Burnt Toast

by admin on September 16, 2009

I attended the wedding of one of my (now ex) husband’s old high school buddies, where he was serving as the best man. It was a smaller wedding held at a Mason’s club, but nonetheless trying very hard to be a classy affair. It was sadly hampered in attaining its goal by the bride’s family and friends. The groom came from a very nice family, and had met this girl while “sewing his oats” immediately after high school. They decided that they should be married after they had already had one son and lived together for a year to ensure that they could make it work. Their son was 2 at the time of the ceremony.

The wedding proceeded uneventfully, then dinner mostly uneventfully. The friends of the bride were either dressed in nearly see-through clothing or in full leather biker attire, but the grooms family was good natured and gracious, and mingled well in their suits and dresses. Toasting the bride and groom commences, and my (now ex) husband gets to deliver his. He was never really fond of the bride, and also had a bit of a drinking problem. By the time his moment of glory rolled around, he was well soused, and had an attitude. In a very misguided attempt at humor, he delivers the following toast:

“To Matt and Laura. Matt, I’ve known you almost my whole life and you’re like a brother to me. Laura, if Matt likes you then, eh, we’re happy to know you. We’ve watched you guys work on a relationship, and waited for this wedding, and all I can say is, best wishes and I’m glad your kid is no longer a bastard.”

My (now ex) husband then started to giggle, since he thought this was high comedy. The rest of the room, including me, immediately and collectively gasped, then I stepped out the back to hide my fits of giggles. (I hated my husband when he was drinking, and reveled in all of his mistakes.) As I was collecting myself out back, step-father of the bride, a large scary biker, is preparing to beat to a pulp the toast giver. Only the intervention of the very gracious bride and the father of the groom saved my (now ex) husband the beating he so rightly deserved.   0914-09

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I find it remarkably off-putting that the writer attributes the wedding to being “sadly hampered in attaining its goal” of classiness due to “the bride’s family and friends”, specifically their choice in clothing. Whatever they wore is to me small potatoes compared to the terrible, insulting thing that the writer’s husband did.
She also gives some catty jabs to the poor bride, who I felt showed herself to be the most polite and gracious person in the story by forgiving the toast giver.

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Elfqueen13 September 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

He was so close! It was almost a perfect toast, but then…

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Alexis September 17, 2009 at 9:06 am

‘It was a smaller wedding held at a Mason’s club, but nonetheless trying very hard to be a classy affair.’

Charming attitude.

Her husband’s behavior didn’t offend her in the least. In fact, she was amused by it.

It doesn’t sound to me as if the letter writer married beneath her at all.

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Hellbound Alleee September 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I am amused at the image of a man “sewing” his oats, rather than sowing them. He needs a really sharp needle and nice, strong string.

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HonorH September 18, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Yeah, the LW really lost me when she started giggling over her husband embarrassing himself and the poor bride. That was not classy. Less classy than biker wear at a wedding. At least she gave the bride props for being gracious in preventing a beatdown at her reception!

POD about the “sewing” of oats. Hee!

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Caroline October 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Biker wear at a wedding? Who cares? And what precisely is the point of including information about the bride and groom’s personal affairs? The lived together for a year to “ensure that they could make it work.” How presumptuous, like that’s the only reason people lived together before marriage. MAYBE they just wanted to live together, or because they had a child that needed two parents.

The real faux pas here is the drunkard’s behavior, and the author’s snark.

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Ling October 21, 2009 at 8:45 am

If you are about to promise to live together for the rest of your lives, isn’t it GOOD to actually know that you can live together amicably? That you feel comfortable in each other’s company on slow Mondays and tough Thursdays, as well as on a fun date with good food and nice ambience?
Here people often live together for years before they marry, some never get married. We don’t put that much weight on being made “an honest woman”. A woman can be very honest without a marriage certificate, and she can be very devious with one.
Horrible to use a wedding toast to belittle a child!

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Other Perspective February 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Ling, I submit to you that people USED to marry BEFORE living together quite a lot–and seldom divorced. In fact, I know quite a lot of people whose first night together was after the ceremony–and twenty years later, their married lives are unimpeachably happy.

Of course, this is a world now that thinks “love” is an emotional state and not anything remotely volitional, and is so obsessed with absolute individualism that they confuse forbearance with doormat-ness and self-restraint with repression, so…

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NotCinderell May 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

And, Other Perspective, plenty of people USED to marry BEFORE living together and ended up in misery for years. One does not guarantee the other.

Signed: NotCinderell, who did not live with her husband before marriage, but who refrains from judging in these situations.

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Michelle Prieur June 1, 2010 at 12:39 am

I was taken aback by the writer putting down the couple’s family and then later laughing at her own husband’s insult of an innocent child.

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Kat June 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

The writer shouldn’t have laughed about her then-husband’s tasteless comment, but I don’t see the problem with including the bride and groom’s family history, since it’s germane to the story. The toast doesn’t make any sense unless you know they’ve got a kid together premaritally.

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Vrinda April 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The see-through clothing and biker gear at the wedding were inappropriate and tasteless. It’s not as bad as the toast, but still wrong for a wedding. Breaches of etiquette take on different forms and are at different levels of gravity, like the ones described here. The best man’s toast and the writer’s amuzement at the comment are rude, but the bride’s family doesn’t get a free pass for slovenly dress, either, because of the best man’s toast.

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Eleanor May 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

I don’t think that the writer was saying that she was laughing at the toast itself – more the fact that her then-husband had just embarrassed himself: “I hated my husband when he was drinking, and reveled in all of his mistakes”

(I’m late to the party, sorry)

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Kaytie May 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Sorry, I just had to chime in on the “living together first” debate. I am actually a communication scholar and there have been several, unbiased studies that showed divorce rates are actually HIGHER among people who cohabitate before marriage. The explanation for this is intrapersonal relationship comparison. The couple compares their life together before they were married to their life afterward. For example, the husband may say, “before we were married we had sex more often” or the wife may say, “before we were married you helped more with household chores”. Without any conflict strategies in place, communication can quickly break down.

And, for anyone interested, preliminary numbers from current studies comparing couples who marry for the first time earlier in life (20s) to couples who marry for the first time later in life (30s and 40s) show higher rates of divorce among the older couples. The hypothesis is that, once they have become accustomed to living alone and doing things their own way, they have difficulty being flexible, using integrative strategies to resolve conflict, and/or negotiating compromise.

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Serenity S. August 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I just read this post as I was trying to make sure I haven’t missed any. I also feel that the OP and her then husband were less classy than the bride and her family. Wearing more casual or revealing clothing is not as bad as insulting the bride and her child, making catty comments about other people’s appearance and upbringing, or laughing at cruel remarks regarding a child. Also, the groom should be included in the same category as the bride by OP. I feel that the bride and groom were equally accountable for having a child. I really dislike double standards. Men CAN control themselves too, they are not mindless creatures who should be excused from “sewing” their wild oats while only the woman is ostracized. By the way, I, personally, do not have a problem with children being born outside of marriage.

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Enna September 2, 2011 at 7:41 am

@ Serenity S. I agree with you on most of what you said espcially when it comes to double standards. If you are a man and you cannot control yourself you are not a man – you are a savage animal. I respect the Groom for taking the responsiblity for his actions and wants to look after his child and he wants to work with the mother of his child. Although I think the OP was laughing not at the joke itself but at the stupidiy of her husband – however if she laguhed during the ceremony that would have been seen as her agreeing with the joke or finding it funny.

As for see-though clothes, it’s wrong to make judgements about the Bride’s family in such away. Yes it may be inappripote but it is NOT classy to bad mouth someone. For all we know those family members might have had a wardrobe malfunction – for example what looked like opaque clothing in the dim light of the shop’s changing room turned out to be slighlty transparant in more harsh and bright lighting.

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Em September 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I call BS on the possible “wardrobe malfunction”. People dressed to attend the wedding know it. People dressed to WORK the wedding know it, too. I agree that the writer appears to be laughing at her husband but that the entire event was cheapened by the behaviour of the guests of the bride. Showing up at formal event dressed like you are the entertainment or like you are only there to make a rebellious statement in your clothing is a direct insult. By the time you reach adulthood, you know how to buy clothes and when you need guidance, there are employees in the shop that are only to happy to offer suggestions.
~~~Signed,
~~~No Hoochie Mamas Allowed at Our Upcoming Informal Wedding BBQ. (Yes informal, insulting to us and my family-that person will be asked to leave or change clothes.)

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Enna October 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Em, why do you call it BS? That is a bit harsh. Wardrobe malfunctions do happen in some cases. And even if they were wearing things that could be consdiered “inappriopate” that is no reason to be rude about them. There was one poster who was cricitcal of a church event where one girl wore something which was a bit short and the other women present were calling her rude names which was hardly Christain behevahiour. Unfortunaly not everyone knows what kind of clothes suit them and sometimes firends can say “that looks good” when it doesn’t because they are scared of hurting the feelings of their firend. E.g. I had one firend A who said to firend B “you look fantasitc in that outfit” and then next week firend A says to firend B “that outfit was bad.” Why not be more tactfully truthful in the first place?

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Enna October 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm

P.S the poster I mention was circitcal of the women being un-Christian. I do think that some people are naive and ignorant which could have been the case here – maybe they learnt more about what to wear at weddings. I don’t like “writing people off” over something like this. But I do think that the OP was rude to laugh out loud the way she did – laughing about it afterwards maybe but in this event it just make her look mean.

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The Other Amber October 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

I was just at a wedding this summer where the bride’s family and friends were all dressed like they were going out clubbing instead of to a wedding. This includes the bride’s quite overweight mother and sister, both of whom (like the rest of her guests) were dressed in skin tight mini dresses. Quite a contrast seeing them standing next to the bride in her long, formal, beaded white wedding dress. And while the bride was not happy with what her family was wearing (no idea what she thought of the friend’s attire) the family thought they were dressed absolutely appropriately because they had gone out and bought these fancy dresses for the occasion.

This is what happens when people hold shows like Jersey Shore up as examples of how they should dress.

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e April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Maybe that’s all the brides family had to wear. Maybe they couldn’t afford to buy new clothes. Were they clean? For me if its the best they have in their closet and its clean and they cannot afford anything else, then by all means wear it and come celebrate the occasion with the people you love. Really catty comments in the letter. How can you go to a wedding and sit there and criticize the clothing of the bride or grooms family? You really miss the whole point of the wedding. Maybe she should have stayed home. Sounds to me like she has a lot of anger issues toward the ex. Hope she gets over it soon because life is too short.

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