Friday, May 9, 2008

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

I have had some rich friends in my life. With names you would recognize. I grew up in an era and a part of the country when debutante parties and cotillions were de rigeur as soon as a female turned eighteen. I was lucky just to be invited, although I had brothers who were escorts. One thing I noticed was that the older the money the more understated the invitation. It's been years, but there was a whole lexicon for deciphering what you were actually invited to.

Yesterday, I got an invitation NOT to come to a wedding. This was a first for me. Had I been pre-selected for denial? 

I have followed Miss Manners long enough to know that these things happen. I can certainly understand getting an announcement when the wedding is a week away.

But the thing is, I never got an invitation to come to the original event in the first place. Was this a new way to snub people? You are cordially invited not to show up at the wedding we didn't invite you to because you aren't important enough to be there.

These days engagements end with little or no fanfare. Usually the couple has been living together for awhile and no wedding invitations have been sent out. I can only assume that this time invitations had been sent out. Did I mention I didn't get one?

Here's the story: back in February I ran into a young woman I have known through work that I hadn't seen in a long time. Probably because I hadn't been consulting at her company for awhile. Her office was down the hall from where I was, but she passed me on her way to lunch every day.

So one afternoon she chatted me up about her plans to get married to a new Mr. Wonderful. I'd been through four years of her first loser boyfriend, so I was hoping this guy was better than the last. Until I heard that the new guy was much older and they'd only been dating for a couple of months when he popped the question. Apropos of nothing, he was also a rich Moroccan. Which may or may not have explained why she had suddenly dyed her natural blond hair shiny black.

Her family is quite well to do, I guess, back in Feburary, the plan was to invite the whole company to a party to meet this guy. She was all sparkly-eyed and bubbly when she assured me that
"You'll getan invitation to our formal engagement party in April."

Well, April has come and gone and yesterday I realized I had never received an invitation to anything -- engagement party, wedding, whatever.

Because when the mail arrived in the afternoon, I opened up a fancy envelope with a fancy 3 x 4 card and an even fancier engraved message [the names have been changed to avoid embarrassment, should you happen to know these people]:

                          Muffy and Stan
               Announce That The Marriage of
                         Their Daughter
                            Cutesy Pie
                      Will Not Take Place

Since I never got any invites, they could have skipped me. But I'm thinking Cutesy Pie remembered our conversation in February and felt she should at least let me know that the engagement party and wedding ceremony that I wasn't invited to were no longer taking place. If it turns out there were no invitations to anything and her parents are just letting people know she's not going to marry the guy, that's weird.

Keep in mind that Cutesy Pie is a woman who stayed with her first boyfriend for two more years after I told her to dump him. Why dump him? One night he'd taken her out to a fancy restaurant and, at the end of their very romantic meal, he had presented her with a beautiful black velvet box, the kind that usually holds a diamond engagement ring, She opened it up and, TA-DA! inside was one of those bumblegum rings you get from a Wal-Mart quarter machine.

This whole episode got me thinking about what other opportunities there may be to send out formal, engraved cards with announcements of humiliating and/or embarrassing events in our lives.

                             Bob & Deirdre
                       Announce With Pleasure
               The End of Their Difficult Marriage
                        Although Truth Be Told
                          Bob Thinks Deirdre
             Could Have Cooked More Like His Mother
               & Deirdre Would LIke To Remind Bob
             That He Couldn't Get It Up Very Often

Or --

              Tom and Jennifer With The Tattooed Son
                             Invite You To Join Us
                              For A Day At Court
                   To Witness Tattoo Boy's Sentencing
                          For His Most Recent DUI
                                 Next Tuesday
                                  At 9:30 AM

                              Black Tie Optional

In a way I could take it personally that I received an invitation not to come to a wedding, when I hadn't received an invitation to the nuptials in the first place.

The bad news is that I may have missed an engagement party, which, as parties go, are most notable for all the food I could have socked away. The good news is she's not going to marry the guy, who didn't sound much better than her last one.

Maybe in a future announcement we'll find out why I wasn't invited to the wedding in the first place.


ber144 said...

My severely sleep-deprived self needed a few laughs.  Got 'em.  You should write a boo of these.  Better yet, offer to make them for people in need (to sell, of course); the possibilities are endless.

ksquester said...

AMEN!  This really hit home for me.  I recently got an announcment of a wedding. I wasn't invited to the wedding. It had taken place a month ago.  It's the kind of announcement that you used to see in the paper. Another friend of mine received the announcement too. We are both friends of the mother of the groom.  We thought.......what the hell does this mean?  Are we supposed to send a gift?  Through much searching on the internet, we found out that a gift was not necessary, but a card would be nice.  By the look of these announcements, my Hallmark will pale in comparrison.  Anne

dafyddhevans said...

My first thought was that it was just an announcement of a wedding to which they were not planning on inviting you.  In response, I was going to suggest sending a note announcing the present that they would not receive.

I still think you should send a letter describing the present they won't receive.  Although it won't be nearly as fun.

blossomcat said...

The highlight of it all is I didn't cost you a cent, but the humor and laughs were PRICELESS.


mombzbe said...

Check this out:

The company is no longer filling orders, but the cards are hilarious.  It seems there were some for many of life's little odd moments.

At least you aren't stuck with yet another set of margarita glasses.  :p

suzypwr said...

At least you didn't need to find your dry cleaning and get all dressed up for a wedding!


judithheartsong said...

you always make me smile. Never fails.

salemslot9 said...

Vegas baby, yeah!