Monday, May 23, 2011

Marriage, the End of the World, and an Eventful Saturday

On May 21, 2011, as the most recently predicted end of the world closed in on us, I found myself and my closest friends and relatives wearing tuxedos and milling around a banquet hall like really inept secret agents. In case that doesn't encapsulate what an awkward experience preparing for a wedding can be, let me add that this was my second visit to that same banquet hall that day, the first having come a few hours earlier when I was setting up various decorations with a collection of the most dedicated volunteers any person has any right to hope for. You see, on May 21st, I not only survived another fruitless apocalypse prediction and married someone who obviously severely underestimated my shortcomings, I also learned that a wedding can make even the calmest of people into forgetful, blithering morons. I am now a married man. On May 21st, I was that aforementioned moron. And yet, somehow I managed to get a ring onto my bride's finger and she must have said I do despite her better judgement.

And this fortuitous circumstance merits posting. Also, I have a couple of books to review and they are of the wedding variety. I'm not going to promote any of the hundred or so wedding-on-a-budget books that my bride copiously provided me with over the past year or so. There are more than enough people who spend their lives trying to push those books on unsuspecting goofballs like me without my throwing my thoughts into the fray. And I can't say I really read any of them carefully enough to merit their review. My bride did though. And she told me what they said. She knows enough about them to write a book of her own just reviewing everyone else's materials.

Flower GirlWhat I will review are two picture books that I read before we presented them to my niece and my cousin as part of their flower girl and ring bearer gifts. I read them, lost the first copy ring bearer book, replaced it, and presented the books to my young relatives with a few other things that my wife had picked up.  Of course, with a combined age of less than ten among the junior members of our wedding party, the books weren't the big hit I might have hoped they would be. No, that honor went to the build-a-bear companions we gave them. I liked the books though. They could have been any one of a number of books. Like so many other things in the wedding industry, there is an overabundance of picture books devoted to flower girls and ring bearers out there. Go to your local bookstore and give it a look. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Anyway, the basic idea behind your average book of this variety is something relatively cute and heartwarming, like a terribly drawn-out Hallmark card. Flower Girl was pretty much par for the course in that regard. It was cute. Heck, it was much more than cute. Yeah, that's right, I gonna drop the A-bomb. Flower Girl was stinkin' adorable! I wanted to hear a few of my literate relatives gush an "aww" and "Isn't that sweet?" I must have missed it though. Either that or the book was shoved way down deep in the gift bag and they didn't see it until a few days later.

The Best Ever Ring Bearer: All the Best Things About Being in a WeddingThe ring bearer book was every bit as brilliant. I should know since I've purchased two copies of the thing. I'm still hoping to find that first copy before the digital age ends the reign of the printed book so I can resell it and regain a degree of my dignity. Anyway, these aren't books that will redefine the genre. They will never be shortlisted among the candidates for great American literature. They'll sell a ton of copies though, since people who get married temporarily lose their financial mind and buy a whole bunch of stuff that they wouldn't even look at normally.

Anyway, I'm a married man now, so happy days are here. The day went off without a hitch and  other than the fact that I have now purchased a couple of books that most people will giggle at the existence of, I am so much better for the experience. So if you're as love loopy as I was (and still am), know that you're not alone, and that these two books are out there with about a million others are lurking in your periphery, waiting for their chance to strike your wallet. My advice? Let them. And let your wife have it her way on her wedding day. It's in your best interest.

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