Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming. After airing our (OK, my) grievances last time we met, I am ready to get back to dealing with your troubled personal and professional lives that are in a complete state of shambles. Honestly I don’t know how the majority of you get out of bed on a daily basis, but that’s neither here nor there I guess. This week we tap into the all-encompassing issue of the Argentine wedding. So grab a cup of tea (or goblet of wine) and stay a while. Let’s have some fun.
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My coworker is getting married in a couple of months. Our office is relatively large, so not everyone is invited for dinner – In fact, I am only invited after midnight for the party. The thing is, my wife isn’t invited and the party is out somewhere past Pilar! And the religious ceremony is being held in Palermo. What should I do? Ask my coworker if my wife can join me, or brave it alone? I don’t want to leave a bad impression. – Unsure Officemate
Dear Third Tier Team Member,
Wow, lots of layers to work with here. First of all, for those that might not know about how Argentine weddings work, let’s run through a quick primer course. Also, let’s add some tunes to this. All set?
These events generally tend to be very fun and very large parties that last all night through sunrise (and if you forget this, locals will be more than happy to remind you constantly of just how FUN they are). Given this, wedding guests are sorted into three groups: those invited only to the religious ceremony (if there is one, though in this country of faux Catholics there’s almost always a church involved), those invited to both the church and dinner/dancing, and those invited only once dinner is over – usually after midnight. Are you exhausted already? Good, so am I. It’s really a miracle that these things get off the ground when you think about it.
Being invited after dinner isn’t the worst thing, as you get straight to the point and can hit the open bar, don your best cotillón and embarrass yourself until the next morning without having to wait around too much before. Basically, the bride and groom like you, but not enough to pay for your meal. Not the end of the world, but it really sucks trying to kill enough time beforehand without falling asleep in your formalwear. Also, ordering empanadas and then opening the door so the delivery guy can see you in your best suit is kind of pathetic. A hearty pre-game with your fellow after-midnighters is a smart plan, though don’t get too sloshed unless you know you’re entering a party atmosphere that will praise your debauchery rather than decry it.
I’m sorry that your lovely wife wasn’t invited to the nuptial celebration of the century. I am sure she is a charming woman, but your coworker obviously doesn’t care about that. Don’t even try to ask if you can bring her along, especially since this guy is just someone you work with. Is she even going to know anyone else at the party? Are you sure you want to hear the nickname that everyone calls you in the office? Think about that for a minute. Maybe it’s best for some secrets to remain cloaked. Also, she’ll totally pick up on the flirty vibe you’ve got going with the new finance intern once the DJ starts pumping out the melosos.
Regarding the couple’s decision to compel their guests to traverse both Capital Federal and the conurbano just to get a lame gift card to Falabella: Entre nous, let’s just accept that they’re jerks for not planning a more logistics-friendly affair. The last thing I’d want to do after drinking all night at a wedding is hop on the death trap that they call the Panamericana and drive 45 minutes back into the city. Hell to the no, man. It would be smart to either carpool or just pitch in and hire a combi among your friends. This way the one doing the driving is some sad sack who is getting paid pennies to watch you have fun and be ridiculous. Befriend him, and ensure he puts all the good 80s music on for the ride home. And stops at McDonald’s for the requisite quarter pounder with cheese.
Your other alternative is to gracefully bow out of the event altogether and send your regrets. Besides, if you didn’t make the cut for dinner, do you think your coworker will really notice (or care) if you don’t show up? Of course not. I can guarantee you he was probably just being polite and invited everyone from work so there wouldn’t be hurt feelings or weird office politics B.S. after the fact. His future wife, foreshadowing her future of making nearly every decision for him, whether he likes it or not, is likely behind this. Face it, yours was most certainly a pity invite. If it weren’t the case, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation now would we?
The best part of this last alternative is that you are not required to give a gift if you do not attend the wedding (especially since you were only invited to the post-midnight shitshow). Don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise – sorry I’m not sorry. And while we’re on that topic, I understand that nowadays brides and grooms prefer – ahem – gifts of the monetary persuasion in lieu of home appliances or, I don’t know, something thoughtful, unique and from the heart that will forever serve as a reminder of their time as newlyweds. However, words cannot describe how utterly TACKY it is to include bank account information printed in the formal wedding invitation! I almost stroked out the first time I saw this and am pretty sure that Emily Post turns over in her grave every time this happens. I’m sorry, your getting married is not an investment project for some family and friends looking to throw a few hundred pesos out the window.
Skip the wedding, save yourself the time and energy into dressing up for a crowd that you’ll never really see again, and spend your Saturday night as you’re wont to do – finishing off an entire bottle of wine by yourself and roaming around aimlessly in your underwear, waiting for the latest episode of Breaking Bad to download.
Ain’t love grand?
For the record, I envision your coworker and his fiancé like so: