“I sang a song at my sister’s wedding. My mother forced me into that, too. But that one felt all right.– Adam Sandler
Today, in Central Park, an intimate wedding was held at the lakeside gazebo. The lovely ceremony was soulfully conducted by a young female interfaith minister. After the final pronouncement, everyone seemed so happy and excited until…
…the Guy-With-The-Ponytail! …started strumming his folk guitar with a flat A string and began singing: “New York, New York.” His amateur rendition, reminding of Bill Murray’s SNL character: Nick The Lounge Singer included the intro, every verse and added repeats. It went on infinitum; at least twice as long as the ceremony! Then, the finale just wouldn’t end.
Where’s the Gong?
What was most impressive during this performance was the crescendo of impatience that the parents of the newlyweds were exhibiting. The father of the groom’s face progressed into deeper shades of red. The pony tail dude must have been a friend or a relative of the couple. Perhaps, the groom’s brother?
Wow, he was so fully self-absorbed in his “amazing-not” talent while the forlornly polite audience was “held captive.”
When he finally ended on an extended bittersweet high-note the applause was more apologetic than enthusiastic. A-w-k-w-a-r-d.
I thought to myself. Ah, my next essay! Title: “It’s Not Your Wedding!”
There is a certain type of maturity, consciousness, and self-awareness that comes with being able to assess a situation and act accordingly. Children stuck in the Freudian “id” phase of development just don’t have this skill. That’s why parents have such developed secret-service-like bouncer skills. We can remove a toddler from a room faster than any stage hook.
What if the person in this id phase is an adult? Ah, there’s the uncomfortable rub!
Even worse, what if it is us and we don’t even see it? (Eyes right.)
“Emotional maturity” has become a popular term over the years. There are about as many books on this topic as any other in Pop-Psychology.
If you have read my articles, you already know that I don’t profess to have any more together than the next person. But, when I see a fellow member of my species metaphorically pick their nose and eat it?! I feel that the humane thing to do is discreetly hand them a tissue. If it’s a friend, I might mention that it’s not a healthy choice. Or, a foe, perhaps offer them a taste of the air conditioner filter?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not completely altruistic. Sometimes I just get tired of hearing them whine about their not understanding why they can’t get a date.
Yes, these are the same sophisticates who tell me that my article titled, “Where to Meet Quality Singles in NYC” is preposterous; they never met anyone in a laundromat! Of course not! It most certainly has nothing to do with their psycho-slow, meticulous folding of those stained tighty-whities?!
So, how do we avoid getting kicked under the table or tagged with the scarlet letter “L”? My wife might say that I’m still working on this one!
No, seriously, I think a good start is to realize: This Is Not Your Wedding!
Here are 10 tissues:
1. Learn to lay back; they call it self-control. You don’t need to be the center of attention or the “life of the party.” Let someone else be Bozzo the Clown or the court jester, this time.
2. Just because something upsetting happened to you earlier today doesn’t mean that everyone wants to hear about it. Know the difference between sharing an interesting event and dumping on someone. No one wants to feel like a roll of toilet paper.
3. Let everyone else talk. You’ll get your turn. Try to be engaged, not engaging. Show them that you’re interested in what they have to say. Remember, you are not responsible to fill the void all of the time.
4. Let the conversation happen naturally. Get comfortable with a little silence. As you know, the best way to get someone talking is to ask them about themselves and what they’ve been working on or their latest interests and projects.
5. Ask questions relating to the topic at hand. Going off on a tangent just to interject something about your yourself or a recent experience, unless it contributes, makes you look self-centered.
6. Don’t partake in distasteful conversation just to be a part of the group. Maintain your dignity. Know when to ferme la bouche.
7. There’s no need to talk about yourself. No one wants to hear your resume. Stay in the moment. Relax. You have nothing to show or prove.
8. No one cares who you know. I can’t tell you how many limo drivers I’ve met who have these great connections. You will only be announcing that you are impressed with celebrity and hang with the cheesy paparazzi crowd.
9. Speaking before someone is finished talking is like snatching food from their plate. Let them finish chewing first. Learn to make that Wow!-What-You-Just-Said-Was-So-Profound-Pause. Then say something thoughtful to enhance the topic; maintaining the level or boosting it into a higher plane. If someone compliments the thought, give your guest who spoke before you credit for initiating the idea.
10. Know when the topic is dead. You don’t want to be the last one picking on the bones of a spent topic. Like this article.