As summer starts heating up, I have to decide whether I’m gonna break two of my rules. Things that I decided I was not gonna do anymore while I still have a job in the shithole economy:
1. Bang any summer associates.
2. Attend any wedding of my asshole colleagues.
We all know I have broken rule number 1 on multiple occasions, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared my absolute abhorrence for the invitation/money grab from random lawyers who have no business inviting me to their special day.
A month ago, I received an invite from a guy named William Brennan (name changed, obviously) and I had to do a double take to see if it was addressed to the right person. Not only did I have no idea who that was, but the wedding was in Minnesota. After I called my family members and got confirmation that we had no long-lost Viking cousins, I showed up at work the next day a little miffed. I looked through my Facebook profile to see if I had somehow forgotten any of my college buddies names from the haze of drugs and alcohol. I managed to get to about 3 pm with this mystery unsolved, when Bill, this weirdo co-worker of mine with a terrible combover, crossed my path on the way to the shitter.
“Hey Matt, did you get the invite? Hope you can make it?”
“Oh riiiiight, yes, it was very thoughtful of you to invite me. I’ll have to check my schedule.”
Translation: I don’t know who the fuck you are and there is a zero percent chance I’m going to Minnesota for your wedding, dipshit. Also you’re not getting a gift.
I knew I was not alone in this because I asked around and found out two of my friends from work also got invited to Bill “William” Brennan’s wedding. They were equally confused as to why William felt that we were worthy of an invite. After all, we have never ever socialized outside of work—or inside, for that matter. I have never met his fiancée and I have never indicated that I even like him. I actually thought I had made it clear I thought he was an imbecile on multiple occasions, to his face, but I think he assumed I was joking, as best pals tend to do. We all came to the conclusion that it was a straight money grab.
I say if you’re that hard up for cash, just ask me to spot you a couple of hundo. I’m gonna say no, but that’s not the point. Don’t go around inviting everyone on the floor so a few of us get guilted into buying you a new salad spinner. He obviously doesn’t know my emotional range doesn’t reach guilt, so he basically just wasted a few bucks on that fancy bill he sent me with calligraphy on it. I’m just not in the business of writing a check to every grifter who decides to invite his “work friends.”
It’s not just that I don’t like being scammed and that I know my Chinese delivery guy better than William, it’s that I made this mistake before. Last summer I took up my colleague, Frank, on his wedding invite. If Bill is at zero and real friends are at a 10, Frank falls at around a 4. But I decided to go only because it was in Manhattan. My logic was, he’ll throw me at the singles table, I’ll talk some shit, see if I can get some lonely girl to come out with me after. If not, it’s basically like I spend a few hours pregaming at a fancy open bar complete with baby lamb chomps: no harm, no foul. Frank had assured me there would be a decent amount of single chicks and kind of gave me some sort of wink when he said it. So, I assumed that meant there were gonna be some layups in the house (a/k/a lonely, mediocre 30-somethings). The wedding was at some upscale venue in mid-town and when I rolled in halfway through cocktail hour, I could see some potential victims in my sights. But I wanted to wait till we sat down and kick game to whoever was sitting next to me. I have always found that if you pretty much play it cool at the table, act normal, make the girl laugh a little, and offer to dance with her, you have a pretty good shot with whoever is sitting next to you. It’s really that simple.
So I grabbed my table card and it said Table 8. I start walking and notice that all of the single girls are heading in the opposite direction . . . as far away from me as humanly possible in this banquet hall. I get to Table 8, and it is four couples, me, and the groom’s younger brother. I asked the couple next to me if I was at the wrong table, but they confirmed that I was in fact at the right table. I was fucked. I looked over at the singles table and everyone was paired off within minutes. Laughing, having a good time, basically getting ready to fuck each other out of sheer desperation. I was in a jealous rage. I spent about 45 minutes at my table, drinking heavily and listening to his wedding toast, which should have included a “thanks to Matthew Richardson, for being a good sport about this practical joke,” and then I bounced out to a bar with my friends. It was quick and painful, and the last time I would ever attend the wedding of a co-worker who was not a friend.
The next time I saw him at work a few weeks later, he had the gall to ask me if I had a good time. I assumed it was just a numbers crunch thing that led to be stuck there, so I actually wasn’t that legitimately angry when we began our conversation.
Me: “Dude, you put me at the couples table, what the fuck?”
Frank: “Yeah, seating is always tricky at weddings.”
Me: “No it’s not, you put all of the people that are drunk and horny at the same table. You don’t put one of them at a goddamn couples table with your twerp brother.”
Frank: “This is exactly why my wife didn’t wanna put you at that table.”
Me: “Whoa, time out. So you actually deliberately put me at that table, you asshole. I was half kidding.”
Frank: “Well, I guess I’ve kind of told her a few stories about you and she didn’t want to subject her friends to that, so we agreed it would be best for everyone to seat you at Table 8. We actually thought you might hit it off with my cousin Joe and his wife. They’re both heavy drinkers and really fun.”
Me: “I don’t go to weddings to hit it off with random drunk couples, I go to weddings to hit it off with random drunk slores. Period. Go fuck yourself. “
Frank: “Sorry you’re so upset about it. To be honest, we didn’t really think you were gonna show. Nobody else at the firm did.”
Me: “Good to know. By the way, you’re not getting a fucking check.”
I’m pretty sure that was when I decided to institute my new policy. On the other hand, since I never ever talk to William, I don’t think his wife would have any reason to think I would be a danger to her single friends, so maybe I should check out my old pal Bill Brennan’s wedding in Minnesota after all. I’m leaning towards not going, but if I do, I made myself this promise: if he seats me at the couples table, I will ruin his wedding.