Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XLVII: Advice for a bride to be, blaming Treacher for Tucson, and fetishizing Reagan

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Editor’s Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Matt, I’m getting married (to a Matt, incidentally. Popular name). In trying to plan our wedding (with my Matt, not you), I have discovered that the American wedding has morphed into an opulent affair — and that I just don’t want to spend that kind of money on one day. But I do want it to be nice. What do you think — is the money worth it or should I stick with the local church and homemade food? — LibertyBelle

I think I see what’s going on here. I think I’m picking up on your not so subtle vibes with all the interchangeable Matt-talk. Are you asking me to marry you? I’d love to, but I can’t. I’m afraid of committing to women, for fear of alienating my wife. That said, wait for your seven-year-itch. We can have an extramarital affair when the time’s right.

But first things first – your wedding. A one-word piece of advice: revolt. Since I get paid by the word, let me expand on that. The bridal industry, like the greeting card industry, exists to convince you that the more you spend, the more you care about the ceremonial moments of your life. According to The Wedding Report, a publication I would only read at the point of a gun, the average wedding today costs nearly $30,000. Meaning there’s a lot of fathers out there who go in debt for their little princesses, since the average American family only saves about $390 a year.

Your suspicions are absolutely correct. It is a con — investing that much capital in wedding planning and nagging your poor fiancée until he wishes he’d eloped with the stripper from his bachelor party and taking fistfuls of laxatives so that you look perfectly thin for your wedding day — when it all will go by in a blur. You will spend nine months to a year preparing, and it will feel like it’s over in about five minutes. When I got married, it was such a whirl, that I don’t remember a thing. Not even the woman to whom I pledged my troth. In fact, I’m kind of worried I might have gone home with the wrong person. But she’s pleasant enough, so I’m sticking.

Not sure I’d go with “homemade food” — unless you really want Aunt Phoebe to bring her three-bean casserole. Go ahead and get a good caterer. Or at least a party platter from Chick-fil-A. People love them some nuggets. But it is not necessary to go broke just to prove that you’re a modern bride. There is basically one simple rule for all successful weddings: open bar. Have one, and the rest will work itself out.

Get married outdoors. Invite people you like, instead of people you have to. Play good music. Drink your fill. Then take off before your guests do, but not too soon before they’re ready to leave, since these should be people you want to see, and that you want seeing you. Take a lot of pictures, because you think you’ll remember what it feels like to be a newlywed forever, but you’ll blink a few times,  and then you’ll be sending your own daughter down the aisle. Check into a good hotel that night, before embarking on a honeymoon to some place tropical, with a lot of rum. Then get down to what a wedding day is really all about — a wedding night, making white-hot connubial love, or else just falling asleep. Don’t beat yourself up if you do the latter. Unless you went home with the wrong person, you’ll have another crack at it in the morning.

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  • slightlyaboveaverage

    Shouldn’t have much trouble getting several others in the mainstream media and MSNBC to go with your new Tuscon meme. Treacher IS a white male with conservative leanings and he’s possibly experiencing PTSD, as evidenced by the frequent reminders of how he believes the the federal government mistreated him in the wrong DC crosswalk. And that whole dual personality thing with the fictional ‘Sean Medlock’ strongly suggests schizophrenia, as if one needed more examples than the fact he created a Facebook identity for his knee (a part of Treacher’s body which was recently replaced by an entirely different person).
    Strong work here, Detective Labash. However, to be safe I think you should keep an element of Palin conspiracy in your hypothesis. Otherwise you might be dismissed as a kook. Peer approval means everything in journalism.

    • rocco

      You have proven yourself to be more than slightly above average with this analysis. You will have to change your moniker to something like “toofreakingsmartformyowngood”. Not mandatory, just a suggestion. Very funny.

  • Laurie Guthrie

    HA! I just KNEW it was Treacher’s fault!!!!!