As always, blue text is a hyperlink.
Funny story. I haven’t been given many tasks in the preparation of the wedding. It’s not for lack of offering. My few jobs have been to secure a DJ (check), pick groomsmen (check) and make sure I arrive on the day with my props (ring), hit my mark and not say anything too stupid. In the words of Humphrey Bogart, “the key to good acting is to remember your lines and don’t trip over the furniture.”
One of my tasks was the Save The Dates. I barely know what this is. I would get these in the mail and think, “is this the invite?” Apparently not. This is the pre-invite that tells people there will be a wedding, they’re invited and mark that date on their calendars. I would think an invitation would do the same thing but there are all kinds of Emily Post rules as to how early you can send an actual Invitation.
So because we live in America in the twenty-first century Natalie tells me we’re doing Evites, online invitations. I think I got one of these once. My invitations to social gatherings usually come in the form of cell phone voicemails as follows:
Hey Jim. What are you doing tonight? We’re barbequing at seven. Bring a two-liter of Sunkist and a bag of Tostitos. Real Tostitos… not that cheap crap you buy at the Wal-Mart.
I was told to complete my task by the end of September. Every few days Natalie would ask me what I was doing that night which really meant, “Are you doing the Evites?” I would respond with my usual excuses:
“No baby, tonight is Rainbow Six Xbox night with Yuri and Tony. These terrorists won’t kill themselves.”
“Right now? I’m watching King Of Queens and it’s the one where Doug does something stupid and Carrie is mean to him and calls him fat.”
“Tonight is my day serving soup at the homeless shelter.”
Okay. That last one never happened but the point is I am a busy, busy person. So in true procrastinating form I decided I would do this on September 30 and beat my assigned deadline. It barely worked in high school and I don’t mess with a mediocre thing.
Instead I slept on the couch watching a documentary on the history of Iron Man from the DVD I bought that afternoon. Natalie, meanwhile, was upstairs calling undecided voters reminding them to vote, “changing the world” as she calls it. I intended to get up at 7:50p and be in full swing by the time she came downstairs tricking her into thinking I’d been working on it for the past hour.
That didn’t happen.
Instead she came downstairs and found me on the couch watching in-depth analysis of the Tony Stark/Iron Man character. Busted. I drag myself up and go to the kitchen table and start building this Evite. The site is fairly clumsy and boasts features that don’t work. I picture grooms like me nationwide knowing this will never work and they should have done it months earlier instead of watching that Ultimate Fighter marathon on Spike last weekend. I hope this not getting done on time isn’t the nuclear bomb that turns Brides into Bridezillas and me into downtown Tokyo. I get through the thing and it asks to import your contacts from the Outlook csv file. I do this. It doesn’t. I do it again. It stares at me like I owe it money. I do it six more times and I start getting furious. It’s 8:30p. Finally I just start adding the emails in by hand… all seventy one of them. It takes me close to an hour. All my guests had emails except for my mom who doesn’t have a computer and her only use for the internet is retrieving lottery results and finding Paula Deen recipes she can improve on.
I call Nat over to verify and she loves it and fails to contain her excitement. I push the Send button.
Nothing. Maybe I have to select my contacts? I do. Send again.
Natalie rushes to her laptop to verify and on the email are the words:
NATALIE & MATT ARE GETTING MARRIED.
Who the hell is Matt and what’s he doing marrying my girl?
I go back to the website and start going through my options and somewhere in the initial setup I find some obscure place where it asks for the Bride’s name (Natalie Maxwell) and in Groom’s name and it says Matt Damon.
A few months ago when I was given this assignment I was fooling around with the website and I entered in Matt Damon, Natalie’s fictional boyfriend, as a joke. Three months later I just emailed that joke to seventy-one guests.
This is where my father would tell me I play too much.
Natalie finds this hysterical. I do not. I am furious. I have her call her mother and to check if she got it. She hasn’t. We call a few more people. They don’t have it either. We conclude you have to select the people it gets sent to. I only selected Natalie.
I go back in, this time, under pressure. I do my best work that way. I figure there has got to be an easier way to do this and it gives the option to import contacts from an online account. I open a Google Gmail account, import my contacts there, then import them into the silly site. It takes me less than five minutes this time.
Minutes later we start getting responses. I thought I was the only one was checking my email at 11:00p.
So when you get yours, know that a lot of work went into that and Matt Damon can keep his distance.