May 09, 2007
I publish this column every year.
I suggest you send a copy to all your friends. You can send it from our glorious web site: www.indyeastend.com. This is not vanity on my part. This is a public service to make sure your friends and/or relatives will think twice before they send you an invitation that will screw you out of a precious summer weekend.
Why do they do it?
Why do our friends and relatives destroy the summer for us? Why can't they get married in February? Why do they choose the middle of summer to have birthdays, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs, family, college, high school and even nursery school reunions? That's not all. Frankly, some of them are thoughtless enough to die in June, July and August, and there goes another weekend.
I promise that if it's possible when it's time for me to go I will go on life support until some rainy Friday morning in January so that my mourners can bury me early in the morning and still enjoy a three-day weekend. That's the kind of generous guy I am.
Now I know you're wondering what I'm ranting about since you're on top of the world because it looks like another endless summer. Let's just see how endless it really is. If you're like me you work Monday to Friday, leaving you with 15 Saturdays, 15 Sundays and three long holiday weekends. We're only two weekends away from Memorial Day. So from the minute you're reading this (and I'm throwing in the next two weekends to count as summer because I'm such a nice guy), it adds up to a total of about 40 days. Now you know that at least 9 or 10 of these days will be cold, rainy days where no matter how hard you try to avoid it you'll end up arguing with your spouse. All a man has to say is, "No, I don't think it's romantic to freeze my behind off walking in the rain on the beach. Why don't we stay in bed and fool around?" and that's when the pouting starts. So write off 10 miserable days to weather and you're left with 30 days.
Sound like a lot?
I bet everyone reading this already has one lost weekend coming up when your Aunt Matilda is celebrating her fiftieth wedding anniversary and she and your Uncle Benny would be broken-hearted if you don't show up on a beautiful weather Saturday afternoon to their house in Brooklyn or The Bronx or Westchester or wherever the hell they live.
So, now you're down to 28 days. If you're young enough to have children, that means you're stuck with a trip to some summer camp with an Indian erů erů Native American name in Maine or Massachusetts in the middle of what always turns out to be the sunniest, most beautiful weather weekend of the summer.
This is where you are sentenced to spend the weekend admiring neatly made bunk beds and ceramic ashtrays (which in these politically correct days are called candy dishes). Show me a camp that is wise enough to schedule parents' visiting days on a Monday and Tuesday and I will show you a camp that deserves the exorbitant amount of money they get to guard your kids for the summer. An amount of money, I might add, that is more than it took, a few short years ago, to cover the tuition that would get a child through four years of an Ivy League college.
If your children are grown it's even worse. They have children and all their children are having birthday parties in town in July, where you will find yourself overcome by heat while you're surrounded by 20 sticky five-year-olds playing musical chairs.
What frosts me is the weather. Did you ever notice that every one of the weekends you have to go to a family event is beautiful? The sun is shining. The sky is blue. And, you are stuck in some disgusting catering hall, or, worse, drinking warm white wine out of a plastic cup in some relative's backyard in White Plains. Which brings me to summer weddings in the city. They must be banned.
There are some facts that people who drag their friends away from the beach for their wedding must be made aware of. Recently, Jerry Seinfeld, an East Hampton resident, had a message for all the newly engaged couples: "Nobody wants to go to your wedding! We are not excited like you are." Mr. Seinfeld is so so right. The only people who must attend a summer wedding are the bride and groom, their respective parents, the best man and the maid of honor and maybe a priest or a rabbi. All the other guests are hostages who may be smiling but inside they are seething because they have had their one of their precious summer weekends screwed up. I remind every dewy-eyed couple in my family that in the summer it's bad luck to get married any place west of Westhampton. I remind them of the famous Della Femina curse, which is still going strong. I have, in my life, attended four weddings that took place on a summer holiday weekend (three Memorial Day, on Labor Day) and must report, in all honesty, that not one of these couples are still married. Pass the word--the marriages of people who screw up my holiday weekends are doomed.
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