I’m convinced that most American parents didn’t realize how much work raising a kid was when they decided to have one.
If they did, we’d have a negative birthrate.
Having a child changes your life irrevocably, in that you will have at least eighteen years with no life. A good parent prioritizes their child’s needs, especially during infancy. They endure a constant state of deprivation: sleep deprivation, cleanliness deprivation, time deprivation, and quiet deprivation.
You know those big, dysfunctional but lovable white families you used to see in television and film? They were all about siblings being super shitty to each other. Yet when one member of the family was threatened, the family closed ranks and fended off the attacker.
I grew up in a huge, white, broken, dysfunctional family.
My family collects college degrees. We have some BAs, a lot of BS, an MD, a JD, an MBA, a MSW, an MFA, and a Masters of Education. Big Brother added second MBA when he married. Judgmental Genius Doctor Sister married a second lawyer. I brought the most, though, when I added Andy — a Masters of Engineering AND a Masters in Cyber Security (so, HA, you Russian hackers, give up attacking my website already).
I took a boyfriend home for Thanksgiving at my Ex-Stepfather’s house. Once. Ethan came from a small, immigrant family and thought my description of tons of food, alcohol, card games, and siblings sounded awesome.
“Mostly we play Hearts,” I warned him. “It’s brutal.”
My siblings and I once celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional fashion. We met at my Ex-Stepfather’s house in the DC suburbs and pigged out. Family members brought appetizers and wine. (A LOT of wine.) Drinking, eating, and cards started around noon. Football games played on the living room TV. The turkey was usually served by 4 PM. Dishes were finished around 7. Our exercise consisted of a slow walk around the neighborhood about 7:30.
In Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, the Chinese bride and groom collapse in their hotel room after an exhausting wedding. There’s a knock on the door. The bride goes to answer it. The groom tries to stop her. Too late! All the young wedding guests pour into the hotel room, carting tables, chairs, booze, and supplies for potentially humiliating sexual games. They set up shop and party. Questionable, regrettable activities ensue.
It was the evening before my wedding. My Chinese-American fiancé and I had made the mistake of having an open bar at our rehearsal dinner. Despite Andy’s best efforts, most of our wedding party got trashed. The worst offenders were our brothers. My Big Brother, former Naval Officer, had conned my twenty-one-year-old Baby Brother into attempting to match his alcohol consumption. And while Andy’s little brother Denny had thankfully been cut off early by the bartender, he’d still downed too many shots.
Don’t have a big rehearsal dinner/ party the night before the wedding.
If you must disregard Rule #1, do not serve alcohol at the party the night before the wedding.
If you must disregard Rule #1 AND #2, do not have a morning wedding.
If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, AND #3 absolutely DO NOT have an open bar at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, #3, AND #4 make sure no members of your wedding party have recently turned 21.
If you are seriously such a fool as to ignore Rules #1, #2, #3, #4, AND #5 there’s no chance you’ll pay attention to this one, but I’ll give it to you anyway. For God’s sake, do not schedule your only wedding rehearsal with the minister AFTER the open bar at the party the night before your morning wedding.