Of Funerals And Weddings

Yesterday, I attended the wedding of my cousin. It was a very beautiful wedding, in some kind of building that looked like it might have originally been built around 60 to 80 years ago, with vintage stylings and beautiful original wooden floors. The music was impeccable, beginning with some classic music, some of which was off 78 records played on an original Victrola wind-up turntable (gramophone?), and then gradually merging into pleasant, mellow club/dance/electronic music, then subsequently a well-chosen mix of many different genres.

I actually felt rather apprehensive about attending this wedding, as I personally prefer to attend funerals instead of weddings. Yes, I do realize that must sound strange, but I actually have solid reasons for preferring funerals to weddings. Here are the main aspects that draw me to funerals:

1. Free food.

2. I get to meet with friends, some of which I may not have seen in a very long time. Our meetings usually result in eating the free food while people-watching (observing random attendees).

3. There is almost never an awkward moment at a funeral. Except for the especially emotional ones where one or two people are sobbing uncontrollably, which is perfectly understandable, and indeed desired in such an instance as it assists in the grieving process, but which can still make things a tad awkward for those of the attendees (such as myself) who are not, in fact, crying.

4. Being at a funeral actually makes me feel at peace. There’s a general sense of completeness that I almost always feel while at funerals. I know that the person I am attending in honor of lived a life through to completion. They did the things they did in life, and they didn’t do the things they didn’t do. It’s simple. There’s nothing complicated about it. By attending the funeral, I actually feel like there’s some sense of order in an otherwise insane existence.

5. When I’m at a funeral, I feel like there’s just that slight chance, no matter how remote, that I might be privileged enough to have such a gathering held in my honor when I pass on. Now don’t get me wrong. In no way do I feel like I deserve such a function, but it is somewhat nice to toy with such a notion. Putting it on a pedestal and kind of looking at it from a far, admiring it but knowing that my chances for having such a gathering in my honor are slim to none.

On the other hand, here are the main things about weddings that, to me, are deterrents:

1. The fact that it’s generally socially unacceptable to not attend a wedding once invited, especially if said wedding is that of a family member or relative. Funerals, on the other hand, can be avoided if necessary on the basis of either “not knowing the deceased very well”, or “being in too great a state of stress and emotional anguish to attend the funeral”.

2. The random relatives and people who come out of the woodwork that I really have no desire to talk to or meet, and who in fact give me the heebedy-jeebies. These include the people who become so drunk that they ruin the night for those who (unlike me) are enjoying the wedding.

3. The combination/ratio of food and dessert that almost always leads to indigestion and stomach pain.

4. The generally hot average temperatures of the facilities usually used for weddings and receptions.

5. The music. Except in the case of this recent wedding. I found the music for this wedding very enjoyable.

6. The obligation to dance. Now, on the one hand, I actually really enjoy dancing. Given the right conditions, I am more than happy to go out on that dance floor and make a complete idiot of myself in the name of a good time, and I really couldn’t care less what other people think about my dancing skills. But, unfortunately, the conditions are rarely met. This generally results in one of two scenarios. The first scenario involves my dancing the perfunctory dance with my mother, and both my sisters if they are there. The second involves me feigning indigestion and an upset stomach so as to get out of the dancing scene entirely, although sometimes I don’t even have to feign the upset stomach. It’s just there.

7. Weddings often make me bitter, because to me they just serve as a reminder that the newly married couple was successful in finding a loving partner to share their future with (or in some cases, they “think” they have found the person they want to share their future with). I, however, generally interpret this as a reflection of their success, contrasted with my failure to find such a person. Now, contrary to what you might be thinking, I am in no position to even consider marriage at this point in my life. I do however feel like one colossal loser/failure whenever I see most newly married couples. However, in contrast, I also sometimes feel a sense of relief that it’s them, and not me, who are getting into such a relationship. I know, it’s a confusing emotion.

However, there is at least one redeeming factor for most weddings. Although the food offered is often poorly thought-out and inferior in both taste and quality (there’s nothing like eggs that have been sitting out for several hours on a table in preparation for the mass exodus to the food tables…), at least it’s free.

Here’s a picture of the DJ at my cousin’s wedding. I am filled with jealous rage for his Victrola.

The DJ

The DJ

The DJ's magnificent Victrola.

The DJ's magnificent Victrola.

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~ by offling on October 25, 2009.

6 Responses to “Of Funerals And Weddings”

  1. Both occasions involve food though. This is a good thing.
    What point would there be to going to a funeral if there wasn’t going to be any food?!

    Weddings just cost too much. Gifts always have to be impressive.

  2. So were I theoretically to plan a function and put you in charge of music and dancing, what would be the right conditions to enjoy dancing? πŸ˜›

  3. (I wrote out a better comment the first time but I didn’t post it right and lost it…) Point 4 under funerals… I concur completely and this is the first time I have ever heard anyone voice that same feeling. What’s done is done. Mission complete, come what may.
    Knowing this, though, makes me panic while at funerals, because I know if I died today I would not be even close to the person I wanted to be, I would have endless amounts of things undone, people I haven’t reconnected with etc.
    Food for thought…

  4. hey! I just read the part about the perfuntory dance with sisters… As your sister, I take exception to that. :p

  5. I don’t know what frusterates me more, the fact u like funerals mor ethan weddings, or the fact that your evidences were kind of convincing, haha.

    • Why should what I like frustrate you? πŸ˜› Haha there’s too many things in life to be frustrated about, without being frustrated about what other people like or don’t like. πŸ˜‰

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