Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wedding vs. Car

My car has started to make funny noises again. It's 13 years old, has about 82,000 miles on it, and is going to take me to and from Michigan this summer (if I replace the tires.) It has two brand new headlights, thanks to a fiance who doesn't mind the possibility of electrocution when he disconnects the battery (a fear of mine that may very well be irrational). It gets terrible gas mileage (less than 20 miles to a gallon) for a compact car.
We live in Federal Hill, where people park like giant jerkfaces. The most common thing I see is the "half-spot". This occurs when somebody doesn't pull as far forward as they possibly can to park in a space. Its particularly annoying when the person hasn't pulled all the way forward to the area where parking starts (usually a sign or a curb.)
Which brings to mind the following solution:
So here's the problem (and how this relates to weddings.)
This car, which I have convinced myself is an irrational purchase (when really, it makes a lot of sense and will be ultimately more practical than the Vespa that I really want), will cost the same or less than dinner for 120 of our closest friends at our wedding. For the cost of the average wedding, Mark and I could each get our own Smart Car. We could even get the convertible version. The wedding will last for a single day, but the Smart Car will last for awhile. Probably 10 years.
But then I start thinking about the other sides of the coin - a smart car will only last for ten years, but our marriage will last for our entire lives and isn't celebrating that more important than sensible transit and not wanting to kill myself when I get home after 8pm on a Thursday? (I have spent, literally, an hour driving around the nighborhood looking for parking.)

All of the people we are inviting to the wedding will be people I would gladly take out to dinner to celebrate our marriage and thank them for being so supportive of me, or of Mark, or of both of us, to get us to this point in our life. Isn't a wedding just a really big way to say, "you've always been there for us and we really appreciate it?" At least, that's what I think it is. It is a way to thank my sister and my brother in law, who convinced me that living with Mark really was a good idea. It is a way to thank Mark's family, who took me in and accepted me as an important part of his life, no questions asked, when Mark came to visit and brought me with him. It is a way to thank my family, who has loved Mark since day one and have never hesitated to express to me how much they like him or how much they support our relationship. It is a way to thank our friends, who have listened and been supportive when we hit a rough patch with each other or with our lives. It is a way to thank the people who make us who we are so that we can be who we are together. I am eternally grateful to all of Mark's friends and family and even his ex-girlfriends who have made him a sensitive, compassionate, and hard-working person who I love very much and am excited to marry. And so for all that they have done for us in the past, and all they will do for us in the future, I would very much like to take all of these people to dinner, and that is not something I am willing to forego for a Smart Car.

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