Distant relatives, dear old friends, and workplace acquaintances:
I would like to take a moment during these times of troubling uncertainty to revise and extend some remarks I made during seemingly untroubling and un-uncertain times.
I appreciate that all of you have traveled from near and far for this postwedding debrief, and I would like to thank the staff of the Russian Tea Room and Al Mendelsohn of Shmear City for these lovely last-minute lox platters.
Undoubtedly, you are wondering why we’re having this emergency reunion just one month after we were all together here celebrating (and, equally undoubtedly, you are wondering whether there will be any of those delectable mini–lamb chops). Unfortunately, the joyous memories of that affair, including the 5-foot ice sculpture of my hero, Ayn Rand, with a vodka-martini luge carved into it, have quickly faded due to the current economic crisis. Quite frankly, I’ve realized that I made a big mistake in being so appreciative during my thank-you speech that night—especially to people who did not truly have our future in mind. Our financial future.
Bottom line: you people have really disappointed us—and, it saddens me to say, I mean that exactly as it sounds.
I don’t know what happened. I left it all out there that night. My appreciative toast was hilarious and heartfelt. Remember how we all laughed at my refreshing honesty when I joked about those of you who only came out of obligation but stayed once you heard there was Chilean sea bass? Now I wish we never flew in that fish. That day, I went out of my way to thank, in an amusingly snarky way, those of you who came “all the way from the Upper West Side.” Now I wish I had said something in an amusingly snarky aside about thawing out your wallets. Speaking of which, I wish I could have thanked you all for simply sipping from the luge so that we could at least have returned the unopened bottles to Costco, but, with you lushes, that was impossible. Instead of congratulating everyone who finished the 37-minute hora, I should have told you to put your money where your dance shoes were. That means you, Uncle Murray.
Perhaps you don’t understand. This wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us—not like your five rounds under the huppah, Aunt Phyllis—and we gave our all to put on a good show for you people. Luckily, our parents covered the Mitch Mandlebaum Quartet and the revolutionary arrangements done by Flowers of Ted. But we assumed that paying for (most of) our own wedding and the 17-day eco-honeymoon in Belize would be made up for by generous gifts. We further assumed that when we jokingly responded to inquiries about gifts with the retort, “Oh, cash always works!”—said with an unmistakable half-joking tone—we might actually get a pile of checks with “For the happy couple” in the memo line. These assumptions, like those made by Lehman Brothers and the subprime-mortgage predators, proved inaccurate.
I’ll never forget our wedding night. After the photo booth had been carted away, the caricaturist dismissed, and all of you had your pictures taken with famed point guard Walt “Clyde” Frazier, we retired to the W Union Square to savor our envelopes. Sadly, the contents were so slim that, quite frankly, I was unable to perform my husbandly duties. Checkus interruptus.
We left the next morning for the honeymoon, prepaid on our Discover cards, with the hope that the many of you who had not ponied up that night would stop thinking of your own portfolios long enough to give us a little something something. Yada, yada, yada, beautiful Belize trip, yada, yada, yada. But, instead of finding a pile of thick envelopes, we returned to a condo filled with box after box of bowl after bowl, along with every Kate Spade goblet in the collection, an entire line of OXO kitchen gadgets, and two ceramic sombrero chips-and-salsa sets (neither of them the one from our registry).
Beyond having a Styrofoam-peanut city taking shape in our living room, we were dismayed to discover that we cannot even return this stuff for cash—which we could really use right now, given what has become of my trust-fund investments. If you really cared, you might have gone down to one of the banks still functioning and gotten a few crisp hundos and put them in with the card—how hard is that, Bob? Stu? For God’s sake, you have a Citibank right in your building.
Our last hope is that some of you will take Miss Manners up on her one-year window for sending wedding gifts: just show us the money and we’ll fork over a thank-you note pronto.
We placed our faith in you and you sold us short. Yes, we understand that the country is in an economic meltdown of historic proportions. But it’s not our fault: the day the market finally dropped more than 700 points, we were out on a catamaran snorkeling for decorative conchs.
Now, as we head off on our marital journey for worse instead of better—unthanks to you—I want you to know that we are recording this morning’s proceedings so they can be edited into our wedding video. Hence the tuxedo. By the way, thanks to Steve from Documentary City for getting up early.
For those of you still left, I, in conclusion, regret to inform you that we have had to make the kind of decision that more and more young marrieds these days are forced into in order to survive: We are returning the chips-and-salsa sets. Both of them. I hope you can live with yourselves.