Archive for March, 2012

March 31, 2012

Wedding photography is not the most important thing.

H * E * R * E * S * Y

F * O * L * L * O * W * S

If there is one fetish the wedding industry (and many brides) nurture it’s that Pictures Are Very Important. They Are the Only Thing You Have Left After the Wedding. This is a standard sales line but I have read many women obediently parroting it on forums or saying it in real life. The children have been brainwashed very well, indeed.

Even women who intend to have otherwise reasonable affairs feel and indulge the urge to pay a stranger multiple thousands of dollars to follow them around for a day (or a weekend) taking pictures of their private family party and then running it through computer software to make it look vintage or otherwise trendy. Example: A recurring feature on the A Practical Wedding blog is the Wordless Wedding. No commentary, just pictures. All of them just happen to have been taken by APW sponsor photographers. It’s an advertiser showcase, except not identified as such. The wedding industry is a slimy business, is it not? The blogger herself, Meg, had two photographers flown in from out of state to document her own nuptials. About 90% of her sponsors are photographers, a percentage I pulled out of my ass but which reflects reality.

Remember. The Photos Are The Only Thing Left After the Wedding.

This isn’t even true. You always have memories – unless you develop retrograde amnesia. Even if you have a traumatic brain injury that erases your recollection of your Grandma Luann standing on her hands on the dance floor with her skirt around her shoulders, there are other mementos. The cake topper. The wedding dress (you didn’t sell your dress did you?). Your wedding ring. Your husband.

The monthly payments on the loan you took out so you could hire the photographer.

All of this emphasis on pictures. All of these efforts to monetize the day itself – if you have a wonderful photographer, does that mean it was a wonderful wedding? Will it be a wonderful marriage? If you have crappy pictures taken by your paroled Uncle Pat, does that mean the day itself was a downer? There are millions of couples over time who married without one shred of photographic evidence. The look in their groom’s eyes, the way the bride’s mouth turned up at the corners as she spoke her vows, the reflection of the candlelight on the guest’s face, all of that is recorded only in their hearts. Did they have any less of a chance at happiness? Were they worse off? I begin to suspect they were better off.

This is coming from someone who spent $2,000 on a photographer and durned pleased with the results. So I know the attraction of photography. It’s art after all. Who doesn’t love some good art?

What I’d like to see are fewer blogs that revolve around astronomically-priced photography and a few more that address what happens to the thousands of dollars worth of photography in the 50% of marriages that end in divorce. It happens sometimes that the expensive album outlasts the relationship. What does a bride do with the high-end gallery art documenting the beginning of a marriage that ended in lies and infidelity? What to do when you have $5,000 worth of pictures to help you remember the heartache and regret? Do these photographers and bloggers have any suggestions for that?

Hmmm. I’m guessing not. That would be bad for business.

Photographs: Often the Only Thing Left After the Marriage.

March 28, 2012


There are as many types of waiting as there are people to wait.

Waiting. As in girls who are engaged-to-be-engaged, who are patiently or impatiently watching for signs of betrothal. Holding out and holding their breaths for the appearance of portentous jewelry. As in Waity Katie. Other women are mean to these women (read the article linked – merciless). Not least because there is a whiff of the ridiculous about them.

I was a bit of a waiter.

Waiting, as in the 2005 Ryan Reynolds film. Plot revolves around directionless, lecherous wait staff at Shenaniganz restaurant. Rated R for crudeness, this movie’s value lies… all right, it doesn’t have any value. I was made to watch this by my husband, a sometime waiter. But the restaurant is called SHENANIGANZ for sweetness sake.

Waiting – the Jews, waiting for the Messiah. The Christians, also for the Messiah. The Muslims, waiting for Imam Mahdi. With all due respect, God likes to keep people waiting.

Right now I am waiting: for my body to recover from my miscarriage so we can try again. Waiting to get pregnant again, waiting for the first trimester to be over so I can relax and feel more certain the child will live. Waiting for our lease to be up so we can buy a house. Waiting for my husband to get his review at work so we can find out what his raise might look like. Waiting for a lightning bolt to strike so I can figure out what path to take in terms of my career. Waiting for answers to these and other prayers.

Most urgently, waiting for the economy at last to improve and for the world to be at peace.

The first will hopefully be here soon. The second…

Well, we shall just have to wait. And see.

March 17, 2012

Today was the feast of St. Patrick.

Husband Consuming Corned Beef Sandwich at Downtown Bar.

It falls on a Saturday this year. And here in Cleveland the weather was wonderful. So downtown was a madhouse, a circus of humanity, half a million bodies (according to the police estimate) all pressing up against each other all along the parade route.

In some ways it’s annoying that this day has been co-opted by the World. It’s “our” saint’s feast day after all. The bishop said Mass at ten at the Cathedral, three hours before the parade passed by. And the Catholic school marching bands and the Holy Name Society and the Hibernians and the various Ladies Auxiliaries all marched. But other than that, it was mostly a day about leprechauns and beads and intemperate imbibing.

The beads remind me of another Catholic-ish day stolen by the World… the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras.

And that kind of redeems the whole thing for me. I don’t enjoy seeing the obscene T Shirts or the girls from the worst neighborhoods of Cleveland with their skirts riding up an inch too high for public decency. But the fact is, nobody would ever take a Protestant holiday and fill it up this way. Catholic holidays get co-opted by the World because Catholics know how to have fun.

The World doesn’t understand this business about the Communion of Saints and the Trinity in the shamrock and killing off all the snakes.

But it does understand fun.

The green beer and the piled high corned beef sandwiches and the crazy parade and yes, even the beads. It’s the pagans trying to join in the revelry. It’s a poor try, missing heaven by a mile, but it’s a try nonetheless.

So I think Patrick, on his feast day, has to smile on them. Shake his head, but smile and redouble his prayers for them – so I’ll have to smile and pray too.