Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why the Stanley Cup Final Is Better Than a Wedding

Ah, weddings.  Who can deny the beauty of two people coming together to share the rest of their lives with one another.  Such a great thing humanity has culturally created.  Plus, they are great social events for the family and friends invited to share in the couple's special theory.  Of course, in theory, communism works.  In theory.  But, look at weddings for what they are on the outside, without all of that lovey crap (all except yours, of course); free food, free booze, free party, single chicks with heightened emotional sensitivity, single (and not-single) dudes wading in a pool of their own testosterone...Look, I don't need to recap an entire movie plot for you.  Is this what we've become as a society?

Look, don't get the wrong idea.  This isn't a loosely veiled attempt to bash weddings and dictate a set of crazy beliefs (although, for more wacky, harebrained opinions you can look up my article "The Myth of Counter-Culture, and Why Non-Conformity Will Kill You" in the Paris Review).  A wedding is better than, say, a root canal, because of the obvious, but also because of the potential to find a good bartender (or bartendress) to whip you up something good and strong so you can dance your little heart out to the Cha-Cha Slide or other such crap (more on this later).  Oh, and because of the whole love angle, I guess.

Anyway, the point is weddings are more or less boring unless you are in them, in which case you expend an awful lot of energy to avoid falling down or lighting yourself on fire so the wedding is remembered as the "couple's special day" and not "heh, remember that idiot that fell down/ lit himself on fire."  It's exhausting, and the worst part is you can't watch sports.  It's a part of your weekend where you cannot take the form of a lazy slug.  Look, I know a guy who spent an entire wedding watching a gamecast of a soccer game on his phone while reacting loudly whenever something happened.  The problem is, you can't do this while at a wedding, unless you are a total asshole, in which case you probably aren't reading this anyway because you never learned how to read (I heart you, you wonderful, literate readers of mine! ;)  ).

Wedding receptions are my main source of umbrage today, though.  Sure, wedding receptions can be fun, and you can get drunk, and you can dance without inhibition or care, and you can hit on everything that moves.  They can also be a chance for deranged and/or awkward white people to dance around and make fools of themselves in front of other awkward white people.  Also, you might not get drunk, or the only attractive person there is you – I have this problem all the time anyway – and you really just have to be social out of respect to the also-rans.  Much more on all of this later, though.

When you get down to it, weddings are terrible.  Not the institution of marriage (well, sometimes...) but the whole shebang and hoopla.  This may be an unpopular stance, and to that I say "consider me unpopular."  Don't get me wrong, weddings of close friends or relatives are great, mainly because you don't have to know anyone but the bride or groom, so that gives you free-reign to act like a drunk asshole or socially aggressive creep and no one can call you on it because you are wearing a nice tux or dress, which gives you super powers or something.  But don't let that fool you into thinking you would rather do something else with your Saturday (or whenever), specifically something like watching the Stanley Cup Finals.

Oh, you caught me.  YES, this is about hockey!  Hold on, and you will see my point.  Here are four reasons why watching the Stanley Cup Finals with friends and/or relatives is better than attending a wedding and wedding reception.

1. The Social Aspect

Weddings are social events, no doubt, and if you know a lot of people you can find yourself trying to budget time to talk to everyone you want during the entirety of the wedding event(s).  So, that's good.  If you don't know a lot of people, well, weddings, the reception in particular, can get kind of boring.  Take this for example:  My immediate family are close friends with other families that have had many of their children get married recently.  This means my mom and myself (and whoever else) get placed at a table with individuals we have never met before.  One person actually worked with the father of the groom ten years ago.  What the hell is that?  Sure, don't seat us at a table with people we know who also have to sit with people they don't know.  Anyway, Mama Flub is a great conversationalist, but she ends up by herself when I'm either a.) antisocial or b.) looking for someone I know to talk to.  That means Mama Flub gets stuck with the unenviable task of making conversation with complete strangers.  Now, I know what you are saying: "oh, don't be a putz.  Meeting new people is great," and to that I say:
That, of course, is the bad.  Later, we will get in-depth into that moment when you realize you are the only "single and ready to mingle" person at the dinner.

On the flip-side, while at a bar or wherever watching an SCF game, you can choose to be social if you wish.  If you are around the right kind of people, watching the game can be a blast.  Or, if you are with friends, you are already in good company that isn't going to walk away to slow dance to "I Know This Much Is True" and make goo-goo eyes with their significant other who you hate for a reason that does not bear repeating.

Advantage: Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

2. The Drink Selection

You always run the risk of attending a reception without an open bar.  Instead you get an open bar for an hour, or the always dreaded pay bar.  I have been in too many of those situations.  There is no way I can drink enough in an hour at 6pm to get me through the rest of the night.  Of course, finding a great bartender is sometimes tricky, but if you do, then it's totally worth getting loaded on your own dime.

If you do in fact stumble upon an open bar, well, nothing beats that.  Really, that's free bar privileges and no one can take that away from you.  Drink up and enjoy.  You've earned it.

Watching the SCF has the same advantages and disadvantages of any other night in a bar.  The bartenders typically know what they are doing, and you have to watch your tab.  Also, this means someone has to drive, so you can't get too crazy.  BUT you can watch the Finals while kicking back a few Guinness-es.  Really, that's all that matters.

Advantage: Push, but only in the event of an open bar.  Anything else leans towards watching the SCF in a bar.

3. Attractive People

Women have a thing for well-dressed men, and men have this thing about emotionally-charged women in low-cut dresses.  It's science, people.

Again, little can top a wedding with a wealth of attractive "dressed to impress" twenty-somethings with alcohol in them.  It's not even fair.  Of course, again, watch the first thirty minutes of Wedding Crashers for a full explanation.

The caveat, of course, is when the wedding reception has as many available prospects as a family reunion, or when the ravages of inbreeding rear their ugly head (and I do mean ugly).  This can be a real downer to any single, attractive young adult.

A bar scene can be just as bad for all the same reasons.  But guess what?  It doesn't matter because you are watching the Stanley Cup Freakin' Finals.  Your libido even senses a difference, and becomes sexually-attuned to hockey instead of the opposite sex (or same sex or whatever...You Can Play, etc...).  It's a wonderful thing, really, and a natural function of the body.  Plus, there are literally no side-effects (except you blog more and speak to the opposite sex less, which is odd...).

Advantage: Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

4. Food

It's either chicken, steak, or some kind of fish with a small portion of fixins on the side.  Or a buffet.  Which is fine, except you have to eat it while making conversation with strangers.  Or while trying to keep it down after four Rum and Cokes while doing "The Hustle" (jeez white people are dumb...)

If you are lucky, you are watching the SCF.  Depending on where you are, you are eating bar food.  But, there are many options to consider.
a.) make a big dinner at home with friends and fam before going to watch the game
b.) go to a nice restaurant before settling at a bar
c.) eat food from a street vendor to get the feel of being outside of the arena before a game

You can choose your own adventure, and as an American you should have that freedom, dammit.

Advantage:  Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

In summary: 
Weddings and wedding receptions are fine, except when there are important sporting events on and except when the bride and groom go cheap and/or don't invite a lot of cool people or there isn't an open bar or it's either chicken or salmon.  So, it's no wonder that it's a no-contest when posed with the option of either Going To A Wedding or Watching the Stanley Cup Finals With Friends/Family.  

That being said, I hope the hotel where this wedding reception is tonight has a bar...

BLOG NOTE: New layout coming soon, so you are in luck if you hate this layout.  If you like this layout, too bad, I'm changing it anyway.  Everything else will be the same, but I want to make it easier on you fine people to be able to read this content without your eyes falling out of your head.

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