how much that off-the-lot depreciation hit is.

I'm one of those guys who is less "financially successful" than my bride to be, and I'm not sure it's a matter purely of ambition.
Posted by AFinch on February 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
seandr 140
@mydriasis: and a massive textbook in the other.

Oh that's perfect. My ideal stoner babe would be perpetually enrolled in some class or another, preferably at a community college. She would switch majors every semester, fail any class that meets before noon, and never get close to obtaining a degree.

Let's see, what else. She has no driver's license. Good with animals, but always forgets to water the plants. Frequently changes the color and style of her hair. Not into bras.
Posted by seandr on February 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
mydriasis 141
Oh sure, perpetual smudged eyeliner, always faintly has headbanger jams coming out of her walkman, stupid tattoos, but the cutest laugh

not gonna lie, I wanna date that girl.
Posted by mydriasis on February 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM · Report this
142
Minneapolis is the same way about strip clubs. You can have beer and boobs, or Pepsi and pussy.

(Thanks to my Seattle friend Ken for that joke.)
Posted by truthspeaker on February 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
143
I'll make up for being so hard on the podcast by saying that this is classic Dan Savage. Funny and concise and to the point.

$1000 is not a crazy amount for an engagement/wedding set. Hell, my wife and I were poor but we had heirloom diamonds from my mother and it still cost about that much to have a nice setting made. Get an inexpensive plain gold band for the times when you can't wear a rock on your hand, like when wearing nitrile gloves. My wife did that when pregnancy made her hands swell. You'll still look plenty married.

She's an organizer of a reunion. She can't miss it. This should be a lesson to her sister why you don't make big plans involving other people by fiat.

Yes, brother, mind your own business, just like you knew Dan would say.
Posted by marmer on February 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
144
@130 The most likely candidates will still be wearing their ring. If that's a problem for you, then you want to hunt elsewhere. Wear something expensive, tailored, but sexy (can be a simple as a nice jacket occasionally letting your drinking partner see you're wearing nothing, maybe a bra, depends on the boobs, underneath). Don't be afraid to make the first move (ie, hand on his thigh, or a light-hearted invitation to accompany you back to your room to get "cigs," or a magazine that seems relevant to the conversation, or any other alibi (lying is fine, probably better; once you get up to your room he won't be interested in seeing the magazine or whatever)...
Posted by EricaP on February 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM · Report this
vitupera 145
I would really like to know what Disgusted Big Bro would have done if he hadn't written in to Dan. Retroactively withdrawn as Best Man? Photoshopped himself out of the Facebook albums?
Posted by vitupera on February 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
146
@ #76... Opals are said to bring bad luck to the wearer if it is not their birthstone. Not to everyone who wears them.
Posted by MerryWeather on February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM · Report this
seandr 147
@sissoucat: If a woman wanted to pick me up in a hotel bar, she should take a seat next to me and cross her lovely legs so that the slit in her skirt reveals the black nylon thigh-high stockings she has so thoughtfully chosen to wear. My erection would handle things from there.
Posted by seandr on February 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM · Report this
148
Mr Ven,
never read the comments on Prudie. They are always offensive, even to me, and I'm as heteronormative as they come.
Posted by migrationist on February 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
149
NARG: Consider shopping for rings at a pawnshop. Prices can be much more reasonable for the quality, and sometimes you find very unusual settings that aren't the latest craze.
Posted by mtn chick on February 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
150
Ms Migrationist - Sound policy, though it is useful to be able to check how well the charlatan is succeeding at pulling the wool over people's eyes.
Posted by vennominon on February 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
151
I'd like to share a short story regarding the "predatory" nature that smaller stones tend to incite in some men. I had an engagement ring with one small emerald set between two smaller diamonds, which I loved because it was perfect for me (scientist, lots of nitrile gloves and field work, nothing too pokey or big would have been appropriate). One night, while alone at a local pub for dinner, an older man that initially seemed friendly was asking me about my fiance. My fiance was out of town for the summer, doing research, which to Mr. Increasingly Creepy meant, "He doesn't love you, if he did he would never have left you alone." So he should quit his job to loll his eyes at me 24 hours a day? That seems dumb. Then Mr. Definitely Creepy noted the size of the stones and said, "If he really loved you, he'd have given you bigger stones." This broke the straw for me, and I said, "If the size of the stones is how one measures love, I'd need a wheelbarrow." What I should have said, looking back older and wiser, was, "I don't want to fuck you. No amount of bad-mouthing my fiance is going to make me want to fuck you. Get the fuck away from me, Mr. Infinitely Creepy."

And that's how anyone should deal with those that question love via stone size or ring quality (or car, profession, gender, etc). You're not prey, you're a human being who has made a choice regarding who you want to be with. Anybody that tries to use what they perceive as a weakness in your relationship to drive a wedge towards achieving personal gain is a rotting scumbag.
Posted by tourner a gauche on February 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM · Report this
152
At first, I too thought genderqueer's sis purposely chose the date to assure that GQ would be a no-show, but since the sibs had already discussed GQ's outfit for sis's someday wedding, that's not it. This is clearly about the whole princess for a day thing. No one gets to pitch a hissy fit after 48 hours of planning, especially when GQ let sis know within that time frame that the weekend in question was out. Reunions are big deals too, not as big as a sib's wedding, but since your event date was chosen first, you win.
Posted by portland scribe on February 21, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 153
I agree that rings have been given to much energy, but having said that, $1000 for two rings is not a lot of money. Why not go with just the band for engagement and wedding? You can get something decent for a few hundred, and you've got your "I'm taken" symbol.

Posted by aureolaborealis on February 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Anarcissie 154
Disgusted Big Bro has been told to mind his business, but I think it's obvious that the bride and groom, or at least one of them, made their three-way his business; otherwise, how would he have found out about it? We may guess as well that he takes marriage seriously in a conventional manner, which seems reasonable given its important legal and social consequences, and was disturbed by what he may regard as a flippant disregard for the event. In any case, he does not know how to relate to the situation. Should he smile and say 'Naughty, naughty', shrug it off, earnestly congratulate the newlyweds on their accomplishment, or one-up them with a pony? I'd be confused myself.
Posted by Anarcissie http://www.etaoin.com on February 21, 2013 at 6:29 PM · Report this
155
@Dan and @aureolaborealis, you are really being tone-deaf regarding us lesser privileged beings. $1,000 is a lot of money to the letter writer, to me, and to a lot of people you obviously don't really run into in your limited circle of privilege. There are better things to spend it on.
Posted by cockyballsup on February 21, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
156
By the way, did we gays really fight for our rights just to join in this vulgar competitive wedding crap? Seriously?
Posted by cockyballsup on February 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM · Report this
mydriasis 157
@cocky

Um, did you read the letter? Or just the response.

"Given his income, this is far from an outrageous expense, but I'd still rather have my $50 cubic zirconia."

There is no universal way to talk about money in a world (or a country, such as America) with such massive income disparity, you have to talk in the context of the LW.

So in that context, the response wasn't tone deaf at all.
Posted by mydriasis on February 22, 2013 at 4:50 AM · Report this
158
@mydriasis, it seems to be a lot of money to the LW, if not to his boyfriend.
Posted by cockyballsup on February 22, 2013 at 5:59 AM · Report this
Fortunate 159
"By the way, did we gays really fight for our rights just to join in this vulgar competitive wedding crap? Seriously?"

Nobody, not straight or gay people, have to participate in the vulgar competitive wedding crap, even if they do choose to get married.

Some gay people have been having outrageous Commitment Ceremonies for decades now. And many people, gay and straight, opt for simpler, and far less expensive weddings.

That some people go overboard with the ceremony is no reason to disparage the idea of getting married. Although some folks may forget it in the moment, marriage is about far more than the ceremony, and most of us who have opted for it understand that.

As for rings, mine and my spouses are sterling silver Irish Claddagh rings. Total cost for the two - $90. We have worn then long before legal marriage was an option, and opted to keep using the same ones for our wedding when we were able to get married.

We like the symbolism and the simplicity. But despite their inexpensive nature I would still be very upset if I lost mine. It has great sentimental value that far exceeds its monetary value.
Posted by Fortunate on February 22, 2013 at 9:09 AM · Report this
160
@109 Actually, I think expecting your spouse to make "not losing" the wedding ring a near-life-and-death priority is absolutely reasonable. It's not disposable in any conceivable way, that's why it's a powerful symbol.
Posted by marmer on February 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Robin8 161
Late to the party, but:
LW1's sister probably picked that date on purpose; and
LW2 doesn't have to have a diamond for an engagement ring. That's deBeers brainwashing. (Don't even get me started on the "two months' salary" bullshit, which I hear has inflated to three months now.)You don't even have to have a ring. I know couples who used necklaces instead of rings as the engagement jewel. As for the expensive stone, I always said I'd rather have my beloved's birthstone, whoever that may be, as the engagement jewel. Assuming he's not an April baby, how about compromising and getting a nice mid-range ring in his birthstone? (Bonus: Victorian engagement rings were often colored. Rubies and sapphires were used often. So you'd be honoring a much older tradition than Dutch enslavement of African nationals.)
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on February 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
162
@161:
I don't get why anyone even needs an "engagement jewel".
Just agree to get married and get married. An engagement is just a promise to get married, no need to involve the whole world in that promise.
Posted by migrationist on February 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Fortunate 163
@162, the idea behind it is old fashioned and out of date, but there was a rational for it.

The engagement ring is, indeed, a promise. If the woman broke off the engagement she was expected to give this very expensive piece of jewelry back. But if the man broke it off she kept it and he was out the cost of the ring.

It was a financial investment that was meant to inspire the two to behave during the engagement.

Very antiquated and out of date, but it is what it is.

One of the advantages of getting married long after you have been together, living together, having sex etc... is that you don't such silly things to convince you to stick with it. These days you can figure out long before you get married if you actually want to marry this person, and so bribes or monetary coercion isn't relevant.
Posted by Fortunate on February 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
164
If the woman broke off the engagement she was expected to give this very expensive piece of jewelry back. But if the man broke it off she kept it and he was out the cost of the ring.

Wow, I'd never heard that. I'd always heard if the woman kept the ring after the engagement was broken off, period, she was considered kind of an asshole.
Posted by Eirene on February 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
165
@104 KL: for the win!!! I always liked Paul Newman. Anybody proud of being at the top of Richard M. Nixon's shit list can't go wrong!
He and his daughter, Nell, make great cookies and salad dressings, too.

He's got to be grinning up there in heaven. At least I hope he is.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 166
I'm glad the most recent comments raised the purpose and symbolism of an engagement ring: it was most definitely the promise a man made to marry a woman (who would then know she had a job, being a Mrs.). Even these days, how many women propose to a man? It's still considered romantic for a man to get down on one knee to follow tradition.

Someone else above wondered - in an era of increasing same-sex weddings - why would people emulate some of the more stupid wedding customs. So I'd add: Are gay men giving each other engagement rings? I don't think so. The only thing I could think would be to wear their wedding rings on the right hand until they get married. But, seriously, nobody really needs to have a visible status symbol defining their future mate's wealth (or foolishness with money). I wish that were one custom that would die out with all its sexist baggage.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on February 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Fortunate 167
"I'd always heard if the woman kept the ring after the engagement was broken off, period, she was considered kind of an asshole."

That's the modern attitude, yes. But when it comes down to it the ring is a gift symbolizing a promise. Once he gives it to her it is her's unless she breaks the promise.

Legally of course it's simply hers. Once he gives her the ring it's not legally his anymore and she can do with it what she wants.
Posted by Fortunate on February 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Robin8 168
@162: Point taken. Some Jewish couple exchange coins rather than rings. One couple at my synagogue exchanged coins their great-grandparents had brought over on the boat with them.
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on February 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
169
those are very sweet comments, especially the one about cubic zirconias. I get the feeling that a significant other, hot or not have the capabilities of complementing a void that gets somebody Giddy.
I would state that though a girl I know looks like the starlet in China Beach, has had a super hot body, and can be ultra sexy at a moments notice can also give me the overwhelming sense of having no good direction, plans to interupt the nothingness both of us may be experiencing and of course, revert into and towards disgust, like something you see in a video..like one of Cyndi Laupers or something.
Posted by dann on February 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM · Report this
170
Mr Fortunate -

[Although some folks may forget it in the moment, marriage is about far more than the ceremony, and most of us who have opted for it understand that.]

Citation needed, you old optimist, you.

My own observations:

Courtship - I Love You Period

Wedding (Day) - You're Perfect Period

Marriage - Now Change Period

If Ms Cute wishes to infer the Tilney Present Company Excepted, she is free so to do.
Posted by vennominon on February 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM · Report this
171
Actually, the advice about Siverado may be bad. They ban "bachelorette parties" and screaming, squealing, and the rest of hen party behavior that sends the gheys running for the exits. And although it is mostly directed at straight women, I'm sure they would have to do the same for a stag party or get hit with discrimination lawsuits.
Posted by jussmbdy on February 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
seandr 172
@Fortunate: The engagement ring is, indeed, a promise.

No, that's just some romantic crap the industry made up. The reason we give engagement rings to women is because they are innately enraptured by jewels. Duh.
Posted by seandr on February 22, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this
173
for Bridezilla's sister: "Oh, did I say Columbus Day weekend? I confused it with Veteran's day! *That's* the weekend I couldn't make it in the next two years. Silly me."

Watch her reschedule the wedding to Veteran's day, and then watch her squirm when you offer to show up in whatever pantsuit she picks out.

Then no-show the wedding. Because that is exactly what bigoted douchehounds deserve.
Posted by happyhedonist on February 22, 2013 at 8:06 PM · Report this
174
@166 Helenka

'But, seriously, nobody really needs to have a visible status symbol defining their future mate's wealth (or foolishness with money). I wish that were one custom that would die out with all its sexist baggage.'

The Wedding Industrial Complex and 'Bridezilla' need to go the way of the dodo. Unless your father is one of the Koch Brothers, the big splashing wedding and it's accoutrements seem like an incredible waste of money. Put it toward a house! Or a friend told his daughter: I have X number of dollars. You can slice the pie anyway you like. You can have a big wedding. You can have a great honeymoon.

They had a small home-grown wedding. She wore a vintage gown. Then the husband and wife travelled for 9 months around the world. Sounds like my kind of celebration.
Posted by albeit on February 22, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
175
@172 seandr

'No, that's just some romantic crap the industry made up. The reason we give engagement rings to women is because they are innately enraptured by jewels. '

Not all women. I would prefer a great piece of art or an incredible trip over a worthless stone. Again I have to emphasize 'average'. Only average women who bought in to the whole 'Sex and the City' and 'Mr Big' BS will actually buy into the Big Rock/Big Wedding/ My Personal Red Carpet shenanigans.

But hey, feminism is about Choice. Choose your Choice.
Posted by albeit on February 22, 2013 at 10:01 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 176
@174 (albeit)

But-but-but ::sputters:: there will be all those people who wanted to attend a splashy wedding (and don't skimp on the open bar, naturally) who will be glaring at the happy couple upon their return from that utterly dreamy honeymoon-vacation. I applaud a couple who chose what THEY wanted.

I used to be a big fan of weddings when I was a very young teen. Why? Because my daddy would buy me a new dress for each one. At the same time, I was observant enough (and close enough to the wedding party's moms) to hear how important it was for so-and-so's parents to be invited. The splashy weddings weren't for the happy couple and their closest friends, they were to satisfy the quid pro quo requirements of their families. That realization was a rude wake-up call. Mind you, I believe in the intervening decades that the evolving role of women as well as older ages of the bride/groom may have made a dent in needing to satisfy only one's relatives. But, sadly, so much unremarkable tradition remains etched into people's consciousnesses that they can't imagine doing away with something ... like an obtrusive engagement ring.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on February 22, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Report this
177
Helenka @166:
"Even these days, how many women propose to a man? It's still considered romantic for a man to get down on one knee to follow tradition."

Form my perspective, it is not a real tradition, it is a pseudo-tradition. In my childhood in Germany , I only heard about engagements a) in fairy tales, b) in books about the upper class and aristocracy of the middle ages through 19th century, c) in Hollywood movies.

Non of the grown-ups around me had been "engaged" in the sense that the guy got down on a knee and asked the woman to marry him. Non of the women had an engagement ring. People just got jointly to the decision to get married.

This was the same for older friends and my sisters' friends when I was in my 20s. It changed around the time when Sex & the City was aired in Germany.

Since the early 2000s, more and more of my acquaintances seem to find it important that the guy asks and that there'd be an engagement ring "because it is traditional". And what really riles me is that they don't even get that it is an imported tradition, that their own parents and grandparents didn't do it that way.
Posted by migrationist on February 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM · Report this
mydriasis 178
@albiet

9 months of travelling??

Talk about luxury. Who has the zero responsibilities to take that long off. What kind of job did those people have?

Anyway, even if I could do it, I'd pick the party over that. I grew up in the hospitality industry so I love throwing a good party. Spending time with all my loved ones eating delicious food, listening to fun music and wearing a cute dress sounds a lot more fun than schlepping around the globe for ages.
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2013 at 5:58 AM · Report this
mydriasis 179
@cocky

"@mydriasis, it seems to be a lot of money to the LW, if not to his boyfriend. "

Her boyfriend.
I'm still not seeing your point though.
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2013 at 7:12 AM · Report this
180
Ms Driasis - Ah. Now we can place you in the correct novel. I had a strange inkling about the letter D.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM · Report this
mydriasis 181
Anyone feel like decoding that for me?
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
182
@176 Helenka

I completely agree with you. Sometimes the big weddings are less about the bride and groom than reinforcing the bride's parents social status (since they are paying). Which is fine. Who doesn't love a great party?

I'm opposed to going into debt for the big wedding (trying to replicate something you saw in a movie/ TV show / bridal mag). If you have money to burn, go for it.
Posted by albeit on February 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this
183
@178 mydriasis

The bride and groom had both just completed their Masters so they had the opportunity to travel for 9 months.

I bet you would throw a rocking party with great food. Cool DJ? Lots of dancing. Again, it's about choice. Pick and choose what works for you.
Posted by albeit on February 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
184
vennominon@170, "You're Perfect" goes with the engagement day, more so than the wedding day...No one can be perfect with two families watching them all day long, happy to pounce on any slip-ups to generate new funny stories/memories.

I'll grant you that many people foolishly see marriage as an opportunity to work on making their spouse into their ideal spouse.

But I think for most people, marriage is much the way it's described in Company:

Good things get better, bad get worse.
Wait, I think I meant that in reverse.
Posted by EricaP on February 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
185
I should not have thought there were that many fictional characters with the initial D best known for parties, but I shall make it too easy and reveal that it is a title character.

I apologize if I sound crabby, but I think the lesson in gender norms sparked by the ring letter is emulating Mary Bennet's performance on the pianoforte by having delighted us long enough.

As for opulent weddings or connected parties, at least it's a fairly innocuous way of disposing of that amount of capital. Having recently learned how much money my father has donated to Mrs McMahon's campaigns, I'm sure it would have been much better spent even on two and half weddings.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
186
Is "Not A Ring Girl" supposed to be interpreted, for the sake of inclusivity, as "Possibly a Not-Ring Guy?" Honestly?
Posted by avast2006 on February 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
mydriasis 187
@Ven

I think you and I just have different taste in literature, that's all.

Assuming we're talking about literature. If we're talking about theatre I have no taste at all, I've never been a huge fan of any of it.

Sitting on my bedside table:

Slow Learner - Thomas Pynchon
Swann's Way (Part Two) - Marcel Proust (A girl can try)
And a book on mindfulness which is, of course, nonfiction.
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
seandr 188
@albeit: No, I'm pretty sure all women love jewels.
Posted by seandr on February 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
189
Um, how does mydriasis resemble Mrs. Dalloway? Or am I way off?
Posted by Eirene on February 23, 2013 at 6:43 PM · Report this
190
Remember when Savage Love was about sex? I miss that.
Posted by CW in LA on February 23, 2013 at 7:08 PM · Report this
191
Ms Eirene - It was a compliment to Ms D's claim of the capacity for superiour party planning. I have no difficulty in placing her in the Dalloway class.

And, if you think about, Ms D has defended her positions and tastes in rather a similar way to the young Clarissa defending Sally against the complaints of her relations, Richard against Peter and Sally, and even Hugh.

And after all, while the standards of placement have changed, Ms D is by her own admission in a similar position of social advantage; the assets that determine such things have just altered.

Well done on the Proust, by the way. I actually speed-read Proust years ago to test how well I'd learned the method.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM · Report this
192
Another Griz update for those still interested: I'm teetering between
165 & 170 lbs. and went to Old Navy for some new spandex. I'm
thinking of checking out their spring & summer tankinis.
I guess the Paleo diet switch is working. A friend told me about a local
gluten-free bakery downtown, and a gluten-free bakery / deli section at our co-op, but.....until my incredible ND emerges from the hospital, I'm staying off sugar. I haven't had chocolate for well over a month now.

I wonder if my chocolate deprivation is the cause of my increased Brad Pitt cravings at 1 :30AM......?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 2:16 AM · Report this
193
Weird---did that post go through?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 2:18 AM · Report this
194
Sigh. Dan and everyone, please forgive me---my computer is slow.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 2:20 AM · Report this
195
@190: I have sexual fantasies about Brad Pitt. Does that count?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 2:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 196
@auntie griz

Brad Pitt was fantastic, and then Angie moulded him into her kind of repulsive man.

Anyway if you find current Brad Pitt attractive then you bewilder me

If you like Brad Pitt circa when-he-was-attractive then we may have the same taste, in which case - I have a treat for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl…

Posted by mydriasis on February 24, 2013 at 5:14 AM · Report this
197
The posts declaring the selection of Columbus Day a homophobic act are not supported by the original text. The letter suggests the fiancee had no knowledge of the importance of the day to TYSM. T texted F (presumably) after the announcement. Moreover, F was already on board with T's attendance-- the pantsuit discussion clearly predated the engagement.

What's unclear is the date of the letter, did it lie moldering in Dan's inbox more than half a year? Columbus Day seems so imminent. If it is current, then there's still time to lobby for another date. If the date cannot be undone, T must decide which event is more important to him.

As for the gown/pantsuit dilemma, since T identifies himself as non-female, I think he should decline to act in an iconic female role. Best man, yeah.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 24, 2013 at 6:39 AM · Report this
198
Sex is when we return to being animals.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 24, 2013 at 7:21 AM · Report this
seandr 199
@mydriasis: Damn, we do have the same tastes.

So which movie marks the pinnacle of Brad Pitt's hotness? I'd say Kalifornia, but I skipped the string of crappy movies that came after that and before Fight Club.

His stoner character in True Romance deserves an honorable mention in light of our previous discussion, although there was a tragic lack of shirtless scenes in that movie.
Posted by seandr on February 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
200
To NARG and other likeminded engaged folks.
My first engagement ring is a twisted pipe cleaner, because we spontaneously became engaged on my undergrad's Pipe Cleaner Day (a.k.a. self-sooth with fun). My next engagement ring, sized more appropriately, is an $8 silver band from the Portland Saturday Market. 100% increase in value, and I still wear it every day. My wedding ring is an $800 palladium-gold (like white gold but more durable) band which was custom-designed and hand-made, sculpted to look like a fluttering silk ribbon, with no jewels. It's beautiful but it is so sturdy that it reminds me of the scene in The Abyss (with Bruce Willis) where his solid wedding band saves his life by resisting the closure of a pressurized door.

I totally agree with the values of NARG about the ring not being worth the fuss. However, I was sold on the palladium-gold ring because it is simply more durable. There is a chance that my sterling silver ring can be literally torn-like-paper off my finger because silver is so malleable, and I was warned against quartz or cubic zirconium because they can shatter and against amber (my true favorite) because it can melt.

By working with a local artist for our rings, we were able to get exactly what we wanted to match our values. As for potentially losing it, you can get a cast of it or a copy of the design and can have it remade should anything untoward befall it.

If NARG's paying partner wants to splurge, may I recommend splurging on local-supporting, custom-made and durable glory that you truly love, rather than just a price tag and sparkle? It worked wonderfully for my partner and I.
Posted by Electra A on February 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
201
Electra A @200:

A wonderful post, and I agree on everything but the last word.

It's "for my partner and me"!
Posted by migrationist on February 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
mydriasis 202
"return" to being animals?

Shit, son. We always have been and always will be animals.
Posted by mydriasis on February 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
203
@Fortunate: "But when it comes down to it the ring is a gift symbolizing a promise. Once he gives it to her it is her's unless she breaks the promise.
Legally of course it's simply hers. Once he gives her the ring it's not legally his anymore and she can do with it what she wants. "

Certainly not according to Judge Judy. She always makes them give back the engagement ring no matter who broke the engagement.
Posted by cockyballsup on February 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Fortunate 204
Judge Judy's court isn't a real court. It is mutually agreed upon binding arbitration. She doesn't have to adhere to the law.
Posted by Fortunate on February 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM · Report this
mydriasis 205
@204

Fascinating!
New things learned every day.
Posted by mydriasis on February 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM · Report this
206
I was curious about what everyone was saying about ring ownership. Here is what wiki has to say (I know it's not authoritative etc..., but I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to spend hours googling this):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engagement_…

It looks like the law varies quite a bit between different states and countries.
Posted by DrVanNostrand on February 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM · Report this
207
@196 mydriasis: Well, I was really thinking more of Brad from about 1991, when he was 28 (smooth-talking JD in"Thelma & Louise"). Oof!

Marina's guys are cute, and I love the song, but they're in their 20s. I'm 48.
I don't wanna be a Mrs. Robinson.

@199 seandr: My vote's on "Thelma & Louise" for Brad Pitt's hotness.
To be fair, I never saw Kalifornia.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM · Report this
208
@198 & @202: So we have been, and always will be animals? Yikes!!
Is there hope for this globally warmed animal planet?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 24, 2013 at 9:43 PM · Report this
mydriasis 209
@Griz

1. And how old was Brad Pitt in 1991? :p

2. Any hope in terms of climate change? I think no. People as a whole are mildly selfish and short sighted, but the people with all the power are EXTREMELY selfish and short sighted so... yup.
Posted by mydriasis on February 25, 2013 at 4:51 AM · Report this
210
Many of you apparently have the reading comprehension of a snail. LW #1 writes that he texted his conflict and was texted back that that was the day. Sis: "I'm getting married!!!!" LW: "Congrats!! Only Day I cant do is Columbus Day! LOL!" Sis: "Ummmm, actually - thats when we are looking." There's no exclusion there; LW needs to stop thinking that the world - which is out to get him - revolves around him.

When we got married and set the date, there was no consultation with friends and family to see if they had a conflict; we would have driven ourselves insane - "Bobby can't make it the first weekend of October, Susy the second, Jamie the third, Ophelia the 4th...." And then you have to pick a date that WILL count someone out, and you knew it would count someone out. The better way is to pick the date; the people that want to be there for you will be there.

To the contrary, it sounds like LW has some problem with the Sis. You're getting your panties in a wad because they DARED to pick the one day "you can't be there," and insinuate it's because of your genderqueer status. It's not about you, it's about them. Grow up, realize that your priorities should be with your sister on her day and not your college reunion, stick to your guns on the pantsuit thing but be flexible to wear the damned dress if that's what she wants, and hope to hell everything is booked ... but go when they figure out a way around it. It's your sister, prick, and her wedding? How did it become about you you you?
Posted by EnnIsFor on February 25, 2013 at 5:34 AM · Report this
211
@210 I agree that you can't pick the date for your wedding by working around EVERYONE'S conflicts. However, if I was going to get married, I'd probably check to make sure my brother could be there, and also anyone I wanted in my bridal party. No, I wouldn't ask my third cousins if they had conflicts, but the people that were integral, yes. And I'm pretty sure a sibling that you want in the wedding party is considered integral.
Posted by KateRose on February 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM · Report this
212
@211 agreed. We checked with siblings and parents to find a date. Meant picking a date more than a year away, but it was important to us.
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2013 at 8:01 AM · Report this
213
@200 - "There is a chance that my sterling silver ring can be literally torn-like-paper off my finger because silver is so malleable," is actually kind of a selling feature. Any force great enough to damage the ring is also great enough to damage you. Losing the ring beats the hell out of losing your finger, if you're trying to catch yourself while falling and the ring snags on something. I've seen the results of that, and it ain't pretty. ;)

LW #1 should stop worrying about the date. That weekend is going to be booked, guarantee it, in every venue they'd want to use. Probably by couples that planned their wedding for at least a year, and maybe more, in advance. So don't stress on that. Instead, dig your heels in on wearing pants. Be yourself. If your sis loves and accepts you enough to want you as part of her big day (and she definitely views it as her BIG DAY if she's already getting pissy about it 48 hours into the engagement), *and* you've already talked about a pantsuit for it, I don't see why she'd object now.
Posted by strangeway on February 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
214
@209 mydriasis: That's exactly what I mean. Brad was 28 years old in 1991; I was 27 way back when. Am I weird for being attracted to hot men of my own age group?

Unfortunately, I think you're right about the future of our planet unless we can successfully eliminate the Koch brothers' evil empire of corporate greed.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 25, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
215
@210: Perhaps you missed the part where Bride is the one who is "very upset" at Letter Writer for daring to have a conflict that pre-dated the proposal, let alone the wedding planning. LW isn't the one who is pissed here.

48 hours into the planning, the wedding can EASILY be moved. The reunion cannot.

While I agree that it's not possible to accommodate everyone's calendar, and at some point you just have to pick a date and be done, 48 hours into the process is way, way early for that to be set in stone. Bride is out of line for being furious about it this early into the planning, particularly given the fact that Columbus Day has no special significance to her; the rest of her OWN calendar is open (let alone LW's calendar); and she isn't even sure she can get her venue(s) of choice on that day. She is being an asshole. (And an idiot, for picking a holiday. They naturally tend to be pre-booked, both the venues and the people you want to attend. Would you have your wedding on July 4th and then be incensed that you can't get the gazebo in Main St. Park, because the city band is using it for their Independence Day concert?)
Posted by avast2006 on February 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
mydriasis 216
@auntie

Yes, but he's not attractive now, and you're not attracted to current Brad Pitt, you're attracted to the way he looked when he was in his 20's even though you were in your 20's at the time.

My brain hurts.
Posted by mydriasis on February 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM · Report this
seandr 217
@griz: Thelma and Louise would be the obvious choice given that the movie was basically a chick fantasy flick.

He played a darker, more dangerous, Stanley Kowalski type character in Kalifornia. More muscular, less skinny, with Juliette Lewis perfectly cast as his girlfriend.
Posted by seandr on February 25, 2013 at 9:21 PM · Report this
218
@216 mydriasis: Okay. Maybe you need to lie down.
This girl can still fantasize.

@217: Yep. Yep. That's him goin'. I L-O-O-O-V-E watchin' him go......
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 2:44 AM · Report this
mydriasis 219
@seandr/griz

Uggggghhhh Stanley Kowalski.

See, griz, this is why your logic doesn't make sense to me - Marlon Brando's Stanley is a complete babe (I'd pick him over Pitt, to be honest) but by the time I was born, Brando was not a good lookin' man.

So I go by the age the person was when photographed, not their legit age.
Posted by mydriasis on February 26, 2013 at 6:03 AM · Report this
220
@219: Uggggggghhhhh! See, mydriasis, this is why YOUR totally buff logic doesn't make sense to ME! Brad Pitt may indeed be approaching the big 5-0 this year, but it's not like I'm stalking him or conspiring to jump his bones!
Brad's happily populating the world with Angelina Jolie, in their Texas-sized mega-estate in France. He doesn't even know me, and I'm jiggy with that! LOL

Haven't you ever had a simple fantasy before? That's all it is.
By your logic, am I supposed to run out and randomly fuck some totally buff hottie in his 20s in the shower just because he's cute?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
221
@219: By the way, I just saw a recent photo of Brad and Angelina. Okay, so he doesn't look 28 anymore. So what? He's still a good-looking 49 to me. You'll be 49 too, one day, mydriasis.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
222
@ Myd and Griz: I think you two are having different conversations...
Posted by KateRose on February 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
seandr 223
@mydriasis: I believe you'd kick a 50-year-old Marlon Brando out of bed, but Brad Pitt?

Get real. Your panties would hit floor within 5 seconds of basking in his boyish, blue-eyed gaze.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
224
@222: Ya think?

@223: I know MINE would!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
225
Sean,

Sorry. Her drawers won't drop, until she's convinced his dick is sufficiently small.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
mydriasis 226
@griz

I'm not much of a fantasy girl, no. It's more like "would you?" "yeah I would"

@seandr

Current Brad Pitt?
This guy? http://cdn03.cdn.justjared.com/wp-conten…

No, thank you.

@katerose

Maybe. *shrug*
Posted by mydriasis on February 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM · Report this
mydriasis 227
Or to put it another way, Griz, you don't want to be Mrs. Robinson? I don't want to be Miss Haze.
Posted by mydriasis on February 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
228
@226 mydriasis: Okay--whatever turns you on, I guess.
Re: your comment to seandr and recent image of Brad Pitt:
That's still sexy to me. Maybe not to you, but it doesn't matter.
We don't all have the same sexual tastes.

@227: Okay, you lost me again. Who is Miss Haze?
Did she boink Brando?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM · Report this
229
@219: If it's any consolation, mydriasis, I never considered Marlon Brando sexy when I was born, either.
To each one's own.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM · Report this
230
@217 seandr: Despite Brad's tantalizing body, I don't know if I'd call "Thelma & Louise" fully a chick fantasy flick, though. With the exceptions of James Madsen and Harvey Keitel, there were a lot of convincingly cast chauvinist assholes (i.e.: Timothy Carhart, Christopher McDonald, Jason Bighe, Marco St. John, et al.). I guess they were doing as Ridley Scott directed. 300 federal guns against two women at the end seemed a bit overblown.

Twenty-one years later, the parking lot scene at the Silver Bullet is still a tough one for me.
I keep cheering for Susan, feeling mortified for Geena, and wanting to blow Harlan Puckett away, myself, if that were to ever happen to me.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:40 PM · Report this
231
One more and then I'll call it a night:
@228 mydriasis: Forgive what sounds like sarcasm.
I really don't know who Miss Haze is.

Okay----goodnight, everybody, and mydriasis, thanks, too, for the Brad Pitt photo! It's a sweet image to take to bed.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM · Report this
232
@230: Awwww, shit! Excuse the error--- it's really Michael Madsen, as James Lennox.
Okay--NOW I'll shut up and go savor sweet dreams involving William Bradley Pitt.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM · Report this
mydriasis 233
Hey if Ven gets to make literary references then I do too. I'll give you a hint, her first name was Delores but she's MUCH better known by her nickname.
Posted by mydriasis on February 27, 2013 at 5:00 AM · Report this
234
@227 & @233 mydriasis: Wow--I guess I'm shamefully out of touch. Who is Delores? Seriously, although I read plenty of books, I'm genuinely stumped on whom you're referring to. I still don't see the connection here. What is her commonly known nickname?

Maybe KateRose is right: we're having two separate conversations...?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
235
@234 Dolores "Lolita" Haze, from Nabokov
Posted by EricaP on February 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
236
@235 EricaP: Thank you, Erica, for clarifying that.
@233 mydriasis: Why would I consider you like Lolita
just because you prefer hot guys in their 20s?
Like I said, we all have our own sexual tastes, shared,
or otherwise. It's not one size---or age group-- fits all.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 27, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
mydriasis 237
@Griz

You have a disinterest in younger guys (because you don't want to be Mrs. Robinson)
I have a disinterest in older guys (because I don't want to be Miss Haze)

Make more sense now?
Posted by mydriasis on February 27, 2013 at 6:28 PM · Report this
238
@237: Sure---but I'm not going to slap you in the face over your preference for younger guys. I'm jiggy if you are. Peace, get laid, and be merry.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 27, 2013 at 10:40 PM · Report this
sissoucat 239
Hey y'all, I've been working a lot as of late, but thanks for all the predatory recipes.

@Tim Horton - I'm not into the alpha-male, I'm into the good lay. I would assume that alpha-males don't care much about their partner's pleasure... and as I'm European, money is not as important to me as respect. Talking about kids is a real nice idea.

@Seandr - I do have black nylon thingies. I should wear them more often, obviously. Good tip.

@EricaP - how could I forget to ask you ! So, be almost naked underneath nice clothes - to pull off in summer, obviously - and get them back to my room for anything silly (I already know how to do that ; double-entendre is a friend)

Well, it does seem far easier that what males have to do in order to get laid. Oh well. Not gonna complain.
Posted by sissoucat on February 28, 2013 at 1:51 AM · Report this
mydriasis 240
@griz

Who's slapping what in the face now? :/
Posted by mydriasis on February 28, 2013 at 5:46 AM · Report this
241
Adrian. even though Eva`s stori is terrific, I just purchased a great new Lotus Elan from having made $5002 this-last/4 weeks and-even more than, $10k this past munth. without a doubt it is the nicest-work I've had. I started this eight months/ago and almost straight away was bringin home minimum $77, per hour. I follow this great link, -- Buzz80.ℂOℳ
Posted by jinkaz on February 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
242
@240 mydriasis: What?? Are you actually trolling?
I've shrugged and moved on. Did you not read my post @238?
If you're into younger guys, fine. I've long since said as much. I'm into men closer to my own age. I don't know why that's an issue with you. You don't even know me.
So just say "yeah, I would" already. Geez.


Posted by auntie grizelda on February 28, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
243
Nice informative post dear. Types of Wedding Rings to share
Posted by rose lee on March 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
244
It is my (sadly uncommon) opinion that brides and grooms should not get to dictate the wardrobe choices of their witnesses. It can get ridiculous nowadays even down to insisting brides maids get a certain hair style. How crazy is that? What other event, *especially* a formal one, gives the host the right to plan the guest's freaking hair style? It's ludicrous.

At my wedding, simple instruction - formal. Whatever that means to any guess, witness or otherwise, will guide that guest's clothing choices.
Posted by Brie on March 3, 2013 at 9:30 PM · Report this
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@240 re: @242: Obviously a terrible misunderstanding here.
Sorry, mydriasis, and ignore the comment from @242.

All the best,
griz
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM · Report this
246 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
247 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
248
I've been married for more than a decade. My husband and I spend ca. 20 hrs together every day, also working together. Being with him is still heaven on earth.

Ring? No frigging ring for me (or him), and I'm a feminine-looking woman. I like buying my own rings with semi-precious stones and varying them every day.

$1000 I'd rather spend on unusual shawls, a short trip or books. I would never spend more than $50 on a ring that I have to wear everyday -- I mourn even little $10 carnelian bracelets if I lose them. If I lost or damaged a unique ring, I'd be miserable. What for? Just to impress some insecure jerks at work or superficial family members.

Hot steaming sex with the person you love beats any colorless stone or a boring wedding where everyone just gets drunk and leaves you deep in debt for something that was barely fun.

Pleasure is something that needs to be savored wisely.
Posted by not a customer on March 15, 2013 at 5:06 PM · Report this
249
That ring thing creeps me out. I doubt it's about generosity or he'd offer to buy her a thousand dollar vacation and do the cubic zerconia.

A ring is like a branding. It marks your territory and that's what this is really about.
Posted by Dragonpie on March 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
250
Hey all, this is NARG. In line with Dan's advice, I decided to let it go and roll with what my boyfriend wanted. He and I talked a lot about where were each coming from and it boils down to this meaning more to him than it does to me.

It's not about marking his territory or anything creepy, I promise. He couldn't quite articulate why this is important to him, but it mostly boils down to sentimentality, wanting a ring that will last, and he can easily afford it, so why not?

For anyone curious about the particulars: We looked online at a lot of different options and found a set we both liked the design of on Etsy. Went for a moissanite stone. I think it'll be sparkly enough to impress the judgy people and deter the man predators.

And, even though we initially disagreed about the price point of the rings, we're totally on the same page about the wedding and the whole marriage part that comes after. So, in the grand scheme of things, I realize that a cheap ring vs. a modest ring (especially considering wearing the ring for a lifetime together) is NBD.
Posted by Hitchhiker_with_towel on March 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM · Report this
251
Hey all, this is NARG. In line with Dan's advice, I decided to let it go and roll with what my boyfriend wanted. He and I talked a lot about where were each coming from and it boils down to this meaning more to him than it does to me.

It's not about marking his territory or anything creepy, I promise. He couldn't quite articulate why this is important to him, but it mostly boils down to sentimentality, wanting a ring that will last, and he can easily afford it, so why not?

And, even though we initially disagreed about the price point of the rings, we're totally on the same page about the wedding and the whole marriage part that comes after. So, in the grand scheme of things, I realized that a cheap ring vs. a modest ring (especially breaking down the price over a lifetime together) is a non-issue.

I read all the ring comments and, for anyone curious about the particulars, here they are: We looked online at a lot of different options and found a set we both liked the design of on Etsy. We went for a moissanite stone and the set was about $900, custom made. I think it'll be sparkly enough to impress the judgy people and deter the man predators.
Posted by Hitchhiker_with_towel on March 25, 2013 at 8:06 PM · Report this
252
DOLORES.

Posted by Suzy on September 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM · Report this

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