Someone once told me that, from the groom’s perspective, there are three keys to a successful marriage:
- Be a good sport at the reception.
- Enjoy the honeymoon.
- Wait to die.
As someone who has made more than one trip to the altar, I can vouch for the wisdom in those words.
Like the font on the invitation, the groom is one more prop in his bride’s fairy tale-come-true. All he really has to do is be on time and make sure his rental cummerbund faces the right way. (I always thought that if I got married again, I’d wear mine pleats down. Just to see if anyone would notice. But that’d be an expensive way to find out.)
Assistant football coaches toil in less anonymity than the groom on his wedding day. Few people on Earth are less significant.
The last time I got engaged, we did it the old fashioned way. We looked at the calendar and set a wedding date. A week before Christmas. When I would be in New Orleans for a meeting. And that was that. No bended knee or joyful sobs. Just nice and neat like it’s supposed to be.
Several years ago I was in Waikiki and happened to walk past one of those large resorts that cranks out weddings and receptions like so many sausages. A cacophony of squeals emanated from the entrance and, to no one’s surprise (at least not mine), out came a dozen bridesmaids. Followed by the beaming bride herself.
Farther behind, and looking somewhat defeated, was the groom and his best man. The latter proved he was up to the task by sharing a generous gulp from his flask.
It was 9:30 on Sunday morning.
It’s worth noting that this was a Japanese wedding. Why? Because across the continents and cultures, one thing is constant: Grooms don’t matter.
I have to admit to feeling a sense of brotherhood with the poor fellow.