A buck fifty a slice.

That’s how much the management of the country club wants to charge us for cake. Well, not for the cake. It’s for the labor. It costs $1.50 for each slice of cake that the waiters cut at a wedding. You still have to supply the confectionary, and God knows how much that will cost. If it costs to take it apart, you know that putting it together will be brutal.

I thought that paying for our wedding would be reasonable. Anne and I are very reasonable people. We know that it’s madness to shell out a ton of cash for one night of partying when we could be making a down payment on a house. We’ve seen the way people get stupid after they get engaged, how the women’s voices get shriller and the men’s eyes glazier as the plans get more and more absurd. No, honey, we have to have the bunting just so. We need to hire the full accordion orchestra for the reception; my great-aunt Esther will love it. The icing must be fondant, and the filling must be fresh, organic blueberries that fell from the tree on their own. This is the most important day of our lives, and it has to be perfect.

I know it’s not going to be perfect. I’ve been to and in enough weddings to know that something always goes wrong. How the happy couple deals with that something is indicative of how they’ll handle other inevitable crises. If they shrug it off, laugh, and keep on dancing, then I think they’ll do all right. If they start throwing stemware and consulting their copies of the pre-nup, then I think it’s a good time to become business partners with the nearest divorce lawyer. It’s a big day, yes, but it’s only one day out of many.

I figure if we stay healthy and active, we’ll be around for about sixty years, minimum. That’s 21, 900 days. The wedding will be .005% of our married life. Granted, it’s got a hell of a lot of weight, but it’s still a drop in the bucket of my new life with Anne. When I proposed to her, I asked, “Can we not get insane over the wedding?” I think we’ll be able to maintain sanity. What will happen to our checking accounts is another matter.

I’ll tell you one thing: there is no way in hell we’re going to be at this country club. Someone in the family was nice enough to hook us up with the info and offer to sponsor us (which means waiving the facilities fee, which means we have more money to spend on the important things, like food, booze and music), the cake thing is just wrong. It’d be one thing if we knew there would be master cake-cutters present, people who have honed their craft, who have learned at the feet of their fathers and mothers, people who can turn each slice into a work of art, who can make precise 90 degree angles or take requests and make a dodecagon shaped slice. I’d have no problem paying for that. Hell, I’d shell out two-fifty, maybe three even, for that. But let’s get real. For our dollar fifty, we’re going to have a sullen waiter who’s watching the clock and waiting for a chance to hit on the caterers and not paying attention as he slices off his finger instead of the cake. We’ll be lucky if we get square slices, and the cutter will probably freak out when they see the cake is circular (“Hey, man…I don’t do round”).

Welcome to A Buck Fifty. It’s going to be ridiculous, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

P.S. This is a repeat for some of you. I apologize. I’m still getting my act together, technical-wise, and forgot a bunch of people on the previous mailing.

P.P.S. For those of you who are new, this is the New Thing I was talking about. Welcome aboard.

P.P.P.S. For those of you who suggested it the first time around, no, I will not be calling this “Buck Fitty.”