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
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
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
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.