Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two videos: one (Kindle Paperwhite) sane and happy, the other (the modern-day wedding non-invite) plain crazy



by Ken

Okay, I don't suppose there's really any connection between these videos, except in my head, which doesn't really count. But I had the first one, the Kindle Paperwhite one, passed on to me yesterday, and am still utterly delighted by it, and even momentarily inspired to think that there just may be hope for this old world after all. By contrast, the one about this new "trend" in wedding invitations -- the non-invitation that basically says, "Eff you, asswipe, just stay the hell away from our wedding if you know what's good for you" -- rather tends to reconfirm one's original sense of the direction we're headed in.

I love the Kindle Paperwhite commercial so much that I briefly considered buying one of the damned things. (Okay, I considered it. I didn't say I considered it seriously.) It's charming and funny and even distinctly hot -- for folks of all sexual orientations, I'd like to think.

Not entirely surprisingly, the detail that I fixed on seems to exist only in my head, at least judging by the reactions of friends I posed this to. I'm thinking of the all-too-brief glimpse we get of the hunky husbands hanging out at the bar. Is it really just my imagination that these total strangers have gotten awfully, er, familiar in their brief time there? (Notice that they don't seem in any hurry to rejoin their spouses.) Or is it possible that I just need a more perceptive class of friends?

[For a change, I failed to get a clip to embed properly. You can view it here at]

Description: A new trend is emerging -- letting people know if they aren't invited to your wedding. Today says it's like sending a non-invite and telling people they didn't make the cut. WHNS spoke with a bride who said she and her husband did not partake in the 'anti-invite' trend and rather just said they were having a small, intimate wedding. A writer for The Stir tried their best to see both sides of the story, but in the end, agreed it would be insulting.

As for this other clip, this business of wedding non-invitations all too obviously smacks of heading-for-hell-in-a-handbasket. But since, in the matter of social rudeness, hardly anything today surprises me anymore, again I've kind of latched onto a possibly peripheral detail.

Which is that this new class of "Warning: Keep Out" wedding planners may unwittingly be dishonoring the most sacred aspect of the entire wedding operation, which is to say the demand for gifts. I mean, on the most spiritual level, isn't this what the whole shebang is really about?

In her last years my mother became increasingly unsentimental about wedding invitations -- from relations who surely knew that she was unable to travel, which didn't in my mother's mind relieve her of the obligtation to send a gift. Ditto the birth announcements that trickled in. By that time the wedding invitations and birth announcements were pretty much the only times she heard from her (well, our) relations. Eventually she made a decision that was incredibly hard for her: no more gifts.

Now as usual I have to add a disclaimer that I may have gotten this thing wrong. Since I doubt that any of the accepted etiquette experts have tackled the ins and outs of the wedding non-invite, I may be jumping the gun in assuming that the non-invite relieves the recipient of the obligation to send a gift. In which case the non-invitees may still be getting the better of the deal. Once the gift is in FedEx's hands, they're free of any obligation to attend the damned wedding!


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