How many times in one’s life does one get to utter that phrase? Yet somehow, I found myself saying exactly that to JJ today. And low and behold, it was somehow related to the wedding.

For the uneducated (which, let’s face it, I really should just refer to as “unmarried men” at this point), whose South Park-induced mindsets have already run wild with the possible interpretations of this phrase, “STD” is knottie-speak for Save The Date cards.

Right, because that helped.

For the uneducated, a “Save The Date card” is a little invitation you send people who will be invited to the wedding which tells them that in a few months they’ll be getting an invitation.

The more naive of you may have thought to question this. I too fell into this trap.

“Why don’t we just send them the actual invitation?”
“Because invitations only go out 2 months before the wedding.”

Adopting a policy of choosing my battles (which is to say, avoiding them entirely), I chose to punch out of that conversation immediately. For your own safety, I suggest not posting any comments inquiring further into this; trust me, further explanation does not help.

Now, I’ve been pretty good so far on this blog about not being outright sexist in my remarks on the production commonly referred to as a “wedding”. The concept of the Save The Date card, however, is very much a product of the Unholy Wedding Trinity, developed by women, for women. Men take a slightly less… for lack of a better word, elaborate, approach.

“Yo dude, I’m getting married.”
“No shit? Sorry man.”
“It’s cool. It’s May 28.”
“Do I have to buy you a present?”
“Yes. And shower the night before too.”

Allow me to offer another example of this phenomenon. A few days ago, I was working on a big project with the other tech leads in work. We were all crammed into a small cubicle, working as fast as possible to hit a deadline of 5pm. Meg sends me a link to a post on Intrigued and throwing caution to the wind as far as my policy of avoiding like a golfer from a real job, I decided to see just what could have been so important as to show me at work. As I’m reading the post, I came across a term I had never heard of.

“What’s a ‘Tears of Joy Packet’?”
“Oh, ya. I need you to make labels for them.”
“But what are they?”
“Tissue packets to hand to guests who may cry.”

I’m dead serious, that’s what they are.

Hopefully, one of the guys I work with will vouch for the fact that I literally dropped my head into my hands at this. They showed concern, afraid the pressure of the 5pm drop was getting to me. So I broke down and told them about this nugget of wedding wisdom to which I had just been introduced.

“No shit? Sorry man.”

I get no further sympathy from them as they are all married; it’s my time to pay the “plan a wedding” dues.

My drive to and from work is pretty boring. I found myself wondering what other concepts existed with regard to weddings that I have never encountered, including:

“How Much Was Your Dress Packets”
“What The Hell Are Seat Covers Packets”
“After All This I Have To Buy You A Present Packets”

The other side effect of these save the date cards is that prior to actually mailing them, they served as flash cards for the guest list. (The names and relations of the following conversation have been changed to protect… well, me. Any resemblance of real family members to the fictional characters following is completely a coincidence. In other words, don’t yell at me if I have somehow managed to describe you in the following)

“John Doe”
“Um… your side?”
“No jackass, that’s from your mother’s list.”
“Oh ya, that’s Uncle Johnny.”
“You’re mom’s cousin, but close. Let’s try again. Jane Doe.”
“Your side?”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“Ok, my side. Red headed bastard step child?”
“Actually, you’re right about that part. Martin Dobies.”
“Your side?”
“Are you even paying attention?”
“How about Nancy Battaglino?”
“Oh, I know her, that’s that woman that’s always giving me shit on my own web site.”

I’m hoping it’s just that I’m not overly familiar with names. Let’s face it, half of the guest list from my side ended in “Dobies”; I can’t be expected to remember all these people on first name alone. Hopefully, I’ll recognize these people by face at the wedding, otherwise the whole walk-around-and-introduce-the-bride portion of the reception is going to be really uncomfortable. So please, I beg of you to sign the guest book and tell me how you are related to me, so I at least have a fighting chance of getting it right.

A few months ago, Meg found me to tell me she selected a photographer.

“Remember how I told you about Tony the photographer?”
“Yes” (read: “No”)
“Ok, well he gave me the information on the available packages. We can get blah blah blah… negatives… blah blah… engagement pictures…. blah blah… it’ll be great.”
“Cool” (read: “Please don’t ask me any questions on it”)
“So what do you think?”

“Um… white?”

My 8th grade basketball coach once said that when dealing with women the only thing you ever need to know is “Yes, yes, yes, and white”. “Yes” is supposedly the only answer you need, until she asks for a color, in which case “white” is a valid answer. I came to two conclusions as I braced myself for the impending doom that only a man who has zoned out for 15 minutes of photographer packages has warranted.

1.) Never listen to a man who has to make himself feel better by beating 8th graders in basketball (only like 2% of the readers of this site can appreciate that, but trust me, that was damn funny).
2.) “Yes, yes, yes, and white” is crap advice.

Luckily, Meg went with her instincts and picked this Tony guy anyway. Fine by me, I trust her ability to research anything wedding-related ad nauseam.

Fast forward to last week. Meg informs me we are taking our engagement pictures the coming Saturday. Any faithful reader of the site can probably guess that I had no clue what an engagement picture was at the time. Realize that having taken said engagement pictures, I still don’t have a clue what the purpose was. I didn’t even try to point out that we got engaged some 16 months ago.

The most interesting aspect of the whole experience was the location of the pictures. One would assume to go to a park, garden, or some other place whose purpose largely involves allergies and scenic pictures. But Tony had a different idea for a great location to celebrate our engagement.

A cemetery.

The joke practically writes itself on that one, and I’ll leave it to JJ to keep the running list of how many things in this wedding involve death.

I’m not entirely sure of how many pictures out of the roll of film he took we get to keep, but when we get them I’ll try to figure out a way to get them on the site.

I came downstairs the other morning to find an ad ripped out of a magazine on the kitchen table. I quickly glanced at it as I started to cook breakfast just long enough to discern that it was an ad for a jeweler. This wasn’t a surprise; Meg’s birthday is just over a month away and she has the subtlety of a root canal. However, when looking over it more closely, I found it was actually an ad for men’s wedding rings. We haven’t planned anything for the wedding in quite some time now, and I had almost convinced myself there weren’t a thousand more decisions that had to be made. On this particular topic, I thought I had already made my decision. However, Meg doesn’t quite agree with the idea of me having a Lord of the Rings inspired wedding ring (I may be wrong, but I believe the phrase used was “hell no”). My one idea shot down, I don’t have a clue how to go about picking a wedding ring.

Later that morning, in an attempt to draw myself away from the inevitable “I need a new job” mentality while driving to work, I found myself thinking more about wedding rings. On one hand, I’m somewhat afraid of having a wedding ring, but my reasons are not as sinister as they may seem. Every day, I wear my Villanova ring to work. And every day, within minutes of logging in, I take it off and place it… well, somewhere. That’s my issue. I’ll leave it on my desk. I’ll leave it in the kitchen. I’ll even leave it in the bathroom. Try as I might, I can’t seem to get used to typing while wearing a ring. So the biggest issue I’ll face with having a wedding ring is to figure out what I’m going to do with this thing during work (and later, at the gym). I would probably be better off simply tattooing “Meg” across my neck; at least I couldn’t misplace that.

I also found myself contemplating the purpose and meaning of the wedding ring. I came up with at least three distinctly different reasonings behind the concept:

Traditional: The traditional purpose of the wedding ring has to do with the third finger on the hand being thought to contain a vein of love. Many would argue that a circle was chosen due to the fact that a square ring would just plain suck. However, the choice of a circle has to do with unity and the idea of not having a beginning and an end. Basically, there are a number of religious and romantic sentiments behind the concept. Note in this description there is no mention of gold or diamonds. Nor is there mention of Helzberg, the patron saint of expensive things.

Women: To women, the wedding ring is the second major accessory to their wardrobes. The first of which is, of course, the engagement ring. As a side note, I don’t believe the engagement ring has an ancient or religious explanation of love associated with it, but is rather the complete fabrication of the unholy wedding-monger trinity of De Beers, Hallmark, and the flower industry. But in the end, when a woman gets engaged, the first question is typically “Let me see your ring.” When a woman gets married, the first question seems to be “So when are you having kids?” The wedding ring seems to take a back seat.

Men: The wedding ring serves as a way of tagging the groom before returning him to the wild. Not that anyone I know would ever be looking to pick up a woman after marriage, the wedding ring serves to ward off women within 30 feet of the groom. I work in a department consisting of all men; never once have I heard the phrase “Let me see your wedding ring.”

The other major significance of the magazine ad on the kitchen table is to serve as an indication the time is coming where the more detailed decisions need to be made. Meg’s bridesmaids, all of which I sincerely believe are more excited about the wedding than Meg is, have begun to ask about bridesmaids dresses. Meg’s dress is allegedly in the dress shop (not that she didn’t already wave to the store when driving by, even while the dress was still being built). We’re starting to talk about how to get all of the bridal party (and I do mean all, it’s gotten quite large, and when we finish asking people I’ll put up a page about them) to and from the church. Meg’s starting to get stressed, which downright scares me since we’re still 8 months out.

As for me, well, this is the stuff blog entries are made of.