By Daniel Dunaief
We’re finally here.
These poor couples have had to wait for days, months and years to tie the knot in front of family and friends. It’s such a relief that we can all gather again, celebrating the love that binds two people forever and that may, if it hasn’t already, lead to children.
It seems that the list of dos and don’ts for weddings has changed, just as so many other parts of modern reality have altered the way we go about our lives.
Here are a few of the dos and don’ts, starting with the don’ts.
— Cough. Ever. If you have to cough, swallow it or make it sound like a strange laugh. No one wants to hear a cough, least of all at a wedding. Go outside to cough. Cough in the car. Cough into your hand like you’re saying something private and being discrete. Go to the edge of the parking lot and cough.
— Chew with your mouth open. No one wants to see the food you’re eating, especially not in the third year of COVID-19.
— Point to the food and say how much better you could make it. Look, we know that you’ve lost a step on your social graces from being home so often. We know that you’ve spent a great deal of time cooking meals to your satisfaction. We know that you are a great admirer of your own food, your own voice, and your own way of doing things. Appreciate that someone else has made the food and will clean it up and that they do things differently than you do. You can have food you know you love as soon as you walk back into your fortress of solitude.
— Talk about politics. You’re not going to convince anyone who doesn’t agree with you already of your views. So, why bring it up? This isn’t the time to try to make a reasoned argument with relatives who only share genes and nothing else. Smile if they bring something up you find disagreeable.
— Complain about the weather. The bride, groom and the extended family have no control over the weather. If it’s too hot, get a drink. If it’s too cold, shift back and forth from one foot to the other or bring a sweater. The weather is either perfect, dramatic, lovely or dynamic.
— Talk about your own wedding. If people were there, they remember. If not, they don’t need you to compare what’s going on to what you did. Your wedding may have been lovely, but you’re not there right now.
— Point to someone else’s mask and ask them why they’re wearing it. Do whatever is comfortable for you. Don’t tell anyone else what to do because, well, that doesn’t work and it gets people angry. They do their thing, you do yours.
— Binge watch shows while you’re waiting for the ceremony to start. Yes, the invitation said the party would start at 7 p.m. and it’s now 7:18 p.m. So what? You’re there to celebrate other people and to witness this lovely moment. Netflix and other shows can wait. Live your life.
— Show pictures of your pet. Many of us added dogs, cats and fish, particularly during the pandemic.
Okay, so, here is a short list of dos:
— Give other people a chance to talk. Silence, periodically, is okay. You don’t need to fill every quiet moment, if there are any, with your opinions, thoughts and experiences.
— Ask someone to dance who seems eager for a partner. Grab your mother-in-law, your brother-in-law, or your something-in-law by the hand, lead him or her to the floor, smile, and appreciate the chance to dance.
— Remember that you won’t have to see many of these people until the next blessed event, whenever that is.
— Thank the bride, groom and their families for a lovely event. Even if you hated it, you’ve got some good stories to share and you gave your wonderful pets a short break from you.