Jerry Della Femina
SUMMER LAMENT, OR THE DELLA FEMINA CURSE, IS BACK (5/25/21)
Covid killed all summer weddings last year and I will bet a number of couples, who were hopelessly in love, spent a full year in quarantine together (which is the equivalent of being married 12 years in non-quarantine times).
A full year – that’s 525,600 long minutes. 525,600 minutes together. YUCK!
It’s the little thing that destroy a relationship. It’s always the little things.
He hated that she spent four hours a day in their tiny bathroom, primping to go nowhere since they were prisoners in their little room.
She couldn’t believe he refused to cut his toenails, which were ripping the sheets on their bed.
It’s the little things.
So after a couple months of togetherness, they couldn’t stand the sight of each other for another minute, so they broke up, thereby avoiding paying some greedy divorce lawyer a lot of money a few unhappily married years from now.
They will forever be known as the Covid “Double Survivors.”
But there are still plenty of people still in love who put off their wedding until this year and now they’re joined by this year’s crop of hopelessly-in-love people who are planning a mask-free wedding in the summer of 2021.
Their love and their plans, which include our attendance at their weddings, is a terrifying thought.
I publish this column every year as a public service to make sure your friends and relatives will think twice before they send you an invitation that will screw you out of a precious summer weekend.
Every year I start by asking this question:
Why do they do it?
Why do our friends and relatives destroy the summer for us? Why can’t they get married in February? Why do they choose the middle of summer to have birthdays, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs and family, college, high school and even nursery school reunions?
That’s not all. Frankly, some of them are thoughtless enough to die on a Friday in June, July or August, and there goes another summer weekend.
I promise that if it’s possible, when it’s time for me to go, I will go on life support until some rainy Friday morning in January so that my mourners can bury me early in the morning and still enjoy a three-day weekend. That’s the kind of generous guy I am.
Now I know you’re wondering what I’m ranting about, since you’re on top of the world because Covid is gone and it looks like another endless summer ahead. Let’s just see how endless it really is.
To begin with, everybody will soon be going to work in a real office or store or business. Forget your pajamas days and your wearing ugly dirty sweat pants day in and day out until the people around you threaten to make a complaint to the Department of Health.
Go back to work.
If you plan to work Monday to Friday, like me, that leaves you with around 12 summer Saturdays and Sundays, plus three long holiday weekends. So from the minute you’re reading this, summer weekends are a total of about 33 days.
Now you know that at least 9 or 10 of these days will be cold, rainy days where – no matter how hard you try to avoid it – you’ll end up arguing with your spouse. All a man has to say is, “No, I don’t think it’s romantic to freeze my behind off walking in the rain on the beach. Why don’t we stay in bed and fool around?” and that’s when the pouting starts. So write off 10 miserable days to weather and you’re left with 23 weekend days.
Sound like a lot?
I bet everyone reading this already has one lost weekend coming up when your Aunt Matilda & Uncle Benny are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and they would be broken-hearted if you don’t show up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to their house in Brooklyn or the Bronx or Westchester or wherever the hell they live.
So, now you’re down to 21 days. If you’re young enough to have small children, that means the camps are all reopening so you’ll be you’re stuck with a trip to some summer camp with an Indian...er...er...Native American name – a camp with a Native American name like Camp Elizabeth Warren. A camp in an out-of-the-way state like Maine or Massachusetts where you drive for hours and all you see are trees. And I guarantee that the weekend you are sentenced to visit your child’s camp always turns out to be the sunniest, most beautiful weather weekend of the summer.
This is where you are sentenced to spend the weekend admiring neatly made bunk beds and ceramic ashtrays (which in these politically correct days have gone from being called ashtrays to being called “candy dishes” to just being called “dishes,” now that candy is seen as poison by some food Nazis who would rather your 12-year-old smoke a pack of cigarettes or smoke weed all day rather than have him or her bite down on a single delicious piece of chocolate).
Show me a camp that is wise enough to schedule parents’ visiting days on a Monday and Tuesday and I will show you a camp that deserves the exorbitant amount of money they get to guard your kids for the summer. An amount of money, I might add, that is more than it took, a few short years ago, to cover the tuition of four years at an Ivy League college.
If your children are grown, it’s even worse. They have children and all their children are having birthday parties in town in July, where you will find yourself overcome by heat while you’re surrounded by 20 sticky five-year-olds playing musical chairs.
What frosts me is the weather. Did you ever notice that every one of the weekends you have to go to a family event is beautiful? The sun is shining. The sky is blue. And you are stuck in some disgusting catering hall, or, worse, drinking warm white wine out of a plastic cup in some relative’s backyard in White Plains.
Which brings me to summer weddings in the city. They must be banned.
There are some facts that people who drag their friends away from the beach for their wedding must be made aware of. Jerry Seinfeld, an East Hampton resident, once had a message for all the newly engaged couples: “Nobody wants to go to your wedding! We are not excited like you are.”
Mr. Seinfeld is so, so right. The only people who must attend a summer wedding are the bride and groom, their respective parents, the best man and the maid of honor and maybe a priest or a rabbi. All the other guests are hostages who may be smiling but inside they are seething because they have had one of their precious summer weekends screwed up.
I remind every dewy-eyed couple in my family that in the summer it’s bad luck to get married any place west of Westhampton. I remind them of the famous Della Femina Curse, which is still going strong. I have, in my life, attended six weddings that took place on a summer holiday weekend (five Memorial Day, one Labor Day) and I must report, in all honesty, that four out of six of those couples are no longer married.
Pass the word – the marriages of people who screw up my summer weekends are doomed.
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