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comment by PTR
PTR  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 13, 2018

My older sister (SIS) got married last week. I'mma vent some detailed shit.

tl;dr older sister marries racist she barely knows.

I met the groom, brother-in-law, (BIL) about 24 hours before the ceremony. SIS met BIL 12 months ago on Christian Mingle. She was on there because she's been in a foreign country for 2 years and doesn't speak the language. Also Evangelical Christian. He's on there because he's 28 and never had a girlfriend, not once. Also Evangelical Christian. From the deep South. They met twice before a proposal. Total time spent in each other's presence at that point: <6 days. It's a 4 month engagement.

My wife is black. She's a bridesmaid. Several family members preempt, warn that BIL has "drunk deeply of the culture", whispers of "latent racism". He's from the delta. BIL apparently has a hilarious sassy black mammy voice. Very funny, I'm sure. He thinks he's progressive though. Finds it offensive that people find the accent offensive, "It's just a joke!" He doesn't use the voice in front of my wife. Doesn't speak to her, not ever.

Successful rehearsal regardless. Very isolated pockets of conversation, clear division of bride/groom families. Amid hubbub, at one point I hear a practiced Butterfly McQueen imitation. "Miss Scarlett, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies," is just as funny as I expected it to be at a rehearsal dinner. Very appropriate. This one isn't BIL though, it's his best man. According to sources, BIL is a Hatty McDaniel type.

So me, brother to the bride and usher, trying to invite people out for drinks post-rehearsal dinner. Speaking to the groomsmen and their partners, all Southern gents and gals my age, all heavily accented. Talk is going well, nice-ish folks. Wife drops in, peck on the cheek, introduce her to everyone. Groomsmen clam the fuck up, no longer interested in drinks, no eye contact, conversational circle closes, "We're good, man. Thanks."

Oh word? Ok. Yeah. We're "good".

Wedding day. Big day. Busy, busy, busy. Lots of last minute changes. One change, my wife now has to wear a white shawl to cover her arms, ostensibly to conceal her visible tattoos. Bridesmaids are already in modest floor-length dresses during a Southern summer. Now a cardigan? The only bridesmaid to need one apparently. Also, natural hair is a no go. BIL's mom: "We need you to straighten it, honey."

Hmmm...this is nearly unbearable. Wife is a good sport, lovely disposition, a real gem this one. We practice a mantra: These people will never leave their bayou; they mean nothing to me and you.

Gets a good chuckle, but still. Very interested in getting her away from these people. Providing her pleeeenty of alcohol from various suit pockets. This wedding was Saharan dry. Remember, Evangelical.

Wedding occurs, sermon, communion, kiss is an A-framed pucker. I think I hear their teeth click, might've been someone's camera shutter.

BIL's mom and dad are a photographer's nightmare, very condescending. BIL's mom is an amateur photographer, uses the word "auteur" self-descriptively but it sounds more like "otter" with a second syllable accent and a hard "R" of course. Nightmare. Groom's side gets family shots first, then both, then bride's. As bride's family's ordering up, wife and I stand close near the edge. Audibly, BIL's mom: "Oh, is she family? I didn't realize."

I'm steaming.

Getaway car's parked outside, it's BIL's dad's. Bumper stickers are all Trump, Trump, Trump. Maga. Don't tread on me. Amendment 2. Red hat on the back passenger seat. You know what it is. So I snap a photo, send to the wife. She texts back, "Let's go. Now." Puff of smoke emoji.

Now approaching "Get Out" territory, I don't need a second word. We leave, drive 14 hours up the coast that night, no sleep. Fueled on caffeine, anger, and juicy fuckin' gossip. SIS was never a smart kid, but she picked a bad one. Like...cartoonishly racist, nothing latent about it. But we're home and safe.

Get a text from a cousin, SIS's confidante. SIS initiated marital sexy times, rubbing over the pants in the hotel. BIL cried as only a repressed Evangelical can. A lot. Wouldn't stop all night apparently. A no action night.

    These people will never leave their bayou.

    They mean nothing to me and you.

b_b  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have nothing to add but a sigh of sympathy. At least the lack of alcohol meant you could drive home!

Serious question, not making fun. What's with evangelicals and alcohol? Jesus's first miracle was the whole water-into-wine thing at a wedding, because the people wanted to get drunker. Why isn't this taken as a mandate that drinking (at least to celebrate) is ok? Never understood that one. Would love to hear a reformed Christian shed some light, if any of you would care to.

user-inactivated  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Neither Christian nor a Historian, but from what I understand the view is quite modern and has roots in American Temperance. Back then, alcohol was seen as both the result and the cause of social ills much like crack cocaine was viewed in the '70s-'90s and opioids are viewed today. It was a social reaction and since the churches were a major cornerstone of society, they were influenced just as much by the reaction as they were able to influence it.

I recommend perusing the wikipedia article, because I very well may be wrong.

As an aside, I once had the chance to purchase a temperance era book full of morality tales. They were stories such as "Jacob was prone to drinking. One night, he commited murder" and "Susan was a lush with loose morals, five kids, and no man will marry her." It was interesting, but ultimately, I didn't feel like it fit in well with my book collection.

PTR  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Thomas Welch (the original pioneer of pasteurized grapes) was involved in the Temperance Movement and started producing Welch's grape juice as an alternative to wine.

tacocat  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't know that you're wrong but temperance was part of first wave feminism. Women's groups were blaming alcohol for domestic violence.

Merlin  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the reminder of how amazing my girlfriend and her family is! And so sorry you had to put up with so much shit! You are a better man than I, for I would've certainly been unable to avoid causing a scene!

kleinbl00  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I woulda bailed at the rehearsal dinner, but then I hate my family so "double eagles bitchez" has become my go-to.

I commend you on your patience and kindness.