bad manners

Rufus Wainwright Tells Guests He Wants Cash, Not Gifts at Same Sex Wedding


I’ve seen many congratulations on social media for the impending same sex marriage for Rufus Wainwright and his partner. Although I’m a huge supporter of gay marriage because I’ve been with my partner, Tony, for twenty years, I’m not a huge fan of same sex marriage unless it’s on a federal level…ahem, Mr. President. I know same sex marriage on a state level has its benefits and it is good for morale. But I live in Pennsylvania where same sex marriage still isn’t legal, and may never be legal in my lifetime. We need it on a federal level. Anything else is nothing more than throwing us a proverbial bone.

I’ve been to many commitment ceremonies over the years that weren’t considered legal marriages for same sex couples. Tony and I have two good women friends who have been together for twenty-five years and they’ve been married in several states. They live in New York and being married there legally has afforded them certain benefits that straight married couples receive. Like I said, it’s all good. Just not enough.

And now I see that Rufus Wainwright is getting married and this is what he’s asking his guests to do:

According to an insider, instead of traditional wedding gifts, Wainwright and his beau have asked for money in lieu of physical presents in order to pay off the 25-foot Airstream, a sleek aluminum travel trailer the couple has recently ordered but has not yet had delivered.

At that length, a new Airstream can run anywhere from $55,000 to well over $75,000, depending on how much customization is required.

It’s their wedding and they are free to do whatever they want to do. But for all those out there who aren’t familiar with same sex marriages and same sex couples, it is NOT typical for us to ask our wedding guests to bring checks instead of gifts so we can pay off our trailers! In fact, most of the commitment ceremonies Tony and I have attended were small, tasteful, and the couples specifically stated they didn’t want gifts. My two lesbian friends who have been married in several states where gay marriage is legal didn’t even have huge ceremonies. They did it quietly, with good taste, and didn’t hock their friends for gifts. I’m pointing this out because I never hear about the real same sex couples that I know in real life. I only hear about the freak shows where same sex couples who are celebrities do things that I would imagine make the rest of America wonder what same sex marriage is all about in the first place.

Trust me, if Tony and I are ever allowed to get legally married, we aren’t going to tell our guests what to bring…if there is a huge wedding. I doubt there will be because we’ve already been together for twenty years. It would be a quiet celebration with family and friends, and most likely we’d state clearly we don’t want gifts.

And this is something you won’t see us do either:

Guests attending the nuptials better hope for warm weather and calm seas: The couple is encouraging guests to join them in getting wet afterward.

Those attending the wedding who don’t plan on vacationing in Montauk for the week will be “bused in from Manhattan” and have been told it’s “very casual” and that “they can wear whatever they want.”

If Tony and I are ever allowed to marry, I can guarantee we won’t be encouraging our guests to jump in the water and we won’t be busing people in from anywhere. Again, I’m not knocking Wainwright or his partner for encouraging people to jump in the water at their wedding or for asking their guests to bring cash instead of gifts to pay off their trailer. It’s a free country. I’m just stating that not all same sex couples would do things like this. In fact, most…if not all…of the same sex couples I know wouldn’t do anything even remotely like this.

The reason I’m posting about this is because no one ever does. It’s become evident to me that publications like Time Magazine and most newspapers pay people six figures to promote stupidity. Whenever a same sex marriage is announced that’s considered “high profile,” it’s usually something the most people cannot relate to. I’m hoping this harmless little post might balance things out with regard to the images that most of America has about same sex couples on a broader scale.

Here’s a link to the source where you can read more. Below is a comment left by someone that seems to be the way most people think.

What a narcissistic, selfish couple these men are. Mr. Wainwright is a successful singer/song writer who has made millions, I have no idea what his fiancé does. They are not young kids just starting out with no money, yet they ask their guests for money to pay off their latest toy, an Airstream Mobile trailer, the hubris and greed of this couple is beyond belief!! Why don’t they ask their guests that in lieu of gifts to the couple, they can make donations to certain charities? I guess with all of his millions he has made and inherited, he still has the need to put himself above those less fortunate in need than his privileged self. Shame on you Rufus, you won’t see me or many others buying your albums or songs.

Grammar Police and Social Media


I have a nephew who is always posting different photos on social media, usually facebook. And each time he posts a photo there is always a caption that reads like this: “Me and my friend,” or “Me and my Mom.” Of course it’s grammatically incorrect. And this particular nephew is 29 years old, he’s a doctor, and he’s well above average in the IQ department. If he’d gone through 12 years of Catholic school like I did, Sister Unforgiving in the photo above would have smacked his fingers with that ruler.

But my nephew is not the only one I see doing this on social media. To be honest, I’m often tempted do to it myself just to see if I could get away with it. When it comes to social media, from blogging to facebook to twitter, I’ve always believed it’s supposed to be casual and free from grammar police. I also believe that language, grammar, and communication in general change and evolve with time. And when more people use something that’s normally considered grammatically incorrect, it might be time to change the rules a little. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a good example. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was considered wrong to end any sentence with a preposition. Now it’s done all the time, it’s perfectly acceptable, and it’s the way people actually speak. Communication evolves; some of the things we thought were important two hundred years ago don’t apply anymore.

So I don’t mind when I see these small grammatical errors on social media. I don’t mind when I see huge grammatical errors on social media either, because this is the way people speak on a daily basis. And, the key word here is “social.” We’re not talking about “educational” media. We’re not talking about “bore-me-to-death” media. I think this is especially true when it comes to personal blogging. Nothing irritates me more than when I see a fool correct someone’s grammar on a blog or social media…or on a comment thread. It. Doesn’t. Matter. It. Is. Casual.

And yet I see it all the time, especially with regard to authors, editors, and publishers. There are people who must seriously believe that because authors, editors, and publishers work on books where grammar should be excellent at all times they don’t deserve a break on social media. Most of the time it’s the smallest mistake that people will single out and mention, in public, to the author, without giving it a second thought.

Personally, I think it’s highly inappropriate to correct someone in public, on social media, with regard to grammar. I don’t care what line of work they do either, and this includes authors or anyone connected to publishing. To correct someone in public on social media is basically the same as correcting someone’s grammar at a cocktail party. It’s bad manners, which is far worse than poor grammar. I tend to believe the people who do this on social media are also the same types of people who would do this at a cocktail party (I’d bet most don’t get invited out often).

Unfortunately, the people who do this all the time probably won’t even read this post. They will continue on, correcting people on social media, boring us all to death with their snide tongue-in-cheek comments and we’ll have to ignore them. But if someone does, indeed, correct you on a blog or any other social media, don’t worry. Don’t give it a second thought. Because this is not someone you need to care about or know.