When a man and a woman want to lose their virginity, pretend to lose their virginity, get a discount on dry cleaning or skip 10 years ahead in the immigration line, they get married. And social networking whores that we are, the happy couple hires a photographer and a print shop to come up with an adorable "Save the Date" postcard.
I don't object to these on principle. But I cast a preemptive spell on those joint tax entities-to-be who make my fridge look like an Oprah gift segment or MoMA exhibit.
Weddings have a predictable Chronology of Idiocy: Reserved, chaste ceremony before drunken, lines-crossed reception before next-morning walk of shame. The prequel should be at least as decorous as the nuptials, or more so if Chris Brown is involved. Anything resembling the permanent euphoria of Rip Taylor should go in the rejects pile.
Check the goo-goo eyes photo to the right. It's tasteful - modest grins, respectable clothes, subdued gestures. Pastoral scenes suggest to the recipient that this union will be naked and unashamed. Contrast it with the manic photo above - Gene Simmons tongue extension, flashing the rock, dental-cleaning mouth gape, and male-on-female cheek kissing straight off a romance paperback. The "American Beauty" brick wall and placards put this in the league of emotional onanism. Emonanism? It makes you want to walk through a construction zone to avoid this couple.
The illustrated postcard, from Jeremiah's recent nuptials, closes the loop on the ideological circle of consummation kitsch. The missing photo suggests Mr. and Mrs. Imperialist are dyed-in-the-wool Thriftsters, too socially conscious to spend money on a professional card when they can Make Poverty History, and yet like Blondie and Bedhead, obliviously vain, rubbing their literary funkiness in our faces. It's a Monty Pythonized MySpace page.
Like a comedian wearing a fur coat in front of his Mexican landlord, these cards scream "Want me, love me! Shower me with kisses!" You're allowed to be the Black Hole of Attention on the big day, sucking all conversation and earnest glances into your orbit, loyal subjects and random coworkers lauding your love, meticulous grooming and choreographed weeping. Until then, play nice with others on my fridge.