"Where's the wedding?"
"West 39th. Or something."
"Go get the invitation. Let me see it."
I shake my head, plopped myself between my folks on the couch.
"Come on! Do it, do it, do it!" pleaded my mother.
"Naw, I don't want to."
"I'm too concerned that I have to get them a present. I have to give them like, what? $100?"
"No way! Bullshit. Give them, like, $25!" said my father.
Mother: "Nuh huh. One hundred. At least."
I sat there, staring at the tube, my folks bickering. I figured I'd ask my friends what they were going to give. It wouldn't matter anyway: I don't have $100. I'm broke right now -- so broke I shouldn't be hitting the bar this evening. 'Shouldn't' being the key word here...
Besides, it's not even like either the groom or the bride are good friends of mine. I mean, the groom's a s a buddy, I suppose. I've known him since high school...but it's not like we've had extensive heart to hearts late at night, revealing deep truths about ourselves over a six-pack and a late night Paul Newman flick. The price of a gift should be determined by how much time the two parties have spent together in the past year. Mack and I have spent, roughly, two hours together, and that's been in very large social settings.
Alas, this is not the way it is, and I refuse to get tangled in a Larry David moment.
Can you imagine? I buy a fancy card for $5.99 from Hallmark. Mack, the groom, opens it up and sees two crisp bills: one fiver and a twenty. He holds them between his thumb and middle finger, rubs them together and looks up at me with a cock eye. He holds them up for all in the wedding party to see and says: "Is this it?"
"Uh, uh, uh...."
And all my friends, acquaintances and potential lovers look at me in disgust for being such a poor sport and cheap bastard.
"It's his WEDDING day, you fuck head!" says the gorgeous 20-year-old I had been chatting up all night. She empties the triple gin and tonic, the one I had purchased for her only moments before, all over my chest --outlining my rippling pectorals.
"But, but, but --- I'm POOR! I've been TRAVELING for 7 months! I have no JOB!"
And they all proceed to BOOOOOOOOOOO me out of the reception hall.
Yes, I can see it now.
It looks as though I'm sending myself to the poorhouse over a wedding gift.
(to be continued...)