The blush of a bride, the smile of the groom, all undone by the seating chart…
Why can’t nations get along? I found the answer while making the seating chart for my daughter’s wedding. Real and imagined grievances had our family resemble the mayhem of Fight Club instead of the Waltons. If families couldn’t resolve conflicts to attend the ultimate celebration of love, no wonder the world seemed headed to Hell in a hand basket.
Family intolerance was compounded by the addition of friends of various sexual orientation, transgender, and interracial pairings. Plus, I had no idea how the groom’s family got along.
My thoughts were, what a wonderfully diverse world we live in. Life would be simple if we all held this view. Reality had my daughter in a tizzy thinking she had to prevent WrestleMania on her wedding day.
My suggestion of seating people according to the United Nations criteria, alphabetical in English, was vetoed by the bride.
“Mom, that would split up family units.”
“Exactly, isn’t that part of the problem?”
I wanted to add a P.S. to the invitations which stated: The bride and groom’s marriage might have an Arctic’s chance in global warming to stay solid with any lousy examples of their guest’s intolerance. BEHAVE! This was also vetoed.
Most conflicts were simple pettiness with simple solutions. Forgive and forget. Learn to share. Admit that we all make mistakes. Say you’re sorry. If you’ve nothing nice to say, be quiet. No discrimination, period. Live your own life, and for Pete’s sake, have some fun.
The couple chose to designate seating by the titles of their favorite books and movies instead of numbered tables. I could put all the potential squabblers at The Shining table. Let the unseen evil forces have them if it wouldn’t become too messy. I didn’t voice this solution out loud. My daughter had lost enough sleep.
What I did say was, “Look for the common ground. Everyone who’s invited loves you and/or the groom. Don’t stress. I’ve got this.”
Crime and Punishment– Guests with redemptive qualities could be placed here.
The Fault in Our Stars– Reserved for those who knew true love.
Fahrenheit 451– Book burners, not my side of the family just to be clear.
Hunger Games– Rich and poor, figure it out without bows and arrows.
Harry Potter– I put Voldemort here. The witches and wizards would keep him in check.
To Kill a Mockingbird– Friends with moral integrity, courage, and tolerance.
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim– A book about a crazy, but not excessively dysfunctional family. Most of my immediate family would be seated at this table.
The Hobbit– Reserved for family and friends we considered precious.
The Lord of the Rings– People who understood fellowship.
The Godfather and Goodfellas– Two tables located near the exit where guests could take it to the streets if they must.
Ghostbusters– All ghosts, gate keepers, demigods, and Stay Puft marshmallow men.
The Blues Brothers– Anyone on a mission from God.
The Dark Knight– All jokers welcomed.
Toy Story– Guests who understood cooperation to infinity and beyond.
Star Wars– All Jedi and those who wished to save the galaxy from evil.
Stripes– Men who wanted to keep democracy safe and meet girls.
Aladdin– The folks who pretended to be something they’re not.
Muppets Treasure Island– Fun lovers and those who understood real treasures.
Spirited Away– I had no idea what this movie was about, but I put the drinkers here. The table was closest to the bar.
Jurassic World– The older people who promised not to eat their table mates.
Despicable Me– The people who would show up without the courtesy of responding to an RSVP for which we had to pay for meals just in case.
When the big day arrived, everything but joy faded into the background. Never underestimate the effects of good food, drink, and dancing. In the end, LOVE really did conquer all.