Saturday, February 25, 2006

Congratu-fucking-lations.

Sounds cynical. I know. But I just got done working a 14 hour shift, and I'm a wee bit cranky. Sue me.

This morning I woke up to a text message from my last single college friend, announcing that she had gotten engaged on the beach in Florida the previous night. What the hell she was doing in Florida, I don't know. But the idea that her Republican boyfriend flew them there specifically for the purpose of engagement is not entirely out of the question.

Now, all of my college friends are currently sort of annoying and pissing me off, so I've been limiting my interaction with them. And I'm basically of the opinion that they all decided to get married simply to make me buy them presents or give them money. Which annoys and pisses me off even further. So, my first instinct was to completely ignore the announcement, and never acknowledge it at all. I'm really good at that. Not to return any text messages. To hit "Ignore" on my cell phone when her number pops up on caller ID. Erase any and all voicemails unheard. Accidentally on purpose forget to even return my RSVP. Be conveniently busy for all shower/ bachelorette party/wedding dates. And under NO circumstances purchase a present or write a check to them.

But then I got to thinking....and I had a simple, yet brilliant, thought.

I WILL acknowledge the announcement. And I will write a check.

To charity.

I will make a charitable donation in their names, and that shall be my wedding gift to them.

My reasons are three-fold:

1) I like to give to charity, and this is a great excuse to do so.

2) Being as THEY are republican (and kind of cheap), I can almost guarantee that this will be the ONLY donation EVER made to charity in their names. (I do not count the NRA or RNC as charitable organizations)

3.) Knowing them, this will piss them off. It will piss them off REALLY bad. Like, won't-talk-to-me-anymore pissed off. And the thought that someone would get so blindingly pissed off because one of their friends gave money to help starving children in third world countries, instead of giving them cash they can spend on being materialistic, intrigues me. It's almost like a test (granted, one I'm almost certain they'll fail) to see what they're really made of.

I haven't decided on whether I'll deliver the card and donation notice to them in person at the wedding, or not. I hate weddings. They freak me out. But, this one may be worth it. We'll see.

17 Comments:

Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

It's my goal to be the last person in every group I can imagine (family, school, generation, etc.) to be married.

People are too blatant about wanting stuff. When I first graduated high school, I got so much money from the people to whom I'd sent invitations that I paid half of my tuition with it an still lived it off for the rest of the year. Frankly, it was a little embarrassing.

When I graduated from college four-and-a-half years later, I didn't send any invitations, but I still I got things. It was nice, but sometimes you don't want to feel like you're milking the relatives, you know? By the time I got my master's degree, I wasn't telling anyone. That's sad, I know, but I didn't want people to think I did it just so I could hit them up for a third time.

I love your idea! You work too hard to have to spend money on what's clearly a self-indulgent and extravagant affair. This gift will keep on giving in the form of mailing lists and catalogues for years to come. And what are they going to do, tell the charity, "We think you suck and we're only on your list as a joke?" Unlikely.

Singles unite!

February 26, 2006 12:43 AM  
Blogger subutane said...

I like that :) Good solution. ANd if you really want to piss off the Republican boyfriend protect an acre of Rainforest in their name.

February 26, 2006 1:22 AM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

I've almost 100% decided on donating to Heifer International, so that I can buy a pig for a poor community and then print out a card for my friends that says (I've already printed up a sample one from their website) :

"Congratulations!

A gift of love has been given in your name by:

Sarah

May this gift of

Pig

bring you joy as it brings hope and
nourishment to a family in need."

February 26, 2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger Arvind said...

It doesn't matter, jones, that all your friends suddenly seem to get married.
When you meet the right person for you someday (if you haven't already met the person, that is) you will too. According to me, Marriage should be for the right reasons so that it provides and peace and lasting happiness.

I'm glad that you are donating though. Wish everyone was like you.

14 hr shifts! Hope you are doing a job that you like and you are healthy enough to do so.

Take care. Have fun. Wish u peace and happiness

February 26, 2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger R said...

I find it interesting that you have this much distaste and ill will towards someone you consider a "college friend."

February 27, 2006 6:38 AM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

Like no one else's friends ever annoy them.

February 27, 2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

And really, I'm annoyed at everybody who gets engaged or married. It's pointless. Especially when they've all been living together forever anyway.

And people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, R. You seem to have ill-will and distaste towards a lot of people yourself.

February 27, 2006 7:17 AM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

R, I frankly have the same issues with many of my college friends. I suppose it's part of a natural process of drifting apart, but sometimes it makes you wonder what brought you together in the first place.

Virtually all of my college friends have gotten married or are otherwise in a relationship. Apparently, couplehood requires that you no longer do most of the things that makes you fun in the first place. And that's what sucks for single people who have mostly married friends; what rare good times there are usually involve a lot of planning and not a lot of activity. And it's all done by committee, which (as we know from pop culture) tends to water down things.

Everyone says, "I don't want to be the person whose life stops because they get married." It's very telling that they say that in the first place, and even more telling when they inevitably renege upon it.

February 27, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger R said...

Chill out. I was only curious. Whatever snide meaning you took from it was created by you.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my attitude, or maybe it's even that I've been fortunate enough to befriend the best of people, but my friends, married or otherwise, never annoy me.

At least they don't annoy me to the point of me wanting to do something to spite them in response to something that makes them happy simply because I may not believe in it.

"Apparently, couplehood requires that you no longer do most of the things that makes you fun in the first place. And that's what sucks for single people who have mostly married friends; what rare good times there are usually involve a lot of planning and not a lot of activity. And it's all done by committee, which (as we know from pop culture) tends to water down things."

Wow, man. Just...wow. You must have gotten burned pretty badly by somebody or just had some fucked up past experiences because the level of resentment inherent in these words is beyond anything I can comprehend.

It looks to me like you're throwing a fit because Ol' College Chum won't play with you anymore and so you're just going to sit in your room and pout and decry marriage because you don't have anyone to play Nintendo with anymore.

"Everyone says, 'I don't want to be the person whose life stops because they get married.'"

No, not everyone does. By the way, I thought stereotyping was only done by the big bad evil conservatives.

Anyhow, if you think your life will stop once you get married, don't get married. And if your friends get married and decide to move in another direction, bid them well and move on yourself.

Boy, the level of intolerance for people who get married here sure is giving good ol' bigotry a run for its money.

February 27, 2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger R said...

"And really, I'm annoyed at everybody who gets engaged or married. It's pointless."

So is this blog. So is my blog. So is the drawing of some five year old kid that sits on the desk of an office manager somewhere in Kansas. You think any of those things have any grand impact on anything? You think they MEAN anything to the world?

So why do them at all? Why do you write in this blog? You're not saving anybody's life. You're not changing foreign policy. You're not sending aid and food to the starving people of the world. You're not creating magnificent art or exhibiting groundbreaking ideas or philosophies.

There's lots of shit we do in life that is pointless and without merit. Fuck, even life is pointless. We're all going to die anyway, right?

Why do we write blogs or draw pictures for our parents when we're young? Why do we get married or write stupid guitar songs to yarble up at our romantic interest?

It's an expression from one person to another. That's all. It's just a goddamn expression of ourselves.

To ask what is the point of marriage is to ask what the point of art is. Or love. Or life. Or the universe.

February 27, 2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Like you said: "Wow...just wow."

Your friends never annoy you, R? Maybe you aren't paying attention, then. Everybody annoys somebody at some point or another. I'm annoyed by myself half the time. And I accept that, because no two human beings are alike and inevitably conflict results. That's normal and okay. To pretend otherwise is just being snobby.

Maybe I have had some bad experiences. People I know tend to do two things: marry and die. It's often hard to tell one from the other.

I've seen perfect marriages and I've seen terrible ones. And I accept that it's not for me. But if Flamingo and I lament that people we care about have edged us out of our lives, then we shouldn't be begrudged for that. I'm a big believer in moving on; it's what I do best. But sometimes you don't want to. I'd like to think friends are more important than a simple cast-off.

"It looks to me like you're throwing a fit because Ol' College Chum won't play with you anymore and so you're just going to sit in your room and pout and decry marriage because you don't have anyone to play Nintendo with anymore."

I'm shocked to read this, coming as it does from an unabashed gamer such as yourself.

As for your pointless argument, I vehemently disagree. I don't waste my time doing anything that I don't think could affect people. Expression is important, and my standard for that is not, "Will it cause God's hand to come out of the sky?" I'm cynical, but not to the degree where I think everything is pointless. I certainly don't think marriage is pointless, which is why I take it so seriously. Do you?

February 27, 2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

I would bid them well and move on. That would be great. And honestly, they probably wouldn't mind it either, as I don't fit into their boring couple plans anymore. So, that'd be win-win, ethey expect me to shell out hundreds of dollars in gifts before doing so.

In the very unlikely event that I ever get married, it's going to be about the marriage, not the wedding. No big ceremony. No ugly dresses. Justice of the Peace, all the way. I don't expect gifts just because I make a certain life choice. If I even bothered with a party, it would be a chance to get people together for fun, and it would be small number of people I actually wanted to spend time and celebrate with. NOT every person I've ever met in order to guilt them into buying me things.

And yes, a majority of people I know are that materialistic. The last couple I know who got married ADMITTED to me that they checked their on-line registries every HOUR to see how much and what stuff they were getting. They also admitted (after the wedding) that they got angry when guests bought them stuff they didn't register for. And I knew that about them, so I didn't even bother, I just gave them cash. Which was just fine with them, but it upset me, because I cared about them a lot, and had a really unique gift idea that would have suited them perfectly, but I knew it wouldn't be appreciated.

When it gets to the point where you aren't good enough to spend time with, but you're good enough to give them money, people stop being friends to me.

And if that makes me look like a bitch, fine. I honestly could not care less what R, or anybody else thinks about me.

February 27, 2006 2:59 PM  
Blogger Bananahead said...

I hope that if/when I get married people will make donations for me! I think that is a great idea ... in fact, I may wish to donate a pig in my friend's names for birthdays! Luckily, I think they will see the humour in it and appreciate that I did good in their name ... its too bad your 'friends' may not!

I'm like you, weddings make me uncomfy and I lament all of my friends moving on to the marriage/kids thing. I still talk to them, but we just aren't on the save wavelength anymore and the distance just gets wider and wider. Sometimes it makes me sad :(

February 27, 2006 3:32 PM  
Blogger Murph said...

As someone who's been married for almost five years, I'm not going near this with a 10-foot pole, though I will agree that I'm often disappointed friends' actions often show they don't value a friendship as much as I do.

To be really snide, I'd speculate that if R's friends don't annoy him, then maybe he's the annoying friend, especially if every time they say "American Idol" doesn't mean anything he starts asking them if their lives have any meaning. :)

February 28, 2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Some great steriotypes by the plitical side that swears they're above it:

1. Just b/c someone is a conservative means the donation you make in their name will probably be the only one of their life? Tell that to all the conservatives who donated time, money, and possessions to aid in Katrina and Rita relief.

2. Getting married is downright pointless and nothing but "throwing stones from a glass house" just b/c a couple has been living together for a few years? This is just a wild guess, but maybe that couple would just like to be officially married in the church, and whether or not they've been living together is irrelevant as long as they're not judging anyone else. I don't care if unmarried people live together, and contrary to what you might believe, MOST Christians don't care either.

3. Donating to the rainforest will automatically piss off a Republican? I'm not a repub., but a conservative, and donating to that wouldn't piss me off. However, why not keep the money local and donate to the Louisiana wetlands or Florida Everglades?

March 01, 2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

1) I'd argue that Flamingo knows her "friends" well enough to mete out a "gift" that goes against their selfish sensibilities.

2) In my experience, marriage is a game of pressure, especially if the couple already lives together. And what gives you the idea that people aren't judging others? That's all most people ever do, and it's increasingly reflecting in our laws.

3) Any donation to preserving the environment is commendable, because what happens in one part of the world affects us everywhere. That said, asking someone in Wisconsin to keep donations local wouldn't do much for hurricane relief.

March 01, 2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger R said...

"Your friends never annoy you, R? Maybe you aren't paying attention, then."

So I should pay more attention to them in order to find things to get annoyed about?

No, dude. I have both married and unmarried friends with whom I do a variety of activities. I don't hang out with my married friends as much as I do with my single friends, obviously, but I don't get angry about that.

Unfortunately it seems like this is a "your world" vs. "my world" argument. You have observations and experiences about your environment and I have the same about mine.

"But sometimes you don't want to. I'd like to think friends are more important than a simple cast-off."

Yeah, it sucks when life takes you in a different direction than a good friend. And just because this happens doesn't mean anybody has cast anybody else off. It has been ten years since I moved across the country from some of my best friends. It's been ten years since I hung out with them regularly. It's been ten years since I've ribbed them and made fun of them. It's been ten years since I've had high school classes with them.

But I still consider them my closest friends despite the distance and the time of inactivity. One of such friends recently got married a year ago. I flew out for his wedding. Three thousand miles and several hundreds of dollars to be there for one day. Why would I do that for someone I had "cast off?" And when I did get there, the friendship was as warm and as strong as the day I originally left.

A substantial amount of my old friends are married and raising kids and have house payments. And I do have introspective moments when I see that they're all adopting a lifestyle that, while not necessarily "leaving me behind," is still divergent to my own.

For whatever reason they decided to marry, I look at them and they are happy. When I eat lunch every so often to catch up, they are not broken or downtrodden or miserable. They tell me with great excitement about the exploits of their younglings and it's during those moments that I feel happy for them.

Hey, they found what they were looking for. Good for them!

And you know what? THEY'RE the ones who call me out of the blue to see what's up. I'm not knocking on their door or leaving dozens of messages trying to get together. They send me their cheesy family Christmas photos and that's how I know nobody has cast anybody off.

True friends never really go away, man.

March 03, 2006 2:35 PM  

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