By Rosa del Valle
You have just broken the piggy bank where you keep the two euro coins with which you plan to go on holiday this summer. No matter if this year the Black Death or typhus hits us. You are going on holiday with your family, yes or yes. You count the money, feeling for a moment like Uncle Gilito caressing each coin. Your expression lights up with a smile that doesn’t fit your face when you realise that you have saved enough for a ten-day tour in Tuscany.
When your partner arrives home, you are waiting anxiously to surprise him. Sitting on a chair like Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman, you wait with a mischievous smile, covering yourself only with your plane tickets.
¡¡¡¡Surprise!!!! ¡¡¡¡We are going to Tuscany!!!!
-¡¡¡¡Surprise!!!! Open this little envelope that your Aunt Adela has just given to me at the bakery.- This isn’t turning out the way I had imagined it would. I think it belongs to your cousin Luis, from Toledo. To save on stamps, he sent all the wedding invitations to your aunt. He is so stingy. I can imagine the wedding menu. By the way…¡¡¡¡ We have a wedding in September, yuju!!!!
-Ohhh. What a dream, my third cousin, Luis! In my mouth is drawn at once a pout that I stopped putting when I was three years old. I’m on the verge of crying. I get up and look for my pyjamas. I’m not going to start crying naked. Too pathetic.
Goodbye Tuscany, goodbye wines in the shade of a cypress tree. I’ll have to keep eating macaroni with tinned tomato. At this point, I think I would have preferred to receive a letter from the Treasury. Well, darling…all is not lost, I will return the plane tickets and look for a destination more in line with our shitty economy. Besides, I’m sure we’ll have a good time at the wedding and I’ll see the whole family.
-¡¡¡¡Surprise!!!!- Not again, please, not again. -I didn’t want to tell you yet because I know you get a little bit nervous, but better now than later when you’ve already paid for a reservation at a little hotel in the mountains. My friend Juan called me this morning to tell me that he’s getting married this year too. Here I have another little envelope with the wedding invitation. But, it will be in November. They don’t match. Today is the day of the big news, isn´t it?
-Sweety…. we only have one little pig for holidays, the other for the unexpected is empty since we fixed the washing machine.- I cry my eyes out no matter what he may think of me. -Bring those wedding invitations here! I cry out in desperation. I have to analyze them right now.
While I read them, I mumble: I haven’t seen my cousin Luis since he made his communion and your friend Juan. What can I say about your friend Juan, the recidivist? It’s his third wedding, damn it. There must be some rule that establishes by law that after the second wedding you are no longer entitled to gifts. What’s more, if your marriage lasts less than a month, you should be obliged to return them. If that were the case, we would already have a gift for my cousin Luis.
I love the term “wedding invitation” because from the moment you receive it, you know beforehand that this apparently harmless piece of paper is anything but an invitation. You could call it “Tickets for Luis and Margarita’s wedding”, “Death trap”, “Say goodbye to your holiday” or “Danger: contains anthrax”. Once you receive it, there is no turning back. Read it carefully. Analyse it down to the last detail.
If the bank account is printed at the bottom of the page, look no further. It is obvious that you are being politely asked to pay for the menu and the tip. If instead of a bank account you see a wedding list, hurry up. Because if you wait too long, you may have to buy an IPhone X because it’s the only thing left. If you don’t see either of these two details, it’s your turn to take out the calculator. You can go on the Internet to check how much a wedding ticket is quoted for. You can also try to find out the price of the menu in the restaurant that appears in the invitation.
It would probably be cheaper for you to go to a Michelin star restaurant on your own, but dining with 100 other family members and strangers is a plus you have to pay. If you only have to pay for one menu, you’re lucky, but if there are four of you, keep your fingers crossed so that an asterisk explains that children are strictly forbidden at the wedding.
More than wedding invitations, I like the bride and groom who call you and directly spit at you: – We’re getting married!!! We would love you to share that special day with us.
-But…-You are sure that there is a “but” in that sentence.
-But we have chosen the best for our guests and we want to know if you can afford the menu. If you could confirm it to us as soon as possible, please, we would be willing to invite you
-I’d love to. You answer with an unhappy face. -Nothing would make me more excited.
Advice to future couples
Finally, a piece of advice for all of you who are thinking of getting married. Many times there are guests who fail at the last minute. If you have already confirmed the number of guests in the restaurant, please do not invite someone else in their place. Believe it or not, everyone knows that when they invite you to a week of any event, they are doing it to cover casualties. Of course, if you are lucky, you will find someone like me. I can’t say no.
-I am so happy you have remembered me! And again trying to hold back the tears and the bloody pout of childhood from giving you away.
Despite running out of holidays again, I love weddings, especially those of the people I love and to the people I love, I love giving them gifts. Sometimes having someone ´s hint at what they want is a great help and keeps you from buying things that 2 months later end up being sold in Wallapop.